LG XBOOM 360 RP4B – Bluetooth mono speaker with light show (review)
At its basic level, the LG XBOOM 360 is a 360° omnidirectional, mono, Bluetooth, battery/mains powered speaker with a LED light show. It is reminiscent of a conical lantern with a metal carry handle at the top.
Indeed, if you are after a premium portable Bluetooth speaker, you have quite a choice – Sony, Bose, B&O, JBL and more. But if you look deeper, this has 360° omnidirectional sound, and it is one of the loudest, best-sounding speakers with mood lighting – it is in a class of its own, and at $569, it is excellent value.
Now you may not see these on all the usual retailers’ shelves at present. Released in November 2021, the stock is just starting to flow, so you may need to persist. Let me tell you that you can’t go wrong with this speaker – the sound signature, volume, and build quality are all class-leading.
LG XBOOM 360 model RP4B.DAUSLLK
|Colour||Black (there are other colours sold overseas or grey market)|
|Warranty||One year ACL if purchased from LG or its authorised resellers|
|From||LG Online, Good Guys and more|
|Country of origin||China|
|LG||LG (formerly Lucky-Goldstar from 1983 to 1995) is a South Korean multinational conglomerate. It makes electronics, chemicals, and telecommunications products.|
|More||Cybershack LG News and reviews|
First impression – love its shape and appeal
It looks like a conical lantern or lighthouse replete with an aluminium carry handle at the top. It is classy, well made and the only colour we get in Australia is black. It is 248mm x 514mm x 248mm x 5.8kg.
It is a 360° omnidirectional speaker – sound comes from all around – call it an Audio Panorama. So, its placement is more critical than a speaker where the sound comes from front-firing speakers. Ideally, place it centrally, about desk height and close to mains power (it can work on battery too).
It is a mono speaker, meaning you don’t have a stereo Left and Right sound stage, and that is not important for this style of speaker – it fills the room. You can pair another LG XBOOM 360 in mono mode.
Setup – standard Bluetooth and optional LG XBOOM app
You can simply Bluetooth pair a smartphone, computer or audio content device with this. It supports standard SBC or Apple AAC codecs (slightly higher music quality if your content device supports it). BT 4.2 supports pairing with two devices.
We did experience typical BT 4.2 issues like occasional variable music volume and about a 15-metre range. These issues don’t occur with BT 5.x.
The Android or iOS app shows
- Battery charge
- Selects Bluetooth, USB or AUX inputs
- Volume adjustment
- EQ (Standard, Bass Blast, Pop, Classical, Rock, Jazz, Outdoor pre-sets or Custom) – Bass Blast seems best
- Mood Lighting with various pre-sets
- DJ – various club and drum pre-sets
- System management and firmware
- A media player from on-device music
How does it sound? Brilliant bass and clear dialogue
We usually listen to music via a Sonos Five Wi-Fi 3.0 speaker with Left/Centre/Right woofers and left/centre/right tweeters, so we are a little spoiled. While the Sonos Five sound is better, to LG’s credit (and understanding that it is a 1.0 speaker), it does an excellent job for everyday listening – loads of solid bass from 30Hz and a nice top end means its listening pleasure.
A better comparison is the Sonos Move (IP56 and the LG is IPX4). It has two speakers – a down-firing tweeter, front-firing mid-woofer and passive bass port. The Sonos has slightly better sound quality, but the LG 360° sound stage is better for outdoor use.
The LG XBOOM 360 has achieved close to perfection. It has a 5.25″ up-firing woofer and a 1″ titanium compression horn down-firing tweeter. It reaches 85dB with minimal distortion.
In its standard mode, it has excellent bass from 33Hz solidly building to 64Hz, where it flattens all the way to 20Hz – this is amazing. It means that the speaker is neutral – it neither adds nor subtracts from the original music. You can play with pre-sets that allow you to get the best for movies (Warm and Sweet), Bright vocal, clear dialogue and more.
It would be hard to beat this in the omnidirectional mono class. You can read more about sound signature How to tell if you have good music (sound signature is the key)
It is 240V mains powered (direct cable connect – no adapter) and charges a 7.4V/3.9A/28.86W Lithium-ion battery. LG claims five hours charge time, and we concur.
LG claims 10 hours of play time (theoretical) depending on volume, audio source, light and content. We ran it at 75% volume around a pool and got six hours. At 50% volume inside, it reached eight hours. If you use USB or AUX-IN, you can add a couple more hours.
On mains power, you get 120W. If using battery, the unit is limited to 80W.
USB and AUX-IN
USB in is 5.0 V/.5A/2.5W (no driver so limited to USB flash 2.0 or 1.0) FAT 32 format and plays MP3 or WMA. It won’t power a portable SSD.
AUX-IN is 3.5mm cable 1.0 Vrms (3.5 mm 3-pole stereo). Analogue converts to Digital PCM 1.0.
We noticed a slight improvement in sound quality over BT 4.2.
It is not so much a light show as mood lighting. A single 16.7m colour LED above the ‘viewing window’ uses pre-sets (Ambient/Nature/Party). The use of the LED reduces battery life by about 10%.
Given that it can sit on the floor, it is very easy to tip and could be a climbing hazard to your children, although the 5.8kg weight is unlikely to hurt them. Young children may also place their hands in the ‘viewing window’ and damage the woofer. The LED light is behind a diffuser and does not get hot.
Our recommendation is that is it placed at desk height away from children.
Cybershack view – LG XBOOM 360 gets the tick
As we said earlier, it is the class leader in the 360°, BT, portable speaker market. It also sounds excellent and has LG’s build quality.
I am surprised that LG did not make this a BT and Wi-Fi multi-room speaker. It no longer has a voice assistant speaker like the excellent LG XBOOM WK7 – this would have been the logical successor.
Would I buy it?
Yes – no reservations if I needed a 360° BT Portable speaker. But the Sonos Move offers Wi-Fi, multi-room, and voice assistance, which is its main competition.
It has no peers as a 360°, Bluetooth, portable speaker and mood light. We just wish it was Wi-Fi as well.
LG XBOOM 360 brief specs
- Li-ion 7.4V/3.9A/28.86W battery. 240V direct plug 5-hour charge 10-hour playback but less with the light show
- 120W on mains power and 80w on battery
- 2.5cm Titanium compressed horn tweeter (40W) and 13.34cm fibreglass woofer (80W)
- BT 4.2 with SBC and AAC codecs supports two device connections
- AUX-in (suitable for guitar and or mic)
- USB input (MP3 and WMA)
- 240V Mains power or battery 7.4V/3.9A/28.68W for up to 10 hours life (depends on volume and mood lights). Five-hour charge
- IPX4 for light water spray
- Companion Android and iOS app with a range of pre-sets, EQ, DJ Effects
- 16.7M LED Mood lighting effects include Ambient/Nature/Party Light Modes
- Can be mono paired (not stereo) to another XBOOM 360
- 1-year warranty
- Charcoal Black at major retailers and online LG.com/au from November 2021.
- BT 4.2 SBC and ACC supports two phone connections
- LG XBOOM App Android or iOS
- 8 (Pop, Jazz, Bass Blast, Standard, Outdoor, Classic, Rock, Custom EQ)
- Made using enough post-consumer materials to earn it an SGS Eco-Product certification
LG XBOOM 360 RP4B – Bluetooth mono speaker with light show569
- Superb 360° mono sound
- Mood light is nice
- It can do most things from its manual controls
- No power adapter needed – direct 240V cable
- Striking design
- Not a Wi-Fi speaker
- More colour choices would have been nice