LG soundbars at CES 2021

LG unwraps the ultra-compact Éclair soundbar with Dolby Atmos and upfiring drivers

High-end soundbars will support Alexa, Google Assistant, and AirPlay 2
Image: LG

12 January 2021

While we’ve been seeing more and more soundbars with super-compact form factors (think close to the size of an egg carton), none of them have managed to pack in a pair of upfiring drivers for Dolby Atmos and DTS:X height cues – or at least, none until now.

Slated to arrive in late June or early July, the LG QP5 Éclair is a super-small soundbar with 3.1.2-channel audio, complete with upfiring drivers for bouncing height cues off the ceiling.

Measuring a mere 11.7″ wide and 2″ high, the Éclair comes encased in a handsome white shell with rounded corners (a black version may also hit the market).




Inside the 320-watt Éclair are five drivers: one for the centre channel, two for the left and right channels (which are positioned at 45-degree angles to widen the soundstage), and – most importantly – two upfiring drivers for Dolby Atmos and DTS:X height effects.

In addition to the main soundbar unit, the Éclair also comes with a wireless subwoofer for low-frequency effects. The “small space-friendly” subwoofer comes equipped with bi-directional drivers that are designed to deliver solid but not “teeth-rattling” bass, making it suitable for smaller rooms, an LG spokesperson said.

The Éclair isn’t the only soundbar LG has planned for 2021. Also on its slate are “premium” 7.1.4, 5.1.2, and 3.1.2 soundbars, each of which boastsd support for Dolby Atmos and DTS:X audio, along with LG’s Meridian sound technology.

LG’s higher-end soundbars will also be adding Alexa and AirPlay 2 support this year, along with the built-in Google Assistant support that LG’s pricier soundbars have enjoyed for the past couple of years. That means LG soundbar users will be able to stream audio from other devices via either Chromecast or AirPlay, and they’ll be able to add the soundbar to Chromecast and AirPlay speaker groups.

Meanwhile, LG’s new mid-range and entry-level soundbars include 5.1- and 2.1-channel modes with a ‘home decor’ focus, including housings wrapped in eco-friendly fabric.

Finally, LG announced a ‘TV Sound Mode Share’ feature that allows newer LG TVs to share their own sound modes with supported LG soundbars when they’re connected via ARC. While LG TVs are typically designed to send unprocessed audio to a soundbar, TV Sound Share Mode sends the audio after it’s been processed, taking advantage of the TV’s more powerful AI sound chip.

LG representatives stressed that TV Sound Mode Share will only work on LG soundbars, adding that they’ve yet to nail down which LG soundbars will be compatible with the mode.

IDG News Service

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