We have a very interesting product in hand, the new sound box LG UltraGear GP9. And amazing, it’s a gamer sound box with RGB! I’m going to give you a spoiler, it’s great – probably the best sound box for games we have available here in Brazil. There is only one “problem”, the price. It costs about R$3,499 on the LG website! Relief! In this review, we’ll find out why the hell it costs so much.
Technical sheet LG Ultra Gear GP9
Size: 375 x 76.5 x 105mm
Power: Two 2-inch woofers and two 20mm tweeters. 20W
connections: Headphone output, auxiliary input, optical input, USB type-C input and bluetooth
Energy: USB Type-C and power supply
Drums: 2600 mAh
MIC: Yes (noise canceling)
software: On LG XBOOM mobile and PC own software
DAC: ESS9038 Pro Hi-Fi Quad
The speaker is in limbo between a portable bluetooth speaker and a conventional wired speaker. It is made entirely of very thick plastic, but does not appear to be a poorly constructed product. I understand that its triangular shape was made to fit under the “V” base of gamers monitors – taking up little space on the table, but if you are using a monitor (gaming or not) that uses a conventional base, it is almost impossible to fit the box of sound without disturbing the setup.
It’s a gaming speaker! It has RGB! The light can be configured through the software that LG makes available for the product, but it is not possible to program ANY customizable effects – we only have static color.
Wow, even those cheaper gamers have customizable light effects, how did they leave that detail out? Not even a basic rainbow effect? How am I supposed to play without my entire room flashing like a nightclub?!?! joke aside, her design is beautiful, in my opinion. It pairs well with other gaming peripherals. If lights aren’t your thing, you can put on a white effect or turn it off. The box looks more “sober” that way.
We have seven buttons on the speaker, and all of them can be found at the top of the speaker:
- On and off button; self-explanatory, turns the product on and off and the color indicates the battery percentage;
- Bluetooth button: hold to pair or press to switch between up to three paired devices;
- Headset button: toggles between the sound of the box or the connected headset – works great;
- Volume wheel and microphone button: Turn the wheel to increase and decrease the volume, press the button to activate or deactivate the microphone built into the box;
- FPS button: Turn on RGB and give more FPS in the game. I’m kidding. This button turns on the 7.1 surround virtualization system;
- RTS button: supposedly expands the soundstage and “creates a spatial effect that accentuates realism and enhances immersion in strategy, racing, RPG, E-Sports, etc.” I preferred not to use it, the default is superior;
- EQ button: Triggers user-custom EQ in applications.
The LG GP9 can be used completely wirelessly, through the Bluetooth connection, just like the Huawei Sound Joy that we tested these days. It’s great to have this functionality in the speaker, since in addition to turning it into a portable accessory, we can also easily use it on our cell phone to listen to music or even play games. (it’s a gaming speaker, after all).
However, its battery lasts a very short time, about 4 hours, canceling out a good part of the benefits of having a portable speaker – since you will have to be all the time chasing the source to charge it.
On PC and console we can connect it through an optical cable (not included) or through the USB cable that comes in the box. One of the strongest points of this speaker is that it “just works” – nI didn’t encounter any problems or snags when connecting devices and switching connections while in use. It just works – which genuinely surprised me. We usually encounter problems with multiple simultaneous connections, mainly involving bluetooth, but the LG GP9 is an example of how to do it right.
The box has a digital-to-analog converter (DAC) ES9038 Pro. It’s a 32-bit quad DAC designed for “pro audio equipment”, according to LG. An interesting feature is that we can connect any P3 cable headset to the speaker and use its DAC instead of the PC’s motherboard. I’m not able to assess how well designed the converter is in this box, but I’m sure it will be better than the one on your computer’s motherboard!
I’ll tell you that I was a little disappointed with the sound quality of the box. It’s not bad, but because it doesn’t have a dedicated external subwoofer, we don’t have that great power and sound grandeur of other speakers and audio monitors. During several moments I noticed the table vibrating while the bass drowned out the sound, all this without “filling” the environment.
For everything it promises in marketing, I found the sound raw and bland. I used it a few times as “ambient sound” in social gatherings during breaks and lunches here at the office and in none of the times it left anything to be desired, but comparing it side by side with my R1000T4 audio monitors from Edifier (I paid about R$450 on the pair of speakers a few years ago), it is noted that the GP9 can’t compete in sound quality. Not bad, but for the price, she must be miraculously good at music.
Microphone and Games
the new league of Path of Exile started and I decided to use the GP9 to play – listening and communicating on Discord with friends who were also playing.
And what an incredible experience! Noise cancellation works like magic! For several moments I felt the table vibrate as our group cleared the screen of monsters and I asked, “Are you listening to feedback?” – my friends would reply, “nothing!”. Unbelievable, despite the loud sound, the other people on the call didn’t hear feedback, as usually happens when I play without a headset.
I didn’t even know CS:GO could sound so good. The sounds are impactful and satisfying. You can easily hear footsteps and gunfire – spotting enemies with ease. I played several games using the default EQ setting and some playing with the FPS button on. The profiles are quite different, and I prefer the FPS one. The sound is more “forward” and immersive, but the default works too.
LG promises that the GP9 is capable of replacing a headset in competitive gaming, and the box really delivers.
The software is excellent! There is a mobile version, the LG XBOOM and a desktop version, which was released recently. The mobile one can be downloaded from Playstore and the PC one here.
Both have exactly the same functionality – they are identical. Everything here is simple, well done and self-explanatory. It caught my attention that we can easily switch between headphone, USB, optical input and bluetooth. All in one click. We can also use the equalizer and create, import and export custom EQ profiles.
And here is also the only place where we can change and configure the RGB lighting. As you saw in the GIF above, we have a color-wheel and that’s it. No effect option. Maybe in a future update? It seems to me a big oversight to launch a “gamer” product with RGB without effects.
But overall, LG is to be congratulated for the software. They were perfect, apart from the RGB, I have nothing to complain about.
Price and Conclusion
In the “sound” part I wrote that the GP9 can’t compete with audio monitors in music. But therein lies the question: where can she compete? It is a sound box that fulfills its role well in games, offering a lot of quality for the convenience it provides, but the price is simply surreal.
The least I found in that box was a promotion for BRL 2,500. It is currently being sold on the LG website. BRL 3,499. In my opinion, she’s worth half that. I understand that the MSRP it at the gringa is 500 dollars, and that LG invested a lot of money bringing this product here, but this box is simply out of the reality of the Brazilian consumer. Think, if it is already too expensive abroad, imagine here in Brazil?
I feel like I complain about the price of every product I review, but in this case, I could cite a huge list of options that offer sound quality equal to or better than the GP9 for a more affordable price. Even the gaming speaker Leviathan Razerfrom the famous brand for selling products at high prices, is at a much lower price than the GP9.
We also have the box kit. Logitech Z607for you who want to build a real 5.1 surround system, without virtualization – also for less than half the price of the GP9.
THE edifier also has a more competitive option, with the gamer sound box G2000. It does pretty much everything the GP9 does, with the exception of the microphone.
Doing this review was a very pleasant experience, since the product is really good. Thanks to LG for sending it, but even though I’m the target audience of this box (gamers who prefer to play without a headset), I would never buy it.
If money is no object – without a doubt, take the LG GP9 home without fear. Mainly for gaming – the built-in microphone is its main differentiator among competitors, it works surreally well. But it seems that LG didn’t pay attention to the market while developing this product, it’s just too expensive.