Crowned with a Red Dot 2022 design award and an innovation award from CES 2023, the LG XBOOM Go XO3 Bluetooth speaker is a pretty speaker, which seems to have more of its place in the living room than in the garden, despite a certified resistance to rain and dust. Fabric dress, LED block in the shape of a drop of water, tactile controls, there is no doubt that LG is targeting customers who are sensitive to aesthetic criteria.
LG XBOOM Go XO3 Technical sheet
|Model||LG XBOOM Go XO3|
16.5cm x 16.5cm x 32.7cm
This test was carried out with a loudspeaker lent by the manufacturer.
LG XBOOM Go XO3 Design
The LG XBOOM Go XO3 is a largely fabric-covered vertical enclosure, halfway between cylinder and cone; wide at the base and narrow at the top. It has the particularity of integrating an ambient lighting system in its upper part, which diffuses 360° soft variable and adjustable color light.
Despite an IP54 certification which makes it resistant to water splashes and dust, it seems more intended for residential use than nomadic, due to the multiple corners where water and dust can easily stagnate; especially at the top, where one of the transducers is concealed by a non-removable grille.
These particularities therefore encourage you to put the speaker on a piece of furniture or on the floor, in a clean and dry place. Two attachment devices are present, to suspend it possibly with a cord for example. The LG XBOOM Go XO3 has a touch zone at the top, to adjust listening volume, control playback or change the lighting mood. The power button is located in the base of the speaker, hidden by a silicone hatch. Good idea, LG has added a 3.5 mm mini-jack input to connect an analog source (radio, CD player, etc.).
Internal design of the XOOMB Go X3
LG has opted for a 3-way acoustic system for its XBOOM Go X3, which has the particularity of diffusing the sound indirectly and at 360°. A first 10 cm transducer is installed in the foot of the speaker, facing downwards, to diffuse the low frequencies. It is supported for this by two vertical passive radiators of about 20×5 cm, housed on the sides and hidden by the fabric dress of the enclosure. As a reminder, this technique ofpassive load» theoretically makes it possible to go down low in frequency without increasing the size of the speaker excessively.
The second transducer, 5 cm long and dedicated to medium frequencies, is installed in the upper part of the enclosure, facing upwards. The sound it produces is reflected by the light baffle all around the enclosure. Finally, a 2 cm tweeter is installed on the upper side, concealed by a thin aluminum grille. On paper, this acoustic configuration is very interesting, because each frequency register (low/mid/high) is reproduced by a specialized transducer, a priori therefore with greater precision. In addition, the large size of the enclosure (33×16 cm) suggests that the bass will be generous and its extension significant.
LG XBOOM Go XO3 Use and application
The advantage of the LG XBOOM Go XO3 is obviously its ambient lighting system. Installed at the top of the enclosure, the acoustic deflector houses several LEDs which produce a subdued light. In addition to the touch button that allows you to change colors quickly, the LG XBOOM app gives access to several customizable light profiles, as well as a dimmer.
We thus have the choice between glows with warm and soothing shades, or more dynamic flashes depending on the music played. Three profiles are accessible (Party, Nature and Ambient), each with three sub-profiles and a fully manual mode, with choice of colors directly from an RGB color chart. Good Night Mode automatically changes colors to help you fall asleep, on a user-defined timer (up to 120 minutes), before the speaker automatically turns off. There is even an option “party strobewhich harnesses the flash of the smartphone used to create strobe effects. In short, LG has taken the concept of the luminous enclosure very far.
The app also offers three equalization profiles, one standard is the default sound signature, the second Sound Boost boosts overall sound (and, according to LG, the bass), while the third offers a 6-step equalizer. bands (100, 250, 500, 1000, 4000 and 10,000 Hz). We will come back to this, but the customization possibilities are actually limited and unconvincing. Finally, the app offers direct access to the user’s library, in case the latter wishes not to use the official app of said service.
LG XBOOM app home page
Several lighting moods are available.
Depending on the chosen mode, one to three colors can be chosen.
In use, the LG XBOOM Go XO3 is pleasant to use, the only downside being its weight and the obligation to grab it by its hat to carry it with one hand. Too bad no wrist strap is provided, but only offered as an option. Note that it is possible, thanks to the app, to associate two LG XBOOM Go XO3 speakers for stereo listening.
Very stable multipoint Bluetooth connection
The Bluetooth connection is multipoint with support for SBC and AAC codecs. Throughout this test, I got a very stable connection even through thin walls or the floor of my home. No problem outdoors either, provided you stay at a maximum distance of 10 meters from the speaker.
LG XBOOM Go XO3 Audio
The LG XBOOM Go XO3 knows how to please the eyes, but less so the ears. Despite its 3-way configuration, its sound performance is well below the standards of the competition. Let’s start by talking about what may appeal. This speaker seems to have an audio post-processing with highlighting of certain sounds, which gives it a rather singular separation of sound planes. Thus, the sound has an often palpable depth. On the other hand, the dynamics and the timbres are more than debatable, because of marked colorations from bass to treble.
The measurements confirm the listening impressions: the low frequencies are sorely lacking in extension, with a very marked attenuation below 100 Hz, which deprives the reproduction of any depth, despite the presence of two large passive radiators. They seem to be muffled by the fabric shell, or the active transducer isn’t beefy enough to drive them, or even the amplification is anemic — or a mixture of all of these. Thus, by sticking the ear to the speaker, you can hardly hear anything from the play of the passive radiators, which is completely abnormal. To make matters worse, the app’s equalizer is of no help, with a first key that is far too high in frequency to correct anything.
In the register of average sounds, it’s not much better and it hangs quite a bit. Same in the treble. A review of the response curves also shows many irregularities. The volume of low frequencies decreases only very slightly with the increase in volume, unlike the vast majority of competing speakers. The speaker also fails to drop below 100 Hz. There is therefore no dynamic management of bass sounds.
- Serious: far too limited extension and binary restitution (all or nothing)
- Medium: well placed in volume, degraded by too noticeable colorations
- Treble: audible oozing, sometimes sibilant vocals, it’s not fluid enough
Dynamic headroom and soundstage
Despite the presence of two 25 W amplifiers – which is quite large for a Bluetooth speaker – the XBOOM Go XO3 struggles to express itself and seems sluggish as soon as you increase the volume frankly. For close listening (about 1 m), this is not ideal and conducive to attacking the ears. The soundstage, although the speaker is mono, is rather airy and deep. Too bad that this is the only real acoustic quality of this speaker!
LG XBOOM Go XO3 Autonomy
LG advertises up to 24 hours at half volume and without LED lighting, with the built-in 3900 mAh battery. I measured 7 p.m. with an iPhone at half volume and LEDs on (ambient mode), with a playlist mixing pop and jazz. The charging time is around 5 hours, which is excessively long considering the battery capacity. A fast charge would have been welcome.
LG XBOOM Go XO3 Price and release date
The LG XBOOM Go XO3 speaker is available in anthracite gray and beige colors at a price of 149 €.
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LG XBOOM Go XO3 at the best price?