LG WK7 Smart Speaker review: A simple song
Every product is best understood in context, and the LG WK7 is no different. Let LG tell you the story and the WK7 is a smart-speaker that stands out from the crowd. Bring the backdrop to the fore, and you’ll see it’s just of many options - most of which are pretty decent.
All that’s not the say the WK7 isn’t a good option if you’re looking for a Google powered-smart speaker. Just to say that, these days, there are more options than ever and while the WK7 does hit a lot of the right notes, the overall melody is far from unique or exclusive - even if it is alluring in its fidelity.
Specs - LG WK7 Smart Speaker
Speaker type: 360-degree
Dimensions: 211 mm x 135 mm
Connectivity: Bluetooth, Wi-Fi (Dual Band 802.11ac)
Voice Assistant: Google Assistant
Hi-Res Audio Support: Yes
Design - Looks, Feel And Features
Sitting somewhere between Sony’s LF-S50G and the Sonos One, the LG WL7 is a big black, cylindrical speaker that’s intended to provide full 360-degree, high resolution audio playback.
Despite initial appearances, the WK7 is solid to the touch. There’s no mesh-wrapping here like you’d find in some of the other options and the usual set of physical keys adorn the speaker’s crown. The LG WK7 is a real no-gimmicks proposition. It’s about as straightforward as smart speakers come.
Unfortunately, the downside of this approach is that it’s kinda difficult to highlight a reason why you should choose this over the other options. Still, on the plus-side, should you be angling for something that’ll slide into your living room and sound good while attracting minimal attention - this does fit that request with minimal fuss.
It’s no big secret that the regular Google Home offers a sub-part sound experience. LG are only the latest brand to try and leverage that weakness into a healthy profit. However, the biggest difference between what LG are doing and what many other brands are going is down to the way they’re doing it.
Rather than keep things in-house, they’ve opted for a partnership with Meridian when it comes to WK7. What does this actually amount to? Well, the LG WK7 boasts what it calls Meridian Sound-Tuning. This isn't any sort of active-optimization like that found in the HomePod or Google Home Max but rather just a pair of predetermined output settings. To their credit, both (Clear Vocal and Enhanced Bass) modes sound good - but if you're hoping for the kind of audio wizardry found elsewhere, you'll notn find it here.
That said, two things you will find are built-in upscaling to and proper-support for 96kHz/24-bit hi-res audio. And you really can hear the differences that upscaling brings to the table. When listening to music through the WK7, I found that a lot more of the details lurking in the background of classic tracks were significantly more noticeable. More on this below.
Performance - Sound Quality & Smarts
Like the regular Google Home and Google Home Mini, you can ask the LG WK7 questions, tell it to play music, check the weather, set reminders, consult your calendar, listen to news bulletins and interact with both connected smart appliances and compatible third-party services. All the usual boxes offered by the Assistant experience are ticked here.
If you’ve interacted with one of these speakers before, you know what to expect. If you haven’t, be sure to ask the Assistant for a joke now and then.
As is the case with pretty much every other speaker out there, LG have positioned sound quality as their biggest point of difference over said alternatives. And to the WK7’s credit, it does actually really deliver a deep & detailed soundscape.
When we ran this speaker through its paces, the juicy beats of Jungle’s “Heavy, California” and swooning melodies of John Grant’s “Love Is Magic” really came across in stunning form. I wouldn’t say that it’s got the same weight, punch or bass as something like the Google Home Max, nor the fidelity of the Sonos One. All the same, I still came away really impressed with the WK7.
Though it’d be easy to dismiss as just another option. The LG WK7 is, by most metrics, one of the best available when it comes to sound quality.
The Bottom Line
The price-point here is ultimately the thing that gives the WK7 an edge. It’s not that much more expensive than the regular Google Home, but it’s better enough that I can say without reservation that it’s probably going to be worth the extra $100 or so. It offers substantial advantages in sound quality and plenty of modern conveniences.
The LG WK7 offers a somewhat-simple proposition but there’s still plenty to like about it.
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