LG 2021 soundbars add AI, intro Meridian Horizon technology

posted on Wednesday, 7th April 2021 by Steve May

Soundbar  Dolby Atmos  DTS:X  AI 

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LG will begin shipping its 2021 soundbar models this month. Dolby Atmos and DTS:X feature on most models, and there’s a big move toward integration with the brand’s AI TV technology. We’re also seeing more benefits of its Meridian Audio collaboration.

Meridian Audio Music mode, and a new feature, Meridian Horizon technology, also run across the entire range. The latter up-mixes two channel stereo content into immersive, multichannel audio to provide audiences with a truly immersive listening experience regardless of their position or location in the room.

The line-up comprises the SP11RA, SP9YA, SP8YA, SP7Y and SPD7Y. The flagship SP11RA has a rated output of 770W, with a 7.1.4 channel configuration. It includes up-firing drivers and wireless rears, and will retail for £1,500.

LG Soundbar SP9YA

The £900 SP9YA boasts a total wattage of 520W and has a 5.1.2 channel configuration. The SP8YA is a 3.1.2 design, rated at 440W. Listed but not priced is the SPD7Y, a 3.1.2 channel design, rated at 380W. All three can be used with optional wireless rear speakers.

They are compatible with multiple voice assistants, including Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa and Siri. There’s also support for Apple AirPlay 2. HDMI eARC support is joined by USB playback and Bluetooth streaming. There’s also Dolby Vision compatibility via 4K pass-through. High-end models are Hi-Res Audio certified for 24bit/96kHz playback.

LG Soundbar Features Earc

Other AI features include AI Room Calibration, which uses spatial awareness technology to measure a room’s dimensions to customise the soundbar’s audio output. AI Sound Pro uses adaptive sound control to automatically adjust frequency range and sound field extension, depending on which genre of content is playing, be it cinema, music or news.

The odd model out is the £400 SP7Y, a 5.1 bar that lacks AI calibration, voice support, 4k passthrough and eARC.

All of these 2021 soundbars take advantage of LG TV’s AI Sound Pro feature. Processed audio from the TV is played through the soundbar via TV Sound Mode Share.

Steve May

Inside CI Editor Steve May is a freelance technology specialist who also writes for T3TechRadarHome Cinema Choice, Trusted Reviews and The Luxe Review.

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