LG SJ8 is the widest of the test and looks great with big TVs. It is sleek and elegant and is user-friendly with a clear and straightforward display in the front.
Besides the HDMI input that supports all video formats, SJ8 has both wireless and wired network functionality. Spotify customers can enjoy direct streaming with the Connect feature, and the built-in Chromecast provides access to several other music services, including Deezer.
High-resolution music files are also supported, although we don’t see quite the point of high-resolution sound from a soundbar, which will always be a compromise regarding sound compared to an actual stereo system.
The dialogue in the film sounds loud and clear. Perhaps a bit slimmed down in the mid range, but not too much. Simulated surround sound also works fine. Although LG does not attempt to make sound in the height dimension, the soundscape feels almost as huge as with Samsung and Sony. However, it does not quite reach Yamaha in this respect.
One criticism is that LG’s volume is not as loud as the most powerful soundbars. It can seem slightly lightweight in action movies, although the soundbar works fine for daily use.
Music in stereo works, but midrange is somewhat reticent. Lady Gaga’s voice in the acoustic Joanne has nice fullness down in the range, which not all soundbars can bring forth. At the same time, it lacks air at the very top. Compared with Samsung and JBL, the sound isn’t as clear, and the subwoofer is also slightly flimsy.
The LG SJ8 is a wide soundbar, and therefore looks best with somewhat larger TVs. It has built-in network features and streaming, which makes music more accessible with better quality than if you use Bluetooth. It also sounds quite good and sounds best for movies with clear and open sound. It’s no powerhouse, but it does the trick.
Also in this test
Does not follow up
A masculine expression and rugged sound does not have the power to follow up, and Klipsch lands at the bottom.
JBL Bar 3.1
No one in the class provide this sense of home cinema. JBL crushes everyone on sheer force, and the sound quality is good enough for it to take the lead.
The soundbar from Samsung has a beautiful coherence in the tones, which makes both movies and music a pleasant experience.
Small and half-hearted
The small soundbar from Panasonic sounds bigger and more powerful than you might think. But it has a few issues.
Creative Sound BlasterX Katana
Creative’s soundbar is for gamers and the only one in the test with USB inputs that replaces the sound card in PCs and Macs.
Surprisingly huge sound
Yamaha was first on the market with active soundbars. This is their first with DTS Virtual:X surround sound.
Philips Fidelio B1/12
Better on TV than music
This is one of the smallest soundbars on the market. It sounds bigger than it looks, but has its shortcomings.
Extra dimension in height
Sony’s soundbar simulates both Dolby Atmos and DTS:X in height, thus giving an extra dimension to the soundscape. Yes, it works.