LG Announces 6 New Soundbars in the US

Mike Wheatley

LG has announced availability dates for its full range of 2019 soundbars in the US, with the first of them likely to hit the shops in mid-April.


The company is offering no less than six models in its 2019 soundbar lineup, starting with the lower-end SL5Y, SL6Y and SL7Y models, while the SL8Y, SL9Y and SL10Y offering significantly more advanced features such as Dolby Atmos and DTS:X support.

The first three, cheaper soundbars, all offer basic 2.1 or 3.1 channel audio, together with support for “DTS Virtual:X”, which is a technology that attempts to imitate the effects of surround sound. These models are priced at $279 (£212), $399 (£303) and $499 (£379) respectively in the US, and are all set for an April 14 release. There's no word yet on UK pricing or release dates, but they’ll likely follow soon afterwards, with prices expected to be in a similar range. That's assuming they're actually released in the UK of course - it could be that some of the models don't make it to our shores.

Moving onward and upwards and it looks liike we're getting a lot more bang for our buck. Starting with the SL8YG, we see far superior specs. That model is a 3.1.2-channel soundbar with two up-firing units, but the real advantage is it offers support for both Dolby Atmos and DTS:X., which are object-based audio formats that help to create a much more realistic and immersive experience for listeners. The SL9YG and the SL10YG also support Dolby Atmos and DTS:X, with the former offering 4.1.2 channel audio and the latter stepping it up to 5.1.2 channels, with side-firing units in addition to up-firing units.

All three of LG's higher-end soundbars also come with Meridian Bass & Space technology, which is said to fill the room with “strong, multi-dimensional sound.” They also feature Meridian “Upmix” technology, which helps to improve the “sound field” in order to increase immersion and “highlight the clarity of vocals and lead instruments”.

The speakers are LG’s third-generation soundbars featuring support for Dolby Atmos. The support for DTS:X is new, but LG isn’t alone in doing this as its rivals Samsung and Sony are also selling new soundbars with the same capability.

In fact, all of the new capabilities this year seem to be pretty much universal across brands. For example, LG’s new soundbars each support Google Assistant, 4K HDR pass-through, Bluetooth and 24bit/96Hz audio, in addition to built-in Chromecast. Yet many of these features can be found in competing offerings from Samsung, Sony and other rivals too. One area where Samsung leads is with its object-based audio support capabilities that allow for audio to be optimised depending on the type of content being watched. LG’s soundbars do not have this capability.

Another thing lacking from LG’s soundbars is discreet rear speakers, although the SL8YG, SL9YG, and SL10YG are able to be upgraded with a separate wireless rear speaker kit.

The SL8YG and SL10YG will be priced at $799 (£607) and $1,299 (£987) respectively when they’re launched on April 14 in the U.S. The SL9YG will be launched later, on May 27, and priced at $999 (£759).

"Our 2019 sound bars are the most innovative and best sounding models LG has designed to date," Tim Alessi, head of product marketing at LG Electronics USA. "This combination of exceptional sound and smart AI connectivity takes music and movies to a new level of home entertainment."