LG SN11RG Review • Delivers an amazing immersive experience
The remarkable size of LG SN11RG soundbar immediately catches the eye. Its almost one and a half meter length exceeds that of the competing flagship Samsung HW-Q90R , which cannot be called compact either, by 21.7 cm! This factor must be taken into account by potential buyers when planning the installation site. At the same time, the depth and weight of the SN11RG are, respectively, 6.3 cm and 7.2 kg, which is less than the specified competitor Samsung (8.3 cm and 8.8 kg).
However, big doesn’t mean bad, especially since the overall soundbar looks pretty elegant. Finely perforated rounded edges and a brushed top panel underline the high status of the product.
On its front panel there are buttons for controlling the main functions in case you do not have a remote control at hand.
The included wireless rear speakers and subwoofer are housed in sturdy black cases. They are quite massive, but moving them is not difficult.
The soundbar has three main front speakers (left, center, right), two additional speakers to expand the soundstage, and two upward-firing speakers for surround effect. The rear speakers contain one main speaker and one upward facing speaker each for full 3D action.
Each of these 11 speakers has 50W of power, which adds up to the 220W subwoofer for a total of 770W.
Finally, the SN11RG features high build quality with durable materials for long life expectancy.
The very raison d’être of soundbars is to provide the user with a simple audio system as an alternative to bulky home theaters with tons of wires and speakers.
LG SN11RG fully meets this concept. To start the setup process, you only need to complete 3 steps: turn on the power, download the Google Home app and establish a Wi-Fi connection to the signal source. Now, while streaming music from your smartphone to the soundbar, you can proceed with the installation.
Further steps are also simple. You need to make a cable connection to the TV, for which there are 2 options: through the optical audio input and through the HDMI input. The latter enables the transmission of a wider range of audio formats, including Dolby Atmos. The subwoofer and rear speakers are automatically connected to the soundbar when switched on. The entire process from unpacking to completing the installation took us less than 10 minutes.
I would like to especially note the convenience of the wireless connection of the subwoofer and rear speakers. This gives the freedom to place them where they create the best sound for the viewer. Although here it should be borne in mind that the length of the power cable of the latter is only about 1.5 m.
Special thanks go to LG for including wall mounts for the soundbar and rear speakers. That being said, you also need to consider your power options in advance.
Another important point when setting up SN11RG is to install the LG Wi-Fi Speaker mobile app. Firstly, it can act as a remote control, and secondly, it can be used to calibrate the audio system depending on the acoustic characteristics of your room.
Problems can await you here, as the soundbar is equipped with only a couple of HDMI inputs. Modern users, meanwhile, have in their arsenal more than one connection device – Blu-ray players, game consoles, set-top boxes. Obviously, such a solution looks insufficient for a flagship.
The problem can be solved if your TV has multiple HDMI connectors, but such models have only recently appeared on the market.
If your TV does not support Dolby Atmos surround sound, then you need to first connect the Blu-ray player to the soundbar and then output the signal to the TV through the HDMI eARC port. Each time you change the connected device, in this case, you will have to fiddle with cables.
The soundbar also has a USB port and optical audio input, but these have limited bandwidth and cannot play advanced formats like Dolby Atmos or High-Resolution Audio through them . The most they can do is Dolby Digital 5.1 sound.
SN11RG smart functions are provided by Google Assistant and Google Chromecast.
The first allows, at your first call, to plunge into pleasant music immediately upon returning home after a hard day. The soundbar’s built-in microphones have excellent sensitivity, allowing commands to be transmitted even when the room is full of sound.
But if suddenly the Google Assistant “refuses” to listen, then both the remote control and the soundbar have a button to call it manually.
Google Chromecast lets you stream music from mobile devices to SN11RG . This program also offers an interesting group mode, where you can play the same content throughout your home through compatible speakers.
Easy installation and sleek design are just the tip of the iceberg. The main advantage of the SN11RG is undoubtedly the excellent sound quality.
And it’s not about support for Dolby Atmos , DTS: X, or other awesome formats, although LG’s flagship has succeeded in that too.
The collaboration with legendary speaker manufacturer Meridian, support for studio quality 24-bit / 192kHz audio, the latest Bluetooth 5.0 module, and AI Sound Pro intelligent playback mode helped LG to rise to the next level. Truly, the creators of the SN11RG have foreseen almost everything in their quest to achieve the high sound quality and functionality of their flagship. After three weeks of listening to SN11RG , we admit they succeeded.
Music from the soundbar speakers sounds amazingly clear and detailed, which is to be expected from a device of this level. But all the splendor of the SN11RG is evident when watching movies, especially those that are rich in special effects.
As we listened to the Dolby Atmos demo disc , we were convinced that the upward-facing speakers in the SN11RG audio system were n’t just a publicity stunt. We’ve included real Dolby Atmos movies to double-check .
“Avengers: Infinity War” – we experienced a slight shock at the beginning of the film, when the Hulk lands with a crash right in Sanctum Santorum. SN11RG gives you an amazing immersive experience , like a movie character has broken through our own ceiling. The subwoofer complements the soundbar with its punching power, and the rear speakers pleasantly envelop the viewer with sound waves in every scene.
We have already mentioned the auto calibration feature above. Along with its intelligent AI Sound Pro mode, which automatically optimizes audio performance based on content, it delivers brilliant sound quality on a “tune it once and forget it” principle.
However, for those who like to play with options, LG also provides this opportunity. The soundbar offers a variety of sound effects for movies and music, with the ability to adjust the level of each.
Various preset sound modes can be activated via the mobile app, such as night mode to smooth out loud bursts and improve the clarity of dialogues. Another Neural: X mode converts standard content into a multi-channel configuration. It even has an AV Sync function to keep the sound and picture in perfect sync.
Soundbar or AV receiver?
Talking about premium soundbars, we inevitably have to touch on one question. Today they are literally crammed with advanced features and technologies, but their very essence imposes on them a limitation in sound quality. And it seems to us that LG has already almost reached this limit.
We tried to compare this soundbar with similarly priced home theater systems. Yes, the LG SN11RG offers excellent sound quality, but it is limited by the design itself. For example, soundbars cannot compete with home theaters in terms of clear stereo separation of left and right channels or the resonant power of a subwoofer. LG has tried to recreate the quality of the AV receiver speaker system, and it is worthy of all praise, but the reality is inevitable.
In the world of soundbars , the LG SN11RG is definitely a very strong player. However, if you look at the other options, you can find better alternatives at a similar price point among home theater systems. Of course, your final decision will depend on the availability of free space and your willingness to tinker with the installation and setup of the AV receiver and speaker set.
LG SN11RG – conclusion
The LG SN11RG offers high cinematic quality in a compact soundbar, but it rivals AV receivers for price that can create a complete home theater system.
The Samsung HW-Q90R is as close to the LG SN11RG in quality as it is in price. If you want an even more minimalist option, then check out the Sennheiser Ambeo . And the Sony HT-ZF9 will offer a cheaper, but still Dolby Atmos compatible alternative.
If you decide that you need a soundbar, then – yes. LG SN11RG delivers high quality sound with premium features and ease of setup and operation in a compact package.