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LG XBOOM XL7S review: Party powerhouse

Our Rating :
£447.99 from
Price when reviewed : £449
inc. VAT

The LG XBOOM XL7S is the most complete party speaker we’ve tested but comes with a hefty price tag


  • Best-in-class lighting effects
  • Loud, bassy sound
  • Fun karaoke and DJ effect features


  • No AUX input
  • Guitar input lacks clarity
  • Quite expensive

The LG XBOOM XL7S is the latest addition to the manufacturer’s XBOOM speaker range and is specifically designed with social festivities in mind. It’s a big speaker capable of producing big sound, and offers a more comprehensive suite of features than many of the options on our best party speakers.

It is, however, more expensive than a lot of these competitors, unless it’s as heavily discounted as it was at the time of writing this review. But, price aside, there’s not much to dislike about the XL7S, so it’s definitely worth considering if you’re after a speaker to pump out beats and light up the dancefloor.

LG XL7S review: What do you get for the money?

The LG XBOOM XL7S is a powerful party speaker complete with LED lighting that cost £600 at launch but was available for £449 at the time of writing.

It offers an impressive 250W of power delivered via a front-firing 8in woofer and two 2.5in tweeters and operates wirelessly over Bluetooth 5.1. Codec support is limited to AAC and SBC but there’s support for Bluetooth multipoint, meaning both you and a party guest can connect to the speaker simultaneously. There are physical inputs too, with a USB-A port located under a flap on the rear of the device that can be used for playing MP3 or WMA files on a memory stick or charging connected devices.

The speaker weighs a hefty 15.5kg, measures 310 x 316 x 700mm (WDH), and is made from black plastic save the metal grille that adorns its facade. This will likely pick up scratches over time but the speaker is otherwise very sturdy and well-constructed. It’s IPX4-rated for water resistance, meaning it’s protected against splashes, but you probably shouldn’t leave it outside overnight if rain is forecast.

On the top of the speaker is a retractable handle that allows you to pull the XL7S around on its chunky wheels as you would a suitcase. Despite its size and weight, it glides fairly easily over different surfaces. The wheels are large enough to roll over bumpy terrain and have enough traction on softer surfaces like grass, too.

There’s also a fixed handle that can be used to pick up and carry the speaker, though given how heavy it is, you’re unlikely to want to do this too often. You can also lay the speaker down flat on rubber feet built into the left-hand side of its cabinet.

Rubberised buttons for power, playback, volume and the Sound Boost EQ mode are found in front of the handle, along with buttons to cycle through lighting options and switch between USB and Bluetooth sources. There are also indicators for battery life and the Party Link feature, which allows you to pair the XL7S with another XL7S for stereo sound or up to 100 other LG speakers if you’re really looking to push the boat out.

Lighting effects are one the LG XL7S’ big draws but it also has karaoke capabilities, which are unlocked when you connect a microphone via one of the two 1/4in inputs. You will need your own mic however, as LG doesn’t supply one in the box. The other 1/4in input is set aside for use with a guitar.

Battery life clocks in at respectable at 20 hours with LED lightIing off, Sound Boost turned on and music playing at 50% volume. This figure takes a big hit with lighting effects engaged, however – I managed about 10 hours with all of the XL7S’ bells and whistles active. Most of those bells and whistles are accessed via the LG XBOOM app, which provides you with various customisation options including the ability to personalise the lighting display, activate DJ effects and tweak the EQ.

LG XL7S review: What do we like about it?

Audio performance is undoubtedly the LG XL7S’ strongest suit – it’s one of the loudest consumer party speakers I’ve come across and sounds great, too.  The default tuning is well balanced but it was the Sound Boost EQ mode that truly convinced me of the speaker’s sonic credentials. In that mode, Arca’s industrial reggaeton track KLK possessed a gratifying low-end oomph at just 50% volume and the lows on sub-heavy tracks like James Blake’s Listen To Your Love were extremely satisfying. Vocals were articulated cleanly too and were never overshadowed by the speaker’s potent bass response.

Should the default or Sound Boost modes not be to your liking, you can tweak the sound using a three-band equaliser found in the LG XBOOM app. This is relatively rudimentary by modern standards, but changes made to the bands always had the desired impact.

Backing up the XL7S’ robust sound are a commendable selection of extra features and functionality, chief among which are customisable lighting effects. The speaker has two lighting displays: a rectangular LED screen that displays 8-bit style animations that react to the tempo of music below, below which you’ll find ring lighting around the large woofer. 

Both can be tweaked to a pleasing degree within the LG XBOOM app. You can create your own custom text patterns for the rectangular display, decide whether the text bounces, flashes or scrolls along the screen, choose what speed and colour it is and even include emojis should you wish. This goes a long way to setting apart the XL7S from other party speakers on the market.

The woofer light, meanwhile, can be personalised by choosing from a number of presets or selecting your own colour preferences and the way the lights move. My favourite movement style was ‘Visual Rhythm’, which sees the LEDs spin alluringly to the beat.

There’s also a small strobe that sits between the tweeters at the top of the speaker and reacts to bass notes with a white flash. It could be a bit bigger, but it’s a welcome inclusion nonetheless and one that’s essential if you’re getting your rave on.

Those who like to stretch their vocal chords will be delighted that the XL7S incorporates a microphone input for karaoke functionality. Again, personalisation is strongly encouraged, with the XBOOM app allowing you to makes changes to your voice’s pitch, add an echo and even make it sound like you’re a robot. All of these effects work well and offer a take on karaoke that most commercial establishments cannot match.

You’ve also got DJ effects to play with, including a turntable for scratching tunes, sliders (flanger, phaser, wah and delay) and pad buttons that produce sounds like hand claps and air horns. Best of all is the ability to record your own samples within the app which you can then assign to a pad. That kind of personalisation can really help take a party to the next level and the XL7S surpasses any other speaker I’ve tested in this regard.

LG XL7S review: What could be improved?

Given the features and functionality described above, it’s surprising that there isn’t a 3.5mm input on the LG XL7S. A reliable, wired connection would be a boon to a speaker such as this, as would the ability to hook up the XL7S to your Wi-Fi network.

One of the connectivity options that is present – the guitar input – isn’t all that impressive either, meaning it should only be used for casual, plug-in and play jam sessions rather than serious performances. I found my guitar sounded rather dirty, as though I was using an overdrive or distortion pedal, and this was particularly evident when playing lower notes. Maximum volume is also quite a bit lower than it is when the speaker is playing music over Bluetooth, and sadly, the app offers no way to adjust the output.

The DJ effect buttons in the accompanying app could also be more responsive. There’s a slight delay between pressing the buttons and the effects being played, so, as a DJ, you don’t get the instant impact you might like. That said, these effects are there for fun rather than use in a serious DJ set, so this isn’t a huge deal.

Those minor grievances aside, there are a couple of other things I’d like to have seen included. Support for a high-resolution Bluetooth codec would have helped put proper distance between the XL7S and its competitors, and is something found on one of the older models in the XBOOM range, the Go PK7. And while the XL7S is primarily designed for partying rather than karaoke, it would have been nice if LG included a basic microphone as part of the package.

Finally, the price of the XL7S will likely prove a sticking point for many. It’s a real investment at its RRP of £600, although it starts to look a much better-value-for-money proposition when available around the £450 mark.

LG XL7S review : Should you buy it?

If you’re in search of a powerful and feature-packed portable party speaker, and are willing to splash a fair chunk of cash, the LG XBOOM XL7S is the most comprehensive and versatile all-in-one option for the money.

Its engaging sound and best-in-class customisable lighting set it above the competition, while mic and guitar inputs and DJ effects further strengthen its claim as the best party speaker around. Furthermore, the sheer breadth of the customisation options available make it feel like LG has really thought about how to engage party guests.

It’s not perfect, and I wouldn’t recommend buying it at full price, but if you can pick the LG XBOOM XL7S for £450, you’ll be getting a fully featured party speaker guaranteed to please revellers no matter their musical persuasion.

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