CNET First Look
LG LSB316The LG LSB316 is a sleek sound bar and its Bluetooth support enables AirPlay-like streaming, but its sound quality is only so-so.
Hey, I'm Matthew Moskovciak at CNET.com and this is the LG LSB316. This is a sound bar home theater system and it's currently selling online for $250. This is a pretty typical budget system. You've got a wireless subwoofer, and a long sound bar that's only about 2 inches thick. There's a display on the front panel and you got some buttons underneath there, and there's a USB port just to the right. The USB port is a nice idea for playing back digital music files, but it's really not that easy to navigate the files when you look at the display so it's really only gonna be useful if you're playing back a few titles. The standout feature on the LG is its built-in Bluetooth functionality. If you have an iOS device, it works basically just like AirPlay. You even use the same AirPlay icon and it lets you stream music stored on your phone or from apps like Pandora right to the sound bar. It's really convenient and Bluetooth is available on plenty of non-Apple smartphones and portable devices, so you're not locked into an Apple gadget. Around back, you'll see two optical inputs and a mini jack input. It's a pretty decent selection of ports compared to competitors, but it's still not gonna be enough for many home theaters. Instead, you can connect everything to your TV and use that as a switcher, although then you're gonna have to switch between two remotes to change inputs. The real weakness of the LSB316 is its sound quality. Even with the subwoofer level at maximum, you're just not gonna hear a lot of deep bass from this system, and that means you won't get a real powerful sound on movies, and music doesn't sound that great either. If sound quality is a priority, there are definitely better options available, like the Sony HT-CT150 and the Vizio VHT510. All together, the LSB316 wouldn't be our first choice as a budget sound bar because of the mediocre sound quality, but if you're not a critical listener and you want the convenience of Bluetooth streaming, it's a solid pick. I'm Matthew Moskovciak and this is the LG LSB316.