The LG ND8630 is a wireless stereo speakers which was presented by the Korean company in January this year during the CES trade show 2013. Includes 2x40w and Bluetooth 3.0 and AirPlay wireless music playback.
The ND8630 is also capable of playing music from devices docked to the base using micro-USB and 8-pin (Lightning) connectors, which also charges the battery of the Android and iOS devices at the same time.
Courtesy of LG, we have had the opportunity to try this docking speakers for a few weeks, and so we bring you our opinion.
Design and connections
The LG ND8630 is a device of modern design with rounded shapes and bright white color that is very elegant. Its dimensions are 22.7 cm (height) x 45 cm (width) x 20.3 cm (depth) and weighs 5.8 Kg.
When switched off the LG ND8630 acts as a decorative element that integrates seamlessly into any space, especially those with a modern style. When it’s on, the device casts an orange light to its base, with adjustable intensity, and that provides a sensation of pleasant warmth as can be seen in the images.
The lightning connector for iOS devices and the micro-USB connector for Android devices are located on the upper part of the LG ND8630. The latter can be rotated 180 ° to adjust its position to the connector Android.
While it is possible to connect phones without difficulty, larger devices may present difficulties. For example, it was impossible to connect a Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 since the tablet core didn’t fit in the available space.
Another interesting detail that LG has incorporated is an extensible plastic holder so that the phone does not only hold vertically thanks to the connector but also its back rests on the holder.
The upper part of the LG ND8630 has various lights indicating the connection mode active. From left to right are: iPod, Android, Bluetooth, Cable, USB, AirPlay and Wi-Fi. The intensity of these lights is very low, to the point that in broad daylight- we have used it mainly on a terrace/rooftop – are imperceptible unless you put your hands around to create shade.
Finally, the upper section includes a space where we can approach our NFC-compatible device to automatically connect it using Bluetooth. However in our tests with a couple of phones with NFC support, it have not managed to make it work. This is not a problem since the manual pairing for Bluetooth is extremely simple.
On one side of the device, we find four buttons that control the main functions of the LG ND8630: power, F (function), + (volume up) and – (volume down).
These buttons are touch, and although they are comfortable to push, it is difficult to do this groping without looking since they are very sensitive to touch, and are easily are activated.
On occasions when we moved close to the base or grabbed it to move its position, we have struck them unintentionally, so we have to be very careful to not press them accidentally.
The back of the LG ND8630 also incorporates some buttons and connectors. On the one side we located the buttons for Lighting (light brightness adjustment), Wi-Fi settings (connects to the Wi-Fi network), Air Direct/Reset (creates a Wi-Fi network or initializes the Wi-Fi Setup) and Sound Sync (sincorniza with a LG TV).
On the other side, in terms of connectors, we have a standard 3.5 mm input for analog sources and a USB connector to use an iPod/iPhone/iPad USB cable. It is not possible to connect a USB memory stick with MP3 files to the connector.
Finally, the LG ND8630 includes a small remote control remote that allows you to remotely control the main functions of the docking speakers. Additionally, it is possible to download the LG Bluetooth Remote for Android application (download) and iOS (download for iPhone and iPad) which allows to control the device via Bluetooth from your phone or tablet.
LG ND8630 Rear controls
Remote LG ND8630
In the first place, is important to note that the LG ND8630 has no batteries, so it must be connected to an outlet at all times to operate.
There are several ways to play music through the LG ND8630 depending on the mode of connection, as we shall see below.
The easiest way is to connect the phone to the micro-USB port or Lightning from the top, since the LG ND8630 can directly control the music playback (forward / back, stop, raise / lower volume, etc.).
However, in the case of Android devices, we have found important differences in operation depending on whether the phone model supports Direct Play, which is based on the AOA (Android Open Accesory) 2.0 functionality.
While the LG Optimus G begins to automatically play sound through the speakers as soon as it is connected, HTC One begins to charge the battery but the sound keeps playing through the phone’s speakers.
In the case of iOS devices, have not found any problem when playing music once connected to the Lightning connector.
In terms of wireless, the easiest way is, in our opinion, the Bluetooth connection. The matching process is simple because the speakers are listed as an external audio device called LG Docking, and so simply search nearby Bluetooth devices and add it with the 0000 PIN. It seems also possible using NFC Bluetooth pairing if the phone has this technology, but in our case we failed, as discussed above.
Another possible connection is via Wi-Fi, which allows you to make use of AirPlay to play the library of iTunes music stored on a Mac, PC, iPhone, iPod touch or iPad.
However, connecting the LG ND8630 to our Wi-Fi network is not simple task since we don’t have a screen where we could select the Wi-Fi network or a keyboard to enter the connection password. The easiest way is to connect an iPod by Lightning touch/iPhone/iPad that is already connected to the Wi-Fi network to share the Wi-Fi with the LG ND8630 base.
Alternatively, we can connect in the first place, from our mobile phone, tablet or PC to a Wi-Fi network that the LG ND8630 creates and whose name is easily identifiable since it starts with “LG Audio Setup“.
Once connected, we must enter the address http://192.168.1.111 in our browser to access the settings on the LG ND8630 website, where we can already enter our Wi-Fi network data. Once we connected the LG ND8630 to our network, we can reproduce music via AirPlay.
As well as playing music from a device iOS any of forms described above, we can connect an iPod/iPhone/iPad via USB cable to the conventional rear USB input. This can be useful for older iOS devices not have Lightning connector. But as also mentioned above, the LG ND8630 does not support audio file playback from a USB memory.
Another possible option is to connect a device that has a 3.5 mm audio output (headphone connection) to the analog input PORT IN on the back of the LG ND8630, although obviously the sound quality is not optimal. Finally, if you have a 2013 Smart LG TV, it is possible to connect the LG ND8630 via Bluetooth to act as wireless speaker.
The sound quality of the LG ND8630 has surprised us favorably. The maximum volume that the music plays is more than enough thanks to its 80 watts of power (2 x 40W stereo), allowing you to listen to the music without any problems even when outdoors.
In terms of the quality of the sound, the bass sound good and can be enhanced even more by activating the function Bass Blast with the remote control. Altogether, we have enjoyed much of the sound emitted by the LG ND8630 and recommend it to any fan of listening to music.
The LG ND8630 is a complete wireless sound system to play music from any device iOS and Android, thanks to the various forms of connection that supports.
The reproduction of music through the LG ND8630 has surprised us by its power (thanks to their 2 × 40 watts stereo) and by the quality of sound. In addition, the modern design of the LG ND8630, accompanied by the warm ambient light, makes this device an excellent choice to occupy a prominent place in our home or office.
What is great about it:
- Elegant modern design accompanied by a warm ambient light with adjustable intensity.
- Multiple forms of connection (micro-USB and analog connector, Lightning, USB, Bluetooth) to cover all possible needs.
- High power and quality of the emitted sound.
What is bad about it:
- Some Android devices do not support music playback via USB connector (standard AOA 2.0), although you can use playback via Bluetooth.