We are spoiled for choice when it comes to portable speakers. There’s one in just about every size you can think of, from something you can stuff in your backpack to larger party speakers, like the LG XBoom 360 which dropped in late 2021.
The XBoom 360 features a unique design, omnidirectional sound, and the ability to customize your playback experience via a smartphone app.
While the XBoom 360 is one of the most unique wireless party speakers we’ve seen, is it worth its asking price? Yes, but only if you plan to keep the party in your own backyard.
Price and availability
The LG XBoom 360 retails for $399 (£399, AU$569) and is available to buy worldwide from LG’s website and various retailers.
The LG XBoom 360 features a cylindrical design with a unique cutout in the center, allowing you to see the woofer. The cone that disperses the woofer’s omnidirectional sound waves also houses RGB LEDs that provide users with a fun light show.
The entire speaker is covered in fabric, giving it a clean, modern aesthetic that would look great in a living room or outside by the pool.
Along with the XBoom 360 you’ll find controls for power, playback, lighting and connectivity. Plus, you can download the free LG XBoom app to enable features and get full access to lighting and EQ.
You’ll also find a built-in handle at the top of the speaker that makes it technically portable, but it’s a little bulky with its 9.8″ x 20.2″ x 9.8″ (W x H x D) dimensions and 12.8 lbs (5.8 kg) weight.
At the bottom of the speaker, you’ll find a large rubber flap that hides a USB-A port for connecting a USB flash drive, a 3.5mm auxiliary jack for analog sources, a reset button and a button to activate the pairing between multiple LG Wireless Speakers.
The LG XBoom 360 features the typical features you’d expect from a wireless speaker with an app, including Bluetooth 4.0, aux-in, and an app to unlock more fun party features. In the app, users can switch between preset lighting modes and EQ curves, but can also get manual control of RGB lighting and sound effects. That’s right, LG XBoom app allows users to play DJ with sound effects including record scratch, phaser sweep, electric guitar, echo, etc. It’s a fun feature, if a little whimsical.
In terms of inputs, the LG XBoom 360 supports Bluetooth, 3.5mm auxiliary input and a USB-A port for connecting to a USB flash drive. Note that the USB flash drive function only supports MP3 and WMA formats.
Battery life is mediocre at around 10 hours of playback, with the lights off. With the lights on, be prepared to lose a few hours. We expected more longevity from the XBoom 360, seeing how many portable speakers now last over 20 hours for true all-day playback.
The short battery life wouldn’t have bothered us so much if the speaker supported fast charging, but unfortunately it takes a full 5 hours to charge the speaker to death. That’s an excruciatingly long time, especially if you forget to bring the power cord or don’t have an outlet nearby.
It’s noticeably absent from the LG XBoom 360 of any sort of smart assistant integration. While the speaker would look great in a living room or bedroom, it just doesn’t fit well in the modern smart home, making it a one-trick pony as an outdoor party speaker. air. We would like to see LG integrate AirPlay, Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa in the next iteration.
The sound quality of the LG XBoom 360 is excellent, but with one caveat that we’ll get to shortly. The speaker offers plenty of volume and a neutral to slightly warm tonal balance. Instruments feature a natural timbre and it’s refreshing to see a party speaker that doesn’t overdo it on the bass.
The speaker plays extremely loud which is great for large outdoor spaces. There’s even an outdoor EQ you can toggle in the settings to compensate for the bass drop outdoors. And loud is how you’ll want to play the XBoom 360 as the speaker sounds anemic at lower volumes. Below 30% volume, the speaker falls flat on its face as there is a heavy bass drop. Other speaker makers have built-in equalization that helps with low-volume playback, and we’d like LG to implement that too in the future.
Should you buy the LG XBoom 360?
Buy it if…
Volume is your first priority
You want a party speaker that plays loud and doesn’t sound like a throwback to the 90s-era boomboxes. The XBoom 360 features a sophisticated design and balanced sound that’s perfect for listening to music outside . Do not get it wet, as it has no water resistance rating.
You like how it looks
The LG XBoom 360 is one of the more mature and understated models we’ve seen for a party speaker. While many other companies are looking into the aesthetics of the sound system and boom box, it’s nice to see LG come up with a speaker that looks great in the home.
Don’t buy it if…
You want a truly portable experience.
The large footprint and heavy weight of the XBoom 360 means it’s technically portable, but cumbersome to use. If you want a speaker that can fit in a bag and play loud, check out the JBL Pulse 4, which also has great sound and a fun light show. Don’t expect it to play as loud as the XBoom 360.
You want a speaker that can fit into your home hi-fi system.
The LG XBoom 360 is first and foremost an outdoor speaker. While LG’s marketing says it’s a speaker you’ll love using at home, its lack of a smart assistant or multi-room support means it’s still a great Bluetooth speaker that only talks to any of your other home audio products.