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LG S80QY Soundbar Review

Tested using Methodology v1.2
Reviewed Jun 06, 2022 at 12:12 pm
Latest change: Test bench update Jun 13, 2023 at 03:37 pm
LG S80QY Picture
7.8
Mixed Usage
8.0
Dialogue/TV Shows
7.9
Music
7.5
Movies

The LG S80QY is a 3.1.3 setup released as part of LG's 2022 lineup. It's a feature-packed mid-range setup with a unique design, and like the LG S90QY and the LG S95QR, it comes with an additional up-firing center channel on top of the bar. There's an AI Room Calibration feature that optimizes the bar's sound based on your room's acoustics, and it also supports WOWCAST technology as well as TV Sound Mode Share with compatible LG TVs. There aren't any surround channels, and if you want discrete rear speakers, you'll need to buy them from the manufacturer separately.

Our Verdict

7.8 Mixed Usage

The LG S80QY is very good for mixed usage. It has a pretty neutral sound out-of-the-box, with a dedicated subwoofer that adds boom in the bass range. Voices and lead instruments in music and TV shows are pretty clearly reproduced, though higher-pitched sounds get nudged towards the back of the mix due to the dip in the treble. You can customize its sound to your liking, though. There's also Dolby Atmos support, and it can playback surround sound formats like Dolby Digital and DTS, though it has to downmix it into stereo to play it.

Pros
  • Room correction feature.
  • Bass and treble adjustments.
  • Dolby Atmos support.
Cons
  • No graphic EQ.
  • Poor surrounds performance.
8.0 Dialogue/TV Shows

The LG S80QY is great for dialogue-focused content like TV shows and podcasts. It has both a front-firing center channel and an up-firing center channel⁠—the resulting performance is great, and dialogue is clear and accurate in the mix. There's also a 'Clear Voice' dialogue enhancement tool and a Night Mode feature to balance the volume level when you watch at night. The additional center driver doesn't make a huge difference in the sound, and it doesn't perform much better than other models with just one discrete center.

Pros
  • Room correction feature.
  • Minimal compression at max volume.
Cons
  • Doesn't get as loud.
7.9 Music

The LG S80QY is very good for music. Out-of-the-box, it has a neutral and pleasant sound, with a balanced mid-range that reproduces most voices and lead instruments with clarity. The subwoofer provides a little extra boom in the bass, too. While there's a slight dip in the treble that nudges some higher-pitched instruments towards the back of the mix, you have lots of customization tools on hand, like bass and treble adjustments and EQ presets.

Pros
  • Room correction feature.
  • Bass and treble adjustments.
  • Minimal compression at max volume.
Cons
  • No graphic EQ.
  • Doesn't get as loud.
7.5 Movies

The LG S80QY is good for movies. It has two up-firing height drivers for Dolby Atmos content, and it performs similarly to other bars in its price range⁠—while the experience is decent, it doesn't seem as immersive as more premium models. Also, it can playback surround sound content like Dolby Digital and DTS, though it has to downmix it into stereo to play it. Fortunately, you feel a lot of thump and rumble in the bass range, and you can add on rear speakers from the manufacturer down the line if you want to improve its performance.

Pros
  • Room correction feature.
  • Bass and treble adjustments.
  • Dolby Atmos support.
Cons
  • Poor surrounds performance.
  • 7.8 Mixed Usage
  • 8.0 Dialogue/TV Shows
  • 7.9 Music
  • 7.5 Movies
  1. Updated Jun 13, 2023: Converted to Test Bench 1.2. Updated the results for audio format support via ARC/eARC, HDMI In, and Optical. Added Video Passthrough to TV results as well.
  2. Updated May 09, 2023: Added market comparison for the LG SC9S to the Stereo Frequency Response box.
  3. Updated Mar 13, 2023: Added cable lengths to In The Box.
  4. Updated Mar 10, 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.
  5. Updated Feb 09, 2023: Added market comparison to the LG S80QR to the Surround 5.1 and Height (Atmos) boxes.
  6. Updated Jun 06, 2022: Review published.
  7. Updated Jun 02, 2022: Early access published.
  8. Updated May 30, 2022: Our testers have started testing this product.
  9. Updated May 27, 2022: The product has arrived in our lab, and our testers will start evaluating it soon.
  10. Updated May 23, 2022: We've purchased the product and are waiting for it to arrive in our lab.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

The LG S80QY is available in 'Black', and you can see the label for the model we tested here. You can also see our test results for the LG S80QR, which is the same bar, but with the SPQ8-S speakers included.

If you come across another version of the LG S80QY, let us know in the discussions, and we'll update our review.

Compared To Other Soundbars

The LG S80QY is a versatile 3.1.3 soundbar with more features than budget-friendly models like the LG S75Q and the LG S65Q, but at a more affordable price than the LG S90QY or the LG S95QR. Of course, its surround performance isn't as impressive as the S90QY or the S95QR, and it doesn't come with rear speakers out of the box.

See also our recommendations for the best soundbars, the best LG soundbars, and the best soundbars for dialogue.

LG S90QY

The LG S90QY is better than the LG S80QY. They're both Dolby Atmos soundbars with lots of extra features, but the 5.1.3 S90QY offers better performance with surround sound content.

LG S75Q

The LG S80QY is better than the LG S75Q for most uses. The S80QY comes with more sound enhancement features, like room correction, as well as more wireless playback options. It can also reproduce a more extended low-bass, so you feel more thump and rumble in your audio. The S75Q also supports Dolby Atmos content, and it's a more affordable alternative.

Sonos Arc

The Sonos Arc and the LG S80QY are both Dolby Atmos soundbars with different designs. The Sonos is a standalone soundbar with a 5.0.2 setup, and it has better soundstage, surround, and Atmos performances. It doesn't come with a dedicated subwoofer like the LG, so it doesn't reproduce as much low-bass out of the box. However, you can always add a separate subwoofer to improve the Sonos' bass reproduction.

LG SC9S

The LG S80QY and the LG SC9S are both 3.1.3 setups, but the SC9S is the newer model. It offers a better overall performance, too, with a more balanced sound, especially in the treble. Its unique mounting bracket is designed to attach the bar to a compatible LG TV, which you may also find useful. Plus, it has a better stereo soundstage.

LG SP8YA

The LG SP8YA and the LG S80QY are both very similar soundbars, and their performances in terms of sound aren't very different. The S80QY is a newer model, and it comes with an additional up-firing center channel that can slightly improve the localization of voices in the soundstage. It isn't noticeable to most listeners, so you don't notice a huge difference between the two bars.

LG S95QR

The LG S95QR is better than the LG S80QY. The S95QR is a top-of-the-line 9.1.5 setup that comes with discrete satellites, unlike the S80QY. Its surround sound is better, and it has a wide and immersive-sounding performance with Dolby Atmos content.

LG S80QR

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 S65Q

The LG S80QY is better than the LG S65Q. The S80QY supports Dolby Atmos content, unlike the S65Q. Also, it comes with more sound enhancement features, like room correction, as well as more wireless playback options. It can reproduce a more extended low-bass, so you feel more thump and rumble in your audio.

Samsung HW-Q800B

The Samsung HW-Q800B is better than the LG S80QY. The Samsung is a 5.1.2 setup, while the LG is a 3.1.3 setup. The Samsung's two side-firing channels mean that it has a more clear and real representation of surround sound. Its Atmos performance is better, too, and it's a bit more customizable thanks to its graphic EQ.

Samsung HW-Q800A

The Samsung HW-Q800A and the LG S80QY are similar soundbars with pretty versatile performances, but the Samsung is better overall. The Samsung can reproduce a more extended low-bass, so you feel more rumble in action-packed movies. Also, it has a wider and more immersive soundstage.

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Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Style - Bar

The LG S80QY has a very similar design to other 2022 LG bars like the LG S90QY and the LG S95QR. It's mostly plastic, and fabric covers the front and the sides. On top of the bar, three metal grilles cover each of the up-firing drivers.

Design
Style - Subwoofer
Sub Wireless
Yes
Enclosure
Ported

It's the same sub that comes with the LG S90QY and the LG S95QR. It's mostly made of wood-like material, though the back is made of plastic. Also, there's fabric covering the speaker on the side.

Design
Style - Satellites
Satellite Wireless
No

The LG S80QY doesn't come with satellites, but you can add on the SPQ8-S rear speaker kit if you want.

Design
Dimensions - Bar
Width 39.4" (100.0 cm)
Height 2.4" (6.2 cm)
Depth 5.3" (13.5 cm)

The LG S80QY is fairly wide, so it doesn't fit between the legs of a 55" TV stand. That said, it's not very tall, so it doesn't block your TV screen.

Design
Dimensions - Subwoofer
Width 8.0" (20.2 cm)
Height 15.9" (40.5 cm)
Depth 15.8" (40.1 cm)

The LG S80QY's sub is about the same size as a desktop computer. Thanks to its wireless design, you can put it anywhere in your living room. You just need to wire it to a power source.

Design
Dimensions - Satellites
Width N/A
Height N/A
Depth N/A
Design
Mounting
Mountable Bar
Yes
Bar Brackets Included
Yes
Mountable Satellites
No
Satellite Brackets Included
No
8.0
Design
Build Quality

The LG S80QY has great build quality. The bar is mostly made of plastic, which feels solid and durable, and the metal grilles on top help to protect the drivers inside. The fabric in front is tight, and it doesn't feel like it could rip easily. Also, the sub's wood-like build feels solid. However, the fabric covering the side is loose compared to the fabric on the bar, and it could rip easily.

Design
In The Box

  • Manual
  • Mounting template
  • Remote with 2x AA batteries
  • Mounting brackets with screws
  • HDMI cable (4.9 ft / 1.5m)
  • 2x power cables (4.9 ft / 1.5m)

Sound
7.9
Sound
Stereo Frequency Response
Tested Preset
Standard
Slope
-0.73
Std. Err.
3.84 dB
Channels
3.1.3
Low-Frequency Extension
33.2 Hz
High-Frequency Extension
19.9 kHz

The LG S80QY has a very good stereo frequency response. Like most premium setups, there's a room correction feature on hand to adjust the bar's sound based on your room's unique acoustics⁠—it's called AI Room Calibration. With it on, the bar performs very similarly to the LG S90QY, with a fairly balanced and even sound overall, especially in the mids, where most voices and lead instruments reproduce. There's some extra boom in the bass, which helps you feel the rumble in bass-heavy genres like EDM. The dip in the low-treble pushes some instruments towards the back of the mix, like cymbals, especially compared with the LG SC9S.

7.9
Sound
Stereo Frequency Response With Preliminary Calibration
Suggested Preset
Standard
Suggested Bass Setting
-2
Suggested Treble Setting
3
Slope
-0.11
Std. Err.
3.55 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
33.6 Hz
High-Frequency Extension
19.9 kHz

With its bass set to '-2' and its treble set to '3', the LG S80QY has a more neutral sound profile. Overall, it sounds balanced and pleasant, and vocals and lead instruments are clear and detailed in the mix thanks to the balanced mid and treble ranges. The bass is present, but it isn't overwhelming. There's still a slight dip in the low-treble, though, so higher-pitched vocals and lead instruments are nudged towards the back of the mix.

7.0
Sound
Stereo Soundstage
Crosstalk Error
2.57 dB

The LG S80QY has a decent stereo soundstage. The soundstage seems a bit wider than the bar itself, but it doesn't have any tricks to make it seem wider than that. Compared to the LG S90QY, the focus is just decent. Sound objects, like instruments in an orchestra, seem like they're coming from more general areas as opposed to an accurate, pinpoint location in the soundstage.

8.0
Sound
Stereo Dynamics
SPL @ Max Volume
90.3 dB SPL
DRC @ Max Volume
0.55 dB

The LG S80QY has great stereo dynamics. It gets fairly loud, meaning it can fill up an average living room with sound. It doesn't get as loud as other bars on the market, though, so it's not ideal for listening in large, open spaces. That said, when you push it to max volume, there's not a lot of compression present. Audio is accurately reproduced as a result.

6.6
Sound
Stereo Total Harmonic Distortion
Weighted THD @ 80dB
0.84
Weighted THD @ Max Volume
4.23

The LG S80QY has a fair stereo THD performance. At normal listening volumes, distortion falls within good limits, so audio is accurately reproduced. There's a jump in distortion when you push the bar to max volume, though, especially in the bass and mid ranges. That said, distortion is hard to hear with real-life content⁠—it's most important for audiophiles who want the most accurate reproduction possible, but more casual listeners won't hear much of a difference in the sound.

8.1
Sound
Center
Localization
Discrete
Slope
0.81
Std. Err.
3.43 dB
SPL @ Max Volume
93.0 dB SPL
Weighted THD @ 80dB
1.19
Weighted THD @ Max Volume
3.91

The LG S80QY has a unique design, with both a traditional front-firing center channel as well as an additional up-firing center channel on top of the bar. Overall, its center performance is great⁠—dialogue is clearly and accurately reproduced, and it's localized to pinpoint locations in the soundstage thanks to its discrete setup. However, the additional center channel doesn't make the bar's performance stand out⁠—in fact, its performance is similar to other bars on the market with only one front-firing center channel.

3.8
Sound
Surround 5.1
Localization
Stereo (Downmix)
Slope
-1.26
Std. Err.
4.24 dB
SPL @ Max Volume
91.4 dB SPL
Weighted THD @ 80dB
0.63
Weighted THD @ Max Volume
3.05
7.1 Rears
No

The LG S80QY has a poor surrounds performance, which is typical for 3.1 setups. It doesn't have discrete surround channels, so it has to downmix surround files like Dolby Digital and DTS into stereo to play them. As a result, audio doesn't seem as immersive⁠—sound doesn't come from all around you, but instead, it seems like it's just playing from speakers placed in front of you. Fortunately, you can always add on satellites as the LG S80QR if you want to improve its performance down the line. There's also the LG S95QR, which comes with rear speakers included.

5.6
Sound
Height (Atmos)
Localization
Phantom (Up Firing, Bar)
Slope
-0.83
Std. Err.
4.72 dB
SPL @ Max Volume
79.2 dB SPL
Weighted THD @ 80dB
1.30
Weighted THD @ Max Volume
0.20

The LG S80QY comes with two up-firing drivers built into the bar itself, which ricochet sound off the ceiling to create the illusion of height. Naturally, it doesn't perform as well as home theater setups with dedicated down-firing speakers⁠—but it still does a fair job. The subwoofer provides good rumble in the bass range, so action-packed scenes feel intense and exciting. Dialogue is fairly clear, though the uneven mids mean that they can be alternately distant and muddy.

Another component of the listening experience with height content is the soundstage. While this isn't reflected in the score, subjectively, the bar seems to do a decent job creating an immersive listening experience. Most of the action seems centered in front of you, and the bar doesn't really give the sense that sound objects come from the sides or behind you⁠—but that's pretty typical for a bar without rear satellites. If you want a bar with a better Atmos performance, check out the LG S95QR, or the LG S80QR.

8.9
Sound
Sound Enhancement Features
Room Correction
Yes
Dialogue Enhancement
Yes
Auto-Volume/Night Mode
Yes
Subwoofer Level Adjustment
Yes
Bass Adjustment
Yes
Treble Adjustment
Yes
EQ
Presets
Surround Level Adjustment
No
Rear Level Adjustment
Yes
Height Level Adjustment
Yes
Virtual Surround
Yes

The LG S80QY has lots of sound enhancements to choose from, especially compared to budget-friendly models in LG's lineup like the LG S75Q. There's a room correction feature, which automatically optimizes audio based on your room's unique acoustics⁠—it's called AI Room Calibration, and you can turn it on using the app. Also, you can customize the bar's sound with its bass and treble adjustments as well as its EQ presets: 'Standard', 'Bass Blast', 'AI Sound Pro', 'Cinema', 'Sports', 'Game', 'Clear Voice', and 'Music'. The 'Cinema' preset doubles as a virtual surround mode that creates a more three-dimensional sound, and the 'Clear Voice' preset enhances dialogue. Both the app and the remote let you adjust the height levels, and if you add on rear speakers, you can also adjust their levels.

Most soundbar manufacturers have tools that let you pair the bar with a TV from the same brand for an enhanced listening experience. For LG, this feature is called TV Sound Mode Share. If you want to use it, check your TV's Sound Menu to make sure you're in 'Enjoy Soundbar Sound Mode' instead of 'Enjoy TV Sound Mode' to get the feature to work⁠—otherwise, it might downmix higher-quality formats like Dolby Atmos into PCM content. Unfortunately, like most of these features, it doesn't change the sound quality⁠—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 real difference in the sound, either.

Connectivity
Connectivity
Inputs/Outputs - Bar
Optical Audio In
1
HDMI Out
eARC
HDMI 2.1 Class Bandwidth
No
Full HDMI In
1
Analog Audio In 3.5mm (Aux)
No
RCA In
No
USB for Files
1
Ethernet
No
Subwoofer Output
No

You can connect the LG S80QY to your TV using an HDMI or an Optical connection. The manufacturer says it's also compatible with WOWCAST, which is a tool that lets you pair the bar to your TV wirelessly to reduce the amount of cables in your setup. It's not available everywhere at the time of publication, but you really only need one cable to connect the bar to your TV anyway.

10
Connectivity
Audio Format Support: ARC/eARC
Dolby Atmos
Supported
Dolby Digital
Supported
Dolby Digital Plus
Supported
Dolby TrueHD
Supported
DTS
Supported
DTS:X
Supported
DTS-HD MA
Supported
PCM Channels
Up To 7.1

The LG S80QY has fantastic audio format support over ARC. It can playback common surround sound formats like Dolby Digital as well as lossless and object-based formats like Dolby Atmos.

10
Connectivity
Audio Format Support: HDMI In
Dolby Atmos
Supported
Dolby Digital
Supported
Dolby Digital Plus
Supported
Dolby TrueHD
Supported
DTS
Supported
DTS:X
Supported
DTS-HD MA
Supported
PCM Channels
Up To 7.1

The LG S80QY also has incredible audio format support over Full HDMI In. If you watch a lot of content on streaming platforms and Blu-rays, the bar supports the formats that you're most likely to come across, like Dolby Digital and Dolby Atmos.

10
Connectivity
Audio Format Support: Optical
Dolby Digital
Supported
DTS
Supported
PCM Channels
2.0

The LG S80QY supports both Dolby Digital and DTS over Optical. Dolby Digital is the most common surround sound format.

8.3
Connectivity
Latency
ARC
57 ms
Optical
64 ms
Full HDMI In
29 ms

The LG S80QY has a great latency performance. It has relatively low latency, so the audio you hear is in sync with the video you see on the screen. Even if you watch dialogue-heavy content like TV shows, you don't see issues with lip-synching. Some apps and TVs compensate for latency differently, so your real-world experience can vary. However, if you come across any issues, the AV Sync feature in the app helps to reduce latency.

6.8
Connectivity
Video Passthrough To TV
1080p Max Refresh Rate
60Hz
1080p @ 4:4:4 Max Refresh Rate
60Hz
4k Max Refresh Rate
60Hz
4k @ 120Hz @ 10-Bit
Not Supported
4k @ 4:4:4 Max Refresh Rate
60Hz
8k Max Refresh Rate
Not Supported
HDR10 Passthrough
Yes
HDR10+ Passthrough
No
Dolby Vision Passthrough
Yes
HDMI Forum VRR Passthrough
Yes
FreeSync Passthrough
No
G-SYNC Passthrough
No
ALLM Passthrough
Yes

The LG S80QY can passthrough high-quality bandwidths signals, and there's also Dolby Vision Passthrough support. When you use it as a hub between your TV and your PC, for example, text on the screen is clear and crisp. It can't passthrough 4k @ 120Hz, though.

10
Connectivity
Wireless Playback
Bluetooth
Yes
Wi-Fi Playback
Yes
Chromecast built-in
Yes
Apple AirPlay
Yes
Spotify Connect
Yes

The LG S80QY supports many different wireless playback options, including Spotify Connect. You can wirelessly stream audio from your phone or your tablet right to the bar.

Additional Features
Additional Features
Interface
Display
Yes

There's a small display on the front of the bar. If you change a setting, like the volume level or the sound preset, it shows on the screen.

Additional Features
Bar Controls

There are a couple of touch-sensitive controls on top of the bar. You can use them to power it on/off, change the input, adjust the volume, play/pause your audio, and activate Bluetooth and/or Wi-Fi. You can also change these settings from the app or using the remote.

Additional Features
Remote

The LG S80QY's remote is fairly simple and lets you control the bar's basic features like the input and the volume. You'll need the LG Sound Bar app to access a few other features, like room correction.

Additional Features
Voice Assistants Support
Amazon Alexa
No
Google Assistant
No
Apple Siri
No
Microphone Mute
No

There's no built-in voice assistant support with the LG S80QY. However, you can pair the bar with a third-party Amazon Alexa or a Google Assistant device, like an Amazon Echo or a Google Home speaker. It lets you control the bar with your voice.