Mark Craven sets his MP3 player free with LG's six-sided source selector
With so many iPod/iPad docks coming to market, manufacturers are having to work harder to make their products stand out from the crowd. LG’s approach with the new ND8520 is to adopt a radical, retro-infused styling – at a time when many rivals are exploring curved edges and clean lines. Looking like an oversized, all-black Rubik’s Cube will certainly help grab buyers’ attention, but what may look good on a shop shelf doesn’t always fit in well at home.
LG has endowed its dock with plenty of features, including both AirPlay compatibility and Bluetooth (useful if family members are split across Android and Apple devices); a USB input for stick-stored MP3s; FM radio; and even an alarm clock.
The twin speaker-’n’-subwoofer combination lurking within (driven by a combined 80W of amplification), musters up decent volume levels and takes a stab at filling your room. That said, go too high on the volume dial and it starts to strain.
The front LED panel is actually touch-sensitive – swipe a finger across it to switch between sources. A dinky remote is also bundled.
The overall presentation of the ND8520 is somewhat bass-heavy, with the downward-firing woofer outgunning its HF siblings easily. Not a dock for critical listening.
With the left and right drivers close together, there’s little in the way of a stereo image.
The design is very much an acquired taste – the provision of an alarm clock implies LG imagines the ND8520 possible being used in a bedroom, but it’s really too large for a bedside table. At the same time, it’s a bit kooky for your living room – nor is it portable. Buy it for your kids’ playroom, maybe?
Price: £250 Approx
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