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LG S80QR Soundbar Review

Tested using Methodology v1.1
Reviewed Feb 09, 2023 at 11:08 am
Latest change: Writing modified May 16, 2023 at 12:59 pm
LG S80QR Picture

The LG S80QR was released in 2022. It's a mid-range offering from LG that's available on its own as the LG S80QY or with the LG SPQ8-S satellites added on for improved surround sound performance. Like the LG S90QY and the LG S95QR, its unique design includes an additional up-firing center channel on top of the bar for higher-quality dialogue reproduction. You also get access to lots of LG's premium features, like the AI Room Calibration tool as well as TV Sound Mode Share for improved sound with compatible LG TVs.

Our Verdict

N/A Mixed Usage

The LG S80QR is very good for mixed usage. This setup reproduces voices and other lead instruments clearly right out of the box, making it a solid pick for lots of different music genres. With its additional up-firing center channel, it clearly reproduces dialogue in all your favorite movies and TV shows. With the added satellites, you get a pretty immersive feel with movies.

Pros
  • Room correction feature.
  • Bass and treble adjustments.
  • Dolby Atmos support.
Cons
  • No graphic EQ.
N/A Dialogue/TV Shows

The LG S80QR is great for dialogue-centric TV shows and podcasts. Uniquely, it comes with not one but two center channels, both of which are designed to improve the quality of vocal reproduction. You can easily follow along with the action on screen, and there's even a dialogue enhancement tool on hand if you want to make voices more crisp in the mix. You have lots of options if you want to stream podcasts or audiobooks to the bar, including Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.

Pros
  • Room correction feature.
  • Dialogue enhancement tool.
Cons
  • No graphic EQ.
N/A Music

The LG S80QR is very good for music. Since it comes with a room correction feature, it automatically optimizes its output based on your room's unique acoustics. Voices and lead instruments are clear in the mix right out of the box, so it's suitable for lots of different genres. You can adjust the bass and the treble based on your preferences. It lacks a touch of low-bass compared to other setups on the market, which is especially noticeable with bass-heavy music like EDM and hip-hop.

Pros
  • Room correction feature.
  • Bass and treble adjustments.
Cons
  • Lacks a touch of low-bass.
N/A Movies

The LG S80QR is very good for movies. Whether you're watching from a streaming platform or a Blu-ray disc, the bar supports lots of common audio formats, including Dolby Digital and Dolby Atmos. Plus, the added satellites improve its overall performance, so you get a more clear and real feel with your favorite films. Sound stretches into the space around your couch, so you feel like you're right in the middle of the action. That said, the lack of low-bass is a touch noticeable with action-packed scenes, especially in comparison with other premium setups on the market.

Pros
  • Room correction feature.
  • Dialogue enhancement tool.
  • Dolby Atmos support.
Cons
  • Lacks a touch of low-bass.
  • N/A Mixed Usage
  • N/A Dialogue/TV Shows
  • N/A Music
  • N/A Movies
  1. Updated May 16, 2023: Added market comparison with the LG S75QR in the Stereo Frequency Response box.
  2. Updated Mar 27, 2023: Added cable lengths to In The Box.
  3. Updated Mar 22, 2023: Converted to Test Bench 1.1. With this update, we've added a Mounting test and added information aboutSubwoofer Output, Spotify Connect, and Microphone Mute.
  4. Updated Feb 09, 2023: Review published.
  5. Updated Feb 03, 2023: Early access published.
  6. Updated Feb 02, 2023: Our testers have started testing this product.
  7. Updated Jan 25, 2023: The product has arrived in our lab, and our testers will start evaluating it soon.
  8. Updated Jan 25, 2023: We've purchased the product and are waiting for it to arrive in our lab.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

You can buy the LG S80QY with only the soundbar and the subwoofer. However, the results in this review apply to the LG SQ80Y with SPQ8-S speaker kit, also known as the LG S80QR soundbar, which includes the satellites as well.

They're available in black, and you can see the label for the satellites here.

Compared To Other Soundbars

The LG S80QR is a 5.1.3 soundbar from the manufacturer's 2022 lineup. Compared to the LG S80QY on its own, the added satellites make for an improved surround sound experience, resulting in a more clear and real reproduction of sound effects in the space around you. Otherwise, the features offered between these bars are the same.

See also our recommendations for the best soundbars, the best 5.1 soundbars, and the best Dolby Atmos soundbars.

LG S80QY

The LG S80QR is the same as the LG S80QY but comes with the SPQ8-S rear speaker kit, improving the overall surround sound performance. Satellites help to reproduce sound effects in a more clear and real way, so sound stretches into the space around your room for an immersive feel with both 5.1 surround and Dolby Atmos content.

LG S95QR

The LG S95QR is better than the LG S80QR. They're both Dolby Atmos soundbars with similar features, including AI Room Calibration and TV Sound Mode Share. However, the S95QR has a 9.1.5 setup, meaning that its satellites come with additional channels compared to the SPQ8-S speakers, which improve its surround sound and Atmos performances. Plus, it offers a better stereo soundstage.

LG S75QR

The LG S80QR is better than the LG S75QR. The S80QR is a 5.1.3 setup with an additional up-firing center channel to improve vocal reproduction in the mix. It offers more features, too, such as room correction and Wi-Fi support. It also has a better low-frequency extension, so you notice more low-bass in the mix.

LG S90QY

The LG S80QR is a bit better than the LG S90QY overall. The LG S90QY is a 5.1.3 setup with phantom surround drivers built into the bar itself. Since it lacks satellites, it's great if you're low on space. However, dedicated surround speakers like the SPQ8-S noticeably improve the S80QR's performance with Atmos and surround sound content. You can also add this speaker kit to the S90QY if you want to improve its performance.

LG S90QY with SPQ8-S Speaker Kit

The LG S80QR is similar to the LG S90QY with SPQ8-S Speaker Kit in many regards. However, the S90QY comes with two more side-firing surround channels. It doesn't make a massive difference in the sound, but the S90QY does offer a better soundstage overall, so you feel more immersed in your audio.

LG SP9YA

The LG S80QR is a bit better than the LG SP9YA. This is especially true if you like to watch a lot of surround sound or Dolby Atmos content since the SPQ8-S Speaker Kit improves its performance in this regard. If you don't have space for satellites, the SP9YA is a good alternative.

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Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Style - Bar

This soundbar is mostly made of plastic, and fabric covers the front and the sides. On top of the bar, three circular metal grilles cover the up-firing drivers.

Design
Style - Subwoofer
Sub Wireless
Locked
Enclosure
Locked

The sub is fairly plain. The speaker on the side is covered with fabric.

Design
Style - Satellites
Satellite Wireless
Locked

The LG SPQ8-S are speakers with a similar build to the soundbar itself. They're mostly made of plastic, and fabric covers the front and the sides. They connect to a wireless receiver that's made of the same plastic.

Design
Dimensions - Bar
Width Lock" (Lock cm)
Height Lock" (Lock cm)
Depth Lock" (Lock cm)

The bar itself is fairly wide, so it doesn't fit between the legs of a 55" TV stand. However, since it isn't very tall, it won't block your TV screen.

Design
Dimensions - Subwoofer
Width Lock" (Lock cm)
Height Lock" (Lock cm)
Depth Lock" (Lock cm)

The sub's size is comparable to an average desktop computer. Since it's wireless, you have lots of flexibility when putting it in your living room.

Design
Dimensions - Satellites
Width Lock" (Lock cm)
Height Lock" (Lock cm)
Depth Lock" (Lock cm)

The speakers have a similar size compared to other models on the market. However, you have to wire them to the included wireless receiver, which limits their placement a bit.

The wireless receiver module is 6.9" (17.5 cm) wide, 2.3" (6 cm) tall, and 7.2" (18.3 cm) deep.

Design
Mounting
Mountable Bar
Locked
Bar Brackets Included
Locked
Mountable Satellites
Locked
Satellite Brackets Included
Locked
N/A
Design
Build Quality

The build quality is great overall. The speakers and the bar itself have a similar design, with a sturdy and solid plastic build. Also, the fabric on the sides has a tight fit, so it doesn't seem likely to rip. The subwoofer feels sturdy, too.

Design
In The Box

  • Manuals
  • 3x power cables (4.9 ft / 1.5m)
  • HDMI cable (4.9 ft / 1.5m)
  • Remote with 2x AA batteries
  • Mounting brackets with screws
  • Mounting template
  • 2x satellite speaker wires (16 ft / 4.9m)
  • Ferrite core

Sound
N/A
Sound
Stereo Frequency Response
Tested Preset
Locked
Slope
Lock
Std. Err.
Lock dB
Channels
5.1.3
Low-Frequency Extension
Lock Hz
High-Frequency Extension
Lock kHz

The LG S80QR has a very good stereo frequency response. A room calibration tool is available to optimize its output based on your room's unique characteristics. With it on, the bar has a decent overall sound, with a clear and accurate reproduction of voices and lead instruments that makes it suitable for listening to most types of audio content. However, there's a little extra emphasis in the high-bass that adds a bassy quality to certain tracks and a dip in the low-treble that pushes higher-pitched instruments like cymbals toward the back of the mix. You also don't notice as much rumble in the low-bass as with other premium setups, though it does better than comparable models like the LG S75QR.

Note: There's a slight difference in the slope between the LG S80QY on its own and the same bar with the LG SPQ8-S speaker kit. It's likely due to testing variation and possible differences in the acoustic characteristics of our testing room during the room calibration process. Still, you aren't likely to notice a major difference in stereo sound with or without the speaker kit.

N/A
Sound
Stereo Frequency Response With Preliminary Calibration
Suggested Preset
Locked
Suggested Bass Setting
Lock
Suggested Treble Setting
Lock
Slope
Lock
Std. Err.
Lock dB
Low-Frequency Extension
Lock Hz
High-Frequency Extension
Lock kHz

If you prefer a more balanced sound with stereo content, set the bass to -3 and the treble to 3. The resulting sound is more even, with less boom in the high-bass, so you don't notice as much of a bassy sound with certain tracks. The added emphasis in the treble brings more accuracy to the reproduction of higher-pitched sounds like cymbals.

N/A
Sound
Stereo Soundstage
Crosstalk Error
Lock dB

The LG S80QR has a decent stereo soundstage. The soundstage is perceived to be a bit wider than the bar, but it doesn't have any tricks to make it stretch past that. Also, sound objects like instruments seem to come from more general areas in the space around you rather than from pinpoint locations.

N/A
Sound
Stereo Dynamics
SPL @ Max Volume
Lock dB SPL
DRC @ Max Volume
Lock dB

The LG S80QR gets fairly loud, so it fills average living rooms with sound easily. Plus, as you push it to max volume, there isn't a lot of compression, so audio reproduction remains clean and pure.

N/A
Sound
Stereo Total Harmonic Distortion
Weighted THD @ 80dB
Lock
Weighted THD @ Max Volume
Lock

The LG S80QR has a fair stereo THD performance. At a normal listening volume, distortion falls within good limits, so audio is reproduced with clarity. While there's a slight jump when you push the bar to max volume, it's important to remember that distortion is really hard to hear with real-life content.

N/A
Sound
Center
Localization
Locked
Slope
Lock
Std. Err.
Lock dB
SPL @ Max Volume
Lock dB SPL
Weighted THD @ 80dB
Lock
Weighted THD @ Max Volume
Lock

This soundbar's unique design includes a traditional front-firing center channel as well as an up-firing center channel on top of the bar. Overall, its center channel performance is great. Thanks to its balanced response, voices are clear and present in the mix, and it's easy to follow along with the action on screen. However, the additional center channel doesn't make the bar's performance stand outโ โ€”in fact, its performance is similar to other bars on the market with only one front-firing center channel.

N/A
Sound
Surround 5.1
Localization
Locked
Slope
Lock
Std. Err.
Lock dB
SPL @ Max Volume
Lock dB SPL
Weighted THD @ 80dB
Lock
Weighted THD @ Max Volume
Lock
7.1 Rears
Locked

The added speakers make a noticeable difference in the bar's surrounds performance compared to the standalone LG S80QY. Thanks to its discrete surrounds, audio seems more clear and real in the space around you. Sound effects are localized to more accurate positions within the space around your couch, so you get more of a feeling of action taking place all around you. That said, the uneven graph means that certain frequencies are more pronounced than others, making it seem as if some details are more emphasized than others in the mix.

N/A
Sound
Height (Atmos)
Localization
Locked
Slope
Lock
Std. Err.
Lock dB
SPL @ Max Volume
Lock dB SPL
Weighted THD @ 80dB
Lock
Weighted THD @ Max Volume
Lock

The LG S80QR has three up-firing drivers. Two of them ricochet sound off the ceiling to create the illusion of height, while the up-firing center driver only plays center content. While the bar's performance isn't as real-sounding as what you get with a dedicated home theater setup, it still does a fair job compared to other soundbars. Dialogue and other sound effects are fairly clear in the mix, and the sub brings some rumble in the low-bass during action-packed scenes.

Subjectively, the added speakers improve the bar's Atmos performance compared to the standalone bar. Sound effects seem to stretch to the space around your couch, so you feel like the action is taking place all around you. That said, it's not quite as impressive as other premium setups on the market, as it struggles to replicate sounds that are meant to come above you, like drones flying past. Some details seem to be emphasized more than others, as suggested by the uneven frequency response. Unfortunately, this makes it feel like the rears aren't properly integrated into the sound.

N/A
Sound
Sound Enhancement Features
Room Correction
Locked
Dialogue Enhancement
Locked
Auto-Volume/Night Mode
Locked
Subwoofer Level Adjustment
Locked
Bass Adjustment
Locked
Treble Adjustment
Locked
EQ
Locked
Surround Level Adjustment
Locked
Rear Level Adjustment
Locked
Height Level Adjustment
Locked
Virtual Surround
Locked

The LG S80QR comes with a lot of sound enhancement features to help you switch up its sound. Like other premium setups, its AI Room Calibration feature adjusts the bar's output based on your room's unique acoustics, which you can activate through the app. There are bass and treble adjustments on hand, too, as well as some EQ presets: 'Standard', 'Bass Blast', 'AI Sound Pro', 'Cinema', 'Sports', 'Game', 'Clear Voice', and 'Music'.

It's not uncommon to see soundbars with special features that allow you to integrate your setup with a TV from the same brand. This bar is no different, as it supports LG's TV Sound Mode Share for enhanced sound. Unfortunately, like most of these features, it doesn't change the sound qualityโ โ€”there's hardly any difference in the frequency response or the soundstage as a result. If you use the bar with another brand's TV, you won't notice a huge difference in the sound.

Connectivity
Connectivity
Inputs/Outputs - Bar
Optical Audio In
Locked
HDMI ARC
Locked
HDMI Out
Locked
Full HDMI In
Locked
Analog Audio In 3.5mm (Aux)
Locked
RCA In
Locked
USB for Files
Locked
Ethernet
Locked
Subwoofer Output
Locked

If you want to use this soundbar with your TV, you can connect it over an HDMI or Optical connection. It's compatible with LG's WOWCAST, which the manufacturer says lets you pair the bar to your TV wirelessly.

N/A
Connectivity
Audio Format Support - ARC
eARC
Locked
Dolby Atmos
Locked
Dolby Digital
Locked
Dolby Digital Plus
Locked
DTS
Locked
DTS:X (eARC only)
Locked
Dolby TrueHD (eARC only)
Locked
DTS-HD MA (eARC only)
Locked
5.1 PCM (eARC only)
Locked

The bar supports lots of different audio formats over ARC. You can playback common surround sound formats like Dolby Digital as well as lossless and object-based formats like Dolby Atmos.

N/A
Connectivity
Audio Format Support - Full HDMI In
Dolby Atmos
Locked
DTS:X
Locked
Dolby Digital
Locked
Dolby Digital Plus
Locked
DTS
Locked
Dolby TrueHD
Locked
DTS-HD MA
Locked
5.1 PCM
Locked

Via Full HDMI In, the bar also supports a wide array of audio formats that are commonly found on streaming platforms and Blu-ray discs, like Dolby Atmos.

N/A
Connectivity
Audio Format Support - Optical
Dolby Digital
Locked
DTS
Locked

Over an Optical connection, the bar can play back Dolby Digital and DTS content, which is handy if you watch a lot of content on streaming platforms.

N/A
Connectivity
Latency
- SAMPLE -
Get Insider Access for videos & test results
LG S80QR Latency Video Sample
ARC
Lock ms
Optical
Lock ms
Full HDMI In
Lock ms

The bar's latency performance makes it well-suited to watching videos and movies. You won't notice delays between the audio you hear and the video you see. Some apps and TVs compensate for latency differently. If you have any issues, you can use the AV Sync feature in the app to adjust the delay.

N/A
Connectivity
Wireless Playback
Bluetooth
Locked
Wi-Fi Playback
Locked
Chromecast built-in
Locked
Apple AirPlay
Locked
Spotify Connect
Locked

You can stream audio from your mobile devices to the bar over many different platforms, from Bluetooth to Spotify Connect.

Connectivity
Other Input Specifications
4k @ 60 Hz Passthrough
Locked
4k @ 60 Hz @ 10 bit Passthrough
Locked
4k @ 60 Hz @ 4:4:4 Passthrough
Locked
HDR10 Passthrough
Locked

This bar can passthrough high-quality bandwidth signals, and there's also Dolby Vision Passthrough support. When you use it as a hub between your TV and your PC, text on the screen is clear and crisp. It can't passthrough 4k @ 120Hz, though.

Additional Features
Additional Features
Interface
Display
Locked

The front of the bar has a small display that shows various settings as you adjust them, like the volume level or the input you're on.

Additional Features
Bar Controls

Touch-sensitive buttons on top of the bar let you power it on and off, change the input, adjust the volume, play/pause your audio, and connect to Bluetooth or Wi-Fi.

Additional Features
Remote

The remote is a simple way to access commonly-used features like the input and the volume. Additional features like AI Room Calibration or third-party voice assistant support are available in the LG Sound Bar app.

Additional Features
Voice Assistants Support
Amazon Alexa
Locked
Google Assistant
Locked
Apple Siri
Locked
Microphone Mute
Locked

If you have a third-party voice assistant device with Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant support, you can plug it into the bar to control it with your voice.