Hands-on with Google Assistant-powered LG XBOOM AI ThinQ and XBOOM Go speakers featuring Meridian technology

LG has launched a new smart speaker and four new portable Bluetooth speakers under its XBOOM brand. Here's a quick hands-on with the new speakers.

Published Date
01 - Oct - 2018
| Last Updated
01 - Oct - 2018
 
Hands-on with Google Assistant-powered LG XBOOM AI ThinQ and XBOO...

LG has launched four new speakers under the XBOOM brand. The first is a Google Assistant-enabled smart speaker named WK7 that falls under the sub-brand XBOOM AI ThinQ. The three other speakers, PK3, PK5, and PK7, are portable Bluetooth speakers that fall under the sub-brand XBOOM Go. All four speakers use technology by Meridian Audio, the British audio components manufacturer. I had the chance to get a quick hands-on experience with LG’s new speakers last week. The experience was pleasant and promising to say the least.

LG WK7

The star of the show, the WK7, is a cylindrical speaker with a grille mesh all around and controls on the top. The controls enable the user to play/pause music playback, increase and decrease volume, switch between functions, and awaken the Google Assistant. The voice assistant from Google wakes up to keywords like ‘Hey, Google’ and ‘OK, Google’.

LG WK7 speaker with inuilt Google Assistant

The WK7 also doubles up as a Chromecast Audio device, which means users can connect to the speaker as if it were any other Chromecast using the Cast option on supporting mobile apps. The speaker features modes like ‘Clear Vocal’ and ‘Enhanced Bass’ for an added boost in vocals and bass. According to LG, the speaker is certified for Hi-resolution Audio and can play lossless stereo audio at up to 24-bit/96kHz quality. It is also capable of 24-bit upsampling.

F stands for Function

During the live demo, LG representatives showcased the speakers on a demo stand designed specifically for these new models. They said it would go on all the shop floors of LG stores selling the speakers for easy demonstration. They demonstrated the ease with which one could instruct the speaker to play songs and change volume. They also showed how one could always press the ‘F’ (standing for Function) button on top of the speaker to connect to it like any other Bluetooth speaker. The speaker looked compact enough to be placed in bookshelves and atop bedside stands. At the bottom, it had a 12V round pin connector for charging.

LG PK3, PK5, and PK7

All three XBOOM Go speakers are portable and are capable of playing music wirelessly via Bluetooth and aux-in. The PK3 is the smallest of the three. It has 16W speakers with two passive bass radiators on either side of its body. It’s the only one among the three to be IPX7 rated, making it swimming pool-friendly. It supports audio playback codecs aptX, SBC, and AAC. It has no lights inside or outside its body. On the back, it sports, inside a rubberised cap, a USB Type-C port for charging. During my brief time with the PK3, I observed that it was easy to turn it on and connect. According to LG, the PK3’s battery will last for 12 hours on a single charge.

LG PK3 has no multi-colour lights inside

The PK5 is the second biggest portable Bluetooth speaker of the three. It’s rated at 20W and its tweeters are accompanied by two passive radiators for simulated bass output. The PK5 too uses a USB Type-C port for charging. Unlike the PK3, the PK5 is not water-resistant but LG claims it’s splash-proof. It supports audio playback codecs aptX, SBC, AAC, and aptX-HD. The PK5 has multi-colour lighting inside its grille that can be controlled using LG’s Music Flow Player mobile app. According to LG, the PK5’s battery will last for 15 hours on a single charge.

LG PK5 gets multi-colour lights and grab handles

The PK7 is the largest portable Bluetooth speaker of the three. It employs dual tweeters and dual passive radiators on the sides. The speaker is rated at 40W. Since the PK7 is more powerful than the PK3 and the PK5, it uses a 12V round pin at the back for charging instead of a 5V USB Type-C port. Like the PK5, the PK7 too is only splash-proof and not water-resistant. It supports the same audio playback codecs as PK5: aptX, SBC, AAC, and aptX-HD. It also features multi-colour lighting inside its grille that can be customised using LG’s Music Flow Player app on smartphones. According to LG, the PK7 has a battery life of 20 hours. Personally, I found the the PK7 quite heavy to lift.

LG PK7 is a bigger PK5 with a 12V power input

Audio on all four speakers sounded full and unhindered during the demo, but only a full review will reveal the full capabilities of LG’s newest offerings. The XBOOM AI ThinQ WK7 is priced at Rs 27,990. The XBOOM Go speakers PK3, PK5, and PK7 are priced at Rs 10,990, Rs 14,990, and Rs 22,990 respectively. All four LG speakers go on sale this month in India in online and LG stores.

Vignesh GiridharanVignesh Giridharan

Progressively identifies with the term 'legacy device' as time marches on.


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