The music system, which consists of an integrated FM radio, CD MP3 player and speakers, recently came in for a review. I slipped in a CD of Elvis Presley's greatest hits, set the track to "Love me tender", connected a microphone and after fading out the singer's voice, started singing along. So caught up I was in this feeling of exhilaration that I inadvertently turned up the volume. A while later, there was just silence, punctuated by the wails of our neighbourhood dogs. Well, my wife had turned the system off after being alerted to the cacophony by the dogs' cries.
Chastened, I switched on the radio. But before that I had to connect the FM antenna. The reception was quite clear and after I had my fill of some filmi music, I proceeded to mix a track, using the Auto DJ function. I quite liked how it cued it interspersed my Ozzy Osbourne tracks with those from Metallica, though critics might shudder. I liked it so much that I proceeded to render Osbourne's "Crazy Train" (while taking the precaution of plugging in a pair of headphones) and recorded it on the USB drive. And one must mention the crazy light effects from the speakers - it made my bedroom look like a party hub.
Next, after downloading the Music Flow app, I proceeded to play my compressed tracks and thankfully, the preset music modes kicked in to deliver the right punch. And, of course it supported all other bells and whistles the app has, such as shaking the phone to switch audio to it. That night, I was watching Tom Hanks-starrer Philadelphia on my TV. But I could hardly hear the dialogues after I cranked up the volume. So, I patched a cable from my TATASky HD+ to the TV and well, it was worth it.
But I was restless. I still had to try out the Cube's big brother - the LG portable X Boom Thunder OM7550D (Rs 30,990). Whatever the Cube had, this had more. I placed the hefty mini hi-fi system in the living room and connected it to the TV via a HDMI cable. Next, I slipped in a DVD of Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back. As I sat down to watch the light sabre rattling, I nearly jumped out of my skin when I heard Darth Vader: the Thunder belts out some serious sound and the 5.1 system, despite being part of an integrated system, actually works.
Again, what use is a music system, with DJ functions worth, if one didn't mix some tracks, right? Cueing up an array of classic Bollywood tracks, I got back to doing what I had a passion for during my university days - giving those tracks a "club-like" flavour. While I was rusty, I did get back in the groove but after hearing the tracks I realised that phase of life was over; the originals sounded a lot better. No more Lata Mangeshkar meets Madonna.
While all this was on, I didn't fail to notice the psychedelic shadows the lights on the system were throwing on the living room's walls. I had to play the best club tracks I had. Getting hold of the CDs was no problem, but since the Thunder had a single CD drive, I made use of its array of connectivity options to cue up the tracks. Soon, we were grooving away. But don't crank up the volume too much though; the Thunder delivers 1,000 watts of RMS power - enough to blow your windows out.
While both the music systems sport portable in their names, and both can indeed be moved around, they need AC power to run, not batteries.
Using these two music systems, I realised how far we had come in terms of functionality. Thus, if you're a party animal or love turning DJ at gatherings, you can get the Cube; if you're a movie buff and host big parties to boot, the Thunder is for you.