AV Systems Guide

LG HLX55W Blu-ray Sound Bar review

LG HLX55W Blu-ray Sound Bar - Like an Incomplete Choir

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Overall rating 7.5/10
Integrated 3D Blu-ray player
Fairly wide, spacious soundstage
Good looks
Lack of input ports
Thick profile
Thin bass

Report Card

Report Card

Since the LG HLX55W sound bar will be used mainly for watching Blu-ray movies, we figure it’ll be apt to begin first with our findings from playing Vantage Point.

The LG HLX55W sounded pretty spacious alright, but its sound didn’t engulf us in the same way a full-fledged multi-speaker would. Despite this shortcoming, the spaciousness of the HLX55W still makes it one of the more 'authentic' sounding pseudo-surround sound bars in the market.

We also noted that the LG HLX55W has a very clear and sharp sound, but strangely its clarity doesn’t extend to dialog, which we thought was slightly muffled in comparison. It’s not a big issue, and it is only apparent if you listen very closely.

And for those who like to turn the volume up when watching movies, you’d be happy to know that your neighbors would probably call the police on you first before the HLX55W showed any signs of distortion. Which is a good thing actually, because if there’s one thing that the HLX55W sorely lacks is that cinematic feel and much of it is due to the fact that the subwoofer doesn’t seem to be adding anything to the sound. We tried adjusting the subwoofer volume level, but it did little to alleviate the problem. The only quick fix is to increase overall audio level, but doing so makes everything too loud and makes the mids and highs slightly harsh.

To gain a better understanding of the HLX55W, we subjected it to further tests using our CD and MP3 testing material. On the Pod Race scene from The Phantom Menace, the HLX55W did commendably well thanks to its spacious sound, and there was a real sense of the pods swishing past you as they raced along. However, the underperforming subwoofer prevented it from getting good scores as the rumbling of the engines didn’t sound involving and exciting enough. The HLX55W’s lack of low-end performance was also apparent when playing the T-rex and Apollo 13 sound effects tracks as well as Tiesto’s trance track, Elements of Life. 

LG HLX55W Blu-ray Sound Bar Report Card

CD Testing Scores
Pod Race Scene from The Phantom Menace 8.0
T-Rex SFX 7.0
Theme from Jurassic Park 8.0
Apollo 13 SFX 7.5
Theme from Cutthroat Island 8.0
Fanfare for Louis 7.5
MP3 Testing Scores
Hotel California - The Eagles 7.5
Sail on Soothsayer - Buckethead 8.0
Melt My Heart to Stone - Adele 8.0
Elements of Life - Tiesto 7.0
Blu-ray Testing Scores
Vantage Point 8.0