Stylish iPod-compatible mini hi-fi system
- Good looks
- No HDMI connection, difficult on-screen interface, USB recording is of dubious usefulness
The FB163 is a product with plenty of functionality — USB inputs, DVD and DivX playback and an iPod dock. It sounds great, but the implementation of these extra features isn't as smooth as it could have been.
Price$ 399.00 (AUD)
LG's FB163 mini hi-fi is a glossy modern system that allows you to plug in your iPod, and has a slot-loading CD/DVD drive and a unique interface. It's a great looker, but the implementation of iPod and USB drive browsing leaves a bit to be desired.
The package contains three pieces — two 13cm(W)x 30cm(H) speakers (the right height to fit on many bookshelves) and the central control unit. Set up is simple: all necessary cables are already connected to the speakers and all that's left to be done is place the system. The speaker wires aren't particularly long, so anyone looking to separate the components a significant distance will be out of luck.
CDs and DVDs are loaded through a vertical ballot-style slot on the unit's top. It is unable to play smaller 8cm CDs. A USB connector, along with a line-in and headphone socket, is hidden behind a flip-down panel on the front. With an MP3 player or USB flash drive connected it can look a little messy, but with the panel flipped up the control unit looks smooth and minimalist.
The FB163 can play DVD movies and DivX video files, and connection to a television is handled by a variety of outputs. HDMI is noticeably absent, with the only options being composite, component and SCART.
The FB163 has an interesting interface, centred on the touch-sensitive control on the CD player's front. In a similar fashion to Apple's iPod, users can tap the sides of the circular indentation to navigate forward and backwards through CD tracks and radio stations, while a continuous circular motion adjusts volume. The touch control system is intuitive to use.
However, there are issues when accessing files on a USB drive or iPod. The folder, artist and album navigation is confusing and the single-line display doesn't allow lengthy titles to be displayed. We preferred using the iPod's interface to navigate through music, though this meant that no charging of the device was possible. It may become easier with practice, but initially iPod and USB drive navigation was quite difficult and time-consuming.
Sound from the FB163 is satisfactory at the default setting, with a slight bias towards mid-range. Treble seemed slightly distorted at higher volumes, with fuzziness permeating female vocal tracks. It's probably the least emphasised component of the sound, lending the system a warm tonal quality.
Mid-range is the most evident frequency, with male voices and guitars standing out during acoustic rock tracks and movie dialogue. It can seem a little overpowering at times, but this only becomes a problem when the FB163 is pushed to high volumes.
Bass is surprisingly well handled by the bookshelf speakers, which have 6in woofers built in to the sides. There's no floor-shaking kick to rock, electronic tracks or action movies, but the system has enough audible bass to add a cinematic element where necessary.
One additional feature that LG has included is USB recording. If you have a CD you want to rip to USB, you can simply plug in a flash drive and hit the USB Record button on the top of the unit. However, it's not fantastic — tracks are only ripped as 128kbps MP3s and copying happens in real-time. If you don't want to use a computer, can handle the low-quality compression and have the time, then the USB recording feature might be useful.
In the FB163, LG has created a competent mini hi-fi system that has a pleasant, bassy sound. The additional functionality offered by USB and iPod inputs is good in theory, but the implementation could have been better.
Join the newsletter!
Cartier Calibre de Cartier Diver Watch
Ballistix Tactical Tracer RGB 3000
Ballistix Sport AT
Bang and Olufsen Beoplay A9 Speaker
Samsung QLED 8K TV
Toys for Boys
Little Bits DROID Inventor Kit
ESET Smart Security Premium
Tivoli PAL BT
ESET Internet Security
ESET Cyber Security Pro for Mac
Nix Pro Colour Sensor
Oregon Pro WMR500 Weather Station
Osmo Coding Awbie Game
Naztech Xtra Drive Mini + 256GB microSD Card
Ikea RIGGAD work lamp with wireless charging
SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3
Ultimate Ears Wonderboom Bluetooth Speaker
TimeFlip Magnet Simple Time Tracking Device
Technology is revolutionising the way we do things and that includes in the kitchen where a wealth of must-have gadgets and appliances are the making life easier for home cooks.
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Samsung Galaxy Watch review: Brilliant but not quite a breakthrough
- 2 HP Omen 15 (2018): Full, in-depth review
- 3 HP Envy x360 13 (Ryzen): Full, in-depth review
- 4 Dell G5 review: Easy to live with
- 5 Nokia 6 (2018) review: Simple. Solid. Supreme.
Latest News Articles
- Telstra customers can now add the Kayo app to their account
- Streaming service delivers over 50 sports live and on demand for Aussie fans
- JBL introduces JRPOP Ultra Portable Speaker
- Turtle Beach’s Elite Pro 2 + SuperAmp is now available
- Hisense's first OLED TV finally gets Australian pricing and availability
PCW Evaluation Team
Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications
I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)
It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!
The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.
I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.
If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.
- Razer Phone 2 review: One for the fans
- Oppo R17 Pro review: Full, in-depth, Australian review
- Google Pixel 3 XL review: Ghost in the machine
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies