LG Sound bar review: hands on with SP9YA sound bar and subwoofer


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Erin Lawrence

LG sound bar and subwoofer, review SP9YA, dolby atmos

Shopping for a sound bar can be majorly intimidating. Prices range from budget to Bentley and the amount of features and tech options can seem overwhelming. I recently had the chance to review one of LG’s newest TVs so I used the opportunity to check out their sound bar too. The LG SP9YA is a premium level sound bar, meaning it’s expensive. It combines a smooth, sleek look with a lot of power and clarity. In this review, I’ll look at what its key features are, how it sounds, and what else you need to know if you’re thinking of purchasing it.

LG SP9YA Sound bar and subwoofer review

The SP9YA comes with both a sound bar (about 2.2 inches x 48 inches x 5.7 inches) and a subwoofer (15.4 inches x 8.7 inches x 12.3 inches). You’ll also get a remote, an optical cable, and a power cable, as well as some hardware for mounting.

This LG soundbar is simple, streamlined and won’t draw much attention in your room. Its relatively low height will allow it to sit in front of most TVs without blocking anything, though it is pretty long; not an issue for 55” or bigger TVs but maybe if you’re going smaller.

On-Device controls

LG sound bar and subwoofer, review SP9YA, dolby atmosIt has a small number of controls on the top; you can power the unit off or in, change the input mode, and play or pause. It also has buttons for Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. The controls are all low profile and don’t stand out. There’s a light source in the sound bar that will dim but not turn off entirely.

Setup and Control

The setup for the SP9YA is relatively straightforward. Plug the soundbar in to the TV (I used the Optical Digital Audio cable but you can also use HDMI) and the wall outlet, then plug in the subwoofer. The two pieces will establish a wireless connection between them automatically. I was set up in seconds, and was quite impressed with how easy it was.

Once you’ve connected to Wi-Fi, you can control the device via your usual apps or create routines with Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant.

The soundbar connects to your TV via optical cable or HDMI, and in some cases, you should be able to control the sound level with your TV remote.

App and remote control

The soundbar comes with a small and basic remote control and LG also has an app that allows you to control the speaker mix and control the volume level.

The system offers 520 watts of power, and that audio will be clear due to the soundbar’s ability to play Dolby Atmos.

What is Dolby Atmos?

LG sound bar and subwoofer, review SP9YA, dolby atmosThe sound bar uses Meridian advanced digital processing technology to ensure the speakers’ accurate transfer of input sound. There’s also a Clear Voice option which puts voices to the front speaker to ensure that you can always hear the dialogue, even in loud scenes.

LG has also included AI features that calibrate the speaker for your room by creating audio tones and sensing how quickly they return to the sensor. The AI also senses what kind of audio you’re inputting and switches to the best settings for that source.

Best of all there’s Dolby Atmos technology which has created additional audio channels—these ones are overhead— and uses that overhead layer to place sound into a wider space.

Sound Quality: LG SP9YA Sound bar and subwoofer

I’m going to start off by saying I review a lot of sound bars, and most of them are pretty good. But the LG SP9YA is one of the first in a long time that’s really blown me away with its audio quality.

There’s a lot to like here: the sound bar is big and long and so it fills your viewing area with sound.

The audio is super detailed and crisp and it’s easy to hear the intricacies in a scene.

There’s a good amount of rumble and shake from the subwoofer, and the addition of true overhead channels to supply the extra layer for Dolby Atmos sound is noticeable.

While true Dolby Atmos uses actual speakers affixed overhead to provider a wider soundscape, there are ways to fudge this without buying more speakers. Some soundbars that have only front-firing speakers use digital technology to place those overhead sounds into 3D space, but here, the LG SP9YA is actually firing sound off into the space above using the two speakers you can see on top and it goes a long way to creating a realistic-sounding total sound sphere.

LG sound bar and subwoofer, review SP9YA, dolby atmosIf you’re an audiophile, you’ll be pleased to hear that the SP9YA supports DTS:X FLAC, WAV, MP3, AAC, OGG, as well as Dolby Atmos.

Overall review: LG SP9YA Sound bar and subwoofer

Overall the LG SP9YA is officially my new favourite sound bar. It was set up in seconds, it’s super easy to use, and most importantly it delivers on not only quality audio, but it creates a 3D sound picture thanks to overhead firing speakers imbedded in the top of the bar.
Downsides? Some uses may find it a bit big for their space, and in my configuration is was a bit on the wide side which made it hard to fit around the legs to my TV. I guess that’s not a knock on the bar so much as it means I need a bigger TV stand. The subwoofer is also pretty big and will need to be placed carefully.

Overall if you’re looking for a premium, high quality sound bar with Dolby Atmos performance that delivers, I think you can’t go wrong with the LG SP9YA sound bar and sub. The combo sells for about $1299CAD making it pricey but a worthy investment.

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