LG Ultragear GP9 Review: A powerful and versatile RGB gaming soundbar

LG Ultragear GP9 Review: A powerful and versatile RGB gaming soundbar

LG Ultragear GP9 Review

LG Ultragear is a brand that many of you will surely have heard of. Under this brand, the Korean manufacturer produces a wide range of monitors dedicated to gaming, some of which are decidedly valuable and with an excellent value for money. Now LG has decided to expand this brand into new territories, and it does so by entering the crowded field of gaming soundbars.

LG is certainly not a newcomer in the audio sector, as it produces hi-fi systems , car stereos and even living room sound bars for more than twenty years, so the leap into this market appears quite natural also given the growing demand with the expansion of high-quality BT connections. The product with which to enter the market is the Ultragear GP9: the name seems to be that of a planet outside the solar system, but in reality it is a product with great potential, but will it be put to good use in the best way?

The speaker is compact and with futuristic lines. It looks good with the LEDs turned on.

Technical Specifications

Total Power (W): 20W Speaker Number: 4 (2 Woofer + 2 Tweeter) Impedance: 4 Ohm Display Type: LED (Bluetooth, Ignition, Battery, EQ, Mode) - Lighting (Grid / Logo) Integrated DAC: Saber ES9038 ProAudio, 3D surround, 3D Gaming Sound Sound Modes: FPS, RTS, Standard, PC Sound Card - Yes (with USB connection) Sound Boost: Yes (with App only) Headphone EQ: DTS with headphones , DTS Headphone: X (with App only) Custom Audio: with App only Integrated directional microphone with echo cancellation Connections: 3.5mm Headphone Out, 3.5mm AUX Out, PC-console (USB-C) and Optical Bluetooth: SBC, AAC, LDAC, Multipoint (2 Units), voice commands (Google Assistant and Siri) Battery: Lithium 7.2V 2600mAh Charging time: 3.5 hours Autonomy: 5 hours Battery LED indicator: Yes Power supply: AC (in 100 ~ 240V / 50 ~ 60Hz, out 19V 2.1A); Consumption when switched on 15 W (charging) Consumption in standby: less than 0.5W Dimensions: (LXHXD; MM): 376 x 86 x 108 Weight (KG): 376 x 86 x 108 1,5 Kg The soundbar is compact but with an aggressive and stylish shape: it looks like a mixture between an alien spaceship and the front of a supercar that has just come out of the Modena motor valley. On the front there are two speakers for stereo sound, covered by grids inside which are housed RGB LEDs. In the center we find the logo, also illuminated by an LED strip. On the upper part we find in the center a large knob that adjusts the volume and also works as a key for the microphone while on the sides we find several function keys for on / off, connection selection (USB, optical, BT), headphones and three equalization keys preset.

On the back we find two bass drivers, the headphone output and the optical, USB-C, power and aux out inputs are located inside a compartment covered by a flap. 3.5mm. The materials are of high-quality plastic and high-friction rubber pads on the base of the soundbar to prevent unpleasant slipping. The device supports the DTS: X Virtual Surround 7.1 protocol with headphones via the AUX output and is equipped with a quad-DAC to easily drive any headphones, even those with high impedance.

We have kept with us the soundbar for a month, putting it to the test in different usage scenarios with PCs, consoles and mobile devices. First of all, it must be said that despite being quite compact and not too heavy, the GP9 does not lend itself much to portability due to its strange, somewhat angular and trapezoidal shapes. Probably, once you have placed it in front of the monitor or TV, you will not move it more willingly.

First we tried the connectivity via Bluetooth. The coupling with smartphones, notebooks and TVs is quite immediate and we have not encountered any problems or lag. The sound is powerful and spreads well in a small to medium sized room. Highs and mids are heard very clearly and the different musical instruments with pop / rock music are perceived well. However, the sound is a bit lackluster with pieces rich in bass.

Watch on YouTube. Moving on to the use that interests us most, namely gaming, we connected the soundbar to the PC. In this case we have two options that allow for higher quality: USB and optical toslink. The optical audio uses the DSP of the PC sound card and it is advisable if you have a Sound Blaster class product or high level integrated, managing the equalization through the relative control panels. Otherwise, it is better to go to USB using the integrated quad-DAC of the soundbar. Through this option we can use two preset equalizations, FPS and RTS. The first is good for FPS, TPS and shooters in general: it returns a sound with a particular emphasis on shooting and footsteps. RTS, on the other hand, is recommended for strategy games, RPGs and driving games: it returns a more surround sound and with a greater emphasis on ambient sounds and dialogues.

The bizarre thing is that there is no such thing as a PC or Mac software to govern the soundbar. Instead, use the LG Xboom smartphone app. This allows you to adjust the lighting, create new equalizations, activate UAC 2.0 or the headphone gain in case of sound distortion. It would have been preferable to also have software directly on the PC for ease of use.

Using the soundbar with games like Doom Eternal or Forza Horizon 5 on PC, the result was still very good. The sound is always precise and detailed and also quite powerful considering it is directed at the player from about half a meter away. The result is slightly different if the soundbar is used on a console, perhaps combined with a large screen in a medium-sized living room. There is a bit of power missing here especially for the low sounds and a terrible lack of a remote control.

On the back we find a lot of connections. You can use the smartphone app but it's not very convenient. So we recommend using with consoles only if placed in bedrooms with screens that are not too large. For use on a PC, it's fine. There is also a built-in microphone with active noise cancellation which works quite well.

LG Ultragear GP9 is a product that we especially liked for its versatility, for the many connectivity options and for the possibility of always have quality audio around, but its biggest Achilles heel is the price. Even if it is now at a much lower street price than the list price, around € 350, it has to deal with more complete competitor products with a very aggressive price.

Think of the Sound Blaster Stage 360, the Sound Blaster Katana and Katana V2, but also the Panasonic Sound Slayer or the Razer Leviathan. We are talking about products with 2.1 configuration (therefore with external subwoofer), HDMI connections, remote controls included, RGB and also support for Dolby Atmos sound standards, all of which can be purchased at figures that are often much lower than € 300, sometimes close to € 200.

On the upper dashboard we have all the commands you need and various operating lights. Most Read Now

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The added value that distinguishes the GP9 from the competition is certainly the internal DAC that allows you to drive high impedance speakers, thus allowing you to switch to headphones by conveniently inserting the plug into the soundbar positioned on the desk and clicking a simple button. With these features, the speaker excels to be used in eSport tournaments, carried in a backpack and used in a station.

These features would also be useful on the move, were it not for the fact that due to its shape and weight, this soundbar is not very portable on a trip or elsewhere, and unlike many speakers, the sound is designed to be heard from the front. The 7.2V 2600mAh battery allows about five hours of playback in medium intensity lighting, and it takes about four hours to fully charge. Not exactly ideal for use on the move but still more than enough for an afternoon or evening of outdoor music.

In light of these considerations, our conclusions are to focus on this product only if you really need its most inviting features, namely DAC and integrated microphones and use with headphones. Otherwise, there are products that sound better, have more powerful sound, come with a remote control and even cost less. The GP9 probably wants to do too many things well together, but it manages to do only a few exceptionally, and the above-average price complicates its positioning in the gaming field.

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