Recently we reviewed LG X-Boom Go PK3, a diminutive speaker that packs a punch. The PK3 is one of the three wireless speakers that LG recently launched in India. It is also the smallest of them all. In the line up, after the PK3 comes the PK5. Or if you want its full name — the LG X-Boom Go PK5. There is the PK7 as well in the market but I am going to deal with that speaker, the big one of the lot some other day. Today I am going to talk about LG X-Boom Go PK5, the star of this review, and a speaker that I am using for the last 10-odd days.
Just like the PK3, the PK5 is also a speaker focused on delivering loads of bass. It’s part of the X-Boom Go series. The “Boom” here stands for the booming bass and the Go denotes that this is a speaker you can carry in your backpack or even a largish handbag.
The LG X-Boom Go PK5 is available for Rs 14,990 in India. Now, that is a lot of money to pay for a speaker. Indian consumers usually want their speakers cheap and best. What I can say after using the LG X-Boom Go PK5 is that it may not be cheap but it surely is one of the best. And compared to its younger sibling PK3, which by the way is no pushover in terms of sound quality, the PK5 is louder, jazzier and clearer.
Like an owl in the dark
All the speakers in LG’s X-Boom Go series feature cuboid design. The LG X-Boom Go PK5 speaker is the same. However, unlike X-Boom Go PK3, this one comes with a casing (two at the top and two at the bottom) that not only protects the main body, providing it more stability, but it also enables it to be held more comfortably in any position (and be placed on any surface with ease).
The LG X-Boom Go PK5 speaker measures 220 x 129 x 119 mm. It weighs about 1.2Kg and when you pick it up or hold it feels lighter, probably due to its design that distributes the weight well. Weirdly, it feels a bit lighter than X-Boom Go PK3.
The speaker has handles that you can use to pick it up, and prop it up on the table. In the front, the speaker has a set of giant funky lights that will surely remind you of an owl’s eyes. Its “eyes”, as I like to call them, constantly change colour with the beat of the music and can give the ambience a trippy twist, particularly in a dimply lit or dark room. On the top are eight buttons that can be used to control the audio output. Besides having the settings for controlling the volume, there is also a button to invoke the virtual assistant — Google Assistant or Apple’s Siri– depending on which phone you have connected to the speaker. Then there are buttons for extended bass (EB) support, and a few allow users to fine-tune bass, treble and vocals (Clear Vocals or CV).
At the back of the speaker is a flap that opens to give access to a DC charger port, a 3.5mm jack and a button for resetting the device. On the sides are two flap-like structures that vibrate to produce sound. The vibration of these flaps gets stronger with increase in volume or when a bass-heavy song starts to play.
The LG X-Boom Go PK5 Bluetooth speaker comes with IPX5 certification. While this makes it immune to a drop of water or two, it doesn’t make it resistant to a splash of water besides the pool. In comparison, its younger sibling comes with IPX7 certification, making it ideal to be used at the pool-side performance.
First, the X-Boom Go PK5 hooks you up with its trippy eyes, and then it floors you with its sound. In the last several months I have reviewed a number of LG speakers and one bit that I have found constant is their ability to produce pleasing sound. When I reviewed the LG X-Boom Handy Splash Speaker I was impressed with the sound quality. Ditto for the LG G7 ThinQ, which I reviewed last year. The LG X-Boom Go PK5 is no exception.
It produces a deeper and a richer sound that remains balanced even at high volumes across music genres. I tried X-Boom Go PK5 with a host of music genres and I loved what I heard. I played popular pop songs like Maroon 5’s Girls Like You, on EB plus CV settings, and Avril Lavigne’s Tell Me It’s Over, with CV settings turned on, and I liked the fact that the sound was stable and balanced without a trace of screeching even at 100 per cent volume levels. Similar to pop music, it handled EDM music like a pro, accentuating bass (with EB settings on) to set the right mood for a party at home (missed the disco lighting though). While playing EDM tracks like Pitbull’s Timber and Alan Walker’s Faded, I could elaborately feel the vibrations through my table.
Besides pop and EDM, the X-Boom Go PK5 also handles country and rock pop numbers well. I played She Got The Best Of Me and Hurricane by Luke Combs and Summer of 69 by Bryan Adams and what I got was clear sound with booming bass resonating in my room. I played these songs on EB settings and I wouldn’t recommend playing them with CV settings on as it tends to accentuate high a bit too much, something that I personally don’t like.
However, if pop and country is not “your type” and you appreciate the finer things in like soft Bollywood tracks and acoustic songs, even then X-Boom Go PK5 won’t disappoint you. I listened on Lucky Ali’s Safarnama and Arijit Singh’s Bolna (both on EB+CV settings) and I was genuinely pleased to hear the nuances of the song. I had a similar experience when I played Ed Sheeran’s Photograph and Jack Johnson’s You And I. The mids were crystal clear and lows were balanced. The result was that I could easily distinguish between every note of the vocals, every strum of guitar and occasional drum beat easily.
The good news is that even with the battery on its last leg, you still have about an hour to an hour-and-a-half to hook X-Boom Go PK5 to a charger before it drains out completely.
Besides playing music smoothly, the X-Boom Go PK5 comes with some really cool features. It supports multi-connect mode, which means that you can connect two devices — two phones or a phone or a laptop or two laptops — with the speaker at a time and choose to play songs any of them without disconnecting the other device. Apart from that, you can pair two X-Boom Go speakers and produce deeper sound at your home. Additionally, it features support for Qualcomm’s AptX technology, which means that when you watch movies on your laptop and play audio via the X-Boom Go PK5, there is no lag between the audio and the visuals. I munched on an entire series on Hotstar (Sharp Objects, if you are curious) and I got a nice full sound even though I was watching the show on a laptop screen.
There is a smart mic option that lets you invoke the virtual assistant on your connected smart device (Siri in my case). This one too works without a hitch.
LG knows a thing or two about getting the battery right. The LG X-Boom Go PK5 wireless speaker comes with a bigger battery than the one in the X-Boom Go PK3, which makes it ideal for long outdoor usage.
It takes about five hours for the X-Boom Go PK5 Bluetooth speaker to charge completely. Once juiced up, it can run without any support for about 17 hours when used on a mix of standard, extended bass and clear vocals settings. With a battery like that, you can easily take it on a two-day long hike without worrying about the battery.
Here’s another good thing about it. There in an LED on the top, which glows green when the Bluetooth speaker is completely charged is ready to go on ride. On the contrary, it glows red when the battery is on its last leg. The good news is that even with red LED on, you still have about an hour to an hour-and-a-half to hook X-Boom Go PK5 to a charger before the battery completely drains out. You can start using it as soon as you plug it in and in case you forget to turn it off, it does it so itself if left unused for a certain period of time, conserving the battery.
Should you buy LG X-Boom Go PK5 speaker?
The answer is yes. The LG X-Boom Go is easily one of the best Bluetooth speakers available in a price range of Rs 15-20 grand. However, unlike its younger sibling, it is priced more judiciously.
It produces balanced audio and handles all music genres, EDM, pop, rock pop and country in particularly, well. My only qualm with it is its water-proofing feature. The X-Boom Go PK5 is robustly made — the overall design is quite sturdy — but IPX5 rating sort limits its appeal to for those who like to do many pool parties. Other than that, it’s funky, tough and produces pleasant sound.