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LG SL6Y Soundbar Review

Tested using Methodology v0.8
Reviewed Jan 10, 2020 at 10:41 am
LG SL6Y Picture
6.6
Mixed Usage
6.7
Dialogue/TV Shows
6.8
Music
6.3
Movies
This soundbar was replaced by the LG SN6Y
Channels
3.1

The LG SL6Y is a decent 3.1 soundbar setup that offers an alright price-to-performance ratio. It has a dedicated wireless subwoofer and is fairly affordable for a soundbar with a dedicated center channel. While it doesn't come with rear satellite speakers, these can be purchased separately, which is nice if your needs change and you want to upgrade to a more immersive listening experience. If you find you often have a hard time hearing dialogue while watching movies or TV shows, this soundbar will do a good job at helping to separate speech from background music and explosions, but those looking for a cinema-like listening experience may want to look to higher-end models like the LG SL10YG.

Our Verdict

6.6 Mixed Usage

The LG SL6Y is a decently well-rounded 3.1 soundbar. While it has a dedicated subwoofer, unfortunately, its bass response is sub-par and music or movies sound bright and piercing and are lacking thump and punch. It does a good job at handling dialogue, thanks to its dedicated center channel, though the center speaker won't get as loud as some other option available. This soundbar will downmix 5.1 surround sound content to its three front speakers, but this results in sound that appears as if it's coming from in front of you and you don't get as immersive of a listening experience as soundbar systems with dedicated satellite speakers.

See our Mixed Usage recommendations
6.7 Dialogue/TV Shows

The LG SL6Y is a decent soundbar for watching TV shows thanks to its good dialogue handling. Unfortunately, despite having a dedicated center channel, this speaker doesn't get as loud as some other options, but it still makes dialogue much clearer and easier to make out than soundbars without a dedicated center channel.

See our Dialogue/TV Shows recommendations
6.8 Music

The LG SL6Y is a decent soundbar for listening to music. The sound profile from this soundbar is quite bright sounding, with a lack of thump or punch, despite having a dedicated subwoofer. While you can easily connect your phone to the soundbar via Bluetooth, unfortunately, it doesn't support any Wi-Fi connectivity options, so all your phone's audio will play through the soundbar, including phone calls and notification chimes, and your range will be limited to line-of-sight. There's also no 3.5mm aux port for easily sharing music via different devices, though it can play music files off of USB drives, which is a nice touch.

See our Music recommendations
6.3 Movies

The LG SL6Y is mediocre for movies. This is a 3.1 soundbar setup that does a good job with stereo content, as well as making dialogue easy to hear via its dedicated center channel, but unfortunately, no satellites are included for surround sound content. Unlike some higher-end soundbars, it doesn't have upwards or side-firing speakers, so surround content will get downmixed and sound like it's coming from in front of you as opposed to around or above.

  • 6.6 Mixed Usage
  • 6.7 Dialogue/TV Shows
  • 6.8 Music
  • 6.3 Movies
Pros
  • Good center channel performance due to 3.1 configuration.
  • Premium and well-built design.
Cons
  • Sub-par bass response even with dedicated subwoofer.
  • Poor surround performance due to lack of satellite speakers.
  • No Wi-Fi connectivity options.
  1. Update 5/27/2020:

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Test Results

perceptual testing image
Market Context
Market Context
Market Context

The LG SL6Y is a mid-range 3.1 soundbar from LG's 2019 lineup. While this soundbar setup consists of just the soundbar itself and a wireless dedicated subwoofer, you can also buy LG's SPK8 wireless surround sound kit to add two wireless rear satellites for a true 5.1 listening experience. While it doesn't support Dolby Atmos like some of LG's higher end soundbars, it's the lowest-priced LG soundbar with a dedicated center channel to help enhance dialogue performance. Its main competitors are the Samsung HW-R650 and the Klipsch Bar 48.

Design
Design
Style - Bar

The LG SL6Y looks very similar to the LG SL5Y but is quite a bit longer. It's made primarily of good quality, dense plastic, but with a metal grill on the front and rubberized buttons on the right-hand side. The screen is decently sized and is behind the grill in the center of the bar.

Design
Style - Subwoofer

The subwoofer is mostly made of wood. The port is on the back of the subwoofer and the front is covered in fabric, which may get damaged or dirty over time.

Design
Style - Satellites

This soundbar setup doesnโ€™t have satellites.

Design
Dimensions - Bar
Bar Width 41.7" (106.0 cm)
Bar Height 2.2" (5.6 cm)
Bar Depth 3.4" (8.6 cm)

The LG SL6Y is a wide bar that likely won't fit between the legs on most 55" TVs. Luckily, the bar isn't too high, so it shouldn't obstruct your screen if placed in front, unless your TV sits flush on the table, like the Sony A9F.

Design
Dimensions - Subwoofer
Sub Width 6.8" (17.3 cm)
Sub Height 15.4" (39.2 cm)
Sub Depth 9.8" (24.8 cm)

The subwoofer is about the size of an average desktop PC. You can place it anywhere in the room as long as there's power since it connects wirelessly to the system.

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

There are no satellite speakers in this setup.

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

The back of the LG SL6Y has an opening on one side for all of the input ports. On the other end of the bar is the plug for the power cable. There are universal wall-mounting holes on the underside.

Design
Back - Subwoofer
Enclosure
Ported

The back of the subwoofer looks plain and is made of wood, with the port near the bottom. Unfortunately, the detachable power cable connects in the middle of the back and will stand out.

Design
Back - Satellites
Sat Mounting Type
N/A

This soundbar setup doesn't have satellite speakers.

7.5
Design
Build Quality

The LG SL6Y feels quite well built. It's made primarily of dense, good quality plastic, with a metal grill along the front that gives it a fairly premium feel. The weakest point is the fabric on the subwoofer that can get dirty or damaged if you're not careful.

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

  • Remote & batteries
  • Bar power cable
  • Bar power brick
  • Subwoofer power cable
  • Optical cable
  • Wall-mounting brackets and screws
  • Manuals

Sound
6.3
Sound
Stereo Frequency Response
ST Slope
0.60
ST Std. Err.
2.92 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
55.8 Hz
High-Frequency Extension
19.9 kHz

The stereo frequency response of the LG SL6Y is mediocre. Despite the fact that this soundbar setup has a dedicated subwoofer, its bass range isn't very extended and it lacks a good amount of bass. This results in a sound profile that's bright, slightly piercing, and lacking in thump and punch. This likely won't be ideal for action movies or bass-heavy genres.

Sound
Stereo Raw Frequency Response
7.0
Sound
Stereo Soundstage
Crosstalk Error
1.91 dB

The stereo soundstage of the LG SL6Y is decent. Since this soundbar doesn't do anything to project the sound and make it appear wider, it feels about as wide as the bar itself. It's decently focused and while some objects may seem to come from an accurate pinpoint location, it won't perform nearly as well as bars with side-firing speakers, like the Samsung HW-Q80R.

8.1
Sound
Stereo Dynamics
ST SPL @ Max Volume
94.0 dB SPL
ST DRC @ Max Volume
1.06 dB

The LG SL6Y is quite a loud soundbar, making it great to use in large rooms or at parties. It also has almost no compression even when pushed to the max, so there should be no audible artifacts even at full volume.

7.4
Sound
Stereo Total Harmonic Distortion
ST Weighted THD @ 80
0.50
ST Weighted THD @ Max Volume
2.74

The THD performance of the LG SL6Y is fairly good. At normal listening volumes, it's all within very good limits, meaning you'll get a pure and clean sound. Unfortunately, when pushed to max volume there's a noticeable jump in THD, though not everyone will hear this, especially with real-life content.

7.7
Sound
Center
C Localization
Discrete
C Slope
0.96
C Std. Err.
2.92 dB
C SPL @ Max Volume
89.7 dB SPL
C Weighted THD @ 80
1.13
C Weighted THD @ Max Volume
2.71

Thanks to its dedicated center channel and 3.1 configuration, the center channel performance of the LG SL6Y is good. This results in a more clear and accurate audio reproduction of dialogue in movies and TV shows, though unfortunately, like most LG soundbars we've tested, the center channel doesn't get as loud as some other options.

5.1
Sound
Surrounds
Sr Localization
Stereo (Downmix)
Rears
N/A
Sr Slope
0.13
Sr Std. Err.
3.23 dB
Sr SPL @ Max Volume
95.5 dB SPL
Sr Weighted THD @ 80
0.78
Sr Weighted THD @ Max Volume
3.10

Since the LG SL6Y is a 3.1 soundbar setup, all surround content is downmixed to stereo and played through the front three speakers. This results in poor localization and sound will feel like it's coming from in front of you as opposed to getting an immersive listening experience.

0
Sound
Height (Atmos)
H Localization
N/A
H Slope
N/A
H Std. Err.
N/A
H SPL @ Max Volume
N/A
H Weighted THD @ 80
N/A
H Weighted THD @ Max Volume
N/A

The LG SL6Y doesnโ€™t have height channels and doesnโ€™t support Atmos.

7.2
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
N/A
Height Level Adjustment
N/A
Virtual Surround
Yes

The LG SL6Y has a decent amount of sound enhancement features. While it's lacking room correction, you can change the sound profile via EQ presets as well as the ability to manually adjust bass and treble. This soundbar provides a Dialogue Enhancement feature to help make voices and dialogue clearer, as well as a Night Mode to help maintain a balanced volume between various shows or commercials.

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

The LG SL6Y has a fair amount of input options to connect your external devices. You can connect your gaming console or 4k Blu-ray player to the HDMI in port and then send the audio and video signal to your TV using the HDMI ARC port. While it has a USB port for playing music saved to a USB flash drive, unfortunately, it doesn't have a 3.5mm Aux port for plugging in older mobile devices.

7.1
Connectivity
Audio Format Support - ARC
eARC
No
Dolby Atmos
No
Dolby Digital
Yes
Dolby Digital Plus
No
DTS
Yes
DTS:X (eARC only)
No
Dolby TrueHD (eARC only)
No
DTS-HD MA (eARC only)
No
5.1 PCM (eARC only)
No

Over HDMI ARC, the LG SL6Y supports Dolby Digital and DTS formats, though the surround channels will be downmixed to stereo. Dolby digital is very common on platforms like Netflix or on Blu-rays. DTS, though, isn't common on its own but rather as the fallback of the high-quality lossless DTS-HD MA format which is widely available on Blu-rays.

8.3
Connectivity
Audio Format Support - Full HDMI In
Dolby Atmos
No
DTS:X
No
Dolby Digital
Yes
Dolby Digital Plus
No
DTS
Yes
Dolby TrueHD
No
DTS-HD MA
No
5.1 PCM
Yes

If you use the HDMI in port on the soundbar to connect your external devices to your TV, they'll be able to transfer audio using Dolby Digital, DTS, or 5.1 PCM. These formats should be enough for most 5.1 content.

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

The Optical port on this soundbar can play both Dolby Digital and DTS surround sound formats, though it'll downmix the surround channels to stereo.

6.0
Connectivity
Wireless Playback
Bluetooth
Yes
Wi-Fi
No
Chromecast built-in
No
Apple AirPlay
No

While the LG SL6Y supports Bluetooth playback to wireless play music from your phone or tablet, unfortunately, it doesn't support Wi-Fi, so your range will be limited to line-of-sight.

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
No

If you connect a device to the HDMI input, the LG SL6Y can easily pass a full 4k signal, though unfortunately, it won't pass HDR10 content through.

Connectivity
Connectivity - Subwoofer
Sub Wireless
Yes

The subwoofer connects to the bar wirelessly and only requires a cord for power.

Connectivity
Connectivity - Satellites
Sat Wireless
N/A

This soundbar setup doesn't have any satellite speakers.

Additional Features
Additional Features
Interface
Display
Yes

The LG SL6Y has a reasonably sized screen on the front that is placed behind the metal grill but is still easy to read. While it isn't the largest, it isn't as small as the screen found on the Samsung HW-R650. It shows you your current input as well as your volume level while changing it.

Additional Features
Bar Controls

There are four rubberized buttons found on the side of the soundbar. They allow you to turn the bar on/off, adjust the volume, and change inputs.

Additional Features
Remote
Universal Remote
No

The remote for the LG SL6Y is the same as the remote packaged with most current LG soundbars. It's fairly small and should easily fit in most people's palms. It allows you to control most of the bar's functions as well as scroll through EQ presets.

Additional Features
App
App Name LG Music Flow Bluetooth
iOS No
Android Yes
Acts as the Remote
Yes
Controls Soundbar's Settings
All
Casts Device Files
Audio Files Only

Update 05/27/2020: Since the app is available on iOS but doesn't seem to work with our soundbar, we changed the iOS compatibility test to 'No' to better reflect our experience with the product.

LG's Music Flow Bluetooth app will connect to your soundbar via Bluetooth and allows you to mimic all of the remote's features on your phone, as well as cast music from your device. While it's available for both Android and iOS, we weren't able to get the app to detect our soundbar on iOS. Let us know in the discussion thread below if you're able to get the iOS app to detect this soundbar yourself, as we aren't sure if this was simply a Bluetooth connection issue.

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

This soundbar supports HDMI CEC, so you should be able to use the TV remote to perform certain functions on your bar, though we couldn't get it to work properly on our test unit, and they wouldn't both power on together. There's a standby mode but the manual doesn't state how long until it kicks in.

Compared to other soundbars

The LG SL6Y is an alright soundbar that offers a decent price-to-performance ratio thanks to its fairly affordable price point. This 3.1 setup is good for dialogue thanks to its dedicated center channel speaker, but unfortunately sounds rather bright and lacking in thump, despite having a dedicated wireless subwoofer. See our recommendations for the best soundbars, the best soundbars with subwoofer, and if you're looking for something a bit cheaper, check out our picks for the best soundbars under $300.

Samsung HW-R650
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Samsung HW-R650 is a better soundbar than the LG SL6Y. Both of them are 3.1 soundbar setups that are almost the exact same size and come with a dedicated wireless subwoofer, but the Samsung has better bass response, much better center channel performance, and a fully graphic EQ. On the other hand, the LG does a slightly better job at downmixing surround content, and has a larger screen.

Samsung HW-Q70R
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Samsung HW-Q70R is a better soundbar than the LG SL6Y. The Q70R has a better stereo frequency response, better center channel performance, more connectivity options, and has upwards-firing speakers for Atmos content. On the other hand, the LG downmixes surround channels to its front bar, which the Samsung doesn't do.

Samsung HW-R550
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Samsung HW-R550 is a better soundbar for dialogue and TV shows than the LG SL6Y. The Samsung is better balanced for reproducing vocals, it can get loud enough for normal use, and it has a graphic EQ if you want to tweak its sound a little more. However, the LG has better center and surround performances even though all surround content is still downmixed into stereo. If you connect a device to it using its HDMI input, it can also easily pass a full 4k signal, although it won't pass HDR10 content through.

Samsung HW-Q60R
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Samsung HW-Q60R is a slightly better soundbar than the LG SL6Y. The Samsung produces great dialogue-centric content thanks to its fairly neutral sound profile. The Samsung also has a 3.5mm analog audio jack, and you can also adjust the sound using its graphic EQ. The LG however, supports slightly more audio formats through its HDMI In connection and you can fully control the soundbar's settings through its mobile companion app.

Yamaha YAS-408
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Yamaha YAS-408 is a better soundbar than the LG SL6Y. Despite only being a 2.1 soundbar, the Yamaha's center channel performance is almost the same as the LG's, even with a dedicated center channel. Other than that, the Yamaha has more inputs, Wi-Fi and Apple AirPlay support, and better bass response. On the other hand, the LG has more sound enhancement features.

Sonos Playbar
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Sonos Playbar is a slightly better soundbar than the LG SL6Y. The Playbar feels slightly better-built, has better center channel performance, and has a similar bass response even without a subwoofer. On the other hand, the LG SL6Y has way more connectivity options, and a remote control.

Vizio SB36512-F6
SEE PRICE
BestBuy.com

The Vizio SB36512-F6 is a better soundbar than the LG SL6Y. The Vizio is an Atmos-enabled 5.1.2 soundbar while the LG is only 3.1. The Vizio sounds much better, does a much better job with surround content thanks to its dedicated satellite speakers, and has Wi-Fi for better wireless music playback. On the other hand, the LG feels better-built and has a screen on the bar to better see your input selections.

Klipsch Bar 48
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The LG SL6Y is slightly better than the Klipsch Bar 48. While they're both 3.1 soundbars with a dedicated wireless subwoofer, the LG feels better built, is smaller, has an HDMI In port, and has a dedicated companion app which can be used as a remote control. On the other hand, the Klipsch has less artifacts when played at full volume.

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