LG XBOOM GO PL2 Review: Small Sized Speaker For Small Parties
LG XBOOM GO PL2 tuned by Meridian, the leader in high-resolution audio for balanced bass and clear vocals for uncompromising performance.
By Bryan Keegan I Jan 15, 2021
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Our Score: 7.2
+ Well-made and portable
+ Multiple color options
+ IPX5 water resistant
+ Easy to setup and use
+ Meridian tuned sound
+ Sound Boost mode
+ Connect 2 speakers
+ Design improvement over PK3
- No EQ adjustments
- Drivers can distort on deep bass
- Audio lacks details
- No waterproof or dustproof
- Weak microphone sensitivity
- No integrated voice assistant
- Treble could be better
- No aptX/aptX-HD
Due to Covid-19, there haven't been many portable Bluetooth speakers launched in the past 12 months, with most brands leaning toward truly wireless in-ear headphones and leading to one massive choke point in the market.
This makes the speaker scene nice and open for LG, which is ahead of many competitors due to its close collaboration with the strong British Meridian Audio, who have an extraordinary track record in the release of high-fidelity speakers.
With the LG XBOOM GO PL2, LG has found a way to stand out in the crowded area of portable Bluetooth speakers. The PL2 holds its own against the best Bluetooth speakers in the same price range in terms of sound quality and battery life, while offering a unique and attractive design.
Model: XBOOM GO PL2
Release date: April 2020
Regular price: $49 USD
What’s included in the box?
USB Type-C cable
User manual - Click to open
Who should get the LG XBOOM Go PL2?
People who are going to be outdoors. Whether you like hiking, camping or just going to the beach, LG's XBOOM speakers have always been a great companion and that doesn't change with the XBOOM GO PL2.
If you're a student. From bedroom parties to apartment parties, there's likely to be a time and place that needs music. The LG PL2 hardly takes up space in a bag and can even be taken with you without any problems.
People who travel often. LG XBOOM PL2 is portable, small and light enough to be transported easily and offers 10 hours of battery life so it can run almost for a full day without being plugged in.
How’s the build and design of LG XBOOM Go PL2?
The LG XBOOM Go PL2 is the smallest and least expensive offering in LG's latest speaker trio including larger PL7 and PL5 models. All three models share the same design language and all have Meridian-tuned audio.
The rounded design of LG XBOOM Go PL2 is quite attractive and its rubber finish is very pleasant to the touch. The good thing is that this matte grey finish doesn't attract fingerprints.
At the front, there are holes for the sound output and the back has the LG XBOOM brand embossed, as well as holes to put a string to make the device more portable. The bottom of the speaker has a small flat base with four tiny rubber feet to dampen vibrations.
It is very well built, compact and sounds good for its size. There is no creaking, no matter how hard you twist or squeeze it. The LG XBOOM PL2 could be the perfect travel speaker due to its lightweight design and compact form factor.
Sour Lemon (Yellow)
Ice Mint (Blue)
Bubble Gum (Pink)
Product height: 82 mm
Product width: 126 mm
Product depth: 80 mm
Product weight: 350 g
Unlike the high-end PL5 and PL7 models, the XBOOM GO PL2 does not have dual passive radiators (single radiator on the left side) on both sides, as well as multicolor LED lighting that are the main draw on both speakers.
The LG XBOOM PL2 is also not shipped with a lanyard included in the package like competitors, especially the JBL Flip 5 or Sony SRS SB-12 speakers.
Will water splashes ruin the LG XBOOM Go PL2?
The LG XBOOM PL2 has IPX5 splash proof rating, which means it can withstand being sprayed with water but should not be submerged. We ran it under a faucet for a few seconds and the speaker kept working as it should.
This speaker is good enough to take it to the beach, to a pool party or outdoor adventures. On the plus side, the solid plastic structure gives the speaker a more durable feel, it really survived a few drops without even a scratch during our tests.
Water resistant: Yes
IP rating: IPX5
Drop proof: NA
Manufacturer's warranty – Speaker: 1 year limited
Manufacturer's warranty – Labor: 1 year limited
You should be careful when using the speaker at pool or beach parties. To ensure the safety of the speaker, the rubber flap must be completely closed to maintain IPX5 water resistance rating.
If you are looking for a fully waterproof speaker, UE Wonderboom 2 is a better choice. Thanks to its IPX67 protection, you should not worry about water splashes. In addition, the speaker can be easily submerged in 1 meter of water for up to 30 minutes in case it accidentally falls into the pool.
How to connect the LG XBOOM Go PL2 speaker?
Pairing with the XBOOM Go PL2 portable Bluetooth speaker is pretty easy. First, you need to turn on the speaker by holding down the power button at the top. The Bluetooth LED flashes. Follow the pairing instructions on your smartphone to discover the PL2 speaker.
For the best quality, you can always use a 3.5mm aux cable to connect to the audio source. However, the cable is not part of the accessory and must be purchased separately.
Wireless connectivity: Bluetooth
Pair speakers for stereo sound: Up to 2 speakers
Hands-free function: Yes
Wireless multi-room audio: No
Input & output terminals: Aux-IN
Power input: USB Type-C
There is no NFC feature that allows one-tap pairing with your NFC-enabled smartphone or player. Therefore, you would need to turn on the Bluetooth on your device and pair the LG XBOOM Bluetooth speaker manually.
The PL2 is based on version 5.0 of the Bluetooth standard and the range is quite similar to that of other speakers in the same price range. It can remain connected to more than 25 feet indoors from the audio source.
Bluetooth version: 5.0
No. of devices to be paired: 7
No. of devices can connect simultaneously: 2
Bluetooth transmitter power: up to +20 dBm
Bluetooth transmitter frequency range: 2.4 GHz
Bluetooth range: Up to 8 m
Compatible profiles: A2DP, HFP, AVRCP
In our tests we found that the latency on Android (compared to iPhone) is quite low. This is good if you want to stream online games from your phone. That said, apps and devices compensate differently for audio latency, so your real-world experience may vary.
What can the controls on LG XBOOM Go PL2 do?
At the top it has buttons for volume control, power on/off, Bluetooth pairing with LED, Sound Boost (which makes the vocals louder) and a light for play/pause music. A double press skips a track forward and a triple press jumps backwards. The button also responds and ends phone calls.
On the right side, there is a lid that needs to be opened to reveal the USB Type-C charging port, a 3.5mm audio input port, a reset button, and the Dual Mode button for pairing two PL2 speakers.
Interface: Physical buttons
Controls: Power, Bluetooth, Volume, Play/Pause and Sound boost
Voice assistant: Google Assistant, Siri, Cortana
Unlike many portable Bluetooth speakers in this price range, the PL2 does not include Alexa, Google Assistant or Cortana. Instead, you can access your phone's voice assistant by holding down the Play/Pause button for a few seconds.
The physical controls on the top of the device, which are marked by very dark gray symbols, may only be visible in bright light. In addition, there is no way to distinguish the buttons on their own, except for a small bump on the volume increase button, which makes it difficult to operate this LG XBOOM Bluetooth speaker for people with visual impairments.
What are the options available in LG XBOOM app?
The free XBoom app, available for Android, offers some ways to control the speaker, including updating speaker firmware, checking battery level, setting up dual mode pairing, or turning Sound Boost on and off. The app even serves double-duty as a music player for tunes stored on your mobile device.
Pair two devices at the same time via the XBOOM App. Use any of the connected devices to seamlessly control a playlist with no interruption to music. – LG
App name: LG XBOOM
Customizable EQ: No
The app doesn't have all the frills you get from the UE Boom app. For example, there is no equalizer and only one sound mode, Sound Boost.
The strangest thing is that the app for XBOOM GO PL2 is only available on Android devices. Other LG models, such as PL7 and PL5, usually work on the iOS system.
How long does the LG XBOOM Go PL2 battery last?
According to LG, the speaker is good enough for "approximately" 10 hours, but this "approximation" includes limitations such as playing music at 50% volume and turning off the Meridian Sound Boost. Actual battery life depends on usage and features.
There is an automatic shutdown timer that conserves the battery when the speaker is operating on battery power. The speaker turns off when audio stops and the buttons are not pressed for 15 minutes.
Battery type: Lithium-ion
Battery capacity: 1500 mAh
Battery voltage: 3.7 V
Music playtime: Up to 10 hrs
Auto-power off: Yes
Power consumption: 15 W
Power adapter: 0.5 W
Battery charge time: 4 hrs
USB charge out: No
Some users may have a problem because it takes a long time to fully charge the speaker via USB Type-C cable. Charging from 0% to full takes well over 4 hours and can get annoying if you are in a hurry.
The speaker lacks the LED lights that indicate the remaining battery life. You can only check the remaining battery with your phone. The power LED also flashes when the battery is almost empty.
How does the LG XBOOM Go PL2 sound?
As the name implies, the LG XBOOM GO PL2 features "Meridian Audio Technology" which results in detailed sound that compares well with the best Bluetooth portable speakers in a similar price range like JBL Flip 5 or Sony SRS XB-12. It has a brighter sound than either of those models and nicely balanced bass.
Wirelessly link two LG PL2 to double the sound output. Bigger sound only means one thing: better parties and more fun. – LG
The vocals sound particularly clear and forward in the mix. That's even more true in SOUND BOOST mode, which pushes voices further forward in the mix and gives the speaker quite the kick in terms of overall loudness.
The high frequencies are not the most distinct (in fact, they are rather dull), but there are decent separation levels, making it an excellent speaker for playing podcasts.
Configuration: Stereo Channel
Drivers: 1 x 1.75" / 4.45 cm Woofer
Driver Diameter (metric): 45 mm
RMS power: 5 Watts
Impedance: 4 ohms
Minimum Frequency Response: 20 Hz
Maximum Frequency Response: 20,000 Hz
Maximum sound level: 82 dB
Supported codec: SBC, AAC
Supported codec: Class-D
Switching on SOUND BOOST makes the sound field bigger and more power and energy is passed through the woofers. Don't expect the speaker to suddenly become sound wider when Sound Boost is turned on, but taller and firing its sound out further.
It's useful when watching movies on an iPad, but SOUND BOOST so colors the overall tonal balance of music that I much preferred the sound of the speaker with it off. You will have to experiment according to your tastes.
The loss of aptX-HD from the XBOOM PK3 is noted (LG PL2 supports SBC and AAC codec), but the overall sound quality is still impressive. However, for the best quality, you can always use a 3.5mm AUX cable via the audio-IN port.
After testing them with different music services, I have come to the conclusion that the volume could be louder on this speaker. Personally, I like music louder than most, but it's definitely not a deciding factor.
How is the microphone of the LG XBOOM Go PL2?
The recording quality of the built-in microphone is decent. The recorded speech should sound natural and mostly distortion-free, although it may sound a little thin and muffled.
For phone calls routed through the XBOOM GO PL2, we felt the microphone sensitivity was quite weak and it's hard for a person on the other end to hear you clearly. There is no way to adjust the mic sensitivity independently of playback volume.
Should you buy the LG XBOOM Go PL2?
The LG XBOOM GO PL2 comes in a less bulky form factor than the XBOOM PK3, it looks more elegant and less like a toy. It maintains very good sound quality with sufficient bass, detail and clarity, and the Sound Boost amplifies it more without distorting the sound.
You don't get a built-in voice assistant and it won't overwhelm you with bass. But it's worth considering the LG XBOOM PL2 if you're looking for an attractive and reliable portable Bluetooth speaker and don't need those additional features.
If you're looking for a portable, water-resistant speaker that's easy to pick up and put in a backpack, and that delivers fun sound, the LG PL2 is certainly worth auditioning.
What are some alternatives to LG XBOOM Go PL2?
This little Bluetooth speaker succeeds the Sony SRS-XB10. It is a model that is still so compact and light. If we look at it, we also find that Sony didn't take a big risk because the design of the XB-12 is not significantly different from the XB-10.
The XB12 comes with a 46mm speaker and there are no complaints about the sound quality of the speaker, given its price and support for all the major codecs you might want. The highs and lows are clear, the mids are well balanced thanks to the DSP (Digital Signal Processing), which thins the lows a little to avoid any distortions.
The speaker offers a battery life of 16 hours. This is a good performance for a wireless speaker of this size. It works just as well as the previous generation. Once the battery is fully charged, you can enjoy your music for several hours without interruption.
JBL FLIP 5
JBL FLIP 5 sounds really great for the $119 USD price tag and well worth it if you don't have a Bluetooth speaker yet and are looking for a portable and durable speaker for your next adventure.
Acoustically, the speaker provides a significant punch compared to its size. Nowadays, all new JBL models offer greater bass depth than size and drivers should be able to offer. Then there's a well-designed and feature-rich JBL Connect app that lets you connect two FLIP 5 speakers to create a stereo pair for immersive sound.
The Flip 5 always scores high for its portability. Whether it's hiking, camping or just on the beach, the Flip series has always been a great companion, and this also applies to Flip 5.
LG XBOOM PK3
The LG XBOOM PK3 speaker has a metal grille on the front, behind which dual passive radiators offer bass notes that will leave you more than satisfied. On the left side, the words "with MERIDIAN technology" appear on the mesh, indicating that this model includes advanced Meridian Audio sound technologies.
With the push of a button, Google or Siri voice commands can be activated. You can tell your speaker what to play, search for information on the Internet, or check your weather forecast. You also have the option to answer calls anywhere, so you don't miss a call while listening to music.
The LG PK3 speaker comes equipped with a battery that gives it a range of up to 12 hours. If you want to get true stereo sound, you just have to connect 2 LG portable speakers.