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LG S90TY: Affordable soundbar with flagship performance

S90TY Review
S90TY Review

The S90TY is a prime example of how LG is trying to create similar products but differentiate them to suit different needs. Therefore, the LG S90TY is essentially the same soundbar as the S95TR, but without the rear surround speakers. So what does the S90TY have to offer? This is a 5.1.3 channel set that comes with a wireless subwoofer and can output a total of 570 watts of audio.

The soundbar supports Dolby Atmos, DTS:X and IMAX Enhanced and has a huge range of additional features, including Chromecast, AirPlay 2, Tidal, Spotify Connect, Hi-Res audio, USB and Bluetooth playback, voice control and mobile app support. But how much of a negative impact does the lack of rear speakers have on the system? In the LG S90TY review, we will analyze all the nuances to find out.

LG S90TY review

Design

LG S90TY review

 

The main unit and subwoofer are exactly the same as in the S95TR. The LG S90TY soundbar is the successor to the S90QY model from last year . It should be used with a TV of at least 55 inches. It’s not that it couldn’t be used with smaller diagonals, but its length would be too long in comparison. Moreover, the main block has become 5 cm longer.

It doesn’t use fabric like the S90QY – it’s made of plastic. The drivers on top, as well as the side and front panels are covered with a metal grill, which makes the sound bar more premium and beautiful. The top panel houses the buttons, and LG is again using touchscreens as before. They are extremely difficult to use in low light.

Below them we also see two small holes for the automatic calibration system, and three more Dolby Atmos speakers behind metal grilles in the center and on the sides. The S90TY is equipped with an indicator, which LG has placed to the right of the center front driver. It can display connection status and operating status and consists of three LEDs.

There are two niches at the back that house all available connection ports. As usual, the power connector is separated from the rest on the right side. Wall brackets hold the soundbar down due to its weight. The SPQ8-W subwoofer that comes with the S90TY is identical to the S95TR . This is a bass reflex design in which the connector is located in the front and the speaker is located on the side.

 

The included remote control is exactly the same as in 2023. The number of buttons is minimal, the overall layout looks simple. Unfortunately, you won’t know which mode you’re in just by looking at the soundbar or remote, and the same goes for volume levels.

LG S90TY – subwoofer

Equipment

The lack of rear speakers in the S90TY soundbar limits the total number of available channels to 9, emanating from 11 speakers. The main panel includes five channels: front left, right and center, and surround right and left, which are the side channels.

The front left and right channels use a 52mm x 99mm woofer, as well as one 20mm silk dome tweeter each. On the other hand, the center channel uses a single 2-inch (ND) woofer, exactly the same as each of the side channels. There are three Atmos channels on the top panel.

 

The right and left atmospheric channels use 2.5-inch woofers, and the center channel uses a 20mm silk dome woofer. As for the subwoofer, it features a single side-mounted 8-inch bass driver, which is slightly larger than the 7-inch driver in the 2020 SN11R . The total power of the soundbar is 570 W, of which 350 W is the main unit and 220 W is the subwoofer.

Note that the S95TR rear speakers have two rear channels and one Atmos channel each, while the SPQ8-S speakers only have one rear channel. As a result, the S90TY with the SPQ8-S rear speaker package will essentially be a 7.1.3-channel system and will not perform the same as the S95TR. So if you’re hoping to buy the S90TY now and reach the level of the S95TR later, you’re out of luck.

Control options

The device supports LG Sound Sync and Simplink. This means that if your TV also supports either of these two features, you can use the TV’s remote to control the soundbar’s functions. This way you will reduce the number of remotes you need in your home theater.

Another way to control the S90TY soundbar is by voice. Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa are supported. But unfortunately, you can’t use the built-in microphones for voice control; you’ll need separate compatible devices for this feature. The main application that you need to download to use all the functions of the soundbar is LG Sound Bar.

 

LG S90TY – design

Functionality

The LG S90TY Acoustic Bar supports Dolby Atmos and DTS:X formats, including Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio, as well as legacy Dolby Digital and DTS formats. There is support for IMAX Enhanced, although there is still very little content with it. The soundbar also processes LPCM stereo audio. But the optical port can only support Dolby Digital and DTS, so for any of the more advanced formats you’ll need to use the HDMI port.

There are eight different sound modes in total. These are Bass Blast and Bass Blast+, which boost low frequencies, Standard, Cinema, which gives higher priority to surround effects for more immersion, Music, which is a mode more balanced for music tracks, Game, Sport and Clear Voice Pro, which can be used for talk shows and news broadcasts.

There’s AI Sound Pro, which allows the soundbar to automatically select the optimal sound mode. AI Sound Pro uses Adaptive Audio Control (ASC) to automatically adjust levels, emphasizing highs or lows depending on what you’re watching. Finally, there is a night mode that reduces the dynamic range of the sound so as not to disturb your neighbors at night.

AI Room Calibration Pro uses spatial awareness technology to measure the unique characteristics of your room. The option then balances the S90TY Acoustic Bar’s sound settings to suit the environment. The soundbar also comes with a variety of streaming options.

There’s also Chromecast built-in, and if you want to set up a multi-room environment, you’ll need to download Google Home. LG has also added Airplay 2, Tidal and Spotify Connect in case you’re interested in them. The last feature worth mentioning is support for LG WOWCAST, which means both WOW Orchestra and WOW Interface.

Connections

On the rear there is one HDMI input, one HDMI output, an optical digital audio input and one USB port for streaming content from an external storage device. And it’s all. All HDMI ports support 4K at 120Hz. Another option for games with high frame rates is to use eARC and connect the console to the TV, and from it to the LG S90TY soundbar itself. There is also Wi-Fi (802.11a/b/g/n) and Bluetooth v5.0.

Conclusion

Many buyers looking for a soundbar want flagship performance but don’t have room for surround speakers. The S90TY is the flagship soundbar at a reduced price. S90TY has all the advantages of its older brother. That is, the LG S90TY soundbar is relatively easy to set up and use. Front-end performance and bass power are undeniable, and there are plenty of additional options in terms of connectivity and device control. And all this at a significantly lower price compared to the S95TR. Many people choose a soundbar based on this criterion: fewer speakers in the room, and the LG S90TY is ideal for this.

S90TY Specifications:

Soundbar
Channel configuration 5.1.3
Amplifier power 350 W
Front speaker power (35 W + 35 W) × 2 + 35 W center.
Side speaker power 35 W x 2
Height speaker power 35 W × 3
Subwoofer
Amplifier power 220 W
Connection Wireless
Functional
Meridian Audio Technology No
Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa Yes, via compatible devices
Apple AirPlay 2 and Chromecast Yes
Dolby Vision and HDR10 pass-through Yes, 4K 120 Hz
Individual room setup Yes
Spotify Connect Yes
Connections
Wireless Bluetooth 5.0
Wi-Fi dual band
Ports 1 x HDMI 2.1 (HDCP 2.3) input
1 x HDMI 2.1 (HDCP 2.2) output
1 x Digital optical input
1 x USB (5V/500mA)
Formats
Audio types DTS Digital Surround, DTS-HD, DTS:X, Dolby Atmos, Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby TrueHD, LPCM
File formats FLAC, AAC, OGG, WAV, MP3
Hi-Res Audio Up to 24bit/96kHz
Sound Modes
Auto mode selection for content AI Sound Pro
Effects ASC, Standard, Bass Blast +, Movie / DTS:X / Dolby Atmos
Modes Night, Dynamic Range Control, AGC, Equalizer
Display Indication by three LEDs
Dimensions and weight
Soundbar (W x H x D) 1250 x 63 x 135 mm
Subwoofer (W x H x D) 201.7 x 407.0 x 403.0 mm
Soundbar weight 5.65 kg
Subwoofer weight 10.0 kg
Nutrition
Options 110 … 230 V 50 / 60 Hz
Consumption 78 W
Pending consumption 0.5 W