LG XBOOM Go PK7 Review

Pros

  • Powerful, loud sound
  • AptX HD quality over Bluetooth
  • Long battery life
  • IPX5 rated

Cons

  • Bulky and weighty
  • Lights don't always sync perfectly
  • Android only app

Key Features

  • Review Price: £130
  • AptX HD
  • Lighting built-in
  • 22-hour battery life
  • IPX5 rated

What is the LG XBOOM Go PK7?

When it comes to portable Bluetooth speakers, there are numerous compact systems that offer great sound. However, bigger remains better, and in the case of the LG XBOOM Go PK7, the extra heft of this speaker not only enhances audio but makes for a solid speaker setup too.

But is that heft worth it? And is the light show just a fad or does it add value? We hooked up to the speaker to see just what it could do for that £130 pricetag.

Related: Best Bluetooth Speakers

LG XBOOM Go PK7 – Design

LG hasn’t pulled any punches here, with a design that has immediate impact on the eyes. The look is of a rough and ready unit, sporting metallic handles that form an ‘X’ at either end of the lengthy speaker. A reassuring weight – something that often denotes quality with audio – means that those handles are more than just a design flourish; they’re useful too.

The metal is finished in matte black and has a textured feel, helping you to get a good grip while allowing the speaker to resist the elements. Certified with an IPX5 rating, the XBOOM Go PK7 is water-resistant to the degree that it will happily withstand a poolside splash or a bit of rain. Just don’t go dropping it in the pool.

Round the back is a covered port bay with connections for charging, wired audio through 3.5mm jack, and a reset button. On the top of the unit you’ll find chunky rubberised buttons for power, volume and more, including Google Assistant via the connected phone.

Related: Best wireless headphones

LG XBOOM Go PK7 – Features

The most obvious feature of the Go PK7 has to be the light show. Unlike the majority of Bluetooth speakers, this unit packs a set of LEDs that flash, pulse and change colour in time with the music. The idea is to add ambience to the scene set by the sound. Fun for a party, but in reality it feels fad-like and dated. That said, there is an app, on Android at least, which allows you to play around with the light settings for changes that could better suit your mood.

As mentioned, there’s a dedicated button on the top of the unit that allows access to Google Assistant via a connected phone. Since the speaker uses a mic, not only can it act as a giant hands-free speaker for calls, but also as a smart assistant. This means you can ask it to play songs, look up information, control smart home devices and more. 

However, since you have to push a button to access it – where you could simply say “OK Google” to the phone – this seems like a waste of time. But other speaker companies are doing it, so it seems to be the norm these days.

The options of Bass Boost and Voice Enhancer buttons are also available to offer extra punch or clarity, depending on whether you’re listening to certain songs, a podcast or taking a call, say.

The battery will last up to 22 hours. Of course, high volume will use extra juice more quickly, as will the lights, but overall the XBOOM Go PK7 will happily see you through a full day of use. Perfect for outdoor parties.

Related: Best soundbars

LG XBOOM Go PK7 – Performance

It’s in the area of clarity that this speaker excels. From the very first few notes you’ll hear, it’s obvious that Meridian Audio label on the speaker isn’t just for show. The result is a very balanced performance, which clearly defines the various instruments and vocals of a song.

This isn’t only the result of Meridian tuning, however. The speaker packs in dual tweeters to aid the expansion of the soundstage. While the tweeters deal with the high-end for clear voices, there are also dual passive radiators that push out bass. The result is clarity at both ends and balance for everything in-between.

Another weapon in this speaker’s excellent sounding arsenal is aptX HD Bluetooth, which means up to 24-bit quality audio streamed over the air from a phone. Testing this with YouTube Lossless songs such as Dire Straits’ ‘Money For Nothing’ breathed life into a tune that might otherwise have missed out through a pair of standard headphones or a non-aptX HD Bluetooth speaker.

In addition to the standard sound stage setup, there are options to enhance the high- and low-ends for certain scenarios. For podcasts, phone calls and radio chatter, for example, the Clear Vocal button helps to boost the sound of talking and singing. Or, if you want to add greater power to a song that’s all about that bass, the Enhanced Bass button does just that. In fact, leaving both buttons engaged all the time is likely to become the norm.

Why buy the LG XBOOM Go PK7?

If you’re after a speaker that will deliver high-quality big sound for long periods then the LG XBOOM Go PK7 is the speaker for you. In addition, it can function as a speakerphone, it’s water-resistant and plenty rugged so you can take it pretty much anywhere.

The JBL Pulse 3 offers big audio for a similar price, but it can’t punch out quite as much power or offer lighting.

The PK7 is a relatively affordable unit for all the features on offer, especially when compared to the higher-end competition. With great sound quality and excellent battery life, it’s only true audiophiles that would need to spend more to hear the difference.

Verdict

LG has created a real all-round winner in the XBOOM Go PK7. With superb sound, excellent battery life, a rugged build and cool design with aptX HD quality Bluetooth music playback and speakerphone functionality, it won’t disappoint.

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