LG SP11RA Soundbar Review & Comments

bongo123

Active Member
This soundbar seems dead on arrival with the far superior Samsung one being only a £100 more and at this price point an extra ton is nothing, honestly cant see why you would choose this over the sammy
 

lgans316

Distinguished Member
"SN11RG, which had problems allocating bass to the surround channels."

This has been fixed with latest f/w update.
 

LordGMLP

Novice Member
Really torn between this and the Sammy HW-Q950A since I have an LG G1, so mismatching would definitely lose the AI Sound Pro and TV Sound Mode share integration. Then again your reviews clearly indicate Samsung produces superior sound quality. I mostly game and listen to lossless music so sound quality is indeed important. Does the integration with Gen 4 Alpha 9 processor make a difference in that regard?
 

socom23

Active Member
How does the LG compare to the Sonos Arc?
 

Gordon2147

Active Member
Hi Steve,

thanks for the review. One quick question about the comparison with the JBL bar 9.1, should the comparison be with the 950T samsung?

As far as these soundbars are concerned, I would really like to see them go with the battery powered rears version like the JBL, which in my opinion would be an absolute no brainer for a lot of people, through the flexibility of placement, which again in my opinion would overcome the need to recharge them.

i sincerely hope the two top players in proper surround sound bars (LG and Samsung) go down this route as I would gladly spend the asking price. I have the JBL and although it has short comings, is good value and those detachable portable rears are an absolute winner.

I am glad they are still making these systems as they are definitely more appealing the less wires are involved, at least for me anyway. If I had a man cave then full size surround with down firing overheads would be a no brainer, however I can dream on, so the battery powered rears in a system better than the JBL will be where my money goes.

Thanks again for the review, this set up still has appeal and will become all the more as the discounts come in or bundle offers are available.
 

Steve Withers

Reviewer
What about passthrough for its hdmi 2.1 ports?
It can't pass HDR10+, and I discuss the com potability issues with Dolby Vision passthrough in the review. The SP11RA can also pass ALLM and VRR, but I wasn't able to check the latter.
 

Steve Withers

Reviewer
Does the integration with Gen 4 Alpha 9 processor make a difference in that regard?
I wasn't testing the SP11RA with a 2021 LG TV, so I can't really answer that question. But to be honest, I'm dubious of any audible benefits.
 

Steve Withers

Reviewer
One quick question about the comparison with the JBL bar 9.1, should the comparison be with the 950T samsung?
I'm not sure I understand the question.
 

lgans316

Distinguished Member
UB820 DV passthrough - surprised LG haven't fixed this ! as it can passthrough DV from ATV 4K and Zidoo box.
 

StreaMRoLLeR

Standard Member
It can't pass HDR10+, and I discuss the com potability issues with Dolby Vision passthrough in the review. The SP11RA can also pass ALLM and VRR, but I wasn't able to check the latter.
It is fake 2.1 only pass ALLM and VRR on 4K60 not 120. Also you should HAVE MENTIONED SN11RG bass issue has been fixed with lastest update. They are also claiming muddy atmos is better now.
 

Steve Withers

Reviewer
UB820 DV passthrough - surprised LG haven't fixed this ! as it can passthrough DV from ATV 4K and Zidoo box.
Not only have they not fixed it, despite being told last year, they acted like it was a new issue when I told them the SP8 and SP11 also couldn't pass Dolby Vision from my UB820.
 

StreaMRoLLeR

Standard Member
Can you do Side by Side SN11RG vs SP11RA with the lastest firmware on SN11RG

2106011 FW on 11RG

I waited 4 months for 11RA but LG dont deliver 2021 lineup on my region. According to your review the only difference i can tell is ABILITY to take advantage of gen4 9 CPU for sound processing
@Steve Withers
 

Steve Withers

Reviewer
Can you do Side by Side SN11RG vs SP11RA with the lastest firmware on SN11RG

2106011 FW on 11RG

I waited 4 months for 11RA but LG dont deliver 2021 lineup on my region. According to your review the only difference i can tell is ABILITY to take advantage of gen4 9 CPU for sound processing
@Steve Withers
Sorry I don't have either soundbar any more, and haven't seen the SN11RG since last year. But if the new firmware has fixed the bass/Atmos issues on the SN11RG, then there really is no significant difference between the two soundbars.
 

lgans316

Distinguished Member
Strange that this supports DTS, when their own 2021 TV's don't.

I am sure its do with licensing cost as most TVs stopped supporting DTS. Some of them never supported it.

99.99% streaming services use Dolby Digital / Atmos.

Sony TVs support DTS passthrough via eARC. They will continue to do so as long as they are in this IMAX-enhanced partnership and continue supporting Bravia Core.
 

pipkins

Standard Member
The manual states that the subwoofer needs to be placed close to the soundbar, ideally within a couple of metres, is this the case, could it not be positioned further away?
 

oldfart

Active Member
" LG claims Dolby Vision passthrough, and while this was true using our LG UP970 4K Blu-ray player, as with last year this isn't the case when using our Panasonic DP-UB820 UHD Blu-ray player. LG really needs to address this incompatibility issue because it's not acceptable, and Panasonic players are the most popular on the market these days. "

Did have this problem with a Panasonic sound bar purchased a year ago!. The specs said " Enjoy 4K passthrough into 2 HDMI inputs, however the reality was that I kept getting error messages saying the signal was incompatible. The bottom line is I cannot connect my Apple TV 4K and Panasonic 4K to the sound bar?, which really defeated the reason I purchased the unit in the first place ( Needed extra HDMI's ). Will be very careful before I buy another one.
 

LordGMLP

Novice Member
Really need to read between the fine lines when looking at soundbar manufacturer's quoted capabilities these days. High end offerings from both LG and Samsung have nothing more than HDMI 2.0+eARC+HDCP. LG put "HDMI Ports support HDCP 2.3 up to [email protected] 60fps (4:4:4 Dolby Vision, HDR10)" on their product page for the SP11RA. AFAIK the Klipsch Cinema 1200 soundbar has full HDMI 2.1 support (quoted "Features HDCP 2.3, for 8K HDR video pass-through for use with state-of-the-art TVs and HDMI sources"). Let's wait and see.

I'm passing through one of the HDMI In ports on the SP11RA right now from a work laptop (Dell Latitude from 2017 with integrated Intel graphics). No 120Hz, even at 1080p (but the laptop can push that if I connect directly to my TV's HDMI 2.1 port). My home PC with an RTX 3080 passed through [email protected] with HDR no problem.
 
Last edited:

outoftheknow

Moderator
High end offerings from both LG and Samsung have nothing more than HDMI 2.0+eARC+HDCP. LG put "HDMI Ports support HDCP 2.3 up to [email protected] 60fps (4:4:4Dolby Vision, HDR10)" on their product page for the SP11RA.
I think that from LG is correct though? HDCP 2.3 is a totally different protocol to do with copyright protection. Remember the HDMI 2.0/HDCP 2.2 fiasco about a decade ago when people bought HDMI 2.0 4K TVs only to find the l new HDCP standard required for 4K from BD players etc a bit later wasn’t supported?

4K/60Hz and the other stuff detailed isn’t saying it will do 4K/120, VRR, ALLM etc which are features of the HDMI 2.1 standard. eARC and a couple of those are able to be added to HDMI 2.0(b) standard sockets within the 18Gb/s total bandwidth of that standard.

Manufacturers are not permitted to call their sockets an HDMI standard number, nor a cable by that number either. So many do it causes confusion. The latest Samsung’s here in Australia I think say what HDMI 2.1 features are supported which is absolutely what they should say.

Just because eARC and maybe even VRR is supported doesn’t make it an HDMI 2.1 socket. As noted many times here no soundbar has full featured HDMI 2.1 sockets yet - not even the 2021 models. TVs do so if you want those high end video features you rely on the TV passing full audio via eARC. If you want high end audio codec support you rely on the soundbar to pass high end video.

eARC support between manufacturers is highly variable. There appear to be issues with how two devices can identify each other through HDMI and certain audio needing bizarre or missing setting in the TV to passthrough.

I guess soundbars are to deliver the best audio possible with things plugged into the inputs, and in theory eARC is supposed to be the way to deliver full fat audio from the TV that supports the high end video features.

HDMI-CEC is also an optional feature since almost “forever” and that still doesn’t work well. Each manufacturer takes it and remakes it and useful features simply don’t work. Or work so well inputs are changed on each device several times and then one of them powers off :rotfl:
 

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