LG S95QR: analysis in two minutes

The LG S95QR expands the definition of a soundbar by including four separate speakers and offering a number of channels that would put most split-based systems to shame.

The LG S9.1.5QR's unusual 95-channel setup points to a new innovation for this 2022 flagship soundbar: a center speaker. This essentially boosts the same sound that also comes out of a more traditional front-firing center speaker at the front of the soundbar, with the aim of making dialogue sound more like it's coming from people talking on your screen.

Until now, even the best soundbars have maxed out at four upstream channels, but LG goes a step further: We've already seen that new center-height speaker in the LG S80QY, and we've been wowed by the bass. Now LG goes one step further.

The LG S95QR was designed in conjunction with premium speaker maker Meridian and includes a special Meridian Music Mode that reconfigures stereo music to take advantage of the S95QR's increased channel count.

The S95QR is easily LG's most capable soundbar to date, combining phenomenal amounts of power and room-filling impact with enormous dynamic range and an impressive, full soundstage that creates movie soundtracks, literally all around you. , even above your head, to rival the best. Dolby Atmos soundbars available today.

The S95QR is also surprisingly musical, leaving the only issues with a sometimes too distant feel of its surround sound staging, sometimes too much dialogue, and its slightly steep $1,699 / £1,499.99 / AU$1,749 price tag. If you want that kind of immersive experience for a lot less, check out the Samsung HW-Q930B.

LG S95QR sound bar in the living room

(Image credit: future)

  • LG S95QR (Black) on Amazon for €1,496.99 (Opens in a new tab)

LG S95QR review: Price and release date

  • Released June 2022
  • Official price: €1,699 / €1,499.99 / AU$1,749

The LG S95QR launched in June 2022, at worldwide prices that put it at the top end of the soundbar world. Still, that seems fair enough for a soundbar that boasts such extreme numbers as 15 real (rather than virtual) channels, 810W of power, and four separate speakers. A plain simple bar with two or three channels, the S95QR is certainly not.

If you've seen the trio of prices at the top of this section, you'll have noticed that the S95QR's UK price looks significantly higher (once currency exchange rates are factored in) than its US prices. .and Australia. In fact, the soundbar has recently received some pretty substantial price cuts in a number of countries outside of the UK, while in the UK it's still selling for its original launch price at the time of writing.

LG S95QR sound bar in the living room

(Image credit: future)

LG S95QR Review: Features

  • 9.1.5 sound channels
  • Includes four independent speakers.
  • Dolby Atmos and DTS:X playback

While still compact and uncluttered enough by design to be aptly called a soundbar, the S95QR packs plenty of audio warmth from its quad speakers.

The main sound bar, for example, manages to cram front left, front right, front center, left side, right side, and three speakers. Premium Atmos soundbars typically only have two speakers, but LG has added a third that essentially repeats the sound that comes out of the more common front center speaker below.

The rear speakers feature three drivers each: two angled speakers at the front to spread sound to the rear of your room, and one speaker each to ensure superior system sounds don't just occupy the front half of your room .

LG's 9.1.5-channel designation for the S95QR is perhaps questionable considering that the additional center channel's top-firing driver repeats the output of the front center speaker, while the two angled drivers at the front of each rear speaker also they just reproduce the same sound. just at slightly different angles. However, LG maintains that the impact of these drivers still delivers what feels like a 9.1.5 experience. As we will see later, it has a point.

Joining the multi-channel main bar and rear is a meaty subwoofer that features an 8-inch side speaker and a large port up front to help it move tons of air as efficiently and smoothly as possible.

As you'd expect from such an expensive soundbar, the S95QR can play Dolby Atmos and DTS:X soundtracks (including IMAX-enhanced versions) that deliver the premium surround sound experience of most movies and, in the case of Dolby Atmos. , a growing number of music tracks these days.

There's also support for a wide range of music file types via Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, including all major hi-res formats, while LG's connection to premium audio brand Meridian means there's a music preset which implements the specially crafted Meridian secret. sauce' to remix stereo music into something more multichannel.

As with last year's LG soundbars, the S95QR can easily take advantage of the AI ​​Sound Pro processing featured in the latest generations of LG TVs, allowing you to modify your sound on the fly to optimize it for different types of sound content. . .

The S95QR's connections are also superior to most soundbars. For one thing, it's compatible with LG's additional optional WowCast audio dongle, which enables wireless streaming of Dolby Atmos soundtracks from eARC-enabled TVs. Unlike the similar wireless audio streaming feature introduced by Samsung as an option for its soundbars this year, the WowCast system can also handle lossless rather than compressed Atmos mixes.

The S95QR's HDMI pass-through handles both variable refresh rate gaming and auto switching low latency mode (ALLM) signals from game consoles. Having come this far though, it's a shame gaming support doesn't extend to 4K 120Hz. Game audio, including Dolby Atmos soundtracks, to the S95QR via HDMI's ARC/eARC function .

The S95QR's HDMI pass-through also supports 4K High Dynamic Range signals in HDR10, HLG, and Dolby Vision formats, but frustratingly falls short of HDR10+.

LG S95QR sound bar in the living room

(Image credit: future)

LG S95QR review: Sound quality

  • Massively powerful
  • True surround sound experience
  • He loves music as much as movies.

Key specs

Audio channels: 9.1.5
Audio format compatibility: Dolby Atmos, DTS:X
Indicated speaker power: 818 W
Connectivity: 2x HDMI inputs, 1x HDMI eARC, optical digital audio input, USB port, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 5.0
Additional Features: Passthrough support includes 4K, Dolby Vision HDR, VRR, ALL; Hi-Res Audio and Meridian Music mode support; Share AI sound processing with LG TVs

It doesn't take long to listen to the S95QR to tell that it's comfortably the best soundbar LG has ever made. In fact, for movies and gaming in particular, it's one of the most satisfying home theater soundbars we've seen from any brand, period.

Three things in particular stand out with a variety of our favorite movie soundtracks: the power of the sound, the spaciousness of the soundstage, and the dynamic range it can produce without distortion or imbalance.

Watching them one by one, the immense power of the soundbar can be literally felt in the impact of the soundtrack's powerful moments as they burst into your room, blowing your hair with cinematic intent. even the most subtle details in the other. All without harshness or subtlety, while pushing sound from all channels to the far reaches of your living room.

This ability to project sound so far away from the soundbar's four physical elements is truly remarkable, creating such a successful three-dimensional sound space around you with Dolby Atmos mixes that you forget the speakers are even there. Which is more or less the perfect Dolby Atmos scenario.

When it comes to dynamic range, the new subwoofer produces deep bass that underpins big action scenes with great presence and weight, but is also more willing to step in during footage. adjusting the weight and depth of it to follow subtle changes in the dynamics of a scene.

At the other end of things, the highs come through without sounding spiky or sibilant, and with just enough gore to ensure they aren't drowned out by heavy bass.

Unsurprisingly, such extreme dynamic range as the S95QR provides enough midrange headroom to get the main part of a movie soundtrack through. This ensures that there is an extremely open, well-balanced and expressive feel, even in very dense moments of the soundtrack, while the dialogue remains clear throughout.

Beyond these more obvious charms, the S95QR is also very impressive at precisely placing sonic details. If a sound is supposed to come from the top left, you hear it from the top left. If a vehicle sticks out from the left side of the image, you'll hear its sound transition on the left side of your room. Best of all, by soundbar standards, if a plane is flying overhead, you actually hear it flying overhead.

Dual-angled drivers in each rear speaker connect to create an incredible-sounding rear soundstage, while the speakers in the main and rear soundbars pretty much manage to meet somewhere in the middle, above your head. Even if the sound they produce isn't necessarily as precise and detailed as it would be if you had real speakers in your ceiling.

The additional dialogue channel also does its part in many ways, clearly lifting vocal sounds vertically so they stick more convincingly to the on-screen action.

It's also a relief to find the new LG-supplied channels apparently helping the S95QR avoid the sometimes vague and unbalanced staging we experience...

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