What’s the LG SJ8?
When you like your soundbars to be heard however now not noticed you then’re going to like the SJ8. At an insignificant 38mm excessive, LG’s new four.1-channel soundbar is so slender and discreet that you simply’ll rarely understand it’s there, which is excellent information if you need robust sound with minimum muddle.
The SJ8 is the primary fashion to emerge from LG’s 2017 fluctuate and sits slightly below the flagship SJ9, which provides improve for Dolby Atmos. The SJ8 ships with a compact wi-fi subwoofer and a function listing that comes with multiroom, integrated Chromecast, 4K passthrough and hi-res playback.
Similar: Perfect soundbars
LG SJ8 – Design and Connections
The sheer slimness of the SJ8 truly is one thing to behold. If truth be told, I virtually neglected it whilst pulling the whole lot out of the field. Remember the fact that it sits remarkably low on a TV stand, conserving neatly transparent of my TV’s far off sensor. It’s designed to spouse LG’s B7 and C7 OLED TVs, with an non-compulsory bespoke TV mount (T8) that stylishly connects the soundbar to the set. However, you’ll mount it at the wall the usage of the equipped brackets. At 1.2m extensive, it’s highest fitted to TVs of 55in and over.
The SJ8’s 38mm top didn’t give LG’s designers a lot room wherein to paintings, however they’ve come what may crafted an overly putting and sublime soundbar. The brushed black panels that encase the narrow metal grille are main fingerprint magnets however glance nice, and I really like the best way the grille bends inwards at each ends. That stated, its gentle bodywork and reasonably plasticky texture lack the top class really feel I’d be expecting for the cash.
LG has hidden the buttons at the again, with corresponding icons at the most sensible panel. That’s a smart decision because it helps to keep the remainder of the bar unfastened from muddle. They come with keys for quantity, enter variety, Wi-Fi and Song Float setup. The show panel is positioned within the centre of the entrance grille. It’s small, however the digits are large and brilliant sufficient to learn simply from the settee, and it presentations the entire related knowledge obviously.
The SJ8 supplies one HDMI 2.zero enter and ARC-enabled output, which move thru 4K/60p alerts and improve HDCP 2.2. It isn’t unreasonable to be expecting further HDMI inputs at this value, although – the one enter may well be an issue for individuals who wish to run video games consoles and TV bins during the SJ8. However should you’re willing to steer clear of a nest of HDMI cables, the optical enter permits a unmarried cable connection between TV and soundbar.
Being this type of slender soundbar, it comes as no marvel that LG has paired the SJ8 with a subwoofer to make stronger the bass. Fortunately, its compact 320mm-high enclosure and wi-fi connectivity make it simple to position. It’s styled to check the soundbar in a tasteful gray/black color scheme, with a metal mesh overlaying the front-firing 6in woofer. The vinyl end and uncovered MDF at the again aren’t beautiful, however the cupboard feels forged.
LG SJ8 – Options
The SJ8’s driving force array contains 4 26 x 95mm mid/bass drivers and two 20mm dome tweeters. LG says that using those elongated mid/bass drivers compensates for the decreased cupboard top, enabling the SJ8 to check the sound force ranges and function of bigger audio system.
Energy output is quoted as 300W, with 2 x 65W from the soundbar and 170W from the sub. There’s on-board Dolby Virtual and DTS deciphering, however now not TrueHD or Grasp Audio.
Integrated Wi-Fi lets you circulate tune from NAS drives and PCs the usage of LG’s terrific Song Float app (extra on that later) and create a multiroom machine with different LG audio system at the identical community.
Hello-res audio lovers can provide their tunes a run-out with improve for FLAC, WAV, ALAC and AIFF as much as 192kHz/24-bit, in addition to MP3, WMA, AAC and OGG. The bar even up-converts same old answer recordsdata to 192/24 the usage of LG’s processing.
The SJ8 additionally helps Spotify Attach and integrated Chromecast, the latter permitting you to create another multiroom machine along different Chromecast Audio units the usage of the Google House app. Bluetooth completes the SJ8’s spectacular listing of wi-fi skills.
There are many audio modes to play with, together with Auto Sound Engine, which optimises the EQ to fit the quantity degree. Some other mode, Adaptive Sound Keep watch over, adjusts the frequency stability to fit no matter you’re gazing.
You’ll additionally to find a couple of sound presets – Usual, Bass Blast and Cinema – in addition to user-defined bass, treble and subwoofer settings.
LG SJ8 – Operation
For day by day use, the SJ8 is accompanied through a small far off with well organized rubber keys. It’s simple to make use of and suits snugly within the palm.
The buttons duvet the entire fundamentals – quantity, enter variety, playback controls – with devoted keys for each and every audio serve as. Any changes you are making are obviously proven at the LED show.
Attached by the use of Wi-Fi, the SJ8 can be managed through your smartphone the usage of LG’s Song Float app. It gives the entire identical changes because the far off the usage of an intuitive on-screen interface. You’ll be able to use the app to change inputs or discuss with a variety of tune streaming products and services and Chromecast apps, together with Spotify, Google Play, Napster, NPR One, iHeartRadio and TuneIn Radio.
The app is attractively designed however, crucially, it helps to keep issues easy. Its daring homepage lets you get admission to favourites and playlists, in addition to your just lately performed tracks.
A slick sidebar menu presentations the variability of streaming choices. Deciding on Song Server brings up an inventory of NAS drives and PCs for your community. Exploring your tune library is a cinch because of the no-nonsense structure and fast scrolling – even though it handiest loaded albums from my WD NAS pressure as much as the letter D, which is a gorgeous main fail.
The sidebar menu additionally incorporates a Attached Audio system choice which helps you to organise your multiroom machine. You’ll be able to create teams of audio system or designate different Song Float audio system as rear channels in a five.1 machine, the usage of obviously marked icons and useful conversation bins.
LG SJ8 – Efficiency
Play Physician Peculiar on Blu-ray and the SJ8 turns in a formidable and thrilling efficiency. As Peculiar and Mordo protect Hong Kong from Kaecilius, it drives the motion ahead with punch and assault. The flurry of flying rubble and clanking weaponry is propelled forcefully into the room.
Clean and delicate aren’t phrases that are evoked when taking note of the LG – it’s a boisterous pay attention – however should you’d reasonably really feel invigorated through motion scenes then the SJ8 is no doubt the soundbar for you.
The soundstage is strangely large for this type of narrow soundbar. When Peculiar confronts Dormammu, the subwoofer lends weight and scale to his booming voice then emits an enormous intensity rate because the darkish overlord hits Peculiar with a blast of power.
Admittedly, the subwoofer is doing the entire heavy-lifting right here, however the pleasant sense of concord between the 2 elements implies that isn’t an issue. In combination they take on unexpected dynamic shifts with aplomb – you truly really feel the affect when The Historic One slams her hand into Peculiar’s chest.
Out the field I discovered bass to be a tad boomy, however after decreasing the subwoofer degree through a couple of notches it began to combine seamlessly. Helpfully, the SJ8 supplies a variety of leeway right here, with a variety that is going from -15 as much as +6.
Somewhere else, discussion has readability and presence, profiting from a satisfying mixture of in advance mids and weighty bass. I performed a variety of TV presentations during the LG and I by no means struggled to make out the discussion, from perky daylight quiz display hosts to the thick Scouse accents in ITV drama Little Boy Blue. The soundstage is relatively wide too, even though now not a patch on Yamaha’s sound beam-based soundbars.
There are, alternatively, a couple of issues that take the shine off the LG’s efficiency. Treble is crisp and sparky however may well be extra detailed. Right through the hole scene of Break of day of the Planet of the Apes, the rain hisses obviously however lacks the layered subtlety that higher soundbars carry to the desk. Because the apes traverse the tree branches, there’s extra happening than the LG lets you listen.
There’s additionally a fairly unrefined edge to the treble and mid-range. Brash is the flawed phrase, nevertheless it spits fairly when bullets shatter glass and steel gadgets collide.
Some other minor factor issues quantity. While you push the SJ8 to most, it seems like there will have to be extra within the tank. Pay attention to maximum soundbars at most quantity for too lengthy and also you’ll both move deaf or insane, however I fortuitously sat during the rowdiest of scenes with out feeling the urge to show it down.
Positive, the LG’s skill to play loud with out descending right into a shouty cacophony is spectacular, however there isn’t sufficient headroom to truly check your neighbours’ tolerance. The Bluetooth and Wi-Fi inputs appear louder.
Firing up the Song Float app, I streamed some tunes from my NAS pressure and the SJ8 proved to be an overly stress-free performer. Its attacking tone provides drum beats pleasant definition and effort, sponsored through forged, agile bass from the sub – supplied you don’t have the extent up too excessive.
Vocals sound transparent and neatly rounded, and the spacious soundstage supplies tools with enough space to respire. Treble is crisp, exact and relatively detailed – however once more, it isn’t relatively candy or adequately subtle to make audiophile ears prick up. LG will hate me for pronouncing it, however Samsung’s HW-MS650 delivers a extra finessed musical efficiency, with the added bonus of now not having to depend on an exterior subwoofer for its deep bass.
Will have to I purchase the LG SJ8?
All issues thought to be, the SJ8 is an outstanding soundbar that gives a wholesome function listing and sonic pleasure galore, nevertheless it doesn’t relatively have the additional contact of high quality to problem the most productive bars in its magnificence. The Samsung HW-MS650, Orbitsound ONE P70 and Observe Audio ASB-10 be offering a smoother and extra detailed sound, and maintain tune with somewhat extra panache. In addition they move louder when driven.
That stated, the SJ8’s full of life, forthright sound nonetheless has a variety of enchantment, bringing much-needed scale and affect to blockbuster film moments. Gunshots snap, explosions slam and the transparent mid-range makes film and TV discussion persistently transparent. The compact subwoofer mucks in with strangely lithe and muscular bass.
The super-slim design is every other large promoting level, as are LG’s slick multiroom platform and Chromecast improve. So should you go for the SJ8 you no doubt received’t be dissatisfied, however bear in mind that there are better-sounding bars available on the market.
LG’s super-slim soundbar and compact sub ship large house cinema thrills – however rival bars are more uncomplicated at the ear.