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LG SP8YA Soundbar Review

Tested using Methodology v1.2
Review updated Jun 22, 2023 at 02:25 pm
LG SP8YA Picture
7.9
Mixed Usage
8.2
Dialogue/TV Shows
8.0
Music
7.6
Movies

The LG SP8YA is a 3.1.2 setup from 2021. It's the next generation of the LG SN8YG, and it comes with more EQ presets and a 2021 LG TV AI Processor that's advertised to sync up the bar with the speakers from compatible LG TVs for a more immersive sound. It also comes with other premium sound enhancement features, like an AI Room Calibration feature that can automatically adjust audio reproduction based on the unique acoustic characteristics of the room you're listening in. Plus, it supports many audio formats commonly found on streaming services, like Dolby Atmos.

Our Verdict

7.9 Mixed Usage

The LG SP8YA is very good for mixed usage. With its room correction feature turned on, it offers a bass-heavy sound profile that adds extra thump and punch to your audio, so you feel the rumble in bass-heavy music and action-packed movies. Many sound customization features are also available, and it supports Dolby Atmos content. However, it has to downmix surround content into stereo to play it, which doesn't sound very immersive.

Pros
  • Bass and treble adjustments.
  • Gets loud.
  • Lots of wireless playback options.
Cons
  • Downmixes surround into stereo.
8.2 Dialogue/TV Shows

The LG SP8YA is great for dialogue-centric content like TV shows. Thanks to its dedicated center channel, it can reproduce clear and accurate dialogue. There's also a dialogue enhancement feature to help make voices clear and crisp and an auto-volume mode to help balance the volume level between different programs. The bar offers lots of wireless playback options, so you can stream podcasts and audiobooks from your mobile device to the bar.

Pros
  • Dialogue enhancement feature.
  • Lots of wireless playback options.
Cons
  • Some distortion at max volume.
8.0 Music

The LG SP8YA is great for music. It comes with an AI Room Calibration feature that automatically optimizes audio reproduction based on your listening space. With this feature on, it has a bass-heavy sound profile that adds extra thump and punch to your audio. The rest of the range is still neutral enough to suit many different music genres. There are also bass and treble adjustments as well as EQ presets to help you customize its sound.

Pros
  • Bass and treble adjustments.
  • Gets loud.
Cons
  • No graphic EQ.
7.6 Movies

The LG SP8YA is good for movies. It gets loud, and its bass-heavy sound profile helps you feel the deep thump and rumble in action-packed movie scenes. Thanks to its up-firing speakers, it supports Dolby Atmos and DTS:X content. Unfortunately, it has to downmix surround content into stereo to play it, which doesn't sound very immersive.

Pros
  • Bass and treble adjustments.
  • Gets loud.
Cons
  • Downmixes surround into stereo.
  • 7.9 Mixed Usage
  • 8.2 Dialogue/TV Shows
  • 8.0 Music
  • 7.6 Movies
  1. Updated Jun 22, 2023: Updated review text for clarity.
  2. Updated Jun 13, 2023: Converted to Test Bench 1.2. Updated the results for audio format support via ARC/eARC, HDMI In, and Optical. Added Video Passthrough to TV results as well.
  3. Updated Mar 01, 2023: Added cable lengths to In The Box.
  4. Updated Mar 01, 2023: Converted to Test Bench 1.1. With this update, we've added a Mounting test and added information aboutSubwoofer Output, Spotify Connect, and Microphone Mute.
  5. Updated Dec 15, 2022: Updated the bar's Stereo Soundstage score from 7.0 to 7.5.
  6. Updated Dec 22, 2021: Added third-party voice assistant support.
  7. Updated Aug 04, 2021: Added more information about auto-off and app device casting features.
  8. Updated May 17, 2021: Review published.
  9. Updated May 13, 2021: Early access published.
  10. Updated May 10, 2021: Our testers have started testing this product.
  11. Updated May 07, 2021: The product has arrived in our lab, and our testers will start evaluating it soon.
  12. Updated Apr 24, 2021: We've purchased the product and are waiting for it to arrive in our lab.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

The LG SP8YA comes in 'Black', and you can see the label for the model we tested here.

If you encounter another version of this soundbar, please let us know in the forums, and we'll update our review.

Compared To Other Soundbars

The LG SP8YA is a 3.1.2 soundbar that's the next generation of the LG SN8YG. Unlike its predecessor, it has more EQ presets and an LG TV AI Processor to help create a more immersive sound with compatible LG TVs. It has lots of sound enhancement features, and it also supports Dolby Atmos Music. While it supports Alexa and Google Assistant, you must purchase a third-party device to operate the voice assistants with the soundbar.

See our recommendations for the best LG soundbars, the best soundbars with a subwoofer, and the best soundbars.

LG S80QY

The LG SP8YA and the LG S80QY are both very similar soundbars, and their performances in terms of sound aren't very different. The S80QY is a newer model, and it comes with an additional up-firing center channel that can slightly improve the localization of voices in the soundstage. It isn't noticeable to most listeners, so you don't notice a huge difference between the two bars.

LG S75Q

The LG SP8YA is better than the LG S75Q. The SP8YA is a 3.1.2 setup that reproduces a more extended low-bass, so you feel more thump and rumble in your audio. It comes with more sound enhancement features, like room correction, and it supports more wireless playback options.

LG SP9YA

The LG SP9YA is a 5.1.2 soundbar that offers better performance than the 3.1.2 LG SP8YA. The SP9YA is better built, with a better soundstage performance. Also, thanks to its side-firing speakers, it doesn't have to downmix surround content into stereo to play it.

LG SN8YG

The LG SP8YA is a better soundbar than the LG SN8YG. The SP8YA is the next generation of the SN8YG, and it comes with more EQ presets and supports Apple AirPlay. It also gets louder with less compression at max volume. However, while the SN8YG has built-in Google Assistant, the SP8YA requires a third-party device for its voice assistant support.

Sony HT-G700

The LG SP8YA is better than the Sony HT-G700. The LG has a better soundstage performance and it supports more wireless playback options. Also, it reproduces a more extended low-bass. It even comes with more sound enhancement features, such as room correction.

Sonos Beam (Gen 2)

The LG SP8YA is better than the Sonos Beam (Gen 2). The LG is a 3.1.2 setup with a subwoofer that can reproduce a more extended low-bass. It can also get louder and supports more wireless playback options such as Bluetooth. Unlike the Sonos, it also comes with EQ presets. However, the Sonos is still a solid choice for users who prefer a more compact standalone bar. It's better built and offers better soundstage and surround performances despite its smaller size.

Samsung HW-Q700A

Depending on your listening habits, you may prefer either the LG SP8YA or the Samsung HW-Q700A. The LG has a more extended low-bass out-of-the-box, with more wireless playback options and a room correction feature. However, the Samsung is better built, with a better soundstage performance and a graphic EQ for sound customization.

JBL Bar 9.1

Depending on your listening habits, you may prefer either the JBL Bar 9.1 or the LG SP8YA. The JBL is better-suited for movies. It's a 5.1.4 setup with discrete satellites that offers better soundstage, surround, and Atmos performances. However, the 3.1.2 LG is more customizable. Unlike the JBL, it has a dialogue enhancement mode as well as bass and treble adjustments.

LG GX Soundbar

The LG SP8YA is a better soundbar than the LG GX Soundbar. The SP8YA is better-built with a more extended low-bass. It offers room correction and more wireless playback options. Unlike the GX, it doesn't have to downmix Atmos content to play it. However, the GX gets louder, and it has a better soundstage performance.

LG SPD7Y

The LG SP8YA is a better soundbar than the LG SPD7Y. The SP8YA has a more neutral sound profile out-of-the-box, and it also reproduces a more extended low-bass. It comes with more sound enhancement features, including room correction and some features that we don't test for like the LG AI TV Processor. It also supports more wireless playback options than the SPD7Y.

Samsung HW-Q800B

The Samsung HW-Q800B is better than the LG SP8YA. The Samsung is a 5.1.2 setup, whereas the LG is a 3.1.2 setup. Since the Samsung has two side-firing drivers for surround sound, its performance is more clear and real overall. Its Atmos performance is better, too, so sound effects are more accurately represented.

LG S65Q

The LG SP8YA is better than the LG S65Q. The SP8YA is a 3.1.2 setup that supports Dolby Atmos content, unlike the S65Q. It's able to reproduce a more extended low-bass, too, and it has more premium features like room correction. 

LG SP11RA

While the LG SP8YA and the LG SP11RA are both very premium setups, the SP11RA is marginally better overall. The SP11RA is a 7.1.4 setup with discrete satellites that offers better soundstage and surround performances. It's also better built compared to the 3.1.2 SP8YA.

JBL Bar 5.0 MultiBeam

The LG SP8YA is better than the JBL Bar 5.0 MultiBeam. The LG is a 3.1.2 setup with a dedicated sub that can reproduce a more extended low-bass. It also has more sound enhancement features, such as dialogue enhancement. That said, the 5.0 JBL is better built with a better surrounds performance.

Samsung HW-Q800A

The Samsung HW-Q800A is a better soundbar than the LG SP8YA. The Samsung is better-built with a better soundstage performance. It gets louder, though it has more compression at max volume, and it comes with a graphic EQ. However, the LG comes with a room correction feature and Chromecast built-in.

LG Eclair QP5

The LG SP8YA is a better 3.1.2 soundbar than the LG Eclair QP5. The SP8YA has better center and surround performances. It's also a better pick for Atmos content. It gets louder with a little less compression at max volume. Unlike the Eclair, it has room correction and supports more wireless playback options. Some users may also prefer its more neutral, balanced sound profile out-of-the-box. That said, the Eclair has a more compact design, so it's not too surprising that it struggles to get loud.

Samsung HW-Q800T

Depending on your listening habits, you may prefer either the Samsung HW-Q800T or the LG SP8YA. The Samsung is better built with a graphic EQ for sound customization. However, the LG has more sound enhancement features like room correction and auto-volume, as well as more wireless playback options.

Vizio M Series M512a-H6

The Vizio M Series M512a-H6 is better than the LG SP8YA. The Vizio is a 5.1.2 setup with discrete satellite speakers offering a better surround performance. It also has a better stereo soundstage. That said, the 3.1.2 LG has more wireless playback options and a room correction feature.

LG SP7Y

The LG SP8YA is a better soundbar than the LG SP7Y. The SP8YA is a 3.1.2 setup that supports Dolby Atmos content and comes with a room correction feature. It reproduces a more extended low-bass and offers a more neutral sound profile out-of-the-box, which some users may prefer. It also supports more wireless playback options. That said, the 5.1 SP7Y has better soundstage and surround performances.

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Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Style - Bar

The LG SP8YA is a simple soundbar with a similar design to the LG SN8YG. It's mostly made of plastic, with metal grilles covering the front of the bar and the up-firing speakers on top of the bar.

Design
Style - Subwoofer
Sub Wireless
Yes
Enclosure
Ported

The subwoofer is made of plastic. There's fabric covering three sides.

Design
Style - Satellites
Satellite Wireless
No

This setup doesn't come with satellites, but you can purchase compatible rear speakers from the manufacturer separately.

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

The LG SP8YA is fairly wide, so it likely won't fit between the legs of a 55-inch TV. However, it isn't very tall, so it won't block your TV screen unless your TV sits flush on your table. For a smaller 3.1.2 setup from LG, check out the LG Eclair QP5.

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

The sub is about the size of an average desktop computer. It connects wirelessly to the bar, so you have some flexibility in where you place it in your room.

Design
Dimensions - Satellites
Width N/A
Height N/A
Depth N/A
Design
Mounting
Mountable Bar
Yes
Bar Brackets Included
Yes
Mountable Satellites
No
Satellite Brackets Included
No

You can mount the bar to your wall using the included brackets.

7.5
Design
Build Quality

This soundbar has good build quality. The bar is mostly made of plastic, which feels solid and durable. The metal grilles help to protect the drivers, too. The sub is also high-quality plastic; however, the fabric covering seems like it could rip or get dirty easily.

Design
In The Box

  • Optical cable (4.9 ft / 1.5m)
  • 2x power cables (4.9 ft / 1.5m)
  • Adapter for the soundbar (built-in cable 4.9 ft / 1.5m)
  • Mounting brackets with screws
  • Remote with battery
  • Manual with mounting template

Sound
8.0
Sound
Stereo Frequency Response
Tested Preset
Standard
Slope
-0.58
Std. Err.
3.43 dB
Channels
3.1.2
Low-Frequency Extension
31.3 Hz
High-Frequency Extension
19.9 kHz

This soundbar has a great stereo frequency response. It comes with a room correction feature called AI Room Calibration that automatically optimizes audio reproduction based on the room you're listening in. With this feature turned on, it has a bass-heavy sound profile that adds extra thump and punch to your audio, so you feel the rumbles in action-packed movies and bass-heavy music. The rest of the range is fairly balanced, making it suitable for dialogue-centric content like podcasts and TV shows. There are also bass and treble adjustments and some EQ presets to help you customize its sound.

8.0
Sound
Stereo Frequency Response With Preliminary Calibration
Suggested Preset
Standard
Suggested Bass Setting
0
Suggested Treble Setting
0
Slope
-0.58
Std. Err.
3.43 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
31.3 Hz
High-Frequency Extension
19.9 kHz

We tested this soundbar with several different bass and treble calibration settings, but none brought the slope of its stereo frequency response closer to zero. As a result, we recommend its default settings if you prefer a more neutral sound with stereo content.

7.5
Sound
Stereo Soundstage
Crosstalk Error
2.15 dB

The LG SP8YA soundbar has a good stereo soundstage performance. The soundstage is perceived to be a bit wider than the bar itself, but it doesn't have any tricks to make it sound wider than that. The focus is good, too. That means that sound objects, like instruments in an orchestral recording, seem to come from pinpoint locations in the soundstage.

8.0
Sound
Stereo Dynamics
SPL @ Max Volume
93.0 dB SPL
DRC @ Max Volume
1.19 dB

This bar has a great stereo dynamics performance. It gets pretty loud, and there isn't a lot of compression when you play it at max volume. As a result, it's suitable for turning up the volume for parties or listening in large rooms.

7.4
Sound
Stereo Total Harmonic Distortion
Weighted THD @ 80dB
0.53
Weighted THD @ Max Volume
2.59

The LG SP8YA has a satisfactory THD performance. At normal listening volumes, the amount of distortion falls within good limits, resulting in clean and pure audio reproduction. There's a jump in THD at max volume, especially in the bass to mid-range, but it's not very audible with real-life content.

8.5
Sound
Center
Localization
Discrete
Slope
-0.13
Std. Err.
2.11 dB
SPL @ Max Volume
89.6 dB SPL
Weighted THD @ 80dB
0.63
Weighted THD @ Max Volume
2.63

This soundbar has an amazing center channel performance. This 3.1.2 setup comes with a dedicated center channel, which helps to reproduce dialogue more clearly and accurately in movies and TV shows. Its frequency response is quite balanced, too, especially in the mid-range, so voices are reproduced clearly and with detail.

4.2
Sound
Surround 5.1
Localization
Stereo (Downmix)
Slope
-0.64
Std. Err.
3.44 dB
SPL @ Max Volume
93.2 dB SPL
Weighted THD @ 80dB
0.47
Weighted THD @ Max Volume
2.53
7.1 Rears
No

The bar has a poor surrounds performance, which is expected. It has to downmix surround content into stereo to play it, so sound objects like voices and footsteps aren't as accurately localized in the soundstage. Audio seems like it's coming from in front of you rather than from speakers placed all around you.

5.5
Sound
Height (Atmos)
Localization
Phantom (Up Firing, Bar)
Slope
0.43
Std. Err.
5.06 dB
SPL @ Max Volume
81.2 dB SPL
Weighted THD @ 80dB
1.01
Weighted THD @ Max Volume
0.29

The LG SP8YA uses two up-firing speakers on the bar to bounce sound off the ceiling and back down towards you, which gives the illusion of height. However, the localization of objects can sound diffused and not as real as down-firing speakers found with home theater setups. Its frequency response is a bit uneven, too, so sound effects can seem pushed toward the back of the mix.

8.9
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

The LG SP8YA has an incredible selection of sound enhancement features. Unlike the LG SPD7Y, it has the AI Room Calibration feature, which automatically optimizes audio reproduction based on the unique acoustic characteristics of the room you're listening in. If you prefer a different sound, you can customize it using the bass and treble adjustments. There are also some EQ presets: 'Standard', 'Bass Blast', 'AI Sound Pro', 'Cinema', 'Sports', 'Game', 'Clear Voice', and 'Music'. The 'Cinema' preset doubles as a virtual surround feature, which helps to create a more 3D sound. It also supports Dolby Atmos Music, which enhances music on compatible services like Amazon, Tidal, and Blu-ray Music. It has more features than other 3.1.2 bars, like the LG S75Q. Many of these features, like the AI Room Calibration tool, are also available through the LG Sound Bar companion app.

If you own a compatible LG TV, you can connect the bar using the 2021 LG TV AI Processor. This feature is similar to others from manufacturers like Samsung and Sony, as it links the bar's speakers with the speakers built into your TV. The resulting sound is a little louder, and though the manufacturer advertises it to create a more immersive sound, it doesn't make much of a difference in the overall soundstage.

Connectivity
Connectivity
Inputs/Outputs - Bar
Optical Audio In
1
HDMI Out
eARC
HDMI 2.1 Class Bandwidth
No
Full HDMI In
1
Analog Audio In 3.5mm (Aux)
No
RCA In
No
USB for Files
1
Ethernet
No
Subwoofer Output
No

You can connect the bar to your TV via HDMI or Optical connections. With an HDMI In port, you can also use the bar as a hub between devices for video passthrough.

10
Connectivity
Audio Format Support: ARC/eARC
Dolby Atmos
Supported
Dolby Digital
Supported
Dolby Digital Plus
Supported
Dolby TrueHD
Supported
DTS
Supported
DTS:X
Supported
DTS-HD MA
Supported
PCM Channels
Up To 7.1

The LG SP8YA has fantastic audio format support over its HDMI ARC port. It supports Dolby Digital and DTS, which are commonly found on Blu-ray discs and streaming services. Also, it supports lossless surround formats and object-based formats like Dolby Atmos and DTS:X.

10
Connectivity
Audio Format Support: HDMI In
Dolby Atmos
Supported
Dolby Digital
Supported
Dolby Digital Plus
Supported
Dolby TrueHD
Supported
DTS
Supported
DTS:X
Supported
DTS-HD MA
Supported
PCM Channels
Up To 7.1

The LG SP8YA also has incredible audio format support via Full HDMI In. It can play Dolby Digital and DTS content, which are common formats on Blu-rays and streaming platforms, as well as lossless and object-based formats like Atmos.

10
Connectivity
Audio Format Support: Optical
Dolby Digital
Supported
DTS
Supported
PCM Channels
2.0

This soundbar also supports Dolby Digital and DTS via Optical, which is useful if you like watching Blu-ray discs and content from streaming platforms.

7.4
Connectivity
Latency
ARC
74 ms
Optical
61 ms
Full HDMI In
98 ms

This bar has a good latency performance. It has fairly low latency via ARC and Optical, so your audio and video are mostly in sync. However, you may notice a delay when watching content via Full HDMI In. Some apps and TVs compensate for latency differently, so your experience may vary.

6.3
Connectivity
Video Passthrough To TV
1080p Max Refresh Rate
60Hz
1080p @ 4:4:4 Max Refresh Rate
60Hz
4k Max Refresh Rate
60Hz
4k @ 120Hz @ 10-Bit
Not Supported
4k @ 4:4:4 Max Refresh Rate
60Hz
8k Max Refresh Rate
Not Supported
HDR10 Passthrough
Yes
HDR10+ Passthrough
No
Dolby Vision Passthrough
Yes
HDMI Forum VRR Passthrough
No
FreeSync Passthrough
No
G-SYNC Passthrough
No
ALLM Passthrough
No

This soundbar can passthrough many common resolutions and refresh rates, which is great if you want to use it as a hub between devices like a gaming console and a TV. With a max refresh rate of 60Hz, the screen is a little less smooth and slick than what you get with bars that can passthrough 4k content @ 120Hz. It can't passthrough any of the common variable refresh rate (VRR) technologies, either, which is a bit disappointing if you want a tear-free gaming experience.

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

This soundbar supports all common wireless playback formats, so you can wirelessly stream audio from your mobile devices to the bar.

Additional Features
Additional Features
Interface
Display
Yes

There's a small display screen behind the metal grille. It shows you the input you're on and the volume level. Also, it shows you when you adjust a setting.

Additional Features
Bar Controls

On the top middle of the bar, there are several controls. You can power the bar on/off, change the input, adjust the volume, play/pause audio, and set up Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.

Additional Features
Remote

The remote is fairly simple and lets you control the bar's basic functions. However, it isn't a universal remote, so you can't use it to control your TV. You can also use the LG Sound Bar app to control the bar.

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

This bar doesn't have built-in voice assistant support. While it supports Google Assistant and Alexa, you need to connect the bar to another device that supports these features, like a Google Home or an Amazon Echo, to get it to work. You just need to set them up on the Google Home or Amazon Alexa apps respectively to use them.