LG S80QY Review
More immersion with three up-firing channels?

Gesa

soundbarfindr Editorial

As a cinema fan and self-confessed hobby musician, Gesa is always on the lookout for the best sound experience.

LG S80QY - Average mid-range setup

The S80QY is the most affordable soundbar with LG’s new up-firing center speaker and, at a width of one meter, is significantly more compact than the higher-priced models in the lineup. The nevertheless proud price of the 3.1.3-channel system is justified by the external subwoofer, all sorts of features for sound improvement and numerous streaming options.

Sound-wise, the setup has 480 watts of power, but it is still not too loud and can only deliver a mediocre Surround and Atmos performance. The height channels do their best and the center channels provide clear voices, but the downmix of surround content to stereo does not create an immersive sound experience. In the end, you probably have to buy the additional Rear Speakers for this.

All in all, this is a solid soundbar that has a lot to offer. Despite new technology and LG features, it cannot deliver anything in terms of sound that other soundbars in the middle price segment cannot, though.

Pro
  • 480W total power
  • Powerful subwoofer
  • Smart Features
  • Dolby Atmos & DTS:X
  • IMAX Enhanced
  • Room Calibration
  • EQ Presets
  • High quality design
Contra
  • Downmix from surround to stereo
  • Low volume
  • No 4K@120Hz
  • No graphic equalizer
  • Weaknesses in low bass

The S80QY has a high-quality look

The design of the S80QY is not very different from the previous models from LG: It has a metal cover on the top and back, and a fabric cover on the front and sides. The surface of the cover is made of anthracite-colored brushed metal, which gives it a high-quality look. The included woofer also comes in this look. It is a side-firing subwoofer, which – like the soundbar itself – has rounded corners. Both components look noble and robust at the same time.

With its width of one meter, the LG S80QY cuts a fine figure in front of 48-inch TVs or larger. Thanks to the height of around 6 centimeters, nothing of the picture is covered – at least if your TV doesn’t have a stand that’s too low, such as the Sony A95K. You can also control the 3.1.3-channel system on the soundbar itself, namely with the touch buttons on its top. It has a total of six of these, including for volume control and input source selection. The current status of the soundbar can be read on a small LCD display on its front.

The typical package contents of LG

If you want to mount the soundbar on the wall, you are already well prepared: after all, the corresponding wall mounts are already included. Also included are power cords and instructions for both components, a HDMI cable and a remote control including batteries.

unpacked scope of delivery of the S80QY
The scope of delivery includes everything you need for starting it up

The remote control comes in a sleek look and is handy. However, those who connect the soundbar with the included HDMI cable do not necessarily need it, because thanks to HDMI CEC, the system can then also be controlled via TV remote control. However, this is mostly limited to volume settings and switching on and off. To adjust the treble and, if necessary, the external rear speakers, you have to use the soundbar’s remote control again or, since it is a Smart Soundbar, the corresponding app (more on this in the Smart Features section).

Soundbar control
The remote control of the LG Soundbar is very handy

The S80QY could even provide wireless 3D sound

Admittedly, there are not too many options for pairing the S80QY with your own TV. Thus, it only has an HDMI output with eARC support as well as an optical port and a USB interface. Via eARC, it can then transmit formats like Dolby Atmos, DTS:X or even IMAX sound uncompressed. The special feature: With the corresponding additional hardware, this is even possible wirelessly. Finally, the system is compatible with LG’s Wowcast WTP3, a separately available audio dongle that enables lossless, wireless transmission between the TV and soundbar.

Optical port
The optical port is separated from the rest

The interfaces of the LG soundbar are modest

The S80QY also has an HDMI input for connecting a BluRay player, console or similar. This one also supports gaming features like VRR (Variable Refresh Rate) and ALLM (Auto Low Latency Mode). Likewise, Dolby Vision, HDR10 and 4K content can be forwarded, but only at 60 Hz.

Back of the soundbar with HDMI connections
Its interfaces are located on the bottom of the soundbar

The LG S80QY sounds solid

The first thing that stands out in the test is that LG’s soundbar unfortunately does not get particularly loud despite a total power of 480 watts, which could be a problem for particularly large rooms or for use at parties. At the first listening impression, the sound also seems quite bass-heavy. This is also evident from the soundbar’s frequency response, as our measurement showed that the lows are clearly emphasized. The bass ist therefore perceptible to a certain extent, but deficiencies are still noticeable in the low bass. Low mids and midrange, on the other hand, look much more balanced, whereby voices and dialogs are reproduced very clearly. However, due to the clear dip at just under 4000 Hz, the lead instruments are partly pushed into the background during music playback, for example, and the overall sound seems a bit muffled.

Graph showing the curve for frequency response
The result of our frequency response measurement for the S80QY

Regarding surround performance, the same problems arise that we already know from other systems with three main channels. Indeed, even with the S80QY, surround content has to be mixed down to stereo, which makes the direction of the sound clearly audible. The addition of the matching Rear Speaker from LG could bring another significant improvement here. The same applies to the Dolby Atmos performance, because the setup definitely has potential in combination with the noticeable bass. Especially the treble channels do a good job and the center channel knows how to convince with clear dialogs and accurate voices.

LG S80QY: Sound customization via presets

To improve the sound of the soundbar individually, an adjustment of bass and treble is possible. It also comes with diverse sound effects, such as a Music, Cinema, Sports, Game or Bass Blast mode. A Clear Voice function is also on board, which makes dialogs sound even clearer. As additional features, it comes with AI Room Calibration, which optimally adapts the sound to your own four walls, as well as AI Sound Pro. With this, content is analyzed and the sound of the soundbar is automatically adapted to it. The same is also available for the volume with Auto Volume and night mode.

LG soundbar and TV: A dream team

Of course, the S80QY per se can be connected to any TV. However, the manufacturer has once again integrated some specials for the pairing with a modern LG device. One of them is called Soundbar Mode Control, but this only guarantees some convenience by allowing the soundbar’s settings to be changed via the TV. Otherwise, if you own a corresponding LG TV, you can also use TV Sound Mode Share: This uses the TV’s better sound processor to analyze the audio content and adapt the sound to it accordingly.

S80QY and matching LG TV
With the right LG TV, additional features can be used

No limits for streaming and co.

The aforementioned sound customization features are all found in the matching app, which can be used to control the LG Soundbar. It is also compatible with Amazon’s Alexa and the Google Assistant, but an external third-party device is required for use – both voice assistants are ultimately not integrated. Other options for wireless transmission are also available via Wi-Fi connection, Bluetooth, Chromecast and Apple Airplay2.

LG S80QY Review Datasheet

Dimensions Soundbar (WxHxD)1000 x 63 x 135 mm
Weight Soundbar4,5 kg
Dimensions Subwoofer (WxHxD)200 x 407 x 403 mm
Weight Subwoofer10 kg
Internal Subwoofer
Rear speaker
Wall mount inkludiert
Channels 3.1.3
Power Output SoundbarN/A
Power Output SubwooferN/A
Total Power Output480 watts
Center speaker
HDMI 2.0 In0
HDMI 2.1 In1
HDMI ARC
HDMI eARC
Digital optical1
3.5mm jack0
USB1
Ethernet RJ450
Dolby Atmos
Dolby True HD
Dolby Digital+
Dolby
Dolby Vision
DTS:X
DTS HD Master
DTS
HDR10+
Bluetooth
WLAN
Chromecast
Apple Airplay
Multiroom
Amazon Alexa compatible
Google Assistant compatible
All information without guarantee

Frequently asked questions about the LG S80QY

A 3.1.3 channel system has a total of seven channels. The first digit stands for the main channels, the middle digit for the number of subwoofer channels. The last number represents the up-firing channels.

Meridian is a British audio manufacturer that LG has partnered with for years to develop its soundbars. Meridian Horizon technology, for example, provides excellent upmixing of stereo content.

* Approximate price incl. VAT, plus shipping costs. Please note that prices shown here may have changed in the meantime.
All data without guarantee. All trademarks, designs and logos displayed are owned by their companies.