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LG makes portable sound stronger

LG’s small but mighty PK3 speaker delivers amazing sound from a rugged, waterproof casing. BRYAN TURNER reviewed the speaker.

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Battery-powered Bluetooth speakers seem to be a dime a dozen these days. More often than not, they sound distorted – mainly because manufacturers install louder speakers instead of higher-quality speakers. LG’s XBoom PK3 flips this convention on its head – without breaking the bank.

The PK3 is a wonderful speaker that hides many great features in a good-looking enclosure. It’s ergonomically shaped, featuring a rectangular design that minimises the size while maximising the internal use of space. We didn’t get to tear it down, but one can feel the speaker is packed with electronics in a small package.

It’s light enough to be carried in one hand and weighs under 1kg, so it won’t be a burden to carry along. That said, it’s not small enough to fit into small-to-medium sized handbags, so taking it along in a backpack would be the ideal carry method.

A pool party is where this speaker belongs because it has a sharp-yet-loud output that works well in filling an outdoor space. It’s also waterproof for up to 1 metre for 30 minutes, meaning it can take a dunk and come out functional.  
What makes this speaker shine is LG’s partnership with Meridian Audio to make the insides of this speaker perform at that loud and sharp level. Meridian Audio is an expert in high-performance and high-fidelity audio experiences, and is best known for producing the industry’s first audiophile-quality compact disc player and provide audio equipment to McLaren and Jaguar Land Rover.

The Bluetooth software in the XBoom Go is Qualcomm aptX HD compatible, meaning that 24bit vinyl-quality audio can be played through this speaker over Bluetooth instead of standard-fidelity audio.

The major phone assistants feature on these speakers, with tethered Google Assistant or Apple Siri functionality from one’s smartphone. This makes it very convenient to use the voice assistant button to skip tracks and change music when one’s hands are wet.

The one thing I’m against on this speaker is the proprietary charging port. Carrying around a very specialised charger isn’t ideal. If the speaker’s battery dies while away from the charger, the speaker becomes useless because nobody has the charger.  

LG says the battery lasts for around 12 hours, but that depends on how loud the user sets the speaker. We managed to output 14 hours of non-stop music at around 25% volume. At a pool party, performing at maximum volume in a shady spot, we got around 9 hours of non-stop playback.

From flat, the unit charges in around 3 and a half hours. This is a pretty good charging time, considering it charges around 4 times faster than it takes to discharge. For the techies out there, it houses a 5200mAh battery, which makes it really efficient for the long time it operates for on a single charge.

Overall, LG’s XBoom PK3 speaker is a mighty contender in the portable speaker space that’s ideal for those who want to take their speakers out into the world.

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