Lenco PlayLink6 wireless speaker
A good entry point if you're after something that can handle high-resolution audio playback
- Excellent sound
- Wi-Fi and Bluetooth operation
- Supports high-resolution audio
- Buttons aren't great
- App could use some improvements
Price$ 549.00 (AUD)
What’s great about the Lenco PlayLink6 is that it can function either as a Bluetooth speaker on its own standing, or form part of a multi-speaker, multi-room system in Lenco’s ecosystem. It’s the model above the PlayLink4 that we have already reviewed, and it can put out a bigger sound than that speaker, with the aim of filling a large room.
Aesthetically, the PlayLink6 looks almost identical to the PlayLink4, except that it’s bigger. That makes sense. After all, if you will be buying into a multi-room, multi-speaker ecosystem, you would want the different speakers to have the same look and feel. A soft, dark mesh hides the three drivers that create the sound (rated at up to 80W), and they include two mid-range/tweeter drivers, as well as one ported sub-woofer driver. The port is cleverly designed to reside in the location of the handle on the rear of the speaker.
While you can use this speaker to play music streams and MP3s, it’s ideally suited as an entry point for high-resolution audio, but its sound quality is sure to impress, even if you haven’t yet got the urge to listen to uncompressed music. In addition to the wireless capabilities that are present, the speaker has a built-in Ethernet port that can be used when the need arises to stream large-sized, high-resolution files.
Setting up the speaker isn’t a difficult task; you just have to read the manual to find out how to change to the different connection modes that the speaker supports. The LED on the power button is the indicator that lets you know what’s what. For example, it flashes blue for Bluetooth, and white for Wi-Fi. You need to use Wi-Fi in a multi-speaker set-up, and when you use Wi-Fi, you have to use the Lenco PlayLink app (for either Apple or Android) as your interface.
The PlayLink app is based on the Qualcomm AllPlay specification and Jukebox app, and it can play music that’s stored on the local device on which it’s installed, as well as music that’s stored on music servers on NAS devices and computers on your network. You can easily stream Internet radio stations, too, using the AllPlay Radio app. There are other apps you can access through the PlayLink app that support the AllPlay specification, including Spotify, and local media players such as doubleTwist.
It’s an easy interface to use. You simply select the speaker, then select the music you want to play (and you can group multiple speakers if you have more than one). You can play individual songs or all the songs in a folder, and they are added to a main playlist. That main playlist can’t be edited; if you want to change the music in it, you have to clear it. That’s one of the things about the app that we think needs improvement. The others are that the volume control within the app doesn’t offer great granular control over the output, and that the speaker can’t be switched to standby and turned on from within the app.
Other people on your network who have the PlayLink app installed can control the speaker and add their own music to the playlist, which can make for a wonderfully social listening experience unless you hate everyone else’s music taste.
Because Lenco’s speaker uses the Qualcomm AllPlay specification, it can work in an environment with speakers from other manufacturers that support the same specification. That means you’re not locked into one brand of speakers.
We tried a variety of music genres on the PlayLink6 speaker while using 320Kbps locally stored MP3s, music streams from Digitally Imported, FLAC files ripped from CDs, and high-resolution FLAC files downloaded from HDTracks. In addition, we tried to play as many genres of music as possible, from regular pop to hip-hop, electronica, trance, classical, metal, and folk music. We can’t fault the way the speaker handled any of these genres, and we’re also impressed that we could unleash the full volume without hearing any distortion or diminishment in the music.
There was separation between different parts of a track, with low-end and treble never out-doing the vocals in the songs that we played. Our overall impression of the PlayLink6 is that it’s a crisp speaker that puts out smooth and accurate sound for the vast majority of music styles. This was clearly shown in high-resolution (24-bit, 96KHz) tracks such as Phil Collins’ Another day in Paradise; the bass in that track grooved ever so smoothly while the snares hit hard.
But even for MP3 files, the results were much the same. Great detail was heard in tracks such as Mikis Theodorakis’ Meneksedenia Ta Vouna, which has an airy ambience that features subtle symbols and prominent wind instruments and pianos. Jane Tyrrell’s vocals from her album, Echoes in the Aviary, were reproduced with a satisfying smoothness that made us want to listen again and again. These were all MP3s that we downloaded from the Google Play Music service.
Likewise, a CD-rip of Michael Jackson’s Bad album played back with plenty of definition. It sounded crisp, yet was deep in the places that called for it. If anything, the highs in this album sounded a little too crisp (which is definitely a hallmark of this album and other Michael Jackson albums, such as Dangerous), but the vocals and mid-range were perfect to our ears.
Since it’s a small speaker (280mm wide, 124mm deep, and 172mm tall), the bass can sound a little off depending on where you sit, or where the speaker is placed in your home. Placing the speaker in the front of a room is your best bet. We placed it in an existing entertainment centre, and the sound was deep when we listened from the front and from the sides.Read more: UE Megaboom wireless speaker
There’s not much more to say about this Lenco speaker. It’s one that can easily fill a room with loud, accurate sound, and it’s a good choice if you want to delve into the realm of high-resolution audio. We like the choice of connectivity (Ethernet, Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi Direct, Bluetooth, auxiliary), and we think the style is neat and understated. We wish the buttons were a little easier to press, though, as they don’t feel good enough for a speaker in this price range. The app could also be a little better in terms of controlling the speaker’s volume, and we wish it could power the speaker on and off.
A wireless router with Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS) is a requirement for this speaker if you want to use it in Wi-Fi mode, and it will need to be a quick one of at least 300Mbps if you wish to play FLAC files and high-resolution audio.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Gadgets & Things
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Finally! LG OLED TV 2016 range review
- 2 Fetch TV Mighty review: Better than Foxtel
- 3 Fetch TV Mini review: Make your TV a smart TV
- 4 Panasonic Viera DX900U UHD 4K smart TV review
- 5 Parrot Mambo Drone review
Latest News Articles
- Plex embraces Kodi as Plex Media Player becomes available to all
- 'Google Cast' is being phased out in favor of Chromecast for connected TVs and speakers
- PlayStation Vue is now available on Apple TV
- Apple's new TV app puts all the shows and movies you want to watch in one spot
- AT&T will acquire Time Warner for US$85.4b in content play
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- Best phone of the year 2016
- TV of the year award 2016
- Finally! LG OLED TV 2016 range review
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- CCTest Lead : Perth BasedSA
- FTBusiness Development AnalystVIC
- CCSenior Software EngineerACT
- CCAzure/Sharepoint DeveloperNSW
- CCIngres DeveloperSA
- FTSenior Test Analyst (HL7)VIC
- CCCloud Solution Architect - Financial Services - Continuous IntegrationNSW
- FTSAP Service Delivery ManagerACT
- FTService Lifecycle Management RepresentativeVIC
- TPSHAREPOINT SPECIALISTQLD
- CCSenior Change Manager - Financial ServicesNSW
- FTSecurity AdministratorVIC
- CCFull Stack Developer - Be a part of an innovation programVIC
- TPSenior Business Analyst - HRISQLD
- CCChange ManagerQLD
- CCApplication Specialist (Cerner)QLD
- FTSenior C++ EngineerACT
- FTSenior Architect, Financial MarketsNSW
- CCWindows System EngineerNSW
- TPProject Coordinator. Business Process Improvement ProgramNSW
- CCProduct Designer - UIACT
- FTProject ManagerNSW
- CCSAP PM/ MRS ConsultantVIC
- FTSecurity Sales SpecialistVIC
- FTJava Developers X 2QLD