Bluetooth speakers are quite popular now, and most are now equipped with NFC functionality for easy pairing. The LG NP3530 review covers this portable speaker. Which is one device designed for wireless, on-the-go listening. Thanks to a built-in battery, it delivers up to 10 hours of battery life, so that you are able to spend time with your loved ones while music plays in the background.
More and more manufacturers are coming up their own iteration of And why not? Bluetooth is the go-to option for anyone looking for a wireless speaker, especially since it is cross platform friendly (Apple, Android, Windows, etc). You can also pair it with computers as well. With increasing reliance on mobile devices, phones and tablets, it isn’t practical for a wired up option to such devices and Bluetooth speakers work as a great alternative.
That said, the quality of Bluetooth speakers isn’t always predictable. Lifehacker recently reviewed 5 bluetooth speakers, and Jawbone Jambox Bluetooth speaker stood out – not exactly cheap, at around $160-$200, but impressed with the overall sound quality. Audio Fidelity for audio fanatics might be an issue. Despite advances, and definitely, over the last couple of year, bluetooth speakers have improved a fair bit, but generally, bluetooth sound quality still isn’t up to wired standards, so there is a trade off of fidelity for the convenience.
Back to the LG NP 3530. Here are the specifications:
Speakers: 2 Channel, 3W Each
Connectivity: 3.5mm Audio In – Portable In, NFC, Bluetooth, Smart Phone Remote Control Support
Sound Boost: Bass Blast
Battery: Li-Ion Rechargeable, Up to 10 Hr of Playback
Hands Free Speakerphone
Dimensions: 7.6 x 2.5 x 2.6″ / 19.30 x 6.35 x 6.60 cm (WxHxD)
Weight: 1.1 lb / .50 kg
I tried pairing it up via NFC with my Galaxy S3, (no chance to test it with the LG G2), and it requested me to download an app, LG BTC 3, which is the bluetooth remote of sorts. I see where LG is going in terms of keeping it within the eco-system, but it is quite a poor implementation honestly. I would have preferred if they could just use it to turn on bluetooth and pair the device directly instead of the need to go through the LG application. My Nokia BH-505 device about 2 years ago came with functionality already! Once paired, you can connect back to the device by turning on Bluetooth and playing to the app directly. It need not be through the LG application. Pairing via bluetooth is simple enough, and it worked seamlessly on an iPhone as well.
I tested it together with my wife and we could easily take turns to stream music to it. Both devices can’t be paired at the same time though, so you can’t override the music selection. I charged it once, and the speaker lasted over the period of 4 days, with music playback on average about a couple hours per day, quite close to the rated 10 hour battery life.
On to the most important bit, Sound Quality.
With just 3W drivers, I wasn’t expecting much. I was pleasantly surprised that it’s volume range was pretty good, and there wasn’t distortion at high volumes. Sound quality was ok for easy listening, as I blasted it with the Infernal Music soundtrack “The Forgotten Times”. An appropriate track for music review. Clarity may not be the strong point of the LG NP 3530, with midtones a little muddled, but definitely much better than any phone speaker currently. Bass however stood out for me. Could be the Passive Radiator design highlighted below, which give the low tones sufficient oomph.
The LG NP3530 is a decent set of speakers. But, at $199, it is not cheap. For the price, I can easily plonk it down for a pretty decent HiFi. You are actually paying for the convenience of the portability and wireless connectivity options. I can see myself using the NP3530 in the study, so that I can pair with my laptop via bluetooth or 3.5mm audio cable, and then also easily switch it to my mobile devices when I want to stream certain tunes or music to it. But that’s for me. Overall, the trend is definitely moving towards wireless speaker sets, and there are many competing products out there. Let your ears be the judge.