LG FA163DAB review

If you’re on a budget this is a great little versatile system – pay more for a jump in sound quality Tested at £200.00

What Hi-Fi? Verdict

If you’re on a budget this is a great little versatile system – pay more for a jump in sound quality


  • +

    Loads of features and functions

  • +

    direct recording to USB

  • +

    smart looks

  • +

    rich, even sound

  • +

    great value


  • -

    Boomy bass

  • -

    lacks all out detail, dynamics and scale

  • -

    touchscreen controls are a pain

Why you can trust What Hi-Fi? Our expert team reviews products in dedicated test rooms, to help you make the best choice for your budget. Find out more about how we test.

How much? Yes, LG has delivered a feature-packed micro hi-fi system for just £200. CD player, amplifier and 2.1 speakers? Check. DAB/FM/MW tuner? Check. Integrated iPod dock? Check.

Direct recording to a USB memory stick? Check. And all this is packaged in to a smart and luxurious piece of kit thanks to a sleek, gloss black finish.

The speakers are a good size – 24cm high and a slim 13cm wide – and claims an output 80W per channel. A sub driver in each cabinet means plenty of boom for your buck, too.

It's all operated via a flash touchscreen control system, which unfortunately isn't as slick in operation as it looks – stick to the remote control for a more responsive experience.

The iPod dock is integrated into the top of the main unit and again gives full control of your tunes via the remote control. There's also a 3.5mm line input allowing you to connect any portable player straight to the unit.

This system's unique feature is the direct recording to USB mode. Slot in a USB stick, press a button and your CD tracks will be recorded to your stick in real time or double speed, at anything from 96kps to 256kps MP3 quality.

Slight trade-off with sound

Now the standard issue with such a feature-packed, wallet-friendly machine is to expect a trade-off when it comes to sound quality. And, while this LG is far from disgraced, it's not quite in the same sonic league as the machines from the traditional players in the market.

We're not best pleased with the LG's bass delivery. Playing 2562's bass-heavy album Aerial, this system can be a little boomy, with that twin set of subs combining to make a slightly over-bearing bottom end – even after EQ adjustments.

The sound has a rich, refined feel, and in isolation has an even balance that makes it an easy listen, but it can't match the detail and dynamics of the best here. Still, if you want a versatile micro system on a budget, this fits the bill nicely.

What Hi-Fi?

What Hi-Fi?, founded in 1976, is the world's leading independent guide to buying and owning hi-fi and home entertainment products. Our comprehensive tests help you buy the very best for your money, with our advice sections giving you step-by-step information on how to get even more from your music and movies. Everything is tested by our dedicated team of in-house reviewers in our custom-built test rooms in London, Reading and Bath. Our coveted five-star rating and Awards are recognised all over the world as the ultimate seal of approval, so you can buy with absolute confidence.

Read more about how we test