LG S95QR 9.1.5 sound bar review: Expansive audio for cinema-like experience

At Rs 109,990, the LG S95QR is one-of-its-kind 9.1.5 channel sound bar audio system. It is feature-packed with everything that one expects from a premium home-theatre audio system

LG S95QR sound bar

LG S95QR sound bar

Khalid Anzar New Delhi

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The S95QR is top-of-the-line sound bar in LG Electronics’ 2023 India line-up. It is a 9.1.5 channel audio system with a main bar, a wireless subwoofer, and a pair of wireless rear speakers. The sound bar supports Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, and IMAX Enhanced for a cinema-like surround sound experience, which would not have been possible through the main bar alone even with the surround sound channels. Therefore, LG has included up-firing speakers for height coverage on both the main bar and the rear speakers. Though LG is not the first to include up-firing speakers on the sound bar, it takes a lead here by adding a dedicated up-firing centre channel on the main bar, in addition to the up-firing right and left channel, and one each on the two rear wireless speakers.
It may seem like a complex audio system with a dedicated subwoofer and rear speakers, but the LG S95QR is easy to set-up. Since the subwoofer and rear speakers connect wirelessly to the main bar, all you have to do is to find a spot in the room for their placement with power source available nearby – since the supplied power cables are not long. As for the main bar, it supports both wall mount and table-top installations. I prefer table-top installation since it is secure and allows easy access to the ports, which are all available on the backside of the main bar.
Speaking of ports, there is an HDMI-out port with support for enhanced audio return channel (e-ARC), and two HDMI-in ports with 4K resolution passthrough for plugging in sources like a DTH set-top-boxes, streaming devices, or gaming consoles. The HDMI-in ports support HDR10, HLG, and Dolby Vision, but support for HDR10+ is missing. Nevertheless, the HDMI-in ports support variable refresh rate (VRR) and auto low latency mode (ALLM). These gaming-focused features are welcome additions, but the video signals here are capped at 4K 60Hz only. Other ports include optical digital audio input and USB-A input.
As for the wireless connectivity, there is Wi-Fi built-in with support for Apple AirPlay and Google Chromecast. Besides, there is Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant built-in for smart home set-up and voice controls. Rounding up the package is the Bluetooth connectivity, which helps the sound bar cover essentials on paper but does not add to the experience since there is lack of Hi-Res audio over Bluetooth.
There are a whole lot of things here to explore and experiment. To simplify the experience for users, LG has added a smartphone app in the mix. The app, called LG Sound Bar, is available for both Android and iOS devices on their respective app stores. It is easy-to-use and feature rich. Among other things, it has an option to calibrate the sound output based on room set-up using artificial intelligence. Besides, it lets you manually tune each channel output for personalised experience. Important to note, the sound bar comes with a remote controller with dedicated buttons for volume, source, sound profile, etc. It covers the basics right, but the app is still required for advanced settings and controls.
Coming to the performance, the LG S95QR sound bar delivers expansive audio through its 9.1.5 channels. In default settings, the spatial effects are disabled and the audio experience is generic with low frequencies toppling mids and highs irrespective of sound profiles. However, enabling the surround sound option from the app improves the audio quality by balancing the audio across frequencies. Adding zing to the experience are the sound profiles. There is an AI sound profile, which auto adjusts the audio output based on content type. It works in most cases, but the best experience is available through a dedicated sound profile such as Meridian Sound for music.

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At Rs 109,990, the LG S95QR is a one-of-its-kind 9.1.5 channel sound bar audio system. It is feature-packed with everything from auto room calibration to spatial audio for personalised surround sound experience. Besides, there are every possible connectivity options available here on both wired and wireless sides. Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant for voice controls and smart home set-up are welcome additions in the package. Overall, the LG S95QR is a premium package with matching expansive audio performance for a cinema-like experience at home.

First Published: Jun 8 2023 | 9:09 AM IST

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