What We Like
- An attractive, simple, and versatile design with some nice touches.
- An assertive, powerful performance with more presence than you’d expect.
- Good amounts of customization are available.
What We Don’t Like
- Highs aren’t as nuanced as we would like.
Many people think that LG stands for “Life’s Good” as a result of the brand’s tagline, but I’m here to tell you that it doesn’t. Formerly known as Lucky-GoldStar, this South Korean giant has been in the game since 1947.
The best way to describe the design of the LG SH7B is to say that it is discreet. Coming in at around 42 inches in length by about 2 inches in height, it is on the larger size of what is available in consumer soundbars, but even still manages to disappear into the room without drawing too much attention to itself. This, generally speaking, is a good quality for a soundbar to have: you don’t want a ton of flickering lights or LED displays distracting you from the TV directly above the soundbar, and so discretion is almost always preferable.
If you venture to examine it up close, you will find that LG have done a really nice job with this model. A black metal grille sits on the front of the device masking an LED display that informs you of the system status as required. It’s a good touch to have put this behind the grille, as it helps to keep it from becoming too bright or eye catching relative to what’s on the TV itself whilst also providing useful information at the touch of a button. Gunmetal grey accents set off the sides of the SH7B which is otherwise almost entirely black. The finish is especially excellent; it feels like and looks like a premium product.
The wireless subwoofer which is included is, as is often the case, even more aesthetically simplistic. It’s just a standard, black cabinet finished with a metal grille on the front and black wood on the sides. Nothing fancy, but it certainly looks the part.
Physical controls can be found on the back panel and are telegraphed by painted marks on the top of the device which are subtle enough to go unnoticed unless you are actually looking for them. It’s on this back panel that you will also find all of your inputs: optical and 3.5mm audio inputs on the right, and HDMI in, HDMI out, and an Ethernet port on the left. Having two HDMI ports is really useful, and offers a good deal of flexibility when it comes to your connection set-up.
As we have discussed in many of our soundbar reviews, even at this price point manufacturers ten to skimp on the quality and functionality of the included remote control. This isn’t the case with the SH7B. The remote, while simple and small, has an attractive gunmetal gray finish, feels more robust than your usual plastic rectangle, and includes 17 buttons so that you can really get to grips with the device.
The soundbar works with LG’s Music Flow system which is their multiroom audio concept. If you have more than one device, they can all work together to provide seamless hand-off of audio between rooms or in multiple places, and this can all be managed through the relevant app.
The adjective that springs to mind in describing the overall performance of the LG SH7B is ‘assertive’. It is a confident sound right out of the box which has a surprising amount of presence for a soundbar. Whilst the playback of music was above average, it was in the realm of TV and, in particular, movies that the device really shines.
We tested the soundbar with an action movie, and bass sounds like explosions and gunfire were far punchier and more powerful than they had any right to be. Dialogue was easy to understand and the clarity was extremely good even in very busy scenes.
If we had any complaints with the sound, it would be that the subwoofer does not seem to pull its weight relative to the soundbar itself. Bass is good, but could be better if the subwoofer did more of the work. Similarly, highs are not as agile and detailed as we’ve heard from other devices. The combined effect here is that movies sound great, but some music could be better performed.
A solid device all around, LG has done a good job of making the SH7B a significant upgrade to any default listening experience. The device looks great, is sufficiently versatile, and performs well across the board.