TopTenREVIEWS - Silver Award - Awarded for excellence in design, usability and feature set

The LG NB5541 has a sleek appearance to match its audio clarity. This dark charcoal LG sound bar has a rounded modern design and stretches 42 inches wide. This 4.1-channel sound bar includes an additional subwoofer to handle low-end frequencies. This Top Ten Reviews Silver Award winner also provides a handful of connectivity options, including HDMI, optical and Bluetooth. These are only a few of the reasons you'll find this sound bar toward the top of our lineup.

Audio Performance
Compare
8.1/10
Vizio
LG
Samsung
Sharp
Sony
Yamaha
Polk
Pioneer
SONOS
Bose
9.4
8.1
7.5
6.9
7.5
7.5
8.1
6.3
8.8
6.9

We put each product in our lineup to the test by inviting a focus group to listen to each sound bar as we played segments of a movie, song and game. We used "The Bourne Legacy" for our movie test, Radiohead "Idioteque" for the music test and "Batman: Arkham Origins" on Xbox for the gaming test. The focus group filled out a survey with questions that were tailored to determine how well each sound bar performed in three different categories – dialogue clarity, bass response and surround sound simulation. The participants did not know which sound bar they were listening to. In other words, it was a blind audio test.

After combining all the data, one thing became apparent – this sound bar produced superb dialogue clarity in all tests (movie, music and game). Even on factory settings, all dialogue was clearly defined and front and center in the sound spectrum. Sound effects did not overpower the dialogue. The sound bar produced a well-balanced and focused audio.

The TV sound bar seemed to struggle a bit when it came to surround sound simulation. Although the sound bar has impressive clarity and definition, there wasn't much depth in the sound. According to the focus group, it was hard to differentiate where sounds were coming from. This was most evident in our gaming tests.

The sound bar has a handful of different sound modes that you can choose from. A few of the sound modes include standard, cinema, music, news and sports. There is also a night-time setting that softens the sharpness and dulls the volume so you won't disturb others at night. There is also an auto volume setting that brings the volume to a great listening level with one click of a button. We tested this feature and were impressed by how well it actually works.

Connectivity
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7.5/10
Vizio
LG
Samsung
Sharp
Sony
Yamaha
Polk
Pioneer
SONOS
Bose
8.8
7.5
7.5
6.9
5.6
5
2.5
4.4
1.9
2.5

The LG NB5541 features Bluetooth connectivity. This means you can pair your smartphone or other mobile devices and stream audio to the sound bar wirelessly. The standard range for Bluetooth is generally 33 feet. We tested the Bluetooth range for this LG and, surprisingly, it underperformed. We were able to get approximately 30 feet away from the sound bar before we experienced signal breakup. When we walked into another room, forcing the signal to pass through two walls, the range decreased to 25 feet. This is not a deal breaker by any means, but all other sound bars with Bluetooth compatibility performed better in our Bluetooth range tests. This means you'll have to keep your mobile device closer to this LG sound bar when you are streaming music than you would with others.

This home theater sound bar boasts a handful of inputs including optical, HDMI and aux. It also has the ability to connect to your home Wi-Fi, but this is not required to stream music. You can also connect your internet to the sound bar via Ethernet cord if needed. The sound bar includes an HDMI out. This can be used to route your sound bar to an AV receiver so you can control your entire home entertainment system with one remote or device. This LG sound bar does not feature any type of analog inputs, so it may be difficult to use this unit with an older television.

Peripherals
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10/10
Vizio
LG
Samsung
Sharp
Sony
Yamaha
Polk
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SONOS
Bose
10
10
9.4
7.5
6.3
8.8
6.9
6.3
1.3
6.9

We evaluated all remotes that were included with each sound bar. We really enjoyed the LG remote. In fact, it scored the highest out of all the remotes we evaluated. It is the perfect size and has rounded edges, which makes it comfortable to hold. It has excellent button spacing and clearly defined functionality. It also has powerful range. We were able to stand 111 feet away from the sound bar and the remote still had the signal strength to control it.

The LG NB5541 home theater sound bar comes with a 6-inch, front-firing subwoofer. This helps the sound bar produce decent low-end frequency. The subwoofer automatically pairs with the sound bar wirelessly when you power them both on.

Help & Support
Compare
10/10
Vizio
LG
Samsung
Sharp
Sony
Yamaha
Polk
Pioneer
SONOS
Bose
10
10
10
10
10
7.5
8.1
7.5
7.5
6.3

We were impressed with LG's customer service. The customer service staff members were thorough when answering our inquires via live chat. We also received excellent phone support. We experienced little wait time and our customer service representative was prompt and helpful. The LG sound bar is also covered by a one-year warranty on parts and labor.

LG Summary:
8.3/10

The LG sound bar impressed our focus group with superb dialogue clarity and great overall sound quality. It features many connectivity options, including Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and HDMI. It also features multiple sound modes to quickly cater to movies, music, news and late night television watching. This sound bar is a little more expensive than others we reviewed, but the high-end sound merits the price.

 
 
 

LG NB5541

Pros
This sound bar produces great dialogue clarity.

Cons
The Bluetooth range was underwhelming.

The Verdict:
 8.28/10

This LG sound bar lets you watch movies, play games and stream music with ease.