The soundbar is still gaining popularity, particularly because it is a compact system that you hardly need to lay cables for. Virtually all av manufacturers have one or more soundbars in the range, including LG. In this review we look at the LG SH6, a premium-looking soundbar with various streaming options.
What is the LG SH6?
The LG SH6 is according to the Korean manufacturer an all-in-one solution to the sound of your TV to improve and your music with a full sound through the living room to sound. It is an all-in-one system because you do not have extra speakers, so no subwoofer. Everything is built in the soundbar. In addition, the speaker is equipped with a lot of features and functions, including under Google Cast for streaming music, MusicFlow for linking other Music Flow speakers in your home network, hdmi, bluetooth and support for high resolution audio. The recommended price of the LG SH6 is 399 euros but you can find it at the time of writing for 329 euros.
Design and connections
The LG SH6 is not a very slim, small or light soundbar (113 x 7.6 x 14.5 cm), but that is not strange as everything – including the bass drivers – are placed in the housing. The soundbar has a somewhat aggressive appearance but in a positive way; it is a real speaker with a look. The speaker has a gray finish with a strip of brushed aluminum on top and chrome edges on the sides. On the front we see the display back, and if you want to hang the soundbar with the included bracket then it is good to know that this display is pointing downwards. So you do not see anything anymore. On the top of the speaker (the front when you hang it up) we see a few touch-buttons. For example, you can connect wirelessly to WiFi for MusicFlow, link another MusicFlow product, adjust the volume, select the source and switch the soundbar on or off.
On the back of the LG SH6 we see all connections, including an HDMI 2.0 input and an HDMI 2.0 output with arc support. We would have liked to see some more inputs, especially if we look at the price. Furthermore, we see here a digital optical connection (cable included) and an ethernet port. Wireless communication takes place via WiFi and Bluetooth.
LG also supplies a small remote control. This accessory is somewhat cheaper looking and feeling but does what it has to do. With a small number of buttons you can control all the basic functions of the soundbar, including the audio mode, the volume, the level of the bass and the Adaptive Sound Control (ASC) function. In addition, you can use the MusicFlow app to stream music to the soundbar and control the device.
Installation and use
The installation of the LG SH6 is fairly simple. Connect the speaker to the home network via WiFi or an ethernet cable and you can get started. It is not more. You can use the default settings of the soundbar or play with the different audio modes for the best audio output. Also streaming content is easy, especially with the support of Google Cast allowing you to quickly play music from Spotify, Google Music and many other services over the speaker. The bluetooth connection is quickly laid and you can make music sound from the speaker from any bluetooth device.
In terms of connections we had like to see some more options as mentioned above, especially with regard to HDMI ports, but with one HDMI input and an optical input you can certainly lose the TV and your main player or console. Incidentally, the soundbar also has an infrared repeater, if you put the speaker in front of the TV and this obstructs the view of the infrared receiver on the TV.
The LG SH6 has an advanced audio system with which a complete audio image has to be displayed. The 4.1-channel system comes with a striking technology that allows air to be fed through different pipes and comes out of the speakers at the rear to create a surrounding sound. The speaker has two tweeters, four mid-range drivers and two drivers for the lower tones. There are also two technologies available to improve the audio quality. Adaptive Sound Control (ASC) should optimize the audio output depending on the type of media and Auto Sound Engine (ASE) ensures that the audio output on each volume is optimal.
LG has managed to make the SH6 a great all-rounder. The speaker knows how to display sufficient detail in the low tones, makes dialogues sound warm and clear and also shows sufficient dynamics and accuracy in the higher regions. However, it is primarily a soundbar for a normal room, an average living room, where especially in the evening, series, programs and films are watched and the low tones do not have to shake the couch. The SH6 clearly enhances the audio output of the TV and can also display a film with sufficient dynamics and tension. He does not make you vibrate from the couch, but the low tones that come out of it are tight and powerful.
The audio reproduction is wide enough for a nice stereo image but you do not get a (kind of) home cinema experience with 5.1 or 7.1 channel soundtracks. The audio output then appears a bit trapped; without real depth and vibrancy. We have seen soundbars pass by which provided more depth in the audio image and moved towards the listening position. Are you going to a larger space or do you really want to set up the volume then you notice that the SH6 does not have enough on board to keep everything under control; and besides, you will really miss the bass.
The music reproduction is of average level. The SH6 has a nice wide stereo image and together with the Adaptive Sound Control (ASC) technique you get a natural, detailed and clear reproduction for your music. With music you do not miss the subwoofer quickly and that plays in favor of the soundbar. The SH6 gives music pleasant and open weather, for both background music and an evening listening to your favorite album.
We have mentioned it briefly above; the LG SH6 is a great all-rounder although we still miss some extra inputs. It is not a soundbar for those who are waiting for low tones to vibrate the sofa, a surround effect that surrounds you and an extensive system with multiple speakers. It is a soundbar for people who like to watch series, programs and movies with better audio output than the TV can offer, are looking for a compact system and also want their music from all kinds of sources with a broad stereo image to sound through the room. If your wishes fall within this, the SH6 is an excellent soundbar. The price of 399 euros we find with this conclusion on the high side but if you can find the soundbar for around 300 euros and know what you buy then it is not a wrong choice.