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LG Music Flow speakers taking the multi-room fight to Sonos this summer review

LG Music Flow speakers
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LG's Music Flow multi-room speaker system looks set to rival Sonos for features and connectivity

LG is preparing to take on the multi-room might of Sonos with the Music Flow, a set of speakers that will let you stream wireless audio to anywhere in the house. We got a first look and listen to the flagship NP8740 during an LG event earlier today, ahead of an expected Summer launch.

LG Music Flow speakers

Originally announced at CES in January, the NP8740 is a 70w speaker with built-in Bluetooth and NFC pairing for playback from a smartphone or tablet. Buy more than one, or get a smaller 40w speaker or bridge system due to arrive alongside the NP8740, however, and you can turn it into a multi-room system for streaming your music into every room in your house.

Part of the appeal of Sonos speakers is the proprietary wireless mesh network which ensures every speaker can stream music throughout the house as long as the speaker placed furthest away can communicate with at least one other device. LG appears to be taking a similar approach with its own mesh network, rather than rely on regular 802.11 Wi-Fi That means Music Flow will be able to stream high quality audio with no danger of dropouts or lost connections. You won’t need to add wireless repeaters to your house just to provide a better connection for your speakers, either.

LG seems to have been listening to Sonos customer complaints, and has ensured that you won’t need to connect an Ethernet cable for a single speaker setup – you’ll be able to use wireless instead. Music Flow also appears to be avoiding some of the pitfalls of other multi-room setups like Pure’s Jongo: the accompanying smartphone app, which unfortunately wasn’t ready for us to take a look at, will reportedly be able to stream one-to-many and many-to-many. That means you’ll be able to send one track to every Music Flow speaker in the house, or send a different track to each speaker from a single device.

LG Music Flow speakers

With only one speaker on show, we weren’t able to test its multi-room abilities, but can vouch for its volume and clarity; Pharell Williams and Bruno Mars sounded clear and precise, with a vibrant mid-range and reasonably powerful bass. Naturally we can’t judge audio quality fully until we get one into the lab for a full test, but we walked away impressed.

An LG representative also told us that the company was planning to expand Music Flow compatibility into its other products later this year, including TV sound bars. This would compete directly with the Sonos Play:Bar, and mean you wouldn’t need to buy a dedicated speaker for the front room if your TV system already supports Music Flow.

With a release date pencilled for August, we weren’t able to narrow down an exact price, but were told LG is aiming to be “competitive with what’s already in the market” – meaning slightly cheaper than a Sonos Play:5. We hope to take a more detailed look a little closer to launch.

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