All three speakers share the same design and they all have their audio tuned by Meridian like their predecessors, the PK series I looked at last year.
This is one of the smallest speakers I’ve tested, but still has 10 hours of battery life, a Sound Boost mode, USB-C charging, stereo pairing with another PL2 speaker and an IPX5 water resistance rating.
I’ll be running through its features before comparing how it sounds to a few of its rivals: the hugely popular Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 2 which is only a little more expensive, the budget Tronsmart T6 Mini, last year’s LG XBOOM Go PK3 and the Anker Soundcore 2. The Ultimate Ears and Tronsmart have a similar design but are slightly bigger; the PK3 is significantly bigger but is often reduced to the same price, and the Soundcore 2 is a very popular compact speaker slightly cheaper than the PL2’s retail price of around £50 or $50.
Inside the box you get the speaker itself, a white USB-A to USB-C charging cable and an instruction manual. There’s no 3.5mm auxiliary cable or travel pouch.
This is a very compact speaker and would be perfect for travel. It measures 126mm by 82mm x 80mm and weighs just 350g, smaller and lighter than all the other speakers I comparing it against.
This is a particularly well made speaker, with a matte grey finish that doesn’t attract fingerprints. There’s no creaking however hard you twist or squeeze it. The rounded design is quite appealing and is carried through the entire range of speakers in the range. It looks a little more contemporary than the PK series before it.
Unlike the significantly more expensive PL5 and PL7, what look like passive radiators at the side don’t move or have any LED lighting. In fact the right side cleverly pulls open to reveal the USB-C charging port with accompanying LED, a 3.5mm audio-in port, a reset button and the Dual Mode button for pairing two speakers.
You’ll need to ensure this flap is fully closed to maintain the IPX5 water resistance rating.
The top of the PL2 houses the controls. There’s the power button with LED, the Bluetooth pairing button with its LED, volume controls and the pause | play button. A double press skips forward a track and a triple press skips back. The button also answers and ends phone calls.
Finally there’s the Sound Boost button with its accompanying LED, which is on by default. A nice touch is a raised dimple over the volume up button which is useful for feeling the main controls without having to look at the speaker.
The back of the speaker has the embossed LG XBOOM branding and holes to attach a lanyard that isn’t included.
The bottom of the speaker has a small flat base with four tiny rubber feet to dampen any vibrations. But if you don’t place it down carefully it tends to roll backwards.
To charge the speaker you need to use a USB-A to USB-C cable like the one supplied. Surprisingly it doesn’t charge with a dual ended USB-C cable.
The battery LED lights red whilst charging and turns off when fully charged. There’s no battery status indicator on the speaker itself. You can check the remaining battery using your phone, but the power LED will flash when the battery is low.
The integrated 1500mAh or 5.6Wh battery takes up to 4 hours to charge from completely flat, charging rather slowly at just over 0.5A.
When you turn the speaker on with a single press of the power button for the first time the Bluetooth LED will flash. Connect to LG-PL2(XX) in your Bluetooth device settings. The Bluetooth LED goes steady.
You can pair to a maximum of two devices simultaneously. To pair to a second device press and hold the Bluetooth pairing button for 2 seconds until the LED starts flashing and connect your second device.
If you have a second PL2 speaker you can press the Dual button on both speakers to set them up as a stereo pair.
Sound accompanies turning the speaker on and off, Bluetooth pairing and reaching maximum volume, with a brief interruption in playback.
You can turn the audio prompts off in the app which is only available on Android devices.
This LG XBOOM Go app also lets you update the speaker’s firmware and check the battery level.
And you can set up Dual Mode pairing and switch Sound Boost on and off, which you can also do via the speaker itself.
It’s also possible to configure Multi-play mode which by default is set to Private. It’s dependent on device and application, but even in this default mode, you should be able to pause music on one device and start playing on the second paired device. If you turn on turn on Party mode under Settings | Multi-play mode, you don’t need to pause playback to play music on another device, allowing two people to control the speaker at the same time, a feature I wish more speakers had. Unfortunately the app doesn’t let you configure EQ.
The speaker will turn off after 15 minutes with no playback. You can disable this feature in the app in Settings | Auto power management; or on the speaker itself. With the speaker on, press and hold the power button and the volume- button together for 2 seconds to turn it off, and the power button and the volume+ button to turn it on again. The power LED flashes and you’ll hear an accompanying beep, if you have beeps turned on.
Sound quality and performance
The PL2 has a single 45mm mid-range driver and a passive radiator and sounds well balanced and louder than I was expecting for such a small speaker with its rather modest 5W of output.
Clarity in the mids is particularly impressive and it handles bass quite well too. It’s not as full bodied or as loud as the Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 2, but it sounds crisp especially with tracks with rich vocals. It’s a great speaker for playing podcasts.
With busier tracks, like you’d expect from a speaker this size, it can sound a little harsh, but lowering the volume a few steps helps.
By default the Sound Boost mode is on and for most of the music I listened to I preferred this setting which does provide a bigger, louder sound with a wider range. But you will need to experiment depending on your tastes. Again with busier tracks which start to sound a little harsh they can sound better with this off. Although usually I leave the setting on and just lower the volume slightly.
In the video at the top of the page, you can listen to a comparison between the LG PL2 with Sound Boost on and off, the Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 2 with Outdoor mode off, the LG PK3 with Enhanced Bass on, the budget Tronsmart T6 Mini and finally the Anker Soundcore 2. So you can decide for yourself which one you prefer the sound of. I also have full reviews of many of these speakers playing various tracks, so take a look at my YouTube channel.
I’ve recorded the sound test with binaural microphones that capture stereo sound, to try and provide the closest representation of what I’m hearing. Please listen with headphones for the best experience. Use the timestamps below to skip ahead if you like.
Audio sync was ok although there was still a small amount of delay playing back YouTube videos, particularly on iOS, as is often the case.
Battery life at 50% playback volume with Sound Boost off is quoted as 10 hours. This is lower than the other speakers I compared it to. I tested this at 75% playback volume with Sound Boost on and got a full day of usage which considering its size is still more than respectable.
The speaker uses the latest Bluetooth 5.0 and range was better than any speaker I’ve tested so far – up to around 15 metres away – well beyond the next room of my brick built house.
Receiving phone calls sounded clear and the speaker’s built in microphone did a good job too. If you press and hold the Play | Pause button you can activate your phone’s voice assistant using the speaker’s built in mic.
Since the PK series LG appear to have dropped support for the higher quality aptX codec, but do support the still higher quality AAC codec. And for the best quality you could always use a 3.5mm cable via the audio-in port.
The speaker’s IPX5 splash proof rating held up fine although it’s a little disappointing it doesn’t have the IPX7 waterproof rating of the PK3.
The LG XBOOM Go PL2 could make the perfect travel speaker. It’s extremely well built, lightweight, very compact, and it sounds good for its size.
In a perfect world I’d like it to be a little louder, and battery life is less than some of its rivals. And the accompanying app is only available on Android and is fairly limited with no control over EQ.
Its retail price seems fair, but historically LG speakers have seen tempting promotions fairly regularly, which would make it even more appealing. At the PL2’s full retail price, the discounted UE Wonderboom 2 is only a little more expensive but is louder with a fuller 360° sound and more bass, but does has older micro-USB charging, and is slightly heavier and bigger so not quite as portable.
If you don’t need something quite as small and lightweight, the LG PK3 is currently the same price as the PL2 and has stereo sound, an IPX7 waterproof rating and is louder.
I’ll be taking a look at the other new speakers in LG’s range shortly – specifically the PL5 and PL7. So be sure to check those out too.
Don’t forget to take a look at my YouTube video at the top of the page, and subscribe to my YouTube channel where I’m releasing videos every week on the latest technology and how to get the most out of it. If you tap the bell icon when you subscribe you’ll get a notification as soon as I release a video, and there’ll be a link to my site here for the written article. YouTube is also the best place to leave a comment. I read all of them and respond to as many as I can!
LG XBOOM Go PL2: https://amzn.to/3iBLsnB
LG XBOOM Go PL5: https://amzn.to/2Bykpt2
LG XBOOM Go PL7: https://amzn.to/2ZNox0m
Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 2: https://amzn.to/3gtrqtM
LG XBOOM Go PK3: https://amzn.to/2ZEkNOB
Tronsmart T6 Mini: https://amzn.to/3f22t8A
Anker Soundcore 2: https://amzn.to/2C6ikV4