The 2018 LG soundbars encompass six new models with a wide variety of features. In the area of performance, most of the new models feature aluminum-dome tweeters that are capable of reproducing up to 40 kHz at 6 dB higher than silk-dome tweeters above 20 kHz. Another feature is an integrated-chamber structure that is said to improve audio resolution and mid-range vocals while boosting the low range and the range from 5 to 10 kHz.
All but the entry-level SK1 can reproduce high-resolution audio up to 24-bit/96 kHz or 24/192, and they support lossless audio formats such as FLAC, ALAC, and WAV. They can also upconvert lower-res audio to HRA.
Except for the SK1, all the new LG soundbars include a wireless subwoofer. In addition, you can add the SPK8 package, which consists of two wireless surround speakers, for a genuine surround soundfield.
Dolby Atmos is an important feature of the top two models, which provide two overhead channels that reflect from the ceiling. The flagship SK10Y even lets you control the volume of the overhead channels separately from the main volume. Speaking of immersive audio, the midrange SK5 and SK6 offer DTS Virtual:X, which simulates an immersive soundfield from 2.1-channel soundbars.
Like last year, the 2018 LG soundbars can participate in a wireless whole-home audio system using Chromecast built-in. New this year is the ability to control the top four models with vocal commands using Google Assistant.
The entry-level 2.0 SK1 provides 40W of power, while the 2.1 SK5 offers a total of 360W and DTS Virtual:X. Next up the food chain is the 2.1 SK6, also with 360W of total system power and DTS Virtual:X, and it adds Wi-Fi connectivity to support Chromecast built-in and Google Assistant.
The 2.1 SK8 also offers a total of 360W, but it can accept a Dolby Atmos signal and reproduce it much like some of the LG TVs do. For true Dolby Atmos, the 5.1.2 SK9 provides 500W of total system power, and the flagship 5.1.2 SK10Y ups system power to 550W. If you add the SPK8 wireless-surround package, the top two models become 7.1.2.
In addition, the SK10Y features DSP and acoustical technology from Meridian Audio, the venerable high-end British audio company that recently entered into partnership with LG. The enhancements from Meridian include Height Elevation, which raises the apparent location of the sound to screen height.
No pricing has been announced, but all the new LG soundbars are scheduled to be available in March or April.
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