There were plenty of soundbars launched at CES in January, with 2017 looking like the year that Dolby Atmos properly takes off in the home.
Sony and Samsung are both investing heavily in Dolby Atmos kit, while LG is really going to town with the technology. It is incorporating it into all of its 2017 OLED TVs and has a premium soundbar that not only provides excellent Dolby Atmos support, it looks the part too.
The LG SJ9 is a long, flat soundbar that comes with a separate wireless subwoofer and two upfiring speaker units either side for 5.1.2 surround sound.
Five speaker units are ranged at the sides and front from left to right, under a smartly designed grille, while the two Dolby Atmos drivers are angled towards the ceiling.
Dolby Atmos creates more immersive sound by firing some of the audio mix upwards, bouncing it off the ceiling and down to the listening position in order to form a bubble of sound. When coupled with the fronts and rears - virtual in this case - you really feel encompassed in the audio experience.
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In our CES 2017 demo, we got a genuine sense of spatial surround sound, with great separation to the left, right and above. If you want a more meaty experience with your movies, there are few better ways.
Of course, you could get a proper 5.1.2 speaker set-up, but this soundbar provides a more elegant solution for those who want less clutter and cabling.
The SJ9 provides 500W of total power and even has Google Cast and Spotify built in. It also acts as an AV receiver, with two HDMI 2.0 inputs, each with 4K Ultra HD video passthrough, one optical audio in, and two HDMI 2.0 outputs. It has Bluetooth and Wi-Fi too.
It is capable of high-res audio playback, up to 24bit/192kHz.
Price and release date details are yet to be revealed. A similar model of soundbar comes with the LG OLED W TV, which acts as the television's media box.