LG’s newest soundbar, the SK10Y, proves that the company is an innovator in televisions and speaker systems. The installation was a breeze and did not take much space from the tv.
The sound is loud and clear, with minimal distortion at maximum volume. Consumers can enjoy a deeper, richer sound with a wireless subwoofer which sounds decent. The SK10Y features a built-in Bluetooth system for wireless streaming.
LG SK10Y Soundbar Review of Hooke Audio will bring detailed reviews about testing the features, design, and other features of this soundbar.
Overview: LG SK10Y Soundbar
- The sound is clear and loud
- Dolby Atmos has been well implemented
- Sleek design
- Optional rear surround speakers
- It is a disappointing soundstage.
- Profile of Muddy sound.
- Doesn’t get very loud.
The LG SK10Y is priced at $1,099, PS1,200, and AU$1,699, and its size is almost as large as its price. The SK10Y includes a wireless subwoofer as well as rear speakers. Its sound quality is excellent for home theater and provides a vibrant, energetic sound. Is it essential to have a speaker this expensive?
The LG is one of the cheapest ways to get Dolby atmos into your home. It’s worth looking at if you’re looking for atmospheric effects without the need to purchase a multispeaker and receiver combo.
Many things can be done with Atmos soundbars. Models like the LG project sound forward, upward, and sides. This requires a lot more drivers. It also takes up a lot of space. The LG is massive! This is easily the longest, if not most prominent, soundbar we have ever heard in the listening area. Move aside, Yamaha YST-5600.
The SK10Y’s 57.7-inch width is in line with the 65-inch TVs of the company. It is not too high that it blocks your IR port at 2.5 inches (though there is no IR repeater). The subwoofer matching is quite large, measuring 8.7 inches by 15.4 by 12.3 inches.
Although the remote control is cute and provides access to most functions, most people will use it after setting up.
The LG is a 5.1.2-channel soundbar that can play Dolby Atmos soundtracks. This format, also found on Blu-rays and other Netflix programs, adds a layer of height effects.
The LG’s omission on DTS:X makes it seem unnecessary, considering that LG’s main competitors are the Samsung N850 (and the Sony HT–S5000). The discs that include Harry Potter 4K Blu-ray, such as the 4K Bluray, have a DTSX soundtrack without Atmos. So you might be missing some effects by purchasing the LG.
The soundbar includes tuning and DSP (Dolby digital sound processing) from Meridian. This has bass, space, and height elevation.
Both HDMI ARC 2.0 ports support 4K HDR, and both HDMI inputs 2.0 ports also have a 3.5mm input. There are two options for streaming: Bluetooth 4.0 or Wi-Fi.
LG’s Flow multi-room system has been abandoned, and Chromecast is now integrated. Google assistant audio protocol allows you to use Spotify, Pandora, or Roon. It also supports a variety of third-party speakers.
You can buy the $179 SPK-8 separately if you wish to add rear speakers to your SK10Y.
The LG is a powerful sound system that can be fired up. The LG is a 5.1.2 Atmos solution. This means that it has three arrays of front fascia speakers (left, center, and right), as well as side-firing channels at each edge.
Side drivers are not designed to bounce sound off walls. Instead, Acoustic Phase Matching is used to modify the timing of the audio. This creates the illusion of surround sound.
We tried the SK10Y using a variety of 4K Ultra HD Blurays with Dolby atmos tracks. We were very impressed by the quality of the soundbar’s three-dimensional audio.
We first tested Star Wars: The Last Jedi – a film and series known for its mind-blowing sound effects. We were captivated by the film’s opening battle in space. The film featured X-wing starfighters flying over our heads, and laser blasts zipped right through us.
Next, we tried Justice League’s Atmos track. We were just as impressed with the immersive soundscape that the SK10Y soundbar created, especially during the underwater scenes featuring Aquaman. Although we didn’t feel submerged, the soundbar helped sell the scene.
The SK10Y doesn’t just focus on movies. The SK10Y is High-Res Audio-ready and 24-bit 192kHz capable. It can support the standard lossless codecs but not MQA.
Aluminum tweeters can reach 40Hz with a High-Res Audio badge. These cones are also claimed to have a higher sound pressure than silk dome tweeters by LG. Our listening room was pressure-loaded by the SK10Y without any problems.
It is a massive unit. The unit’s total power output rating is 550W. You won’t want to use it at full throttle.
Although all Dolby atmos soundbars have a height component, they don’t create an immersive listening experience. This is in comparison to Dolby Amos receivers that use multiple physical speakers.
This is something that the SK10Y tries to overcome. It has a variable overhead volume that allows users to adjust for different ceiling heights. SPK8s, a separate pair of wireless rear speakers from the company, is also available.
The package includes a pair of wireless, forward-facing squawkers and a standalone 140W 2-channel amplifier. The SK10Y can be paired with the rears to provide full 5.1 surround sound and height, effectively 7.1.2 with a power output of 690W. This configuration was where we first heard about the system.
The SK10Y is based on the Dolby DAP chipset and features common to it, such as a volume leveler, dialogue enhancer, and volume modeler. This latter function maintains bass levels even at lower volume levels. This prevents the sound stage from wilting when reasonable listening levels are used.
It also means that the SK10Y cannot support DTSX, the alternative immersive audio format. The soundbar can decode DTS Master Audio and be up-sampled for all-channel listening.
This DTS upscaling effect was tested with Interstellar 4K Ultra HD Bluray. It lacks Dolby Atmos but has a powerful DTS-HD track. It’s both explosive and subtle in its dynamics.
We found the differences between Star Wars’ Dolby atmos track and Interstellar’s DTS HD track minor. Both ways offer a fantastic surround sound experience. No matter what audio source your film is, the SK10Y will likely sound amazing.
How Do I Connect To The LG SK10Y?
It does everything automatically. It’s easy to connect everything, provided you have downloaded the LG WiFi Speaker app before. It’s easy. It’s so simple that I was frustrated many times trying to figure why nothing was happening, only to find out when I played something that everything was connected. The subwoofer and surround sound expansion packs were the same.
After reading the instructions backward, I was able to set up this speaker like a pro. If you have trouble getting it wirelessly connected, there are several ways to pair the speaker manually.
To connect the subwoofer to the soundbar, press the button at the back. It will then locate the button and automatically connect to it. The LED will light up quickly when pairing and remain green after joining. It takes around 20 seconds to pair, so don’t be discouraged if the connection doesn’t happen immediately. For the two SPK8S speakers, you will need to locate a pin and push the small pairing button at the base.
After everything was set up, the fun started. The LG has many features and connections. It can connect everything via WiFi, features Bluetooth v.4.0, an optical input, and three HDMI ports, one of which is ARC. You don’t have Airplay, but you do have Bluetooth connectivity to listen to music if you wish.
Sound Is Rising Above The Bar?
We were initially unhappy with the SK10Y’s sharp, piercing sounds on Mad Max: Fury Road, one of our favorite Atmos movies. The problem was solved by changing the Sound Effect setting to ASC instead of a standard movie. The sound was smoothed out, and Mad Max’s onscreen antics accompanied the high-impact sound that we have come to expect from Blu-ray.
As you would expect from a large sound stage, it covered almost the entire width of our listening area. Even better, the SK10Y sounded big and had the remote control and poise that budget bars don’t have.
LG wanted you to be aware of the subwoofer in the SK10Y. Even if you hide it behind drapes or in a corner, it will still have its bass. Although the sub is a bass lover’s dream, we found the bass blast too generous at the 0 settings.
We were much happier at -6. The sub’s bass was packed even at the -6 setting. The sub and soundbar blend wasn’t as seamless as we would like. The upper bass was too thin, and the low was too loud.
The SK10Y was able to compete against the HT ST5000 Atmos bar by Sony, but the HT ST5000’s soundbar/subwoofer integration was better than that of the SK10Y.
The SK10Y unleashed World War II drama Hacksaw Ridge, making the battle scenes seem like it was not working very hard. However, the HT-ST5000 sounded a bit more dynamic and powerful.
The stereo soundstage of the Sony was a little wider, and the dialogue sounded more natural. We were not far behind the SK10Y, but we would nod for the HT-ST5000.
Kraftwerk’s 3D The Catalogue is one of our favorite Atmos Blurays. The SK10Y’s vertical sound projector outperformed the HT-ST5000. Kraftwerk’s has a lot of texture and the SK10Y dredged every last bit. The clarity was superb, and the LG’s robust bass definition was low and rumbling, but the HT-ST5000 was clearer.
The Girl in the Other Room CD by Diana Krall performed well over the SK10Y. However, soundbars such as this one work best when paired with movies. Two-channel music can sound too thin. Krall’s voice was a little weak, and the bass seemed disconnected from the soundbar.
You might consider purchasing a better-sounding stereo system, even if you listen to less music than you watch movies. We like the Onkyo TX-8140 stereo receiver at $299 and paired it with a pair of ELAC Debut F5.2 tower speakers ($600). The SK10Y has many advantages. It is smaller and easier to use.
If you are looking for a way to connect a soundbar with a receiver, please read our article.
Where Does LG SK10Y Fail?
There are some quirks in the soundbar and speakers. The right SPK8S speaker disconnects randomly and then reconnects instantly while watching movies. Although it doesn’t happen very often, it was annoying enough.
Chromecast functionality is another issue. Everything runs smoothly until you begin skipping between songs when streaming via Spotify with Chromecast built.
Suppose you forget fast enough; the app disconnects and starts playing music on your phone. To continue listening to music, you will need to reconnect. This is something that an update can probably fix. However, it’s still irritating.
You may have seen some complaints about the soundbar’s vocal clarity. LG had already updated the unit by the time I received it, and I could use movies without any problems.
Some modes sound better than others, but switching between sound profiles was enough. You have the option to choose from standard, film, music, or adaptive sound control (ASC adaptive sound control).
Although the adaptive sound control automatically adjusts the sound settings to match what you are watching, I could not get it to work. Every time I tried to use it, I received a message saying that my viewing content was not compatible.
You might be interested in this feature, but it may not work 100% of the time. You won’t have many HDMI inputs options, as only three are on the back. You will need to find a way to connect more than three devices.
What does The LG SK10Y Do Well?
The LG SK10Y excels in all other areas, making it unique. Connecting was easy. Plug the components into a power source, and then make sure the soundbar is connected via the LG WiFi speaker app. The subwoofer and two speakers will then click immediately.
It’s also worth noting the quality of sound effects or the various modes that can be used to suit different listening environments. The experience can be dramatically altered by switching between modes. Once the soundbar was up and running, I started to play Spotify. This was why I set it to music mode. After that, I noticed that I had trouble hearing the dialogue when I began playing movies. I switched it to movie mode, and I could listen to it.
The background music was no longer so loud and clear that it became almost impossible to listen to the dialogue. Each sound effect mode plays to the strengths of the specific bar you are using at the time.
You can also turn the surround sound on/off by pressing the “auto vol” button on your remote. It’s possible to turn off surround sound while watching movies, but only the soundbar can be used for music. The setup is also extremely loud, making movies even more enjoyable.
Should You Buy it?
People who don’t listen too much to music or want to enjoy Atmos soundtracks on their big-screen TVs will love the LG. The LG SK10Y is a great performer with movies, and its Atmos movie skills were unquestionable. You should audition.
We liked the Sony more overall and have yet to hear Samsung N850, another model comparable in price and features to the LG (look out for our reviews soon). Samsung could replace the LG with the best Dolby Atmos soundbar if its performance is as good as its predecessor.
The LG SK10Y Soundbar Might Not Be For You If
- You are a student. You’re likely a student and living in a dorm or at home. This is the main problem with this soundbar. This soundbar is expensive, but you don’t need to spend that much to enhance your home theater experience.
- It doesn’t matter if you don’t have much space. You can do without the expansion pack if your area is small enough for the soundbar and sub.
- The Soundbar measures 1.46m (57.7in), so if your space is not adequate and you are not wall mounting it on your wall, you might consider reconsidering. You will need to plan carefully before you can pull the trigger.
- There is no need to spend money. A soundbar costing $1,000 is not excessive for anyone. This is an excellent option if you build a home theater and want to invest in quality gear. It isn’t something you should spend your savings on. Many soundbars cost less.
- You don’t need to spend a lot of money to enhance your home movie experience. There are many options available, and they’re not as costly as you might think. Let’s face it; any speaker is better than those built into your TV. The LG can do a lot of things almost perfectly. Let’s first look at the technical specs.
For its class, this soundbar is a strong contender. If you are looking for a home theater system that can be small and compact, then this is it. The size of this soundbar is relatively tiny, and it’s pretty portable. In addition, LG has installed a powerful subwoofer in the unit. If you are looking for a decent sound system without much hassle, this is the one. The LG is not an entry-level soundbar.
We hope you enjoyed the LG. Our intention with the article is to provide you with all the information you need to make an informed decision when purchasing a soundbar or any other similar product.