The LG SK1 may be more expensive than most standard soundbars, but this one is meant to be a complete home theater system with a soundbar and a subwoofer.
This provides a more high-end listening experience for those who want a better product without a whole home theater set-up. This LG SK1 soundbar review will tell you what you need to know about this product before you go out and buy it.
Pros & Cons
- Very affordable
- Simple setup and easy usage
- Good sound quality
- Limited connectivity
- Mild bass
- Only 40W
- No HDMI ARC
LG SK1 SPECS
- Speakers: 2 x full-range drivers
- Ports: 3.5mm aux in, optical in
- Wi-Fi: N/A
- Dimensions: 3 x 25.5x 7.5 inches
- Weight: 4.4 pounds
The LG SK1 soundbar channel system is as simple as a soundbar gets. It is a soundbar that pumps out the sound. There’s no subwoofer, intelligent voice control, multi-room functionality, or 3D audio tricks like Dolby Atmos. Bluetooth connectivity is the closest thing it has. It’s only 40W of power, so it’s unlikely it will blast your sofa through walls.
It’s not something you should even think about. It’s affordable. It’s also cheap. As the best soundbars for low-end audio equipment show, adding extra features to inexpensive AV hardware can be difficult. So the basic approach is acceptable. This is also very user-friendly and could upgrade specific TV speakers. For our complete LG SK1 reviews, please read on.
Price and availability
Compared to most soundbars, the LG SK1 is a bargain at $89. It is currently out of stock, but you can still find one at Best Buy or Micro Center. B&H lists the SK1 for $86, slightly less, but sold out.
The SK1 does not include any additional speaker bundles; there are no separately sold subwoofers or satellite speakers. This standalone soundbar can be used as a complete and accurate standalone unit.
Although the SK1 may look tall in photos, it’s just a matter of proportions. At 25.6 inches wide, this soundbar is relatively compact. This model is also lightweight, making it easy to mount on the wall. For cheap soundbars, you’ll need to supply your screws.
This bar is very basic in every respect, as I mentioned. The bar is all black, with no integrated controls (although you do find a remote), while the display is just two single LEDs. Depending on the source connection, these will flash different colors, but it isn’t as useful as a screen to convey volume and playback mode information.
Like the previous example, only one optical and 3.5mm input is available. A USB port can be used for service purposes. There is Bluetooth connectivity, but the SK1 doesn’t have the same capabilities as HDMI eARC.
The build quality is excellent, despite the simple design. The top and bottom panels are made of solid plastic for a modern look. The metal grille wraps around the corners at both ends for a sleek appearance. The upside of those simple LEDs is that they aren’t as distracting as an LCD TV screen.
Although the output power of the LG Electronics SK1 is 40 watts, it’s half the size of other soundbars that we have reviewed; it still provides enough volume to watch TVs and listen to music.
You can connect multiple devices using the mini-jack and optical inputs. Bluetooth allows you to stream music seamlessly from your tablet or smartphone.
The LG Electronics SK1 Bluetooth headset is unique. The soundbar detects Bluetooth audio and switches itself on. This is a very cool feature!
Two modes make the device unique. The Bass Blast mode produces a powerful low-end sound and a fuller surround sound without a subwoofer. It doesn’t replace a subwoofer, but it covers much of the same territory.
DRC mode prevents abrupt volume changes. It also improves the clarity of low volumes.
The remote controls the unit’s functions, but there aren’t any buttons. Fortunately, the remote is not the only way to control it. Sound Sync is a feature that all LG audio/visual products include. You can connect your bar to an LG TV via an optical and use your existing TV remote as a control device.
The SK1 can be set up for optical connectivity by plug-and-play. It is almost identical to other Bluetooth speakers. Press the Bluetooth button on your remote to turn on pairing mode. Then, locate the SK1 on your tablet or phone’s Bluetooth menu. It’s straightforward.
You can also switch between Bluetooth, optical, and 3.5mm devices using the remote. Although this isn’t an uncommon feature, it is better than having one button that slows cycles between the three.
The last tricks of the remote are the Bass Blast and Dynamic Range Control (DRC), which boost the low-end and compress the dynamic range for Dolby Digital-supported content.
This reduces the capacity of loud and quiet scenes. It is helpful for action movies where parts of the dialogue were abruptly interrupted by car crashes or explosions.
The SK1 soundbar channel system has only a pair of 20W drivers. This means that it doesn’t have the same room-shaking volume as soundbars but more moderate speakers. The SK1’s bass presence is significantly lacking. It doesn’t sound tinny like lower-end TV speakers, but it does have a lot of rumble for big action scenes.
Activating Bass Blast can still enhance the sound for both video and music playback. Even with limited power, the SK1 can sound surprisingly dramatic. The soundstage is more significant than its narrow dimensions and allows for good separation of different sounds effects.
The SK1’s most serious flaw is dialog. It sounds a bit hollow next to music and effects. Bass Blast can help, but it seems to reduce speech’s clarity here.
It was interesting to note that Bass Blast had a less dramatic effect on music played over Bluetooth than on movie dialogue. So I left it on to add a low-end punch to my songs. However, some tenor-range singers suffered from sibilance.
It’s mixed in terms of performance. The LG Electronics SK1 has a better surround sound quality than some TV speakers. This is not always true.
It is unrealistic to expect the Bass Blast mode will sound magically like a subwoofer. It does, however, provide a richer low-end sound. This is an excellent option if you live alone and don’t want to disturb your neighbors by using a sub. It is one of the best soundbars without a subwoofer.
The DRC, as mentioned above, is subtler and aims to equalize the volume between programs. This function should work well, and you won’t hear any volume swings. Everything sounds almost the same.
The LG Electronics SK1 is better than rear-facing smart TV speakers because it throws the surround sound into a room. This makes it feel more natural and more present. The sound doesn’t bounce off walls and returns to the room.
It’s only 40 watts but has enough volume. We recommend the Sony HT-508 or Panasonic SC-HTB8 channel soundbar for more power.
Is the LG SK1 equipped with an optical cable?
A cable will be required to connect the LG soundbar and TV. LG didn’t feel the need to provide one. When I visited my parents, I saw that the TVs were high.
How can I connect my LG Soundbar without a cable to my TV?
- You can connect your TV to your bar if it supports RCA inputs.
- Before you connect, power off your bar or smart TVs.
- Make sure you check the audio input port of your soundbar. Then plug the black end RCA Cable in.
- Connect the red, and white RCA ends to their respective audio out ports on your TV.
Why is my LG Soundbar constantly turning off?
When the unit is powered on using the AUTO POWER function, it will automatically shut off if there is not enough signal from the TV connected to LG Sound Sync (Optical/Wireless) for a specified period.
The LG SK1 reviews will show you that this channel system is well worth the money you are paying for it. Not only does it look great on your wall, but it sounds fantastic. This is a great way to hear the type of surround sound that you are getting from your TV shows and movies.
This product is meant to be a complete home theater system is a bonus. This is a product that you can use to upgrade your entire home theater system while still enjoying the sound from your TV shows and movies.
If you want to look at this product, make sure you keep reading for a full review. Hooke Audio will show you why this product is well worth the money you pay for it.