When LG sent us the Flex SJ7, I was curious how it differs from the other soundbars out there in the market. I also wondered why is there still a need for soundbars when televisions nowadays come with good and solid built-in stereo speakers.
After giving it a go at the SJ7, I may have found out the answer.
The LG Sound Bar Flex SJ7 comprises two speakers and a wireless subwoofer. The setup is relatively easy, either by hooking it up to your television with the optical port, HDMI in/out or connect it through Bluetooth with your smartphone. You can place the two speakers together like a sound bar, place them on the left and right side of your television for a stereo sound experience or front and back for a surround sound feel.
To customise your experience, at the back of the left speaker, you can toggle the knob left to right depending on the mood that you are in i.e. portable, rear or soundbar. The indication of the modes is coolly reflected in your speaker mesh. Of course, you have a remote to do that too.
Sound bars are extremely essential if you are a movie junkie like me who enjoys binge-watching blockbusters over the weekends in the comfort of my own home, without wanting to sacrifice the quality of the movie experience. I’m not an audiophile but I do know good versus bad sound quality, especially in movies where the strength of the bass is vital to project the correct emotions and mood of the different scenes.
I tested the sound quality of the SJ7 using the Dolby Surround Sound Test. You know, those kinds that they screen before the movie starts?
Although in the soundbar mode, it only has a 2.1 channel system, the sound quality didn’t seem to be compromised. Of course, if you compare it with the 5.1, you will surely hear a huge difference. However, this 2.1 channel system packs just enough punch to give you an above average movie experience in your living room. The booming sound did provide enough bass necessary to project the mood. I tried the rear speaker mode with the same setup and I didn’t seem to hear any difference between the 2.1 and the 4.1 channel system, which is a little disappointing. But not a dealbreaker.
I also tested the sound by connecting to my music playlist and it sounded equally good but for audiophiles, maybe you will prefer something less bassy and more crisps because of the subwoofer. If you disconnect the subwoofer and use just the speakers, be prepared for a downgrade in audio quality big time. There was no bass at all. I would expect the speakers to have some bass to help complement the music so that it can be a little more independent from the subwoofer.
The primary purpose for me to have a soundbar is definitely for the sake of watching movies and to have the same sound effect and impact as what will be felt in the cinema. The LG Sound Bar Flex SJ7 did enough to give me the boom needed for movies with its 2.1 channel system. Although the rear sound mode, with 4.1 channel system didn’t leave much impression, it doesn’t mean that your experience watching the movie will be less enjoyable because the 2.1 channel system is still present. I’m just curious what happened there. For music, the sound quality on both speakers are well-balanced and the subwoofer backs them up by giving a good resonant sound.
If you are looking to purchase a sound system that is simple to set up and that you watch movies most of the time than listening to music, the LG Sound Bar Flex SJ7 is the product for you. But if your house is huge and not like our normal four-room apartment, you may want to spend a little more on something that packs more punch.
The LG Sound Bar Flex SJ7 retails at S$1,088 and is available in all major electronic store. So do check it out!