LG SK10Y Soundbar Review

Tested using Methodology v0.8
Updated Sep 30, 2019 at 09:00 am
LG SK10Y Picture
7.3
Mixed Usage
7.4
Dialogue/TV Shows
7.3
Music
7.3
Movies
Channels
5.1.2

The LG SK10Y is a decent performing soundbar. This 5.1.2 system setup supports height channels and Atmos for a more immersive listening experience, but unfortunately, this bar has a rather muddy and dark sound profile. It also doesn’t get as loud as other similar models at max volume, which is disappointing. The soundstage is also quite disappointing as it feels to be narrower than the bar itself. On the upside, the bar is very well-built, feels premium, and offers plenty of connectivity options.

Our Verdict

7.3 Mixed Usage

Decent for mixed usage. Unfortunately, the LG SK10Y has a muddy sound profile with an overemphasized bass. On the upside, it still has a decent performance for voices and dialogue in movies but gives a boomy sound for music and movies. It also supports Atmos for a more immersive experience with height channels. Unfortunately, its stereo soundstage is fairly narrow and won’t feel as wide as the bar itself.

Pros
  • Very well-built design.
  • Lots of connectivity options.
Cons
  • Disappointing and narrow soundstage.
  • Muddy sound profile.
  • Doesn’t get very loud.
7.4 Dialogue/TV Shows

Decent for dialog. The LG SK10Y can be used for audio content like audiobooks and podcasts but might not be the best option due to the muddy sound profile. On the upside, the bar can get pretty loud and you can easily stream content wirelessly via Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. There’s also a dialogue enhancement feature, which will help make dialogue even clearer.

7.3 Music

Decent for music. The LG SK10Y has a muddy sound profile with overemphasized bass that not everybody will like, but it's well suited for bass-heavy genres and party music. Unfortunately, its soundstage is fairly narrow and doesn’t sound wide. On the upside, it can get pretty loud and performs well at max volume. You can also EQ it slightly to your preference and stream content wirelessly from your smart device.

7.3 Movies

Decent for movies. The overemphasized bass can be great for action movies, but overall a muddy sound profile won’t be ideal. Also, it doesn’t have a very wide soundstage and surround objects feel diffused, but, on the upside, it supports Atmos for a more immersive experience. The bar can get pretty loud and performs fairly well too.

  • 7.3 Mixed Usage
  • 7.4 Dialogue/TV Shows
  • 7.3 Music
  • 7.3 Movies

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Test Results

perceptual testing image
Market Context
Market Context
Market Context

The SK10Y is the highest-end soundbar from LG’s 2018 lineup. This 5.1.2 setup is tuned by Meridian Audio, which the SK9Y doesn’t have. This feature is also available on the high-end models from 2019 like the LG SL9Y and LG SL10YG. Its main competitors are the SL10YG, the SK9Y, the Sonos Playbar, and the Samsung HW-N850.

Design
Design
Style - Bar

The LG SK10Y is a very long bar with a slightly premium feel thanks to the nice metal grill that wraps the front and the sides. The rest is made of solid plastic except for the two round metal grills at the top that cover the two up-firing speakers.

Design
Style - Subwoofer

The sub is made of good quality plastic and metal. The front and the sides are covered by a mesh-like fabric that can easily get dirty or damaged. The port is located on the back.

Design
Style - Satellites

This soundbar setup doesn't have any satellites.

Design
Dimensions - Bar
Bar Width 56.8" (144.2 cm)
Bar Height 2.4" (6.2 cm)
Bar Depth 5.8" (14.8 cm)

The LG SK10Y is very wide and it won’t fit between the legs of any 55" TV stands as it's wider than the TVs themselves. You might even need a larger table to place it on. We had to put rubber feet under the bar so that it would sit properly on our table. On the upside, it’s not too high to obstruct the view on the bottom side of your screen, unless your TV is sitting flush on the table, like the Sony A9G.

Design
Dimensions - Subwoofer
Sub Width 8.7" (22.1 cm)
Sub Height 15.5" (39.3 cm)
Sub Depth 12.3" (31.2 cm)

The SK10Y sub is about the size of an average desktop PC. You should have no issues placing it next to the TV table or anywhere else in the room as it can connect wirelessly to the bar. All you need is a power outlet.

Design
Dimensions - Satellites
Sat Width N/A
Sat Height N/A
Sat Depth N/A

There are no satellites with this soundbar.

Design
Back - Bar
Bar Mounting Type
Universal (holes on underside)

The back has three openings, but only the middle is for the input ports. The other two seem to be for combining with another device/TV but we can't be sure. In any case, they aren't visible from the front. If you want to wall-mount the bar, you have to use the two holes found on the underside, along with the wall-mounting adapters that you'll find in the box.

Design
Back - Subwoofer
Enclosure
Ported

The subwoofer's back is plain. The port is on the lower side and the power cable connects right above it and on the left. This is a little odd, as the cable is more visible when connected at this height and you will have a harder time trying to hide it. There's also a pairing button and an accompanying LED to show the status.

Design
Back - Satellites
Sat Mounting Type
N/A

There aren't any back satellites with this soundbar setup.

8.0
Design
Build Quality

The LG SK10Y's build quality is great. It's made of solid plastic and metal and feels slightly premium. The entire build is robust and you shouldn't have any issues with it. The only thing that might trouble you is the mesh-like fabric that surrounds the subwoofer that can get easily damaged or dirty. Other than that, the SK10Y is very well-built.

Design
In The Box
HDMI Cable Length
N/A
Digital Optical Cable Length
5.0 ft (1.5 m)

  • Remote
  • Power cable
  • Optical cable
  • Wall-mounting brackets
  • Tie-wraps
  • Manuals

Sound
7.5
Sound
Stereo Frequency Response
ST Slope
-0.52
ST Std. Err.
4.35 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
34.1 Hz
High-Frequency Extension
10.7 kHz

The LG SK10Y has a good stereo frequency response, which is largely due to its great low-frequency extension. This results in most sounds being played by the bar, including the deep punch and rumble of bass, which is great for movies. However, the sound isn’t necessarily neutral, as it has quite a lot of error compared to our flat target. As the graph shows, the bass is overemphasized by quite a bit and there's a lack of detail in mid and high-treble. This gives an overall muddy sound profile to the bar, which is tuned with Meridian Audio.

Sound
Stereo Raw Frequency Response
6.5
Sound
Stereo Soundstage
Crosstalk Error
2.96 dB

When listening to the LG SK10Y, the soundstage is just okay, which is slightly disappointing. Although the bar is very large, the stereo speakers are positioned way in from the sides of the bar, which makes the soundstage narrower than the bar itself. Additionally, soundstage's focus is slightly diffused since the soundbar's sound profile is muddy, making it a bit harder to pinpoint objects in the soundstage.

7.5
Sound
Stereo Dynamics
ST SPL @ Max Volume
87.1 dB SPL
ST DRC @ Max Volume
0.70 dB

The SK10Y's dynamic performance is good. This bar doesn’t compress at its max volume, but unfortunately, it seems the bar is being limited when it comes to volume. This bar doesn’t get as loud as other similar models like the Samsung HW-Q60T and won’t be a great option for a large room or crowded environments.

6.8
Sound
Stereo Total Harmonic Distortion
ST Weighted THD @ 80
0.79
ST Weighted THD @ Max Volume
3.13

The THD performance of this soundbar is decent. At a normal listening volume, the THD amount is slightly elevated, but stays within good limits, for a fairly clean and pure sound. However, when pushing the bar to max volume, there’s a jump in THD throughout the range, which isn’t good. However, this will more than likely be barely audible to most people.

8.4
Sound
Center
C Localization
Discrete
C Slope
-0.01
C Std. Err.
3.79 dB
C SPL @ Max Volume
85.1 dB SPL
C Weighted THD @ 80
0.81
C Weighted THD @ Max Volume
3.58

The LG SK10Y soundbar setup has a great center channel performance on surround content. Due to its 5.1.2 configuration, it has a dedicated center speaker, which results in a clearer and more accurate audio reproduction of dialogue in movies.

6.3
Sound
Surrounds
Sr Localization
Phantom (Side Firing, Bar)
Rears
No
Sr Slope
-0.74
Sr Std. Err.
4.02 dB
Sr SPL @ Max Volume
90.4 dB SPL
Sr Weighted THD @ 80
0.46
Sr Weighted THD @ Max Volume
1.50

The LG SK10Y's surround performance is okay. The bar has side-firing speakers, which reflect sound off the walls to give you the impression of a wider surround sound. However, this also means this setup won't provide the most accurate and clear representation of surround objects in the soundstage, and it won't feel as real as discrete surround like with home theatre speakers. It also results in a slightly dark sound profile and the error compared to our neutral target curve is quite significant.

5.4
Sound
Height (Atmos)
H Localization
Phantom (Up Firing, Bar)
H Slope
1.12
H Std. Err.
4.77 dB
H SPL @ Max Volume
89.8 dB SPL
H Weighted THD @ 80
2.31
H Weighted THD @ Max Volume
12.01

The LG SK10Y supports Atmos, but its performance is sub-par. The bar has up-firing speakers that bounce the sounds off the ceiling, giving you the impression of height. However, the localization of objects is diffused and doesn't sound as real as a discrete localization provided by down-firing speakers. Also, the sound profile changes drastically and becomes fairly bright with a lower amount of bass.

7.4
Sound
Sound Enhancement Features
Room Correction
No
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 SK10Y has decent sound enhancement features, but unlike the LG SN8YG, this soundbar lacks a room correction feature, meaning it might sound different depending on your room. The adaptive sound control helps make voices clearer and it also has a night mode to normalize the level of different types of content. Also, you can adjust the amount of bass coming from the sub, and you also have the option to play with the rear level, although this setup doesn’t come with included rear speakers. However, you can purchase separate rears that are compatible with this setup.

Connectivity
Connectivity
Physical Inputs - Bar
Optical Audio In
1
HDMI ARC
1 (shared)
HDMI Out
1 (shared)
Full HDMI In
2
Analog Audio In 3.5mm (Aux)
1
USB for Files
No
Ethernet
1

The LG SK10Y is equipped with the most common set of inputs. The Optical Audio In can help connect to older devices, whereas the HDMI ARC or the Full HDMI In ports, are more versatile and are intended for use with modern game consoles or Blu-ray players. The Analog 3.5mm jack can be proven handy with older media players that only have audio out. Finally, the SK10Y has an Ethernet port ready to connect to your home network.

8.4
Connectivity
Audio Format Support - ARC
eARC
No
Dolby Atmos
Yes
Dolby Digital
Yes
Dolby Digital Plus
Yes
DTS
Yes
DTS:X (eARC only)
No
Dolby TrueHD (eARC only)
No
DTS-HD MA (eARC only)
No
5.1 PCM (eARC only)
No

Just like most soundbars, the SK10Y supports Dolby Digital and DTS for 5.1 surround sound on streaming platforms; like Netflix, or on Blu-rays. The bar also supports Dolby Digital Plus and Dolby Atmos and can offer a great object-based surround sound experience. Unfortunately, it won't playback lossless formats like 5.1 PCM over ARC, but can do so over its Full HDMI In ports.

9.8
Connectivity
Audio Format Support - Full HDMI In
Dolby Atmos
Yes
DTS:X
No
Dolby Digital
Yes
Dolby Digital Plus
Yes
DTS
Yes
Dolby TrueHD
Yes
DTS-HD MA
No
5.1 PCM
Yes

The LG SK10Y can deliver almost any audio format via its Full HDMI In port, which is excellent. You can decode 5.1 surround sound from Dolby Digital or DTS on streaming content or video games that support it. The LG SK10Y can also deliver object-based surround sound thanks to Dolby Atmos support and allows you to play lossless audio via 5.1 PCM or Dolby TrueHD from a PC or a game console.

10
Connectivity
Audio Format Support - Optical
Dolby Digital
Yes
DTS
Yes

The SK10Y supports both Dolby Digital and DTS through its Optical port. So, as long as the content supports it, you shouldn't have issues decoding a 5.1 surround sound. Blu-rays and streaming platforms, like Netflix, have a lot of content with these audio formats available. DTS is usually found as the fallback of the higher-end DTS-HD MA widely available on recent Blu Ray discs.

9.0
Connectivity
Wireless Playback
Bluetooth
Yes
Wi-Fi
Yes
Chromecast built-in
Yes
Apple AirPlay
No

The LG SK10Y can pair up wirelessly in many different ways, so you can enjoy your content. It can connect via Bluetooth to your phone or tablet, or it can connect to your Wi-Fi or play content wirelessly using the Chromecast built-in. Unfortunately, this soundbar is not compatible with AirPlay.

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

If you connect the SK10Y between your TV and a game console or a PC, you can play 4k content at 60Hz without any issue. It can even display 4k @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4 properly, which means that text on your TV will look clear. Finally, the SK10Y supports HDR10, and can passthrough 4k @ 60 Hz @ 10 bit, which can be useful for those with the latest-gen gaming consoles.

Connectivity
Connectivity - Subwoofer
Sub Wireless
Yes

The subwoofer connects wirelessly to the bar with the aid of the small button on the back. The only wired connection to the subwoofer is its power cable.

Connectivity
Connectivity - Satellites
Sat Wireless
N/A

There are no satellites for in this setup.

Additional Features
Additional Features
Interface
Display
Yes

The SK10Y has a plain interface. It has a simple LCD screen that is clear and easy to read, albeit being behind the grill. It can display the input in use, or the volume level when you change it, or even which sound effect is on.

Additional Features
Bar Controls

The controls on the bar are touch-sensitive and fairly simple. They can do pretty much the same functions as the remote. The button with the 'F' symbol is used for selecting the input source. You can also play/pause, skip, change the volume, or power off the bar. There's also a button to switch to Wi-Fi.

Additional Features
Remote
Universal Remote
No

The remote that ships with the LG SK10Y is small, but can control most of the soundbar's features. The 'F' button is used to switch inputs, but you can also mute, play/pause, or skip tracks, etc. with this handy little remote. It also has a sound effects button, that can perform various actions to alter your sound experience, like toggling the surround sound or varying the volume of each speaker individually.

Additional Features
App
App Name LG Wi-Fi Speaker
iOS Yes
Android Yes
Acts as the Remote
Limited Support
Controls Soundbar's Settings
All
Casts Device Files
Audio Files Only

The LG Wi-Fi Speaker app is fairly plain. It can act as a remote but with limited capabilities, as it's lacking the sound effects controls, but can play music from a media server on the network which is neat. Another nice feature is that you can create playlists.

Additional Features
Other Features
Power Saving
Standby
HDMI CEC (TV Remote Control)
Yes

The LG SK10Y turns on when a recognized input is in use and will turn off if it's idle for a while or if you disconnect the source. The SK10Y supports HDMI CEC, so you have limited control of the bar with your TV's remote.

Compared to other soundbars

The LG SK10Y is a high-end soundbar with only decent performance. It has a fairly muddy default sound quality that can be improved with different sound modes, though we didn't test those. Also, the bar seems to have some limitations regarding its max volume, and it's noticeably quieter than other models reviewed. See our recommendations for the best soundbars, the best Dolby Atmos soundbars, and the best soundbars with subwoofer.

LG SL10YG
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The LG SL10YG 2019 is very similar to the LG SK10Y 2018. The SL10YG gets slightly louder, but their overall performances are very similar. They both have a V-shaped sound profile. However, we measured better Atmos and surround performances on the 2018 model.

LG SK9Y
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The LG SK10Y is slightly better than the LG SK9Y from the same year. It's sleeker and better-built, and overall has better bass performance thanks to the sub. However, both bars seem to be limited when it comes to their volume output as they are noticeably quieter than other models.

Samsung HW-Q70R
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Samsung HW-Q70R is better than the LG SK10Y in most uses. The Samsung sounds more balanced than the LG, and distorts less at higher volumes. The LG has more sound enhancement features and connectivity options, but Samsung's up-firing speakers sound better than the LG in Dolby Atmos content.

Sonos Playbar
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The LG SK10Y is a better soundbar setup than the Sonos Playbar without a sub and satellites. It has a dedicated sub which helps its bass performance. Its 5.1.2 configuration is decent for surround and Atmos content, while the Playbar downmixes surround and can't do Atmos. The SK10Y also has more inputs and supports Bluetooth casting. However, some may feel like the SK10Y has a very hyped and exciting sound profile, and it's noticeably quieter than other soundbars.

Samsung HW-Q90R
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

While the Samsung HW-Q90R and the LG SK10Y are two soundbars with different setups, the Samsung is the better performing soundbar overall. Both soundbars can create an immersive listening experience thanks Atmos support but the Samsung's 7.1.4 channels produce a better soundstage compared to LG's 5.1.2 setup. The Samsung also has a more balanced sound profile, it can louder without too much sound degradation, and it has an auto-off feature.

Samsung HW-Q80R
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Samsung HW-Q80R is a noticeably better 5.1.2 option than the LG SK10Y. Its overall performance is better thanks to a more accurate audio reproduction. It also gets quite louder than the LG, and its soundstage seems to be wider as well. On the other hand, the LG SK10Y has Chromecast built-in, which can be useful for some people.

LG SN8YG
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The LG SK10Y is a slightly better performing soundbar than the LG SN8YG. The SK10Y is a 5.1.2 channel soundbar that feels slightly better built and has a more neutral and balanced sound profile. Its surround sound performance is better too, and it has two HDMI In ports as well as an Analog Audio In port. However, the SN8YG supports eARC as well as DTS:X and DTS-HD MA content. It also has a slightly better height performance, and you can issue voice commands to it using its integrated Google Assistant.

Samsung HW-Q60T
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The LG SK10Y is a slightly better overall soundbar than the Samsung HW-Q60T. The LG is a 5.1.2 channel soundbar that has a better balanced sound profile with more thump and rumble than the Samsung. It also has height channels to support Atmos content, and it has two HDMI In ports. You can even use Wi-Fi and Chromecast built-in to stream your audio from your mobile devices. However, the Samsung can get louder and it has a graphic EQ plus presets such as Game Pro mode, designed with gamers in mind. 

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