LG SN8YG Soundbar Review

Tested using Methodology v0.8
Reviewed Jun 17, 2020 at 09:13 am
LG SN8YG Picture
6.9
Mixed Usage
6.1
Dialogue/TV Shows
7.2
Music
7.2
Movies
Channels
3.1.2

The LG SN8YG is a well-built 3.1.2 soundbar from 2020. Thanks to its wireless subwoofer, it has a thumpy, bass-heavy sound profile that's sure to please fans of action flicks or electronic music. You can still enjoy its sound with other audio content as the rest of its range is fairly neutral and there are also a lot of sound enhancement features that can help you get the best sound for your needs. This bar offers a lot of connectivity options, and it even has Google Assistant integrated into its setup so you can use voice commands to play your audio. On the downside, it has a poor surround sound performance and it has to downmix it into stereo in order to play it, which isn't great if you want to be really immersed in your favorite audio. However, for a 3.1.2 soundbar, its up-firing speakers and Atmos support make it a unique addition to any home setup.

Our Verdict

6.9 Mixed Usage

The LG SN8YG is alright for mixed use. It has a punchy, bass-heavy sound that's well-suited for action films as well as music genres like EDM. While some may find it too boomy or muddy, it comes loaded with a lot of sound enhancement features to help you get the best sound for your content. Its integrated Google Assistant also allows you to control your audio with vocal commands. However, its poor surround sound performance doesn't do any favors for creating an immersive sound. While can also get loud enough for you to enjoy most content, there are pumping and compression artifacts at max volume.

Pros
  • Lots of sound enhancement features.
  • Integrated Google Assistant available.
Cons
  • Can get loud but pumping and compression artifacts at max volume.
  • Wide bar.
  • Poor surround performance.
6.1 Dialogue/TV Shows

The LG SN8YG is unremarkable for dialogue and TV shows. Although it has a very bass-heavy sound profile, the rest of the range is fairly neutral. Its dedicated center channel helps to produce clear and more accurate dialogue, and it can get loud enough for you to enjoy your favorite soap operas. There's also a dialogue enhancement feature as well as an auto-volume mode to further enhance vocal clarity.

Pros
  • Lots of sound enhancement features.
  • Integrated Google Assistant available.
Cons
  • Wide bar.
7.2 Music

The LG SN8YG is good for music. Its thumpy, bass-heavy sound is great for genres like EDM and hip-hop. Although it can sound boomy or muddy, if you like a different sound, there's four different EQ presets, including AI Sound Pro, and while we didn't test it, it's advertised to automatically EQ whatever content you're listening to. It has a decent soundstage, too, and this bar can get loud enough for you to enjoy favorite tunes in large or crowded rooms. However, there are pumping and compression artifacts at max volume.

Pros
  • Bass-heavy sound.
  • Lots of sound enhancement features.
  • Integrated Google Assistant available.
Cons
  • Can get loud but pumping and compression artifacts at max volume.
  • Wide bar.
  • Poor surround performance.
7.2 Movies

The LG SN8YG is decent for movies. Thanks to its wireless subwoofer, its sound profile delivers a thumpy, punchy bass that's well-suited for action flicks. While its soundstage is only about the size of the bar itself, it has a centered focus, which helps some objects to sound like they're coming from an accurate, pinpoint location. The bar can also get fairly loud but there are pumping and compression artifacts at max volume. Its surround sound performance is poor too and it has to downmix this content into stereo to play it, which can create a less immersive overall experience.

Pros
  • Bass-heavy sound.
  • Supports Dolby Atmos content.
  • Lots of sound enhancement features.
Cons
  • Can get loud but pumping and compression artifacts at max volume.
  • Wide bar.
  • Poor surround performance.
  • 6.9 Mixed Usage
  • 6.1 Dialogue/TV Shows
  • 7.2 Music
  • 7.2 Movies
  1. Update 9/22/2020: The Dynamics tests have been reconducted due to a value input bug.

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Market Context
Market Context
Market Context

The LG SN8YG is a 2020 soundbar from LG. It's the next generation of the 3.1.2 channel LG SL8YG, and it supports Atmos content. Unlike many other soundbars, it also has Google Assistant integrated into its design. The LG SN8YG's main competitors are the LG SL8YG, the Samsung HW-Q70R, and the LG SN6Y.

Design
Design
Style - Bar

The LG SN8YG is a sleek soundbar made up of mostly good quality plastic. It has a metal grille on the front and bottom of the bar as well as round metal grilles on its top for its up-firing speakers.

Design
Style - Subwoofer

The subwoofer is made from plastic, although it has fabric covering three of its sides. The fabric can easily rip or get dirty.

Design
Style - Satellites

This soundbar doesn't have satellites.

Design
Dimensions - Bar
Bar Width 41.7" (106.0 cm)
Bar Height 2.2" (5.6 cm)
Bar Depth 4.7" (12.0 cm)

The LG SN8YG, while shorter in width than the LG SK9Y, is still fairly long and most likely won't fit between the legs of most 55" TVs. However, the bar isn't too tall, and it shouldn't cover any part of your TV unless the screen sits flush on the table.

Design
Dimensions - Subwoofer
Sub Width 8.7" (22.1 cm)
Sub Height 15.4" (39.0 cm)
Sub Depth 12.3" (31.2 cm)

The LG SN8YG subwoofer is about the size of an average desktop computer. As long as you have it connected to a power source, you can place it anywhere in the room as it connects wirelessly to the bar.

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

The LG SN8YG setup doesn't have any satellites.

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

There's one opening on the soundbar's back left side for inputs. There's also a plug-in towards the middle of the soundbar for power. You can mount this bar on the wall, too, thanks to the universal holes found on its underside.

Design
Back - Subwoofer
Enclosure
Ported

This subwoofer has a plain back. There's just a power cable port found towards the middle of the sub.

Design
Back - Satellites
Sat Mounting Type
N/A

This setup doesn't have any satellites.

7.5
Design
Build Quality

This soundbar has a good build quality. It's mostly made of plastic that feels robust and sturdy. The up-firing speaker as well as the front and bottom of the bar have a metal grille protecting them. Only the subwoofer has a fabric covering, but it feels like it can get dirty or damaged.

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

  • Manual
  • Remote with battery
  • Power cables
  • Optical cable
  • Adapter for the soundbar
  • x2 Wall-mounting brackets
  • Screws for wall-mounting brackets

Sound
7.1
Sound
Stereo Frequency Response
ST Slope
-1.24
ST Std. Err.
4.49 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
28.3 Hz
High-Frequency Extension
19.3 kHz

The LG SN8YG has a decent stereo frequency response when you use its Standard Mode alongside its room correction feature. Thanks to its wireless subwoofer, it can produce a thumpy bass that packs a lot of punch. However, it can also sound a bit boomy and muddy, especially as the bass can push lead instruments and vocals to the back of the mix. In comparison, the Samsung HW-Q800T is a 3.1.2 setup with a much more neutral out-of-the-box sound profile. That being said, the rest of the LG's response is fairly balanced, which makes it suitable for dialogue-centric content like podcasts or TV shows.

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

The LG SN8YG has a decent soundstage. The width of the soundstage is about the size of the bar and the bar doesn't do anything to make it sound larger. At the same time, it sounds fairly focused and depending on the content, some objects seem like they're coming from an accurate, pinpoint location, rather than a general area.

6.7
Sound
Stereo Dynamics
ST SPL @ Max Volume
92.8 dB SPL
ST DRC @ Max Volume
3.62 dB

Update 09/22/2020: We've discovered a value input bug that would cause the Dynamics box results to be slightly off. All soundbars reviewed since January 30th, 2020 have been updated.

This soundbar has okay stereo dynamics. While it can get pretty loud, there are pumping and compression artifacts at max volume.

6.7
Sound
Stereo Total Harmonic Distortion
ST Weighted THD @ 80
0.71
ST Weighted THD @ Max Volume
4.39

The SN8YG's THD performance is satisfactory. At a normal listening volume, the amount of distortion falls within good limits, resulting in clean and pure audio reproduction. However, at max volume, there's a huge jump in THD, especially in the bass to mid-range, but this may not be noticeable to all listeners.

8.7
Sound
Center
C Localization
Discrete
C Slope
-0.19
C Std. Err.
3.37 dB
C SPL @ Max Volume
90.3 dB SPL
C Weighted THD @ 80
1.11
C Weighted THD @ Max Volume
3.15

The SN8YG's center channel performance is remarkable. This 3.1.2 channel soundbar has a dedicated center channel, which helps to reproduce clearer and more accurate dialogue in your favorite TV shows or movies. Its frequency response is very balanced and its max volume should be enough for most listeners.

3.6
Sound
Surrounds
Sr Localization
Stereo (Downmix)
Rears
No
Sr Slope
-1.26
Sr Std. Err.
4.53 dB
Sr SPL @ Max Volume
93.3 dB SPL
Sr Weighted THD @ 80
0.71
Sr Weighted THD @ Max Volume
4.46

The LG SN8YG's surround performance is poor. It downmixes surround content into stereo in order to play it, and it sounds very bass-heavy. At max volume, it also produces a lot of distortion.

6.9
Sound
Height (Atmos)
H Localization
Phantom (Up Firing, Bar)
H Slope
-0.14
H Std. Err.
4.32 dB
H SPL @ Max Volume
89.0 dB SPL
H Weighted THD @ 80
0.41
H Weighted THD @ Max Volume
1.49

The LG SN8YG has a fair height performance. It uses up-firing speakers so that it can bounce sound off your ceiling to give you the impression of height. However, the localization of objects sounds diffused and it doesn't sound as real as discrete localization produced by down-firing speakers.

9.4
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

This soundbar's sound enhancement features are outstanding. Unlike the LG GX Soundbar, the LG SN8YG has a room correction feature, which helps to improve its sound quality based on the acoustic characteristics of your room. It also comes with four EQ presets including Standard, Bass Blast, AI Sound Pro, and DTS Virtual: X. Thanks to its companion app, you can also make level adjustments to rear and height channels, as well as turn the dialogue enhancement and auto-volume features on and off.

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 SN8YG has a good variety of inputs. While it lacks an analog audio port, there's still an HDMI In port that allows you to listen to higher-quality sound formats such as Dolby Atmos. It also has a USB port, so you can play audio directly from your external hard drive.

10
Connectivity
Audio Format Support - ARC
eARC
Yes
Dolby Atmos
Yes
Dolby Digital
Yes
Dolby Digital Plus
Yes
DTS
Yes
DTS:X (eARC only)
Yes
Dolby TrueHD (eARC only)
Yes
DTS-HD MA (eARC only)
Yes
5.1 PCM (eARC only)
Yes

This soundbar has excellent support for audio content over its HDMI ARC port. Thanks to its eARC support, it can play lossless surround formats. It can playback formats such as Dolby Atmos and DTS.

10
Connectivity
Audio Format Support - Full HDMI In
Dolby Atmos
Yes
DTS:X
Yes
Dolby Digital
Yes
Dolby Digital Plus
Yes
DTS
Yes
Dolby TrueHD
Yes
DTS-HD MA
Yes
5.1 PCM
Yes

The SN8YG supports virtually every format via Full HDMI In. However, while it has to downmix surround content to stereo to play it, it's still able to offer a somewhat immersive sound experience.

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

Thanks to its optical port, the LG SN8YG can support Dolby Digital and DTS content, usually found on Blu-ray discs or on TV/movie streaming platforms. On the downside, it has to downmix surround content into stereo in order to play it.

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

The LG SN8YG has excellent wireless playback connections. You easily connect your mobile devices to this soundbar using Wi-Fi. You can also connect via Bluetooth too, but you need to configure the Wi-Fi first. However, it's worth keeping in mind that although it supports Wi-Fi, it doesn't have an ethernet port, so you won't be able to get a wired connection to your internet. If you prefer an easier connection to set up, you can cast your favorite tunes using Chromecast built-in. It doesn't work with Apple 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

The LG SN8YG can passthrough the highest quality signal, so when you connect this soundbar to your TV and another source like a gaming console, the text on-screen appears clearly.

Connectivity
Connectivity - Subwoofer
Sub Wireless
Yes

This subwoofer connects wirelessly to the bar. It only has an input for its power cord.

Connectivity
Connectivity - Satellites
Sat Wireless
N/A

There's no satellites in this setup.

Additional Features
Additional Features
Interface
Display
Yes

The LG SN8YG's interface is fairly simple. There's an LCD screen behind the grille that displays the input you're currently on as well as which settings you're currently changing, such as your volume levels. There are also four lights at the bottom of the screen that change color depending on which inputs you're on.

Additional Features
Bar Controls

The controls on the bar are located on its top. You can turn the bar on/off, change inputs, turn volume up/down, play/pause, mute the microphone, and activate Google Assistant.

Additional Features
Remote
Universal Remote
No

This remote looks very similar to the LG SK9Y's but now there's a button for Google Assistant. You can easily adjust the volume, switch inputs (by pressing the F button), switch EQ presets, and control audio playback.

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

The LG Wi-Fi Speaker app may look simple but it houses a lot of features for the soundbar. You can control a lot of the sound enhancement features directly from it, as well as use the app as a remote. You can also control all of the soundbar's settings, including sound effects, and your speaker levels.

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

The LG SN8YG goes into standby after being idle for a while. Also, thanks to HDMI CEC support, you can also control basic functions of the soundbar with your TV remote.

Compared to other soundbars

The LG SN8YG is a 2020 soundbar and is the next generation of the LG SL8YG. Unlike some other LG soundbars, it has a thumpy, bass-heavy sound, and its integrated Google Assistant feature allows you to command the soundbar with your voice. It also has an auto-volume as well as a dialogue enhancement feature, and it can loud enough for a large or crowded room. However, compared to other 3.1 setups, this is one of the few we've tested so far that has Dolby Atmos and eARC support. However, it has a similarly poor surround sound performance as them too. Check out our recommendations for the best Dolby Atmos soundbars, the best soundbars with a subwoofer, and the best soundbars for movies.

Samsung HW-Q800T

The Samsung HW-Q800T is a better overall soundbar than the LG SN8YG. Overall, the Samsung has a better-balanced, more neutral sound profile compared to the slightly boomy-sounding LG, which makes it better-suited for music and movies. The Samsung also comes with a graphic equalizer, making it easy to customize the sound to your liking. However, unlike the Samsung, the LG comes with auto-volume and room correction features. It also has a slightly more neutral-sounding height channel performance, which may be preferred by fans of Atmos content.

Samsung HW-Q70R

The Samsung HW-Q70R is a better performing 3.1.2 soundbar than the LG SN8YG. The Samsung has a more neutral and balanced sound profile right out-of-the-box but it can still deliver a satisfying, thumpy bass. It also has a graphic EQ if you like more control over your sound, and it can support all the same audio formats as the LG. However, the LG has more sound enhancement features including a room correction feature and an auto-volume mode. It also has slightly better surround and height channel performances, and you can stream audio to it using Chromecast built-in.

Samsung HW-Q70T

The Samsung HW-Q70T is a better overall soundbar than the LG SN8YG. It has a more well-balanced sound profile than the slightly boomy sound of the LG, which makes it more suitable for listening to a variety of music genres. Thanks to its 7-band EQ, the Samsung also has more sound customization features so you can tweak the sound to match your preferences. It also has less distortion than the LG when played at max volume. However, the LG comes with a room correction feature that can improve its sound quality based on the acoustic characteristics of your room.

LG SN6Y

The LG SN6Y and the LG SN8YG are similarly well-built soundbars but the LG SN8YG performs slightly better overall. The SN8YG's wireless subwoofer can produce a more thumpy bass, it can support Dolby Atmos as well as eARC content, and it has a room correction feature. You can also use Chromecast built-in or your Wi-Fi to connect to the bar, and it has Google Assistant integrated into its design so you can use vocal commands to control your soundbar. The SN6Y, on the other hand, has slightly less distortion at max volume, and if you're limited on space, its subwoofer isn't as wide.

LG SK10Y

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.

LG GX Soundbar

The LG SN8YG is a better soundbar for movies than the LG GX Soundbar. The SN8YG is a 3.1.2 setup that feels better built, it has a better performing center channel, and since it has up-firing speakers on the bar, its height performance is more immersive than the GX. The SN8YG has a room correction feature too. However, the GX is a 3.1 setup with a better balanced and neutral sound profile. The GX also has a better surround performance, even though it downmixes this content into stereo in order to play it. The GX can also get louder and there are less thumping and compression artifacts present at max volume. 

Samsung HW-R650

The Samsung HW-R650 and the LG SN8YG are similarly performing 3.1 soundbars. The Samsung has a less bass-heavy and more balanced sound profile than the LG, and has a slightly better surround sound performance. However, the LG can support Atmos as well as eARC content and it has more sound enhancement features. You can also play music from your phone using its Chromecast built-in or via Wi-Fi. It even has Google Assistant integrated into its design so that you can use vocal commands to control your soundbar. That being said, the Samsung is a better choice if you're looking for a balanced sound straight out-of-the-box, while the LG offers more features for customization.

Klipsch Bar 48

The LG SN8YG is a better overall performing 3.1 soundbar than the Klipsch Bar 48. The LG feels slightly better built, it has a more thumpy, bass-heavy sound profile that's fairly neutral, and if you don't like it, it has a lot of sound enhancement features so that you can find the right sound for your needs. The LG can also support Atmos as well as eARC content thanks to its Full HDMI In port, and it also has an integrated Google Assistant feature so you can use voice commands to control the soundbar. The Klipsch, on the other hand, has a slightly better surround sound performance, and it has less harmonic distortion at a normal listening volume.

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