As an electronics company, LG also manufactures audio products, and their TONE series neckband earphones are one of the more unique Bluetooth earphones in the market. With the recent tie-up with Meridian Audio, who developed the MQA audio format, the latest LG XBOOM Go portable speakers are designed with Meridian Audio technology.
The largest model, PK7, is with me for review. Being the most premium model of all, the speaker is priced just S$349 and a decent value. It comes with additional 2 tweeters compared to the PK5 and PK3, while only repels water at IPX5 rating (the PK3 is IPX7). Given the lack of dust rating, these speakers do well only at pool parties.
Design and Operations
The speaker is relatively massive, but I am glad it has a built-in battery. It’s not common to find large-sized portable speakers. Sometimes, it’s good to have a huge portable speaker to deliver the big sound that you need at parties. End of the day, size does matter. The large diaphragm on the speaker drivers allows the sound to be pumped without breaking. The PK7 delivers 40W power so it can get loud but not distorted. The passive bass radiators are located at both sides of the speaker, exposed and potentially prone to accidental damages.
On the top of the speaker, there is a row full of buttons – power, Bluetooth, volume, play-pause, voice assistant, “Clear Vocal”, and “Enhanced Bass” buttons.
On the rear rubber sealed panel, you will find the DC port for charging, 3.5mm connector, and a button for pairing multiple speakers for dual play.
2 long bars extend from the left to the right of the front speakers, and these bars are apparently reinforced to be grabbed. The bottom of the speaker has rubber stubs to protect the speaker and the surface it’s sitting on.
A smartphone companion app called “Music Flow Bluetooth” controls the speaker EQ setting, the light effects of the colour LED on the speaker, pairing multiple speakers for dual stereo, as well as a music player to control the playlist.
There are 4 EQ modes, depending on the combination of buttons you enable between “Clear Vocal” and “Enhanced Bass”. Among the combination, enabling both delivers the best sound, but I would also try other combinations based on the music you listen to. Enabling “Clear Vocal” will bring out the vocals between 1KHz and 4KHz, delivering more forward vocals, albeit hazy. Fortunately, the two tweeters on the PK7 delivers crisp percussion without getting affected by the main drivers, hence you get some clarity without sounding too excessive. Enabling “Enhanced Bass” will pump up more bass feel. While the PK7 does not deliver seismic sub-bass, it achieves a musical balance that I find acceptable for general use.
Given its conservative audio tuning, I am not sure if the target consumer group, i.e. party goers, appreciate the tame quality. On top of that, the XBOOM Go series support aptX HD that streams high-quality audio. Fortunately, the lighting effects can be disabled and the speaker can be enjoyed in any environment where music takes centrestage.
LG adopts a unique design style in the XBOOM Go portable speaker range, compensating the bulkiness with handle bars. Clearly created to compete in the party speaker segment that Sony and JBL have established, the PK7 may need a few iterations to get the right design and audio tuning for the target segment. As a speaker product, I like that the PK7 sounds loud but not forced, delivers overall smooth sound.
The XBOOM Go PK7 retails at S$349, while the PK5 and PK3 goes for S$269 and S$169 respectively.