The 3 Best LG Soundbars of 2021 Reviews

Updated
Best LG Soundbars

We've currently tested 16 LG soundbars. The brand makes well-built soundbars with lots of connectivity options, but the models we've tested don't stand out in respect to sound quality.

Updates

Best LG Soundbars


  1. Best LG Soundbar

    8.0
    Mixed Usage
    8.2
    Dialogue/TV Shows
    8.1
    Music
    7.9
    Movies
    Channels
    7.1.4

    The LG SP11RA is the best LG soundbar we've tested. This 7.1.4 setup supports Dolby Atmos content and comes with an AI Room Calibration feature that automatically optimizes the setup's sound according to the unique acoustics of the room it's placed in. With this feature enabled, it has a slightly boomy, though overall neutral sound profile, making it suitable for listening to a wide variety of audio content. It also comes with many sound enhancement features, including EQ presets and bass and treble adjustments to customize its sound. Additionally, it can get pretty loud with little compression present at max volume, so your audio sounds clean during louder listening sessions.

    Unfortunately, the bar is quite large and likely won't fit between the legs of a 55 inch TV stand. There also isn't a full graphic EQ you can use for more comprehensive sound customization. Additionally, there's some distortion present when the bar is pushed to its max volume, though this may not be very noticeable by most people with real-life content.

    See our review

  2. Best 5.1 LG Soundbar

    8.0
    Mixed Usage
    8.2
    Dialogue/TV Shows
    8.2
    Music
    7.7
    Movies
    Channels
    5.1.2

    The best 5.1 LG soundbar we've tested is the LG SP9YA. This 5.1.2 setup has a neutral and balanced sound profile suitable for listening to a variety of audio content with its room correction feature turned on. While it doesn't come with a more comprehensive graphic EQ, there are many sound enhancement features including EQ presets and bass and treble adjustments to tweak its sound to your liking. There are very few compression artifacts present at max volume, so your audio sounds clean at louder volume levels. It also features a full HDMI In port, so you can use it as a hub between your different devices. Also, thanks to its discrete center channel, dialogue in movies and TV shows is reproduced clearly.

    Unfortunately, while it supports Dolby Atmos content, it uses up-firing speakers which don't sound very immersive. It also doesn't feature an AUX port so you can't wire your devices to the bar, and it offers a poor surrounds performance. That said, you can purchase satellite speakers for it separately. If you're looking for a good 5.1 LG soundbar, it's still a solid choice.

    See our review

  3. Best 3.1 LG Soundbar

    7.9
    Mixed Usage
    8.3
    Dialogue/TV Shows
    8.0
    Music
    7.6
    Movies
    Channels
    3.1.2

    The LG SP8YA is the best LG soundbar with a 3.1 setup that we've tested. This 3.1.2 setup is the next generation of the LG SN8YG. It comes with an AI Room Calibration feature that automatically adjusts its sound according to the acoustics of your room. With this feature enabled, it has a bass-heavy sound profile, so you can feel the thump and punch in bass-heavy music or action-packed movie scenes. There are also EQ presets and bass and treble adjustments you can use to tweak its sound to your liking. It can get pretty loud without much compression present at max volume, so your audio sounds clean during louder listening sessions. It also supports Dolby Atmos and DTS:X content which may please some movie fans.

    Unfortunately, it has to downmix surround content into stereo to play it, which doesn't sound very immersive. It also doesn't feature a more comprehensive full graphic EQ to customize its sound. Additionally, there's some distortion present at max volume, though this may not be noticeable by most people with real-life content.

    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 that makes the bar look dirty. Fortunately, the LG soundbars we've tested 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 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 diffused.
  • Low max volume. The LG soundbars that we've tested 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 several price points. While their higher-priced models are generally more feature-packed than their more affordable ones, all LG soundbars we've tested, regardless of price, have been well-built, with lots of different physical input options. Their more expensive models support additional surround sound formats and wireless playback options but don't deliver as premium an experience as other brands. The LG soundbars we've tested tend to be quieter, with fewer channels and less immersive soundstages than the competition.

Lineup

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

  • SK* = 2018
  • SL* = 2019
  • SN* = 2020
  • SP* = 2021
  • *Y = standard, no extra features or speakers
  • *YG = with Google Assistant
  • *RG = with rear speakers and Google Assistant

Recent Updates

  1. Aug 20, 2021: Replaced the LG SN11RG with the newer generation LG SP11RA. Replaced the LG SN9YG with the LG SP9YA since it performs better overall. Also replaced the LG GX Soundbar with the better-performing LG SP8YA. The text was updated for consistency.

  2. Apr 22, 2021: No changes in product picks after verifying their accuracy and availability.

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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