By Paisal Chuenprasaeng
LG fires up home entertainment with a dynamic sound-surround soundbar at an inviting price
If your idea of a good night out is a night in with a movie, soap or football match, spice up your watching pleasure with the new LG Dolby Atmos Soundbar SJ9.
With a footprint of 120x158x145mm, the SJ9 matches a TV with a display size of 55 inches or larger and simulates surround sound based on the latest Dolby Atmos technology, which has been available in some popular Netflix movies for a while.
The SJ9 adds a pair of upfiring speakers to an array of front speakers to deliver a sense of realism and height.
The soundbar is made of seven speakers – two front channels, one centre, two surround channels and two top channels – each of which has 43 watts of power output giving the entire unit a hefty 500 watts of output, which is more than enough to fill even the largest living room.
And the wireless woofer delivers another 200 watts of power output, ensuring your floor will shake with the explosions in the movies and likely make you very unpopular with the neighbours.
If you have 4K TV, you will be pleased to learn that the movie quality won’t be downgraded when you connect the HDMI cable from the 4K movie source to the soundbar. This is because the SJ9 has the ability to pass through a 4K video signal to the TV as it decodes the movie audio. The soundbar has an HDMI-in port and an HDMI-out port that also supports ARC (audio return channel) for receiving the audio signal from your TV and playing it through the soundbar system.
Apart from functioning as a very good home theatre sound system, the SJ9 can also function as a Bluetooth or WiFi speakers to let you enjoy music.
It supports High-Resolution Audio formats, has Chromecast builtin and supports multiroom function.
The SJ9 can play Hi-Res FLAC Audio files in 24bit/192 format, allowing you to enjoy the music the way the artists intended you to.
Since the SJ9 has no USB port, you need to stream the HD music to it, using builtin Wi-Fi and Chromecast functions. You will need music apps that support Chromecast to cast the HD music to the SJ9 although another option is to use LG’s Music Flow Player app to stream the Hi-Res Audio files to the soundbar. Moreover, when you stream non-HD music files to the SJI, it upconverts the music files to a resolution that’s close to that of Hi-Res Audio.
The Music Flow Player allows you to set the SJ9 into part of or your entire multiroom audio system, which is useful if you have several LG’s Wi-Fi speakers that support multiroom function.
You can assign the same playlist to all Wi-Fi speakers in your room or you can assign different playlists to different speakers. As part of the multiroom function, you can set SJ9 to have your music start the moment you enter the room. The function allows the SJ9 to automatically take over the playback of the audio from a connected device the moment it sense the device is nearby.
When you stream music to the SJ9 using Music Flow Player, you can stream music files from your shared computer network and from a networked drive, such as Synology DiskStaton DS418j.
And the Music Flow Player is now integrated with TuneIn Internet radio app that allows you to stream music from your favourite Internet Radio station. With Chromecast builtin, you can stream music from Spotify, Deezer and more to the soundbar.
The SJ9 has five sound modes – ASC (Adaptive Sound Control), Standard, Bass Blast, Cinema and Music as well as the LG Auto Sound Engine that optimises your sound at any volume level and maintains precise frequencies at all times. This provides the appropriate sound balance regardless of the volume.
The SJ9 also has an optical audio-in, a portablein or 3.5mm stereo jack port and Bluetooth function for connecting to various sound sources.
The test found that the SJ9 reproduced very good quality sound. Movies sounded so much better thanks to the good surround sound effects and Hi-Res Audio music was impressive with great details. The bass very powerful especially when used in Bass Blast mode. I connected the soundbar’s HDMI-in to HDMI-out of TrueVisions satellite receiver and I enjoyed watching action movies with good surround sounds.
LG Dolby Atmos Soundbar SJ9 has a suggested retail price of Bt39,990.
LG Dolby Atmos Soundbar SJ9: KEY SPECS
– Speaker output: 5.1.2-channel 500 watts
– Subwoofer output: 200 watts
– Connectivity: Portable-in (3.5mm), optical-in, HDMI 2.0 (in/out), Bluetooth, LG TV Sound Sync, Google Chromecast, Wi-Fi (Multiroom network)
– Sound modes: ASC, Standard, Bass Blast, Cinema, Music
– Audio formats supported: LPCM, Dolby Digital, DTS Digital Surround, MP3, WMA, FLAC (up to 192kHz), OGG, ALAC, MPEG4, WAV, AAC+, AIFF, Dolby Atmos, Dolby TrueHD Dolby Digital Plus
– Dimensions: 1200x58x145mm
– Weight: 5.6kgs