Wow, well isn’t this a nice-looking thing?
For £200 we’d expect something a lot cheaper looking than this little LG TA106DAB (opens in new tab) micro system. Its brushed-metal casework, minimalist buttonry and smart speakers (which look great with grilles on or off) point to a product far above this price range.
LG TA106DAB review: Specs
The range of features it offers is pleasing, too: a CD player, playback and recording via a USB stick, DAB and FM tuners, an iPod dock and connections for banana plugs if you want to upgrade the speakers or cables.
And, alas, that’s about where the good news ends. And what a shame it is. The TA106DAB has gone for style over substance: the former is faultless, and would be even for £300 more. The latter would irk even at £50 less.
LG TA106DAB review: Sound quality
We start off with Prince spinning in the CD player. The LG has a nice, tight quality to its midrange, with clear vocals that exhibit fair detail, and bass is fairly accurate and never overblown, but that’s about all there is to like about the 106’s presentation.
Move up the frequency range and there’s a blanket of hard, coarse, frankly annoying treble covering the whole sound. The tone controls and EQ presets do nothing to mitigate this.
There’s next to no drive, punch or energy here, either – something Prince isn’t short of. His recordings should bounce along with enthusiasm, but here they just sound flat.
That continues across the other sources and with all genres of material, too. There just isn’t enough room for things to breathe.
The only exception is when an iPod is connected via its headphone jack to the 3.5mm input: that flinty treble is calmed a little, and bass definition improves.
The tuner works, though, keeping a firm grip on signals – both FM and DAB, and the station name is clear on the nice display.
LG TA106DAB review: Verdict
We really wanted to like the LG. It looks fantastic, and the price is very tempting. But sadly there’s nothing ‘hi’ about its ‘fi’.