27 Apr 2017 15:21 IST

Long on form, short on sound

The LG SH5 soundbar is a reasonable offering with an unreasonable price

Soundbars are a great way to improve the sound of your TV. If you don’t want to clutter the room with speakers or deal with wiring, then it is easiest to just add a soundbar. Most soundbars are just better speakers, packed into a long cylindrical form, but some pack enough technology to even simulate a 5.1 surround system. The most common ones though, are usually just 2.1 speakers in one long tube and one sub-woofer.

It’s sleek

The LG Soundbar comes packed with features. Sleek, well constructed and quite solid, it's capable of playing audio not just from the TV, but can also be used as a Bluetooth speaker, or work as audio-in or with a USB pendrive with music on it.

The setup is simple: just plug it in and the woofer, which is wireless, pairs with the main speaker and it’s ready to go. The speaker comes with a TOSLINK cable, so if you have an optical port on your TV, it is the best way to connect. If not, then you will need HDMI cables (not included) or have to use the 3.5mm audio in cable (also not included).

The speaker has its own little remote and a small LED display panel in the front displaying volume levels, modes etc.

Control via TV remote

It can also be controlled via the TV remote if set up correctly. There is also an app for both Android and iOS but we were unable to get that to work. On iOS, the app kept looking for the device and was unable to find it and connect. Bluetooth worked seamlessly on an iPad as well as with multiple phones.

On the sound side, there were disappointments. If you listen to the speaker in isolation, it sounds okay. The sound overall is very over-saturated. Despite tweaking settings, which do make a difference, it’s just not enough. One thing to be said though, is that the speaker is excessively loud. It does also feature Adaptive Sound Control, which basically enhances the sound based on the content. News channels automatically have more clarity in the voice and movies with action scenes suddenly kick-in with some huge bass.

Overall, it’s a reasonable speaker with an unreasonable price tag.

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