Ahead of this year’s CES 2023 expo in Las Vegas, LG has taken the wraps off three new soundbars as well as rolling out a wide-ranging feature update to older models, including the S95QR, its 2022 flagship all-in-one cinema system.
The new LG line-up for 2023 sees the introduction of the SC9S a 3.1.3 soundbar designed to complement its C-series OLED TVs. The new model sits on a bracket that can be attached to the back of any LG's C-series TV. This allows the SC9S to look like an integrated part of the display, while also ensuring that the soundbar is in the right spot for its up-firing drivers to work as intended.
A slimline 3.1.3, 400W model called the S77S meanwhile boasts most of the features of SC9S but without the C-series TV integration.
The new line-up is rounded off with the SE6S, a dinky 3.0 system that serves as the latest edition to LG’s compact Éclair soundbar range.
No rear speakers are included with any of the new soundbars, but they do boast a wealth of interesting new features for LG sound systems.
Top of the list is ‘Wow Orchestra', which lets the soundbar play in synchronization with LG TV's speakers, a function which sounds remarkably similar in scope to Samsung's much-heralded 'Q-Symphony' feature.
The new models also feature an up-mixer that LG claims can convert a standard two-channel stereo audio track into a 9.1.5 channel mix.
Gamers meanwhile will be most interested in all three model’s support for 4K 120Hz VRR passthrough, allowing you to connect a PS5 or Xbox Series X directly to the soundbar's HDMI input without losing either console’s high-framerate capabilities.
Each soundbar supports Dolby Atmos and DTS:X, with the SC9S also being certified IMAX Enhanced. All three models are set to launch later this year, with pricing details still to be confirmed.
The great news for owners of recent LG soundbars is that the key new features bestowed upon the new 2023 models are also set to be rolled out to earlier models via a firmware update.
Last year’s flagship S95QR alongside the S90QY, S80QR, S80QY, and S75Q soundbars are all set to be given a boost with the addition of Wow Orchestra as well as 4K/120Hz pass through via a software update that’s promised later in the year.
Analysis: Software update raises the game for LG’s older soundbars
While LG’s new-for-2023 soundbar line-up looks particularly strong, we’re actually more impressed with the news of the incoming update to LG’s older home cinema line-up.
LG’s 2022 soundbars could only pass through 4K video at 60Hz. This meant that PS5 or Xbox Series X gamers would need to connect their consoles to their TVs directly if they wanted to experience super-smooth 120Hz gameplay at 4K. That often meant a payoff with audio being out of sync, thanks to its reliance on all to often fussy eARC technology.
With 4K/120Hz pass through and VRR support now set to be in place, it breathes new life into an already impressive set of soundbars that are likely to be able to be picked up a fair bit cheaper than when they were originally launched last year.
Looking to give your home cinema audio an upgrade right now? Check out the best soundbars for 2023.
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Kevin Lynch is a London-born, Dublin-based writer and journalist. The author of Steve Jobs: A Biographic Portrait, Kevin is a regular feature writer for a number of tech sites and the former Technology Editor for the Daily Mirror. He has also served as editor of GuinnessWorldRecords.com and has been a member of the judging panel for the BAFTA British Academy Video Game Awards. Alongside reviewing the latest AV gear, smartphones and computers, Kevin also specialises in music tech and can often be found putting the latest DAWs, MIDI controllers and guitar modellers through their paces. Born within the sound of Bow Bells, Kevin is also a lifelong West Ham fan for his troubles.