LG G7 Boombox Speaker explained: louder sound through clever design

LG G7 Boombox Speaker explained: louder sound through clever design
As the case is with many things in life, when it comes to loudspeakers, size matters. There's no way around this without breaking the laws of physics. That's why smartphone speakers can't match the performance of a dedicated audio system – they're just too tiny to deliver full, high-fidelity sound.

Still, some smartphones do sound better than others. The Galaxy S9 and recent iPhones, for example, use two speakers in clever arrangements to cover a broader range of the audio spectrum and deliver some stereo separation along the way. The Sony Xperia XZ2 and the Razer Phone use two dedicated, front-firing speakers for proper stereophonic, balanced sound. And the new LG G7, well... it has a few audio tricks of its own.

Enter the LG G7's Boombox Speaker


Unlike most high-end competitors, the LG G7 has just a single down-firing loudspeaker. Going with a stereo setup similar to the iPhone's would have required a larger notch, LG says. This single speaker, however, gets seriously loud. And it is not only louder than the LG G6. As if by magic, the G7 sounds even louder when it is placed on a flat surface, such as a desk or a table. 

The LG G7 sound louder when placed on a flat surface

The LG G7 sound louder when placed on a flat surface



How did LG achieve this effect? It all starts with a larger speaker driver – the actual physical component that moves air to create sound. It is 40% larger than the G6's and is driven by a more powerful amplifier, while its performance is monitored and fine-tuned by dedicated circuitry to prevent distortion. 

On top of that, LG uses all of the available internal volume of the G7 to create a sealed enclosure for the speaker. There's a whole science behind designing a speaker cabinet, as audiophiles know well, and its size greatly affects sound reproduction. Case in point: the LG G7 can reproduce lower frequencies about twice as loudly as the LG G6 thanks to having a speaker enclosure 17 times larger. 

For the record, the G7 is not the first phone to take this approach. Last year's HTC U11 also uses the handset's internal volume as an enclosure for its bottom-firing speaker.

So, how does the magic happen? Why does a speaker driver plus empty space equal louder sound? Well, here's the most simplified version I could come up with: think of a classic guitar. The purpose of its hollow body is to amplify the sound from the strings through a process called resonance. In a similar fashion but on a smaller scale, the LG G7's internal volume acts as a resonance chamber to amplify certain frequencies, mostly bass and mid-tones. 

The LG G7 uses all available internal space as a resonance chamber for better sound

The LG G7 uses all available internal space as a resonance chamber for better sound


That's great and all, but we haven't yet explained why the G7's speaker gets along with flat surfaces so well. The boost in loudness is a result of the fact that the entire phone vibrates because of its unusual resonance chamber design. In a sense, the entire handset is a speaker! These vibrations are transferred to and picked up by the flat surface. Hence, the sound produced by the G7 isn't amplified. Rather, sound energy is more effectively transferred to the air, and via the air to your ears. 

But LG's Boombox speaker isn't perfect


As I was working on my LG G7 preview, I had the chance to personally test the Boombox speaker in my hotel room. Frankly, there are some impressive qualities about it, loudness being one of them, but there are cases where the G7 doesn't sound quite... right. Sure, it is loud, but when I played a couple of YouTube videos on it – not necessarily music videos – and held the phone in my hand, sound just wasn't as enjoyable to my ears as from a Galaxy S9, which sounds more balanced with its stereo setup. Another drawback of the G7's Boombox effect is that protective cases, depending on the material used, may affect its performance. But then again, the G7's Boombox speaker is a neat feature that I can see a lot of people appreciating. You'll be able to test it for yourself once the G7 is released in the coming weeks.

READ MORE ABOUT THE LG G7:

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G7 ThinQ
  • Display 6.1" 1440 x 3120 pixels
  • Camera 16 MP / 8 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 845, Octa-core, 2800 MHz
  • Storage 64 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 3000 mAh

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11 Comments

1. Cat97

Posts: 1677; Member since: Mar 02, 2017

Actually it's louder sound through smaller battery...how do you think they create those empty cavities inside the phone ?

2. HarysViewty

Posts: 53; Member since: Apr 04, 2015

Even if they used curved battery like LG G2 gflex or L Shaped battery like iPhone, there will always be empty spaces there. What they're doing is amazing. It's better use of waterproofing seal (which always makes worse sound). Totally Better use of glasses and flat design. I just miss their unique design, curved flexible screen, stainless steel tank design, metal/leather removable battery slot, rear keys, clicky fingerprint sensor, dual cam selfie, ticker screen

3. Firenze91

Posts: 203; Member since: Nov 19, 2014

Who listens to music without headphones anyway?

6. Humanoid

Posts: 1226; Member since: Dec 11, 2017

I do when I take shower. My phone is loud enough to allow me to listen, shower's noise is not an issue. I also only use earphones when someone's around, because I think listen to stuff without near someone is lack of respect.

8. fyah_king unregistered

I do when I am running. It's convenient!!

4. vuyonc

Posts: 1088; Member since: Feb 24, 2014

Mono is a no no in 2018.

5. Lauticol

Posts: 404; Member since: Jun 25, 2011

If it doesn't work using a case, it's not helpful at all

7. Sparkxster

Posts: 1116; Member since: Mar 31, 2017

Smart use of hardware LG! They crafted the G7 with care.

9. Trashboat78

Posts: 9; Member since: May 05, 2018

Might be a great feature....... too bad won't be available in all regions like every other LG phone ever released.

10. swarai

Posts: 83; Member since: Aug 07, 2014

Nothing beats stereo sound!

11. bugsbunny00

Posts: 2251; Member since: Jun 07, 2013

It's magic...

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