XBOOM AI ThinQ WK7Y is LG’s first smart speaker, created in collaboration with Yandex (software) and Meridian (acoustics). For the foreign market, this model comes out on the basis of Google Assistant, and in our country — with Alice. Let’s see how it all looks and works.
Fits into any interior
The model is made in a restrained style: the speaker is hidden under a black aluminum mesh, and the rest of the case is made of matte plastic, for which special thanks to the manufacturer — the speaker looks elegant and does not collect fingerprints. This also applies to the control panel, which occupies the top platform of the device.
Touch buttons are responsible for adjusting the volume, turning on / off tracks and activating the voice assistant. The central key «F», which serves to switch between Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, has a backlight — it turns on when Alice is listening. You can only change the connection type manually — there is no voice command for this.
At the bottom, LG XBOOM has a rubberized stand, thanks to which the device stands firmly on any surface (I immediately recall the Elari speaker, which jumped on the table at maximum volume). Also hidden at the bottom is a DC connector for charging and a reset button.
The wire can be passed through the cable channel and almost imperceptibly connect the column to the network. Unfortunately, it does not work without an outlet — however, like Yandex.Station or Google Home.
The column is connected in the same way as other devices with Alice — download the Yandex application, go to your account and open the «Devices» section, in which we find the LG XBOOM model.
Next, you need to make sure that the indicator on the column blinks blue. If not, press the button with the microphone, which is hidden in the upper part of the case, and hold it for five seconds. After that, you need to connect the speaker to the Wi-Fi network, following the instructions on your smartphone.
Hooray, everything is ready!
After connecting, Alice will offer to turn off the music, set a timer, or — if this is your first time using a voice assistant — she will tell you what she can do. Just ask the assistant about what you are interested in. We talked more about Alice’s functions in the Yandex.Telephone review. Also, all voice assistant commands are listed on its official page.
In short, Alice will be able to play words and some other games with you, tell a joke, read a fairy tale to a child, set alarms and reminders, help you find something on the Internet, report weather, traffic jams and transport schedules. But basically, of course, you will use the speaker to play music.
Alice, as a true daughter of Yandex, can only launch songs from Yandex.Music. If you don’t have a subscription to the service, don’t worry — along with the LG column, you will receive three months of Yandex.Plus as a gift. And this is access to 40 million tracks, and a discount on a taxi, and an increased capacity of Yandex.Disk, as well as a few more useful features.
With the command «Alice, turn on my playlist», the column launches a list of favorite songs. If you wish, you can turn on specific tracks, radios, and playlists according to your mood — everything that is on Yandex.Music. It’s funny that when you start some songs, Alice warns that they are «not for children’s ears» — until recently, the assistant did not know how.
Sound of LG and Meridian
Despite the fact that the power of Yandex.Station is almost twice as much (50 W instead of 30 W), the speaker from LG sounds better — largely due to the manufacturer’s cooperation with the British company Meridian, which is famous for its speaker systems for cars and Hi-Fi transmission technologies sound.
The device has two speakers: 89 mm woofer and 20 mm tweeter. The total power is 30 watts. The speaker has two built-in sound presets: Clear Vocal is used for clear transmission of the performer’s voice even at high volumes, Enhanced Bass — to enhance and deep bass sound. Both modes work by default — that is, they cannot be turned on or off.
We listened to various music on the LG XBOOM WK7Y, and were generally satisfied. In dance tracks (like Alvaro Soler and Lady Gaga), the bass sometimes comes to the fore and drowns out the mids. At this moment, you realize why the column is called XBOOM — there is too much bass, as they say. Especially if you are not used to hearing powerful low frequencies in your favorite songs. When playing via Bluetooth, the sound can be adjusted in the equalizer on a smartphone, and when connected via Wi-Fi, there will be only one way out — to get used to the bass (it turned out to be not very difficult).
When it comes to rock and electronic music — in genres where there is not much bass — everything sounds clear even at high volumes. In the legendary Highway To Hell, the drum part does not interrupt the vocal track, the sound is balanced and clear, and the bass accents do not depress at all.
When choosing a place for the speaker, you should be careful: the sound will be directed in the direction where the LG logo is looking. It is best to place the speaker against the wall — this way the music will spread as evenly as possible.
Oddly enough, but Alice responded to our phrases almost always. The speaker has quite powerful microphones that pick up commands even when loud music is playing. Sometimes, however, the assistant confused songs — if there are several tracks with the same name in the audio library, she will simply launch the first one from the list.
Should I buy an LG XBOOM smart speaker?
LG XBOOM AI ThinQ WK7Y is undoubtedly an interesting device. This smart speaker not only supports the voice assistant Alice, but is also compatible with all Yandex smart gadgets and will fit well into the smart home system.
However, we would advise you to buy it not for the sake of smart features, but because of the good sound. So far, all speakers with Alice have been inferior to Yandex.Station in sound quality, but Meridian acoustics have done their job: the LG model is the first smart device that plays cool and is like avid audiophiles and bass lovers.
The model costs 9990 rubles, upon purchase you will receive a 3-month subscription to Yandex.Plus as a gift.
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