Very good sound
Nice companion app
Rear audio system value further
Distant feels restricted
LG’s 3.1.3-channel soundbar is stunningly detailed and well-balanced, with a hearty subwoofer and stellar Dolby Atmos sound.
Concerning the LG S80QY Soundbar
- Peak x Width x Depth: 2.5 x 39.4 x 5.3 inches (soundbar), 16 x 7.9 x 15.9 inches (soundbar)
- Weight: 9.9 kilos (soundbar), 22.1 kilos (subwoofer)
- Audio system/drivers: two entrance left/proper audio system, one middle speaker, two entrance top left/proper audio system, one entrance top middle speaker, one subwoofer
- Wi-fi connection: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0
- Wired connection: One HDMI eARC/ARC, one HDMI output, one digital optical enter, one 3.5mm auxiliary enter, one 3.5mm stereo enter, one USB enter
- Sound codecs: Dolby Atmos, Dolby Digital Plus, DTS:X, DTS Digital Encompass, Dolby TrueHD
- Video assist: 4K, Dolby Imaginative and prescient, HDR10+, HDR10
The complete setup expertise of the LG S80QY was as straightforward as organising a soundbar needs to be. After a fast unboxing, the one obstacles standing in your approach are plugging each the bar and subwoofer into energy, and connecting the bar to your TV. From there, you may hit the bottom working.
Connecting the soundbar to Wi-Fi is simply as easy. LG’s companion soundbar app guides you thru the method of figuring out your soundbar and including it to your community, unlocking a treasure trove of streaming alternatives. Extra on that in a bit.
What we like
Cinematic sound high quality
From the second you hit play in your present binge-worthy content material of selection, the S80QY will get right down to enterprise. The three.1.3-channel soundbar is stunningly detailed and well-balanced—no extra obvious than when watching the sequence premiere of Home of the Dragon. The episode runs the gamut of distinctive sounds, from fire-breathing dragons to the unsettling, nicely, squish of a bludgeon to the face of a jousting competitor. Each bit sounded crisp and visceral, as if we had in some way been transported to King’s Touchdown ourselves.
The system’s subwoofer proved to be a trusty, if considerably sizeable sidekick to the bar as nicely. It added impactful depth to the overwhelming majority of the flicks and TV reveals we ran by it, belting out some severely deep bass notes in music-listening periods that ranged from Infantile Gambino to Outdated Dominion and every thing in between. The LG S80QY sounded candy, it doesn’t matter what I threw at it.
The bar has three upfiring drivers for Dolby Atmos playback, and whereas it might not have stolen the present by way of sound high quality, it was a strong addition to the cinematic ensemble. Within the opening scene of She-Hulk: Lawyer at Legislation (spoilers!) the audio system have been significantly spectacular as a ship got here crashing down from the heavens to abruptly intercept the present’s protagonists. I’m not fully offered on the bar’s upfiring middle channel, which LG says improves your capacity to listen to dialogue clearly, however it wasn’t a hindrance on the general impact.
A strong companion app
Some soundbar apps are elective equipment, and a few are vital to getting essentially the most out of your bar’s efficiency. It’s the latter with the S80QY, as LG’s soundbar app shows a world’s price of controls in an simply digestible method. Your house display reveals whether or not or not your subwoofer is linked, the enter that the soundbar is on, the sound impact it’s set to, the amount it’s presently at, and eventually presents an choice to toggle on Evening Time mode for much less dynamic, late-night listening.
Faucet the Settings icon within the higher righthand nook, and also you’re met with a sprawling menu of instruments to mess with. You may toggle on completely different sound settings corresponding to Neural:X and IMAX Enhancement, in addition to begin an AI Room Calibration function meant to optimize the S80QY’s sound primarily based on the listening area that it’s in. Most significantly, you may modify the degrees of every of the system’s audio system to your liking, permitting you to spice up the middle channel for elevated dialogue or add some further three-dimensional presence to your top audio system.
Shortly after downloading the app, I discovered myself utilizing it virtually solely to regulate and tune the soundbar. Even should you don’t plan on adjusting a lot in the way in which of settings, it’s a required useful resource to get one of the best out of this technique.
It’s a compatibility machine
Whereas some soundbar manufacturers have gravitated away from Wi-Fi with latest merchandise (cough, Vizio), LG is pushing its connectivity chips to the middle of the desk. The S80QY helps Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and Apple AirPlay 2, with direct assist for streaming companies like Tidal and Spotify. It additionally helps Chromecast and Group Play Mode, permitting you so as to add the bar into an ecosystem of suitable audio system throughout your property.
Signing into your Alexa account even prompts you to set the S80QY as your most well-liked speaker for music, that means that everytime you ask Alexa to play a track, it intuitively performs on the soundbar. So, whereas Bluetooth is a streaming possibility with this soundbar, there are many different, oftentimes higher methods to get your music to the S80QY.
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What we don’t like
Encompass sound comes at a price
It’s attainable so as to add a pair of rear audio system to the S80QY for a full, 5.1.3-channel encompass sound expertise. The catch is, you’ll be out one other $200 for the LG SPQ8-S wi-fi rear speaker equipment on prime of the preliminary $900 spent on the unique system. Which may not be the largest transgression, till you take into account that flagship choices just like the Vizio Elevate soundbar present a 5.1.4 package deal for about $800.
So as to add insult to (monetary) damage, LG even added sufficient element about connecting the wi-fi rear audio system to its guide that I needed to examine the packaging to verify I didn’t in some way miss the satellites someplace. For some, including these rear audio system could also be a worthwhile buy. It’s simply an added value to an already dear package deal, representing an additional hurdle to recover from earlier than attaining true encompass sound.
The distant can’t do it alone
The S80QY’s bodily distant incorporates a glossy design that does match properly in your hand. That’s the place the buck stops, although. On a number of events of making an attempt to toggle by means of settings to make the sound adjustment I wished, I gave up and as a substitute resorted to the app, the place adjusting top stage settings or bass have been merely a couple of clicks away.
Devoted buttons for bass and top ranges would have been a simple answer, and the S80QY’s distant has loads of actual property obtainable to take action. I’m all for simplicity, however the distant doesn’t fairly reduce it as a standalone controller.
Do you have to purchase the LG S80QY soundbar?
Sure, so long as you don’t want encompass sound
The LG S80QY is a good, sound-quality targeted system that can enhance each the way in which you watch and the way you hear. It’s massive on bass, gives strong Dolby Atmos efficiency, and has a neat companion app to assist dial issues in. Plus, it’s a modernized soundbar, full with compatibility for in style good assistants and streaming companies alike.
It isn’t a whole encompass sound answer out of the field, although. The Vizio Elevate is considerably cheaper, and the Vizio M-Sequence 5.1.2 does the identical for a good larger financial savings. Our favourite Dolby Atmos system in the mean time, the Samsung HW-Q950A is a costlier possibility. However after factoring in the price of LG’s wi-fi rear speaker equipment, the Samsung isn’t too far off to no less than take into account.
Encompass sound apart, although, the S80QY nonetheless packs a beautiful audio expertise right into a easy package deal. If boatloads of bass and distinctive, immersive sound are extra necessary to you than rear audio system, then LG’s latest soundbar may simply be the ticket.
Costs have been correct on the time this text was revealed however might change over time.
Meet the tester
Nick Woodard is a tech journalist specializing in all issues associated to house theater and A/V. His background features a strong basis as a sports activities author for a number of day by day newspapers, and he enjoys mountain climbing and mountain biking in his spare time.
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