Inputs and Features8.8/10
Price / Quality9.2/10
- Good performance for this category
- wireless rear speakers support
- Very easy to setup
- Excellent price
- No surround depth from main unit
- DTS Virtual:X makes sound feel over-processed
- Mid-range not very punchy
- Remote could be smaller
Cheapest Places to Buy :
LG has been very consistent when it comes to their soundbar releases and for one more year they have created a whole series consisting of seven models in order to cover all budgets and needs. For this year we get the SL4Y, SL5Y, SL6Y, SL7Y and the Dolby Atmos enabled SL8YG, SL9YG and SL10YG. Today in our LG SL5Y review we will be testing the second model from the bottom which is mostly for those looking for a cheap and easy to handle solution in order to improve the audio of their flat TV.
Having previously tested the LG SK10Y and LG SK8Y that belonged to the 2018’s series of soundbars we got the impression that while they may not be the kind of audio systems that will win any kind of audio rewards they definitely have their merits and they for sure can elevate the audio experience you get in comparison to any kind of built-in TV audio. But with the SL5Y, LG is trying to offer not only better audio but also simplicity and ease of use that many users usually seek in this price range.
And this seems to be the main focus for many low priced soundbars. To offer satisfactory performance, easy setup, ease of use and a few extra features thrown in for good measure. So how the LG SL5Y fares with all these? Does it manage to tick all the right boxes in order to be considered a true extremely low budget soundbar that can distinguish itself from the rest? Keep reading as we put it to the test.
Design, Inputs and Features
The LG SL5Y is designed as a 2.1 channels system and as such in the box we find the main soundbar that features the two main channels along with a wireless subwoofer. The soundbar is pretty compact measuring just 35.03″ x 2.2″ x 3.4″ (890 x 57 x 85 mm) and weighting 5.2 lbs (2.35 Kg) making it easy to be placed under any kind of TV either placed on a furniture or on the wall. With such a low weight handling it is piece of cake making setup so much easy and effortless. Following the same small form design is the included subwoofer as it’s dimensions, measuring 6.7″ x 15.5″ x 9.8″ (171.0 x 393.0 x 248.5 mm) and with a weight of 11.7 lbs (5.3 Kg), makes it small enough that you can surely find an empty spot on the floor to place it. Being also wireless helps as you only will need to have a single power cord coming out of it.
Let’s talk about the general design now. Obviously when we are talking about a sub-$200 soundbar you shouldn’t expect anything fancy or cool and the SL5Y makes sure to offer a basic but at the same time pleasant to the eye design with it’s curvy corners and clean look. Plastic is the main material used as the front is closed in full with a perforated face while the top uses a slightly rough surface with just the LG logo on the right top side.
On the right side we do get a few basic buttons with a power on/off, volume control and an F button that can be used for various functions depending how many times you press it like input selection, Bluetooth and USB. Naturally these are physical buttons but LG has hid them behind what can be called like a membrane in order to keep them as hidden as possible.
Usually when we review a lot of these low cost soundbars one thing we keep missing is a front display as some of them in order to reduce the cost use either simple LED lights or no visual display at all. We were a bit surprised when we saw that the LG SL5Y did come with a full LED display that is positioned at the center of the front face and provide you with various information like input selection and volume among others. We also liked the fact that if there is no key press for 15 seconds the display will be darkened automatically so it will not be distracting when watching TV. Having a LED display certainly puts it in front of many other competing soundbars that don’t have one and improves ease of use in a major way.
At the back we find all the available ports that we will analyze shortly. One thing we would like to mention that we also have seen in many other soundbars is that the power connector is placed away from the rest of the connectors which can be very inconvenient when you try to keep all those cables together. Having them placed close to each other would make things easier as they are right now it needs a bit of effort to hide them separately. Also we need to mention that the SL5Y features a low profile making placement under a TV not a problem. Bigger soundbars need to rely on IR repeaters in order to pass signals to the TV’s IR sensors. This is not the case here as the soundbar is low enough to let the sensors of most TVs unobstructed.
Lastly there are some wall brackets included in the package that you can use in case you want to wall mount it. The soundbar has only forward firing drivers so there is no option of placing the soundbar in any other position than how you would place it on a furniture. Not very surprising as this is a feature only a few soundbars have but it should at least be mentioned.
In general build quality is rather good for this price. The SL5Y is a lovely looking soundbar that features a low profile and a small footprint making it ideal for any small room, bedroom or media area.
The front grille of the SL5Y is non removable but LG is kind enough to provide us with the necessary information regarding the kind of drivers that come with the unit. What is hidden are two 40 x 100mm oval woofers that are accompanied by a couple of 20mm Silk Dome tweeters. Finding these oval woofers in this one doesn’t surprise us as we have seen a few other soundbars using oval drivers in order to be able to offer a lower profile than the rest without sacrificing it’s performance. The drivers are placed in a closed enclosure type.
The included subwoofer on the other hand features a single 6″ driver in what appears to be a Bass Reflex enclosure while the front grille is fixed and cannot be removed.
Output Power (THD 10%) for the main drivers is rated at 90W (45W+45W) x 2 for a total of 180 watts while the subwoofer comes at 220 watts for a grand total of 400 watts of power which is not bad at all for such a small looking soundbar. SPL is rated at 82dB for the main unit with 4 ohm impedance and 85dB for the subwoofer with 3 ohm impedance.
Let’s see now what we get in terms of connectivity. For this price we were not expecting anything out of the ordinary but LG managed to surprise us once again by offering more than what we would expect from a sub-$200 soundbar. In one inset that is placed right next to the power connector we get a Digital Optical input that is strangely separated from the rest of the connectors that are placed on another inset in the right side of the back face.
In this second inset we get a HDMI input, a HDMI output that has added ARC support as well as a USB port that you can use to connect external storage and stream audio from there.
A couple of observations to make here. Firstly with HDMI 1.4 used there is only ARC and no eARC support something that may disappoint a few as LG seems to fully support eARC in their TVs for 2019 and it’s something that we will probably have to wait another year before we see in their soundbars also. Secondly their is no AUX port that we usually see but in our opinion since there is an optical as well as HDMI ports available, missing an AUX port is not such a big deal.
Wireless capabilities of the SL5Y are limited to the inclusion of Bluetooth 4.0 as the unit is missing WiFi.
Control options in this category is usually very limited but the LG SL5Y managed to surprise us in this regard also. But let’s take the obvious out of the way first. As we mentioned above there are a few buttons placed on the soundbar itself that let you handle the most usual of functions like input selection and volume control.
Next there is the included remote which provides all the necessary buttons in order to control all of the soundbar’s functions. But let’s see what buttons it has. At the top, shaped in the usual power symbol, we find the power on/off with two large buttons below that control the volume, mute sound and circle through functions and inputs button. Under these there are three big circular playback buttons that you can use when streaming music while below them are a group of six buttons that handle different functions like sound effects, sound tuning, information, repeat as well as folder selection.
The remote is rather big for the buttons that it has and it could very well be smaller as you can see from the picture half of it is empty space. The buttons have the usual rubber feel but we liked their big size as it made it easier to press the right one. And with no backlight available button’s size help not to press the wrong one in the dark. The remote although a bit cheap on the looks felt very responsive even though you have to point it directly to the soundbar.
But in a rather interesting move LG has also included mobile app support as you can use the “Music Flow Bluetooth” app to your tablet or smartphone. Unfortunately the app supports only Android devices so Apple lovers are out of luck with this one. The app lets you control all the basic functions as you would be able to do with the remote but has also a few extra features that you cannot control otherwise. These include a Dynamic Range Control, the Auto Volume Leveler as well as the included Night mode making the app more useful than just having an additional means of control.
Extra Features and Services
As we said in the beginning of our review one of the most important features when it comes to these low cost soundbars is simplicity and ease of use. This means that they don’t have many complex features and sound modes that could make handling of such a unit troublesome for people that are not very accustomed with such equipment.
So let’s see what there is on offer with the LG SL5Y. First of all there is Bluetooth support which means you can stream music from any mobile device like smartphone or tablet to your soundbar. The process could not be easier as you connect your device and streaming starts. Easy and fast and while it only has Bluetooth 4.0 support we found connection to be very stable and streaming very smooth.
Also very simple and straightforward are the available sound modes which include ASC (Adaptive Sound Control) which analyses the input audio and adjusts the sound accordingly for the best audio result, Bass Blast that enhances the low frequencies, Standard that is supposed to offer a more balanced acoustic result as well as DTS Virtual:X which is the one that is mostly advertised in the SL5Y and will talk about a little later.
Another, rather intriguing feature that we get is support for wireless rear speakers. Being a 2.1 channels soundbar, surround performance of the SL5Y is very limited as we will analyze a bit later in this review so having the ability to add extra surround speakers gives this unit amazing flexibility. This optional kit (SPK8-S) includes a receiver unit that can connecting wirelessly to the SL5Y and with simply pressing the sound tuning for 3 seconds you can enable or disable the surround activity. It’s as simple as that.
Obviously the surround speakers will set you back an additional $200 which is as much as the soundbar costs itself but for $400 total you get a full 5.1 surround system which is not bad at all. Unfortunately there is no option to adjust each surround speaker separately as you only get the option to adjust both rear speakers at the same time which is a bit limiting in case you have to place them in different distances from your sitting position.
Lastly the soundbar supports HDMI-CEC, LG Sound Sync and SIMPLELINK which means you can use the TV’s remote in order to control the unit which can be very useful in order to minimize the number of remotes you need to use.
Setting this up for the first time could not be any easier. Low cost means that many features are stripped and while the more the better having so little options means you don’t have to mess around with difficult setups and calibration options. Having tested a few other low cost soundbars in the past it seems that they all share the same plug-and-play design logic.
When you first unpack the unit you have to connect both the soundbar and the subwoofer to a power outlet. Then you have to choose how you will connect the SL5Y as you get to choose between a HDMI or a digital optical connection. In our case we decided to connect our UHD player to the soundbar and then from the HDMI out to a HDMI input on our TV.
When all wires are connected you power up the unit and you are ready to go. At the back of the subwoofer a green light should indicate that pairing with the main unit is done since this is usually done at the factory but even if it’s not by pressing the pairing button should do the trick. If you have added the surround speakers then by pressing the sound tuning button on the remote for 3 seconds you enable them otherwise this function is disabled.
Having finished with the above there are only two functions that you can really change. One is the sound mode and the other is sound tuning that changes the level of treble, bass and subwoofer so you can adjust them to your liking. And that’s all. No complex settings or crazy calibration options. You can be set and ready in just a few minutes. This is how easy the LG SL5Y can be.
Before we proceed with our movie testing we should mention that the LG SL5Y can support various audio formats that include LPCM, Dolby Digital and DTS. And while these are the most basic ones this unit also supports DTS Virtual:X which is a technology that creates the illusion of sound from positions that there are no physical speakers. For such a low cost unit featuring such tech is a big thing and that’s why we see LG marketing this so much. But does it make a difference when it comes to real world situations? From previous experience this tech don’t make a huge impact so let’s see how this one will do.
We decided to go with a favorite film of ours which is the 4K UHD version of Jurassic World as it comes with a jaw-dropping DTS:X track that is exactly what we need to push the unit to it’s limits.
With the LG SL5Y being only a 2.1 channels soundbar means that we don’t get the full effect that the DTS:X track can offer so only the core DTS track is played here. We tried using all the sound modes available to see their differences but we will focus mostly on two of them as we found them to be the ones we preferred the most and we believe that many people will do also.
First we tried the Standard mode which we felt offered the most balance from them all. In this mode the SL5Y managed to give a very solid and respectable performance. Even with such a small size the unit doesn’t lack power. With the help of the subwoofer all the dinosaur roars and rumble were recreated with very good clarity and resolution. We felt that mid-range was slightly lacking as it didn’t sound as alive and full as we would like. On the contrary highs fared much better which was a plus.
If you don’t have the surround speakers don’t expect to get any kind of surround immersion. Action was strictly limited at the front although we felt like the soundstage was extending a bit further to the sides than the physical boundaries of the soundbar. The front channels we crystal clear with good separation and shifting between the left and right. Such a small soundbar would definitely have problems with the lows in such a film but the subwoofer even with it’s small size managed to provide us the necessary shaking. It may not have the oomph of bigger and dedicated subwoofers but it will do it’s job just fine for this price.
In total the Standard mode provided a very balanced performance that is a major improvement from any built-in audio system any TV can offer. And if you add the surround speakers also then immersion will increase tenfold. But for those that can’t get the extra speakers either due to space limitations or budget constraints the SL5Y provide you with the DTS Virtual:X technology as an alternative.
We also tried Jurassic World with this mode in order to get a sense of difference and in all honesty the result is a mixed bag. On one hand the soundstage definitely expands. It is not as full and immersive as if you had real surround speakers but this mode for sure expands the immersion bubble a little both in the sides and closer to us. We have a feeling that this tech will perform differently depending on the room you place this unit as smaller spaces will create a better acoustic result than open areas.
But while sound came more full it also felt more over-processed and artificial. Processing artifacts were more evident mostly in the mid-range which may be audible to some and not to others. In the end we are sure that there will be many people that like this setting as it definitely provide a more cinematic result that many seek but for others the sound comes very different than it should and will prefer to choose a different mode.
From all we have seen and tried it is a matter of choosing between the Standard and DTS Virtual:X setting depending the content you watch. In general we are pleased with the kind of performance such a small unit was able to provide. The cost may be extremely low but this doesn’t stop the SL5Y from impressing us.
Let’s move on to our music testing to see how this ones behaves when you throw a bit of music to it. First of all we should mention that the SL5Y supports Hi-Res Audio with FLAC and WAV files being recognized up to a sampling rate of 24bit/192kHz. Along with these the soundbar can also play the more usual MP3, WMA and OGG files. As the unit supports USB streaming all these files can be played through the USB port using some external storage connected to it.
As the soundbar shows mostly frontal activity while playing some music, it doesn’t seem to have such a negative impact as it had during our movie testing and this has to do with the fact that surrounds are not needed so much when playing music. With such a budget friendly soundbar obviously you should keep your expectations at check but nevertheless the SL5Y managed to perform admirably for it’s size and capabilities.
We did once again got the sense that the mid-range was lacking a bit compared to the rest of the frequencies but it was not something that could affect the overall performance by much at least for the casual listener. The subwoofer did it’s best to provide the necessary bass tones while highs appeared well defined. Vocals were rich and of good quality and in general we felt that this soundbar will do just fine in filling any small room with great musicality.
Finishing up with this review we have to admit that we liked what we saw, or better we should say heard. The soundbar being almost at the bottom of the performance ladder is stripped of almost all fancy features and tech and aim to gain the attention of those that want something easy and simple to improve upon their TV’s audio.
The SL5Y is the epitome of a plug-and-play device as you can have it up and running in just a few minutes. Calibration settings are very few and basic and for sound modes a simple press of a button will choose the one of your liking. The general look of the soundbar is nothing fancy to talk about but build quality is very good for the price asked while we liked that it had a front display as well as two HDMI ports with one of them supporting ARC. Performance wise you will get exactly what you would expect from a sub-$200 soundbar which is good front activity and powerful bass for both movies and music.
But if you believe that surround sound is of great importance to you the SL5Y has even the ability to expand to a full 5.1 system by buying the optional kit (SPK8-S) with the two extra surround speakers. But even if you find the price of this kit too much for your wallet the soundbar can at least provide some sense of a more immersive environment with the use of DTS Virtual:X.
On the downsides if you plan to use only the soundbar with the subwoofer don’t expect to get much activity on the rear as the included DTS Virtual:X can do so much to improve things in this regard. Also the extra surround speakers kit will cost you almost as much as the main unit so we guess that anyone who chooses this soundbar most probably will not be able to afford the extra cost. Also mid-range felt a bit weaker than what we would like even though it didn’t affect the overall performance by much and lastly we would expect a smaller remote since there is a lot of empty space on it that would make it possible for a more compact design.
The LG SL5Y ticks most of the right boxes for it’s category as it provides a cheap and easy to use solution that will greatly improve the audio performance of your TV and will sit comfortably at any small room, bedroom or media area while offering just the right amount of features to make this one a very attractive offering.
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44 thoughts on “LG SL5Y Review (2.1 CH Soundbar)”
Life is always good with LG and this is the reason why for a very long time coming, they have been rated one of the best if not the best in electronics and home appliances. The SL5Y looks like another solid model from them. One thing I have noticed over the years from using LG products is that they don’t have a good life expectancy.
Hello Henderson. From my experience all electronics have a certain life expectancy. I have owned both very known brands and completely unknown and their life expectancy varied very much. I would say that it’s completely random how much a device will hold and the brand doesn’t play a huge importance. Yes the risk is lower by going with a know brand but this doesn’t mean that it will never go bust.
My LG products are lasting well:
LG surround sound system: 11 years old and still working.
LG 47″ TV is almost 9 years old and still working
My LG refrigerator: around 12 years old and still working.
LG Dishwasher: I replaced after 9 years when the racks started to rust.
One think I have learned over the years Colin is that with electronics is always a gamble either you buy some cheap no name brand or the top quality premium model. Yes, the better the brand you lower the risk, but there is always a chance something to break down. It’s natural and will never change no matter what!
The purpose of soundbars are usually a better home theater experience. For this price point, this looks like a decent one. What I do not like about the design of this one is the the fairly large sub-woofer. I would have preferred a smaller size instead. I did have the opportunity to listen to the SL5Y and I have no complaints on it’s home theater sound performance.
It is a good one Stanley. If you are limited in budget and space this one will fit just nicely. The subwoofer I cannot say I didn’t like it’s size and it definitely is not a very big one. But this is personal taste.
Although the SL5Y is nothing huge and not the best in terms of total power I think it will suffice as I’m no fan of too much noise either. I’m sure this won’t be a disappointment as LG is just one good recommended brand or should I say one I would recommend. I do have one soundbar from some unknown company at home but the sound is quite irritating as it is getting old now and I may need to get a new one real soon. Thanks a lot for this eye opener I wasn’t real sure if the LG SL5Y would be a wise choice.
If you don’t have high expectations then the SL5Y will be perfect for you Donny.
This is a nice and affordable sound bar and speakers set. I love how you reviewed all it’s functions and extra features it has as well. Would make a great Christmas present as we just use our TV right now for sound and my husband would like to have something better.
All my best
Now this would be a very nice Christmas present Lisa. I am sure it will be appreciated.
Thank you for sharing your findings, guidance and review for the LG SL5Y (2.1 CH Soundbar). I must say that this soundbar would meet most of my requirements for most of the time and the price of $200 is even affordable too.
I must confess that your review is very comprehensive and well structured; great stuff
Thank you. I hope you found it useful.
I echo your concern that all of LG’s OLED 2019 televisions have HDMI eARC but their soundbars don’t. I read somewhere that HDMI eARC is not backward compatible and will not work properly with HDMI ARC soundbars. If this is true it’s inexcusable. Do you know if this is the case?
Hey Kevin. Although I didn’t have the chance to test an ARC/eARC connection to see how it behaves in theory it should work but with the limited capacity of the ARC connection which means it will be able to transfer only DD and DTS core signals up to 5.1 channels.
Thx for your review much appreciated. I’m also in the 200 € bracket so I think it will suit my budget. I currently own the lg sj3 however I got a feeling that voices of the actors are rather overshadowed by the sound effects. Regarding your review I got the impression that with the sl5y it is rather balanced. Would you agree?
Thanks for your good work keep it up)
Hey Daniel. Unfortunately I don’t have first hand experience with the SJ3 so comparing it to the SL5Y is difficult for me. Both of them are 2.1 channels so don’t expect to see a night and day difference. Any soundbar that doesn’t have a center channel is bound to have such problems either small or big. Since you already have a 2.1 channels soundbar and you are not very happy with it if you are considering a new one maybe you should at least look for a 3.1 channels unit that could potentially improve things a little with dialogue?
I just received my SL5Y, am must say, am disappointed,.. before a old 2.1 pc system was connect towards my sony bravia tv and had a better sound,.. also 400watt following the description? looks totally wrong,.. would be closer with 120W and 30wat RMS if you ask me,..
Further BT -Blue tooth connects but no sound, idem with the hdmi ports,.. had to use fiber cable to get some sound out it,.. result,.. i will send it back and ask my money back,.. hdmi, BT not working and music power very low never 400 watt,.. my advise if you want to use it for a little party at home,.. sorry will not do it,..
Hello Pascal. First of all if the HDMI and Bluetooth are not working then you most definitely have a faulty unit and you will do good to return it.
As for the total 400 watts power actually this is the total of both the soundbar and subwoofer. The main unit is actually 180 watts as the subwoofer uses the rest 220 watts and that’s why the total of 400 watts which is completely theoretical and no device can reach its theoretical numbers so much more when we are talking about a low cost unit.
Lastly when it comes to soundbars and home cinema speakers in general I cannot stress enough how important it is to first find a test unit to hear for yourself before buying. Making a blind speaker buy is never ideal because the way we perceive sound differs from person to person so what may sound good to me may not be the same for you. Only in extreme situations when personal testing is completely out of the question should you buy blindly and this will have a certain degree of risk. In our reviews we try to offer as honest an opinion as possible but we do understand that not all people may feel the same and it’s completely understandable.
Since you feel unhappy with the SL5Y you will do good to return it but keep in mind that in such a low price around the $200 mark don’t expect to find a unit that is leaps and bounds better than the LG. You will need to spend a bit more to get a higher quality unit that will satisfy your needs.
Wish you all the best.
Which one would you choose: LG SL5Y or Polk Signa S2?
I’ve read both of your reviews (btw you did really good job) and I’m still not sure which one to choose. I feel like Signa is a bit better overall but LG has bit more options and display. They are exactly the same price atm.
Hey Daniel. Thanks for the good words. We always try our best to offer very thorough and honest reviews for all our readers.
Now for your question. Since you don’t mention any specific feature you may want I will tell you my overall opinion for both. If you can find them for the same price I would go for the LG SL5Y simply because it has more features. It has a front display, it also supports DTS as well as DTS virtual:X, you can control it through a mobile app, it comes with High Resolution Audio, it offers more connectivity options and if down the road you feel like you would like to get surround audio you can add the extra surround speakers set. None of these features I just mentioned are offered in the Signa S2.
As for their core performance having similar hardware means that both of them perform very close to it’s other. There are differences but not so big to give one or the other a big lead on this. So it’s all the extras that make the SL5Y the better one in my opinion.
When I turn my LG soundbar (SL5Y) on, it displays EMERG on the screen and nothing works. Has anyone encountered this problem.
Hello Gary. Unfortunately I never had this problem and as much I looked around I could not find anything specific to this message you get. My suggestion is to call LG service to look into it.
I had this recently on my SL5Y, 1 month out of the 1 year warranty. LG said it needs sending off for repair, and wanted 70% of the original purchase price to fix it. Oh, but the new parts are guaranteed for a whole 3 months. No thanks. This is the problem with buying an integrated system – your whole system is at the mercy of the weakest link. It’s put me off upgrading to an LG OLED.
Hello Michael. I know how frustrating this can be but from my experience this can happen with all brands either expensive or low cost. We are at their mercy when it comes to warranties.
I had this SL5Y model for almost a year, connected to my Sony Bravia via fiber optic.
It worked fine, with good sound quality.
Few days ago I tried to connect my iPhone 11 or my s10+ via bluetooh to listening music.
It is impossible to sustain a connection for more than 20 sec.
I search for answer but I could not find a solution:
*. My soundbar is nowhere near a modem or wifi router
*. I placed the phones at less than 10 cm of the soundbar
*. the sub-woofer is at less than 1.5 m distance
* Autopower is off
* I even downloaded the Music Flow app for Android from LG
First I thought that could be the iWatch interfering, so I turned off… same thing
May be is iOS the issue, so I used the S10+… same thing
I DO NOT RECOMMEND THIS SOUNDBAR, there is no support from LG nor even replying the email.
It connects, start playing music and after 15/20 sec it disconnects.
Hello there. So just to understand you had it for one year but you now only started using Bluetooth? Or just the disconnections started occurring a few days ago? Anyhow the SL5Y is using the much older Bluetooth v4.0 so maybe this is one reason. Although during our testing we didn’t experience any disconnections I think this is not normal behavior even if the soundbar has an older version of Bluetooth. If LG is not answering your emails this is indeed very bad behavior from their part. Is the warranty still valid or it has expired?
Which would you recommend: LG SL5Y, Yamaha YAS-207, or JBL Bar 2.1? They are all about the same price…which has the best features and sounds?
Hello Dave. In terms of audio quality the JBL Bar 2.1 is the best. In terms of extra features I would put slightly the LG SL5Y on top. Overall if I had to choose one of them and they were all priced the same I would choose the JBL because I would choose better audio quality than more features but this depends entirely on what your priorities are.
Se io aggiungo le casse posteriori ovvero le LG SPK8-s, che punteggio riesco a raggiungere come qualità audio in movies e musica
Grazie e complimenti per le recensioni.
Hello Biagio. I don’t speak Italian so write your comment in English please.
Good morning. If I add the rear speakers or LG SPK8-s, what score can I achieve as audio quality in movies and music Thanks and congratulations for the reviews. With best regards Biagio
Hey Biagio. With the surround speakers I would definitely give this a 8.8 to 8.9 score for movies and music. If you consider buying them and you watch a lot of movies then you should definitely go for them. Immersion will be enhanced dramatically.
Hello. Many thanks for your detailed review. I’m considering between LG SL5Y and LG SK8Y. Have already read the reviews for both two products from you but it’s hard to decide – first-time buyer here. My main purpose is for watching movie, and sometimes music, with limited budget & space. At the moment, the price of SK8Y is just 20% higher than SL5Y. Another option could be Samsung HW-R550, which also has the same price as LG SK8. Thanks for your recommendation.
Hey Tim. Indeed when you look at the specs of both the SL5Y and SK8Y they seem very similar. The SK8Y is slightly longer which can a little bit help with better separation of the two front channels and offer slightly more wide front soundstage but the difference between this and the SL5Y is really small. It also supports Dolby Atmos but for a 2.1 channels soundbar don’t expect to see any major difference. On the other hand the SL5Y is more compact, better if you are extremely limited in space, and has slightly more output power.
When it comes to extra features they are almost the same so no major differences there. Now to be honest the Dolby Atmos that the SK8Y supports is not a major advantage as the soundbar fails to really show any additional immersion due to this. With 2.1 channels it just doesn’t have the hardware to show realistic Atmos effects. It’s Dolby Atmos Virtual Height technology may slightly give you elevated sound but it’s nothing that will really wow you.
Since you write me that you are both limited in space and budget then my recommendation is to go for the SL5Y as going for the SK8Y will not get you any real benefits for this 20% higher in price.
Hope my answer will help you decide. Have a nice day!
Many thanks for your prompt reply, excellent answer! I am tempted by the idea of having a budget soundbar that supports Dolby Atmos but probably it is not a strong advantage to consider in this case then. Thank you for the advice and recommendation, it is very clear and helpful.
May I have another follow-up question please? What is your take on the which model might be a better choice, between LG SL5Y and Samsung HW-R550? I have a Samsung TV and should it be a factor that I take into consideration? Thank you.
Have a nice day!
I haven’t tested the HW-R550 personally so my opinion will only be from what I see in the specs. With this in mind the SL5Y seems slightly better but not by much. It comes with High Resolution Audio support, has slightly more power and also supports DTS Virtual X. So I would give the edge on the LG SL5Y for this.
As for having a Samsung TV I wouldn’t say that there is any real benefit on that so the brand shouldn’t be a factor in your decision.
Awesome, thanks a lot for the advice. Look forward to reading other contents and reviews from you.
No problem Tim. I am glad I was able to help. Looking forward to speak with you again!
Hello Stratos. Thank you for very prompt and detailed review. I bought myself sl5y lately and I an trying different settings now. I have notied that with HDMI ARC connection sound quality is much better than internal speakers but volume remain the same. I was wondering if I combine toslink optical cable plus internal speaker(my LG tv features that option) for connection, will I get better sound volume rather than with HDMI ARC? Thanks
Hello Marcin. I don’t know what TV you have but many models don’t have the ability to produce sound both from their internal speakers and export sound through the optical port at the same time. Does your TV has this ability? If yes then in theory you will get more volume as all speakers will be active but keep in mind that the sound will not be better, just louder. Since you will be getting exactly the same audio from two different sources the audio will loose much in quality as the two sources will overlap.
Hello sir my lg sl5y sound bar how to both play my lg 55 oled b9 tv ?
I am not sure you can do that with the B9. In the audio menu there is an option where you can choose where to output the sound. Check there if there is an option for both internal speakers and external device at the same time. If there is no option for both then unfortunately you cannot use them both.
Hello friend! I bought LG SL5Y and liked it! only downside is that I expected it to rumble more (subwoofer) like the sony HTC 290 2.1 Sound Bar! However I am having trouble with my Samsung NU 7090 smart tv. When in Netflix or Google Play the Dolby Digital option shows up in my Samsung and creates quality audio for my small bedroom! however when I switch it to Youtube sometimes it stays as Dolby Digital but sometimes it fails and automatically changes back to PCM (a very very poor audio quality stereo type) have you had this problem? seems its common with Samsung and havent found out how to resolve this issue. https://www.reddit.com/r/xboxinsiders/comments/9s6e39/setting_audio_format_over_hdmiarc_broken_with/
Hello George. Well the first thing I would do is to determine if this is a HDMI connection bug. I would try to connect the soundbar through the optical port and see how it behaves. If with the optical cable it works fine then it’s definitely a HDMI problem. If not then it may be some problem with the Youtube app.