LG S95QR Soundbar Review: Does its performance match the price?


  • Fast and easy setup

  • Vast format support

The LG S95QR is an improvement over previous LG models, but still needs some work.

About the LG S95QR Soundbar

The LG S95QR sound bar and peripherals arrayed on the floor.

Reviewed / John Higgins

The 47.2-inch-wide LG S95QR comes with a remote and other peripherals, and downloading the sound bar app is a must.

  • Price: $1,799.99
  • Height x Width x Depth: 2.5 x 47.2 x 5.3 inches (soundbar), 8.8 x 6.3 x 5.6 inches (surrounds), 15.9 x 7.9 x 15.9 inches (subwoofer)
  • Weight: 11.1 lbs (soundbar), 9 lbs (surrounds), 22.1 lbs (subwoofer)
  • Speaker channels: 9.1.5
  • Amplification: 810W total output
  • Wireless connection: Bluetooth 5.0, Wi-Fi, Apple AirPlay 2, Spotify Connect
  • Wired connection: HDMI 2.1 with ARC/eARC, HDMI 2.1 in (2), digital optical in
  • Sound formats: LPCM, Dolby Atmos, Dolby TrueHD, Dolby Digital Plus, DTS:X, DTS-HD Master Audio, DTS-HD High Resolution Audio, DTS 5.1, FLAC, WAV, AAC, MP3, OGG, AIFF
  • Video support: 4K/HDR passthrough including Dolby Vision and HDR10
  • Warranty: 1 year parts & labor

You’ll need to make space in your living room for unboxing the LG S95QR because its box is big, measuring 51 x 22.6 x 10.3 inches. Inside you’ll find the 47.2-inch wide soundbar lying on top of the wireless subwoofer, two surround sound speakers, and an accessories box that includes the remote, power cables, an HDMI cable, and wall mounting brackets for the soundbar and surround speakers.

The bar combines a brushed metallic exterior with a wraparound fabric grille. It’s low profile and narrow enough to sit in front of a 65-inch TCL 5-Series between the TV’s feet. The ends of the soundbar angle out slightly. Connections can be found in two cutouts on the bottom, with two HDMI inputs, an HDMI out, and a USB port in one cutout, and a lonely optical in port in the second.

There are capacitive buttons on the top of the soundbar and an included remote, reminiscent of the Magic Wand remote that accompanies LG TVs. It includes enough buttons for basic functionality without being cluttered. There’s no on-screen display for the soundbar, though, instead relying only on a scrolling LED readout behind the soundbar’s fabric cover that disappears after 15 seconds of inactivity. For the most functionality, the LG Sound Bar app is a necessity and allows for tweaking the sound profiles, which is also a necessity as I’ll discuss below.

What we like

Setup is a breeze

The LG S95QR soundbar remote control.

Reviewed / John Higgins

Setup is not as daunting as you think it would be.

Having multiple speakers to set up wirelessly can seem daunting as there are potentially a slew of connectivity problems on the horizon, but there’s no need to worry with the S95QR, particularly if you use the LG Sound Bar app and follow the instructions there.

After placing the speakers where you want them (all will need outlets nearby for power), it directs you to power up the surrounds and sub in a certain order to ensure connections to the soundbar.

There’s a quick series of room calibration tones and you’re done, although as I mention below, there are settings in the app for coarse adjustments to make some improvements.

Excellent connection options and format support

Closeup of the LG S95QR's HDMI and USB ports.

Reviewed / John Higgins

This highly compatible soundbar boasts a long list of supported formats.

A top of the line soundbar deserves to have top of the line features, and the S95QR does not disappoint. It supports Dolby Atmos, Dolby Digital, DTS-HD Master Audio and DTS:X (which seems to be making a small comeback in the industry after all but disappearing a couple years ago), and 24-bit/96kHz high-res audio.

For wireless streaming there’s Bluetooth 5.0, Apple AirPlay 2, Spotify Connect and Chromecast. For an extra cost, the Wowcast WTP3 allows the S95QR to wireless connect to a TV (this feature will be built into LG’s 2023 soundbar lineup to pair with LG TVs).

The HDMI are all 2.1 with HDCP 2.3. One has eARC for connecting to your TV. The extra two HDMI in can be used with a disc player, PlayStation 5, or Xbox Series X, as they pass through 4K, Dolby Vision, HDR10, and are compatible with VRR (Variable Refresh Rate) and ALLM (Auto Low Latency Mode).

The S95QR can also be controlled by Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant, but the built-in microphone is only for room calibration. Control will have to come from an Alexa or Google smart device in the room.

What we don’t like

Inconsistent sound takes a lot of work

Overhead view of the two surround sound speakers of the LG S95QR soundbar.

Reviewed / John Higgins

The 9-lb. surround sound speakers require a bit of a bass boost.

Within the Sound Bar app there’s the opportunity to fine tune channel levels and do some broad EQ adjustments, which is helpful because I could never get the auto calibration to sound right to my ears. I say broad EQ adjustments because it’s limited to Treble and Bass frequency bands as opposed to more robust graphic equalizers found with other soundbars. The center channel needs a bit of treble help for dialogue clarity (although even with the app adjustments it never quite reached an optimal setting) and the surrounds are a bit thin and benefitted from some bass boost.

Atmos performance falls short

The LG S95QR soundbar Atmos center channel

Reviewed / John Higgins

The Atmos experience isn’t quite as immersive as it is with the Samsung HW-Q990B.

The main purpose of a soundbar that includes surround speakers and a high number of drivers is for a fully immersive Atmos experience. Upfiring drivers and additional surround enclosures inherently expand the soundfield and deliver a more immersive sonic experience just from the sole fact that sound is coming from more physical locations.

LG classifies the S95QR as a 9.1.5 soundbar system, which indicates nine ear-level channels, a sub, and five up-firing height channels. The nine are split between left, right, and center from the front of the bar, two on either side of the bar angled to reflect off the walls as side front speakers, and two drivers each angled in the surrounds that act as rear speakers (aimed towards the listening position) and back speakers reflected off the back of the living room.

But it’s the .5 that’s the eye-raising number. Traditionally, height/Atmos speakers come in pairs, and with the S95QR that’s mostly accurate with two up-firing drivers on each side of the bar and one each on the top of the surrounds. That extra fifth driver sits in the center of the soundbar for improved dialogue placement and reinforcement. Having the sound appear to come from the center of the TV screen increases the immersion, and companies have been trying different ways to make it happen by having a center channel both above and below the display or using the television’s speakers alongside a soundbar—a la the Sony HT-A7000 and it’s smaller siblings that pair with Sony TVs or the Samsung HW-Q990B with Samsung TVs. LG found an intriguing and unique solution. It improves dialogue clarity a bit, especially with some difficult-to-hear soundtracks, although I still struggled at times to understand everything. The height improvement is also marginal at best.

For traditional height effects, Ornithopters are heard flying overhead in Dune and orbital blasts in Blade Runner 2049 scattered debris around my living room. But even so, the S95QR’s performance doesn’t quite live up to its potential.

Its performance is certainly an improvement over LG soundbars of yore—or the all-in-one virtual Atmos soundbars of today—but I didn’t experience a dome of sound around me as I did with the Samsung HW-Q990B. Slight placement tweaking of the speakers—and subsequent re-running of the calibration tones—improved it, but never completely enveloped me. It’s still an overall satisfying experience, but knowing there’s a similarly priced option available that does it better takes away some luster.

Sub doesn’t deliver the rumbles

An angled shot of the LG S95QR soundbar's subwoofer.

Reviewed / John Higgins

The bass can underwhelm, and the sound transition from soundbar to sub can be patchy.

Once set up and calibrated, the LG sub gives the impression of a nice supportive low end that pairs well with the soundbar. But that impression quickly unravels as it’s put through its paces. The middle of the subs range is boomy, but the low-end visceral rumble of the Mûmakil charging through the Battle of Pelennor Fields in Return of the King or the engine blast as the Saturn V propels the Apollo 13 capsule to space is missing. The sound transition from soundbar to sub is also a bit rocky, with frequency dips instead of a smooth, seamless passing of sound from one to the other.

Should you buy the LG S95QR Soundbar?

Maybe, if its price dips significantly below the Samsung

Reviewed / John Higgins

This Atmos soundbar delivers a quality experience but doesn’t quite match up with its toughest, similarly priced competitor.

There isn’t a more immersive home movie audio format than Dolby Atmos. While an AVR setup with multiple height speakers installed in the ceiling is still the best way to experience it, the practicality of that is not possible for many of us. In the past few years in particular, soundbars, including the LG S95QR, have closed the performance gap. The S95QR delivers a relatively convincing soundfield and elevates the movie-watching experience beyond a single plane.

It’s biggest drawback is that it doesn’t quite meet the performance of its biggest competitor, the Samsung HW-Q990B, which is our favorite Dolby Atmos soundbar. The LG has some sonic issues, particularly its dialogue clarity and bass response, and its Dolby Atmos coverage isn’t up to the benchmark set by the Samsung.

At time of publication, the HW-Q990B is $300 more than the LG ($1,598 vs $1,297), but still worth the premium. We’d give the LG strong consideration if it dips below $1,100. The S95QR still outpaces any single-bar solutions, such as the less-expensive Sonos Arc, although that can be supplemented by a Sonos sub and surround speakers. It also comes in a bit lower in price than the Sony HT-A7000 and its piecemeal system of adding surrounds and a sub. The Sony is still the better choice if pairing with a Sony TV.

In a category where they’ve lagged for a few years, the LG S95QR is a step in the right direction, but it still has a bit to go to justify top-of-market pricing.

Buy now at Amazon

$1,299.99 at Best Buy

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Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.

Meet the tester

John Higgins

John Higgins

Senior Editor, Electronics & Audio/Video


John is Reviewed’s Senior Editor of Electronics and A/V. He is an ISF Level III-certified calibrator with bylines at ProjectorCentral, Wirecutter, IGN, Home Theater Review, T3, Sound & Vision, and Home Theater Magazine. When away from the Reviewed office, he is a sound editor for film and musician, and loves to play games with his son.

See all of John Higgins’s reviews

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