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This LG SN11RG 7.1.4 sound bar is designed in partnership with meridian.
Meridian is a high end brand out of the UK and they’ve been pioneering digital music and movie playback as well as active loudspeaker technology since before it was cool.
So the question for me is does all of that know how to translate to a better experience here. I found the setup and installation of this LG sound bar to be very simple and straightforward especially after I downloaded the app which unlocks a lot of this soundbars potential.
I also ran the AI room correction software before sitting down and doing any critical listening. And once I did all of those things, the sound of this system is rather incredible. But let’s break it down into its individual parts.
The tones are not shrill or fatiguing even at high volumes which brings us to this system’s sound on a whole. This is after all a Dolby Atmos surround sound system, and as a system, it is asleep. It disappeared as the entirety of our room was transformed into the scene we were watching unfold on screen. And I’m not going to say that this is the finest example of a 360 degree surround sound presentation that I’ve ever heard, but it’s up there.
And that was the single most startling thing because while it may have lacked the ultimate pinpoint detail without maybe disturbing other people in your house, if you’re looking for that full cinematic punch, you’re going to want to turn that off. And when you do, the full force and impact of this LG system is unleashed and it is amazing.
Watching content like Netflix’s Umbrella Academy Season Two and Michael Bay’s six underground through this soundbar system was incredible, absolutely incredible! If you don’t think that sound bars can sound positively huge, you need to check this system out. The LG is just a straightforward easy to use surround sound system that even manages to sound great when listening to two channel music.
We streamed a tonne of music from Tidal through the SN11RG sound bar and we found that we were listening to music more and more because it’s just so accessible and easy to use.
I am not gonna say that the LG soundbar beats our higher end two channel setups, it doesn’t, but it also isn’t embarrassed by them either. And speaking of ease of use, if you already own an LG TV and you decide to pair it with this LG SN11R soundbar, you should know that the integration between the two is absolutely flawless.
As good as the LG soundbar is, it isn’t perfect and there are a couple of things that are missing here and one thing in particular that I wish LG would have just left off completely.
One of the most notable omissions and one of the things that you guys are most likely going to notice is lack of tone controls. Yes, you can adjust the volume of each channel dependently but you cannot affect its tone. So you better like the way that this sounds straight from the factory because there’s no real way to customise it. Also, there are no analogue inputs present here. So if you were looking to connect, say your turntable that has a built in phono preamp directly to the sound bar, you’re going to need to use a converter box, specifically an analogue to digital converter box.
And as for the item that I wish LG would have just left off completely ; well, it’s that front mounted display screen, it’s not the most intelligible, you can’t defeat it, it can’t get brighter, you can dim it, but again you cannot defeat it unless you just turn the sound bar off, which is silly.
Frankly, with the app being so good and right at your fingertips, I kind of wish they would have just forgone a display altogether.
In terms of comparable products, obviously LG makes a host of other soundbar solutions, many of which are kind of scaled down versions of what we’re reviewing here. Some even being just sound bars themselves, whereas others are complete systems.
LG SN11RG vs Sennheiser Ambeo Soundbar vs Sonos Arc
But rather than compare the LG to well itself, we thought we should point out a couple of other sound bars in and around its price point that may be worth taking a look at. The first one that comes to mind is Sennheiser’s ambeo soundbar. Now it is more expensive than the LG system here, but it is an all in one system. So if you don’t want to futz with subwoofer placement or surround sound channels, the Sennheiser may be worth a look.
Another soundbar worth considering would be Sonos new Arc System. Now you can get the arc as a sound bar, you can flesh it out with a subwoofer as well as surrounds. However you can figure it is going to change the price and fully fleshed out Yes, the Arc System is a little bit more than the LG here, but I do find that the two would compete favourably at least on paper.
Another soundbar that is just as stylish as the LG if not maybe a little bit more so would be Bang and Olufsen beosound stage; like the Sennheiser ambeo, this is an all in one unit. It retails for about the same price as the entire LG system, but it is definitely worth a look here.
And if you’re looking for a budget option, my go to affordable soundbar solutions have always come from Vizio, they have a brand new line out for 2020. So check those out if you’re on a budget.
Now in terms of how the LG soundbar system compares to discreet or true or traditional home theatre speaker systems.
Depending on your budget, I think that not only does it compete, it might actually be the better solution. Now we have a number of budget friendly home theatre systems in this house specifically, the Jamo speaker system that we’ve reviewed on this channel powered by our favourite Sony receiver and the SPS prime speaker system also powered by that same Sony DN1080 receiver.
In direct comparison to the LG soundbar, I would say that the LG soundbar is actually as good if not better than both of those systems. In fact, I think that you’re probably going to have to step up your home theatre budget up to around $2500 or more to outright beat what the LG brings to the table in terms of performance.
Now, if you are looking for a system that you can experiment with, change components out or grow over time, obviously, the LG is not that type of system. And in which case you should go with a discrete home theatre.
But if you’re looking for sheer performance that’s easy to use and mostly plug and play, this one is incredibly hard to beat. So to sum it up. I don’t think sound bars are evil. And I don’t think that you should either.
I also don’t think that sound bars are just a good solution for people that favour convenience over performance because in 2021 through this LG system especially, I think sound bars can not only compete with entry level home theatres, I think they can outright embarrass them. And the reason I say that is because the meridian influence can really be felt and heard throughout for this soundbar which sounds a lot less like a mass market product and a lot more like an entry level meridian one.
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