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Tivoli Audio Music System BT: Review

Enjoy the convenience of a CD player, FM/AM radio and Bluetooth in an all-in-one retro chic tabletop stereo system.

Tivoli Audio Music System BT Black Lifestyle

The Tivoli Audio Music System BT is a compact integrated stereo system that incorporates a 2.1 channel amplifier, CD player, FM/AM radio, with an additional Aux input, and Bluetooth which provides access to streaming via compatible devices, such as smartphones.

This system was first introduced in 2013 and continues to sell well for Tivoli Audio and we applaud them for integrating both streaming functionality and keeping the CD player.

Tivoli Audio Music System BT Front

Core Features 

Speaker Drivers: (2) 2 x 3-inch full-range drivers, and (1) 5.25-inch downward firing subwoofer

Amplifier Power Output: Information not provided  

CD Player: Slot loading. CD, CD‐R, CD‐RW, MP3 CD, and WMA CD playback compatible

Radio: AM/FM

Wireless source: Bluetooth (8 Device Pairing Memory)

Alarm Clock: Dual Alarm and Sleep Timer

Status Display: Illuminated front panel status display featuring time/date, source/station, and track title information (when available)

System Dimensions: 5.25″ x 14.125″ x 9.5″

System Weight: 13.20 lb 

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Connections

Tivoli Audio Music System BT Connections

The connection options on the Tivoli Audio Music System BT include:

Auxiliary Input: 3.5mm (can be used with RCA to 3.5mm adapter cable)

Mix Input: 3.5mm Source audio connected with this input will be mixed with audio from another selected input (sort of like a Karaoke/Singalong function).

Record Out/Line Out: 3.5mm (can be used to connect to a cassette or CD recorder or to an external amp or subwoofer – the onboard speakers are not muted when in use).

AM Antenna In: A plug AM Antenna is provided, you can also use one of your own as well. 

FM Antenna In: An external Antenna is included but you can use one of your own as well. 

Power Receptacle: Detachable power cord provided. 

Headphone Output: Front panel, 3.5mm minijack (not shown in the photo).

Control

Tivoli Audio Music System BT Front Display

Front Panel: Power, CD playback controls, AM/FM tuning and presets, Source Selection, Alarm Set, Sleep timer, Volume, EQ, Menu, Information/Status Display options

Rear Panel: Bass Level, Internal/External FM Antenna Switch 

Top Panel: Snooze/Mute Button

Remote Control: Duplicates most functions of the front panel controls with additional Repeat, Shuffle, and Audition options for the CD Player. 

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Tivoli Audio Music System BT Remote Control

What You Get 

Here is what comes in the box with the Tivoli Music System BT

  • (1) Music System
  • (1) User Manual (not shown in photo)
  • (1) External Wire FM Antenna (pre-attached to the ack of the system – not visible in photo)
  • (1) External AM Antenna
  • (1) Remote Control (Battery Included)
  • (2) AA Batteries
  • (1) Power Cord
Tivoli Audio Music System BT Accessories

Music System Setup

From Tivoli: “Before operating the Music System BT, wait until it has reached room temperature. Otherwise, condensation may form inside the CD player and it may not operate correctly. The display can also be affected by hot or cold temperatures.”

Step 1: Insert the two provided “AA” backup batteries for the clock into the rear battery compartment before connecting the AC power cord.

Step 2: (optional): Connect the provided AM Radio Antenna

Step 3: (optional) Connect external FM Antenna (telescoping FM Antenna already built-in)

Step 4: Connect the Music System BT to AC power.

Step 5: Press the red Power button on the front panel.

Step 6: Press the Source button or insert a CD into the CD slot. If AM is selected, attach the included external AM antenna and adjust for receiving AM stations.

Step 7: Turn up the volume and start listening.

Tivoli Audio Music System BT on Bookshelf

The Skinny

My first impression of the Music System BT is an appreciation for its retro design and features, especially the inclusion of a CD player. Although the Music System doesn’t directly incorporate streaming (it was first released in 2013), the inclusion of Bluetooth allows the playback of streaming content via compatible mobile devices. 

However, sometimes I just want to listen to the radio or play one of the many CDs in my collection while working, relaxing, when I wake up in the morning and go to sleep at night. For me, I thought the Music System BT works well in that regard.

This system delivers a good listening experience for a compact system. the sound is clear and detailed, especially from CDs, physically connected, and Bluetooth sources. I found the FM reception to be very good in my location. On the other hand, although AM reception was good, the sound quality was poor. Of course, although this is typical for AM, I was expecting a little bit more refinement on the Tivoli.  

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One odd thing I noticed is the location of the bass level control on the back of the Tivoli rather than including it on the front panel with the rest of the controls. There is no bass level control on the remote control either.

On other hand, one of the settings accessible from the front panel and the remote that I liked was the SpacePhase Wide Mode. This setting expands the left and right channels beyond the physical Music System cabinet to provide a more expansive stereo image. On the other side of the coin, if you are listening to a weak FM radio station, the Mono setting reduces noise and distortion, although this eliminates the stereo listening experience. 

Tivoli Audio Music System BT Front Dark

One thing to keep in mind is that although the Music System BT can provide decent sound, it is a compact system and isn’t going to provide the same listening experience as a high-end 2-channel audio system with good bookshelf or floor standing speakers and a separate subwoofer. If you push the volume and bass level controls to their limit you will hear some distortion. However, it does save space as a self-contained system. 

On the connectivity side, the Music System provides a lot of options, but there isn’t a dedicated phono/turntable input. This means that if you have a turntable that doesn’t have a built-in phono preamp, to connect to the Tivoli Music System BT, you will have to place an external phono preamp between the turntable and the Music system’s aux input. 

In addition to the music features, since the Music System is also a Clock Radio. The time/date display is large and readable from across a small room or office, and there are provisions to set two independent alarms as well as to set the sleep timer. The sleep timer interval is 20 minutes (no other sleep time intervals are provided). 

I enjoyed using the Tivoli Audio Music System BT, but if I was shopping for a compact audio system, this one carries a hefty price tag of $699.99 (and has since its introduction in 2013) – At $399.99 I might consider it. Although it’s great to have a compact system these days with a built-in CD player, not also having built-in streaming, as well as either Alexa or Google Assistant voice control is a turn-off at its price point.

Tivoli Audio Music System BT Lifestyle

Pricing and Availability

The Tivoli Audio Music System BT is available now for $699.99 at Amazon, Tivoli Audio and B&H Photo (prices may vary by dealer).

Pros

  • Retro Design
  • Solid Build
  • Built-in CD Player
  • Wide Stereo Audio Processing Option
  • Easy Bluetooth Pairing
  • Easy to Read Front Panel Status Display
  • Abundant controls on the front panel and remote
  • Audio line out for recording

Cons

  • No Dedicated Phono Input
  • Poor AM Radio Quality
  • No Airplay Support
  • No built-in streaming features (other than Bluetooth)
  • Inconvenient location for bass level control
  • The sleep timer only has one setting.
  • Expensive!
2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Efab

    March 9, 2022 at 7:52 am

    There is a big problem with the Tivoli products. The remote control is of very poor quality.

    • Danny

      June 20, 2023 at 1:51 am

      No shit! That’s an understatement….I’m on my 7th one from Tivoli…now they’re out of stock…finally got an aftermarket and porgramed it

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