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LG SN9YG Soundbar Review

Tested using Methodology v0.8
Reviewed Aug 14, 2020 at 08:57 am
LG SN9YG Picture
7.6
Mixed Usage
7.5
Dialogue/TV Shows
7.8
Music
7.6
Movies
Channels
5.1.2

The LG SN9YG is a well-built 5.1.2 setup from 2020. Thanks to its wireless subwoofer, this soundbar has a bass-heavy but slightly boxy sound profile. It's still suitable for most audio content, and if you prefer a different sound profile, it has an outstanding amount of sound enhancement features to help tweak and customize it to your liking. Room correction is only available via the companion app, though. That said, it can get quite loud, and it supports Atmos content as well. It also has a wide array of physical inputs and wireless connectivity options, so it's easy to play your favorite content from the bar. You can even use it as a hub between your TV and another device like a gaming console. On the downside, there's distortion at max volume, but luckily, this can be hard to hear with real-life content.

Our Verdict

7.6 Mixed Usage

The LG SN9YG is good for mixed use. Its bass-heavy sound profile is well-suited for action films and there are also several other EQ presets available to better suit your audio content if you prefer. While it has a poor height performance, it supports Atmos, and it gets loud enough for a large or crowded room. If you're using it for TV shows, it can reproduce dialogue clearly, and there are other features like room correction and dialogue enhancement available.

Pros
  • Can get loud with few thumping or compression artifacts.
  • Supports Atmos for an immersive experience.
  • EQ presets available.
  • Has room correction feature.
Cons
  • Distortion at max volume.
7.5 Dialogue/TV Shows

The LG SN9YG is good for dialogue and TV shows. It has a balanced sound, particularly in the mid-range, which makes it well-suited for reproducing vocal-centric content like podcasts. There's a dialogue enhancement feature as well as an auto-volume feature available that can help to further improve your vocal content experience. If you like to stream audiobooks from your phone, this soundbar supports several different kinds of wireless playback, such as Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.

Pros
  • Several wireless connectivity options available.
  • Has room correction feature.
Cons
  • Dialogue enhancement feature only available on DTS-enabled content.
7.8 Music

The LG SN9YG is very good for music. It has a bass-heavy and boxy sound profile but if you don't like it, there are four other EQ presets available, which can help you get the best sound out of your audio. The bar can also get loud enough for a large room or a crowded environment like a house party. There's even a room correction feature, but it's only available via its companion app.

Pros
  • Can get loud with few thumping or compression artifacts.
  • EQ presets available.
  • Has room correction feature.
Cons
  • Distortion at max volume.
7.6 Movies

The LG SN9YG is good for movies. This soundbar has a slightly bass-heavy sound profile that helps to bring out the excitement from explosion-packed action movies, and it can get loud enough to fill a large or crowded room. Although it supports Atmos, its height performance is poor. Luckily, this soundbar has an outstanding amount of customization features, which is nice.

Pros
  • Can get loud with few thumping or compression artifacts.
  • Supports Atmos for an immersive experience.
  • EQ presets available.
  • Has room correction feature.
Cons
  • Distortion at max volume.
  • 7.6 Mixed Usage
  • 7.5 Dialogue/TV Shows
  • 7.8 Music
  • 7.6 Movies
  1. Update 9/21/2020: 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 SN9YG is a high-end 5.1.2 model from 2020. Just like other soundbars in the SN lineup, it has Meridian Technology built-in. It also uses up-firing speakers and a sub to produce a more immersive sound experience. The LG SN9YG's main competitors are the LG SL10YG, the Vizio SB36512-F6, and the Samsung HW-Q80R.

Design
Design
Style - Bar

Just like the LG SL10YG, the LG SN9YG is a wide soundbar that looks sleek and sharp. It has a metal grille to protect its front and sides while there are two round metal grilles on its top to cover its up-firing speakers.

Design
Style - Subwoofer

This sub has a fabric covering that protects its three sides which can get dirty or rip easily. The rest of the sub is made from hard plastic. The port is located on the back.

Design
Style - Satellites

This soundbar doesn't have satellites.

Design
Dimensions - Bar
Bar Width 48.0" (121.9 cm)
Bar Height 2.2" (5.6 cm)
Bar Depth 5.7" (14.4 cm)

The LG SN9YG is a long soundbar and it won't fit between the legs of a 55" TV. Luckily, it shouldn't obscure your view if you place it in front 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 subwoofer is around the same size as an average desktop PC and it pairs wirelessly to the bar. You can place it anywhere in the room as long as you connect it to a power source.

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

There are no satellites in this setup.

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

The back of the soundbar has one opening for all of its inputs. There's also a power cable attached to the bar, but it can't be removed.

Design
Back - Subwoofer
Enclosure
Ported

The back of the subwoofer is pretty plain. The port is found towards the bottom and it has a power cord right above it, which tends to stick out a bit.

Design
Back - Satellites
Sat Mounting Type
N/A

This setup doesn't have any satellites.

8.0
Design
Build Quality

The LG SN9YG has a great build quality. It's made from solid plastic and its metal grilles help to protect the speakers. However, the power cable is integrated into the bar and can't be removed. The subwoofer, in comparison, is mostly made from plastic. It has fabric covering three of its sides, which can collect dust or easily rip.

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

  • Manual
  • Remote and x2 AAA batteries
  • Optical cable
  • Power cable for subwoofer
  • Wall-mounting brackets and screws
  • Wall-mounting template

Sound
7.9
Sound
Stereo Frequency Response
ST Slope
-0.76
ST Std. Err.
3.23 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
30.0 Hz
High-Frequency Extension
19.3 kHz

The LG SN9YG soundbar has a very good stereo frequency response. On 'Standard' mode, it has a bass-heavy sound that's a little boxy. That being said, it's still balanced enough for you to enjoy your favorite podcasts or albums. If you prefer a different sound, this soundbar has five EQ presets available as well. There's also a room correction feature that can further improve audio reproduction depending on the acoustics of your room, but this feature is only available via its companion app.

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

The stereo soundstage of the LG SN9YG is decent. While the bar is quite large, its soundstage is only about the size of the bar itself. That being said, it sounds focused, so objects come from accurate pinpoint locations rather than from a general area.

7.7
Sound
Stereo Dynamics
ST SPL @ Max Volume
89.5 dB SPL
ST DRC @ Max Volume
0.95 dB

Update 09/21/2020: 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 good stereo dynamics and it gets loud enough to fill a large or crowded room. It also performs well at max volume, so you won't get a lot of compression artifacts or thumping.

6.9
Sound
Stereo Total Harmonic Distortion
ST Weighted THD @ 80
0.67
ST Weighted THD @ Max Volume
3.62

The LG SN9YG's THD performance is fair. It falls within good limits at a normal listening volume, resulting in a clear and pure sound. However, when you push the bar to its max volume, there's a big jump in THD, particularly in the bass and mid-range. That said, it may not be as audible with real-life content.

8.1
Sound
Center
C Localization
Discrete
C Slope
-0.56
C Std. Err.
4.35 dB
C SPL @ Max Volume
87.4 dB SPL
C Weighted THD @ 80
3.73
C Weighted THD @ Max Volume
6.56

The LG SN9YG's center channel performance is great. Thanks to its 5.1.2 configuration, it has a dedicated center channel which results in clearer and more accurate audio reproduction of dialogue in movies. It doesn't get very loud, though, and it also sounds a little bass-heavy, but it shouldn't matter too much as there usually isn't a lot of bass on center channels.

6.4
Sound
Surrounds
Sr Localization
Phantom (Side Firing, Bar)
Rears
No
Sr Slope
0.07
Sr Std. Err.
5.97 dB
Sr SPL @ Max Volume
92.8 dB SPL
Sr Weighted THD @ 80
1.58
Sr Weighted THD @ Max Volume
3.32

The surround performance of the LG SN9YG soundbar is acceptable. It uses side-firing speakers to bounce sound off the walls, giving the impression of a wider surround sound. However, this setup won't provide the most accurate and clear representation of surround objects in its soundstage. It also won't feel as real as discrete surround produced by home theatre speakers.

4.9
Sound
Height (Atmos)
H Localization
Phantom (Up Firing, Bar)
H Slope
1.33
H Std. Err.
6.23 dB
H SPL @ Max Volume
89.1 dB SPL
H Weighted THD @ 80
0.34
H Weighted THD @ Max Volume
1.26

The LG SN9YG supports Atmos, but its performance is poor. It uses up-firing speakers to bounce sound off of the ceiling, which helps to give the impression of height. That said, the localization of objects is diffused and it doesn't sound as real as discrete localization produced by down-firing speakers. If you're looking for a similar LG soundbar with a better height performance, consider the LG SN10YG.

9.8
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

This soundbar has superb sound enhancement features. You can basically tweak everything and although it lacks a more comprehensive EQ, there are five EQ presets available to better customize your sound instead: AI Sound Pro, Bass Blast, Standard, Movie, and Music mode. There's also a room correction feature, but it's only available through the app. It should be noted that the dialogue enhancement feature only works on DTS-enabled content.

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 SN9YG has a wide array of inputs, and it can even serve as a hub between your devices and your TV. However, it doesn't have an AUX port, so you won't be able to play audio from older devices.

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

The LG SN9YG has full audio format support via its HDMI ARC port. It also supports eARC, so it can play object-based surround signals and lossless formats.

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 LG SN9YG has outstanding audio format support via its full HDMI In port. It supports all common audio formats including Dolby Atmos and DTS. You can also use it as a hub between external devices like a Blu-ray disc player and your TV.

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

This soundbar supports Dolby Digital and DTS content via its optical port. These formats are usually found on streaming platforms as well as on Blu-ray discs.

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

The LG SN9YG has outstanding wireless playback options. You can easily stream your favorite tunes or podcasts to it using Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. However, if you're using something with an iOS system, you won't be able to use 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 SN9YG can be connected between your TV and another source like your PC or gaming console to play 4k @ 60Hz. Text on your screen looks crisp and clear.

Connectivity
Connectivity - Subwoofer
Sub Wireless
Yes

As this sub connects to the bar wirelessly, it only has an input for its power cable.

Connectivity
Connectivity - Satellites
Sat Wireless
N/A

The LG SN9YG soundbar has no satellites.

Additional Features
Additional Features
Interface
Display
Yes

The interface is behind the front-facing metal grille towards the right-hand side of the bar. It displays the volume level using the four dots located under the screen, and it lets you know what current input you're on using text.

Additional Features
Bar Controls

The LG SN9YG has touch-sensitive controls located towards the top of the bar. You can turn the bar on/off, change inputs, adjust volume, mic mute, and activate Google Assistant.

Additional Features
Remote
Universal Remote
No

The LG SN9YG has a small and easy-to-use remote. You can control most of the bar's functions and settings when using the remote. However, you can only access the room correction feature by using the companion app.

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 is a simple app. You can turn on/off the room correction feature and control some things like volume. You can also access a sleep timer and control the bar's dynamic range. However, you can only adjust the bass and treble when using the remote.

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

The LG SN9YG soundbar enters a standby mode after 15 minutes of inactivity. You can also use your TV remote to control some of the basic functions of the bar.

Compared To Other Soundbars

The LG SN9YG soundbar is a 5.1.2 channel setup from 2020. Although it has a bass-heavy sound profile that some users may find boxy, it offers a wide array of sound enhancement features to customize its sound. When compared to the 2019 LG SL10YG, this soundbar has eARC support and it has an improved center, surround, and height performance. It's also a close rival of the Vizio SB36512-F6 as it can support DTS:X over an HDMI In connection. If you're looking for more soundbars, check out the best soundbars 5.1, the best Dolby Atmos soundbars, and the best soundbars for movies.

LG SN10YG

The LG SN9YG and the LG SN10YG are both 5.1.2 setups with similar performances but are priced very differently. While both are similarly well-built and have the same sound enhancement features, the SN9YG is a bit shorter in length. It also performs better for vocal-centric content like TV shows. However, the SN10YG has the edge for music and movies. Its height performance is significantly better and it offers two Full HDMI In ports.

LG SL10YG

The LG SN9YG is a better performing 5.1.2 soundbar than the LG SL10YG. While both soundbars feel well-built, the SN9YG has a slightly better-balanced sound profile and a better soundstage. Its center, surrounds, and height performance are also better too, it has more sound enhancement features including room correction, and supports eARC. However, the SL10YG has a better THD performance and it can get louder, although it has more compression artifacts at max volume. 

Samsung HW-Q80R

The Samsung HW-Q80R is a better overall 5.1.2 setup than the LG SN9YG. While both soundbars are well-built, the Samsung has a more neutral sound profile and a better soundstage. It can get louder, albeit with more compression artifacts, and its center and height channels are significantly better performing. However, the LG has more sound enhancement features including a room correction feature, and its surround performance is much better. You can also stream audio to it wireless using Chromecast built-in.

LG SK9Y

The LG SN9YG is a better overall 5.1.2 soundbar than the LG SK9Y. The SN9YG feels better built, it's able to produce more bass, and it can louder. It has a slightly better center channel and surround performance, and there are also significantly more sound enhancement features. The SN9YG has eARC support as well as DTS:X support over its Full HDMI In port. However, the SK9Y has a significantly better height performance.

JBL Bar 5.1 Surround

The LG SN9YG is a better soundbar than the JBL Bar 5.1 Surround. The LG is a 5.1.2 setup that supports Atmos and has a better-balanced sound profile. It offers more sound enhancement features and it supports more audio formats across its physical inputs. The JBL, on the other hand, has a better surround and center channel performance. You can also wirelessly stream audio to it using Apple AirPlay.

Vizio SB36512-F6

The Vizio SB36512-F6 and the LG SN9YG are similarly performing soundbars. The Vizio comes with two satellites, it has a slightly more neutral sound profile, and it can get as loud as the LG with less compression. Its center and height performances are better, and it has an AUX port for older devices. The LG, on the other hand, feels much better built, its surround performance is better built, and it has more sound enhancement features available, including room correction. It also supports eARC and DTS:X via its full HDMI In port.

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