MSI has long pushed the boundaries of invention with its ever-evolving range of laptops but it has now pulled off a world first with the new MSI Creative 17.
- Great versatility, excellent features and equalisation options
- Relatively limited connection options, slightly weak bass, volume may be inadequate for some users
The FB162 is a great way to be able to experience a fantastic range of audio sources all on a single device. Its jack-of-all-trades nature may dissuade those looking for something specific, but those after an all-rounder type system will be well served with this product.
Price$ 329.00 (AUD)
The LG FB162 is a micro Hi-Fi system with an integrated DVD player/receiver. Delivering a balanced and well rounded sound, the FB162 suits itself well to users looking for a system capable of performing a variety of roles. With a DVD player included, as well as a large range of features and equalisation options, this product has the potential to satisfy almost any user.
The FB162's sound is defined by a strong mid range, clear treble, and an unfortunately weak bass. Treble is quite well represented, and maintains clarity throughout all but the highest of frequencies. The mid range is definitely the strongest part of the system's audio performance, and is capable of delivering impressive amounts of volume and definition. Unfortunately, it's powerful to the point where it tends to overpower the treble at times, and often the bass. This issue is compounded by the fact that the system in general delivers weak and slightly harsh bass. Nevertheless, lower frequencies are relatively clear, but without a subwoofer this unit really lacks the power to reproduce rumbling and punchy low notes.
To its credit, however, LG has included a range of features to help combat this problem. The XDSS mode significantly boosts bass and treble volumes, to the point where they are considerably more balanced with the mid range. The system also supports XTS Pro, which is designed to give music more of a "live" feel, and while it doesn't have a huge effect on overall performance, it nevertheless does give audio a distinct sound which some users may prefer. The system also includes an MP3 optimiser, designed to help restore some of the lost audio during MP3 compression, although we found that this was only really noticeable with MP3s recorded at very low bit rates, below 64,000. Finally, the FB162's in-built equaliser options offer six preset settings, as well as a customisable, five-band equaliser setting.
The myriad of settings and features does allow users to tinker with the system until they find the sound that suits them best, however unfortunately, one of the FB162's biggest drawbacks is its volume. Maximum volume, while quite loud, and perfectly fine for a single room, probably doesn't pack enough punch to project itself throughout multiple rooms. On the plus side though, we noticed no deterioration of audio quality, even at the maximum volume.
The design of the system is fairly attractive, if perhaps a little overly black. Two four-way speakers flank the DVD player/receiver portion, which has an interesting touch-screen HUD/control panel on the front. A reasonably large front panel display provides ample room for displaying both the equaliser settings, along with track info. Connection options on the rear are limited to composite and component video output, although the unit isn't capable of high definition and really has no need for HDMI, so its absence cannot be faulted too harshly. Although input options are limited to a single two-channel analogue auxiliary port, and USB is also available on a flip down panel on the front.
With the exception of its somewhat weak bass, the FB162 is an incredibly versatile system, capable of handling almost any genre of music or movie well. It's not the best choice for anyone looking for heart thumping volume or bass, but its excellent feature list and equalisation options make it a great choice for those looking for an all-round system.
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