LG FA163DAB 160W iDock micro hi-fi system
Surprisingly above-average sound quality
Review Once a real power-player in the world of hi-fi micro systems, LG's standing has suffered as portable players have grown in popularity. In a spirit of 'if you can't beat 'em, join 'em', LG is now looking to unite the world of portable MP3 and the micro.
Perhaps not a company immediately associated with high-quality sound, LG has sought to combat this perception by employing audio guru Mark Levinson. Levinson formed Mark Levinson Audio Systems in the early 1970s, and its hand-built amplifiers became, for many, the standard of reference in the audio industry.
LG's FA163DAB 160W iDock: slightly less than rock-solid
The brand now belongs to Harman International, leaving Levinson to free to ‘tune’ LG's system to maximise the rig's efficiency when working with iPods and to improve its sound in general.
The cynical among you may be forgiven for thinking that this is simply a name-borrowing exercise and, apart from driving past the factory and waving, Levinson may not have been overly involved in the manufacture of the unit. However, Register Hardware was at the launch of this product and a larger range of audio offerings, and we were assured that Levinson has been heavily involved in the project, from design to manufacture. To underline the point, Levinson himself made the trip over the Pond to sing the praises of the machine. But is it any good? Well, yes and no.
First impressions are not altogether great: the head unit feels a little less-than-solid, with a bit of give in the box that encases the main unit. Looks-wise things are a little better, thanks to a very minimalist design and the high-gloss covering used on the speakers and head unit.
Both the head unit and speakers are finished with brushed aluminium on top of each component. The unit also looks attractive when it comes to life as there's a blue-backlit touch-sensitive circular control array on the front designed to mirror the control system on the iPod.
The good remote carries on the iPod theme
This works well, and the iPod-like layout means many users will immediately know exactly how it works. But it's the little oval remote control that's the real eye-opener here.
Guys if you don't understand, just accept, or go away and read.... people rant and rave about crap reviews on here and when someone actually posts information that is meaningful (i.e. sluggish response, bounce, natural etc...) they get slapped down!
Speaker cables do make a difference, accept it.
As for an Aego M comparison - a bit harsh.... whilst i agree the Aego M is absolutely stunning, a) it's not half the price and b) it's only a set of speakers, there is no DAB radio, no iPod dock etc... handy if you don't need them but not exactly an apples with apples comparison!!!
Scroll wheel on unit.
I took one of these for a spin and hated the control on the front. It's supposed to be touch-sensitive but its sensitivity left a lot to be desired. When I want to turn the volume up, don't make me try and figure out exactly how I'm supposed to place my finger in order to get the system to respond. Pity, because otherwise it was an OK system. I ended up getting a Panasonic.
I suppose you'll be wanting some huile du serpent to go with those rare earth cables with the oxidised platinum connectors and gold-plated aura-enhancing vibe-filters
"Some of the flatness and sluggish response that can be a feature of iPod playback is gone, and ultimately there is more bounce and a more natural feeling to the sound."
Does this mean anything? In particular, what is "sluggish response"? The review also talks about the unit's response to complex rhythms. What features, exactly, are involved hear? The audiophile-grade toe-tap quantum nucleizer?
Paris, because she seems to *like* a load of bollocks.
don't charge to improve sound
This is something I simply cannot undrestand, the ipod being arguably top of the line in terms of portable audio players (at least in terms of market share and public perception), but playing and charging are virtually impossible as the interference for the charging is attrocious.
The ipod has gone through what, 6/7 updates and it's still a huge problem.
Well done lg for giving that as an option I say!