Smart speakers are gradually gaining popularity in the Indian market. Contrary to traditional wireless speakers, a smart speaker is always connected to the internet and can respond to your voice commands to seamlessly work as a personal assistant. Smart speakers can answer questions play music, set alarms, sing a song and even control smart appliances at homes through voice commands.
Amazon was the first to introduce its Alexa powered smart speaker range in India. Google joined the race by launching its Google Home and Google Home Mini smart speakers in April 2018.
The most recent entrant to launch a smart speaker in India is LG. The technology leader sent us the company's recently launched- LG XBOOM W7 AI ThinQ smart speaker which is much more than just a regular sounding intelligent speaker like Google Home and Amazon Alexa. LG XBOOM W7 combines the intelligence of Google Assistant and Hi-Res. Audio to deliver a premium smart audio experience. We tested the speaker for over a week and here's what we have to say about this unique smart speaker.
Clean and uncluttered design
Unlike Google Home/ Mini and Amazon Alexa smart speakers which are rather compact in shape size, LG XBOOM W7 comes in large cylindrical body with a bigger footprint. The speaker measures 211mm x 135mm in dimensions and has a net unit weight of 1.9kgs. The big size allowed LG to deliver to a total power output of 30W RMS. The XBOOM W7 also supports high-resolution audio at 24bit/96kHz to provide amazing fidelity.
As far as look and feel is concerned, the speaker has a clean and uncluttered design. The cylindrical speaker has been given a metallic Black color with a solid grille wrapping to maintain a stable audio signature. Sadly, there's no Aux-in port but that should not bother you much considering the fact that it is a wireless speaker and is also Bluetooth enabled.
Easy-to-use Touch controls
LG has added easy-to-use touch controls on the XBOOM W7, which I doubt you will use as everything can be controlled via voice commands. The speaker features touch-sensitive controls at the top panel, which includes volume up/down, playback and a function (F) key that allows you to toggle between Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connections. The charging port and the reset key are placed at the bottom of the speaker. Besides, there's a Mic button to mute/unmute the microphones.
Lossless Stereo audio delivery
LG XBOOM W7 AI ThinQ is the only speaker in the Indian market at present that can stream High-resolution audio. LG claimed that the speaker is capable to produce stereo quality audio at up to 96kHz/24-bit quality. During our testing, we noticed that the speaker does not get very loud but the quality of the audio is really good. You can hear every beat, crystal clear vocals, and good bass. Backed by a Class-D amplifier, the bass levels are not best-in-class for an audio product priced at Rs. 18k; however, for a smart speaker, LG XBOOM W7 produces impressive bass that will please audiophiles.
LG has partnered with British audio company Meridian to improve the audio delivery. The speaker is tuned quite well and the audio does not distort even at high volume levels. Moreover, you can also customize the sound delivery as per your liking by installing the LG Wi-Fi speaker application.
Overall, it is the only smart speaker in the market that can produce some really soothing high-res. audio. As far as audio formats are concerned, the speaker supports FLAC (up to 96kHz), ALAC and WAV audio formats.
How smart is LG XBOOM W7 AI ThinQ?
We must not forget that LG XBOOM W7 is basically a premium smart speaker. Backed by Google Assistant, the speaker can perform a number of tasks. You can give voice commands to set reminders, set alarms, play/pause audio, control volume levels, and ask directions, weather information and a lot more. You can even control smart lights, smart door cameras and other smart devices that support Google ecosystem. The voice commands worked pretty well as the microphones were able to understand my voice even when audio was being streamed at high volume levels.
Besides, the smart speaker is Chromecast Compatible. What this means is that W7 can stream audio on other Chromecast compatible devices from apps such as Saavn, Gaana and Google Play Music. If you happen to have a Chromecast enabled smart TV, you can just give XBOOM W7 commands to stream a video wirelessly on YouTube and Netflix.
LG XBOOM W7 AI ThinQ is company's first smart speaker that clearly stands out for its premium audio quality. If you care about audio delivery and also want smart features, this is the only smart speaker out there in the Indian market with such combination. With the convenience of built-in Google Assistant, you can perform all sorts of smart functions and can stream high-resolution audio via voice commands. If you are tight on budget, you can consider Google Home, Google Home Mini, and Amazon Alexa powered smart speakers.