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Old 1st June 2020, 10:34   #1
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Default The LG-SL8YG Sound Bar : A review

There are literally hundreds of professional reviews out there, but there is nothing quite like a personal review from one of our own, right? That is what prompted me to write this one. Turned to be pretty lengthy too. Over here (The Home Theater thread), a T-BHPian vvrchandra posted that he had bought the same model and I asked him for a review. It is still on the way I guess.

Those who want to know how it looks and performs can skip directly to the photos and descriptions below. I'll fully understand. If any of you want to know the story behind this, read on.

We recently bought the LG 55" OLED TV for our living room. Why C8 when there is the newer C9 available, the more informed of you might ask. Well, it was on sale at the local dealer and I got it for an unbelievable price. And the difference between the C8 and the C9 is not much at all. If anyone is interested in a detailed comparison, here is a link. The TV and its features is awesome and is the absolute bees knees in picture quality. But when it comes to sound it is...ummm...pathetic, to say the least. If you are not into watching movies much and stick to the news channels or the saas bahu serials, then the sound reproduction is good enough I guess. It is definitely loud enough, but the sound quality is tinny and there is no bass to speak of. No blame attached to LG for this, the problem exists on all the newer TVs. The LG OLED is so thin, it wobbles like a cardboard sheet. Scary, if you ask me. Obviously, any speaker mounted on that kind of panel will not have enough depth to reproduce good sound. And being a sort of movie buff, I was not at all satisfied with the sound. So the hunt for an external sound system began.

This is an exercise in frustration, let me tell you. You start off thinking "OK, let me see what is the best that is available" and you are quickly brought down to earth with a resounding (pun intended) THUD. The price for some of these systems are enough to buy a sedan! The first decision I had to make was whether I wanted a full scale sound system with a receiver, amp, seven speakers and cabling all over the place or whether a compact soundbar would be better suited for my requirement. After some heated debate (with myself I mean, one voice saying "No cables!" and another saying "But will you be satisfied with it?") I decided that a soundbar will be best suited for the living room. Next came the question "Which soundbar?" Ah, this is another ocean by itself.

Let's start at the very top, the Sennheiser Ambeo. Currently widely acknowledged as the king of the hill. A monster soundbar in all respects, including physical dimensions. One look at the price and I took it off the list instantly. And then there are so many wannabe soundbars at the bottom. Like this one, the IVON Smart Speaker or the iBall CineBar 100. So you get an idea of the price range and the variety of products available in the market. OK, time to do some research into soundbars. "Hey Siri, which soundbar do you recommend?" I'm joking of course. With the whole of the Internetz at your disposal, you'll get lost and confused and will be scratching your head in no time on any topic you want to research. There are arguments, debates, flames, trolls, memes, etc on soundbars just like on any other topic. Some pooh pooh soundbars saying they don't produce real sound. I'm sure about 75% of these nay sayers don't have any kind of home theater setup at home or even heard one at close quarters, they are just going by the tech specs. Just like on any other subject. Those who actually own soundbars or have at least heard a decent one with any kind of close observation generally have only good things to say about them. Some of them say only 8" diameter speakers in real teak wood enclosures will give the best sound. Agreed, but they also cost an arm and a leg. Each. So five of them will mean I'll have to become Satya Harishchandra and start selling my family. Not going to happen. I'll probably be sold first myself. So back to soundbars.

Next thing to decide. Subwoofer or no Subwoofer. This is another topic on which the self styled gurus have plenty to vomit. A subwoofer has the great benefit of having a wooden enclosure so it kind of satisfies the purists and also remains within a reasonable budget. I actually went out to the nearest Sony Center and got a demo of two soundbars, one with a sub and one without (the excellent Sony HT-X8500). The one with the sub obviously has more punch to it, the gun shots sound so much better than on the one without a sub. But, surprisingly, the little Sony is so good that I almost make a spot purchase. "Sir stock illa next week baruthe" (Sir no stock, we'll get it next week) says the dealer. I ask him to check with a couple of other stores, but no stock anywhere. So back to the drawing board. Or Youtube, WhatHiFi, etc, as it turns out.

After a lot of research (and hair tearing) I narrow down on three models. Click on them to see their home pages.

Sony HT-Z9F
The one with the sub, which I heard at the dealer. Beautiful, crisp sound. Very sleek design. Supports both Dolby Atmos and DTS:X. Most expensive of the three. Dropped.

Yamaha YAS-209
Lowest priced of the three. Couldn't hear it, there seems to be no showroom or dealer I could find that had this model on display. No support for Dolby Atmos, only DTS:X. Dropped.

LG SL8YG
Found one at a LG brand store. Looked slightly abused, dealer said they have been using it as demo piece, but he can sell it. Didn't want a used one. Sounds quite good. Supports both Dolby Atmos and DTS:X. Mid level pricing. Will pair seamlessly with my LG C8 OLED. Ready to swipe card. Dealer says "I'll get it next week". I say OK, call me as soon it is here. Lockdown begins two days later.


LG? For soundbars? They are the king of OLED TVs, but soundbars? What pedigree do thay have for sound? Well, they knew this question would come up, so they have partnered with Meridian of UK, which is the snob brand for sound systems. And that marriage has resulted in some surprisingly good products. They have several models, starting with the SJ3 and topping out with the SL10YG. They have ensured the higher end models support both Dolby Atmos and DTS:X, which are the two most popular object oriented sound format specifications. Netflix has a lot of content that has Dolby Atmos audio and Amazon Prime makes it very difficult to find but apparently support it. So support for Atmos is very important. I'll not go into what is Dolby Atmos and why it is so popular. That will just lead to more hair tearing as to which is better and why. I spend the lockdown period watching a lot of movies, while getting used to working from home. Wring my hands that I don't have a sound system good enough to make movie sound like it should, instead of sounding like hearing it on a mobile phone speaker. Ah, the effect of lockdown is different on different people, isn't it? There are so many people suffering and here I am, worked up about not being able to hear good sound from my TV! I sympathize with the ones who have suffered, have applauded those who have been at the forefront of the war against that invisible little monster, have banged utensils on my balcony, waved lights with the best of them, thanked God that we are all safe so far. But still the sound on my TV is bugging me.

More than two months later
The government, in its infinite wisdom, finally allows the shops to open and online e-tailers to commence delivery. I call that LG store where I got the demo and ask them if they can source the soundbar for me. He comes back within a couple of hours and says there is no possibility of this happening until at least next month. OK, let's check out if Bezos has it. Yes and no. There is the LG-SL8Y available but not the LG-SL8YG. Back to the research. What is the difference between these two? Turns out the only appreciable difference is that the YG has Google Assistant. I can live without that. Otherwise they are the same down to the last screw. I actually downloaded both user manuals and checked them page by page. No other difference. Or at least none that I could find. One benefit is that the SL8Y is available for about 9,000/- lesser than the SL8YG!

The LG-SL8YG Sound Bar : A review-amazon.jpg

So I buy it instantly. Amazon says the delivery will take four days. Painful, but nothing I can do. It is better than not having it at all. Imagine my surprise when I get a text message on the same evening saying the product has been despatched and will be delivered in the morning. Jingalala Ho! The product was probably in stock at the Bengaluru center and they have wasted no time in despatching it. Like they have been waiting for someone to take it off their hands. I go to sleep urging the sun to speed up in its tracks, why is it wasting so much time on the other side of the world? And then the sun comes up.

The LG-SL8YG Sound Bar : A review-000.jpg

This is from our bedroom window, we are up on the eighth floor, giving us a good view of the surrounding terrain. Cluttered to say the least, but hey this is Bengaluru so the trees are everywhere. Not so much as they used to be, but still very much there. So far.

The delivery is made quite early at around 0830 in the morning, so not much waiting involved there. It took totally 16 hours from the moment I click the Pay button to the moment I got my hands on it. And that is counting twelve hours of no service. Wow! The package tracker shows the product moving through the night from the warehouse to the local distribution center, so these guys work 24/7. Heroes all.

Right, the product sitting in my living room. Very good packaging, that plastic sheet is quite thick. Had to use some big scissors to get through it.

The LG-SL8YG Sound Bar : A review-002.jpg

Ok this is the living room setup. Some of you may recognize that little thing below the TV. It is our twelve year old Bose SoundDock 30-pin iPod speaker. Yes, 30 pin. The old connector which the first iPhone had. I bought it back in 2008, a few months after I bought the original iPhone. It has served our family faithfully all these years, accompanying us everywhere we go, producing great music.

The LG-SL8YG Sound Bar : A review-001.jpg

I bought the Musesonic blue tooth adapter for this some years ago and it has been doing duty ever since. During the lockdown, it spent its time connected to the LG TV as the external sound system. Did a great job too. Thanks, little fellow.

The LG-SL8YG Sound Bar : A review-001a.jpg

Back to the soundbar. Big, happy surprise. They have shipped me the LG-SL8YG after all! Okay!

The LG-SL8YG Sound Bar : A review-003.jpg

Now the amount I paid for the product seems to be great value for the money! I don't know why this has happened or whether Amazon has mis-listed the product on its page or whether the dealer has supplied the wrong item. I cross check with the invoice sent along with the package and that says LG-SL8YG as well. I'm not one to look a gift horse in the mouth. So the unpacking immediately starts.

The LG-SL8YG Sound Bar : A review-005.jpg

The packaging is quirky to say the least. It must be a nightmare for logistics guys to transport this. The basic specs for the product is shown here. 440W and 3.1.2 with Dolby Atmos. "5.1.2 ready" means you can buy two more rear speakers and pair it with this, to make it a true surround sound setup.

The LG-SL8YG Sound Bar : A review-006.jpg

Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, Hi Res Audio and Google Assistant built into it.

The LG-SL8YG Sound Bar : A review-007.jpg

Imported in August 2019, so it is the latest version available. Made in China, but what isn't nowadays? At least it was shipped well before the COVID-19 disaster, so I'm not feeling as guilty as I would have otherwise.

The LG-SL8YG Sound Bar : A review-009.jpg

All items are now unpacked and there are two boxes. One for the sub woofer and another for the soundbar itself. The second box contains all the other items like remote, cables, manuals, etc.

The LG-SL8YG Sound Bar : A review-010.jpg

There is a taped instruction that says "Guru, connect to Wi-Fi first before you do anything else". I later realise why this is prominently placed. I also love the small flower like bumps on the thermocol. Adds an element of art to the otherwise bland box.

The LG-SL8YG Sound Bar : A review-012.jpg

Right, all items are unpacked and out on display. LG has included a set of cable ties too. Very thoughful of them, to help avoid cable clutter. There is also a wall mounting installation template and a set of wall brackets, in case you want to do a wall mount. It wasn't meant to be wall mounted, but the possibility is there.

The LG-SL8YG Sound Bar : A review-014.jpg

This is on the back of the soundbar. It comes with one HDMI ARC, one standard HDMI and one optical connector. The USB port is for plugging in a USB drive if you feel like listening to songs directly.

The LG-SL8YG Sound Bar : A review-015.jpg

The soundbar is now mounted below the TV, where it is supposed to sit. The width is perfect for a 55" TV. Its big brother, the SL10YG is designed for 65" TVs and is actually wider than a 55" TV screen.

I immediately install the Google Home app and it detects the soundbar. The first step is to supply the Wi-Fi password, so that it can connect to my home network. This happens smoothly and the very first thing it does is to download a software update. Must be quite a big one, as it took about 5 minutes on a 150 mbps line. This is why the instruction above to connect to the Wi-Fi first up. After the update, Google Home asks me a few questions on where this unit is placed, etc and we are good to go.

The LG-SL8YG Sound Bar : A review-016.jpg

This is how it looks after the setup is complete. I need to do something about the cables being visible, but that is for later. Like any true blue T-BHPian the first thing I try it out on is the outstanding "Formula 1: Drive to survive" series on Netflix. The series is in Dolby Vision and has Dolby Atmos as audio, so this will be the best way to test the sound. It is a H.U.G.E. improvement on the TV's native speakers, let me tell you. The scream of the F1 car engines, the roar of the crowd, the excitement in the commentator's voice all come through very clearly. But there is a problem (to copy that doyen of wild life commetators, David Attenborough). Dolby Atmos is not showing up on the soundbar. What is the problem here? Defective unit?

As usual, Google has the answer. Someone somewhere has said that when connected to the LG C8, the sound settings have to be changed to such and such, before you can get Dolby Atmos on the LG-SL8YG. Very specific instructions for very specific models. Jai ho! What will we do without the Internet? I quickly change the TV settings as prescribed and restart. Lo and behold! Dolby Atmos appears on the soundbars tiny display! And it does make a difference to the sound,
but you have to sit closer to the TV to feel the difference. More about this below.

The LG-SL8YG Sound Bar : A review-017.jpg

Now for some review stuff.

Build Quality: 9/10
Excellent build quality. The soundbard looks and feels premium. It also happens to blend seamlessly into our living room decor which is predominantly White and Grey. There are a total of eight speakers on the soundbar itself. You can see them clearly in this photo. The left, right and center channels are handled by a small tweeter and a oval shaped woofer pair each, plus two medium sized upward firing Atmos speakers on the top of the soundbar. That is the "3" and "2" part of the 3.1.2 specification. The "1" of course is the sub-woofer sitting below. The sub-woofer is quite a hefty, heavy unit and is covered with the standard speaker cloth. There is a large 7" driver sitting inside, handling all the bass stuff in the audio. There is a small auto dimming display unit on the front, which shows the input type (ARC in my case) and says "Hello" on startup and "Goodbye" when you switch it off. It also shows the input format, "Dolby Atmos" or "DTS:X" (although I haven't seen that one yet, need to find proper content for it). It also shows volume levels among other things. Could have been a bit wider, it looks a little cramped.

Sound Quality: 8/10
It is when you fire up a movie with serious sound effects that you know your money is well spent. The first thing I view is the new Chris Hemsworth title "Extraction". I had pushed the volme up to about 60% (for some reason it goes from 0 to 40, where is the sense in that? Why not 0-50 if they wanted finer control?) and the opening rumble is so deep that my mom came rushing to the living room to find out what was the problem! The gun shots sound awesome to say the least. Every single sound is clear and directional, thanks to the Atmos effect. You can really hear the bullets whizzing past you and literally tell where the shot came from. Oh, this is good! The helicopter comes in and you can hear the thump-thump of the blades in your heart, lungs and liver! The neighbours will barge in soon to complain, I'm guessing.

So why 8 out of 10? When the volume is high, the dialogue is not as clear as it could be. Tends to get lost sometimes in the deeper sounds. The Yamaha 209 has a tech called ClearVoice which is supposed to overcome this specific issue. I haven't heard it myself, but apparently it works as advertised. Secondly, for the Atmos effect to really take hold you have to be seated within six feet of the screen. Now that is impractical in almost all cases. Who will watch a 55" TV from six feet away? It is not that the sound is bad from the more normal distance of 10 to 12 feet, but the Atmos effect is quite diminished, especially the overhead sounds. Apart from this, I have no other quibbles on the sound quality.

Features: 8/10
Lots of small goodies on this thing that you can appreciate. There is a nifty "Night Mode" that reduces the sub-woofer output to minimum, so that you won't go Waking Up The Neighbours (Thanks Bryan Adams). Each channel gets its own volume control, so you can set your exact preference depending on the room dimensions and the TV location. Google Assistant is very helpful during the setup process. I haven't used it to ask inane questions like "What's the weather like?" or anything, but it is good to know it is there and waiting to answer. The LG TV itself has a voice assistant, so too many assistants around. Moreover, I'm a Siri guy. Haven't tried directly playing musing off the USB, as I'm sure navigating the songs and folders will be a nightmare on the small display. But again, it is capable. There are several sound modes, like Music, Movie, Standard, Bass, Treble, etc, but I think Movie mode sounds best. Note that these effects are not available when playing Atmos content. Finally, LG has a system called Simplink which turns off the soundbar when the TV turns off and on back again. So the soundbar remote is not going to be used at all, as even the volume control is slaved to the TV remote.

Overall rating: 8.5/10
Quite good for a mid level soundbar from a company that has very little pedigree in sound technology. The partnership with Meridian has paid off and it shows. Or sounds, as the case may be.

The LG-SL8YG Sound Bar : A review-023.jpg

And finally, a sunset from the balcony of our living room. We are fortunate to be able to see both the sunrise and the sunset. Sometimes the sunsets are really spectacular, I should make a separate thread for them.

I hope you enjoyed the review and if it helps anyone, it will make me doubly happy. Please do let me know in the comments. Thanks for reading and until next time, take care and drive safe.

Last edited by Rudra Sen : 7th June 2020 at 13:14. Reason: typo edited
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Old 1st June 2020, 19:52   #2
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Default re: The LG-SL8YG Sound Bar : A review

Thread moved out from the Assembly Line. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 1st June 2020, 20:09   #3
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Congrats on your setup, both TV and soundbar. I got the LG OLED 55 myself and was looking at soundbars just until 1 hour ago before I left to Iyengar's bakery. Was looking at Yamaha 209.

But this seems less priced with Atmos and hoping they will give this one when you order the lower spec one I have some desktop speakers with sub woofer that I am using and not in a hurry. But thanks for adding this into consideration. Atmos is the confusing spec. Not sure how many sources will have this decoded and if its worth buying it now.

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Old 2nd June 2020, 09:26   #4
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Default Re: The LG-SL8YG Sound Bar : A review

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stryker View Post
So the hunt for an external sound system began.
Glad you found something that solves your sound problem. Sound Bars have come a long way. Yamaha introduced this concept two decades ago with an array of tiny micro drivers. They were very expensive and very good. That said, most sound bars are not that great when it comes to steering of sound, or in simpler words, channel separation as the source is from a central location. The concept is basically a means to improve TV sound and most get the job done. I guess convenience take precedence over everything else. You take out all the fiddly speaker set up, running cables across the room, etc.

When the upgrade bug bites, take a look at this. This is a full blown 6 channel set up and totally wireless, aside from the power chord. No Atmos or any of the latest HD surround formats. I doubt you'll miss much.

https://www.enclaveaudio.com/product...theater-system

Back to TV audio, Sony seems to have the upper hand when it comes to designing reasonably good sound right out of the TV. I remember this right from the days they made CRT TV. BPL & Onida used to integrate small low frequency drivers into their TV's and the sound was all muddled. Loudness was the priority. Not quality. They could never beat Sony at this. Having said that, I have a Sony X7500F LED TV. They have managed to integrate a duct based sound system on this TV. Basically; a ventilated chamber for the speaker. Sounds really good for TV audio.
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Old 2nd June 2020, 10:36   #5
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Default Re: The LG-SL8YG Sound Bar : A review

I had the first Yamaha soundbar the YSP 5600. This was truly mindblowing, and really successful then - though on the expensive side. It conked out in a two years, though. Yamaha popularised the soundbar and gave it mass cred. The new ones are budget models and don't sound so good. This particular LG soundbar wowed me at first hear. I think this is last year's model in the Middle East, if I'm not mistaken. But the first soundbar was rolled out by Altec-Lansing, I recall reading this in an electronics magazine and wanting to hand-create a similar set up using Bolton speakers
Quote:
Originally Posted by sandeepmohan View Post
Sound Bars have come a long way. Yamaha introduced this concept two decades ago with an array of tiny micro drivers. They were very expensive and very good. That said, most sound bars are not that great when it comes to steering of sound, or in simpler words, channel separation as the source is from a central location. The concept is basically a means to improve TV sound and most get the job done. I guess convenience take precedence over everything else. You take out all the fiddly speaker set up, running cables across the room, etc.
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Old 2nd June 2020, 13:24   #6
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Welcome to the world of upgraded TV sound, this bug bit me hard more than a decade ago when i was still in class 6th or something and have been on a quest to bring the cinema sound home ever since.
My nature has always been maximum value for the money while stretching the boundaries of what is possible so that has stayed.
What i mean is i started out with a Sony HTIB (basic 5.1 home theater) at that time and at that time popped a Dolby Digital DvD of Fast and Furious and boy o boy was my life about to change, it was the proper cinema sound with sounds properly coming from all directions and nice bass, totally independent of each other, over the years after i don't know watching atleast thousands of movies i have come to the conclusion which is suggest to everyone weather they ask for it or not is that you do need a basic, even if it has tiny speakers but a basic 5.1 system because of the sound design of movies, movies are mixed in atmos today, you can go atleast as low as 5.1 to properly appreciate the sound mix of the movie and it makes a world of difference, even basic ones do, there is no comparison with the TV speakers with a very basic Sony system costing just 15-18k.

The movies usually have their Dialogue track in the center channel so it is dedicated for that, no more issues related to dialogues because ultimately this is how it is mixed and meant to be heard, the front left and right speakers handle the bulk of sound and the music and surround speakers can be used as per the creativity of the sound mixers, iron man can fly from center to right and exit from right surround to make that sort of 360 degree experience, extraction has a scene in those flats when the fight is going on and the camera pans and moves around the tiny houses with their TV on and TV audio is mixed very well in that movie, it travels proper 360 degree like it would in real life from front to sides to rear speakers and out, you need actual speakers there to appreciate the effect, i should equally add extraction is available on Netflix and Netflix and Prime or rather all the OTT platforms have pretty poor audio to begin with, the problem is not that they are compressed (Dolby digital plus or dolby digital plus with atmos), but that they are tiny, it is like someone has taken life out of them, maybe they are normalised but generally they sound inferior than the DVD audio let alone Blu Rays, so that's a hint too.

I suggest you upgrade to a proper 5.1 channel system for your next upgrade and you will understand what you are missing, i'am not saying the quest would ever end, i have upgraded numerous times and still want more or change and fine tune what i have but that is the bare minimum , as opposed to 2 channel sound of any sound bar, this is not meant to discourage you or put you off or anything but since you share the passion or enthusiasm for movies just wanted to point you towards that direction.

Also, thanks for this wonderful review and the soundbar looks very elegant with the entire setup.

P.S also 5.1.2 atmos means you would have to add not 2 but 4 speakers to this setup to make it atmos compatible, the basic 5.1 set up with 2 more speakers at the back plus additional 2 speakers on the ceiling (Front or rear depending on what your model supports and allows).

Last edited by Rocketscience : 2nd June 2020 at 13:29.
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Old 2nd June 2020, 14:49   #7
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Default Re: The LG-SL8YG Sound Bar : A review

Great choice! While a A/V receiver and amp driven speakers are the best way to enjoy surround sound, the LG SL8 and SL10 soundbar are really good. I was super impressed with them, especially the SL10 with the side firing speakers. Place them in a room with the right dimensions, the do emulate surround sound well. Have a ton of fun! May I know how much the 55C8 cost you please? I am keen on getting a C9 after the CX hits the market. I want the C9 for the HDMI 2.1 (especially the eARC feature).

Speaking of eARC, the SL series of soundbars do not have eARC, the new SN series has eARC. That, in theory, means the apps on the TV cannot send Dolby Atmos/DTS:X audio to the soundbar. You have to connect an external HDMI streaming device (like the Apple TV 4K) to the soundbar and pass video back to the TV to get spatial audio. How are you tackling it?
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Old 2nd June 2020, 14:55   #8
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Default Re: The LG-SL8YG Sound Bar : A review

Thanks, Stryker for this much need thread! Since the lockdown started and maybe before that, I have been swinging like a pendulum to "soundbar my living room" or "not to soundbar", to spend money (lockdown -> no expenses ) or not-to-spend-money. Also, as you mentioned, one is spoiled for choices, from a very low budget, "bas kuch bhi khareed lo" to getting Bose(d).

Never knew LG can produce sound, I mean, you know! But from your review it looks like LG's marriage with the UK firm seems to have produced a good offspring. Thanks again and I am off to researching this one
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Old 2nd June 2020, 16:07   #9
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Default Re: The LG-SL8YG Sound Bar : A review

Great thread man. That's a nice clean setup you have.

I recently upgraded from a old Altec Lansing desktop speaker that was connected to my TV to a soundar. I am no audiophile but those old Altec speakers & woofer really surprised me with their decent output.

I was looking at a budget system under 20k with HDMI ARC input and ended up picking up the Sony HT-S350 after reading so many reviews. The other option was the JBL bar 2.1 but chose the Sony since it was more compact and the JBL seemed to fare better in the bass department which was not so important. Even looked at some 5.1 systems but the wired connections for the satellite speakers were a downer.

I did think of spending more to future proof the system a little bit, but the more I read, the recommendations were to avoid Soundbars for Dolby Atmos / DTS X kind of support. Reading your experience it also seems to echo the same view since it's impractical to sit so close to the TV.
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Old 2nd June 2020, 16:15   #10
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Great review. Thanks for sharing. I was on the lookout for a sound bar somewhere around this budget and had been thoroughly confused. Nothing like a real unbiased review from a Bhpian.
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Old 2nd June 2020, 19:15   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by srishiva View Post
Atmos is the confusing spec. Not sure how many sources will have this decoded and if its worth buying it now.
Thanks, srishiva. Atmos seems to be the format of choice for all upcoming movies, mainly because it is backed (and pushed hard) by Dolby Labs. So you can't go wrong with Atmos support.

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Originally Posted by sandeepmohan View Post
When the upgrade bug bites, take a look at this. This is a full blown 6 channel set up and totally wireless, aside from the power chord. No Atmos or any of the latest HD surround formats. I doubt you'll miss much.
Thanks, sandeepmohan. Wow, this setup looks cool. But to be really wireless or at least appear to be, the power cables need to be concealed which means custom wiring within the walls. This can be done if it is planned during the construction phase or maybe just before a re-paint job on the house happens.

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Originally Posted by Rocketscience View Post
Also, thanks for this wonderful review and the soundbar looks very elegant with the entire setup.

P.S also 5.1.2 atmos means you would have to add not 2 but 4 speakers to this setup to make it atmos compatible, the basic 5.1 set up with 2 more speakers at the back plus additional 2 speakers on the ceiling (Front or rear depending on what your model supports and allows).
Thanks, Rocketscience. Beg pardon, but for 5.1.2 on this system, I need to add only 2 rear speakers since there are already two upward firing speakers simulating the overhead ones. That is the ".2" of the spec after all But I get your point about the actual separate speakers being better in terms of sound quality.

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Originally Posted by Kingston View Post
That, in theory, means the apps on the TV cannot send Dolby Atmos/DTS:X audio to the soundbar. You have to connect an external HDMI streaming device (like the Apple TV 4K) to the soundbar and pass video back to the TV to get spatial audio. How are you tackling it?
Thanks, Kingston. As you say "in theory" the TV cannot send Atmos over ARC, but LG has achieved it. There is a setting within the Sound settings to allow this to happen, see this thread on the AVForums, which is where I found out about it. LG has eschewed the eARC connection, even the C9 doesn't have it.

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Originally Posted by ambujlal View Post
Also, as you mentioned, one is spoiled for choices, from a very low budget, "bas kuch bhi khareed lo" to getting Bose(d).
Thanks ambujlal. Having already been Bose(d) once, I almost got Bose(d) again . I looked very hard at the Bose 500, but didn't shortlist it because of the lack of Atmos support. The reviews say that this is not a drawback but I wanted that label. And good luck researching the subject.

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Originally Posted by Rajeevraj View Post
Nothing like a real unbiased review from a Bhpian.
Thanks, Rajeevraj. That is exactly why I wrote this review.
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Old 2nd June 2020, 19:50   #12
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Default Re: The LG-SL8YG Sound Bar : A review

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Originally Posted by Stryker View Post
Thanks, Rocketscience. Beg pardon, but for 5.1.2 on this system, I need to add only 2 rear speakers since there are already two upward firing speakers simulating the overhead ones. That is the ".2" of the spec after all But I get your point about the actual separate speakers being better in terms of sound quality.
Oh, that's my bad, i missed that somehow, realised it later, well technically, yes they work.

Also its not all about more speakers = better sound quality, that depends on actual quality of the speaker drivers and other factors, i meant that for correct representation of movie's sound design.

Sound bars effectively take 5.1 + Atmos data (in case of netflix audio which is dolby digital plus atmos for some movies and just regular dolby digital plus 5.1 for most titles) and just mix it all according to their speaker layout, 2 front 1 center 1 subwoofer 2 front height channels in your case while mixing the rear channels to the front as well, adding those extra 2 speakers will greatly improve the sound stage by adding this extra dimension and the basic layout will be somewhat like a movie theater, this is how all movies are mixed, i highly recommend you do this next, it is much easier since your system supports it.

Also if you notice low dialogue level in other movies as well just increase the volume/level of just the center channel, that should solve that. Just be conservative while doing so. Overdoing it might spoil the entire sound.
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Old 4th June 2020, 00:51   #13
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Default Re: The LG-SL8YG Sound Bar : A review

Congratulations. Strange I myself have LG C7 55 since last 3 years and yesterday only I bought Sony z9f atmos soundbar with rear satellite speakers. Only because of option to add rear speakers, I went for Sony. And after 2 days of usage, I am just completely blown away by the performance.
One question, are you considering buying HDMI 2.2 wires to replace one came with system?
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Old 4th June 2020, 07:31   #14
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Default Re: The LG-SL8YG Sound Bar : A review

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Originally Posted by Rocketscience View Post
Also if you notice low dialogue level in other movies as well just increase the volume/level of just the center channel, that should solve that.
Yes, I realized this very quickly. After going through the user manual, I found that the Center channel actually has the lower output rating (40 W vs 50 W for the left/right), so keeping the Center volume a bit higher than the others seems to hit the sweet spot.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chaudharysaab View Post
One question, are you considering buying HDMI 2.2 wires to replace one came with system?
Thanks chaudharysaab and congrats to you to. The Z9-F is awesome, I heard a full demo of it at the Sony Center near my home.

There is no HDMI 2.2 (yet). Are you referring to HDCP 2.2? Or eARC?
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Old 4th June 2020, 23:19   #15
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Default Re: The LG-SL8YG Sound Bar : A review

Congrats into your entry into Meridian tuned sound.

I went in the whole hog and got the LG SK10Y last year. They didn't have the SL8YG last year I guess. It has atmosphere but no Dts:x. It sits below my 55" inch LG tv (and is longer than it - size of a 65" TV). Its a behemoth. I called for the rear surrounds from the USA and put them up on some generic stands. Got full surround !

Btw, for my soundbar, I change the equaliser with every use. If I'm watching Movies, then movie mode boosts dialogue superbly while for music there's the music mode.

Hope you have a blast !!

LG sounders are really good value compared to the Sony though the Sony sounds brilliant too.
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