LG's new soundbars supports multiple voice assistants and new audio features

LG 2021 soundbar under a TV with an HDMI eARC indicator

LG has announced its 2021 lineup of soundbars, which offer new features along with coming with more eco-friendly designs and packaging. The lineup includes the SP11RA, SP9YA, SP8YA, SP7Y, and SPD7Y. The soundbars work better with LG TVs, as the company added support for the AI Sound Pro feature. Audio from a TV can be shared to the soundbar and use all the sound modes you'd get from the TV's built-in speakers, but on dedicated hardware. This applies to the entire soundbar lineup.

Of course, the soundbars also feature audio tuning by Meridian Audio, which has collaborated with LG on sound products for some time now. There's a new Meridian Horizon feature that can take two-channel stereo audio and up-mix it into multi-channel sound. The soundbars also all support Dolby Atmos and DTS:X sound, as well as Hi-Resolution Audio. Most of the models - barring the SP7Y - also support eARC.

LG 2021 SP9YA soundbar

There are some exclusive features for the more premium models, however. The SP11RA, SP9YA, and SP8YA support 4K Dolby Vision video passthrough, plus they come with support for multiple voice assistants - Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri - as well as Apple's AirPlay 2. All the soundbars come with optional rear speakers, except the top-of-the-line SP11RA, which includes it out of the box.

Another point of focus for LG is the eco-friendliness of the soundbars, achieving both SGS Eco Product (minus the SPD7Y) and UL recyclability validation. The SP7Y model, specifically, uses a fabric made from recycled PET bottles, which LG says results in seven fewer bottles in landfills for each soundbar it makes. Packaging has also been improved in this regard, using less EPS foam and plastic, and LG says it's using an L-shaped packaging design which allows more packages to fit in a truck, thus reducing CO2 emissions from transportation.

The 2021 soundbar lineup is available from this month in select markets in North America and Europe, and more models will be coming later.

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