It was one of the most talked about pieces of new tech at this year’s CES, and now home cinema fanatics can get to hear what all the fuss was all about for themselves, with LG’s ground-breaking new Dolby Atmos soundbar system now available to buy.
The new S95QR sound system’s big calling card is its unique up-firing centre-channel speaker, which cleverly uses sound reflections from your ceiling to make dialogue sound like it’s coming from the centre of your display.
As well as offering a hefty 810W and 9.1.5 channels of audio, the new soundbar also features a wireless subwoofer and wireless rear speakers, getting rid of the trails of cables that put many folk off from having a surround system.
Those rear speakers also have a 4.0.2 setup, sporting six channels of audio instead of the four found on the company’s previous flagship, thanks to two additional side-firing drivers, which LG claim makes for better sound dispersal behind the viewer.
LG meanwhile claim its AI Room Calibration room correction system should ensure even the weirdest-shaped living rooms still get the full Atmos effect.
There’s plenty for gamers to appreciate, with the S95QR offering variable refresh rate (VRR) and auto low latency mode (ALLM) via its HDMI port, which will let you pass through a 4K/120Hz signal from a PS5 or Xbox Series X.
The S95QR is priced at $1,799 in the States, £1,699 in the UK, while home cinema enthusiasts Down Under will need to shell out AUS$1,999.
Analysis: Plenty to reflect upon with LG’s new soundbar
While there’s nothing novel about a soundbar bouncing its output off ceilings and walls to create a surround effect – Sonos’ Arc and JBL’s Bar 9.1 do similar – no one’s gone quite as far with the concept as LG have with the S95QR.
Very few home cinema fans will be prepared to go to the effort, or indeed be able to afford ceiling mounted speakers for what audio purists will argue provides a true Dolby Atmos experience, but this up-firing centre-channel solution is likely to come pretty close to emulating the experience.
The big question is, just how close does it come? At $1,799, the S95QR’s asking price rivals that of a conventional high-end Atmos setup, and many will need to weigh up the convenience the S95QR offers to its performance.