- Looks good, Sounds great for movies, Good price, HDMI and USB support
- Bass underwhelming when listening to music, Obtrusive speakers may not suit everyone
An excellent offering from LG that combines great sound with good looks at an affordable price.
Price$ 899.00 (AUD)
After our first look at the LG LH-T9656IA home theatre system we expected to find that it cost well over $1000. So when we looked at the specifications and were greeted with a very attractive price tag, we were extremely impressed. This package is one of the best value for money home theatre systems on the market, offering exceptional sound quality along with great style and HDMI support.
Four identical speakers, a smaller centre speaker, a sub and a DVD player are included in this package. The four speakers sit at a perfect listening height as they attach to large bases and sport a pleasing aesthetic. They are on the large side however, so some people may find them slightly obtrusive. The sub is also well designed with the cone firing downwards instead of straight forward, to give extra vibration through the floor.
The DVD player is fitted with the usual component, S-video and composite outputs, as well as HDMI, which is becoming increasingly popular in home entertainment systems these days. There is also a digital optical audio and a USB input. The USB input comes in very handy, allowing you to view MP3, DiVX and JPEG files directly from your flash drive, and the intuitive menu system makes the process simple.
Set up was fairly straight forward as all speaker wires are colour coded. There is no auto calibration option included however, so the settings for speaker volume and distance have to be set manually.
In movie testing the LH-T9656IA really shone, handling the array of sounds scattered through the lobby shoot-out scene in The Matrix very well. The speakers sounded great with everything, from the effects to the vocals and even the soundtrack, showing no noticeable weakness in any area. The directional qualities of the speakers were excellent and were complemented by the sub. It provided perfectly well balanced bass, with ample thuds in nightclub scenes, and plenty of rumbles during explosions. The package performed very well in movie playback, and with the inclusion of the HDMI output we really can't fault this system in terms of either image or sound quality.
It is hard to find a system that sounds perfect with both movies and music as the sound design is often quite different in each case. While we did find the LH-T9656IA slightly weaker for music playback, it was a fairly minor disparity. The subwoofer felt somewhat lacking on playback, especially with music such as hip-hop and rock that requires a big, full sound to support the vocals. Vocals and general mid-range deliverance was fairly dominant suiting operatic and classical styles well.
There are plenty of sound modes to choose from such as studio, club, hall, with some suiting different types of music much better than others. Nevertheless we would have liked to see the inclusion of an equaliser to adjust settings manually. Dolby Pro Logic II and DTS sound fields are included, as well as XTS (Excellent True Sound) and XTS pro - the latter having little effect on playback.
All in all this is a great package from LG that we can thoroughly recommend.
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