LG ART51

Score

Pros

  • Eye-catching designs
  • Solid build quality
  • Good bass output and volume
  • Well-designed Bluetooth app

Cons

  • Lacks mid-range presence
  • Distorts at high volumes

Key Features

  • Review Price: £99.99
  • Full-range driver and passive radiator
  • 15-hour battery life
  • Multi-point Bluetooth connection
  • Auto Sound Engine & Auto Music Play
  • Dual Play & SoundSync support

What is the LG ART51?

Don’t worry, TrustedReviews’ store cupboard hasn’t been raided by vandals again – LG has teamed up with renowned artist JonOne to bring a bit of urban swag to its portable Bluetooth speaker range.

Basically, LG has taken its P5 portable speaker and pimped it up with three of JonOne’s graffiti-inspired designs. On test here is #51 Master Blaster, a nod to the New York streets of the early 1980s. It’s joined by the vibrant #52 Colour Waves and #53 Open Your Eyes.

Related: Best Bluetooth Speakers

LG ART51

LG ART51 – Design and Connections

The Master Blaster design is the most understated of the three. It’s basically all white but with a black JonOne tag plastered on the front grille and a smaller tag on top. It’s a design that teenagers are likely to describe as “sick”.

LG ART51

The other two models are more colourful – Colour Waves is an eye-catching explosion of reds and pinks, while Open Your Eyes looks like it’s been left in a playschool art room.

All three are good-looking in their own way, but my personal favourite is Colour Waves. It won’t be everyone’s cup of tea though, so if you’re not down with the whole urban/graffiti thing then you could always just seek out the original P5.
LG ART51
A compact design is rule number one in the portable speaker textbook and the ART51 duly adheres. Its discreet size and shape make it ideal for taking out and about. The enclosure is rectangular in shape, with gently angled front and back grilles. The rounded ends are a nice touch, likewise the silver ring on top that houses volume, power, pairing and pause buttons.

LG ART51
Build quality is impressive. The matte-finished bodywork is seamlessly constructed, and there’s a lovely heft when you pick it up. The top buttons provide a solid click when pressed. On the bottom is a vibration-absorbing rubber pad, while on the side are a Micro USB port for charging and a 3.5mm jack for wired devices.

LG ART51 – Features

In terms of spec, the ART51 musters 10W of power using a full-range driver and passive radiator that boosts bass output. LG quotes a battery life of 15 hours, which is pretty impressive in my book.

LG ART51

The rest of the feature list is similarly generous. It features LG’s Auto Sound Engine (also found on the LG SH7 soundbar) which optimises the EQ for any volume level. You can listen to an LG TV through the speaker using LG’s SoundSync, while Dual Play makes it possible to use two paired ART51 speakers as left and right stereo channels.

LG ART51

Meanwhile, Auto Music Play senses when your phone is nearby and starts playback, while the multi-point Bluetooth connection allows you to pair two devices simultaneously.

LG ART51 – Music Flow Bluetooth app

LG’s Music Flow Bluetooth app makes it easy to stream music from your phone or access streaming services. The Gracenote-powered Mood Station selects songs based on how you’re feeling, plus you can create playlists, favourites lists or view your most-played songs.

Features such as Dual Play and Auto Music Play can be activated from the app, plus you’ll find a choice of EQ modes – Standard, Voice and User EQ, the latter allowing you to adjust bass and treble using sliders. I stuck with Standard, as Voice thins out the sound.

LG ART51

The app is attractively designed and easy to use. Tap the three lines icon at the top and a sidebar menu displays the various options. The homepage has eye-catching graphics and a tile-based layout that makes it easy to find what you’re looking for. The Now Playing screen offers key controls such as track time and volume sliders, plus you can even tweet about the song you’re listening to.

LG ART51 – Performance

Provided you don’t subject it to too much close scrutiny, the ART51 offers a generally pleasing sound for the money – although it won’t trouble the best Bluetooth speakers at this price.  

The LG’s greatest asset is bass, which is surprisingly weighty for such a compact speaker. That passive radiator is worth its weight in gold, lending a sense of depth that you won’t get from every portable speaker.

LG ART51

I played “Racing Through The Bends” by Incognito and the funky live bassline sounds big and beefy, while bass drums are tight and punchy. It’s pleasingly rhythmic too, keeping pace with the nimble finger work of the band’s bassist.

At the other end of the spectrum the LG does an okay job with high frequencies, making delicate hi-hats and percussion sound clear enough. There’s precious little subtlety or nuance here, though, and the treble is on the thin side. It’s probably unreasonable to expect too much refinement from a £100 Bluetooth speaker, but models such as the Ultimate Ears Boom 2 and the Jam Heavy Metal HX-P920 do a better job.

LG ART51

The LG delivers impressive volume, going nice and loud when necessary. After turning it up full whack and walking around the house, I could hear it blaring away from every room. That said, there are inevitable signs of strain when pushed – treble hardens up and kick drums crackle and pop slightly. I played “Radio Silence” by James Blake and the track’s heavy bass stabs made the LG jump off the table.

The ART51 also suffers from a lack of mid-range presence. The sound is dominated by treble and bass, but voices and solo instruments feel under-served. There’s a compressed feel about them. It isn’t wholly unpleasant, but it denies you the full-bodied sound offered by some Bluetooth speakers.
LG ART51

Should I buy the LG ART51?

Buy the LG ART51 and we doubt you’ll be disappointed – it’s solidly made and JonOne’s funky designs make a strong fashion statement. What’s more, its sound quality is enjoyable, provided you don’t push the volume too high.

In addition, it includes a a healthier range of features than most Bluetooth speakers, not least a cool smartphone app that brings a whole host of new Bluetooth tricks. However, there are better-sounding speakers on the market, such as the Ultimate Ears Boom 2 and the Jam Heavy Metal HX-P920, which more discerning listeners would do well to investigate.

Verdict

Not the last word in Bluetooth sound quality perhaps, but LG’s compact portable speaker offers enjoyable performance, long battery life and some cool features – not to mention a jazzy urban design by JonOne.

Overall Score

Battery Life

Audio 15 hours

Physical Specifications

Weight (Gram) 0.47kg

More from TrustedReviews

Atari is now in the speaker business… and the hat business

Thinner Moto Z2 Force could come with a huge trade-off

HyperLoop One

Elon Musk’s Hyperloop gathering pace as NY-DC link gets ‘OK’

N64oid

Is this proof an N64 Classic will follow the SNES?

Agents of Mayhem preview

cats 17

Why you’ll want to download this OnePlus 5 update today

Golf rory

British Open Golf Live Stream: How to watch online for free

Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare for Xbox One down to under £9

Samsung Gear S3 finally gets Samsung Pay support in UK

Welcome to the all new Trusted Reviews

Netgear Arlo

Netgear Arlo Pro

Cat Amazon

Are you kitten me? Pet translation devices tipped for future smart homes

fire emblem warriors

Fire Emblem Warriors

pokken

Pokkén Tournament DX

TP-Link Smart Wi-Fi LED Bulb 5

TP-Link Smart Wi-Fi LED Bulb

Samsung Pay

Samsung Pay now lets you use your PayPal funds at the checkout

assassins creed origins

Ubisoft teases new games for Nintendo Switch, coming ‘quite soon’

amazon echo

Ask Vodafone: Mobile network’s first Amazon Alexa voice skill is revealed

Google Feed

The Google app’s new personalised feed might just drag you off Facebook

z2play 9

Moto Z2 Play

Mira Prism

For just $99 you can bring AR to the iPhone 7

Samsung Galaxy S8

Samsung Galaxy S9 displays may be the same, save one major new feature

movie theatre

The Netflix Effect: ‘Binge-watching’ is coming to movie theatres

Porsche MIssion E

Porsche’s latest electric car chargers put Tesla to shame

EE logo

EE’s new 20GB SIM-free deal is the best value tariff you’ll see all summer

Int-Ball

These are the first images from the ISS – as captured by a zero-gravity drone

iMac 21.5-inch 4K (2017)

LG V30 case

LG V30 design ‘confirmed’ ahead of IFA 2017 launch

iPhone 7 vs iPhone SE

Waiting for the iPhone SE 2? Sadly, it could be a one-and-done

Google Glass Enterprise

Google Glass 2 has arrived, sort of

Denon AH-C621R

Denon AH-C621R

BBC Proms

Get ready to listen to the BBC Proms like never before

Fender Newport Monterey Bluetooth speakers

Fender’s new Bluetooth speakers look just like tiny guitar amps

Garmin Vivosmart 3

Garmin Vivosmart 3

airplane

Is the laptop travel ban dead? Electronics restrictions lifted by TSA but UK fails to follow suit

KitSound Immerse

KitSound Immerse Wireless Headphones

Emojis

It’s World Emoji Day and Apple is showing off all of its newcomers

Porn Block

Privacy fears as UK plans age verification for porn sites

WhatsApp

New WhatsApp feature could give Apple’s iMessage a run for its money

Essential Phone

Andy Rubin’s Essential phone coming to UK, likely as a network exclusive