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LG S90QY Soundbar Review

Tested using Methodology v1.2
Reviewed May 19, 2022 at 10:23 am
Latest change: Test bench update Jun 13, 2023 at 03:37 pm
LG S90QY Picture
7.8
Mixed Usage
8.0
Dialogue/TV Shows
7.9
Music
7.5
Movies

The LG S90QY is the 2022 version of the LG SP9YA with built-in Meridian Technology to help with audio reproduction. Alongside the LG S80QY, it's the first soundbar from the manufacturer with an up-firing center channel. It doesn't come with rear speakers like the S95QR, but you can add them on separately if you want. There's also TV Sound Mode Share support for sound enhancement with compatible LG TVs, and you can buy an external WOWCAST dongle to connect it to your TV over a wireless connection.

Our Verdict

7.8 Mixed Usage

The LG S90QY is good for mixed usage. It's a versatile 5.1.3 setup with lots of sound enhancement features, including a room correction mode. With this on, its sound is quite even, with clear and present vocals and a present, thumpy bass. Its Atmos performance is fairly immersive, though it doesn't really replicate sounds from above or behind you. Also, its surround performance isn't the best.

Pros
  • Room correction feature.
  • Dolby Atmos support.
Cons
  • Poor surrounds performance.
8.0 Dialogue/TV Shows

The LG S90QY is great for dialogue-heavy content like TV shows. It's a 5.1.3 setup with a discrete center channel as well as an up-firing center channel that reproduce dialogue with clarity and accuracy. 'Clear Voice' mode enhances dialogue if you need it, and there's a night mode feature to balance the volume level when you watch TV at night. A dip in the treble range nudges higher-pitched voices towards the back in certain tracks.

Pros
  • Room correction feature.
  • Dialogue enhancement feature.
  • Great center channel performance.
Cons
  • No graphic EQ.
7.9 Music

The LG S90QY is very good for music. Like most premium setups, it has a room correction mode to optimize audio based on your room's acoustics—LG calls it AI Room Calibration. With it on, the sound is pretty even, and vocals and lead instruments are present in the mix. There's some extra boom in the bass out-of-the-box, and a dip in the treble that nudges some instruments towards the back in certain tracks. With its bass and treble adjustments, you can adjust its sound more to your liking.

Pros
  • Room correction feature.
  • Bass and treble adjustments.
Cons
  • No graphic EQ.
7.5 Movies

The LG S90QY is good for movies. Its dedicated sub reproduces the deep thump and rumble in the bass with action-packed scenes, and dialogue is pretty clear in the mix, too. It does an okay job with Atmos content, creating a pretty immersive sound with a punchy bass. Without dedicated surround speakers, sound objects aren't as accurately localized to pinpoint locations in the soundstage. You can always add on a wireless rear speaker kit separately, though.

Pros
  • Room correction feature.
  • 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 29, 2023: Added market comparison with the Samsung HW-Q800C to the Stereo Frequency Response box.
  3. Updated May 16, 2023: Added market comparison with the LG S75QR in the Style - Satellites box.
  4. Updated May 09, 2023: Added market comparison for the LG SC9S to the Stereo Frequency Response box.
  5. Updated Mar 08, 2023: Added cable lengths to In The Box.
  6. Updated Mar 06, 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.
  7. Updated Feb 22, 2023: We retested the bar's sound after we noticed some discrepancies between these results and the LG S90QY with SPQ8-S Speaker Kit, possibly due to the bar's room calibration.
  8. Updated Feb 10, 2023: Added a market comparison with the LG S90QY with SPQ8-S Speaker Kit to the Height (Atmos) box.
  9. Updated Feb 09, 2023: Added market comparison to the LG S80QR to the Surround 5.1 box.
  10. Updated May 31, 2022: Updated the Center and Height Setup images to better reflect the bar's additional up-firing center channel.
  11. Updated May 19, 2022: Review published.
  12. Updated May 13, 2022: Early access published.
  13. Updated May 10, 2022: Our testers have started testing this product.
  14. Updated May 06, 2022: The product has arrived in our lab, and our testers will start evaluating it soon.
  15. Updated Apr 29, 2022: We've purchased the product and are waiting for it to arrive in our lab.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

The LG S90QY is available in 'Black', and the label for our model is available here.

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

Compared To Other Soundbars

The LG S90QY is the next generation of the LG SP9YA. It's a 5.1.3 setup, meaning that it comes with an up-firing center channel compared to its predecessor. However, the additional driver doesn't improve its center performance in a meaningful way, and its sound profile isn't as neutral as last year's model. While there are some new features like WOWCAST compatibility, when it comes to the sound, there isn't much of a difference between the two bars.

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

LG S80QY

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.

Sonos Arc

The Sonos Arc is better than the LG S90QY. The Sonos is a 5.0.2 setup, so it's a standalone bar. Still, it has better soundstage, surround, and Atmos performances. It can't reproduce as much low-bass as the LG, which comes with a dedicated sub, but you can always add one if you want to improve bass reproduction. The LG comes with additional sound enhancement features like EQ presets, but the Sonos' out-of-the-box sound is impressive without any tweaks.

LG S95QR

The LG S95QR is better than the LG S90QY. The S95QR is a 9.1.5 setup, and unlike the S90QY, it comes with discrete satellite speakers. It has a better surround sound performance as a result, and it offers a wide and immersive sound with Dolby Atmos content. If you don't have room for speakers, the S90QY is still a versatile pick.

LG SP9YA

The LG S90QY is the next generation of the LG SP9YA. The S90QY is a 5.1.3 setup, and it comes with one more up-firing driver for the center channel compared to its predecessor. However, the additional driver doesn't really improve its center performance in a meaningful way. Its sound profile isn't as neutral as last year's model, either. While there are some new features like TV Sound Mode Share and WOWCAST compatibility, when it comes to the sound, there isn't much of a difference between the two bars.

Samsung HW-Q800C

The Samsung HW-Q800C is better than the LG S90QY. The Samsung soundbar has a more neutral sound out-of-the-box, which is more suitable for some listeners. It also has a graphic EQ, which gives you more control over its sound compared to the LG. Plus, it's better built.

LG SC9S

The 5.1.3 LG S90QY is better than the 3.1.3 LG SC9S. They're both unique setups from the manufacturer that include an additional up-firing center channel for better vocal reproduction in the mix. However, the S90QY comes with additional side-firing surround channels, meaning that it doesn't have to downmix this content into stereo like the SC9S. The resulting sound is more clear and real with this content.

Samsung HW-Q800B

The LG S90QY and the Samsung HW-Q800B are both very premium 5.1 setups. The Samsung has a more balanced sound out-of-the-box, and thanks to its graphic EQ, it's more customizable overall. Its surround and Atmos performances are better, too, so sound effects are more clear and detailed in the mix.

LG S75QR

The LG S90QY is better than the LG S75QR for most uses. The S90QY is a 5.1.3 setup that's more premium and comes with an additional up-firing center channel. It reproduces a more extended low-bass and has additional features like Wi-Fi support and room correction. Without satellites, though, it doesn't bring as clear or real of a feel to surround sound. You can always upgrade it to the LG S90QY with SPQ8-S Speaker Kit if you want.

Bose Smart Soundbar 900

The Bose Smart Soundbar 900 is better than the LG S90QY. The Bose is a standalone bar; however, it has better soundstage, surround, and Atmos performances. It can't reproduce as much low-bass as the LG, which comes with a dedicated sub, but you can always add one on if you want to improve bass reproduction. The LG has some additional sound enhancement features, like EQ presets, but Bose's out-of-the-box sound is impressive without any tweaks.

LG S80QR

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

While the LG S90QY is available as a bar and a subwoofer alone, you can also use the LG S90QY with SPQ8-S Speaker Kit. The added satellites should improve the bar's surround sound performance, but in practice, these channels are very quiet, which takes away from the overall immersive feel. Even adjusting the surround and rear levels doesn't do much to improve its performance.

Samsung HW-Q900A

The Samsung HW-Q900A is better than the LG S90QY. The Samsung is a 7.1.2 setup with a better surrounds performance, and it also gets louder than the LG. Its default sound profile is more neutral, too, so voices and lead instruments are more detailed in the mix. Though the 5.1.3 LG comes with an additional up-firing center channel, unfortunately, it doesn't really make a difference when it comes to its center performance.

Samsung HW-Q800A

The Samsung HW-Q800A is better than the LG S90QY. The Samsung is a 3.1.2 setup, but it offers a more neutral and balanced sound out-of-the-box that makes voices and lead instruments clearer and more detailed in the mix. That said, it doesn't come with as many sound enhancement features as the LG, and its surround performance isn't quite as impressive. 

Bose Smart Soundbar 900 with Speakers + Bass Module

The Bose Smart Soundbar 900 with Speakers + Bass Module is better than the LG S90QY. The Bose is a 5.1.2 setup that comes with discrete satellites, unlike the LG, and it has better soundstage, surround, and Atmos performances. Even though the LG comes with an additional up-firing center channel, it doesn't really make a difference with its center performance. 

Samsung HW-Q950A

The Samsung HW-Q950A is better than the LG S90QY. The Samsung is an 11.1.4 setup with dedicated surround speakers, and its surround performance is better than the LG. It has a more neutral sound profile out-of-the-box, too, and its graphic EQ gives you more control over its sound across the range. If you don't have space for satellites, the LG is still a good choice. You can also buy satellites separately if you want.

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Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Style - Bar

The LG S90QY has a simple design. It's mostly made of plastic, but compared to the LG SP9YA, it has a tight fabric around its sides instead of a metal grille. On top of the bar, there are three metal grilles covering each of the up-firing drivers.

Design
Style - Subwoofer
Sub Wireless
Yes
Enclosure
Ported

The LG S90QY's sub is different from the version that comes with the LG SP9YA. The port is in the front, and there's a speaker on the side that's covered in fabric. It's mostly made of wood-like material, and there's a plastic covering on the back.

Design
Style - Satellites
Satellite Wireless
No

The LG S90QY doesn't come with satellites, but you can add on the SPQ8-S rear speaker kit or purchase a model like the LG S75QR that has the satellites included.

Design
Dimensions - Bar
Width 47.2" (120.0 cm)
Height 2.4" (6.2 cm)
Depth 5.3" (13.5 cm)

The LG S90QY is fairly wide, so it doesn't fit between the legs of a 55" TV stand. That said, it's not tall enough to block your TV screen, which is nice.

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

The sub is about the size of an average desktop computer. It connects to the bar wirelessly, so you just need to plug it into a power outlet to use it.

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 S90QY has a great build quality. The bar is mostly made of solid-feeling plastic, and the fabric around the sides is tight and sturdy. Compared to the LG SP9YA, there's no metal grille to help protect the drivers inside. The subwoofer is made of wood-like material with fabric covering the speaker on the side. This material isn't as tight as the fabric found on the bar, and our model tore slightly after unpacking it.

Design
In The Box

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

Sound
7.6
Sound
Stereo Frequency Response
Tested Preset
Standard
Slope
-1.76
Std. Err.
4.95 dB
Channels
5.1.3
Low-Frequency Extension
32.7 Hz
High-Frequency Extension
19.9 kHz

The LG S90QY has a good stereo frequency response. Like most premium models, it has a room correction feature that automatically adjusts audio reproduction based on your room's unique characteristics—it's called AI Room Calibration. With it on, the bar's sound is fairly bass-heavy, especially compared to the LG SC9S, so you notice lots of rumble in bass-centric genres like EDM and hip-hop. The dip in the low-treble means that higher-pitched sounds like cymbals are dull and dark in the mix, though. Thanks to its bass and treble adjustments, you can calibrate its output more to your liking. It doesn't offer a full graphic EQ like the Samsung HW-Q800C.

8.0
Sound
Stereo Frequency Response With Preliminary Calibration
Suggested Preset
Standard
Suggested Bass Setting
-5
Suggested Treble Setting
5
Slope
-0.47
Std. Err.
3.36 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
33.2 Hz
High-Frequency Extension
19.9 kHz

There are some bass and treble adjustments to help you customize the LG SP90QY's sound. With its bass set to '-5' and its treble set to '5', it has a more neutral sound suitable for more types of audio content. The bass is present and accurate, and vocals and lead instruments are clear in the mix. 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.

7.5
Sound
Stereo Soundstage
Crosstalk Error
3.14 dB

The LG S90QY has a good stereo soundstage. Its width varies slightly depending on where you sit on your couch—if you're in the center of the sofa, the soundstage seems to be a bit wider than the bar itself, but if you're on the edge of the sofa, it seems to extend a little past that point. The focus is good, too, so sound objects like instruments in an orchestra seem to come from an accurate location that matches the action on the screen.

8.2
Sound
Stereo Dynamics
SPL @ Max Volume
92.3 dB SPL
DRC @ Max Volume
0.64 dB

The LG S90QY has a great stereo dynamics performance. It gets pretty loud, meaning it can fill an average living room with sound. At max volume, there isn't a lot of compression present, so audio quality remains clean and pure.

6.8
Sound
Stereo Total Harmonic Distortion
Weighted THD @ 80dB
0.64
Weighted THD @ Max Volume
4.75

The LG S90QY has a fair stereo THD performance. At normal listening volumes, distortion falls within good limits, so audio reproduction is clean and pure. However, there's a jump in THD when you push it to max volume. Most listeners don't notice the change, but if you're an audiophile, it's not ideal for accurate listening at loud volumes.

8.2
Sound
Center
Localization
Discrete
Slope
0.51
Std. Err.
3.33 dB
SPL @ Max Volume
93.1 dB SPL
Weighted THD @ 80dB
0.63
Weighted THD @ Max Volume
3.89

The LG S90QY has a great center channel performance. Since it's a 5.1.3 setup, there's a discrete front-firing center channel like you see with most soundbars, but there's also an up-firing center channel on top of the bar. The channels' frequency response is balanced in the mids, where most voices reproduce. However, the additional up-firing center channel doesn't make a huge difference when it comes to the bar's sound—overall, it performs similarly to other setups with front-firing center channels only.

4.9
Sound
Surround 5.1
Localization
Phantom (Side Firing, Bar)
Slope
-0.56
Std. Err.
7.05 dB
SPL @ Max Volume
93.0 dB SPL
Weighted THD @ 80dB
1.15
Weighted THD @ Max Volume
6.06
7.1 Rears
No

The LG S90QY has a poor surrounds performance. It doesn't come with discrete satellites, so it uses side-firing drivers built into the bar itself to simulate a phantom surround. However, sound objects like racing cars or gunfire don't seem to come from an accurate location that matches the action on the screen—instead, it seems like they're coming from a speaker placed in front of you. If you want to improve its surrounds performance, you can always add a rear speaker kit. For a bar with satellites, check out either the LG S80QR or the LG S95QR.

5.5
Sound
Height (Atmos)
Localization
Phantom (Up Firing, Bar)
Slope
-1.32
Std. Err.
5.03 dB
SPL @ Max Volume
78.9 dB SPL
Weighted THD @ 80dB
2.65
Weighted THD @ Max Volume
0.22

The LG S90QY has an okay Atmos performance. It provides a little bit of height with Atmos movies, and it offers a lot of rumble in the bass during action-packed scenes. Scenes feel immersive, and sound extends to the left and right sides of the room with accuracy. However, the bar struggles to reproduce sounds that are meant to come from above or behind you, so it's not quite as impressive as the more premium options on the market, like the Bose Smart Soundbar 900 with Speakers + Bass Module. If you want to improve its overall performance, you can add on the LG S90QY with SPQ8-S Speaker Kit.

9.2
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
Yes
Rear Level Adjustment
Yes
Height Level Adjustment
Yes
Virtual Surround
Yes

The LG S90QY has an incredible selection of sound enhancement features. You can customize its sound using its bass and treble adjustments as well as its EQ presets: 'AI Sound Pro', 'Standard', 'Music', 'Cinema', 'Clear Voice', 'Sports', 'Game', and 'BassBlast'. The 'Cinema' preset acts as a virtual surround mode, which replicates a more three-dimensional sound. You can also find a Night Time Mode feature in the app to balance the volume level at night, as well as the AI Room Calibration feature.

Like many other soundbar manufacturers, LG offers a feature that lets you pair the LG S90QY with compatible LG TVs—it's called TV Sound Mode Share. 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. The manufacturer says that this feature enhances the sound quality, but like most of these features, there isn't much of a difference in the sound with it turned on. You can see the results of the bar's frequency response here—there's hardly any difference between 'Soundbar Sound Mode' and 'Off', but the degradation in quality with 'TV Sound Mode' is clear.

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 your LG S90QY to your TV using an HDMI connection or an Optical connection. Also, the manufacturer says that you can use the bar with LG's WOWCAST feature, which lets you connect the bar to your TV with a wireless connection, so you don't have as many wires behind your TV. The feature was only available in Europe at the time we tested the bar. You can still plug the bar into your TV using a cable.

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 S90QY has fantastic audio format support via ARC. You can watch common surround sound formats like Dolby Digital and DTS, which are often found on streaming platforms and Blu-rays. It supports lossless and object-based formats like Dolby Atmos and DTS:X.

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

Over its Full HDMI In port, the LG S90QY also has incredible audio format support. If you watch a lot of movies on streaming platforms, you can take advantage of surround sound formats as well as lossless and object-based formats like Dolby Atmos.

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

Over Optical, the LG S90QY supports Dolby Digital, which is the most common surround sound format. DTS isn't used as often, but it's the fallback for DTS-HD MA, which is often used on Blu-rays.

7.3
Connectivity
Latency
ARC
85 ms
Optical
85 ms
Full HDMI In
75 ms

The LG S90QY has a decent latency performance. Its latency measurements aren't as low as other bars on the market, but you still aren't likely to notice delays between the audio you hear and the video you see. Some apps and TVs compensate for latency differently, so your real-world experience may vary. If you have any issues, the AV Sync feature in the LG Sound Bar app can help.

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 S90QY can passthrough high-quality bandwidth signals, letting you use the bar as a hub between different devices like your TV and your PC. There's Dolby Vision Passthrough support, but you can't passthrough 4k @ 120Hz.

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

You have lots of options if you want to stream audio to the LG S90QY over a wireless connection. You can send audio via Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, as well as Chromecast built-in and Apple AirPlay.

Additional Features
Additional Features
Interface
Display
Yes

There's a display on the right side of the bar, behind the fabric. It shows you the settings that you change using the remote and the app, including the volume level, the input, and the sound preset.

Additional Features
Bar Controls

There are some touch-sensitive buttons on the top of the bar. You can power the bar on/off, change the input, adjust the volume, play/pause your audio, and access Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. If you don't want to get up from the couch, you can also change these settings with the app.

Additional Features
Remote

The LG S90QY comes with a typical LG remote. It's pretty simple, with basic features like the input and the volume level, so you need the LG Sound Bar app to access additional settings like AI Room Calibration and the Auto-Volume mode.

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

The LG S90QY doesn't have built-in voice assistant support. However, if you have a third-party Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant device, you can connect it to the bar to control it with your voice.