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LG created a series of seven models over the course of the year to cover the needs of users with different budgets. In 2019, models such as SL4Y, SL5Y, SL6Y, SL7Y were released, as well as models with Dolby Atmos support: SL8YG , SL9YG and SL10YG.
In our LG SL5Y review, we’ll take a look at the second model from the bottom, which is mainly aimed at those looking for a cheap and easy-to-use solution to improve sound quality. Will the LG SL5Y be considered a true ultra-budget soundbar that could be the choice of many users?
LG SL5Y review
LG SL5Y is designed as a 2.1 channel system. Therefore, in the package we see a main soundbar with two main channels and a wireless subwoofer. The soundbar is quite compact. Its dimensions are 890 x 57 x 85 mm. The panel itself weighs 2.35 kg, which makes it easy to place it under any type of TV, either on furniture or on the wall.
The supplied subwoofer measures 171 x 393 x 248.5 mm. Its weight is 11.7 5.3 kg. Both devices are interconnected wirelessly. Obviously, when talking about a soundbar under $ 300, nothing fancy is to be expected. The SL5Y offers a basic yet pleasing design with its rounded corners and decent looks.
Plastic is the main material that is used. The front is completely covered with a perforated surface, and the top has a slightly roughened surface with the LG logo on the upper right side.
Also on the right side there are several main buttons with power on / off, volume control and F button that can be used for different functions depending on how many times you press that button.
LG SL5Y is equipped with an LED display, which is located in the center of the front panel. It provides information on input selection and volume. If no key is pressed for 15 seconds, the display is automatically dimmed. Having an LED display certainly gives the SL5Y an edge over many other competing soundbars that don’t.
The power connector is located away from the rest of the connectors, which can be very awkward when trying to connect all of these cables together. It should also be noted that the SL5Y has a low profile layout. Therefore, placing the SL5Y soundbar under the TV is not a problem.
Finally, there are wall brackets included in the package, which can be used in case you want to mount the soundbar on a wall. The soundbar only has forward-facing speakers. Therefore, it is not possible to place the soundbar in any other position.
Overall, the build quality is good enough for the price. The SL5Y is a cute soundbar with a low profile and small footprint, making it ideal for any small room, bedroom or media area.
The SL5Y’s front grill is not removable, but LG will kindly provide us with the necessary information on the types of speakers that come with the unit. What’s inside are two 40 x 100mm oval woofers, which are accompanied by a pair of 20mm Silk Dome tweeters.
The supplied subwoofer features one 6-inch speaker in a Bass Reflex enclosure. The front grill is also non-removable. The soundbar has a total output power of 180 watts. The subwoofer has a power of 220 watts. Accordingly, the total power of the entire device is 400 watts.
First of all, it should be noted that the SL5Y supports Hi-Res Audio with FLAC and WAV file recognition at 24-bit / 192 kHz. Along with this, the soundbar can also play more common formats: MP3, WMA and OGG. The device supports USB streaming. The subwoofer delivers the bass tones you need, the treble sounds very good. In general, the impressions from listening to music in a small room are good.
Additional features and services
First of all, there is Bluetooth support, which means it is possible to stream music from any mobile device such as a smartphone or tablet to the soundbar. Although the SL5Y soundbar only supports Bluetooth 4.0, the connection is very stable and the streaming is very smooth. Also simple and straightforward are the available sound modes, which include ASC (Adaptive Sound Control).
This option analyzes the input audio signal and adjusts the sound accordingly for the best sound result. Bass Blast boosts low frequencies, Standard provides a more balanced acoustic sound. Another pretty cool feature is support for wireless rear speakers.
As a 2.1 channel soundbar, the SL5Y’s surround sound performance is very limited. Therefore, the ability to add additional surround speakers will give this unit many advantages. The optional kit (SPK8-S) includes a receiver that can connect to the SL5Y wirelessly.
Surround sound can be turned on or off by simply pressing the sound setting button for 3 seconds. Obviously, the surround speakers will cost an additional $ 200. That’s almost as much as the soundbar itself. However, for this money, the user gets a full-fledged 5.1 surround sound system, which is not bad at all.
Unfortunately, there is no way to adjust each surround speaker individually. But it is possible to adjust both rear speakers at the same time. Therefore, it is better to place additional rear speakers at the same distance from the seat.
The soundbar supports HDMI-CEC, LG Sound Sync and Simplelink. This means that you can use the TV remote control to operate the unit, which is an added convenience.
There is a digital optical input next to the power connector. It is also separated from the rest of the connectors, which are located on another insert on the right rear side. The second insert has an HDMI input, an ARC-enabled HDMI output, and a USB port.
With HDMI 1.4, there is only ARC, eARC is not supported. This may be disappointing as 2019 LG TVs support eARC. The wireless capabilities of the SL5Y are limited to enabling Bluetooth 4.0 as there is no Wi-Fi in the device.
To conclude our review of LG’s SL5Y, it’s worth adding that in terms of performance, the user gets exactly what they expect from a $ 300 soundbar. The soundbar has good frontal activity and powerful bass for both movies and music.
LG SL5Y has most of the necessary modes for its category. The SL5Y also offers a cheap and easy-to-use solution that will dramatically improve the sound quality of your TV and still fit comfortably in any small room or bedroom.