This LG 4.1 channel 420W soundbar review looks at the features of a super-affordable, wireless surround sound system. For under $200, the LG SLM4R 4.1 channel soundbar delivers a soundbar unit, subwoofer, and two rear speakers.
The going rate of the average 2.1 channel soundbar is usually north of two hundred bucks, making the SLM4R a bargain. This review explores what the soundbar has to offer.
LG 4.1 channel 420W soundbar review: Target market segment
The 4.1 channel, 420-watt LG SLM4R came to market in 2019 with features that are still relevant today. It is a budget soundbar that promises to punch above its price range.
Your package should hold the central soundbar unit, a subwoofer, a pair of rear speakers, and a wireless receiver. The receiver connects the rear speakers to the main soundbar unit. Along with the audio equipment come the following accessories:
- Power cables for the main unit, soundbar, and wireless unit
- Cables to connect the rear speakers and the wireless unit
- Optical media cable
- Remote and a pair of AAA batteries
The manufacturer includes everything you need to set up your new sound system. They may include accessories that help you mount the main soundbar or rear speakers.
LG 4.1 channel 420W soundbar review: Design
The 35-inch central unit sits in a high-quality plastic chassis with textured surfaces on the top and sides. A plastic grille covers the drivers at the front of the soundbar. Only a tiny digital display breaks up the uniform texture of the grille. You will also find a set of controls on the right side of the soundbar. They cover the basics, namely power, volume, and input selection.
Then there’s the foot-high subwoofer with the plastic housing and carbon-fiber covers on the sides. The subwoofer has the same minimalist aesthetic as the central unit. It has a front-firing driver that sits behind a metal mesh and a bass port at the back.
The rear speakers are mini versions of the subwoofer, except they have glossy plastic surfaces with tops that catch light like a CD. A metal grille covers the front of each rear speaker.
Inputs and wireless connectivity
This is where the ‘budget’ nature of the LG SLM4R shows. The manufacturer has you rely heavily on the sound rig’s Bluetooth connectivity. You don’t have much of an option as there is little else in the way of physical ports.
Bluetooth is a convenient way to stream audio from your phone, laptop, or TV. The connection also allows you to use a companion app to navigate and control the soundbar.
A USB port allows you to physically connect the SLM4R to a selection of devices. Lastly, there’s the optical port, your best bet when you want to get the best audio out of your TV.
Audio format support
The LG SLM4R supports Dolby Digital and DTS Surround, which sound great when you connect your TV via optical output. You can also play your mp3 and Wav files without any hassle or codec installations.
LG 4.1 channel 420W soundbar review: Setup
It will only take a few minutes to power this audio rig and get it running. The only challenge you might face is positioning the rear speakers near the wireless receiver. The cable connection between the receiver and the rear speakers will need you to develop a clever arrangement for the trio.
Powering the different components will launch an automatic Bluetooth search where the central unit connects with the subwoofer. The soundbar will also connect with the wireless receiver that controls the rear speakers. At this point, you can connect your device and the soundbar via Bluetooth. You’re now good to stream from your phone, TV, or PC.
Ease of use
An Android app lets you turn your mobile device into a remote control for the LG SLM4R. You can use the app to switch between sound profiles and to adjust a few settings. The soundbar remote is also compatible with most TVs, while some TV remotes can control the soundbar.
Each end of the main soundbar has a 50W front-firing driver that covers the treble and mid-range frequencies. The SLM4R central unit lacks a dedicated center channel, so it creates a virtual one to enhance dialogue.
Each rear speaker has a 60-watt driver that helps with the mid-range frequencies, while the 200W subwoofer driver takes care of the bass. The bass speaker has a carbon-fiber diaphragm to limit sound distortion when blasting bass-heavy music.
LG 4.1 channel 420W soundbar review: Sound profile
The 4.1 channel LG SLM4R soundbar system covers the full audio spectrum that the human ear can hear. On the lower end, the subwoofer extends to 45Hz, which is enough to render convincing bass. The treble frequencies extend to 19 kHz, like most audio devices.
It’s one thing for a sound system to cover the full frequency range, and it’s a whole other thing for the rig to reproduce as many frequencies as possible. This 420W 4.1 channel LG soundbar does a decent job of accurate sound reproduction. Its ‘sound palette’ has an expansive set of sound frequencies.
This means that you can hear the individual strings and tiny details in your favorite guitar riff. It holds for bass frequencies as well, but to a lesser extent.
1. Distortion at high volume
High volume can take away from the detail and definition of audio, so soundbars that are both loud and accurate are a great find. The LG SLM4R has slight harmonic distortion at peak volume, with the treble frequencies merging into each other.
The loss of definition is also present with the bass frequencies but to a lesser degree. This is thanks to the carbon-fiber diaphragm of the subwoofer driver. It prevents the speaker from vibrating uncontrollably when you raise the subwoofer volume.
2. Sound stage
The 4.1 channel LG SLM4R renders surround sound, thanks to a 35-inch wide soundstage at the front and rear speakers at the back. The audio setup does a decent job reproducing Dolby and DTS Surround audio formats.
- Pleasant design and good build quality
- Easy setup
- Digital interface
- Compatible with most TV remotes
- You can use a smart app to control the soundbar with your mobile device via Bluetooth
- You will need to physically connect the rear speakers to a wireless receiver. This limits how you can arrange the rear speakers
- A rear speaker may lose its connection from time to time, so you should perform a firmware update
- No HDMI ports
- No WiFi capability
LG 4.1 channel 420W soundbar review verdict: Good value for money
This LG 4.1 channel 420W soundbar review finds a sound system that comes as advertised. The sound profile of the rig is full and immersive, thanks to 420 watts’ worth of power.
It does a great job of creating surround sound that matches the input source of your audio. Better still, the soundbar is easy to interface with your TV. You should get years of good service from the 4.1-channel LG SLM4R. Click here to learn more about this soundbar.