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From Dolby Atmos to wireless surround, LG’s 2017 soundbars are locked and loaded

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LG’s OLED and Super UHD TVs might look great, but any home theater aficionado knows that TVs alone don’t hack it when it comes to cinematic sound. Accordingly, many TV brands have invested heavily in creating quality soundbars to accompany their high-end TVs. LG’s new lineup of soundbars launches today, which includes the SJ7, SJ8, and SJ9, each boasting its own unique set of features.

The $450 SJ7, also known as the Sound Bar Flex (pictured above), is a 320 watt system that includes a wireless subwoofer and a soundbar with two separable halves. The sound bar can be configured either as a traditional soundbar set up front for 2.1 channel sound, or it can be split in half, with one section at the front of the room and one in the back synced up wirelessly for what LG calls “real front-and-back surround sound.” One half of the SJ7 also features its own built-in battery and a “portable mode,” which allows the speaker to be used as a portable Bluetooth speaker. With such a stacked deck of tricks the Flex truly lives up to its name, offering the flexibility to configure your home theater in a wide variety of ways.

For those after a little more power and a more traditional setup, LG offers the sleek SJ8 ($500). The 4.1 channel system has a variety of special features including built-in Chromecast streaming, 24-bit upsampling for lower resolution audio, 4K passthrough, Bluetooth streaming, and LG’s Adaptive Sound Control (ASC), which automatically adjusts the EQ based on what you’re watching or listening to. This is all packed into a discrete, 1.5 inch-tall profile that won’t block your TV or overcrowd your living room. In addition, adding in LG’s TV Perfect Fit Kit allows you to mount the soundbar to LG’s B7 and C7 OLED models for near seamless integration.

Finally, for those who want to go all out there’s LG’s headliner for the new lineup, the $900 SJ9. The SJ9 has multiple drivers along the edge of the soundbar, including dual up-firing drivers, delivering audio in a 5.1.2-channel configuration for Dolby Atmos object-based surround sound. The SJ9 adds to the growing number of Atmos-enabled soundbars entering the market, which are designed to engulf listeners in a hemisphere of sound, without the need for a complex, multi-speaker setup.

The SJ9 also boasts a number of the other cool features packed into the SJ8, including Bluetooth streaming, Chromecast integration, 24-bit upsampling, and ASC sound adjustment. We got some hands-on time with the SJ9 back at CES 2017 and came away impressed by how well it performed.

The trio of new soundbars launch today, and are available from retailers or directly through LG’s online store.

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