With built-in Bluetooth speakers, this fancy fridge wants to bring the sound of music to your kitchen.
Why doesn't every fridge have built-in Bluetooth speakers? After all, plenty of us like to turn on NPR or a podcast as we're cooking breakfast or washing dishes -- packing speakers into an always-powered appliance seems like an obvious way to clear up precious counterspace.
All of which is to say that I like the LG LFXS30786S, a high-end French door model that does exactly that. It's another one of LG's Door-in-Door refrigerators, with a button on the right door handle that lets you open the door's front panel to access the in-door shelves without actually opening the refrigerator. And, like most of the rest of LG's Door-in-Door fridges, it's expensive, retailing at a cool $4,000.
It's a very good refrigerator, though. You can't get it in black stainless steel unless you downgrade to a similar-looking, equally expensive model that doesn't have a built-in speaker, but it still looks decent and feels sturdy to the touch. Speaking of that speaker, it's convenient and easy to use, and its sound quality passes the ear test, at least for kitchen listening. Cooling performance was impressive, too, with fantastic accuracy and consistency in the body of the fridge, and better-than-average temperatures in that Door-in-Door compartment. Simply put, there's a lot to like about the LFXS30786S, and not a lot of notable weaknesses. If a speaker fridge sounds like a smart upgrade to you, it deserves a look.
The LG LFXS30786S looks like the rest of LG's fleet of French door fridges. That's not a bad thing per se, but given that LG hasn't made any major design tweaks to its French door lineup since the debut of Door-in-Door a few years ago, it's a look that feels slightly stale. Certain high-end LG models have started offering black stainless-steel finishes, which helps -- but not the LFXS30786S.
Still it's a decent design that feels well-built inside and out. The touch controls look classy and understated, with white LEDs that shouldn't clash with your kitchen decor. The 19.5-cubic-foot fridge interior is spacious and well-designed, with drawers that glide smoothly in and out and spillproof shelves that were easy enough to rearrange for me to do it one-handed. Even the entire bottom shelf slides out to help you reach items stashed in the back -- an especially nice feature for a fridge that's as deep as this one.
I'm a fan of LG's "Slim Spaceplus" ice maker, too. It's packed entirely inside of the door -- a nice differentiator from competing French door models like the Samsung Food Showcase refrigerator, which stick it up on the top shelf. That approach costs you storage space, and also typically means you'll have an unsightly bulge in the door to catch the ice that falls from above. In a lot of cases, those bulges block off the door shelves below them. No such problem with the LFXS30786S.
As for the Bluetooth speaker, you'll find it on the front of the refrigerator's top rim. There's a single button on it -- give it a press, and the speaker will go into pairing mode, allowing you to discover it on your phone and sync things up.
The speaker runs the near-width of the fridge, but the doors close over top of it. I was worried the sound quality would be a bit muffled as a result, but that wasn't the case. Voices came through crisp and clear as I listened to a podcast in our fridge testing lab, and music sounded good to me, too (and to my co-workers when I sought out second and third opinions). You won't quite get the rich fidelity and depth of sound that you'd expect from a larger, fancier speaker, but it sounds a lot better than you'd probably expect from a refrigerator, and certainly good enough for casual kitchen listening.
LG fridges have fared particularly well in our performance tests, and the LFXS30786S was no exception. At the default, 37-degree setting, the main shelves were dead-on, holding to an average temperature of 37.4 degrees F. That's about as good a result as we've seen, and one that's well below the FDA's food safety benchmark of 40 degrees F. The drawers and the left door shelves performed well, too, averaging out to 36.6 and 37.5, respectively.
There were some warm spots, though. Unsurprisingly, they were in the Door-in-Door compartment. Door shelves often run a bit warm in general, and door shelves that sit behind an extra door panel typically run warmer still. Over two years of refrigerator tests, all of our data shows that these sorts of compartments tend to compromise the door's ability to hold the cold, at least to some extent.
Don't believe me? Take a look at that trio of drawers. In both tests, they get noticeably warmer from left to right. I suspect that the right door's Door-in-Door compartment is the culprit here -- the closer those drawers are to it, the warmer they run.
Still, to LG's credit, those Door-in-Door hot spots were less egregious than we've seen in other, similar fridges. They also dropped down below 40 when we tested the fridge at its coldest setting, which is a better-than-average result.
That said, I maintain that LG's Door-in-Door compartments suffer from clunky execution. If you want to access anything from the inside, you'll need to pull open a thin plastic door first. LG calls it the "ColdSaver," but we've seen similar door-in-a-door fridges without any such barrier that perform just as well. The bottom line -- it's annoying and probably unnecessary.
Something else worth mentioning: the Glide N' Serve drawer at the bottom of the fridge. It's a wide, fairly spacious drawer that's comfortable to use, and it comes with three temperature presets: Meat, Deli and Produce. Drawers like that are always a nice addition, but I wasn't a huge fan of this one, because those temperature presets were more or less useless.
For the first round of tests, I set the drawer to Meat, which is ostensibly as cold as it goes. It came back with an average temperature of 34.7 -- noticeably colder than the rest of the fridge. That's a good result.
But look at that second set of temperatures. That's the fridge at its coldest setting, and for that test, I cranked the Glide N' Serve drawer up to Produce. You would expect the temperature to rise -- but instead, it actually came down with the rest of the fridge, averaging an even lower-than-before 33.1. Conclusion: those presets aren't doing much of anything.
There's a lot to like about this big, expensive fridge. Its cooling performance is about as good as we've seen from a model with a door-in-a-door compartment, and the inside offers an attractive design loaded with helpful features. The addition of a decent-sounding Bluetooth speaker is just icing on the cake.
Still, $4,000 is an awful lot to spend on a fridge with a not-terribly-distinctive design that doesn't come in anything other than standard stainless steel. And it's worth pointing out that Samsung sells a very similar model for several hundred less. Of course, that model isn't as big or as sharp of a performer as LG's, and it has no speakers to speak of.
Questionable value aside, this fridge is decent enough to justify the splurge if the combination of Bluetooth speakers and a Door-in-Door compartment appeals to you. Otherwise, you're probably better off spending less.