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LG 2021 soundbar lineup: everything you need to know

LG's 2021 soundbar lineup: everything you need to know
(Image credit: LG)

Back in January, LG announced a suite of eight soundbars to go with its new OLED Evo and QNED TVs for 2021. With the top-spec models rolling out in Europe and North America this month, the South Korean tech giant has now announced further details of the full 2021 soundbar range.

As a key player in home cinema, with its standout OLED TVs amongst the best on the market, LG has something to prove in the realm of elite-level soundbars but has clearly put a lot of effort into honing its new 2021 range.

The new line-up has plenty of variety to suit every type of user – from the flagship SP11RA, which boasts 7.1.4 channels with up-firing drivers in its rear surrounds, to the petite Eclair, a compact solution for those living in small spaces.

All 2021 models except the Eclair and SP2 will be hi-res audio certified, offering lossless playback at 24bit/96kHz, and most will feature HDMI eARC connections as well as Dolby Atmos and DTS:X compatibility. The top three models include LG's AI Room Calibration, which uses 'spatial awareness technology' to measure a room’s dimensions and match the soundbar’s audio settings to the characteristics of the space.

Continuing its relationship with British hi-fi specialist Meridian Audio, all of LG's soundbars except the G1 and SP2 will include Meridian Audio tuning and a new feature, Meridian Horizon technology, which the company says will 'up-mix' two-channel stereo content into multi-channel audio to provide a more immersive listening experience.

Want to know everything there is to know about LG's 2021 soundbar range? Allow us to run through all of the tech highlights and break down the details of the individual models.

Meridian Horizon Technology

LG has been collaborating with Meridian engineers to enhance its audio products since 2018. In the 2021 soundbar range, all models except the G1 and SP2 will feature Meridian Horizon, an up-mixing technology that claims to provide immersive multichannel audio from 2-channel stereo content, regardless of listening position or location in the room. 

Meridian says this will improve the soundstage, increasing the size of the 'sweet-spot' area and location of the centre image for a greater sense of immersion for every listener in the room.

Sports, gaming and voice sound modes

LG is introducing three new sound modes to better tailor audio processing to the type of content that you’re watching. In addition to the existing music, cinema and bass blast profiles, there will be new modes for Sports and Gaming as well as 'Clear Voice' that will enhance the signal being sent to the soundbars centre channel for more dialogue clarity. The new modes will feature on the SP11RA, SP9YA, SP8YA, SPD7Y and SP7Y.

Enhanced compatibility with LG TVs

This year’s LG TVs with advanced α9 Gen4 processors have an AI Sound Pro feature, which detects the genre of content being watched and automatically optimises the audio output accordingly. Those with both a 2021 LG Soundbar and TV will be able to use ‘TV Sound Mode Share’ to combine the TV’s advanced processing with the more capable speakers of the soundbar. 

As an added convenience you will also be able to control the soundbar’s power, volume and sound modes using the LG TV remote.

New voice control and streaming support

Although LG's soundbars have previously only supported Google Assistant, it has now opened up to support other platforms. Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa compatibility will be available on the SP11RA, SP9YA and SP8YA. These models will also feature Apple Airplay 2, Chromecast and Spotify Connect

LG  SP11RA soundbar – £TBC ($TBC, AU$TBC)

LG's 2021 soundbar lineup: everything you need to know

(Image credit: LG)

This years flagship model is the LG SP11R, offering an immersive 7.1.4 channels of audio with Dolby Atmos and DTS:X compatibility. The package comprises the main bar with five drive units firing outwards and two firing upward, two wireless rear speakers, each with a forward and upward driver, and a wireless SPP8-W sub. Designed to partner with LG's flagship 55-inch and 65-inch TV's the SP11R includes TV Sound Share Mode to combine the power of the TV's processor with the soundbar's speakers.

Hi-res audio-certified, offering lossless playback at 24bit/96kHz, and boasting HDMI eARC connections, the SP11R comes in a black metallic finish and will be available later this month.

  • Channels 7.1.4
  • Matching TV size 55 – 65 inch
  • Power 770W
  • Rear Speakers SPP11-SL/SR (included)
  • Wireless sub SPP8-W (included)
  • Dolby Atmos Yes
  • DTS:X Yes
  • eARC/ARC eARC
  • 4K pass through with Dolby Vision Yes
  • Hi-res audio Yes
  • Meridian Audio Yes
  • Voice Assist Google and Alexa compatible
  • Streaming Airplay 2, Chromecast, Spotify Connect
  • Bluetooth Yes (5)
  • Soundbar mode control Yes
  • TV sound mode share Yes 

LG SP9YA soundbar – £TBC ($TBC, AU$TBC)

LG's 2021 soundbar lineup: everything you need to know

(Image credit: LG)

The SP9YA is almost identical to the SP11RA in looks and features, but at 22cm shorter in width, it's better suited to a  55-inch screen. Offering eight channels of audio compared to its big sibling's twelve, the SP9YA has five forward-facing drivers, two upward drivers a wireless sub. It can be further expanded by adding the SPK8 2.0 ch Wireless Rear Speaker Kit costing around £130.  

The SP9YA comes in a black metallic finish and will be available later this month.

  • Channels 5.1.2
  • Matching TV size 55-inch
  • Power 520W
  • Rear Speakers SPK8 (optional)
  • Wireless sub SPP8-W (included)
  • Dolby Atmos/DTS:X Yes
  • eARC/ARC eARC
  • 4K pass through with Dolby Vision Yes 
  • Hi-res audio Yes
  • Meridian Audio Yes
  • Voice Assist Google and Alexa compatible
  • Streaming Airplay 2, Chromecast, Spotify Connect
  • Bluetooth Yes (5)
  • Soundbar mode control Yes
  • TV sound mode share Yes 

LG SP8YA soundbar – £TBC ($TBC, AU$TBC)

LG's 2021 soundbar lineup: everything you need to know

(Image credit: LG)

The SP8YA brings all the features of the flagship SP11RA to a bar suitable for a more modest 49-inch screen. It retains the two upward-firing drivers for immersive Dolby Atmos content but with three front-facing drivers providing left, centre and right channels. There's a wireless SPP8-W sub included, and the system can be enhanced by adding the SPK8 surround kit. In terms of design, the SP8YA has the same black metallic finish as the larger models but has rounded corners for a more discrete look.

The SP8YA will be available later this month.

  • Channels 3.1.2
  • Matching TV size 49-inch
  • Power 440W
  • Rear Speakers SPK8 (optional)
  • Wireless sub SPP8-W (included)
  • Dolby Atmos/DTS:X Yes
  • eARC/ARC eARC
  • 4K pass through with Dolby Vision Yes
  • Hi-res audio Yes
  • Meridian Audio Yes
  • Voice Assist Google and Alexa compatible
  • Streaming Airplay 2, Chromecast, Spotify Connect
  • Bluetooth Yes (5)
  • Soundbar mode control Yes
  • TV sound mode share Yes

LG SP7Y soundbar – £TBC ($TBC, AU$TBC)

LG's 2021 soundbar lineup: everything you need to know

(Image credit: LG)

LG is keen to emphasise the environmental considerations that have gone into the construction, performance and packaging of its new soundbars, and the SP7Y is a prime example. The main soundbar, which contains five front-facing drivers, is wrapped in a grey jersey made from recycled materials and the included wireless sub has a matching grille cover. Surrounds can be added via the SPK8 two-channel system.

Support for eARC is downgraded to standard ARC and 4K pass-through, voice assistants and streaming platforms are dropped. The upwards drivers of the premium models are also gone but the SP7Y does feature DTS Virtual:X, which uses processing to deliver a three-dimensional surround sound effect without extra speakers. 

The SP7Y will be available later this month.

  • Channels 5.1
  • Matching TV size 49-inch
  • Power 440W
  • Rear Speakers SPK8 (optional)
  • Wireless sub SPP5-W (included)
  • Dolby Atmos/DTS:X DTS Virtual:X
  • eARC/ARC ARC
  • 4K pass through with Dolby Vision No
  • Hi-res audio Yes
  • Meridian Audio Yes
  • Voice Assist No
  • Streaming No
  • Bluetooth Yes (4)
  • Soundbar mode control Yes
  • TV sound mode share Yes

LG SPD7Y soundbar – £TBC ($TBC, AU$TBC)

LG's 2021 soundbar lineup: everything you need to know

(Image credit: LG)

The SPD7Y is LG's entry-level Dolby Atmos soundbar. Unlike the similar named SP7Y, the SPD7Y has two upward-firing drivers and the same 3.1.2 speaker configuration as the SP8YA. 

It loses the AI room calibration and streaming functionality of the higher-end Atmos soundbars but there's still eARC, 4K pass through, Meridian Audio and Hi-res support.

The SPD7Y will be available later this month.

  • Channels 3.1.2
  • Matching TV size TBC
  • Power 380W
  • Rear Speakers SPK8 (optional)
  • Wireless sub Included
  • Dolby Atmos/DTS:X Yes
  • eARC/ARC eARC
  • 4K pass through with Dolby Vision Yes
  • Hi-res audio Yes
  • Meridian Audio Yes
  • Voice Assist No
  • Streaming No
  • Bluetooth TBC
  • Soundbar mode control Yes
  • TV sound mode share Yes

LG SP2 soundbar – £TBC ($TBC, AU$TBC)

LG's 2021 soundbar lineup: everything you need to know

(Image credit: LG)

The LP2 is LG's entry-level bar but also one of its most design-friendly. It has a three-sided jersey wrap in two colours – dark or light grey – and wood-tone finished ends. With two front-facing drivers, it's the only bar in the range not to have a separate wireless sub and instead has a built-in bass driver with dual passive radiators.

There's no immersive processing or Meridian Audio on-board but if you have a 2021 LG TV there is support for Sound Mode share using the TV's α9 Gen4 processors to enhance the soundbar's audio.

  • Channels 2.1
  • Matching TV size 43-inch
  • Power 100W
  • Rear Speakers No
  • Sub No
  • Dolby Atmos/DTS:X No
  • eARC/ARC ARC
  • 4K pass through with Dolby Vision No
  • Hi-res audio Yes
  • Meridian Audio No
  • Voice Assist No
  • Streaming No
  • Bluetooth Yes (4)
  • Soundbar mode control No
  • TV sound mode share Yes

LG G1 soundbar

LG's 2021 soundbar lineup: everything you need to know

(Image credit: LG)

Part of LGs super slim G1 home cinema range, the minimal G1 soundbar is a smaller version of last year's GX, intended to match the 55-inch version of the new G1 OLED TV.

There's support for Dolby Atmos and DTS:X and higher-spec features such as eARC, 4K pass-through and high res audio, though there's no Meridian Audio technology on-board.

The G1 soundbar can be mounted flush to the wall or sit on an angled tabletop stand and has three forward-facing drivers as well as a separate wireless sub. Additional wireless surrounds can be bought separately.

  • Channels 3.1
  • Matching TV size 55-inch
  • Power 360W
  • Rear Speakers SPK8 (optional)
  • Wireless sub Included
  • Dolby Atmos/DTS:X Yes
  • eARC Yes
  • 4K pass through with Dolby Vision Yes
  • Hi-res audio Yes
  • Meridian Audio No
  • Voice Assist No
  • Streaming No
  • Bluetooth TBC
  • Soundbar mode control No
  • TV sound mode share No

LG Eclair (QP5) soundbar – £TBC ($TBC, AU$TBC)

LG's 2021 soundbar lineup: everything you need to know

(Image credit: LG )

The Eclair is one of the most intriguing models in LG's new range and not just because of its name. 

Designed with apartment living in mind the super-small 3.1.2 channel soundbar measures just 11.7-in (30cm) long, is two inches high, and comes in a choice of black or Sonos-esque white fabric wrap with rounded edges.

Inside the Eclair are five drivers: a centre channel, left and right channels (positioned at 45-degree angles to widen the soundstage), and two up-firing drivers for Dolby Atmos and DTS:X height effects.

A matching, wireless "small space-friendly" subwoofer featuring bi-directional drivers is included, which LG says will deliver powerful but low-vibration bass, making it a viable option for late-night viewing without bothering the neighbours.

The Eclair will be available from June.

  • Channels 3.1
  • Matching TV size Compact size to fit a variety of TVs
  • Power 320W
  • Rear Speakers No
  • Wireless sub Yes (included)
  • Dolby Atmos/DTS:X Yes
  • eARC/ARC eARC
  • 4K pass through with Dolby Vision Yes
  • Hi-res audio No
  • Meridian Audio Yes
  • Voice Assist No
  • Bluetooth TBC
  • Streaming No
  • Soundbar mode control No
  • TV sound mode share Yes

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