LG XBOOM Go Bluetooth speaker review

By: Nickolay Polovinkin | 13.10.2021, 11:11
LG XBOOM Go Bluetooth speaker review

Boom boom boom boom, today we have three XBOOMs. We look at and listen to three wireless speakers from the LG XBOOM Go series. We're promised quality sound, color music, all-weather design, multi-speaker collaboration, and control via a mobile app. The three models (PL2, PL5 and PL7) differ from each other in size, power and some features. A good solution for party planning or creating a music atmosphere in several rooms. 

5 reasons to buy LG XBOOM Go speakers:

  • good sound using Meridian technology;
  • weatherproof enclosure with water protection;
  • possibility to use multiple speakers simultaneously (up to 100 for PL5 and PL7);
  • nice dynamic backlighting (only for PL5 and PL7);
  • operation in power bank mode (only for PL7 model).

3 reasons not to buy LG XBOOM Go speakers:

  • you need specific functions (e.g. flashlight or FM radio);
  • you are looking for a budget option without much claim to sound;
  • you need a speaker with more serious moisture protection.

What's in the box? 

The package is identical for all speakers in the series. It includes the device itself, a USB charging cable and documents: manual, warranty and a safety booklet. No charger is included in the box, you can use any standard charger you already have.

What do they look like?

At a glance it is clear that all three speakers are related. What they have in common is their sleek cylindrical shape with a distinctive grille on the front and round cones on the sides. 

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The younger model is the most compact. It is available in several colors: black (as in our photo), white, yellow, green and pink. In practice, black looks more like a very dark blue. The two round elements on the sides of the XBOOM Go PL2 are more of a decorative feature: unlike their counterparts in the older models, they are fixed. At the top of the device is a control panel with a number of rubberized buttons: power, pairing, volume control, play-pause and Sound Boost. On the back of the speaker, you can see the embossed logo and the large XBOOM name. There is also a hole for the lanyard, such a chip is characteristic only for the younger model, as the most portable of the family. The bottom side has a flat pad with a non-slip rubber pad.

Under one of the side parts there are hidden: USB-C charging port, 3.5mm line input and a button for pairing mode. The cover of this compartment looks well protected against moisture, just like a starship hatch.

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The PL5 and PL7 models can be found in black or white. The LG XBOOM Go PL5, unlike its younger relative, is not only larger, but differs in many details. The circles on the sides are not just for beauty, they are movable elements, which visibly vibrate during operation. The stripe around each cone is also not a designer whim, it is a detail of the LED backlighting. On the top panel with buttons the differences from the younger model are minimal and are reduced to the battery charge indicator. On the back, behind the LG logo, under the powerful rubber cover there is another control panel. On it you can find the steam and multi-mode power buttons, the light button, the reset button hole, the USB-C jack and the 3.5 mm AUX port. The protective cover is attached to the case with a thick rubber band, the design looks quite secure.

LG XBOOM Go PL7 is the largest speaker in the lineup. One and a half kilograms of weight, solid, stable, imposing. Externally, apart from its size, it is very similar to the PL5. It has the same side cones, LED backlighting, a rubber panel with buttons on top and another one under the lid on the back. However, on the back panel here was added another element: a USB-A port for using the device as a mobile battery and charging other gadgets from it. The enclosure, like other models, is pleasant to the touch: it is practical, non-sticky matte plastic with a soft touch effect. 

All the speakers look sturdy and solid. The only criticism is potential instability. This hardly applies to the heaviest PL7s but lighter models can be knocked down. However, they will not roll far and will not be damaged by tipping.

How to connect and configure?

To connect your speaker to your smartphone or other Bluetooth-source, you should press and hold the pairing button, then select the appropriate name from the list of available devices (it contains the model code and numbers so as not to confuse several similar speakers). From then on, the speaker is ready for use. 

How are they controlled?

A gentleman's kit for controlling the speaker is placed on the top panel of the buttons. With it you can control the volume and pause the music without touching your smartphone. By the way, with the same button (play/pause) you can also call the voice assistant, if you hold it for two seconds. We activate Sound Boost with a separate button and leave it in this state (I will tell you why below). This is the case with all three speakers. But the two elder models have some additional control elements on the back under the weatherproof lid. The light-bulb button is responsible for turning the LED backlighting on and off, a bit later we will see how it is configured in the mobile application. The Dual button activates the dual-speaker mode (it is present in all three models). If you have two speakers and want to use them simultaneously, press it on both. A similar principle is used in Multi mode (only PL5 and PL7): one of the devices can be made master and the others slave by pressing the corresponding button.

To get the most out of your speaker control, you need to download the LG XBOOM mobile app for iOS or Android. It works directly with the device via bluetooth, so it doesn't require any cloud accounts. Here you can:

  • use the built-in audio player;
  • flexibly adjust the LED backlighting;
  • combine several speakers into one "network" playing the same music;
  • see the battery percentage and adjust a number of settings (equalizer, power management, sensitivity settings)

To switch from speaker to built-in smartphone speakers you can activate a characteristic gesture (shake your smartphone), and the speakers can also have firmware updates. 

How do they work?

The most noticeable feature of the XBOOM Go PL5 and PL7 is the dynamic RGB backlighting. It's hard not to notice when it's on, but when it's off it doesn't show itself in any way. It comes in handy when you want to do without lighting effects. And when it is appropriate, you can not just turn on illumination (there is a separate button on the back panel for that), but also set its behavior in the mobile application. There are three available presets (Party, Water, Forest) and the ability to configure your own by selecting the speed and color scheme. You can also synchronize the dynamics of backlighting with the music. It looks spectacular.

Once again I would like to draw your attention to the feature of multi-playback. I have more than once had the desire to connect to one smartphone several Bluetooth-speakers at the same time, and somehow could not believe that there is no mass universal solution for solving such a simple problem. If you know it, welcome to the comments, but here we have a solution that is not universal, but extremely easy to work with. Both XBOOM Go PL5 and PL7 can play together, and these models can be combined with each other. Another interesting example of usage is connection of two speakers to LG TV set as an alternative to a soundbar for getting surround sound. By the way, there is a Multipoint function, and one speaker can be controlled from two devices at once.

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Judging by their appearance, rubberized buttons and plugs, we could assume that the speakers can be listened almost under water. But this is not true - the guaranteed level of protection is only IPX5. Which, however, is enough to protect against rain that suddenly came upon the party. 

The senior model LG XBOOM Go PL7 has a function of charging other devices and a USB-A socket for their connection. However, the capacity of the built-in battery is relatively small, only 3900 mAh. This is certainly enough for the speaker unit, but it is not enough for the PowerBank because it is more of a backup solution than a permanent one.

What about battery life?

The autonomy of the three models tested differs in proportion to their size. The flagship XBOOM Go PL7 boasts 24 hours of battery life (a nice figure, but that's with the backlight off, at half volume, and under otherwise favorable conditions). The PL5 and PL2 models are rated at 18 and 10 hours of battery life, respectively. In real life the results are in line with the claimed performance, but of course it all depends on the conditions of use. 

How do they sound?

You've probably noticed that all three speakers have the Meridian logo on them. They are a British company that has been making Hi-Fi equipment for over 40 years, and now they are applying their technology to some of the more mainstream products.

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The collaboration with LG produced good results: the sound of all three speakers turned out quite spectacular. There is no magic button activating some kind of secret Meridian technology, but there is a Sound Boost button. I suspect it's necessary just for demonstration of sound enhancement technologies. Once you've played around with it turning it on and off you'll just leave it on forever. The sound immediately gets volume and coloring, it seems the speaker was replaced by another, higher class. 

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Dual Action Bass technology delivers particularly punchy bass. The effect is most pronounced in the largest model PL7. The enclosure does a great job of suppressing vibration, but you can literally see the sound with your eyes, thanks to the sides of the speaker

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In a nutshell

XBOOM Go series pleased with its technology. There's a pond of Bluetooth speakers on the market and it's not easy to stand out from the crowd. XBOOM Go can flaunt control via a mobile app, color music settings and collaboration of up to a hundred speakers, as well as good sound, which for some reason is hidden behind the magic button Sound Boost. It's the older XBOOM Go PL7 model that looks the most interesting: an almost 1.5kg big guy that's scary to turn up to full volume in an apartment building after 7pm, with a powerbank function and the ultimate in features.

Three things to know about LG XBOOM Go speakers:

  • it's a Bluetooth speaker united by a common design and collaboration protocol;
  • the sound part is developed together with the Meridian brand and is especially spectacular in Sound Boost mode;
  • the middle and senior models feature customizable RGB backlighting.
Specifications LG XBOOM Go PL2 LG XBOOM Go PL5 LG XBOOM Go PL7
Dimensions, mm 126x82x80 201x79x79 245x98x98
Weight, g 350 620 1460
Power output, watts 20  30 
Speakers 1x1,75" 2x1,75" 2x2,3"
Battery capacity 3,7 W, 1500 mAh 3,8 W, 3900 mAh 7,4 W, 3900 mAh
Maximum battery life, h 10 18 24
Case protection IPX5
Wireless device pairing Dual mode Dual mode, Multi mode
Bluetooth 5.0
Interfaces AUX 3.5mm, USB-C AUX 3.5mm, USB-C AUX 3.5mm, USB-C, USB-A