LG has announced a trio of new soundbars that have been designed in collaboration with Meridian Audio. Next year, LG will supports both Dolby Atmos and DTS:X. The company is also touting ”AI capabilities” and Google Assistant.
LG 2019 soundbars
LG has expanded its partnership with Meridian Audio to encompass three soundbars models in 2019. The new SL10YG, SL9YG and SL8YG soundbars will supersede last year’s SK models.
- ”The collaboration goes far beyond basic fine-tuning or the adoption of feature-sets, with both companies joining forces to engineer sound delivery for a truly unrivalled listening experience. Drawing on 25 years of experience as the masters of Digital Signal Processing, Meridian’s Bass & Space technology improves the soundstage and envelops listeners in rich, uncompromising sound and strong bass. Together with its Image Elevation technology designed to lift the soundstage and envelops listeners in rich, uncompromising sound in a more lifelike way to boost listeners’ sense of immersion, Meridian creates a true cinematic experience, delivering powerful surround sound like no other,” the companies said.
LG says that its three high-end soundbars for 2019 will support both Dolby Atmos and DTS:X. Previously, LG soundbars have supported only Dolby’s flavor of object-based audio, which has prevented users from enjoying movies with a DTS:X soundtrack. The company did not say whether previous models will gain support for DTS:X. Sony has previously added support for DTS:X via a firmware upgrade.
LG adds that ”some” of its soundbars will support high-resolution audio as well as the ability to ”up-mix two-channel audio to multiple, distinct channels without generating any distortion while maintaining tonal balance” via Meridian Upmix technology.
The company has not confirmed whether the new soundbars will support HDMI eARC. The new HDMI function enables a soundbar - or another external audio system - to receive lossless audio via the TV’s HDMI port. Standard ARC is limited to compressed audio.
Optional rear speakers & Google Assistant
LG said that its news soundbars can be upgraded through a ”Wireless Rear Speaker Kit” (SPK 8). The kit is optional and is sold separately.
It added that the new line-up of soundbars offer ”the convenience of AI smart connectivity and voice recognition with the built-in Google Assistant”. Users can control the soundbars through voice commands such as ”Hey Google, increase the volume”.
The soundbars have been designed to match LG OLED TVs and can be placed beneath the 2019 OLED models. In addition, the 57mm deep SL9 can be mounted flush to the wall. LG explains that it is using an integrated gyroscope to gauge the position; either fixed to the wall or on a flat surface. It will automatically adjust sound accordingly. SL9 has also received a CES 2019 Best of Innovation award.
- “LG’s 2019 soundbars 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 soundbar solutions that provide impressive listening experiences, greater convenience and stylish, modern aesthetics.”
LG's SL10YG, SL9YG and SL8YG soundbars will be demonstrated for the first time at CES 2019. The company usually also has a line-up of more affordable soundbars but information on these were not included in the press release. Pricing details were not announced.