With the LG XBoom Go PL7, LG has found a way to stand out in the crowded portable Bluetooth speaker field. Whereas some companies have gone really big and others focus on value, LG has brought serious bling to Bluetooth speakers in the form of LED lights.
While it’s fun to have a light show with your tunes, that’s just eye candy. The PL7 holds its own against the best Bluetooth speakers when it comes to sound quality and battery life, all while sporting a unique and attractive design.
Read on for our full LG XBoom Go PL7 review.
LG XBoom Go PL7 review: Price and availability
The LG XBoom Go PL7’s MSRP is $170, but is currently on sale for $130 from a range of outlets. This includes Amazon, which stocks both the black and white models, as well as the online store of LG itself.
LG XBoom Go PL7 review: Design
The 9.7 x 3.9 x 3.9-inch PL7 looks a bit like a pill that had its tips shaved off and replaced with caps that feature an LED light ring on each end. The rings pulse in a variety of colors and speeds (you can control the lights with the XBoom app).
The end caps also function as passive bass radiators and vibrate when the sound is heavy with bass — an additional visual treat. Inside, the PL7 has two 2.3-inch drivers to produce the treble and midrange tones.
Across the top it has buttons for volume, power, Bluetooth pairing, Sound Boost (which makes the vocals louder) and a light for battery level. On the back, behind a plastic flap, there’s a 3.5 mm auxiliary input, a USB-C port for charging, and buttons to switch light modes, activate Multi Mode (for connecting two devices) and Dual Mode (for pairing two speakers together). That’s more buttons than many current portable Bluetooth speakers include, but sometimes it’s nice to have access to most of the speaker’s functions without using the app.
The PL7 weighs 3.2 pounds, which is a bit heavy for a portable speaker this size — the similar-sized UE Blast weighs 2.2 pounds. But part of the extra weight is from a sturdy casing that seems like it will last.
LG XBoom Go PL7 review: Performance
The PL7 produced detailed sound that compares well with the best portable Bluetooth speakers in this price range, such as the UE Blast and JBL Charge 4. It has a brighter sound than either of those models and nicely balanced bass — though less boom than the Blast or Charge.
Vocals sound particularly clear and are forward in the mix. Fiona Apple’s voice was easy to hear above the complex layers of sounds on “Shameika,” and Taylor Swift’s vocals stood out on top of the drums and subtle guitar on “the last great american dynasty.” The bass and beats on Harry Styles’s “Adore You” made the end caps vibrate but didn’t overwhelm the rest of the sounds, and the bass line on Jason Isbell’s “What’ve I Done to Help” balanced nicely with the strummed acoustic guitar.
The PL7 has only one sound mode, Sound Boost, which brings the vocals even higher in the mix. However, I found using the boost caused the background vocals and sounds in the midrange to fade out. It was useful when watching movies on an iPad, but I turned it off for music.
For its size the PL7 gets plenty loud. At max volume, it measured over 92 decibels, with only a little distortion.
LG XBoom Go PL7 review: Ruggedness
The PL7 features IPX5 weatherproofing, meaning it can handle being sprayed with water but it shouldn’t be dunked. By comparison the UE Blast can be completely submerged. I ran it under a faucet for a few seconds and the speaker continued working as it should.
LG XBoom Go PL7 review: Battery
The PL7 boasts an impressive 24 hour battery, better than the UE Blast’s 12 hours and a bit more than the Charge 4’s 20 hours. After about 15 hours of playing at a variety of volume levels with the lights on, it still had 70 percent of the charge left.
LG XBoom Go PL7 review: Voice Assistant
Unlike many portable Bluetooth speakers in this price range, the PL7 doesn’t have Alexa or Google Assistant inside. Instead you can access your phone’s voice assistant by holding the play/pause button for several seconds.
LG XBoom Go PL7 review: Wireless and Setup
The unit had a strong Bluetooth signal, and it stayed connected at more than 100 feet indoors.
The free XBoom app, available for iOS and Android, offers a few ways to control the speaker, though it doesn’t have all the bells and whistles you get through UE’s Boom app. For example, there’s no equalizer and only the one sound mode, Sound Boost.
Mostly you use the app to control the lights. You can set the lights to blink with the beat (which I found too frenetic, even on slower songs), or select among other styles, such as Party, Water and Forest. You can also pick your own style, choosing a color scheme and speed for the lights to change. Or, if you’re seeking less visual stimulation, you can turn off the lights.
LG XBoom Go PL7 review: Verdict
The LG XBoom Go PL7 has what you want in a portable Bluetooth speaker — very good sound, long battery life, and plenty of volume — along with the extra fun of lights.
You don’t get an integrated voice assistant and it won’t overwhelm you with bass. It’s also not quite as rugged as some other speakers. But the PL7 is worth considering if you’re looking for a dependable and attractive portable Bluetooth speaker and don’t need those extra features.
It’s not the first speaker to incorporate lights, and the LEDs aren’t essential. But if the PL7 does everything else you want, the lights could be a reason to pick it over rival speakers like the UE Megaboom 3.