Dolby Atmos for your Home Theatre - Here's the LG SJ9 High Resolution Audio Sound Bar

Introduction

With the improvements in technologies, the recreation of a full cinematic audio experience at home has been made a lot easier than in the past. Gone were the days when you had to have fancy devices and multiple speakers around the room to recreate the whole surround sound experience. These days, with the introduction of new Dolby Atmos enabled speaker systems, a surround sound home theatre system can be easily attained.


The LG SJ9 Home Theatre Soundbar lowers the barrier to the adoption of such systems. Equipped with the Dolby Atmos technology, the LG SJ9 aims to enable surround sound theatre experience without much hassle.

How does the Dolby Atmos technology work? How is the audio experience of the LG SJ9? Read on to find out how the LG SJ9 performs. 

The Dolby Atmos Technology


A Dolby Atmos enabled soundbar differentiate itself from any other sound bars as it has upward firing drivers. These drivers create the illusion of surround sound when the sounds are bounced off from the ceiling and into your ears. This simulates a 3-dimensional audio environment that literally allows you to hear sounds from all around you. 

Of course, Dolby Atmos can also be used with a multi-speaker setup. The advantage of a soundbar enabled system is that it allows the cutting down of additional setup requirements while being contained within a very small footprint. We simply need to place the soundbar below the television, and its technology will take care of the rest. It removes the need to run cables all around the room to reach all the different corners or under the carpet. This is one of the core advantages of the LG SJ9 soundbar.

Upward Firing Speakers


The LG SJ9 Soundbar




The LG SJ9 is a 5.1.2 setup. Essentially, the surround sounds are created with 2 x 43W speakers for its left and right channels, another 43W speaker for its center channel and 2 x upward firing speakers for the surround sound experience. Additionally, it also comes with a 200W wireless Subwoofer. 


The LG SJ9 really differentiates itself from other soundbars as it tries to be as minimal as possible. The design fits really well into any home theatre setup, and it looks surprisingly good due to its design being almost cable-free. Other than 2 power connectors that runs from the back of the soundbar and the subwoofer to the mains, the whole setup can actually operate without any other physical connection. The support for wireless audio really allows the whole setup to be extremely easy and clean. 

Moreover, the ports are ingenuously kept at the back of the main soundbar unit, thus allowing the cables (if there were any in the first place) to be hidden away from plain sight.

It is amazing how the subwoofer can be connected to the main SJ9 soundbar unit without any cables. Surprisingly, the connection was seamless and there were no audible lags between the sounds coming from the subwoofer and the main speakers.

I/O Options for SJ9 (Bluetooth and Wireless Connectivity are also included)

Physical buttons behind the SJ9

Our Experience



Simply astounding! We were simply amazed by the quality of the sounds coming from the SJ9 system, when playing a Blu-ray version of Superman v Batman : Dawn of Justice. The dedicated subwoofer really makes a huge difference in terms of bringing the actual impact of the sounds directly to the audience. There was simply not much we can complain about on the SJ9 when it comes to movies. 

The sounds that are supposed to come from the rear of the speakers are subtle, and perhaps not as obvious as an actual 6 speakers (or more) setup for Dolby Atmos. However, it was enough to introduce an immersive audio environment to the entire setup. Not to mention, it could really perform very well in games as well.

We realized that to fully enjoy the whole setup, one must stay at a certain distance away from the soundbar. Too far away, and the whole "immersive" feeling will be lost. This also means that you will have to find that "acoustic sweet spot" in your home theater room in order to fully enjoy the full surround sound experience of the LG SJ9.

Sound Modes
SJ9 has a hidden LED display at the front of the unot
In terms of audio playback, the LG SJ9 also supports Bluetooth audio and allows music to be streamed directly to it. There are various "Audio Sound Mode" presets for the SJ9, which includes the Adaptive Sound Control, Standard, Music, Bass Blast and Cinema. For music, we generally felt that the Bass Blast preset was not only able to just improve general bass output, but also widens the audio profile of each music track significantly. 

During our time with it, the soundbar was also able to balance the sounds from all the frequencies. With the dedicated subwoofer, the lows are easily reached and appears definitive. The highs are also very well presented with peaks that are crisp and clear. However, we do find a certain degree of distortion in the mids, which could likely be caused by the up-sampling engine that is built in to the soundbar. 

Conclusion



LG has designed the SJ9 to be extremely simple to setup. We can also get a feel of what the LG designers have in their mind when designing the SJ9, as those qualities are all shown in our tests. The system was almost free from any cables running around the room and it remained compact and clean with our TV console. Additionally, we thought that the wireless sub-woofer technology really sets the whole SJ9 system apart from any other competing products. 

The LG SJ9 is one of the best sounding speakers we have tested thus far. It was able to produce impeccable sounds through its powerful drivers, while performing well in both movies and music settings. 

For a price of SGD 1,288, we thought that the SJ9 is still considered to be one of the more affordable Dolby Atmos enabled soundbars that is available in our market. If you are looking out for a compact set-up for your home theater system, the LG SJ9 is a contender worth considering. 


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