SK10Y and SK9Y support Dolby Atmos audio in 5.1.2 channels, whereas SK8 claims to do Atmos in 2.1-channels. The more affordable models come with DTS Virtual:X. LG’s 2018 soundbars are now available in the US and Europe.
New LG soundbars
TV manufacturers are putting more and more resources into soundbars these days as consumers are looking for ways to improve the TV audio experience without having to install a full HiFi system. As such, LG has started refreshing its soundbar line-up annually.
The flagship SK10Y soundbar was first unveiled at CES and has been developed in partnership with Meridian Audio. LG previously worked with Harman Kardon but abandoned the partnership after Samsung acquired the company. SK10Y representd the best Dolby Atmos experience that LG has managed to cram into a soundbar.
SK9Y is the step-down model without Meridian’s touch. It still features Dolby Atmos and 5.1.2-channel audio, including two roof-firing units. Both soundbars support optional wireless rear speakers. SK10Y can be installed as the base for certain 2018 LG OLED and LCD models.
The more affordable SK8 also advertises Dolby Atmos compatibility but it relies on basic 2.1-channel hardware. It uses algorithms to try and simulate a surround effect.
SK5 switches to DTS Virtual:X that is a DTS-led initiative to simulate surround effects at home. LG will later add a more powerful SK6 soundbar to the line-up along with a SK5R soundbar with wireless rear speakers.
The Korean company already offers support for Dolby Atmos in its latest OLED and “Super UHD” LCD TVs but only the flagship W8 model has a capable soundbar. The other models can decode and output the Atmos soundtrack via HDMI ARC.
Together with DTS:X, Dolby Atmos represents the latest in consumer audio technology. Both formats are based on object-based audio, which means that sounds can be positioned as separate objects in a 3-dimensional space by the content creator rather than grouped into fixed channels. This can deliver more immersive and realistic surround effects, depending on the speaker hardware and setup. Cinemas also use Dolby Atmos.
LG has begun rolling out SK10Y, SK9Y, SK8, SK5, and SK1 across the US and Europe. The remaining soundbars will be added to the line-up later. Check below for prices and dealers.