The FB163 consists of three glossy black pillars: the main unit and the left and right speakers. On top of the stereo is an iPod dock, while CDs and DVDs are inserted ballot-style into a stealthy vertical slot. The lack of a loading tray for discs won't please everyone — as with Mac laptops, it requires a certain amount of faith to sink your prized CDs into that mysterious abyss. You also won't be able to use 8cm discs, as they'll get swallowed up and jammed in the FB163's innards.
To play, pause and navigate through tracks, you can either use the remote control or press lightly on the glowing, touch-sensitive circular control on the front face of the stereo. Swirling your finger around the inside of the circle adjusts the volume.
A flip-down panel at the bottom reveals a USB, line-in and headphone sockets as well as buttons for setting the clock. When the panel is closed, the front face is remarkably smooth and minimalist.
The FB163 will handle audio CDs, DVDs and discs stuffed with MP3, WMA, JPEG and DivX files. Standard inclusions like the radio and alarm clock are joined by an iPod dock, but this feature is a little more complicated than it seems. There are two input modes: plain old iPod and "iPod OSD". In the first mode, the player's battery won't be charged when it is docked, but menus can be navigated on the iPod itself, and tracks can be played, paused and skipped via the remote control. In iPod OSD mode, the player will be charged, but because the iPod's display is locked, tracks can only be played via the micro system or remote control.