The LG SK9Y is a soundbar equipped with Dolby Atmos, allowing spatial sound to be reproduced much better. There is also support for Google Assistant and there are enough speakers for a room-filling sound. But is it enough to justify that high price tag?
LG SK9Y – design and specifications
Because the LG SK9Y is intended for televisions with a screen size of 55-inch or larger, you are dealing with a real beast. It is a soundbar as you do not often see them and from the design you can immediately deduce that it is one of LG. The colossus is 58 millimeters high, 145 millimeters deep and no less than 1200 millimeters wide and is reminiscent of a sort of spaceship – but one for under your television. Behind the wide speaker are some buttons: for playback, selecting sources, adjusting volume and switching it on and off.
The device has rounded corners and a dark color, so that almost every television needs to fit. On the top we find two speakers, while there are also two in the sides and three (including a center speaker) in the middle. These top speakers are meant for Dolby Atmos and that’s good news – that’s why spatial sound can be reproduced better. By positioning the speakers on the top, the sound can be projected over the television viewer and bounced off the ceiling.
The LG SK9Y has much-needed connections, but actually only has one of them. And in the case of hdmi connections that is just too little. In addition to an hmdi input, there is also an HDMI output, LAN cable and USB connection, audio line-in and digital audio input (optical). So there is everything, so you can link many types of devices. But if you have multiple devices with the same cables, then you will have to connect them via the TV. There is also wifi, bluetooth (4.0) and a headphone connection.
LG SK9Y – installation
Like with a lot of other soundbar, the installation is so busy. When you have plugged the subwoofer and soundbar plugs into the power sockets and connected the hdmi or optical cable, you can start listening immediately. If you want to go one step further, you can also connect the LG SK9Y to the network via WiFi or a LAN cable. For that you need the LG Wi-Fi Speaker app which can be downloaded for free on Android and iOS. With that app you can set up and prepare the soundbar.
That setting is self-evident, since LG presents a step-by-step plan. Follow the steps and you know what to do. It is also possible to install additional rear speakers and to link them to your LG SK9Y. As a result, surround sound is of course even better, no matter how convincing such a technique as Dolby Atmos may be. You also perform this link via the application. You are probably longer trying to get the speakers out of the boxes than to set everything correctly. After a few minutes it has already happened.
LG SK9Y – in use
Then you can do a number of things. So it is possible to use the soundbar under your television, allowing you to experience movies, series and games with superior sound (especially compared to the standard television speakers). You can of course directly connect a device to it, so you do not even need the interface on your television. For example, if you want to play music via bluetooth, you can do that from a smartphone or tablet and a music player or music streaming service of your choice.
Fortunately, the device also supports Google Cast and Spotify Connect, so you can use it directly for a large number of music streaming services. make wifi. The included remote control is compact yet functional, so you can operate the soundbar without an app. So you can set the sound mode, change source and of course control the volume. There are also buttons for media control and fortunately for adjusting aspects such as the higher and lower tones.
Especially the buttons for media control can come in handy. For example when you connect an external hard disk to the LG SK9Y and want to go through the tracks. But you can also roughly find all functions (and just a bit more) in the free application. From there you can also play music from your own Wi-Fi network, such as songs stored on a NAS or laptop. Finally, you can also use the Google Assistant which will also come to the Netherlands later this year.
LG SK9Y – audio quality
The LG SK9Y has a large number of decoders (DTS Digital Surround , DTS: X, Dolby Atmos, Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus and Dolby TrueHD) and can play the most popular audio files (aac, aiff, flac, lpcm, mp3, off, wav and wma) at this time. In daily use you will therefore rarely encounter a music file or sound format that will not work with the soundbar. There is also 24-bit hi-res audio upscaling and 4k passthrough, but you have to do it without the edits of Meridian.
For those 849 euros you can really expect that the sound from the LG SK9Y pure, pure and full sounds. And in all three areas the soundbar happily, and quite rightly, does not disappoint. If it still does not sound very good, then you have the possibility to adjust the tones – but in general you can use the available sound modes. The soundbar is capable of effortlessly filling a large room with sound and can therefore perfectly assist films, series and games in exciting, busy or beautiful moments.
This room-filling sound also includes a broad soundstage and in that respect the soundbar also does not disappoint. The stereo sound is also very good. Dolby Atmos is extremely important for a soundbar nowadays, but unfortunately the soundbar does not completely convince. It is difficult to distinguish between the left and right channels, making that sound a little coincident with the sound from the speakers that sit on the sides. That produces a less clear sound than you would like, in fact.
You can force that distinction somewhat by adjusting the soundbar by means of the remote control, but you never lose it completely. It is of course also just how your house is decorated and what kind of dimensions your living room has, that is always something to keep in mind. Do not get us wrong: the LG SK9Y has everything it takes to show what Dolby Atmos can do and can immerse the viewer in sound, as if it were in the cinema. But that does not detract from the fact that there are some caveats.
What you really have to watch out for is that the subwoofer does not get the upper hand. Although the woofer is perfectly capable of taking the middle and low tones, it is possible that during explosions or other busy situations (such as tinkling windows or battles) voices, conversations and more nuanced tones disappear. This fortunately does not happen very often, but it happened often enough to stand out. It is, incidentally, just what you look for films or series; it may be that you do not come across this problem.
LG SK9Y – conclusion
The LG SK9Y is not the flagship of 2018. That is the aforementioned LG SK10Y. That soundbar has everything the 9Y has to offer, including the fine tuning of Meridian. For an even better sound experience you could therefore choose that version. However, if you have a specific budget in mind that the 10Y is not an option, then you get a very good soundbar with the SK9Y. The sound is broad, warm, room-filling, pure and pure and Dolby Atmos does a great job.
There are, however, some things that you have to take into account. For example, the recommended price of 849 is quite high, but you can expect that when there is so much technology on board a soundbar. In addition, you have to do it with just one hdmi connection, while we can imagine that you need at least two or maybe three. In addition, the subwoofer can take the upper hand in specific situations. The sleek design, the overall fantastic sound reproduction and the excellent mobile app make a lot of good.