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LG Music Flow H3 review

Richard Easton
16 Jan 2015
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
150
inc VAT

The H3 is a smart looking bookshelf multiroom audio speaker, but you can get better for this price and the app is a little limited

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Specifications

Speakers: 1, RMS power output: 30W, Dock connector: None, Networking: 802.11n Wi-Fi, 1x 10/100 Ethernet, optional Bluetooth (SBC), Dimensions: 125x115x175mm, Weight: 2.3kg, Streaming formats: LG Mesh Network

The LG Music Flow H3 is small and compact wireless speaker, so you can tuck it neatly out of the way in a kitchen or small bedroom. It’s the smallest in the Music Flow range of multiroom speakers, giving you a choice of device depending on the size of room you’ve got.

As well as being small, the H3 looks classy and attractive. Its simple design means that the speaker is uncluttered with a front dominated by a dark grey speaker grille. Controls are placed on the top and consist of a rotating jog wheel for volume control and a power button. The speaker cabinet looks like it's made from metal but is in fact plastic, but it is well finished and the controls feel tough and responsive.

There's not a lot of connectivity on the back of the H3 with just a solitary Ethernet port. There's no auxiliary 3.5mm connection so there's no option to connect an external audio player. There are two buttons for connecting to your Wi-Fi or adding the speaker to LG's wireless mesh network through an LG Music Flow R1 Bridge (more on this later).

You also have the option of connecting to the H3 using Bluetooth and there's also a convenient NFC pairing point located on the side of the speaker. A simple tap of an NFC-enabled device will pair the two together for wireless music streaming. The power button on the top the unit toggles the speaker between Wi-Fi and Bluetooth modes. Thoughtfully, the speaker will automatically toggle from Bluetooth to Wi-Fi if it detects that you're streaming audio over your network.

The Music Flow H3 works with LG's Music Flow app available on iOS, Android or PC, where the latter also acts as a music server. We were disappointed to see there wasn't a dedicated iPad app so you'll have to install the non-tablet optimised version.

Similarly, OS X isn't supported, although you can install Nero MediaHome to share music, although any DLNA server on your Mac, PC or NAS will do the job. Both the mobile apps and desktop software take you through the process of adding the H3 to your wireless network with clear instructions and guidance. The whole process only took a few minutes.

Once up and running, you use the Music Flow app to stream music from services such as Napster, TuneIn or Deezer. Spotify isn’t integrated into the Music Flow and you have to use the Connect option from the dedicated Spotify App, as well as having a Premium account. This means that you can only play one track to one speaker; with Sonos, you can stream as many tracks as you have speakers.

Music Flow app will also sync local music on your device as well as any network media servers and display it in a music library. Navigating around the app is from a slide out menu and it's simply laid out. Music libraries from music services are presented in a simple list, which isn't the most attractive but is functional.