Can you get a good soundbar for less than 250 euros? We will answer that question with the review of the LG SL4Y . This is a slim, narrow soundbar from LG, which has 2.1.2 channel sound and a power of 300 watts.
LG SL4Y – design
The design of the LG SL4Y will look great on many TVs. The soundbar is intended for 40-inch (or slightly larger) televisions and is therefore about the same width so that it can fit nicely. The simple yet sleek design with a black color looks great. In any case, you will not easily have the idea that you are dealing with a budget soundbar if you only look at the wide speaker. To the right of the collapse there are a few buttons with which you can control the volume and function, and switch the bar on and off.
There are three connections on the back. One connection is for the plug, while the other is for a USB device. For example, you can connect an audio device here so that you can play your music. Playing music can also go via Bluetooth, if you find that easier. In addition, there is an optical connection with which you can link the soundbar to a television. The LG SL4Y does not have an HDMI connection and cannot be connected to the internet via WiFi, unfortunately.
LG SL4Y – installation
Because there are few installation options, installing the LG SL4Y in no time. Unfortunately, no audio cable is included, so hopefully you have another in a drawer, and otherwise you will have to buy it separately. With a cable in your hand and the soundbar in place, the process is done in no time: you put the cable in the TV and the soundbar and voila. Then make sure that you switch off your television speakers, since otherwise you will hear the sound twice – and nobody is waiting for that.
The connection via the Bluetooth connection is also done in no time. You switch on the connection with the function button and also turn on Bluetooth on your smartphone. Then tap on the name of the soundbar and you are immediately ready for it. The small screen of the LG SL4Y will then show the name of the paired device, so that you are sure that the correct one has just been installed. You don't have to think about anything else when installing. So there are three options that actually all speak for themselves.
LG SL4Y – use
Fortunately, you do not have to read the manual when you use the LG SL4Y. The soundbar comes with its own remote control (almost the same as that of the LG SK9Y ) and the available buttons are also immediately clear. There is a disadvantage to operating the soundbar. If you want to use your own remote control, you turn up the volume of both the TV and the soundbar. You are therefore completely dependent on the soundbar's remote control in that regard.
That is not bad in itself, but it is annoying that you now need an extra remote control for basic functions. You cannot put it away and call it in when it is really needed. In addition, the soundbar does not turn off automatically when you switch the television off, but it is true that the system switches itself on when the TV switches on. The small screen on the front is also very handy, because you always see what you are doing, how high the volume is and which function is activated.
LG SL4Y – audio quality
The audio quality is of course the most important thing of a soundbar and can generally still save a product when other parts are disappointing. Unfortunately we have to conclude that the sound is not quite right. Fortunately, there are several audio modes available, including film and one for more bass, so you can adjust the experience somewhat. But none of these modes really knows how to offer an experience that will make you completely happy, is our early conclusion.
And that conclusion has not changed over time. Let's assume that the sound quality is already much better than you would normally get on a television, so you don't get a mess when you consider the LG SL4Y. The deep tones go well low and can, for example, strengthen explosions or hard bass lines. In addition, the midtones also come out reasonably well and you can even detect some form of layered representation between low and middle. Unfortunately we are less satisfied with the higher tones.
The LG SL4Y is not so good with high tones. The reproduction is really at its narrowest and you notice that when you listen to full music, watch busy movies or play all kinds of different games. Not only is the sound reproduction narrow, the difference in tones is also considerably reduced. It is as if the soundbar does not know what to do with it and throws everything out at once, without really making a distinction. This is undoubtedly the weakest element of the product, one that could not be picked up by the sound modes, unfortunately.
The normal mode seems best to deal with the higher tones, while the film mode can present the broadest sound reproduction . However, in all cases, when there are a lot of sounds, or when background music is loud during games, an unpleasant situation arises. For example, background music can prevail, while everything in the foreground is obscured. For that reason listening to music can also be less pleasant, because many sounds are lost or not audible.
LG SL4Y – conclusion
The LG SL4Y is not the most expensive soundbar of the moment, but certainly also not the cheapest. With a power of 300 watts you can expect a few things from such a wide speaker, but unfortunately it does not quite live up to expectations. We still want to condone the flaws in the field of ease of use, but the fact that the sound does not always sound just as good does weigh more heavily. The sound sounds better than the television speakers anyway, but the same can be said about sound bars that cost only half the price.