Review of the LG XBoom 360 XO3: A Portable Powerhouse

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Review of the LG XBoom 360 XO3: A Portable Powerhouse

Review of the LG XBoom 360 XO3: A Portable Powerhouse


Review of the LG XBoom 360 XO3: A Portable Powerhouse At a look

Skilled's Ranking

Execs

  • Room filling sound
  • Transportable and battery powered
  • 3.5mm line-in
  • Enjoyable lights

Cons

  • Heavy
  • No solid or AirPlay
  • No sensible options

Our Verdict

The transportable LG XBoom XO3 has glorious sound high quality and battery life and is a prime Bluetooth speaker regardless of the shortage of sensible options.

Worth When Reviewed

$299

Greatest Costs At this time: LG XBoom XO3

$196.99

LG isn’t a heavyweight within the Bluetooth speaker market, however, I’ve been pleasantly shocked by the standard of its admittedly badly named XBoom 360 XO3.

It’s a superb trying wi-fi speaker with strong sound high quality and loopy customizable lights that may be plugged into the mains or charged through USB-C and used on the go along with its rechargeable battery.

The lights are a little bit of a gimmick however enjoyable sufficient, and the XO3, because it shall be identified, holds it personal in terms of audio. It’s only a disgrace that for the value it doesn’t supply any sensible options or voice entry like equally priced audio systems from Sonos and Apple – however, the sound high quality is superb.

If all you want is a dependable Bluetooth speaker with room-filling sound chops and likewise need to join one thing like a vinyl turntable through an audio jack, the XO3 is a good selection.

Design & construct

  • Heavy at 3.2kg
  • Enticing vase design
  • Woofer, driver, and tweeter mixture

The XO3 is heavy for a conveyable speaker at 3.2kg and an imposing 165 x 327 x 165mm. This isn’t a speaker to stay in a bag and overlook about, however, it's sufficiently small which you could put it in a bigger bag to remove to the park or on a visit, or simply transfer to a distinct room. That is aided by the included elective hand strap.

LG describes the design as a ‘fashionable vase’, which is pretty correct. It’s a symmetrical spherical vase form in both the gray color I reviewed or another cream model. Both can mix right into a lounge or bedroom arranged properly because the look is kind of decorative.

There’s a niche close to the highest place LED lights sit. You possibly can customize these throughout the Android or iOS XBoom app to play preset mild exhibits to swimsuit the temper you’re going for.

They'll additionally flicker like a candle, or you'll be able to flip them off. There’s even a strobe choice that flashes your cellphone mild on and off as an accompanying temper starter. For those who desire a speaker with funky lights then the XO3 will match the invoice, and they're enjoyable, however, I often turned them off.

The lights are inside a plastic reflector, which is extra necessary to the sound distribution than the lights are to the product. Sound can emanate from the highest and is directed outwards because of the form.

Under the sunshine reflector, the whole physique of the speaker is roofed in a mesh material to permit sound to journey outwards from the woofer and tweeter inside. It's hardly sufficient and I wasn’t too nervous about it rubbing up after issues in a bag or an automotive boot when carting it around.

On the highest of the unit are responsive contact controls for quantity, play/pause, Bluetooth, and the lights, after a battery indicator mild. Pink for low warning.

There’s additionally a loop to connect the included elective hand strap for simpler lugging it about, which sits above the USB-C port for charging, and a 3.5mm audio plug to connect an auxiliary cable to audio units. There’s no charger within the field, although there's a USB-C to-A -Cable for charging.

With IP54 mud and water resistance, you can be superb if you happen to get caught in the rain when tunes are blasting, however, the XO3 gained’t survive a dunk within the pool.

Connectivity

  • Bluetooth solely
  • 3.5mm audio in
  • USB-C charging

Whereas the speaker market is filled with sensible audio systems such because the Apple HomePod and Sonos 100, LG retains it quite simply with the XO3. There aren't any sensible options right here, and connections are through Bluetooth 5.1.

It will possibly help the AAC or SBC codecs however gained’t play FLAC or WAV information at their full excessive decision high quality. There’s multi-point help so you'll be able to join a couple of wi-fi audio entries, and you'll even hyperlink several of the audio system collectively for stereo audio, which I used to be not in a position to take a look at.

Battery life is claimed at 24 hours if you happen to play audio at 50% quantity and don’t use the lights or EQ function within the XBoom app. The unit by no means ran out on me earlier than I’d obtained again dwelling and plugged it in to cost, and I may frequently depend on it for all-day playback.

The shortage of sensible options would possibly irk you at this value. You possibly can’t converse to the XO3 to decide on music and so you'll be able to to use it as a sensible dwelling hub to manage lights or units such as you would possibly with the HomePod or a Google Nest or Amazon Echo product.

It means you additionally don’t get Apple AirPlay or Google Forged performance – it truly is Bluetooth solely. LG offers software program updates over the air through the XBoom app although.

As somebody who doesn’t are inclined to believe voice assistants to get the music selection proper I used to be completely pleased buying and selling these ‘sensible’ options for the portability of the speaker. I like how LG is targeted the music playback, battery life, and flexibility of the XO3.

There’s additional 3.5mm jack for audio entry so I used to be in a position to simply hook up my vinyl turntable to the speaker (there’s no 3.5mm audio cable included, however, they're low cost to purchase). With it linked and plugged right into a USB-C charger through the mains, the XO3 is an effective choice for an everlasting, compact turntable speaker.

Sound high quality

  • Glorious, rounded sound
  • Good EQ choices
  • 360 diploma audio

This large ol’ sound vase is so formed to ship 360 diploma sound, and LG delivers on that promise. Wherever you place it in a room the XO3 pumps out full, effectively balanced sound – although it doesn't have the smarts of the HomePod, which may tune the route of audio by not blasting it right into a wall if it detects it’s after it.

Regardless of the shortage of such sensors, I by no means discovered the XO3 to distort or sound dangerous wherever I positioned it.

The sound is shaped from a 4-woofer, 2in the mid-range driver, and a 1 tweeter. The mixture of those ample elements makes for great sound.

‘Velocity of Plight’ by Loyle Carner is effectively rounded, with the bass notes rumbling properly behind the tight treble of the drums. Likewise, ‘midnight solar’ by Nil├╝fer Yanya is room-filling while you crank the quantity on the XO3, nevertheless, it doesn’t distort, and it may hold the frequencies separate sufficiently to nonetheless sound clear. You possibly can simply set a temper and get misplaced within the music with this speaker.

The speaker carries the bass and percussion properly on Ezra Collective’s ‘Girl’ cementing the XO3 as a superb get-together speaker. I hoped the bass could be loud however managed and was not disenchanted as in songs like this it’s tuned very properly.

In case you are certainly having a celebration or simply need to give the speaker an additional raise indoors or open air, within the XBoom you'll be able to swap on the preset ‘sound increase’. It raises the low finish noticeably however retains a pleasant combination in most genres.

I well-liked most music with it on. Even Bach sounds nice with a little bit of a bass increase.

It's also possible to customize the EQ with a responsive six-channel EQ dial. I typically discovered a greater mixture of ranges in this fashion, notably with indie rock reminiscent of The Strokes, the place on ‘customary’ mode the speaker can sound just a little flat except the quantity is cranked excessively.

In addition to the bass proficiency, the XO3 dealt with mid and excessive frequencies effectively. I by no means listened to music and thought it sounded muddy or badly reproduced.

Worth & availability

The LG XBoom XO3 is prices at $299 from Amazon in the US or £299 direct from LG in the UK. It’s additionally out there on Amazon, Richer Sounds, AO, and Currys.

At the time of writing, several retailers had the XO3 on sale for about $199/£199, which is an extra palatable value.

That is comparatively costly for a speaker with no sensible options. You would possibly desire to spend $249/£249 on the Sonos Period 100 – however that speaker, like many others, must be plugged into the mains.

The Sonos Roam is smaller and priced at $179/£179 however must be linked to Wi-Fi to take full benefit of its options, and its battery life away from a charger is just 10 hours in comparison with nearer to twenty for the LG.

For easy enjoyment of music on an excellent-sounding speaker, without the complication of Wi-Fi connections – and battery energy – the LG XBoom XO3 might be a no-frills winner for you.

Its closest rival is Marshall Middleton, which has glorious sound and high quality and is far more transportable for $299/£269.

Verdict

It’s a tad costly for a speaker that’s Bluetooth solely, however, the LG XBoom XO3 makes up for this (and its clunky title) by delivering exceptionally robust audio high quality from streaming, MP3, and line-in sources.

What you lose in sensible options you acquire in portability – and although the XO3 is kind of heavy, with the ability to shortly get the tunes going exterior, at a barbecue, or the park is well worth the sacrifice of sensible options if that’s what you’re after. For those who don’t need to faff about Wi-Fi and AirPlay, the XO3 is nice.

With enjoyable elective lights, a horny design, nice battery life, and water resistance, the XO3 ought to final you for several years.

Specs

  • 1 woofer
  • 1 mid-range driver
  • 1 tweeter
  • 360 diploma sound
  • Bluetooth 5.1
  • 3.5mm line-in
  • USB-C charging
  • As much as 24 hours battery life, or mains energy
  • IP54
  • Companion XBoom app
  • 165 x 327 x 165mm
  • 3.2kg
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