Review Price £129.99
The LG ND4520 has a pretty standard stereo speaker set up, each speaker rated at just five watts each giving a maximum output power of 10watts. That's not massively powerful, so if you're in the habit of having dubstep parties around your gaff, this is not the dock to choose.
To be fair, that's not market that this little fella is aimed at. Instead it's more likely to be used in modest sized front rooms, or secondary rooms such as a kitchen, study or bedroom. The ND4520 does have enough grunt to fill this more smaller sized rooms, although not exactly at ear-bashing levels of sound. The main problem with the dock's lack of power, though, is that once your go pass about half way on the volume level, significant amounts of distortion start to creep in, especially on bassy dance or reggae tracks.
LG has angled the ND4520's speakers upwards at the front of the chassis in an attempt to get the dock to spread the sound a bit wider, but it isn’t massively successful. Like the vast majority of smaller docks that we've had in for review, the close probity of the two speaker drivers mean that the soundstage remains quite narrow with little in the way of stereo separation.
Nevertheless, at volume levels up to around the half way mark the dock produces acceptable levels of bass for a model of its size. Also, it has good presence in the mid-range, so vocals can sound quite airy by the standards of docks in its price range.
Perhaps the most interesting feature of the LG ND4520 is that it works with iPads. Naturally, as the connector is at the bottom of the iPad it needs to be stood vertically in the dock if you want to actually use the dock connector. There is enough room to have the iPad sitting horizontally in the groove by the docking connector and you can then feed audio to the dock via Bluetooth.
However, when we tried this for movie watching the delay in Bluetooth transmission was just enough to put the audio slightly out of sync with the pictures. We found the best option when using it to watch movies was to use a lead to connect the headphone jack on the iPad to the mini jack input on the rear of the dock. It's a bit untidy and inelegant, but it works fine.
The LG ND4520 is a neat, compact dock with a design that is pleasingly different to that of most of its peers. It's handy that it has Bluetooth support and we also like the fact that it can be used with an iPad. However, although decent for a dock of its size, it's by no means a standard bearer in terms of audio quality and we can't help feeling that it could have done with a bit of extra poke in the volume department.
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