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LG unveils flagship soundbar for 2022 with up-firing center channel

The LG S95QR is a flagship soundbar that includes Dolby Atmos playback and a wireless subwoofer and rears.

The LG S95QR soundbar features an upfiring center and rears

LG has unveiled what it says is the first soundbar with an upfiring center channel, its flagship model for 2022: the S95QR.

The S95QR features five up-firing channels in total – three on the soundbar, and two in the separate rear speakers. The center is designed to make voices appear to come out of your screen – the way they do at the movies.

The soundbar offers HDMI connectivity with Dolby Atmos, DTS:X and Imax Enhanced support, plus the gaming-friendly HDMI 2.1 features variable refresh rate and auto low latency mode. Unfortunately it doesn't support 4K 120Hz HDR passthrough from consoles, so you may need to connect those to the TV instead.

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The new wireless rears increase the number of channels on both from four to six with four front and side drivers to accompany the two up-firing drivers. The company says the receiver that feeds both the rears and the subwoofer is more sensitive, allowing you to place them farther away than before.

While rival Samsung's soundbars tend to perform better in head-to-heads I've done in the past, the system does offer Meridian tuning and will coexist better with an LG TV. The soundbar also includes an enhanced AI Room Calibration routine in addition to control via an external Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant. 

Lastly, the company has unveiled the separate Wowcast Wi-Fi audio dongle, which enables users to connect the soundbar to their TV wirelessly but still experience Atmos audio streams. Most wireless connections are stereo only.

The existing LG SP11RA flagship was $1,700 when it debuted, so I'd expect the price of the S95QR to be similar. Pricing and availability is yet to be announced, though we should know more during CES 2022 in January.