LG is already promoting its latest sound bar lineup, which it will be showcasing at CES 2019 in January. Continuing the company’s collaboration with Meridian Audio, LG is announcing three new models, namely the SL10YG, SL9YG and SL8YG, all of which promise to deliver ‘superior sound quality’ and a ‘sleek, modern design’. All three also have the addition of DTS:X object-based audio to add to the Dolby Atmos-only units from last year.

A few new features have arisen from the Meridian collaboration, one of which is known as Bass & Space technology, designed to improve a soundstage and envelop listeners with ‘uncompromising’ and ‘strong’ bass. This is combined with Image Elevation technology, ostensibly to lift the soundstage in a more ‘lifelike’ way to increase a sense of immersion and a more cinematic experience, while Meridian’s Upmix tech can up-mix two-channel audio to multiple channels without generating distortion. Upmix increases sound immersion by improving the sound field while upgrading the clarity of vocals and lead instruments.

Users will also be able to take advantage of an optional SPK8 Wireless Rear Speaker Kit to augment the object-based formats built into the new sound bars. Not surprisingly, AI smart connectivity and voice recognition via the built-in Google Assistant feature strongly on these new additions to the line. Users can control their LG sound bar and get information with commands like, “Hey Google, increase the volume,” or, “Hey Google, what artist is playing?” Compatibility with Google Assistant-enabled smart products also make it possible to control connected devices throughout the home via voice command.

The company says that the new understated design aesthetic of the new bars fits perfectly with its OLED TVs, and at a depth of 57mm (2.25 in), the LG SL9 can also be installed flush to a wall. An integrated gyroscope sensor gauges the position of the product (fixed to a wall or on a flat surface), adjusting sound directionality for optimal listening. LG’s SL9 picked up a Best of Innovation honor at the 2019 CES Innovation Awards.

“LG’s 2019 sound bars deliver amazing performance tuned in close partnership with Meridian Audio with the convenience of smart AI connectivity,” said Kim Dae-chul, head of LG Home Entertainment Company’s audio and video business. “The high-quality sound and versatility of our newest lineup takes home entertainment to a whole new level and satisfies a growing demand for premium sound bar solutions that provide impressive listening experiences, greater convenience and stylish, modern aesthetics.”


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Martin Dew