LG SK10Y SOUNDBAR REVIEW

Usage Ratings - Version 1.0
7.3
Mixed Usage
7.4
Dialog / 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.

Test Results
Design 8.0
Sound 7.1
Connectivity 9.3
Pros
  • Very well-built design.
  • Lots of connectivity options.
Cons
  • Disappointing and narrow soundstage.
  • Muddy sound profile.
  • Doesn’t get very loud.

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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 SL9Y and SL10YG. The main competitors of the SK10Y are the SL10YG, the SK9Y, the Sonos Playbar, and the Samsung HW-N850.

8.0

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.

Style - Subwoofer

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

Style - Satellites

This soundbar setup doesn't have any satellites.

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 is 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.

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.

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

There are no satellites with this soundbar.

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 are not visible from the front. If you wish to wall mount the bar you must use the two holes found on the underside along with the wall mounting adapters that you will find in the box.

Back - Subwoofer
Enclosure
:
Ported

The back of the subwoofer 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 is also a pairing button and an accompanying LED to show the status.

Back - Satellites
Sat Mounting Type
:
N/A

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

8.0 Build Quality

The build quality of the LG SK10Y is great. It is 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.

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

7.1

Sound

7.5 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 is 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.

Stereo Raw Frequency Response
6.5 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, the focus of the soundstage is slightly diffused since the sound profile of the soundbar is muddy, making it a bit harder to pinpoint objects in the soundstage.

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

The dynamics performance of the SK10Y 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 and won’t be a great option for a large room or crowded environments.

6.8 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 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 the dialog in movies.

6.3 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 performance of the LG SK10Y surround 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 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 which 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 Enhancement Features
Room Correction
:
No
Dialog 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 lacks room correction, 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.

9.3

Connectivity

Physical Inputs - Bar
Optical Audio In
:
1
HDMI ARC
:
1 (shared)
Full HDMI In
:
2
HDMI Out
:
1 (shared)
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 Audio Format Support - ARC
eARC
:
No
ARC Dolby Atmos
:
Yes
ARC DTS:X
:
No
ARC Dolby Digital
:
Yes
ARC Dolby Digital Plus
:
Yes
ARC DTS
:
Yes
ARC Dolby TrueHD
:
No
ARC DTS-HD MA
:
No
ARC 5.1 PCM
:
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 Audio Format Support - Full HDMI In
HDMI Dolby Atmos
:
Yes
HDMI DTS:X
:
No
HDMI Dolby Digital
:
Yes
HDMI Dolby Digital Plus
:
Yes
HDMI DTS
:
Yes
HDMI Dolby TrueHD
:
Yes
HDMI DTS-HD MA
:
No
HDMI 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 Audio Format Support - Optical
Optical Dolby Digital
:
Yes
Optical DTS
:
Yes

The SK10Y supports both Dolby Digital and DTS through its Optical port. So, as long as the content supports it, you should have no 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 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.

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 - 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 - Satellites
Sat Wireless
:
N/A

There are no satellites for in this setup.

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.

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 is also a button to switch to Wi-Fi.

Remote
Universal Remote
:
No

The remote that ships with the LG SK10Y is small, but can control most of the features of the bar. 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.

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 is 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.

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 is 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 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.

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.

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-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.

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 dialog 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.

7.4 Dialog / 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 dialog enhancement feature, which will help make dialog 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 is 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.

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