LG’s new 9.1.5-channel flagship will offer better sound thanks to larger speakers and woofers as well as improved room calibration.
LG claims it will go back to the fundamentals with its forthcoming range of premium soundbars, increasing the size and audio quality of its drivers and subwoofers while also improving its AI-powered room-correction technology.
That’s not to say LG’s 2022 soundbars won’t have some surprises in store, with firing centre speakers and optional compatibility for wireless Dolby Atmos audio from eARC-enabled TVs among the highlights.
LG has previously unveiled its top-of-the-line S95QR soundbar, which has the aforementioned upfiring centre channel as well as enhanced surround speakers that produce six channels of sound instead of just four.
The SR95R will come with an HDMI-eARC connection as well as a pair of HDMI 2.1 inputs that enable VRR (variable refresh rate) and auto low latency mode, which are all gamer-friendly video passthrough capabilities.
The flagship soundbar will also operate with Alexa and Google Assistant and will enable AirPlay 2 and high-resolution music (up to 24-bit/96kHz).
The LG S90QY, which will launch in 2022 with comparable features to the flagship S95QR but with a 5.1.3-channel setup, will also be available. The LG S80QY, on the other hand, will sport a 3.1.3-channel configuration.
LG claims it has improved the “basic sound quality” and low-frequency performance of its future premium soundbars by redesigning the drivers and subwoofers.
LG claims that the woofers in the primary soundbar enclosure will increase in size from 100x40mm to 99x52mm, resulting in “increased playback bandwidth and sound pressure.”
Meanwhile, LG’s wireless subwoofers will have 8-inch drivers, up from 7-inch woofers in previous versions, and the subwoofer enclosure will be increased to 18 litres from 17 litres.
LG is also introducing an upfiring centre channel to go along with the current left and right upfiring drivers. LG claims that the new upfiring centre driver will help make the sound seem like it’s emanating from the “middle of the TV” rather than underneath it, in addition to improving speech clarity.
The LG S95QY’s 9.1.5-channel layout is explained by the new upfiring centre driver, which has a total of five height channels: three in the main soundbar unit and one in each surround speaker. Upfiring centre drivers will be added to the LG S90QY, which has 5.1.3 channels, and the LG S80QY, which has 3.1.3 channels.
When it comes to surround speakers, the LGS95QY’s satellites will be improved to give a total of six audio channels, including four horizontal channels and two upfiring drivers. LG’s surround speakers formerly only had four sound channels, with two upfiring and two front-firing drivers. According to LG, the extra two drivers will assist extend the soundstage and the “sweet spot” for the surround channels.
The enhanced surround speakers will initially be offered exclusively on the top-of-the-line LG S95QR, but LG claims they will be available as an optional kit for its other compatible soundbars.
LG’s AI Space Calibration function, which uses a test tone to assess the acoustics of a room, is also receiving an improvement. While the original version of the room correction tool only separated the sub-130Hz frequency spectrum into two segments, the updated version now allows eight, allowing for more extensive acoustical research.
Finally, LG is introducing a new wireless technology that allows its soundbars to receive Dolby Atmos audio without the need for a cable. LG Wowcast (for “wideband audio on wireless”) can broadcast multichannel audio, including Dolby Atmos, to compatible LG soundbars via a USB-powered dongle connected to a TV’s HDMI-eARC socket.