In the realm of the consumer market we’re often led to believe that bigger is better. Bigger phones, bigger TVs – the fixation to have the biggest and the best exists in almost everyone. So when it comes down to setting up a home surround sound system, you’d think that mounting a hundred speakers in your living room would be the ideal scenario. But that’s not only impractical, it’s also unnecessary – surely you can get a decent surround sound experience without resorting to tons of wiring and towering speakers? Well the LG NB4530A soundbar is here to prove exactly that point by encompassing an impressive listening experience into a compact and sultry device.
Build Quality & Design
Soundbars have actually been around for quite some time, but it’s only in recent years that they’ve gained traction as both design and features have improved. The NB4530A from the outset looks really stylish, measuring just 35mm high. This means that you can position it discreetly under your wall-mounted TV, or even rest it on a flat surface using the supplied footstand. LG have made sure to use premium materials in the NB4530A, using a brushed-aluminum finish for the body and a black metal mesh on the front to cover the speakers.
Around the back you’ve got HDMI input and output ports, a digital optical port, 3.5mm audio port, and USB port for playing music off a thumb drive. Accompanying the NB4530A is a wireless active subwoofer, which you can place anywhere in your room without having to worry about messy cables showing. Just turn the subwoofer on and it automatically pairs up with the soundbar in a few minutes, making setup an absolute snap. Lastly, hidden behind the soundbar’s wire mesh is a small LCD screen that shows you what input source is selected as well as allowing you to cycle through the various speaker options and modes. You can do this via the touch buttons on the top of the speaker or by using the accompanying remote control.
Connectivity & Setup
Setting up the NB4530A is as easy as unboxing it and powering it up. As mentioned before, the NB4530A can be mounted on the wall (a bracket and mounting template is included) or it can be place on a flat surface using the supplied footrest, which raises the soundbar by around 19mm to deliver the best sound.
The NB4530A features Bluetooth support, which allows you to wirelessly connect it to a compatible LG TV for cable-free audio. For any other TV you can connect an HDMI source or optical cable to the NB4530A, as well as a less-preferred 3.5mm audio.
LG have tried to put as many features as possible into the NB4530A to ensure that it delivers the best audio experience possible from a soundbar. This includes a unique 3D sound processor to deliver an almost cinema-like 3D surround experience from a 2.1 channel soundbar. The NB4530A also has a range of presets that you can apply to further enhance the audio, such as Bass Enhancement, Clear Voice, Game, and many more. And since the NB4530A has Bluetooth support, you can easily pair your mp3 or phone wirelessly to it, meaning that streaming your music is just a few taps away.
Despite being a 2.1 speaker system, the NB4530A performs incredibly well. Playing a Blu-ray copy of Iron Man brought every explosion and crash into my living room, with the subwoofer delivering a serious punch despite its small size compared to my current home theatre subwoofer. The NB4530A’s 3D processor did its best to emulate a full 3D-surround sound experience, but given the rather large size of my living room, it didn’t quite hit the same sweet spot as having rear speakers. Still, I’d imagine that in a slightly smaller space the effect would be much better. I cycled through the various presets to listen to how the audio changed accordingly, and I honestly found that putting it on By Pass was the best solution as it delivered the original audio stream which sounded perfectly fine. The NB4530A was more than capable of handling the different music selections I threw at it – classical pieces were sharp and on point, while bass-heavy rock anthems also sounded very impressive. Streaming music via Bluetooth was also easy to mange once the devices were paired up, and there were no interruptions at all.
The LG NB4530A soundbar is certainly a very capable speaker setup, and is perfect for anyone who is looking to upgrade their measly TV speaker audio to something more substantial without blowing their bank account. The NB4530A’s sleek design and impressive audio performance make it a great addition to small or medium-sized living rooms, and while it may not be able of delivering a 100% true surround-sound experience, it’s still a excellent soundbar to invest in.