LG Bows Global 2021 Soundbar Lineup
LG Electronics in South Korea announced the company’s global 2021 soundbar line, which will soon rollout with a complement of features including Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, 4K passthrough via HDMI, Hi-Res Audio, HDMI eARC, and many others.
New this year is ‘AI Sound Pro’ integration with 2021 LG TVs. LG said this means the new lineup steps up high-quality audio performance and maintains easy connectivity, smart functionality and stylish design that match LG’s new TVs.
New LG Soundbar models announced so far include the following: SP11RA, SP9YA, SP8YA, SP7Y and SPD7Y. Certain models will begin shipping this month in Europe and North America, with additional models coming later this year, the company’s said.
Highlighting the lineup is LG’s new flagship 7.1.4-channel Dolby Atmos soundbar (model SP11RA) featuring rear-channel speakers and up-firing drivers in both the rear speakers and the soundbar for overhead effects.
All of the announced models leverage use with LG TV’s via the new AI Sound Pro feature.
“Audio from the TV is played through the soundbar via TV Sound Mode Share, delivering the superior audio processing power of AI Sound Pro on the more capable speakers of the new soundbars. LG’s soundbars now offer all of the same sound modes as its latest TVs, allowing users to easily switch between the soundbar and the TV using the TV remote,” the company said.
The 2021 lineup will more easily integrate with top voice assistants based on the Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa and Siri platforms to play favorite music from compatible devices and services. Support for Apple AirPlay 2 enables streaming and sharing music from iOS-based devices with the soundbars.
Step-up models continue to feature fine tuning and oversight from engineering experts at Meridian Audio such that when in Music Mode listeners will receive authentic sounding performances. A new feature, Meridian Horizon technology, up-mixes two channel stereo content into immersive, multichannel audio that provides an immersive experience from anywhere in the room, according to LG.
All the 2021 soundbars from LG support Dolby Atmos and DTS:X for dynamic three-dimensional audio. With Dolby Vision compatibility via 4K pass-through, the new models ensure the level of picture and sound quality needed for genuinely cinematic home viewing. LG’s soundbars also combine up-firing front height channels with wireless rear up-firing height channels to envelop users in lush, textured sound.
Many of the new models are Hi-Res Audio certified, supporting lossless playback of up to 24bit/96kHz fidelity. Most of the 2021 LG Soundbar lineup includes HDMI eARC support enabling a higher bitrate, high resolution content and uncompressed Dolby Atmos audio using a single cable. A USB port accepts music and sound files and Bluetooth streaming makes it easy to stream wirelessly between compatible devices.
LG’s AI features include AI Room Calibration that tunes sound and music output to the listening environment, using spatial awareness technology to measure a room’s dimensions then customizing the soundbar’s audio settings in accordance with the specific characteristics of the space. AI Sound Pro brings adaptive sound control to automatically adjust frequency range and sound field extension, based on content genre: news, music or cinema.
LG said it has developed this year’s soundbars with an environmental focus for a sustainable future. LG said this extends to packaging and shipping while producing the “first audio products in the industry to receive SGS Eco Product Certification,” the company said. Many of the soundbar model cases are now composed from recycled materials, including the SP7Y model featuring jersey fabric made of recycled PET bottles. The soundbar is certified as Global Recycled Standard-compliant and UL environmental claim validated.
More environmentally friendly packaging is used throughout the soundbar lineup, using mainly recycled molded pulp and far less EPS foam and plastic, LG said. The packaging is Eco Product Certification from Societe Generale de Surveillance (SGS), an environmental testing, inspection and certification service based in Geneva, Switzerland.
The following is an overview of new models and features. Prices to be announced.:
SP11RA — 7.1.4-channel; 770 Watts; Dolby Atmos/DTS:X supporting; rear and up-firing speakers, Meridian/Meridian Horizon Technology; Hi-Res Audio; Auto Room Calibration; AI Sound Pro; HDMI eARC; Voice Control Support; 4K passthrough.
SP9YA — 5.1.2-channels; 520 Watts; Dolby Atmos/DTS:X supporting; rear speakers optional, Meridian/Meridian Horizon Technology; Hi-Res Audio; Auto Room Calibration; AI Sound Pro; HDMI eARC; Voice Control Support; 4K passthrough.
SP8YA — 3.1.2-channels; 440 Watts; Dolby Atmos/DTS:X supporting; rear speakers optional, Meridian/Meridian Horizon Technology; Hi-Res Audio; Auto Room Calibration; AI Sound Pro; HDMI eARC; Voice Control Support; 4K passthrough.
SP7Y — 5.1-channels; 440 Watts; DTS Vitual:X supporting; rear speakers optional, Meridian/Meridian Horizon Technology; Hi-Res Audio; AI Sound Pro; HDMI ARC.
SPD7Y — 3.1.2-channels; 380 Watts; Dolby Atmos/DTS:X supporting; rear optional, Meridian/Meridian Horizon Technology; Hi-Res Audio; AI Sound Pro; HDMI eARC; 4K passthrough.
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By Greg Tarr
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