The LG S65Q is a 3.1ch soundbar that offers very decent sound for its price. It's an entry-level model that lacks the niceties of LG's higher-end solutions, such as Dolby Atmos and room calibration. But the S65Q offers a bit more bass than a standard 2ch soundbar. I also found its mobile app, which offers sound enhancements very handy. LG TV owners will appreciate the seamless pairing between the TV and the soundbar via Bluetooth. Coupled with the included wireless subwoofer, it makes for a wireless experience (if you ignore the power cables, that is).
- 3.1ch audio (420W total output, 200W subwoofer)
- 2x HDMI, Optical port, USB-A, Bluetooth 4.2
- Dolby Digital, DTS Digital Surround, LPCM, and AAC
- Dimensions: 1000mm x 63mm x 105mm (main unit), 171mm x 390mm x 261mm (subwoofer)
The LG S65Q soundbar is wide — it feels like the right size for a 65-inch and larger TV. It's also short enough that it probably won't block your TV display. You can mount the soundbar to the wall. Inside the soundbar are two front speakers and a centre speaker. But I'm not a fan of the soundbar's fabric finish. Based on my experience with the Sonos Beam (Gen 1), this fabric cover is likely to pick up dust and dirt after a while. Meanwhile the included wireless subwoofer feels light and plasticky. It has a status indicator light at the front that can't be turned off.
There's a basic remote control for the soundbar, though you can also use your TV remote using HDMI-CEC if you connect the S65Q via HDMI ARC (no eARC on soundbar). The remote and the LG Sound Bar app (iOS and Android), will let you adjust more settings, such as the bass level, night mode, and sound enhancements (Clear Voice, for example, improves the clarity of dialogue). The latter are tuned with the help of audio firm Meridian, and includes common use cases such as Cinema, Sports and Music. There's no Wi-Fi, nor is there a voice assistant like Alexa or the Google Assistant. Older TVs can use the soundbar's optical output (the optical cable is included). It also has an HDMI input (e.g. connect to a Blu-ray player) and a USB-A port (for music playback).
With a centre speaker flanked by two front speakers, the LG S65Q offered good clarity in dialogue, albeit not quite as good as the Sonos Ray. The mids and trebles sounded bright and balanced. But there isn't much of a surround effect besides that from the physical separation of the speakers. And of course, there's no Dolby Atmos either. Bass could be better. Despite the subwoofer, I only got the occasional deep rumble that hits you in the chest. Increasing the volume helped slightly with the bass. But then the resulting sound became too boomy and messy, while the clarity of the dialogue took a dip.
At S$499, the LG S65Q is the most affordable 2022 soundbar from the South Korean firm. It's decent for the price, especially given the clarity of the dialogue, though the bass and surround effect could be improved. It's not for you if Dolby Atmos is a must — check out the even more affordable Creative Stage 360 instead. But this soundbar unsurprisingly works well with an LG TV, so if you're going with one, it's a good, relatively inexpensive upgrade over the TV speakers. The LG S65Q is available now from Lazada and Shopee.
Note: Review unit provided by LG.
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