LG SP8YA Soundbar With Dolby Atmos

I mentioned looking to upgrade my soundbar a couple weeks ago with a Vizio 5.1 with Dolby Atmos, then returning it. I lately gave the LG SP8YA 3.1 a try. It’s one heck of a great deal on Amazon. Normally $799, it’s on sale for $379. If this is something you’re looking for without spending a heck of a lot, great deal. Both are. While the Vizio tends to get rated a little bit higher on sound quality, I think the LG was a little better. Bigger speakers, and the upfiring Atmos speakers are at the ends of the bar, rather than near the center. It’s a much bigger bar than the Vizio, giving bigger internal speakers. Also, I did not have the problem with the volume levels like with the Vizio. If it was something which I would normally play at level 10 on the existing soundbar, would be the same with the LG. Though, a few things had differences, especially between the commercials and the content.

The upfiring Atmos speakers worked well, even on non-Atmos content. I played Carnival Row, which is Atmos. Survivor episodes on Paramount Plus. Some Hell’s Kitchen. The Tomorrow War. A few other things. Also, The Lord Of The Rings via the Blue Ray player, the songs Heavy And Hell from Black Sabbath (really provides great resonant bass) and Aja by Steely Dan (great all around for setting up any sound system). Did sound fantastic. The subwoofer provided great bass, more resonant than thumping, which is the way I like it.

However, just like with the Vizio, “after getting it all set up, the first thing I noticed was that all the voice was coming from the center.” It wasn’t quite as centered as listening to an Echo Dot, but, definitely noticeable that the voice was coming from a specific area, rather than the whole soundbar. I turned the volume down on the center, just still couldn’t do it. I just do not like it separated as such. 3.1 or higher is not for me.

If you do like this, you can also get surround speakers that connect wirelessly.

It’s going back, and I’m going to give the Philips B8405 a shot. it is a 2.1, and one of the few with Atmos. And it uses what’s called Play-Fi, so can hook up a wide variety of satellite speakers.

To be clear, the way it works is that a system with a 2.0 means that all the sound comes out of all the speakers. A lot of people think it means 2 speakers. Let’s say you have a stereo receiver with 2 speakers. All the sound comes from both, right? Now you add 2 more speakers. It’s still a 2.0 system. Add a subwoofer and it’s 2.1. Most 2.0 soundbars have 3 speakers in them. A 3.1 has left, right, and a center channel. It might have more than speakers, but, it is separated into the channels to give a more surround sound. The center isolates the voice, to make it clearer. And it does. A 5.0 adds more.

BTW, it’s also wise to hook your TV into the ARC HDMI of the soundbar and ARC on the TV, that way you have the sound and video passing through that cable, and can control both with fewer remotes. Many soundbars have a second HDMI port, so, that gives you an extra device to hook up. Most receivers these days have multiple HDMI inputs, including an ARC, so you can hook up more devises.

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7 Responses to “LG SP8YA Soundbar With Dolby Atmos”

  1. Professor hale says:

    Dolby 5.1 has a speech channnel. Us older guys find it particularly useful to help bring the dialog out from the background noise. It’s a setting. It doesnt need to be the center channel. I also have the vizio. Aside from some trouble getting the tv remote to control volume, it works fine now.

    • I just couldn’t get either to play the voice from the left and right channels. Dialogue was very clear, just, find the center channel distracting

      • There is a way to set the TV audio output to something like PCM to make that happen.

      • Professor Hale says:

        Reminds me of Alvin Toffler’s book Future Shock. The premise is that technology had already advanced to the point where most of the human race was incapable of using it. And that was in 1970. I already know that I am blissfully unaware of how to use 75% of by mobile phone’s capabilities. That’s just all the pre-loaded apps. Toffler’s example was the VCR with the time constantly flashing 12:00 because most adults were incapable of learning how to set the time.

        • I’m really good with all this tech stuff, been doing it forever, and I still ignore most stuff on a smartphone. And computer. Doesn’t help me. I actually have a device so can push 5.1 sound to my receiver in 2.0, either from my TV or my Blueray player. Mostly for listening to CDs or Spotify or iHeart radio on the Bose speakers

  2. Doom and Gloom says:

    I suspect you have a Chinese-made Television.

    Most sound bars allow you to playback surround sound formats like Dolby Digital and DTS.

    But the caveat is that they have to downmix it into stereo to play it. This tends to be a problem for most TV’s. As a result, soundbars are a real issue for most people looking for anything other than center sound.

    I use a sound bar on my 38-inch Samsung but it is only to get the TV to stop playing sound from the TV speaker and redirect it into the Center Channel sound bar. The Nakamichi sound bar is a cheap 60-dollar item that is about 24 inches long and gives a really good performance as simply a better TV speaker.

    To go to a real surround sound set up I would advise you to contact someone who installs surround sound and ask their advice. Many TV’s do not perform well with sound units that are not part of their Sales line. IE Sony, and Sony sound bars. Samsung and Samsung sound bars.

    • I actually do, a Hisense. It actually has all the Dolby stuff, including Atmos (not that the TV really needs it, only the soundbar). Hoping the 2.1 with Atmos gives me the sound I want

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