Product review: LG SP8YA soundbar

Is the TV sound not doing the job for movie night? Maybe you can’t run cables around the room? LG’s SP8YA Soundbar is the solution you need.

It used to be that your only options to enhance your listening pleasure were small TV speakers or a full-size surround speaker system. That is until soundbars came onto the market. They were known to give a better performance than the TV, but not necessarily with the quality and features that you could get from a full speaker system. Now though, they have progressed massively, with LG’s latest soundbar showing these new improvements off to great extent.

The LG SP8YA is a 3.1.2 soundbar system, that includes three front channels of audio, two dedicated up firing Atmos speakers, and a wireless subwoofer to boot. This is all powered by a total of 440w of amplification, running the excellent Meridian speakers hidden behind a shaped metal grille.

The soundbar itself has a myriad of ways to connect to your TV, the main route is via the HDMI eARC socket. Normally this would use up one of your TV HDMI sockets, but LG have your back and have added a HDR10 and Dolby Vision compatible HDMI input socket too. If you have an older TV, you won’t be left behind as the soundbar also has an optical connection on it – everyone’s a winner! If you like the minimalistic look or have an aversion to seeing cables you can use Bluetooth, or by purchasing the optional LG Wowcast WTP3 adapter you can stream the audio wirelessly.

A great soundbar in its own right, the LG SP8YA is even better when paired with a matching LG TV.

If, however, you have recently splurged on a compatible LG TV, you’ll find that the audio gets even better. The soundbar will use part of the TVs processor to improve the audio even more, plus the TV remote can control the volume and sound modes.

These sound modes can also be controlled by the included remote to give you the best possible listening experience. You can choose between cinema, music, game, sports, or clear voice modes.

For all the Marvel fans out there, a good scene to test this on is the fantastic battle between Thor and The Hulk in Thor Ragnarok. You can really hear how the cinema mode adds another level to the sound. It strengthens the bass of each blow or thunder rumble, whilst still holding the detail and clarity you want for the sound of the metal bending. If you’re not familiar with the film, pop into your local store and ask for a demo – you won’t be disappointed.

Not only will the soundbar improve your TV viewing experience, but as it has Wi-Fi built in, it can stream music from the likes of Spotify connect, Chromecast and Apple Airplay 2 up to 24bit/ 96khz. Having tried this in its music mode, it made good use of the sub to help the array of smaller drivers within the bar to feel full and rich, beyond what you might expect from such a slim bar. You can choose to just leave the bar in one mode but changing between them really does seem to enhance the listening experience.

It is also compatible with Amazon Alexa, along with having its own LG sound app. In this app you can adjust the various settings such as the AI sound pro function, or you can enable an auto volume leveller to avoid those pesky advert volume increases. One of the best features of this app is that it can be used in tandem with the soundbar to calibrate the audio in just 15 seconds, giving you the best experience possible whatever the type of room.

Should you want to envelop yourself in the sound even more, you can purchase the optional wireless SPK8-S speakers. These then give you audio from behind the listening position, really bringing you into the heart of the action. For everyday TV watching, this might not make the biggest of difference, but put on a film or a new series such as Moon Knight and you can really get pulled into the show.

Put all this together, and you’ve got a soundbar that will hugely improve your viewing experience without all the fuss and wires a traditional surround system needs.

If this sounds like the experience you have been missing, give your local Richer Sounds store experts a call to hear it for yourself.

Author: Ste, Chester Store.