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LG is making a $399 Dolby Atmos soundbar with Hi-Res Audio upscaling

TechRadar logo TechRadar 14/05/2021 Nick Pino
a close up of a computer: LG SPD7Y Soundbar © Provided by TechRadar LG SPD7Y Soundbar

Last month we got some of the first details on LG’s 2021 soundbar lineup – but now we’ve got the complete details including the exact pricing and release dates. 

While most cinephiles will be lusting over the new 5.1.2-channel LG SP9YA that boasts 520W of output and Dolby Atmos/DTS:X support, it’s actually one of the more affordable models that caught our attention today. 

Meet the 3.1.2-channel LG SPD7Y (pictured above) that has support for Dolby Atmos and Hi-Res Audio (24bit/96kHz) and comes in at the super-affordable price of $399 (£399, around AU$500). It comes with a wireless subwoofer and uses LG's AI Sound Pro for better vocal upscaling that the company uses in its OLED TVs.

The catch? The SPD7Y doesn’t have the AI Room Calibration feature that you’ll find on the more expensive SP9YA and SP8YA models, and you won’t be able to buy it until mid-June whereas the other ‘bars are available now. 

Who says Atmos needs to be expensive? 

Dolby Atmos, in case you haven’t heard of it, is a form of spatial audio – a format of audio that takes everything you love about 5.1 surround sound and adds an extra layer of height to make the experience more immersive. 

Now, Dolby Atmos is one of the most popular formats of spatial audio out there right now, but there’s also DTS:X, Sony 360 Reality Audio and Apple’s own proprietary version that’s available on the AirPods Pro and AirPods Max.

Traditionally, finding a soundbar setup with spatial audio support has been pretty expensive with very few exceptions (the Sony Z9F Soundbar from 2019 does stand out, however) – but that’s slowly turning around with the new lineup of ‘bars from LG, Samsung and Sony.

That’s actually pretty great news regardless of whether you plan on buying the LG SPD7Y: it means that the next time you go to buy a soundbar, there’s a good chance it will support Atmos and won’t be much more expensive than a traditional 5.1 or even a 2.1 ’bar.

  •  Not sure where to start with unibody speakers? Check out our guide to the best soundbars
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