It’s 2020, and LG is back with its updated set of soundbars. In comes LG SN8YG, a 3.1.2 setup with a wireless subwoofer and a lot of connectivity options. The product is an upgrade of the SL8YG, which has a similar configuration, but lower overall volume. Both of them look the same, though.
The sound is relatively neutral with enough thump due to the subwoofer. There are a lot of sound enhancements to tweak the overall output if you dislike it out-of-the-box. The bar is apt for big rooms and a plethora of connectivity options. The 3.1.2 configuration comes with its own set of issues, and this unit is no different. But does it do enough to make people press the “BUY” button?
We reviewed the LG SN8YG to find out exactly that and more.
List of specifications
|Product Dimensions||41.7 x 2.2 x 4.7 inches (Soundbar) |
8.7 x 15.4 x 12.3 inches (Subwoofer)
|Weight||4.4 kg (Soundbar) |
7.8 kg (Subwoofer)
|Amplifier output||220W each for Soundbar and Subwoofer|
|Wireless Audio Protocol||Bluetooth, Chromecast, Wi-Fi|
|Audio Decoding Codecs||DTS-HD, DTS Surround Sound, DTS:X. Dolby Digital, Dolby Atmos Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby TrueHD, LPCM|
|Connectivity||1 x HDMI In/Out |
1 x USB
1 x TOSLINK
- Loud enough for most rooms
- Lots of connectivity options
- Wide range of sound enhancements to tweak the final output.
- Surround sound is its weakest link
- Lacks analogue connectivity
What’s in the box?
- LG SN8YG bar
- Wireless Subwoofer
- Remote Control
- 2 x AAA Batteries
- Optical Cable
- Cable Management Hardware
- 2 x Soundbar Wall Mount Bracket
- Screws for wall mounting
- Warranty Card
Design and build
The LG SN8YG follows the conventional bar and subwoofer route. The main soundbar is a long slab of robust quality plastic with metal grills on the front and bottom. The upward-firing speakers in the bar also get a circular metal grill at the top.
The subwoofer is also plastic, but LG chose to cover three of its sides with a piece of fabric. Unfortunately, the cloth is prone to catching dust quickly, and you will have to continually wipe it to ensure that it doesn’t get dirty.
The bar is 41.7 x 2.2 x 4.7 inches, which makes it a tad longer than most other soundbars in the market. It is shorter in width than its older sibling, the LG SK9Y, but its elongated side means that even a 55 inch TV will have a hard time accommodating it. Thankfully, it is not very tall, and it doesn’t require too much leg space in that aspect.
The subwoofer spreads 8.7 x 15.4 x 12.3 inches and can be placed anywhere in the room thanks to its wireless connectivity. You can power it up using a power source, and the size isn’t too big for you to bother if you place it in the corner of the room. The back of the box has been kept clean, with only a power cable port placed in the middle.
The LG SN8YG has its buttons located on the top of the bar. There are two volume buttons, a switch to activate the Google Assistant, change input, one to mute the microphone, and a play/pause button.
Also present is a 5-digit LCD screen covered by a grill to display the input source currently in use. If you are making any changes in the settings, it will pop-up too. There are four LED notification lights just below the display which change colors depending on the input you use.
The LG SN8YG package also comes with a remote controller which looks similar to the LG SK9Y, but with an added dedicated button for Google Assistant. It comes with all the necessary toggle such as volume buttons, power button, switch inputs, change EQ presets and play/pause button.
LG has an app to control the soundbar for its users in the form of the LG Wi-Fi Speaker. The software is available on both iOS and Android platforms and acts as a remote. You can tweak the EQ presets, manage the volume, change inputs, and everything else.
The LG SN8YG also comes with HDMI CEC support and goes into standby mode if left idle for a while. You can control the essential functions such as managing volume levels with your TV remote too.
The back of the LG SN8YG has one opening for inputs and has a separate slot in the middle for power. The holes are universal, and you can wall-mount the LG SN8YG easily. It has a decent variety of inputs. You get optical audio in, HDMI IN and HDMI OUT slots, and USB options. A weird omission is the Analog Audio 3.5mm AUX cable, which is nowhere to be found.
The LG bar supports a lot of audio codecs, making it appropriate for a wide range of usage. Users get Dolby Atmos, Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, DTS, DTS:X, PCM, and Dolby TrueHD. It also comes with full eARC giving it the ability to play lossless surround formats.
The Full HDMI In support means that you can play almost any audio codec on the LG SN8YG, but some content will be downmixed due to configuration limitations. It also has an optical to let users connect any streaming device. Also present is the support for 4K @ 60Hz Passthrough and HDR10 Passthrough making it appropriate for gaming consoles and 4K TVs too.
The overall sound of the LG SN8YG inclines towards the neutral, and that is not a bad thing at all. It has a decent stereo output, and the subwoofer adds the necessary thump to the overall sound. If you are using it at high volume, there is a chance of the music appearing muddy and instruments taking the back seat.
Talking about soundstage, it is as big as the bar, which makes it decent. The sound is focused and has excellent stereo dynamics. You can be in a large room and still feel the quality due to its high output of 440W. It comes with a dedicated center channel, allowing it to be appropriate for podcasts and dialogue-based content.
Due to the lack of a 5Ch configuration, the LG SN8YG fails to create a proper surround sound impact. Even if the content is otherwise, it will downmix to play it, which makes the output feel bass-heavy. But its height performance is satisfactory due to an up-firing speaker located in the bar. It ensures that the sound hits the ceiling and bounces to give you the false impression of height.
Sound enhancement features is one area where the LG SN8YG is hard to beat. The one gripe that users had with its predecessor was the lack of room correction option. The 2020 model has it too, and it comes with four EQ presets by default – AI Sound Pro, DTS Virtual: X, Bass Blast, and Standard.
You can then get on to adjust the Dialogue Delivery, Bass, Treble, Surround Level, Rear Level, Height Level, and much more. Some of these adjustments are possible via the app too and ensure that you get the output right.
Most of the earlier soundbars from LG had the thump missing. The SN8YG rectifies that and adds in Google Assistant support. Here is how it stacks up against the similarly priced competition –
The Samsung HW-Q70R has the same 3.1.2 configuration but is far more compact when it comes to the overall output. It doesn’t mess up at the highest volumes and still has the same punchy bass. The sound is better-balanced out-of-the-box, and you get a graphic EQ to have better control over the output.
But the LG SN8YG has more sound enhancement features and comes with room correction and auto-volume. The surround sound is almost the same with the LG one performing slightly better.
The LG SN8YG and LG SN6Y share the same configuration, but the former pits against the latter comprehensively. The SN8YG has more weight to its bass and comes with eARC and Dolby Atmos, making it more versatile. The Chromecast built-in allows you to connect it to Wi-Fi and the Google Assistant lets you manage the bar by your vocal commands.
However, the LG SN6Y suffers from less distortion at peak volume and has a more compact body.
If you are looking for a soundbar for mixed usage, the LG SN8YG is an apt choice. It has ample bass for the thriller in you as well as a center channel to emphasize dialogues. Plus, you get several sound enhancement features to tweak the sound as per your choice. Loudness is never a problem with 440W power on-board, and it can even sound decent in a large room.
Plus, the addition of Chromecast and Google Assistant lets you control the setup better. The missing analog input can be a significant downgrade, but if you can get past it, there is Full HDMI support, and it comes with all the heavyweight codecs. The LG SN8YG is a decent upgrade to your tiny TV speakers.