LG SL8YG 3.1.2 Atmos soundbar Page 2

Dialogue is always clear, whether it's the deliberately gruff ramblings of Ben Affleck's Batman (...Dawn of Justice, Blu-ray) or the more dulcet tones of ...Fallen Kingdom's Bryce Dallas Howard.

Fallen Kingdom's Indiana Jones-inspired volcano fleeing scene (Chapter 8) gives the 'bar more chance to show off its height presentation and LFE handling, as lumps of molten lava plummet to the ground and towering dinosaurs romp past. One crashes through a fallen tree with an almighty thwack; LG's wireless sub brings the required depth.

819lgbar.remSomething Different
Reflected sound is a tricky business. It's not only about the 'bar, but where you place it and the attributes of your room. As I'd expected, a run through of Dolby's Atmos demo clips from a test disc finds the SL8YG failing to fully envelop when used in my living room (which has standard height ceilings). I'd expect the trick to be better with additional rears, of course. The falling rain of the Amaze trailer is better delivered than the more precise bird-flapping-its-wings flypast. Yet it's still able to pan and steer effects with distinction, and has an immersive feel that eludes two-channel products. It's not the 5.1 discrete home theatre of old, but something different.

The soundbar offers much more user control when a non object-based track is in play. With such sources, my advice would be perhaps to skip the ASC (Adaptive Sound Control) and Standard presets and switch to Movie or Bass Blast. Movie increases the projection and scale of the soundstage, while the latter largely does as advertised.

All of the presets can be played with a Surround mode on or off (although activating this is convoluted, as it involves a three-second press on the remote's EQ key – a dedicated button would have been more sensible). This brings the upfirers into play with stereo signals on all presets. If you want native two-channel playback (without the centre channel or upfirers), use the Music, Standard or ASC modes with Surround off.


Edge of Tomorrow's DTS-HD MA mix sounds undernourished in Standard Mode; a bit congested and unexpansive. As the troops banter on the dropship and then plummet into the beach battle chaos, there's strong dialogue and effects, but it lacks verve and body. Introducing Bass Blast or Movie is like (to borrow an audiophile phrase) lifting a veil. Only in this case it's more like lifting a heavy curtain.

A Friend of 4K BD
Juggling the SL8YG's sound modes and finding its best position make it not quite plug-n-play, but that shouldn't detract from an overall enjoyable performance, while DTS:X and Dolby Atmos playout, plus 4K HDR passthrough, make this a solid partner for a UHD disc collection. There's strong competition from Samsung, Sony and others at this price, but LG's system does enough to be worth an audition.

HCC Verdict


Price: £700

We say: This system's 3.1.2 presentation doesn't fully envelope, but still appeals. Sound delivery is energetic and full-range. Make sure to experiment with the sound presets.

Performance: 4/5
Features: 5/5
Design: 4.5/5
Overall: 4.5/5


Drive units: 3 x 0.75in soft dome tweeters; 3 x 1.5in x 4in midbass drivers; 2 x 2.5in upfiring units
Onboard power (claimed): 440W total
Connections: 1 x HDMI input; 1 x HDMI output (ARC); optical digital audio input; USB
Dolby Atmos/DTS:X: Yes/Yes
Separate Subwoofer: Yes. 7in driver, ported
Remote control: Yes.
Dimensions (soundbar): 1,060(w) x 57(h) x 119(d)mm
Weight (soundbar): 4.4kg

Features: Dual-band Wi-Fi; Meridian technology; 24-bit/96kHz upsampling; Standard, Movie, Music, Bass Blast, ASC sound presets; Google Assistant built-in; AV sync; channel level control; wireless rear speakers (optional)