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Looking for a new Google Assistant-imbued, Dolby Atmos-driven soundbar to drive your living room setup’s sound? Well, LG’s refreshed portfolio might be just the ticket. The Seoul electronics giant today unveiled a trio of new models — the SL10YG, SL9YG, and SL8YG — ahead of the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show next month in Las Vegas. And all three promise to pack a wallop without compromising on aesthetics.
LG describes the SL10YG, SL9YG, and SL8YG as “sleek” and “understated,” and the press renders seem to bear that out. The devices measure about 2.25 inches deep and feature a geometric, brushed metal aesthetic that wouldn’t look out of place in a high-end home theater. LG says they can be installed flush to the wall. Moreover, they’ve got built-in gyroscope sensors that gauge the speakers’ orientation and adjust the sound output accordingly, obviating the need to break out a laser level.
All three recognize the full range of Google Assistant commands (including those that work with the more than 10,000 smart home devices officially supported by the Assistant) and boast Dolby’s aforementioned Atmos tech, along with DTS:X. For the uninitiated, both Atmos and DTS:X expand on 5.1 and 7.1 surround sound setups to create more “immersive” experiences with multidirectional effects.
Unfortunately, there’s no word on when or whether LG’s new soundbars will gain compatibility with Amazon’s Alexa. That puts them at a disadvantage compared to the likes of Sony’s HT-ZF9 and Bose’s Soundbar 700 and Soundbar 500, which tap Amazon’s voice platform out of the box.
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But the SL10YG, SL9YG, and SL8YG arguably have a leg up where sound quality’s concerned, as a result of LG’s ongoing collaboration with British company Meridian. The latter says that its “bass and space” technique improves the soundstage and delivers more powerful bass and that its “image elevation” tech lifts that soundstage “in a more lifelike way.” Meridian also contends that the third component in its hi-fi suite — Upmix — can mix two-channel audio to multiple, distinct channels without generating distortion, all the while improving the sound field and “upgrading” the clarity of vocals and lead instruments.
“LG’s 2019 sound bars deliver amazing performance tuned in close partnership with Meridian Audio, with the convenience of smart AI connectivity,” Kim Dae-chul, head of LG Home Entertainment Company’s audio and video business, said in a statement. “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.”
The SL10YG, SL9YG, and SL8YG will make their formal debuts at CES 2019. (The SL9G has already picked up a Best of Innovation honor at the 2019 CES Innovation Awards.) When they begin shipping sometime next year, the company says they’ll play nicely with accessories like LG’s Wireless Rear Speaker Kit, which adds right and left rear speakers.
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