LG SP11RA Soundbar Review

Tested using Methodology v1.0
Reviewed Jul 20, 2021 at 09:14 am
LG SP11RA Picture
8.0
Mixed Usage
8.2
Dialogue/TV Shows
8.1
Music
7.9
Movies
Channels
7.1.4

The LG SP11RA is a premium 7.1.4 setup that's the next generation of the LG SN11RG. It comes with an AI Room Calibration feature that can automatically optimize audio reproduction based on the unique acoustic characteristics of your listening space, as well as some EQ presets to help you customize its sound. With the room correction feature turned on, it has a slightly boomy but otherwise neutral sound profile that's still suitable for listening to lots of different types of audio content. It also supports Dolby Atmos content.

Our Verdict

8.0 Mixed Usage

The LG SP11RA is great for mixed usage. With its room correction feature turned on, it has a slightly boomy but otherwise neutral sound profile suitable for lots of different types of audio content. Its discrete center channel helps to accurately localize dialogue to a pinpoint location for a more immersive sound. It also supports surround content as well as Dolby Atmos content, which is handy for movie fans. While it has lots of sound enhancement features, unfortunately, it lacks a graphic EQ.

Pros
  • Gets loud.
  • Room correction feature.
Cons
  • No graphic EQ.
8.2 Dialogue/TV Shows

The LG SP11RA is impressive for dialogue-centric content like TV shows. Its balanced mid-range can reproduce voices clearly and with detail. Also, its discrete center channel helps to accurately localize dialogue to a pinpoint location for a more immersive sound. You can also use its 'Clear Voice' preset to make voices more clear and crisp, as well as its 'Dialogue Control' mode if you're watching DTS-enabled content. It also supports lots of wireless playback options so you can wirelessly stream podcasts and audiobooks to the bar.

Pros
  • Room correction feature.
  • Dialogue enhancement feature.
Cons
  • Some distortion at max volume.
8.1 Music

The LG SP11RA is great for music. This soundbar has an AI Room Calibration room correction feature. With this turned on, it has a slightly boomy but otherwise neutral sound profile suitable for most music genres. You can also use its EQ presets and its bass and treble adjustments to customize its sound. It gets pretty loud, too. Unfortunately, it lacks a full graphic EQ for sound customization.

Pros
  • Gets loud.
  • Room correction feature.
Cons
  • No graphic EQ.
7.9 Movies

The LG SP11RA is very good for movies. With its AI Room Calibration feature on, it has a slightly boomy, though pretty neutral sound profile that can reproduce dialogue clearly while adding a little extra punch to action-packed scenes. You can even customize its sound using its EQ presets and bass and treble adjustments. It also comes with discrete surround speakers that help to make surround objects sound more clear and real. You can also use the bar to watch Dolby Atmos content.

Pros
  • Gets loud.
  • Room correction feature.
Cons
  • Some distortion at max volume.
  • 8.0 Mixed Usage
  • 8.2 Dialogue/TV Shows
  • 8.1 Music
  • 7.9 Movies

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Market Context
Market Context
Market Context

The LG SP11RA is a 7.1.4 setup released in 2021 that's the next generation of the LG SN11RG. Like its predecessor, it has built-in Meridian Technology, advertised to help create a more immersive sound. It also comes with a 2021 LG TV AI Processor that's advertised to work with your compatible LG TV to produce better sound, though we don't test for this. Its competitors include the Samsung HW-Q950A, the Sonos Arc, and the Samsung HW-Q90R.

Design
Design
Style - Bar

The LG SP11RA has a simple design that's similar to the LG SN11RG. It's mostly plastic, with a metal grille covering the front and the sides. There are also two round grilles on top of the bar to protect its up-firing speakers.

Design
Style - Subwoofer

The subwoofer is mostly plastic. There's fabric covering three of its sides, though it seems like this material could collect dust and get dirty over time.

Design
Style - Satellites

The satellites are mostly made of plastic. There's a metal grille covering the top and the front.

Design
Dimensions - Bar
Width 56.8" (144.2 cm)
Height 2.5" (6.3 cm)
Depth 5.8" (14.7 cm)

The LG SP11RA is wide, so it likely won't fit between the legs of a 55" TV stand. However, it isn't very tall, so it shouldn't obscure your TV screen unless your TV sits flush on the table.

Design
Dimensions - Subwoofer
Width 8.7" (22.1 cm)
Height 15.4" (39.1 cm)
Depth 12.3" (31.2 cm)

Like the LG SN11RG, this soundbar comes with a subwoofer that's about the size of an average desktop PC. Since it pairs wirelessly to the bar, you only have to plug it into an outlet to get it to work.

Design
Dimensions - Satellites
Width 5.1" (13.0 cm)
Height 8.3" (21.0 cm)
Depth 7.5" (19.0 cm)

The LG SP11RA's satellites are the same size as those of the LG SN11RG. They're long, but they connect to the soundbar wirelessly, which gives you some flexibility when placing them in your setup. They just need to be plugged into a power outlet to work.

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

The back of the bar has two openings for the power cable and the inputs. There are also universal holes on the underside, so you can use the included wall-mount kit to mount it on your wall.

Design
Back - Subwoofer
Enclosure
Ported

The back of the sub has a port at the bottom. There's also an input for the power cable just above the port.

Design
Back - Satellites
Mounting
Universal (holes on underside)

The satellites have an input for the power cable on the back. There are also universal holes so you can mount them to your wall.

8.0
Design
Build Quality

The LG SP11RA has an impressive build quality. The bar and the satellites are mostly plastic, which feels solid and durable. The metal grilles help to protect the drivers inside, which is nice. While the sub is also durable-feeling plastic, the fabric on its sides seems like it could collect dust and get dirty over time.

Design
In The Box
HDMI Cable Length
N/A
Digital Optical Cable Length
1.5 m (4.9 ft)

  • Manual
  • Mounting template
  • 4x mounting brackets with screws
  • Remote with batteries (2xAA)
  • 3x power cables
  • Optical cable

Sound
8.1
Sound
Stereo Frequency Response
Tested Preset
Standard
Slope
-0.75
Std. Err.
3.18 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
32.2 Hz
High-Frequency Extension
19.9 kHz

The LG SP11RA has a great stereo frequency response. It comes with an AI Room Calibration feature that helps automatically adjust audio reproduction based on the acoustic characteristics of your room. On its default 'Standard' mode, and with the room correction feature on, it has a slightly bass-heavy but otherwise neutral sound profile. There's a little extra punch and warmth in your audio, but it's still well-suited for a variety of audio content. You can also customize its sound using the EQ presets and bass and treble adjustments.

8.3
Sound
Stereo Frequency Response With Preliminary Calibration
Suggested Preset
Standard
Suggested Bass Setting
-4
Suggested Treble Setting
-1
Slope
-0.45
Std. Err.
2.42 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
32.7 Hz
High-Frequency Extension
19.9 kHz

With its bass set to '-4' and its treble set to '-1', the LG SP11RA has a very neutral, balanced sound profile suitable for listening to a wide variety of audio content. It can also accurately reproduce the thump and rumble in the bass range, which is great for action-packed movies and bass-heavy music.

7.5
Sound
Stereo Soundstage
Crosstalk Error
2.05 dB

The LG SP11RA has a great stereo soundstage. The soundstage is perceived to be about as wide as the bar itself, though it doesn't have any tricks to help widen it. It also has good focus, so sound objects like voices seem to come from a pinpoint location rather than a more general area.

7.9
Sound
Stereo Dynamics
SPL @ Max Volume
92.5 dB SPL
DRC @ Max Volume
1.13 dB

The LG SP11RA has very good stereo dynamics. It gets pretty loud, and there isn't much compression when you push it to max volume, so it's suitable for use in large spaces and at crowded parties.

7.0
Sound
Stereo Total Harmonic Distortion
Weighted THD @ 80dB
0.60
Weighted THD @ Max Volume
4.01

The LG SP11RA has a decent stereo THD performance. At normal listening volumes, it falls within good limits, resulting in clean and pure audio reproduction. However, there's a jump in THD across the whole range when it's pushed to max volume. It may not be very noticeable with real-life content, though.

8.0
Sound
Center
Localization
Discrete
Slope
-0.86
Std. Err.
3.19 dB
SPL @ Max Volume
88.1 dB SPL
Weighted THD @ 80dB
1.01
Weighted THD @ Max Volume
9.37

The LG SP11RA has a great center channel performance. This 7.1.4 setup comes with a discrete central channel, so dialogue is more accurately localized to a pinpoint location in the sound image. Its frequency response is a bit bass-heavy, but since most dialogue reproduces in the mid-range, this shouldn't be too noticeable.

6.9
Sound
Surround 5.1
Localization
Discrete
Slope
0.59
Std. Err.
6.92 dB
SPL @ Max Volume
94.4 dB SPL
Weighted THD @ 80dB
1.26
Weighted THD @ Max Volume
2.38
7.1 Rears
Yes

The LG SP11RA has a fair surround performance. Thanks to its discrete surround speakers, surround objects sound more clear and real. Audio seems to be coming from all around you, rather than just from speakers placed in front of you. That said, it struggles to reproduce treble-range frequencies, so your audio may be dark and dull.

5.7
Sound
Height (Atmos)
Localization
Phantom (Up Firing, Bar & Satellites)
Slope
-0.97
Std. Err.
5.64 dB
SPL @ Max Volume
81.9 dB SPL
Weighted THD @ 80dB
1.73
Weighted THD @ Max Volume
2.20

The LG SP11RA has a middling height performance. It uses up-firing speakers on the bar and the satellites to bounce sound off the ceiling and back down towards the listener, which helps create the illusion of height. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem as real as discrete localization from down-firing speakers found in home theater setups.

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

The LG SP11RA has an incredible selection of sound enhancement features. It comes with an AI Room Calibration feature that automatically calibrates audio reproduction based on the space you're listening in. It also comes with some EQ presets to help customize its sound: 'AI Sound Pro', 'Standard', 'Music', 'Cinema', 'Clear Voice', 'Sports, 'Game', and 'BassBlast'. The 'Clear Voice' preset doubles as a dialogue enhancement mode, so voices sound more clear and crisp. There's also a Dialogue Control feature on the app, but it only works with DTS-enabled content. Additionally, the AV Sync feature on the app helps reduce latency, though we don't test for this.

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)
No
RCA In
No
USB for Files
1
Ethernet
No

The LG SP11RA has several physical inputs. There are two Full HDMI In ports, so you can use the bar as a hub between your different devices. You can also play music that's stored on a USB thumb drive, which is handy.

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 SP11RA has fantastic audio format support via ARC. It supports Dolby Digital, which is the most common surround sound format. Also, it supports lossless and object-based formats like Dolby Atmos and DTS:X.

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 SP11RA also supports Dolby Digital and DTS content via Full HDMI In, commonly found on Blu-ray discs and streaming platforms. It also supports object-based formats over this connection.

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

The LG SP11RA supports both Dolby Digital and DTS via Optical, which is handy for those who watch lots of content from streaming platforms and Blu-rays.

9.8
Connectivity
Latency
ARC
-9 ms
Optical
14 ms
Full HDMI In
-14 ms

The LG SP11RA has an incredible latency performance. It has low latency via ARC, Optical, and Full HDMI In, so the audio you hear is in sync with the video you see. As a result, it's suitable for watching videos over these connections. That said, some apps and TVs compensate for latency differently, so your real-world experience can vary.

10
Connectivity
Wireless Playback
Bluetooth
Yes
Wi-Fi
Yes
Chromecast built-in
Yes
Apple AirPlay
Yes

The LG SP11RA has fantastic wireless playback support. You can wirelessly stream audio content from your mobile devices to the bar over all the formats we test for.

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 SP11RA can passthrough the highest-quality bandwidth signals. If you use the bar as a hub between two devices like your PC and your TV, text on the TV appears clear and crisp.

Connectivity
Connectivity - Subwoofer
Sub Wireless
Yes

The sub connects to the bar wirelessly, so you just have to plug it into a power outlet to get it to work.

Connectivity
Connectivity - Satellites
Sat Wireless
Yes

The satellites also connect to the bar wirelessly. They still need to be plugged into a power outlet to work, though.

Additional Features
Additional Features
Interface
Display
Yes

The LG SP11RA has a small display screen. It shows your chosen settings and the volume levels, the inputs, and the sound preset.

Additional Features
Bar Controls

The LG SP11RA has a series of touch-sensitive buttons on top of the bar. You can use them to turn it on/off, change the input, adjust the volume, play/pause audio, and activate Bluetooth or Wi-Fi pairing.

Additional Features
Remote
Universal Remote
No

The remote has a simple design, and it lets you control some features like the volume and the input. Since it's not a universal remote, you can't use it to control your TV.

Additional Features
Voice Assistants Support
Amazon Alexa
No
Google Assistant
No
Apple Siri
No

The LG SP11RA doesn't offer built-in voice assistant support. If you purchase a third-party device with built-in support for Google Assistant or Alexa, you can pair it with the soundbar for voice assistant support. Since this requires purchasing a third-party device, we don't test for it.

Additional Features
App
App Name LG Sound Bar
iOS Yes
Android Yes
Acts As A Remote
Yes
Controls Soundbar's Settings
All
Casts Device Files
Yes

The LG Sound Bar app acts as a remote and lets you control all of the bar's features. You can use it to activate the AI Room Calibration feature and the Dialogue Control feature for DTS content. There's also an AV Sync feature available to help reduce latency, though we don't test for it.

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

The LG SP11RA automatically turns off after fifteen minutes without an audio signal. It also supports HDMI CEC, so you can use your TV remote to control the bar's basic features. However, the manufacturer mentions that the bar's features can only be controlled by an LG remote.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

The LG SP11RA comes in Black, and you can see the label for the model we tested here.

If you come across another version of this soundbar, let us know in the discussions, and we'll update our review.

Compared To Other Soundbars

The LG SP11RA is the upgraded version of the LG SN11RG. Released in 2021, this soundbar comes with an LG TV AI Processor that's advertised to pair with the speakers on your compatible LG TV for a more immersive sound, though we don't currently test for this. Its bass-heavy sound profile may be overwhelming for some listeners, but it comes with many sound enhancement features, including EQ presets and an AI Room Calibration feature.

See our recommendations for the best soundbars, the best soundbars for movies, and the best LG soundbars.

LG SN11RG

The LG SP11RA is a marginally better soundbar than the LG SN11RG. The SP11RA gets louder with less compression at max volume, and it supports Apple AirPlay connectivity. It also comes with more EQ presets. While the SN11RG has built-in voice assistant support, the SP11RA only supports voice assistants through a third-party device.

Samsung HW-Q950A

The Samsung HW-Q950A is a better soundbar than the LG SP11RA. The Samsung gets louder, and offers better surround and Atmos performances. It also comes with a graphic EQ for sound customization. While the Samsung has built-in voice assistant support, you have to connect a third-party device to use voice assistants with the LG. That said, the LG is better-built with more wireless playback options.

Sonos Arc

The LG SP11RA is a better soundbar than the standalone Sonos Arc. The LG comes with a dedicated subwoofer that reproduces a more extended low-bass and discrete satellite speakers. It offers more wireless playback options, too. It also comes with EQ presets and a Full HDMI In port, unlike the Sonos. However, the Sonos offers better soundstage and Atmos performances. It can also be upgraded as the Sonos Arc with Sub + One SL Speakers for a better performance.

Samsung HW-Q950T

The Samsung HW-Q950T is a bit better for mixed usage than the LG SP11RA. The Samsung gets louder, and it has better surround and Atmos performances. It also has built-in voice assistant support, whereas the LG requires a third-party device to use voice assistants. That said, the LG is better built with a room correction feature and more wireless playback options.

Samsung HW-Q900A

The Samsung HW-Q900A is a bit better for mixed usage than the LG SP11RA. The Samsung gets louder, and it comes with a graphic EQ for sound customization. It also has built-in voice assistant support, while you need to purchase a third-party device to use voice assistants with the LG. That said, the LG is better-built and offers more wireless playback options.

Sonos Arc with Sub + One SL Speakers

The LG SP11RA is a marginally better soundbar for mixed usage than the Sonos Arc with Sub + One SL Speakers. The LG has a more neutral sound profile out-of-the-box, and it comes with EQ presets and a Full HDMI In port. It also supports more wirelessly playback options. That said, the Sonos is better-built, with better soundstage, surround, and Atmos performances.

JBL Bar 9.1

The LG SP11RA is a marginally better soundbar for mixed usage than the JBL Bar 9.1. The LG offers more sound enhancement features, including a dialogue enhancement feature. The JBL is better for movies since it has better soundstage, surround, and Atmos performances. It also has more wireless playback options.

Samsung HW-Q800A

Depending on your listening habits, you may prefer either the Samsung HW-Q800A or the LG SP11RA. The Samsung comes with a graphic EQ for sound customization, and it also has built-in voice assistant support. That said, the LG has a better surround performance, as well as more wireless playback options. It also comes with a room correction feature, unlike the Samsung.

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