Sound bars have revolutionized the audio industry by coming into the scene as a more economical replacement to a full 5.1 surround sound system. As every other soundbar out there, the LG LSB316 soundbar also aims at replacing your HDTV’s speakers. LG’s latest surround bar also comes with a wireless subwoofer, however that’s not the highlight because the Bluetooth feature onboard steals the spotlight. This feature reminds you of the AirPlay-like music streaming which you see on iOS devices and would definitely win over a huge fan base as it will be able to support more smartphones. Read on to find out if there’s more to the LG LSB316 surroundbar than meets the eye.
The LG LSB316 soundbar comes in a design very similar to many of the other soundbars out there. This means you get another long sound bar that comes together with a wireless subwoofer. However, there definitely was one thing that caught the eye, and that is its dimensions. Measuring in at 39.4 x 3.2 x 2.0 inches means that this sound bar is super thin at only 2 inches deep. So if you have a HDTV that takes up most of the space on your TV cabinet, you wouldn’t have to worry on where to place this surroundbar as it will definitely fit while leaving some room to spare too. Unlike most other soundbars, the LG LSB316 does not come with a speaker grille on the front which means you will be able to see the drivers on both the ends. This sound bar tips the scales at 20.3 pounds which is about the average weight, so no complains there.
On the front however, there is a display which we quite liked as you can make out what’s written on the screen from even 10 feet away. You get some amount of control from the buttons found under the display. On the right of the display is where the USB port sits for your digital music files. Moving on to the wireless subwoofer unit, its dimensions are 7.7 x 15.4 x 12.5 inches, again somewhat the average size for a subwoofer. The LG LSB316 surround bar also ships with a remote control and we found it to be good although the buttons were a bit cluttered. There is an input button which is easy to pick out and other buttons as well for volume and also buttons to change between your music folders. Meanwhile, in the middle, the buttons that look like directional pad are actually playback controls for music coming from your USB.
Having AirPlay on AV receivers has definitely been something to look forward to these days and we are glad that the Bluetooth feature on this surroundbar actually performs just as well as the AirPlay does with iOS devices. All you got to do make it work is activate the Bluetooth feature then cue whatever music you want. Next choose the “LG Audio” from the AirPlay icon and from then on all your music will stream straight to the soundbar. We are impressed with the feature for two reasons, one because it works just as smooth as other devices that come with AirPlay like the Denon AVR-1912 and the Pioneer VSX-1021-K. Second, this feature found on the LG LSB316 soundbar isn’t limited to just iOS devices, but can be used with any smartphone too. This is something new and of course, we loved that.
The LG LSB316 has got a virtual surround mode to cover a wider area as well give you the surround sound experience. It may not be the best of the class but it’s something nice to have on your soundbar. The connectivity features on the LG LSB316 is not bad as you do get quite a few options. For starters, there are two optical inputs for your Blu-ray player and anything else like a PS3 for example. You also get a minijack input which is actually labeled as a portable audio input. This can actually work with your home theater device if you have an adapter cable in hand. Another connectivity option is the USB port which sits on the front, and it should get you to play music from your pendrive easily. LG LSB316 is also capable of handling your standard Dolby and DTS decoding. It can also decode Dolby Digital Plus and DTS-HD Master Audio Essential.
Setting up the LG LSB316 soundbar with wireless subwoofer
First things first, getting a place to fit your soundbar. As we were saying earlier, it’s so thin you won’t need much space in front your TV at all to place this baby. If you would rather wall mount the LG LSB316 soundbar, then you can make use of the bracket that’s included with purchase. As for the wireless subwoofer, of course you can place it anywhere within a radius of 32 feet away from the surround bar. All you got to do to get the subwoofer up and running is turning on the main soundbar unit as they sync automatically. There are two optical inputs already but if you have more devices than there are optical inputs, then you can always use your TV for switching purposes. However, you will have that extra remote to deal with.
The LG LSB316 surround bar offers a few Sound Effect surround modes and one of them is the virtual surround Sound Effect setting which essentially just widens the stereo image to a certain extent but with some loss in terms of sound quality. So we tried the other effects like Natural, Bypass and Loudness Sound Effect mode settings for the movies and music as these modes actually spread the stereo image and also provide good soundstage depth. The soundbar was able to provide some decent clarity although the subwoofer did show its darker side when having to deal with deep bass. We faced some problems with dialogues though as we found the voices to be boxy, and even after making some tweaks, we couldn’t get a better result.
Pros and Cons
The LG LSB316 surroundbar comes with the Bluetooth functionality that works with many devices and not just iOS ones. The connectivity options were also quite decent.
Sound quality on this soundbar wasn’t the best especially with bass. While the remote was decent, it was a bit cluttered to our liking.
This soundbar definitely is not up to the high standards that have been set by the likes of the Vizio VHT501 or the Sony HT-CT150. Nevertheless, it does provide sufficient sound for those who are not looking for something extraordinary and if you are on a budget, the LG LSB316 surround bar which comes with a wireless soundbar would be a good buy.