Price (RRP): $1899
Manufacturer: LG Electronics
I’ve gone on at length before about how hard it is to deliver surround sound, let alone 3D Dolby Atmos with just a soundbar. Fortunately, the new top-of-the-range LG SN11RG 7.1.4 soundbar solves that problem by including wireless rear forward and up-firing speakers.
Before we get into the review I urge you to thoroughly read our Dummies Guide to Dolby Atmos and DTS. That is before you buy any soundbar or if you ‘know it all’. Buying a Dolby Atmos soundbar is just the first piece of the puzzle to actually getting genuine Dolby Atmos or DTS:X 3D surround sound with height channels.
Review: LG SN11RG soundbar
- Australian Website here.
- Manual and Support pages here (near the bottom).
- Price: A$1,899
- From: Legitimate retailers.
- Warranty: 12 months
- Country of Manufacture:
- About: LG is a one of the largest South Korean consumer electronic companies
All about the LG SN11RG
So, what is the LG SN11RG soundbar? Well, it consists of four separate boxes, plus a remote control. The soundbar itself is a biggie: 1443mm wide by 146mm deep by 63mm tall. Inside it packs ten drivers. On the top of the soundbar, close to each end, is a round 75mm grille. Each houses a 50mm driver firing almost directly upwards, but canted so that it’s a little forward or out into the room. This provides front height.
There are three two-way sets of drivers across the front, each consisting of an rectangular driver with rounded ends, measuring (roughly, since I was trying to peer through the grille, and LG doesn’t give specifications) 25mm tall by 75mm wide, and 19mm to 25mm dome tweeter. These do front left, centre and right duty. There’s also an additional one of those rounded-rectangular drivers on each end of the soundbar, firing directly to the left and right.
Each set of drivers has 50 watts of power available to it from a Class D amplifier.
The surround speakers are small things, just 212mm tall, 130mm wide and 192mm deep. Since they connect wirelessly to the soundbar, each only needs to be plugged into power. Each has another of those upwards-firing 50-mm drivers on top, to provide rear height (and thus the .4 in 7.1.4). And each has a 65mm forwards-firing driver. Again, each of these drivers has 50 watts of Class D power available to it.
The LG SN11RG subwoofer and connections
The subwoofer is 390mm tall, 221mm wide and 313mm deep. It has a forwards-firing driver that sits behind a cut-out measuring around 190mm. My guess for driver size is 165mm. The back carries the port for the bass reflex loading. It is also wirelessly connected, so all it needs is power.
The soundbar has two HDMI inputs and one HDMI output. I checked them with Dolby Vision UHD and 2160p60 content, and the video passed through to the TV perfectly. The HDMI output supports eARC, which means that a TV can feed back full multichannel audio to the soundbar.
If your TV doesn’t support eARC or regular ARC, then you can still feed video from the TV to the LG SN11RG soundbar via its optical digital audio input. In addition, the unit supports Bluetooth audio and, of course, Wi-Fi. There is no Ethernet port.
But there is a microphone, because the LG SN11RG has Google Assistant built in, in addition to Chromecast Audio support.
I might as well mention here that while you can do cool things like say, “Hey Google, play me some music” – within a few seconds the LG SN11RG soundbar was playing “She Chameleon” by Marillion from Spotify when I said that – unlike most network-enabled home theatre receivers, the soundbar doesn’t show an onscreen display on the connected TV.
Setting up the LG SN11RG
Setting up the LG SN11RG proved to be easy … so long as you’re okay with its limitations. Once I’d plugged everything in and switched it on, all the wireless connections were swiftly made between the components with no intervention by me. Nice.
Setting up the network side of things was easy, too. It was just a matter of firing up the Google Home app on my phone, waiting a second while it found the LG SN11RG, and then following the instructions.
When Google Home had finished its stuff, it said I should install the LG Wi-Fi Speaker app and then threw me into the app on the Play Store. All I had to do was hit the “Install” button.
The app lets you do things like select the input for the soundbar, set night mode (to reduce neighbour annoyance), adjust the relative levels of the different speaker channels, and a few other things. You can adjust bass and treble with the included remote control.