LG 2021 soundbar range – something for everyone

LG Soundbars with Smart Home Compatibility*. Play music using the platform of your choice. Compatible with Hey Google, Amazon Alexa and Apple Airplay 2

The LG 2021 soundbar range offers something for everyone – basic stereo 2.1, 5.1 Surround or 7.1.4 Dolby Atmos and everything in between. The company’s soundbars enjoy a reputation as one of the most ‘brand-agnostic’ soundbars, which means that they also work well with other TV brands. This is important as other brands’ soundbars may have reduced feature sets when used outside their ecosystem. In addition, LG adds special features when used with a 2021 LG TV.

Our 2021 soundbar products are the perfect finishing touch for the ultimate home entertainment experience, designed to pair seamlessly with LG TVs. LG soundbar models are enhanced with advanced audio technologies to deliver a premium listening experience. And we have elevated this further in 2021 with our continued partnership with Meridian Audio to bring high-fidelity sound into even more Australian homes.”

Tony Brown, Marketing Manager for Home Entertainment at LG Electronics Australia

 The handy chart below is a great overview of LG’s soundbar range and what each model offers:

Making sense of the specs

Let’s explain a few terms in the LG 2021 Soundbar range. First, 2.1 describes a speaker configuration with Left and right speakers (in stereo) plus a sub-woofer. This setup is perfect for most free-to-air-TV viewing. Next, 3.1 means it adds a centre channel to the Left/Right speakers, which helps produce clear dialogue. Consider this the ‘real’ entry-level for watching movies.

From there, 5.1 means Dolby Digital (not Atmos) and DTS:X surround sound that you get from most streaming services and blue-ray disks. This means Left, centre, right, left surround and right surround. And it’s all produced from the one soundbar, as it bounces surround sound off the side walls. We call this psychoacoustic trickery, and its effectiveness can depend on your room design.

You may also run across 3.1.2, 5.1.2 and 7.1.4 configurations, which indicate that they are Dolby Atmos capable and include 3D spatial-height sound. You can only get this with a Dolby Atmos TV and Dolby Atmos content from streaming services and Blue-ray. Otherwise, the height channels don’t do anything. The real entry-level is the LG SPY9A 5.1.2, as it handles Dolby Digital and DTS:X surround sound.

Soundbars with 7.1.4 configuration have left/centre/front forward-firing and rear left/right rear firing speakers. The .4 is left/right up-firing and left/right rear up-firing. In other words, the soundbar plus two powered wireless enclosures (with two speakers in each) at the rear. This is real Dolby Atmos.

You will need to use a HDMI 2.1 eARC connector for Dolby Vision Atmos (SP70Y and above). In addition, the LG SP11RA model has two HDMI 2.1 input ports to add in a set-top box, gaming console or Blue-ray.

You can read more about Dolby Atmos in our one-page guide here.

High-Resolution Audio

High-Resolution Audio is carried in a 24bit/192kHz format, so you can enjoy studio-quality sound from high-fidelity music collections and streaming sources.

AI Room Calibration is a feature that determines the optimum Soundbar Sound profile for your space, and automatically adjusts sound to compensate for surfaces and objects. Adaptive audio with AI Sound Pro tunes the sound, scene-by-scene. An upgraded algorithm identifies voices, effects, and frequencies then adjusts the EQ sound by genre, so you can hear soundtracks optimised to what you watch. LG Soundbars with Smart Home Compatibility support Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa and Apple Airplay 2.

Note that the 2021 LG TV range does not support DTS:X decoding but the soundbar can if the source is connected.

LG 2021 soundbar range for surround and Atmos:

Total wattage770W520W440W380W440W
Rear SpeakersRear forward and Up-FiringOptional (SPK8) rear forward-firingsamesamesame
Dolby Atmos/ DTS:X2YYYYDTS:X Virtual
Meridian Horizon Technology Audio and Meridian Audio (Music Mode)YYYYY
Hi-Resolution AudioYYYYY
AI Room CalibrationYYY
4K Pass-Through with  Dolby Vision SupportYYYY
Works with Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, Apple AirPlay 2YYY
LG TV Synergy TV Sound Mode Share, SoundBar  Mode ControlYYYYY

GadgetGuy’s take

I have been using LG soundbars for many years, and while the technology moves ever forward, the quality and sound quality remains excellent.

The nice thing is if you buy an LG 2021 TV and when you take it home, the sound doesn’t fill the room – an LG soundbar is an easy retrofit. However, we recommend that any Dolby Vision/Atmos TV starts with at least the SP9YA model.