LG SN8YG review: A feature-packed soundbar that doesn’t neglect the basics

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LG SN8YG review: A feature-packed soundbar that doesn’t neglect the basics

The 3.1.2-channel LG SN8YG soundbar ticks many of our favorite boxes, including Dolby Atmos and DTS:X object-based sound, eARC support for lossless audio, room calibration, and built-in Chromecast and Google Assistant.


More importantly, the $800 SN8YG doesn’t skimp on sonic fundamentals, paying special attention to the mid-range audio that too many of its competitors tend to gloss over. While its flat sound signature won’t appeal to all tastes and it lacks soundstage-boosting side-firing drives, the LG SN8YG’s full, rich audio quality nails the basics.

This review is part of TechHive’s coverage of the best soundbars, where you’ll find reviews of competing products, plus a buyer’s guide to the features you should consider when shopping.

Configuration

The LG SN8YG is a 3.1.2-channel soundbar that includes the standard left, center, right, and low-frequency channels (the “3.1”) as well as two height channels (the “.2” at the end) for immersive Dolby Atmos and DTS:X sound. If you wish, you can turn the 440-watt SN8YG into a full-on 5.1.2 system by adding LG’s optional SPK8-S wireless surround speaker kit. (LG didn’t supply the SPK8-S for testing.)

The SN8YG’s left, center, and right channels each have one 40 x 100mm woofer and one 20mm silk tweeter dome, while a pair of 2.5-inch drivers supply the sound for the height channels. Finally, the wireless subwoofer houses a 7-inch driver.

The SN8YG’s upfiring drivers work by bouncing sound off your ceiling, an appealingly easy and inexpensive alternative to installing height speakers in your ceiling. There is a catch when it comes to upfiring drivers for 3D audio formats such as Dolby Atmos and DTS:X, however: you need to have the right ceiling. A flat ceiling between 7.5 and 14 feet is ideal, according to Dolby, while vaulted ceilings will mar the effect.

lg sn8yg soundbar up firing drivers Ben Patterson/IDG

The LG SN8YG’s two up-firing drivers deliver the height effects for Dolby Atmos and DTS:X soundtracks.

The main soundbar unit measures 41.7 x 2.2 x 4.7 inches, a relatively low profile that shouldn’t block the bottom edge of most TVs when the soundbar is sitting in front. Even with my 55-inch LG C9 OLED TV, a notoriously low-slung set, the top of the SN8YG’s housing barely grazed the C9’s bottom edge, not enough to give me any bother (and I’m a stickler for anything that blocks the margins of my TV screen).

The design of the SN8YG’s main housing is virtually identical to that of LG’s 2019 soundbars, including the SL10RG that I reviewed last year. Unlike some soundbars that are covered in fabric, the SN8YG’s bare shell exposes both the front speaker grille as well as the top circular grilles for the twin upfiring drivers. While the brushed top of the SN8YG looks stylish, it also tends to reflect bright images from the TV, although I never found the reflections to be unduly distracting.

Setup

Getting the SN8YG up and running was, for me at least, a painless operation. You can place the soundbar directly in front of your TV or mount it on a wall; mounting brackets, a screw kit, and a mounting guide are included. I opted to simply place the soundbar in front of my TV.

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