Finding out if you really need a sound bar is pretty simple. It is the perfect choice if you want a better sound experience than what your TV’s built-in speakers provide and you want to achieve that in a minimalistic fashion. Sound bars are also fairly affordable and are pretty easy to setup. These types of speakers are still popular today as many TV manufacturers come up with several new sound bar models every year. LG certainly has a few sound bars that match their TVs pretty well including the LG NB4530B which is priced significantly higher than your average sound bar and has some unique features to justify the price tag.
The NB4530B is pretty wide measuring 47 inches clearly indicating that this particular sound bar is for people with 47-inch TVs or larger displays. 47-inch TVs are not exactly common compared to 42-inch TVs but LG does make a handful of them. It is pretty clear that LG wants to make a nice sound enhancing companion for their 47-inch displays if the design of the LG NB4530B is any indication. The wide profile also means better range which is significant since 47-inch TVs have greater viewing distance than smaller displays.
The NB4530B has a nice black finish with some touch controls on the center just above the display. The tweeters and mid-range woofers for the left and right channels are all exposed and look great. The LG logo on the center is pretty prominent since it has a colored logo so it might look a tad awkward when placed in front of a non-LG display.It is also very slim measuring just 1.38 inches high. Like most other sound bars, you have the option to mount the LG NB4530B using the included wall bracket and pair of shaft wall mounts. There is a wall mount bracket installation template which will help you properly drill holes to the wall. Otherwise, you have to use the cover foot to stand the sound bar on a flat surface.
The back side features an interesting set of connection ports. The NB4530B is the only LG 2013 model that has an HDMI input along with an HDMI output. This allows you to hook up an external home theater component such as a Blu-ray player or gaming console directly to the sound bar. This might not be a huge deal if you prefer using your HDTV as a switcher but it is a nice addition. If your TV doesn’t support audio return channel for the HDMI out, you can still use the included optical digital cable to connect the sound bar to the TV or other device’s optical out. The port. in can also be used to connect MP3 players. Finally, there is a USB port on the back that can read MP3 and WMA files stored in USB flash drives.
The LG NB4530B also comes with a separate subwoofer making this a 2.1-channel sound bar. The design is a bit compact and pretty standard with a matching LG logo on the front. The subwoofer connects to the sound bar wirelessly to make the setup process much easier.
The ability to play back MP3 and WMA files from a flash drive is pretty convenient since you can essentially use the sound bar as a standalone speaker system. But it might not be ideal if you don’t have a spare high-capacity drive that is dedicated to music files. If your music collection is stored in your smartphone, tablet or other mobile device, you can also stream these music files to the LG NB4530B via Bluetooth. Providing there are no physical obstructions between the device and the sound bar, you should be able to play back any tracks remotely within the living room. You can also use mobile apps like Spotify and Pandora to stream music to the sound bar when the Bluetooth function is enabled.
The NB4530B is LG’s most powerful sound bar out of their lineup with a total power output of 310 watts. As a result, the sound quality is vastly improved even compared to entry-level sound bars like LG’s own 40-watt NB2030A sound bar. The subwoofer helps provide some punch to the bass as well which is something that most TVs with embedded speakers cannot provide. It also supports both Dolby Digital and DTS surround decoding so it can handle all the modern Blu-ray titles.
$449 can be a high price to pay just for a 2.1-channel sound bar. But you have to remember that 47-inch sound bars are quite rare and settling for a sound bar that is smaller than your large TV might not give you a complete sound experience. But the LG NB4530B deserves some points for having that minimal design and the Bluetooth functionality definitely adds value to this sound bar.
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