LG SP7Y Review: Affordable 5.1 Soundbar with Hi Res Audio Support

LG SP7Y

LG SP7Y is the new LG 2021 Soundbar with 5.1 sound scheme. It supports a very wide range of audio formats up to DTS: X, but Dolby Atmos is missing. Unfortunately or not, the two height speakers have been replaced by two rear speakers, with the goal of fully reproducing surround sound. LG’s partnership with Meridian Technology has been fruitful, which is why both music and movies are presented exclusively by the soundbar.

The standard SP7Y equalizer setting slightly shifts the frequency response of the system towards low frequencies. If you have a different preference, you have access to a variety of presets for treble and bass. In the LG SP7Y review, we will find out all the features of the new product, its pros and cons.

LG SP7Y review

Design

As we noted above, unlike the identical 2020 model LG SN7Y , the new SP7Y acoustic panel is configured according to the 5.1 scheme. The SP7Y, however, is a scaled-down version of its older companion LG SP11R with a sleek finish that looks like a much more expensive product. In our case, the body of the SP7Y soundbar is covered with fabric, and there are protective grilles on the sides.

The design of the subwoofer is made in a similar vein. But its body is mostly made of plastic and only the front panel is covered with fabric upholstery. The soundbar itself is wide enough (about 1 m) and is unlikely to fit between the legs even of a 55-inch TV. But its low height suggests that the panel will not obscure the image on the screen. There is an option to mount the LG SP7Y soundbar on the wall.

LG SP7Y - design

A small display behind the fabric at the front provides minimal informational services. It displays the input used and the volume level. And at the top there are several buttons to change the specified parameters and switch to the Bluetooth source. The remote control is usual for LG soundbars. The soundbar has no voice assistants.

Sound quality

The LG SP7Y soundbar has a decent frequency range of 50 Hz… 20 kHz. In standard mode, it has a slightly boxy, boomy sound, slightly shifted towards the low frequencies. It is quite possible that in this case, too , for fans of action movies and music, the bass may not be enough compared to the LG SP8YA or SP9YA . However, the equalizer should help in correcting the impression.

What do I need to do? Set the bass to “-5” and the treble to “1”. Then the frequency response of the SP7Y will be leveled, the sound will become more neutral and balanced. After half an hour of listening, the ears usually get used to it, and the sound picture acquires a timbre color that is comfortable for you.

The SP7Y soundbar provides excellent stereo sound quality. The soundstage is perceived as slightly wider than the panel itself, although no tricks are made to expand the stereo base. The soundbar also has good focus, so objects such as voices and footsteps appear to come from a specific location rather than from a blurry area.

The sound pressure of the SP7Y soundbar is approximately 90 dB – quite normal for such speakers. At normal volume, distortion is within acceptable limits (<0/4%) for clean and clear reproduction. However, at maximum volume, distortion builds up abruptly at low and mid frequencies.

LG SP7Y - overview

Center channel performance is good. A dedicated center speaker localizes voices exactly to the position of the subject. And its frequency response is quite balanced. But with surround sound is not particularly comforting. Side-firing speakers are used for virtual localization. And it turns out that the voices and steps do not have precise localization.

Sound enhancement functions

Unlike its older counterparts, the SP7Y does not have Room Calibration, so it can sound differently in different rooms. You can tweak the sound by manually adjusting the treble and bass, as well as using the preset equalizer configurations. The SP7Y delivers Hi Res audio up to 24 bit / 96 kHz.

The LG Sound Bar app acts as a remote control and lets you control all soundbar settings, including EQ adjustments. In addition, it offers a Dynamic Range Control function to balance the volume between different programs and a Night Time function that automatically reduces the volume.

The app also has an AV Sync feature that helps reduce the delay between the sound you hear and the corresponding image on the screen. In addition, the TV Sound Mode Share function allows you to synchronize the soundbar speakers with the speakers of compatible LG TVs for a more immersive audio experience. The SP7Y provides Hi Res audio up to 24 bit / 96 kHz.

LG SP7Y - connections

Connections

The SP7Y has an HDMI input and output onboard. Dolby Digital and DTS sound are supported through the ARC Audio Return Channel. The same formats are also supported through the optical input. Delay for Toslink and ARC reaches 40 ms, for HDMI input – up to 10 ms, so it’s better to use it for movies. There is also a USB port for file playback. And there is Bluetooth for the same purpose. This panel does not use Wi-Fi for audio streaming.

SP7Y price
At the moment (September 2021), the LG SP7Y soundbar can be purchased in foreign online stores at a price of $ 350.

Conclusion

We can say that this is a moderate “average” soundbar for an inexperienced listener. Despite the disadvantages that more expensive competitors do not have, this soundbar is attractive for its more than affordable price. And if there is no particular sense of loss due to the lack of Dolby Atmos, then the SP7Y soundbar can be listened to.

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