X
Home & Office
Why you can trust ZDNET : ZDNET independently tests and researches products to bring you our best recommendations and advice. When you buy through our links, we may earn a commission. Our process

'ZDNET Recommends': What exactly does it mean?

ZDNET's recommendations are based on many hours of testing, research, and comparison shopping. We gather data from the best available sources, including vendor and retailer listings as well as other relevant and independent reviews sites. And we pore over customer reviews to find out what matters to real people who already own and use the products and services we’re assessing.

When you click through from our site to a retailer and buy a product or service, we may earn affiliate commissions. This helps support our work, but does not affect what we cover or how, and it does not affect the price you pay. Neither ZDNET nor the author are compensated for these independent reviews. Indeed, we follow strict guidelines that ensure our editorial content is never influenced by advertisers.

ZDNET's editorial team writes on behalf of you, our reader. Our goal is to deliver the most accurate information and the most knowledgeable advice possible in order to help you make smarter buying decisions on tech gear and a wide array of products and services. Our editors thoroughly review and fact-check every article to ensure that our content meets the highest standards. If we have made an error or published misleading information, we will correct or clarify the article. If you see inaccuracies in our content, please report the mistake via this form.

Close

One of the best soundbars I've tested is not made by Sonos or Bose (and is $200 off for Prime Day)

The LG S95TR soundbar delivers fantastic audio quality and is packed with unique features that you'll actually use. It's $200 off during Prime Day.
Written by Artie Beaty, Contributing Writer
A Roku soundbar on a TV stand
Artie Beaty/ZDNET

What's the deal?

The LG S95TR soundbar typically sells for $1,499, but it's currently on sale for $1,296, around $200 off, during Amazon's Prime Day event.

Also: The best Amazon Prime Day 2024 deals


ZDNET's key takeaways

  • The LG S95TR soundbar with wireless subwoofer is a 9.1.5-channel system that's ideal for the brand's latest TVs.
  • It's on the expensive side, but the high-quality audio easily makes it worth the price. 
  • The soundbar is packed with features, but some of the best require a newer LG TV. 

LG released the S95TR soundbar earlier this year as a high-end complement to its newest OLED TVs, following much hype. 

The soundbar and wireless subwoofer setup comes with a host of impressive features, including Dolby Atmos and DTS:X surround sound, and lots of extra features accessible through its app. 

Also: This LG TV has one of the best displays I've seen, and it's not even the newest model

I recently went hands-on with the soundbar to see if it was worth all the excitement. Let's dig in.

View at Amazon

The S95TR includes four components: a main soundbar, subwoofer, and two small rear speakers. The good thing about the subwoofer and rear speakers is that they're wireless, so no additional cords are needed aside from the power connections and main HDMI cord. 

The main concern that prevented me from committing to a surround sound setup in the first place was having to deal with wires running across my room, so I definitely appreciate the fact that it's wireless.

Also: The best soundbars you can buy, tested and reviewed

In order to take advantage of all the features, however, you'll need to download the LG Soundbar app. It's a little inconvenient that this is different from the LG ThinQ app that controls LG TVs, especially given that you'll probably use it regularly, but that's a minor quibble.

Setup was simple. After plugging in the speakers in the instructed order, installing the app, and adding the soundbar to the app, the speakers go through a process that tunes them specifically to your room setup. I played a movie before utilizing AI Room Calibration, and I can attest that it made a noticeable difference in how things sounded. 

I then used the TV's built-in speakers to get a baseline for testing this soundbar. Over the noise of two kids and a dog in the house, I had to turn the volume more than halfway to hear comfortably: 65 out of 100. Conversely, when I switched the audio to the soundbar, it was more than loud enough in the 40s. Right away, I knew it would be a serious upgrade.   

Also: This all-in-one soundbar turned my old TV into the ultimate 4K theatre experience

Another thing I like to test with audio equipment is how well it handles dialogue. With my everyday setup, I usually watch everything with captions because it's so easy to miss something.

The main soundbar here fixes that problem with a small up-firing center speaker in addition to the traditional front ones, something LG claims makes dialogue clearer. When I turned on one of my favorite shows, I noticed a decent improvement over the TV's built-in speakers and a significant improvement over my everyday soundbar's audio. If you struggle to catch every word like I do sometimes, you'll definitely appreciate this feature.   

roku-soundbar-pro-rear
Artie Beaty/ZDNET

I then ran the soundbar through a variety of movie tests, including action scenes with explosions galore, suspenseful scenes in creepy woods, dialogue-driven scenes, and more.

Also: I tested LG's new Mini LED TV for a month, and it beat my G2 OLED in 3 major ways

The audio from the S95TR setup actually makes background sound stand out in a realistic way. The same went for the second scene in my test, which involved a conversation between people in a car. The ambient road noise wrapped around the back of my couch while the conversation stayed in front of me, just like it would in real life, and there was enough of a rumble from the subwoofer to sound like a real road. 

In every test, not only did the soundbar setup perform flawlessly, I felt like I heard things that I would have otherwise missed. 

A Roku soundbar on a TV stand
Artie Beaty/ZDNET

If you're worried about sleeping kids or neighbors, there is a Night Time Mode - accessible via app and remote control. This feature keeps the surround sound active, but the subwoofer is noticeably softer and the audio toned down. My setup was on a shared wall with my daughter's room, and she didn't complain about late night movies, so that's a win. 

Also: One of the loudest Bluetooth speakers I've tested is also one of the most affordable

Gamers will appreciate 120Hz HDR10 passthrough support, which makes sure there's no delay in getting sound through the speakers. I tried out several games on my PS5, and the experience of each one improved with this system. At one point, a sound behind me was so realistic that my dog shot his head up to see who was there.

ZDNET's buying advice

At first glance, the LG S95TR's price tag of $1,499 might seem a little steep, especially when there are budget, wired options available for under $400 with Dolby Atmos and DTS:X. If you're wondering if it's worth it, the answer is yes. It absolutely is. In fact, it's $200 off during Amazon Prime Day, sweetening the pot.

Not only is the wireless setup easier than any audio system I've encountered, the S95TR performed better than any system I've heard before, point blank. If you built your own setup that matched these components, you'd end up spending more anyway, so this may even be saving money in one respect. 

Just keep in mind that although the soundbar setup works with any TV, it works best with LG's B4, C4, and G4 OLED TVs – and you'll miss out on some features if you're not using one of those TVs. 

Editorial standards