It was one of the most talked about pieces of new tech at this year’s CES, and now home theater buffs can hear what it was all about, with LG’s groundbreaking new Dolby Atmos soundbar system on sale now. †
The big showpiece of the new S95QR sound system is its unique upward-firing center channel speaker, which cleverly uses sound reflections from your ceiling to make the dialogue sound as if it were coming from the center of your screen.
Not only does the new soundbar offer a hefty 810W and 9.1.5 channels of audio, but it also features a wireless subwoofer and wireless rear speakers, eliminating the cables that keep many people from having a surround system.
Those rear speakers also have a 4.0.2 arrangement, with six audio channels instead of the four found on the company’s previous flagship, thanks to two additional side-firing drivers, which LG says allow for better sound dispersion behind the viewer.
LG, meanwhile, claims that its AI Room Calibration room correction system should ensure that even the strangest living rooms still get the full Atmos effect.
There’s plenty for gamers to appreciate, with the S95QR featuring variable refresh rate (VRR) and automatic low-latency mode (ALLM) via the HDMI port, letting you pass a 4K/120Hz signal from a PS5 or Xbox Series X.
The S95QR costs $1,799 in the United States, £1,699 in the UK, while home cinema enthusiasts Down Under will have to pay AUS$1,999.
Analysis: plenty to think about with LG’s new soundbar
While there’s nothing new about a soundbar that bounces its output off ceilings and walls to create a surround effect — Sonos’ Arc and JBL’s Bar 9.1 do the same — no one has gone as far with the concept as LG with the S95QR. .
Very few home cinema fans will be willing to go to extremes, or indeed afford ceiling-mounted speakers, as what audio purists will argue is a true Dolby Atmos experience, but this rousing center-channel solution is likely to deliver quite a bit. close to emulating the experience.
The big question is: how close does it get? At $1,799, the S95QR’s asking price is comparable to a conventional high-end Atmos setup, and many will weigh the convenience the S95QR offers against its performance.