The XBoom 360 from LG throws conventional logic to the wind. It’s a huge, powerful speaker with an elegant lantern-like form that also blends in as a decorative item in a home thanks to an integrated LED light and a dedicated app that lets you do much more than play music.
LG XBOOM 360
“The XBoom 360 keeps the party going with a slick mix of loud sound, lights, and DJ effects.”
- Nice, smart design
- It gets loud in both indoor and outdoor settings
- Includes USB and aux-in ports
- Excellent app support
- The LED lamp adds a nice ambiance
- No water resistance
- Battery life could be better
- It doesn’t always feel portable
What’s in the box
Despite its size, it’s mostly empty. Aside from the speaker, you’ll find only the power cable a simple user guide, and that’s about it. There are no additional cables available for the XBoom 360 from LG.
Burgundy is one of those colors that looks good in many settings. It’s the same color as the peacock and charcoal green versions. The sound was what it wanted, and I’ll explain why. However, the speaker has a distinctive profile. The conical shape gives it a good height of 20 inches and a weight of just under 13 pounds.
It is quite tall, but you can place it in many places.
It is quite tall, but you can place it in different places than traditional boomboxes. Its slimmer base and height could make it easier to tip over if it bumps into something.
LG covered the XBoom 360 in burgundy fabric, giving it a sophisticated look. However, this speaker is not one you would want to plant near a swimming pool. Although LG considers this device portable, it cannot transport easily. It has a handle at its top that helps a lot. The bag’s higher center of gravity makes it feel heavier than a shopping bag. But again, it is up to you where you will use it. Don’t forget the beach. It will get all over the fabric, and sand will be everywhere. Although pools should be safe from water, the speaker does not have an IP rating. This is the speaker that you use at home.
This is not necessarily a negative thing. It’s easy to find beach-friendly speakers, while big speakers that don’t stand out in a home’s space can be difficult. The XBoom’s 360 degrees sound makes it ideal for outdoor use. LG offers an “outdoor EQ” mode that allows you to adjust the volume just enough to be comfortable indoors.
The speaker is housed in an inverted cone-shaped baffle, specifically designed to efficiently play sound in an omnidirectional manner. The speaker should say the same regardless of where you are sitting or standing.
The exposed woofer is facing the LED lamp in the concave. This adds visual interest to the XBoom 360. The light is more mood lighting than a way to brighten up a room. However, it has both party and relaxing modes that you can use to create ambiance. The app can customize the lighting modes by adjusting the button.
Presets can’t be saved or created by you. You will need to tweak the only custom preset to make it sound better.
The ports were placed at the bottom by LG, with single USB-A and aux-in ports. You can use the USB port as playback and a 5-watt charger for other devices. LG did not do the same with the aux line-in, Jack. This means that if you plan on using the USB port as a playback port and a 5-watt charger for other devices, it will not allow you to plug in a microphone or be an emcee. It takes some time to get the power cord out of the bottom.
Configuration and setup
Pairing the XBoom 360 was simple. I downloaded the app after pairing the speaker with an iPhone and Android device. It recognized the speaker immediately. The app is more than just a controller. You can see the main buttons at the top of your speaker. Some of them even have Braille for the visually impaired.
You can adjust the EQ to your liking with seven presets. It is not possible to save and create your own presets. You will need to go back to modify the only custom preset to make it sound better. You can choose one of seven presets. This is distinct from the OutdoorEQ I mentioned earlier. It amplifies things to make them louder outside.
LG claims that the XBoom 360 will play less distortion if you disable any equalizers you might use on a music application. Although I didn’t notice a difference, it might be worth trying.
You can interact with music in fun and creative ways using the DJ features. The track plays with the club, drum, and other effects. You can choose from various options to get started, so there’s no need to go back. You can record five seconds of any sound or imitation you like and then send it to the DJ Mode. You can then play it over any song you like. If you ever wanted to be a rapper, this one might be for you or say something over your favorite music.
If you want to make the XBoom 360 louder, it supports adding a second speaker. Stereo pairing is not available for left and right channels. Instead, the master unit will mirror the audio, making the XBoom 360 ideal for large parties.
LG wants the Xboom 360 to be loud, but not at the expense of other audio formats. After I tried out a range of tracks from different genres, this became apparent to me. You will hear the bass well enough with the woofer handling the bulk of the work. If you choose Bass Boost in your EQ section, you’ll notice it at lower volumes.
The speaker could handle any music I put on it, whether it was old-school Creedence Clearwater Revival music or current The Weeknd songs. The speaker also performed well at higher volumes. Distortion only started to occur at volumes too high for indoor listening.
The mids are where the instruments shine with distinction.
The mids are where instruments shine with distinction. Sometimes big speakers drown out the mids to amplify the highs and lows to become louder. LG manages to be somewhere in the middle, so you can still hear enough detail in complex tracks to appreciate them for what they are. Of course, we are not talking about audiophile sound quality. Those who demand high-res sound will not be impressed. The XBoom 360 supports only the AAC and SBC Bluetooth codecs. You can only play tracks via USB. It was a bit confusing and difficult to control. Aux-in is much easier as you can control everything directly from your connected device.
Because of the spatial sound it makes, I was hesitant about parking it in a corner. It was a test to see if it would make a concave or fuller sound bouncing off walls. But it wasn’t there. It sounded more omnidirectional than originally intended when the speaker placed it further away from the wall. You could cover an apartment or condo with it. Outside noises won’t drown out the sound. It wouldn’t be appropriate to use at a wedding banquet hall. A stereo pairing might work better for such events.
The inconsistencies in Bluetooth connectivity were what I found most bizarre. My Pixel 6 Pro could not connect to my speaker for reasons that I could not figure out. I had to reconnect them several times manually. Similar issues did not occur with the iPhone 13 PRO or Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra. I experienced cutouts and hiccups on those phones, but they were caused by distance or obstructions like being in a different room. The Pixel 6 Pro was able to drop the connection even though it was only two feet away.
You can choose from presets based on the effect you desire in the Mood Lighting section. To select the color you wish to see, tap on My Pick. The model that you choose will determine the lamp’s dynamism. The Ambient mode keeps the lamp static while Nature gives off a slower pulse and party pops with more energy. The XBoom 360 can’t automatically switch between modes based on music, so you have to choose the way yourself.
The XBoom 360 is not an LED lamp. This is partly because the light can only flow laterally depending on where it is located. It does not face forward like party boxes. The light doesn’t bounce off walls or ceilings in unison. This could be a problem if you’re looking for something more general. However, I understand the intent of LG here.
The XBoom 360 is a great speaker playing music and ambient emitting light. It has a subtlety that I can appreciate. However, not everyone will agree with me. Even the party lights are useful for what they are. Although I could not get the same depth and effects as a Philips Hue, Nanoleaf, or Nanoleaf system, I can tell you that the speaker looks more like a decorative piece than a tech gadget to be used.
LG claims that the XBoom 360 will last for 10 hours on a single charge. This is assuming you don’t use it at louder volumes. The truth is that you probably would. However, depending on how loud the book gets, the actual number could be 6-8 hours. If the LED lamp is always on, it can drain your battery. It is possible to save battery by using the aux-in port for audio and leaving Bluetooth off.
You can see how much battery is left in the app, but it doesn’t give you context about how much you could save by turning the light off or lowering the volume. You can always plug it into an outlet to keep your device charged. It may be a smart idea considering it can take up to five hours for the speaker to charge from an empty battery. This guy doesn’t need a fast setting.
The XBoom 360 was launched by LG for $400. Now it’s easier to find at $300. It’s a good price for the quality you get. As long as you have a place to store it and you feel that you can take it with you outdoors or to other areas of your home, it’s a great deal. Suppose you host parties or entertain at home.
Is there another alternative?
If you are looking for a DJ-style experience, there is one. The JBL Partybox110 is about the same price and can do almost everything louder, including the lights. JBL offers a variety of speakers at different prices. This will give you some ideas on what size speaker you want. If you are looking for a DJ-ready speaker, the Soundboks (Gen. 3) is a great choice. However, it can cost upwards of $1,000. Anker Soundcore Trance may not be as expensive as a JBL Partybox, but it does have a handle, a light show, and up to 18 hours of battery life.
Monster’s Blaster 3.0 is a similar boombox to the Blaster 1. However, you cannot do much with the current audio profile. Sony offers its SRSXG500 boombox at $450. It’s stronger due to IP66 dust and water resistance.
How long does it last?
You’ll likely see it playing for many years if you keep it out of water and sand. It might also be dangerous to play it loudly for too many hours, which is hard to predict. LG designed it with components that can handle a wide volume range, so it should be fine. The standard warranty is one year to cover any malfunctions, but not physical damage.
Should it be bought?
As long as the speaker fits your needs, yes. This refers to a larger speaker that requires more space and can be used indoors or outdoors. Learning the app is key to making the XBoom 360 great. It could be a big help when entertaining a crowd at your home or another’s place.