LG FB164DAB mini hi-fi

This mini hi-fi has an iPod dock and DAB+ digital radio compatibility

LG FB164DAB
  • LG FB164DAB
  • LG FB164DAB
  • LG FB164DAB
  • Expert Rating

    3.00 / 5

Pros

  • Trouble-free DAB+ digital radio integration, decent sound quality from bookshelf speakers

Cons

  • Distortion at high volumes, every component is a fingerprint magnet, no artist/track info when an iPod is connected

Bottom Line

The LG DB164DAB is a compact mini hi-fi system that offers good mid-range punch from its slim, bookshelf-sized stereo speakers. It has iPod and DAB+ digital radio compatibility and can record directly from radio or CD to USB. Just don't lose the remote control unless you think you'll enjoy constantly cleaning fingerprints off the FB164DAB's glossy components.

Would you buy this?

  • Price

    $ 499.00 (AUD)

LG's FB164DAB is a mini hi-fi system with an internal DAB+ digital radio tuner. It has stereo bookshelf speakers with good mid-range and treble reproduction, although there is no lower bass extension and music begins to distort when higher volumes are reached. The LG FB164DAB has an attractive and modern design, but we worry about its fingerprint-attracting glossy finish.

It is a very simple mini hi-fi system to set up. Speaker cables are pre-attached to the left and right bookshelf speakers, and their bare-wire ends attach to the spring-loaded terminals on the rear of the main system. A bundled set of aerials picks up AM, FM and DAB+ radio signals, and a set of component and composite video outputs allow the FB164DAB to be connected to a television for playing DVD movies. An optical audio input allows other devices such as televisions and Blu-ray disc players to connect to the mini hi-fi for audio output.

The LG FB164DAB replaces the LG FB163 and there are a few small design changes. Gone are the bright chrome rings on the speaker drivers, replaced with a classier shadow chrome. The speakers and the control unit have a slight rearward tilt, allowing the unit's display to be easily seen if it is on a low shelf or coffee table. The fascia of each component is finished in an extremely high-gloss black — while it is quite attractive, it is one of the most fingerprint-prone products we've ever tested.

LG FB164DAB

Sound quality from the LG FB164DAB is impressive given how small its bookshelf speakers are. Thanks to two front-mounted woofers and a front-mounted tweeter (in a classic mid-tweeter-mid layout) the speakers are able to produce clean treble notes as well as reasonably powerful mid-range. At higher volume levels sound quality becomes slightly ragged and harsher, with distortion of both treble and mid-range evident at maximum volume. The speakers' side-mounted subwoofer drivers reinforce mid-range audio but don't offer much in the way of lower frequency extension — if you require thumping bass, look for a mini hi-fi system with a separate subwoofer unit.

The DAB+ tuner in the LG FB164DAB performed exactly as we'd hoped, tuning in all the available stations in the Sydney metropolitan region and delivering clean, static-free audio with on-screen station information. FM and AM radio also works well but we'd opt for digital radio where possible. The CD/DVD drive is a slot-loading unit at the receiver's top, and it is quick and quiet when playing audio CDs. You can rip CD tracks to a USB thumb drive, but it is a slow process and only creates low-quality MP3 files. You're better off using a PC if there's one nearby.

The iPod dock isn't as well implemented. No matter what we tried we weren't able to get any artist or track information displayed on the screen of the LG FB164DAB when our test iPhone 3GS was connected. To make matters worse, since the mini hi-fi system takes over control of the iPhone and disables its touch-screen music interface, any manual navigation is impossible. We were also unable to set the iPhone to shuffle mode using the control unit or its remote — music was simply played from the iPod in alphabetical order.

LG's FB164DAB is a well designed mini hi-fi system, and we were pleased with its performance when listening to digital radio and CDs. We're not fans of the super-glossy finish though, and its mediocre iPod integration left us frustrated. If you're not buying this system for its iPod connectivity, it is a good mini hi-fi system.

Become a fan of GoodGearGuide on Facebook

Stay up to date with the latest reviews. Sign up to GoodGearGuide’s Gear Daily newsletters

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Read more on these topics: lg, home entertainment, digital radio
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Bang and Olufsen Beosound Stage - Dolby Atmos Soundbar

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Sony WF-1000XM3 Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Nakamichi Delta 100 3-Way Hi Fi Speaker System

Learn more >

ASUS ROG, ACRONYM partner for Special Edition Zephyrus G14

Learn more >

Family Friendly

Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit for Nintendo Switch

Learn more >

Philips Sonicare Diamond Clean 9000 Toothbrush

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Teac 7 inch Swivel Screen Portable DVD Player

Learn more >

SunnyBunny Snowflakes 20 LED Solar Powered Fairy String

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?