LG has introduced a pretty ambitious lineup of sound bars this 2013. All of their models are designed for TVs with 40-inch screens and higher and a majority of them have Bluetooth. By looking at the model names and the price, it could be easy to conclude that the LG NB4530B is the best sound bar to get if you have the budget and you happen to have a 47-inch TV or larger. But the LG NB3730A is not only a slightly more affordable alternative but it also has a unique feature that none of the other 2013 LG sound bar models have.
In a nutshell, the NB3730A is the perfect companion to any of the current 47-inch LG displays since the width of the sound bar just about matches the width of those displays. The sound bar itself is black and glossy for the most part and it has no physical buttons. All of the marked controls on the center of the sound bar are touch sensitive so they are very responsive and you don’t have to press so hard. A small blue LED display can be found just below those buttons. The left and right channels are found in their usual spots and are fully exposed giving the sound bar a nice overall appearance. Each channel consists of 2 midrange drivers and a single tweeter giving an idea on how powerful this sound bar is. There is also a small cover with a USB symbol that covers the USB port so you can conveniently add a flash drive for music playback. The rear panel of the sound bar is pretty basic with the usual DC in and optical input along with an HDMI out. The LAN connector on the back serves as the unique aspect of this sound bar.
There is no special port where you can plug in a subwoofer. This is because the included subwoofer can connect to the sound bar wirelessly. This simplifies the installation and it gives you more freedom when it comes to the subwoofer placement.
Included in the package is a wall mount bracket installation template and wall bracket. If you mounted your TV or plan to do so, it is best to mount the LG NB3730A right below the display. The installation template serves as a guide in drilling the holes although you have to supply your own wall plugs and screws.
Thanks to the USB port on the front, you can take a flash drive and fill it up with MP3 and WMA files. The sound bar can play these files independently which is nice if you prefer that approach. But more people are preferring to store their music files in their mobile devices since they provide more than enough space. Thanks to Bluetooth connectivity built into the NB3730A, you can wirelessly stream content from any Bluetooth devices that are in close proximity. A lot of portable devices support Bluetooth but having a smartphone or tablet is beneficial since many apps like Spotify and Pandora can stream music online and relay the signals to the sound bar via Bluetooth without sacrificing audio quality.
But the best thing about the LG NB3730A in particular is the online features. When the sound bar is connected to your local network, you can let the sound bar independently connect to services like Netflix, YouTube and Hulu Plus. It has its own friendly onscreen user-interface so you can browse these services using the remote control. You can even download apps from the LG Apps library if you wish to access other online services. The only catch is that you have to connect the sound bar via HDMI so the sound bar can properly output the interface to the TV. In addition to these online features, you can also stream content from any computers that are actively sharing files in the local network. This pretty much defeats the point of the USB port if your router is good.
The sound bar has built-in Wi-Fi so it can render the Ethernet port useless as well. In addition to that, the NB3730A can connect to any devices that support Wi-Fi Direct so these devices can stream content without going through the router. Think of it as a Bluetooth alternative that has far better range.
The LG NB3730A pumps out great audio and the 300-watt specification pretty much serves as the explanation. The subwoofer really helps in producing the necessary bass that a lot of good songs and movies offer so you can safely consider this sound bar over a traditional 2.1-channel setup. Because this sound bar is so wide, the range is pretty good as well. The treble was a bit lacking but it didn’t affect the overall quality too much.
There are plenty of good $299 sound bars right now and some of them put shame to the NB3730A in the audio quality department. But the LG NB3730A isn’t fully about the audio quality as it can serve as a nice mini multimedia center that can add some smart features to any TV even if the TV doesn’t natively have these features. The $349 price tag is well worth the purchase if you happen to own those basic TVs.
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