LG Electronics will bring to CES 2019 a new lineup of sound bars powered by Google Assistant AI voice control, Hi-Rez Audio compatibility, and in high-end models,  support for both Dolby Atmos and DTS:X object-based surround sound.

The top three “multi-dimensional” models, like some other 2019 LG audio products, were developed in collaboration with Hi-Rez Audio pioneer Meridian Audio. They feature sleek, modern styling and smart functionality powered by the Google Assist AI platform.

These include the SL8YG (3.1.2-ch., 440 Watt, with sound upmixing), the SL9YG (4.1.2-ch, 500 Watt, wall mountable) and SL10YG (5.1.2-ch., 570 Watts, TV Perfect Fit).

All include “Bass and Space” height elevation, Acoustic Foundation tuning, sound algorithm collaboration and in the SL8 and SL10 models, MAL UpMixer technology.

The three premium-level sound bars add support for full DTS:X object-based surround sound, joining Dolby Atmos and DTS Virtual:X formats, which were supported in select LG 2018 sound bar models.

In addition, all 2019 LG sound bar models will integrate with LG’s optional SPK8 wireless rear-channel speaker kit.

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The flagship SL10YG, which will ship in April, feature TV Perfect Fit that allows positioning the sound bar almost flush to the wall. Similarly, the SL9YG also offers a wall-mountable thin profile design, with only 2.8-inch clearance, for optimal integration with a wall-mounted TV. It will also have an auto sound shaping technology built in to optimize sound output to the characteristics of the room.

Shipping in March, April and May, four 2019 LG mid-range sound bars all will continue to offer DTS Virtual:X. These will include the SL5Y (400 Watt, 2.1-ch., Hi-Rez Audio), SL5R (520 Watt, 4.1-ch, rear speaker, Hi-Rez Audio), SL6Y (420 Watt, 3.1-ch., Hi-Rez Audio), and SL7Y (420 Watt, 3.2-ch, Hi-Rez Audio, works with Google Assistant).

The LG SL4Y will ship in May as the lone entry level sound bar, and will feature 2.1-channels and 300 Watts of system power.

Pricing was not available.

LG said the models SL9YG and SL10YG are both CES Innovation Award recipients, with the SL9 earning a “Best of Innovation” title.

LG said Meridian’s contributions to the design of the three top-end models “goes far beyond basic fine-tuning or the adoption of feature-sets, with both companies joining forces to engineer sound delivery for a truly unrivaled listening experience.”

Meridian Digital Signal Processing is applied to Bass & Space technology that improves the soundstage and envelops listeners in sound with strong bass. This is combined with Image Elevation technology to lift the soundstage and envelop listeners in lifelike, immersive sound for realistic, powerful surround sound.

The sound bars also up-mix two-channel audio to multiple channels without distortion while maintaining tonal balance. Meridian Upmix technology is said to increase sound immersion by improving the sound field while upgrading the clarity of vocals and lead instruments.

LG said the inclusion of built-in Google Assistant AI smart connectivity and voice recognition can control the sound bar to get information with a simple commands such as, “Hey Google, increase the volume,” or “Hey Google, what artist is playing?”

Users will also be able to use spoken commands to control connected devices throughout the home. Users can execute commands by simply saying instructions like, “Hey Google, ask LG to turn on the air purifier,” to the soundbar to make adjustments without leaving the couch.

The sleek new design fits with what LG called “the chic style” of its OLED TVs, for a seamless aesthetic. The thin LG SL9 can be installed flush to the wall for a clean, streamlined appearance that saves space and makes a sophisticated statement, LG said.

An integrated gyroscope sensor gauges the position of the product (fixed to a wall or on a flat surface), and adjusts sound directionality for the optimal listening experience.


By Greg Tarr


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