LG SN5Y Review (2.1 Channel Soundbar)
LG SN5Y Review (2.1 Channel Soundbar)
I remember years back when I got my first soundbar, I was absolutely floored with how big a difference it made compared with my TV’s speakers.
It was like an entirely different world had opened up to me. Fast forward to today, and the ones that exist now are light years ahead both in quality and features. But that’s the thing; with so many out there, how do you pick?
While I did write an article that answers that very question, today I wanted to spotlight a system I feel is an incredible performer for a 2.1 channel system.
This is the LG SN5Y review!
The appearance of the LG SN5Y soundbar I feel, is pretty standard fare for the typical soundbar design. In all black it’s not something that’d really stand out in the every day room, but then again, the focus is on the sound so it doesn’t necessarily need to.
Made with what LG calls a modern design with clean edges, this a system designed to aesthetically match an LG UHD series 43″ and up television. You can of course use it with other branded TV’s as well, it was just designed to best match that type of TV in terms of how it looks.
But I like it all things considered. It’s not a small soundbar by any means but it’s certainly not gigantic either. I feel it’s right in the middle given its 35.4 inch frame.
Taking a closer look, what’s noticeable is the black metal grille that slightly wraps around the edges of the cabinet, and on the right side of it, there are 4 buttons that control the power, volume up & down, & the current input that the system is on.
It does also have an LED screen to display this info which is really nice.
There’s a little bit of a chamfered edge towards the top of the unit too, while the top itself is slightly textured with a small LG emblem placed towards the bottom right. Build quality of the device is solid (quite literally) with the bar itself feeling somewhat on the lighter side.
The subwoofer itself is pretty basic, with an all black cabinet and a fabric grille covering the actual woofer. It’s also not as heavy as I was initially expecting, coming in at about 11.7 pounds so it is on the more manageable side.
All in all, I think they look good, and should blend right in in a majority of rooms.
What’s In The Box/Unboxing
In terms of what you get in the box, there’s a remote control, optical cable, a warranty card, 2 triple A batteries for the remote, and the subwoofer and soundbar themselves.
It doesn’t come with an HDMI cable so that’s something to keep in mind. It does support the option to plug it in that way though. This is the one that I personally use.
The contents themselves are wrapped in plastic, which are then placed in individual sections of a thick styrofoam for protection. The styrofoam wasn’t hard to get out of the box either which I think is definitely a plus.
Features & Specs
Taking a look at the features of the LG SN5Y, there’s a few features I think are pretty noteworthy and make the experience that much better.
I’ve actually talked about DTS Virtual:X before, but it’s basically a way of simulating surround sound without the need for actual surrounding speakers placed around you.
While the sound still technically comes from a single source, through algorithms, it’s able to stimulate the the surround sound effect convincingly enough to where you feel like the sound field is all around you, even above you.
It’s a cool technology, and it’s great to see it here.
Wireless Surround Sound
Then if you wanted to incorporate actual surround sound speakers separately, the SN5Y gives you the ability to do so. The speakers aren’t in the box though which is something to be aware of.
24-bit/96kHz audio resolution
High resolution audio can make a big difference in the quality of the experience, and the higher the sampling rate & bit depth, the better the perceived quality overall.
The 24-bit/96kHz audio resolution that’s present here is one that actually surpasses CD quality, so on the content that actually supports it, it should provide a much more realistic and true to life sound quality.
AI Sound Pro
There’s also a feature here called AI Sound Pro that automatically adjusts the sound levels to the type of content that you’re watching.
So with whatever you happen to be playing, the sound bar is able to automatically optimize the sound for that specific content on the fly, adjusting things like the treble and the bass for the best experience.
Full Bluetooth support is also here as well with Bluetooth 4.2, meaning you’re able to play your favorite content from your smartphone, tablet, or other Bluetooth enabled device on the soundbar.
Lastly should you wish to wall mount the SN5Y, it comes with wall mounting brackets so that you’re actually able to do so which is convenient.
As far as specs go, it’s a 2.1 channel soundbar that is rated at 400 watts total. There’s two sets of 2 front speakers rated at 45 watts each and 90 watts for the pair.
It consumes 28 watts of power and in standby mode, it only consumes .5W.
The SN5Y measures 35.04″ x 2.2″ x 3.4″ (WxHxD) and weighs 5.2 pounds.
The subwoofer is wireless, and is rated at 220 watts and weighs 11.7 pounds.
It measures 7.1″ x 15.4″ x 11.5″ (WxHxD)
It consumes 33 watts of power, and in standby it consumes .5.
There’s TV remote compatibility, an auto volume leveler (in app), dynamic range control (in app), Firmware Over-the-air (FOTA) support, an LCD display dimmer, a smartphone app that supports both IOS & Android, LG’s Simplink, and a night mode.
The sound modes it supports are: AI Sound Pro (default), Bass Blast, Bass Blast +, and DTS Virtual:X.
The audio formats it supports are: LPCM, Dolby Digital, DTS Digital Surround, FLAC (Up to 192kHz) C4A / USB, OGG (Up to 48kHz) C4A / USB, WAV C4A / USB, MP3 C4A / USB, and AAC / AAC+.
In terms of connection options, it has 1 HDMI (HDCP1.4) output, 1 HDMI (HDCP1.4) input, an optical input, Bluetooth, and a USB port.
How To Set It Up
Setting up the S5NY is pretty simple, but it depends on the display that you plan on using with it.
HDMI is my preferred connection choice as I find it tends to produce the best audio. However if your TV doesn’t have ARC support, then you’ll have to use an optical cable to get any output.
First if your TV does support it (most recent TVs do), then start by connecting the cable into the slot labeled ARC on the soundbar. Then connect the other side of that same cable into the same slot labeled ARC on your television.
Sidenote, if you’re planning to use a receiver, and it’s already connected to your TV through ARC via HDMI, then connect the soundbar to an HDMI input on the receiver.
If your TV doesn’t have have an ARC slot like I mentioned before, then first take the optical cable and connect it into the soundbar. Then take the other side and connect it into the TV.
Each additional device such as cable box or blu ray player would need to their respective HDMI cables that connect into your TV. This is the one I use.
Then plug the power cord into the sound bar, and connect that as well as the subwoofer into an outlet.
After the soundbar is on, turn the volume down to the minimum.
Next in order to pair the subwoofer with the unit, press and hold mute on the remote for 3 seconds and then press and hold the small button on the back of the subwoofer for 5 seconds until the small LED on the sub blinks red and green.
If it’s already blinking green you can skip this step.
Then unplug both the soundbar and subwoofer and wait for both LEDs to turn off. After this, then plug them both back up and they should pair automatically.
Keep in mind though, the sub should be kept within 15 feet of the soundbar in order to maintain the best connection and not cut out when playing.
So the features are cool and all, but how does it actually sound?
Well to answer that very question, the first thing I did was play about an hours worth of music to really get a grasp on how well it handled things like clarity, separation, and of course the low end with regards to the sub.
I went through a few playlists spanning a wide variety of genres, and ultimately, the main takeaway I had by this point was this — it’s incredible.
Not only was the sound quality crystal clear & precise, what I noticed was that it was really balanced too; not leaning too much one way or the other on the frequency range.
Each instrument was clearly audible, while also managing to not seem too sibilant and fatiguing over time. It was just enjoyable to listen to.
The subwoofer though was what I really found to be interesting. While there wasn’t a notated frequency for the subwoofer, I found it that it actually went pretty deep, at least to my ears, and definitely had some good impact when it came to the bass.
On songs with a deep baseline, the low end delivered with a satisfying kick that really made things come alive. I did notice though that it wasn’t able to quite hit those uber deep notes like a few bigger subs out there.
I mean it goes without saying the a bigger sub likely would deliver more bass, but it did go deep enough to where I personally was happy to be honest. It was just something I noticed.
That same instance that I just mentioned was also apparent during movies. The treble and higher end sound were incredible, the bass hit hard and was loud, but it still didn’t necessarily get super deep.
Now I was watching in a somewhat bigger room so I’d imagine that probably has something to do with it.
Still, I did think that even there it sounded really good, and was able to provide adequate volume to the point where I didn’t need to turn it to max volume.
Plus with being into audio for what feels like forever, my ears are accustomed to listen for things that maybe someone else might not necessarily even notice so there’s also that.
In a normal sized room or bedroom, I have no doubts it’d sound just as good if not better.
By no means is the bass lacking though; it’s here in spades and actually doesn’t get boomy either at those higher volumes which is really awesome.
It’s clean, punchy, and really helps with making the overall action on screen that much more engaging.
Trying the different sound modes was fun, and really allowed for a lot in the way of customization. When it came to the Virtual DTS:X surround sound mode, it actually gave a convincing enough effect to where I preferred leaving it on.
The soundstage was much improved, and made it feel like there was some degree of surround sound even from above.
I wouldn’t personally say it’s a complete replacement for dedicated ceiling speakers, but it’s certainly compelling enough to use.
The smartphone app that’s available to use with it was really cool too, and allowed me to even further adjust things.
The AI sound pro feature that automatically optimizes your content depending on what you watch I actually found to work really well. It did tend to slightly emphasize voices in a few rare instances, but it worked just fine other than that.
I could really see this being a helpful feature for those that don’t like to tinker with settings and prefer things that just work.
Overall then, I think the LG SN5Y is quite the compelling 2.1 channel system that combined with the features it offers, and the excellent sound quality it’s able to deliver, it’s hard to nitpick too much about it quite honestly.
What it does, it does extremely well, and if you don’t mind the slight quibbles that I mentioned earlier, then it really is a great system.
All in all, it gets a thumbs up. 👍
- Excellent sound quality
- Clean bass
- Wall mountable
- Automatically optimize sound to your content
- Bluetooth support
- Virtual surround sound feature
- Support for higher resolution audio formats
- Bass doesn’t hit the deepest notes
With that, that about does it for this one. This has been the LG SN5Y review, a look at a system that I personally feel performs really well.
Remember if you have any questions then feel free to reach out. Until next time, make it easy, keep it simple. 😁
Hey everyone it’s nice to meet you. I’m Jasmere, the founder of Easy Home Theater. I’ve been with this hobby for many years now, and decided to create this site to share everything that I’ve learned from personal experience with you. I also happen to be a huge gamer, lover of all things tech related, and a major fitness buff. Feel free to say hey!