Portable Bluetooth speakers are a handy invention – they very conveniently let you oomph up your mobile music and most of them let you do that without burning a hole in your pocket. After all, not everyone wants to invest in multiple speaker systems that take up unnecessary space. And lots of money. But most portable Bluetooth speakers fail to find the right balance of portability and audio quality – they're either too shabbily designed or churn out awful audio. LG’s new XBOOM Go PK3 Bluetooth speakers are probably the first portable Bluetooth speakers I’ve literally enjoyed listening to without cribbing about its design and build quality – but, conditions apply.
I have been using the LG XBOOM Go PK3 Bluetooth speakers for over two weeks now, and I have been impressed with everything that they offer. They’re surely not perfect but, at Rs 10,990, they’re easily among the best portable Bluetooth speakers that you can get South of Rs 15,000 in the market right now.
The XBOOM Go PK3 come in black, and they’re ridiculously well-built – better than many rivals that cost 2X more in comparison. They have considerable heft to them – weighing in at just under 1kg. Now, that can be a plus or a minus point, depending on how you perceive portability. The XBOOM Go PK3 speakers are chunkier than most speakers in and around their price point – but they’re built to last. Whether or not you like that will of course depend a lot on your user case (things like whether you’re a frequent traveler and all) but it will also depend on whether you’re looking for a quick fix or something for the longer run.
The XBOOM Go PK3, to that effect, are also IPX7-certified (up to 1 meter for up to 30 minutes) and while they’re not exactly water-proof, they’ll have your back in case of light rain/accidental spillage.
Looks-wise, they don’t look any better or worse than any other Bluetooth speaker - those looking for more colour should look elsewhere though. Also, unlike its older and more expensive siblings (the PK5 and PK7), the PK3s don’t have any sort of synchronized lighting for when you’re into the party-mode.
On the top you’ll find a host of connectivity options/buttons, including power, Bluetooth, volume up and down, forward/play next, voice assistant, and enhanced bass, alongside a set of dedicated LEDs. Now before you start assuming, the PK3s aren’t smart speakers – they merely let you connect and interact with the voice assistant inside your phone. On the back, you’ll find a power connector, AUX and the reset switch, all protected by a plastic flap.
Setting up the XBOOM Go PK3 Bluetooth speakers is straightforward. You simply fire up the power button and then pair your mobile device (smartphone/laptop) - the PK3s support multi-Bluetooth pairing so you can connect two Bluetooth devices simultaneously and they’ll remember. Pairing is fast (on both Android and iOS, as well as on Windows) and the PK3s can maintain a surprisingly stable connection most of the time, even while you’re on the go. There’s also APT-X support out-of-the-box which is always a nice feature to have for wireless streaming.
Elsewhere, the XBOOM Go PK3 Bluetooth speakers are largely a plug and play affair. There is no remote, no fine tuning and no setting to meddle with.
Once you’ve got everything set up, the XBOOM Go PK3 Bluetooth speakers sound very good for their size. If you’re aware of their limitations, that is. LG is offering two passive radiators here with a special emphasis on heavy bass – through something that LG is calling Dual Action Bass. Although there are no dedicated bass drivers on-board, the feature simulates for when you’re playing bass-heavy content through the sides – you can feel the sides of the speakers vibrate every time you pump up the volume or when you’re playing bass-heavy content. The output is 16W.
Speaking of which, the XBOOM Go PK3 Bluetooth speakers can get loud – I have been mostly listening to them at half the peak volume when indoors even while there’s significant chit-chatter in the background. At the same time, there’s little or no distortion at maximum volume. The XBOOM Go PK3 Bluetooth speakers are also able to sound pleasantly loud in outdoor ambient environment – for occasions when you’re out by the pool or on a picnic with near and dear ones.
The lack of an external subwoofer means you don’t get chest-thumping bass, but the bass is definitely there. Also, the XBOOM Go PK3 Bluetooth speakers offer good stereo soundstage, for their size and dimensions.
The XBOOM Go PK3 Bluetooth speakers have been seemingly designed as music speakers first - I am just guessing that since they’re lacking in mid frequencies which means they’re not ideal for watching TV or for that matter any content with lots of dialogue.
As an extension to the whole built-to-last philosophy, the XBOOM Go PK3 speakers also have outstanding battery life. LG claims up to 12 hours of battery life and real-world usage figures are more or less in line – the XBOOM Go PK3 speakers have been lasting me for at least 11-11.5 hours on a stretch on mixed usage (using the enhanced bass feature chugs up the juice faster).
LG XBOOM Go PK3 Bluetooth speakers - yay or nay?
The XBOOM Go PK3 Bluetooth speakers are definitely not cheap, but they’re definitely worth it. They’re built rock solid, they’re easy to set up with multi-Bluetooth pairing, they mete out good all-round audio with good all-round stability, and they offer good battery life – at a price of Rs 10,990, the LG XBOOM Go PK3 Bluetooth speakers clearly punch way above their weight and should be on the top of your list if you’re out looking for a good-quality Bluetooth speaker at around Rs 10,000.