The LG X-Boom OM4560 is a boom box for the Twitter generation

Rock out like it’s 1989, but with 220W of power, karaoke support, and streaming

Personal audio players might have almost killed the ‘stereo systems’ and boom boxes of yore, but they’re now making a comeback.

Quick question - how do you listen to music? We’d wager your answer splits you into one of three camps - audiophile nuts with high-end audio setups, the casual listener with a small speaker setup connected to your PC, or the ‘leave me be’ crowd and their headphones. Yeah, the boom boxes some of us folk remember from the 80s and 90s have gone the way of old-school CRT TVs.

But there are times when a boom box wouldn’t be such a bad idea - if you need something portable for your lawn brunch, are having a party with a bunch of raucous friends you don’t trust with not spoiling drinks all over your Hi-Fi setup, or just want something you can move around.

Lil buddy

It’s small, light, and pretty easy to cart around, making it very, very portable. Picnic? ‘Chillin’ out’ in the lawn? Friends gather to watch a T20 match? Just pick it up and take it along.. Sadly, while the X-Boom might be a portable boombox (though with no batteries, you’ll need to be close to a power socket), it also makes sure it looks like one - the glossy black finish and moulded speaker enclosures hark back to another era make it amply clear this is not a high-end audio system.

And finally, the pulsating LED ring right in the centre will please only those tripping out big time, or the crowd who swoon over cars lit up with LEDs and neon.

Features galore

The X-Boom OM4560 is packed to the brim with features - you can record to USB off your CDs, hook it up wirelessly (without worrying about audio sync) to selected LG TVs, stream music over Bluetooth (or use the USB, RCA, or 3.5mm inputs), and even hook up two X-Boom units. And you can also buy LG’s karaoke mic to sing along (hang on while we stuff cotton in our ears), taking advantage of the voice cancellation and key changer.

And of course, there’s an X-Boom (bass boost) feature some of you might like, along with equaliser presets (sorry, no 10-band for you) with settings for music genres and regions. LG also has an app (MusicFlow) which lets you control selected LG home audio models, and includes support for audio streaming via services like TuneIn and Spotify.

Loud but shrill

With a 220W output, the OM4560 gets plenty loud, but the sound quality is what you’d expect from a compact stereo system - Blues and folk tracks sound nicely filled out, but metal and rock tracks came off as unnecessarily harsh or extra boomy (even with the bass boost turned off). No, it won’t replace your high-end setup, but it’s loud enough for a boozy part.

In all, the sound quality won’t please demanding listeners and your Hi-Fi system can relax, though to criticise the OM4560 (17,990) on this basis would mean we’re ignoring it’s forte - It’s a loud, portable stereo system (albeit one that needs a power source) that’s best meant for watching TV, for parties, and when you want to annoy your neighbours with horrible renditions of Jukebox Hero. And what it sets out to do, it does achieve.