Setup and operation are a doddle. Day-to-day operation is eased considerably by the clear, bright LED panel, which shows you what changes you’re making – soundbars from the likes of Panasonic rely on flashing lights, which feels clumsy compared to this.
LG NB4530A not for you? Check out our round up of the best soundbars to buy
You can toggle through inputs by pressing the ‘F’ button on the unit itself or the ‘Function’ button on the remote. Talking of which, the remote is a classier affair than most soundbar handsets, with a wider range of buttons. You can set the subwoofer level, AV sync, check media info or even control an LG TV. The central direction pad is conveniently placed and everything is clearly labelled.
By soundbar standards the NB4530A is a magnificent performer, mustering a sound that’s much more powerful and authoritative than you’d expect from such a slim unit.
It blasts out The Hobbit’s thrilling action scenes with relish. The battle between the dwarves and goblins is fast and aggressive, with wooden bridges smashing and crashing crisply and swords clanking together without a hint of brightness.
It also creates a surprisingly wide and spacious soundstage, which makes you feel involved in the action despite the lack of rear channels. Its 3D Sound Processor does little to suggest rear envelopment, but does bulk up the sound effectively.
What impressed us the most is the amount of detail teased out by the speakers, resulting in a beautifully textured and open sound. It’s also smooth and easy on the ear, even when you crank up the volume.
The subwoofer does a terrific job too, injecting clean and punchy bass that integrates tightly with the soundbar. When the Goblin King pounds his club down on the bridge it’s deep and tight, with no overhang or flabbiness.
We flicked through the sound modes and although 3D Sound Processor adds extra fullness, you’re better off sticking to Bypass mode, which offers a clean, direct sound.
The NB4530A’s excellent detail, agile bass and smooth character translates into hugely enjoyable music playback. The jazz-folk of Michael Kiwanuka’s Home Again sounds delightful – Kiwanuka’s voice has a rich, silky quality, while the guitars and brushed drums sound lighter than air.
We have nothing but praise for the LG NB4530A. Its appealing feature list includes Bluetooth, USB playback and a wireless subwoofer, while its performance is right up there with the very best in its price class. Even more impressive is the design – it’s one of the slimmest soundbars we’ve come across and build quality is luxurious.
It’s worth pointing out here that the Philips HTL5120 adds a second HDMI input and delivers similarly impressive build and sound quality at a lower price, making it a better bet overall, but even so the LG NB4530A still deserves a place on your shortlist.
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