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LG SJ9 Dolby Atmos Soundbar Review & Comments

Discussion in 'Soundbars, Soundplates & Soundbases' started by Steve Withers, Jun 18, 2017.


    1. Steve Withers

      Steve Withers
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    2. Harleymoo

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      The Samsung now supports dots 5.1 after it latest firmware update 3113
       
    3. Harleymoo

      Harleymoo
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      Dts rather auto correct
       
    4. Steve Withers

      Steve Withers
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      Thanks, I did say that the Samsung K950 and K850 support DTS 5.1 in the review of the SJ9.
       
    5. Neil Petrol

      Neil Petrol
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      Fantastic, thanks Steve. Had one delivered to Richer Sounds to play with yesterday as was initially getting a Sonos. I was surprised how good it was so that coupled with the features and your review means I'll just buy it later! Also keeps my OCD in check as it will go nicely with my OLED E6...
       
    6. Rob F1UK

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      Are you sure - has LG released any information saying this is now fully supported? The SJ9 would display "DTS" on the front display prior to this week's firmware update, but I thought it was just converting the DTS core to pseudo 5.1? I'm running my SJ9 with two LG H3 rear's via MusicFlow and do get discrete surround signals - this was happening before the recent firmware upgrade...

      Matches nicely with the E6, as that's what I'm running it with.

      @Steve Withers - worth noting that this week's firmware upgrade has also taken a step forward in resolving some of the HDMI handshake issues. My Sony UDP-X800 was playing entirely nocely with the SJ9 prior to it (it wouldn't display the X800 homescreen for more than about 30 seconds before going black, making changing the X800 settings or using the apps impossible), but this is now resolved...
       
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    7. MAX1210

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      I was at LG recently for training on the new OLED range and the SJ8/SJ9 - I'm pretty sure they said if you add surround speakers to the SJ9 (via music flow) then you lose Atmos capabilities. Is that something you found @Steve Withers ?
       
    8. SLS72

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      Will you be reviewing the Sony HT-ST5000 Atmos soundbar?
       
    9. Rob F1UK

      Rob F1UK
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      Interesting, of the 4 Atmos titles I've played with the H3's in my setup, all have had surround sound via the rears, with the TV and X800 showing TruHD 7.1 as the audio track playing (the SJ9 displays Atmos on the front display)...
       
    10. Steve Withers

      Steve Withers
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      Yes, as soon as we get a chance, and Philips Fidelio B8 as well.
       
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    11. Steve Withers

      Steve Withers
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      No because I didn't have any wireless rears, just the soundbar and sub. However if the soundbar is processing the rear channels for Atmos, I don't see why that would restrict using wireless rear speakers, unless it's a limitation of Music Flow. I guess if that's what LG told you in training then you can't, which is a shame.
       
    12. SCOLANATOR

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      I'm waiting for them to include full DTS support. Is it too much to ask to have DTS: X, Master Audio HD and Dolby Atmos in a £1000 sound bar?

      Also until eARC in HDMI 2.1 I feel it's a bit pointless having at Atmos soundbar. Hopefully LG include all of this next year.
       
    13. MAX1210

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      Thanks for that, glad to know it does work - maybe I misheard or was misinformed.
       
    14. 160 Sport

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      A thousand pound, for a soundbar, manufactured by LG, has the world gone mad?
       
    15. Rob F1UK

      Rob F1UK
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      According to a post over at AVS, the SJ9 will pass DV from a source that supports it (such as the OPPO 203)...
       
    16. SteveeJ

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      Hi Steve any word from Sony on availability/timescale for you to test?
       
    17. Steve Withers

      Steve Withers
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      No but I've already got a massive backlog, so it'll take a while.
       
    18. spinaltap

      spinaltap
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      You can take over-the-counter medication for that. :cool:
       
    19. Neil Petrol

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      This has dropped down to £799 at Currys & Richer Sounds guys... Get your price matches in if you can!!! Otherwise a even better buy now...
       
    20. Tristan45

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      This now makes it a lot cheaper than the Sony
      How would I connect my Sky Q and my ultra hd blu ray player at the same time,with only 1 hdmi input?
       
    21. Sunshinewelly

      Sunshinewelly
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      Use arc control and plug sky into TV
       
    22. Aryn86

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      Ok so I read something about arc being unable to do atmos, so for a proper setup would I

      1. Go from my KS8000 tv to the Soundbar via arc then 2. go from my UHD player to the soundbar via the other hdmi input?

      Sounds strait forward but I've not used ARC hdmi before always optical so wanted to make sure.
       
    23. Tristan45

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      So uhd player into hdmi into the soundbar
      Sky q into arc into the oled
      Is that correct guys
       
    24. Billy Goodgun

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    25. Aryn86

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      The streaming services I use are netflix and amazon prime which both use Dolby Digital+ so in that case they should be ok no? leaving the HD/Atmos audio to for blu rays when played through the UHD player.
       
    26. Billy Goodgun

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      Yes, those streaming services use DD+. I barely even qualify as an enthusiastic amateur here, so perhaps I've misunderstood and someone can correct me.

      But my understanding is that it doesn't matter what your apps stream if your TV won't carry a DD+ signal. If your ARC will only carry DD, then the audio will be downmixed to 5.1 by DD if it's high res.

      I have the KS8000, and I'm not aware it uses DD+, just DD (not that I've really looked into it, tbh).

      So you'll get 5.1 going via ARC to your soundbar. You'll be fine using your UHD player - it's just audio from the TV itself that will be affected.

      At least, that's how I understand it.
       
    27. Sunshinewelly

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      John Lewis will price match currys on this so £799 with 2 year guarantee.

      getting tempted with this price.
       
    28. Billy Goodgun

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      It's a great price, and I daresay it sounds great - although one HDMI in killed it for me.

      One. In a premium soundbar.
       
    29. JMB 1962

      JMB 1962
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      I have the HS9. Great sounding piece of kit. The software can be a bit flakey though. It has three HDMI inputs. I don't understand why the SJ9 only has one. That would stop me getting one if I was in the market.
       
    30. CinemaDude

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      OK, far be it for me to throw a "hey, the emperor's got no cloths" heads up here, but that any of these soundbars with a "Dolby Atmos" label slapped on them can claim be decoding and playing back a Dolby Atmos sound is absurd.

      First, you need to understand what Atmos is and how it significantly differs from multi-channel sound that we all have known for decades. Atmos is not that. Up until now, starting with two channel stereo and right thru 7.1, all have been channel based systems with a sound stage that is localized by manipulating the audio levels fed to the 2, 4, 5.1, 7.1 audio channels and speakers - one amp and speaker system per channel. You need separate amplification and separate speaker systems in those same numbers to reproduce audio that will faithfully match the recording made in the studio for those formats each channel requiring the same corresponding number of amp/speaker systems. Occasionally systems have been able to simulate additional channels using phase shift trickery and thus mimicking more channels than actual amps and speakers (those pseudo surround, phantom "channels") but setting that hocus pocus aside, rule of thumb is, in channel-based systems, channels played back require the same number of amps and speakers as the recorded format.

      Dolby Atmos on the other hand is an entirely different concept of sound reproduction. It is a digitally controlled object-based system that at its foundation, is a processing computer which takes sounds (music, effects dialogue) and treats each one and each component of them, not as channels, but as "digital objects" that are tagged by the sound engineer to emanate from a specific location in the room...above, below, behind, front and center, left and right, even hanging mid-air in the middle of the theatre. The processing computer then calculates which number of the 64 amps and speaker systems (call them playback objects) that are place all around the auditorium that need to get what level of that audio signal and in what phase, to allow the audience to hear that sound object as emanating from the exact location where the sound engineer placed it. This requires a powerful Dolby Atmos digital processor in the theatre and many playback objects (amplifiers and speaker systems), the number of which have NOTHING TO DO with channels.

      Fact is, with this type of system, a theatre can use as many or as few (within limits) amps and speakers it wants (or can afford) and that number also changes with the size of the room. The Atmos processor is programmed as to how many playback objects exist in the room, their physical location in the room, and using this digital map, the processor can then compute in real time, where each sound object is to be "placed" by feeding just the right amount of audio in the required phase to any number of of the playback objects (speakers).

      Understanding this must lead one to the inevitable conclusion that ANY soundbar that claims to be able accomplish the above with three speakers, none of which are located throughout the room or whose room coordinates are fed into a powerful Atmos digital processor, is laughable. While I understand that Dolby can't stay afloat selling Atmos systems to the very limited number of high-end cinemas and that it has to market the Atmos name to the consumer market to make it profitable, to say that these Atmos-labeled devices would be capable of delivering a real Atmos experience or in any way reproduce the very pin-pointed audio locations as mixed on the studio sound stage is laughable. IMHO, I think they can get away with it solely based on the Dolby name and also because most people probably haven't yet heard what real Atmos sounds like in a theatre because there are so few Atmos-equipped cinemas. It would be like selling a "stereo" system that had only one amplifier but two speakers to someone who had never heard real stereo.

      While this unit might be capable of getting all the audio contained in an Atmos soundtrack to be heard (playing it thru it's three puny speakers), it certainly doesn't mean you are hearing anything remotely akin to what that soundtrack sounded like played back in a real Atmos-equipped cinema. Simple question to ask yourself...do you have MULTIPLE speakers along the sides of your home theatre, in the ceilings, in the rear corners and on the back wall and each with its own amplifier? No? And all you've got is this soundbar under your HDTV screen? Then, sorry to inform you, you are NOT hearing location-specific, object based playback. Sorry.
       
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