While the speakers on our best waterproof speaker list often impress us with their booming audio, it’s always easier to make a speaker sound better if engineers have more room to play around with. The largest of these speakers – the ones that weigh several pounds and play loudly and all day – are called party speakers, and they're perfect for both poolside get-togethers and indoor house parties.
While some of these speakers are less party-friendly than others, the LG PK7 impressed us with us build quality, loudness, balanced sound, and all-day battery life, all for $250 (£200, AU$350).
If you're committed to buying a big Bluetooth speaker that’ll be great for parties – but not days at the beach – then the LG PK7 should be at the top of your list.
The LG PK7 is a big speaker, coming in at 12.6″ x 6.6″ x 6.0″ (320 x 167.64 x 152.4 mm) and 6.3 lbs (2.86 kg). Thankfully, however, the speaker comes with a handy handle (pun intended) that makes it easy to pick up and carry.
The front of the speaker features the grille which offers a glimpse of its dual tweeters and woofers. There’s also dual passive radiators in the chassis to help with bass depth and impact. On top of the speaker you’ll find all of the controls for power, pairing, volume, playback, voice assistant/lighting effects and buttons for enhancing vocals and bass.
Around back you’ll find a splash-proof door that hides the speaker’s proprietary charging port, aux in, reset, and a button to pair the PK7 to another PK7 for stereo playback. It’s a bit odd LG omitted a USB-A port, which would have been helpful for charging your phone while playing music but it's a mistake we can forgive.
Fire up the speaker and you’ll be treated to a random light show. If you’re an Android user, you’ll be able to download an app at lets you configure the lights and equalization to your liking … but iPhone users are out of luck for now.
The lights themselves highlight the woofers and accent the top and bottom of the speaker, giving the speaker a fun party vibe to match the audio quality.
Speaking of, the sound quality of the LG PK7 is good, especially compared to other party speakers in this segment. While we found the Sony SRS-XB40 a bloated mess of bass, the PK7 was refreshingly balanced. There’s support for aptX HD, which certainly helps in the sound department. Bass is emphasized in the mid-bass region and vocals are well pronounced if you have the “Clear Vocal” setting enabled.
Speaking of the equalization options, the Clear Vocal and Enhanced Bass settings help make the speaker project sound further out and gives a nice bump to the mids and bass. After listening to the speaker with these EQ settings turned off and on, it’s obvious that LG designed the speaker to be played with both the vocal and bass boost turned on as the speaker sounds much wider and more extended with them on.
While there's a lot to like, the PK7 isn't perfect: For example, we wished it provided just a bit more impact in the low end. Bass extends deep but lacks the visceral impact we’d like to hear from some songs. The speaker provided highs with sparkle and detail, but bordered on harsh at high volume.
Battery life is rated at 22 hours and you’ll achieve that number if you play at medium volume with the lights disabled. The light show, while entertaining for a few minutes, turns into a gimmick as the music barely syncs with it. Charging up the battery from flat will take nearly four hours so it’s best to leave it charging overnight.
If you want a big speaker that plays loudly, can survive rain and splashes, and lasts all day, the LG PK7 should be at the top of your list. This speaker provides deep bass, extended highs, and clear vocals. While we wish the speaker gave just a bit more bass impact, it’s far from a deal-breaker.
For the money, the $250 (£200, AU$350) LG PK7 is a great value. The JBL Pulse 3 is more compact and cheaper at $200 but doesn’t get nearly as loud or sound as good. If you want a compact speaker you can take anywhere, features a light show, and doesn’t break the bank, check out the Anker Soundcore Flare, available for just $60 (£70, about AU$123) elsewhere.
- Not ready to roll out with the PK7? Here are the best Bluetooth speakers of 2018