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The 2 Best LG Soundbars of 2020
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Best LG Soundbars

We've currently reviewed 5 LG soundbars. The brand makes well-built soundbars with lots of connectivity options, but the models we've tested so far don't stand out in respect to sound quality. However, we haven't reviewed many models from their 2020 lineup yet. We'll update this article once we've reviewed more.

Updates

Best LG Soundbars


  1. Best LG Soundbar

    7.3
    Mixed Usage
    7.0
    Dialogue/TV Shows
    7.6
    Music
    7.3
    Movies
    Channels
    5.1.2

    The best LG soundbar we've tested so far is the LG SL10YG. It has a premium design, multiple wireless playback options, and supports Dolby Atmos. It has an excited sound profile, which isn't the most neutral for movies or video games but sounds quite well-balanced for music. It also has quite a few sound adjustment options to help you tweak the way it sounds to better suit your tastes. While it has a discreet center channel for clearer dialogue in TV shows, it doesn't have any extra dialogue enhancement features.

    On the downside, it only has 5.1.2 channels. While this won't be an issue if you just like watching TV shows or watching movies, it's a bit disappointing for movie lovers, especially compared to some of the best soundbars we've tested from other brands like the 7.1.4 Samsung HW-Q90R, or the Nakamichi Shockwafe Ultra 9.2Ch, which comes with two subwoofers and four up-firing speakers. The LG SN11RG, which is the company's flagship model for 2020, is supposed to have 7.1.4 channels. However, we haven't yet tested it, so until we know how it performs, this 2019 soundbar remains our top pick.

    See our review

  2. Best 3.1 LG Soundbar

    6.6
    Mixed Usage
    6.9
    Dialogue/TV Shows
    6.8
    Music
    6.3
    Movies
    Channels
    3.1

    The best 3.1 LG soundbar we've tested so far is the LG SN6Y. Part of LG's 2020 lineup, it replaces the 2019 LG SL6Y with a few noticeable differences. The soundbar itself doesn't look very different, but the subwoofer's design is more streamlined, and it also produces slightly deeper bass. It has a slightly more bass-heavy sound profile overall, but it still does a fair job at reproducing clear, natural-sounding voices and dialogue thanks to its excellent center channel performance. It can also get quite a bit louder than most LG soundbars we've tested.

    While it supports the most common surround formats, it's not as fully-featured as higher-end 3.1 soundbars that support Dolby Atmos, like the Sony HT-Z9F or the Samsung HW-Q70R. In addition, when downmixing surround content to its three speakers, it creates a rather boomy, bass-heavy surround mix. While there are no controls to adjust the surround levels themselves, fortunately, you can adjust the soundbar's overall amount of bass and treble.

    See our review

Compared to other brands


  • Very good build quality. LG soundbars are generally very well-built, even their more affordable models. Some companies cover their soundbars with a dark fabric that tends to collect dust and make the bar look dirty after just short periods. Fortunately, the LG soundbars we've reviewed so far all have a more premium design, with a brushed metal or textured plastic finish that looks and feels more high-end.
  • Great wireless playback options. While most soundbars support Bluetooth, LG's soundbars tend to go above and beyond by also supporting wireless playback over Wi-Fi, as well as Chromecast built-in.
  • Lots of connectivity inputs. All the LG soundbars we've tested today have optical, HDMI ARC, and full-HDMI inputs, with the higher-end models often having two full HDMI inputs.
  • Additional rear speaker purchase required for 7.1 surround. Most of LG's flagships only provide 5.1.2 channels of audio by default. If you want your favorite 7.1 surround movies to sound their best on the SL10YG or the SK10Y, you need to purchase LG's additional wireless rear speaker kit. Fortunately, the 2020 LG SN11RG should have 7.1.4 channels out-of-the-box. However, the company is quite late to the game compared to brands like Sony and Nakamichi that have had full 7.1 models out since 2017.
  • Unremarkable stereo soundstages. A natural soundstage helps make music, movies, and video games sound more immersive. While none of the LG soundbars we've tested so far have a particularly bad soundstage, none are very good, either. Generally, they're only about as wide as the bar itself, if not a bit narrower, and sound rather diffused.
  • Low max volume. The LG soundbars we've tested so far have all been quieter than most. Their 2018 models were the worst offenders, but even their newer releases struggle to get as loud as the competition.

Like Sony or Samsung, LG makes different soundbars at a number of different price points. While their higher-priced models are generally more feature-packed than their more affordable ones, all LG soundbars we've tested so far, regardless of price, have been well-built, with lots of different physical input options. Their more expensive models support more surround sound formats and wireless playback options but don't deliver as premium an experience as some other brands. The LG soundbars we've tested so far tend to be quieter, with fewer channels, and less immersive soundstages than the competition. However, we've yet to review much from the 2020 lineup, so we'll keep this page updated with any differences with their most recent releases.

Lineup

Like with their TVs, LG uses a combination of letters and numbers for their model names.

  • SK* = 2018
  • SL* = 2019
  • SN* = 2020
  • *Y = standard, no extra features or speakers
  • *YG = with Google Assistant
  • *RG = with rear speakers and Google Assistant

Conclusion

LG is a brand well-known for their wide range of TVs, but they've also been making quite a few different soundbar models over the past few years. They're generally very well-built, with lots of different physical inputs and wireless playback options. However, they don't deliver the best sound performance overall, mostly due to their fairly narrow, diffused soundstages. Their default sound profiles are also often quite far from neutral. Fortunately, most of the models we've tested have a few different sound customization features, so you can usually tweak them a bit to get a sound profile that you like.

Test results

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