CES Technology: Taking a look at LG's best soundbars for TV shows, movies and music
By Adrian Back
Whether you want to create a home cinema or experience stunning surround sound, LG’s range of soundbars hits the right note at CES 2020.
While televisions have become more aesthetically pleasing to the eye thanks to being lighter and slimmer, there remains a need for audio quality to match. After purchasing a TV with an incredible resolution, the last thing you want is a tinny sound when watching your favourite Hollywood blockbuster or streaming the latest series.
When it comes to watching TV, everyone wants to become totally immersed in the action, and having a rich sound that complements the picture is non-negotiable. At one time this would have meant investing in bulky sound systems, but now the very best soundbars can produce incredible surround sound thanks to a range of firing speakers all contained within a sleek, compact design that can be seamlessly integrated into your home.
A great solution for living rooms and even those investing in a home cinema, LG’s vast range of soundbars will enhance any viewing experience as they project sound in such a way that makes the viewer feel as if they’ve been transported directly through their screens and thrown straight into the action.
Below you can discover more about the benefits of purchasing a soundbar and find the very latest information on the brand-new LG soundbars CES 2020 had to offer.
The CES 2020 show
The new soundbars at CES 2020 aimed to provide an immersive sound that perfectly complements the superior visual entertainment experience that LG is renowned for. AI Room Calibration is a new feature that will allow you to have optimised sound within your room, no matter the size and dimensions. The soundbars are self-calibrating, and able to recognise and analyse tones to adjust the sound to perfectly suit your space, taking the idea of smart sound to a whole new level.
But the sound optimisation doesn’t stop there – LG’s premium soundbars will also pack in a processing algorithm that can upscale conventional file formats to near-studio quality. And, when you purchase an optional SPK8 wireless rear speaker kit, you can get even more cinematic-like sound. More models than ever will be compatible with the SPK8, as well as with Google Assistant in 2020.
Take your viewing experience to the next level
With televisions becoming thinner, the amount of space needed to contain quality speakers has diminished. Therefore, many in-built speakers will struggle to reproduce deep, low, bass sounds and can often sound slightly muffled. This means that the sound quality is well below the image quality, especially with 8K resolutions and some LG televisions boasting as many as 33 million pixels.
With the addition of a soundbar, the entire viewing experience can be lifted thanks to clever speaker configurations. Many of the LG range boast both front, rear, side and even upward-firing speakers which help to create an all-encompassing atmosphere thanks to the audio bouncing off the walls and the ceiling.
The LG Sound Bar SL10YG also features High Resolution Audio which delivers 192kHz sampling rates and 24bit depth, both of which create more accurate sound and help to bring TV shows and movies to life.
An LG soundbar can also be used to listen to music, with many even having Chromecast audio software built-in. This allows you to open a cast-enabled app such as Spotify and at the touch of a button stream your favourite songs through your speaker. Alternatively, they also have Bluetooth, Dual HDMI and Optical connections so no matter what device your music is on, it is easy to listen to it through the soundbar.
Part of a smarter home
As well as acting as a high-quality speaker for your television and your music, an LG soundbar can become a crucial part of a smart home.
The LG SL10YG is one of the first of it’s kind to be compatible with both Google Assistant and Dolby Atmos. With this smart soundbar, Google Assistant enables voice commands to find information and play music, with stunning audio quality thanks to Dolby Atmos.
By simply saying the words, “Hey Google”, you can transform the soundbar into a fully functioning smart speaker. This allows you to get the latest news headlines, find out what the weather’s like or get the name of the track you are listening to, all with a voice command. If you also have other smart apps in your house, you can control it all through your soundbar, so you could even create some mood lighting for watching your favourite film.
Learn from the experts
In order to create exceptional sound quality, LG partnered with the British pioneers of high-resolution audio, Meridian. The company has been crafting innovative and elegant speakers since 1977 and was the pioneer of the home digital loudspeaker and the CD player.
Meridian Audio’s expertise also set a new standard for automotive audio with the world’s first in-car 3D surround sound system in 2012 and now this knowledge has been brought to the world of soundbars.
In the LG SL10YG and the SL9YG, Meridian's advanced digital signal processing technology has been integrated which delivers a wide soundstage and raises the audio to ear level. This is crucial as it allows music and effects to be spread to either side of the viewer, almost creating a wall of sound that makes the action even more immersive.
This type of sound is not only advantageous when watching TV shows and films, but is particularly effective when playing computer games - especially action-adventure titles such as The Last of Us and Resident Evil 2.
Creating fully immersive sound
Another way that the best LG soundbars create incredible audio is by incorporating Dolby Atmos. One of the most impressive and important technologies in home cinema, the viewer can become encased in a bubble of sound, with dialogue and thunderous effects placed at an exact point in the home.
What was once only available through purchasing a host of surround sound speakers, now a soundbar can recreate this effect. This incredible all-encompassing sound will not only make you feel closer to the action, but when used cleverly by Hollywood directors, will ensure you are jumping at just the right moment.
A significant advancement in the 7.1 surround-sound set-up, Dolby Atmos is now used in cinemas around the world and is often demonstrated by playing the sound of a jumbo jet flying overhead. This can be recreated in a soundbar and it is not just booming effects, but subtle adjustments in the audio that throw the sound to a different part of the room.
This leads to a fully immersive experience and allows you to feel even closer to the action, whether playing the latest video game, streaming your favourite TV series or watching a classic action movie. Life’s good!