cinema experience and some caveats – Gadgets – Tecnoblog


LG SP9A (Image: Darlan Helder/Tecnoblog)

Soundbar is not an equipment that attracts the attention of Brazilians, but it can be a hand in the wheel for those who want to have a more immersive sound experience at home, after all, the components of TVs do not always do the job. THE LG SP9A, the brand’s new top-of-the-line soundbar, comes to the national market with two proposals: offering cinema sound and having connectivity as a differential.

The SP9A offers 5.1.2 channels, 520 watts of power and a wireless subwoofer. In terms of connectivity, the Korean manufacturer delivers Wi-Fi, Bluetooth connections, as well as AirPlay and integration with the main personal assistants on the market. THE technoblog been testing the LG SP9A for three months and I share my impressions in this review.

LG SP9A Soundbar review on video

Notice of ethics

THE technoblog is an independent journalistic vehicle that has been helping people make their next purchase decision since 2005. Our reviews have no advertising intent, so they highlight the positives and negatives of each product. No company has paid for, reviewed or had early access to this content.

The SP9A soundbar was provided by LG as a donation and will not be returned to the company. For more information, visit tecnoblog.net/etica.

Design, connections and remote control

LG SP9A (Image: Darlan Helder/Tecnoblog)
LG SP9A (Image: Darlan Helder/Tecnoblog)

Visually, the LG SP9A resembles the SL9YG, which can be considered its predecessor. This means that we have a traditional soundbar layout here, with a bar and subwoofer. The first item is about 122 cm long and is made mostly of plastic, the exceptions are on the front and sides, areas that received the grill. At the top, LG has added two more sound outputs at the ends and there are seven touch-sensitive buttons that are useful and work well when the controller is far away.

The subwoofer weighs almost 8 kg and it took me a bit of work during installation due to the short wire. Also, you need to have good rack space, for example, to fit it properly. The equipment is also made of plastic, but gained fabric on the front and sides.

LG SP9A (Image: Darlan Helder/Tecnoblog)
LG SP9A (Image: Darlan Helder/Tecnoblog)
LG SP9A (Image: Darlan Helder/Tecnoblog)
LG SP9A (Image: Darlan Helder/Tecnoblog)

The positive point is that it is connected to the bar via Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), that is, it is not necessary to use cables to make the integration and there is only a power input there plus a pairing button. In physical connections, LG left everything hidden in the rear. You have access to two HDMI outputs, supporting ARC/eARC, an optical output and a conventional USB.

LG SP9A (Image: Darlan Helder/Tecnoblog)
LG SP9A (Image: Darlan Helder/Tecnoblog)

The SP9A remote control is very simple and I like this proposal. You can use it to activate Bluetooth, change the sound effects, change the equalizer, change the connection type, configure the soundbar, among other things. In my tests at home, I used the accessory little, because the cable TV control was already able to turn the soundbar on and off. In addition, I was also able to configure it through the application, but I will comment on that in a moment.

LG SP9A (Image: Darlan Helder/Tecnoblog)
LG SP9A (Image: Darlan Helder/Tecnoblog)

sound quality

In terms of sound quality, the LG SP9A has an admirable sound and the positive performance is not surprising, since the company has the support of the British Meridian. The Korean soundbar offers 520 watts of power distributed among 5.1.2 channels and two superior speakers in the bar have the mission of providing a cinema sound, explains the company.

LG SP9A (Image: Darlan Helder/Tecnoblog)
LG SP9A (Image: Darlan Helder/Tecnoblog)

In practice, although its maximum volume is 40, which can give bad impressions from afar, the SP9A has a very satisfactory intensity and from 18 onwards the sound is already very loud. By the way, if you are interested in the product, you can ignore these numbers, as the height is not a negative point. The soundbar works the frequencies quite easily. The bass is stable and you can really feel it reverberating in the environment, with the right to “shakes” on the floor and on the sofa. The mids are crystal clear and even pleasant to hear, while the highs echo stable and without stridency.

When I talk about bass, mids and treble, I mean the test with songs. Regarding the experience in audiovisual content, we have positive points, but there are reservations. Throughout the test, I preferred to leave the device in the Al Sound Pro menu, which adjusts the sound according to the content. It, however, does not always work well. It bothered me when the device suddenly raised the volume during the National Journal or when there was an action scene in a movie or series. This shows that the technology tries to create a sound immersion when it identifies the peak in the content, but there are still problems. Cinema, music, sport, game and bass are other modes available.

LG SP9A (Image: Darlan Helder/Tecnoblog)
LG SP9A (Image: Darlan Helder/Tecnoblog)
LG SP9A (Image: Darlan Helder/Tecnoblog)
LG SP9A (Image: Darlan Helder/Tecnoblog)
LG SP9A (Image: Darlan Helder/Tecnoblog)
LG SP9A (Image: Darlan Helder/Tecnoblog)

What I liked most about the SP9A are the technologies it offers that should please audio lovers. The HDMI ports support Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, plus support for 4K and HDR content, including Dolby Vision. Still in terms of audio, the soundbar is interesting for those who subscribe to platforms that offer tracks with reduced compression, such as Tidal and Apple Music. And, accompanied by Dolby Atmos, the experience gets even more interesting.

Software

LG SP9A (Image: Darlan Helder/Tecnoblog)
LG SP9A (Image: Darlan Helder/Tecnoblog)

The LG Sound Bar application completes the device’s connectivity system. It offers few advanced features, but it delivers the essentials for you to control the device from afar. For example, I can use it to control the volume, change the sound effect, mute the soundbar and the connection type. In this same app there is a feature called AI Room Calibration, which calibrates the high and low frequencies according to the environment in which the soundbar is installed. Strange sounds are played during calibration, but it’s quick and useful.

LG SP9A (Image: Darlan Helder/Tecnoblog)
LG SP9A (Image: Darlan Helder/Tecnoblog)

Just below, you’ll find a volume adjustment menu. When clicking on settings, the LG Sound Bar app displays an area for the user to modify the level of the woofer and other speakers. It’s also feasible to turn on surround there, but like the Al Sound Pro, the technology doesn’t always work well on all content and can sound over the top. I preferred to leave it in the “original sound”, really.

The LG SP9A supports Alexa and Google Assistant, so I can use either of the personal assistants to control the device. As you may have noticed, there is ample versatility in the connectivity system. During the months I spent with her, I was able to connect devices to the soundbar via Bluetooth, stream via Chromecast and also via Apple AirPlay quite quickly.

LG SP9A Soundbar: is it worth it?

LG SP9A (Image: Darlan Helder/Tecnoblog)
LG SP9A (Image: Darlan Helder/Tecnoblog)

The LG SP9A is an excellent soundbar, but it’s also an expensive product that might make more sense for those after a premium, all-in-one set. On the official website, LG asks for almost R$ 4 thousand for the product and, of course, not everyone can pay all that for a soundbar. In view of this, you who do not insist on having the latest technologies at home, it is more advantageous to go after an older model that still manages to deliver similar quality.

LG SP9A (Image: Darlan Helder/Tecnoblog)
LG SP9A (Image: Darlan Helder/Tecnoblog)

For example, the LG SN8YG is less powerful, but offers the main technologies of the SP9A, such as virtual assistant integration, Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, as well as a wireless subwoofer. It can be found in retail for less than R$ 3 thousand. Another option, even for those who want to save money, is the Samsung Q800A, suitable for those who do not give up connectivity and can be an interesting alternative for those who are already in the brand’s ecosystem.

Still, is it worth investing in the SP9A? It’s even worth it, even more so if you have all the money that LG asks for. Despite this, I believe that the immersion could be greater and the audio technologies can be exaggerated at times, here is this observation. However, the SP9A is a product with more pros than cons and is sure to please that demanding person looking for a cinema experience.

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