Tiny Dolby Atmos Soundbar on the LG Eclair QP5 – Bright Trinket or Exquisite Sound Delight? The soundbar industry is extremely conservative, with devices that are updated annually with modest adjustments. And seeing a truly innovative product is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. The LG QP5, dubbed Éclair, simply redefines the term “small” soundbar.
The device is so compact that it may be mistaken for a portable speaker at first look. But make no mistake: the business expects us to believe that it provides performance comparable to a “full-size” soundbar. Its 3.1.2 acoustic design proves this completely. In addition to the wireless subwoofer, the panel itself has two separate height speakers aimed towards the ceiling.
LG Eclair hopes to bring Dolby Atmos and DTS: X surround tracks to life using these drivers. The LG QP5 Éclair review will look at what else a soundbar of such a compact size is capable of, albeit when partnered with a bi-directional subwoofer.
LG Eclair QP5 Review – Design
The 30cm broad QP5 is unquestionably a model of restraint. The panel’s tiny size isn’t the only factor that permits it to blend in with most interiors. It also benefits from its well-thought-out and successful minimalist design. The case’s materials (acoustic fabric and textured aluminum) are matt, preventing stray reflections when watching a movie.
Unfortunately, this does not mean that distractions have been eliminated entirely. The fact that the control LEDs on the front panel cannot be switched off while in use is a little irritating. Meanwhile, the subwoofer’s proportions are not as slim as the panel it is paired with. However, the design is built in the same vein, so there will be a spot in the interior.
LG Eclair QP5 Review – Functional
While the LG Eclair has a good number of modern features, such as eARC pass-through and 4K HDR, the lack of networking capability appears to be a big oversight. Not solely due to the scarcity of streaming. You must first convert the Eclair to Bluetooth mode before using the LG app, which is the only way to access specific settings.
As a result, if you’re watching TV or a movie and want to make changes, you must pause the video and then manually connect your smartphone to the device before you can resume and utilize the app. A small remote control or the buttons on the back of the speaker can be used to quickly switch between source inputs.
Underneath these are HDMI, eARC, optical, and USB storage connectors. The three-color LEDs on the front of the LG Eclair indicate changes made with the remote. Live voice confirmation is also available.
The console also gives you access to four Eclair sound profiles: Standard Mode with Meridian Tuning, Advanced Cinema Profile with Height Drivers, Game Mode, and AI mode, which allows the QP5 soundbar to choose a mode automatically. In comparison to other LG soundbars with Music mode, the AI on the Eclair QP5 is not particularly accurate and frequently plays music in Movie mode.
With the “Sound Mode Sharing” option, the LG 2020/21 TV can take over the processing functions. However, when watching Dolby Atmos or DTS: X content, all other sound options are disabled.
LG Eclair QP5 Review – Sound
As the saying goes, there is nowhere triter, yet the QP5 soundbar is winning points thanks to complete HDMI 2.1 compliance. The output supports eARC. As a result, the Audio Return Channel is best suited for Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio streams, as well as their Dolby Atmos and DTS: X variations.
Furthermore, video transfer between HDMI input and output is smooth with Ultra HD 120Hz signals, such as HDR10 or Dolby Vision, and even variable refresh rate (VRR). This can only gratify users of the most recent generation of game consoles or video cards. In terms of decoded formats, the panel supports practically all Dolby forms, with the exception of the rare AC4, as well as DTS and LPCM formats up to 7.1.
It should be remembered that the transmission latency in Bluetooth is approximately 100ms. The ensuing audio/visual mismatch is nearly tolerable but still noticeable. As a result, it is preferable to save such a connection for a smartphone or tablet and to connect to a TV, use a wired connection (HDMI, eARC, or S / PDIF).
Given the LG Éclair Dolby Atmos panel’s narrow width, it has to rely on deception to generate a soundscape that doesn’t seem crammed into a tiny space. The solution is simple: the left and right speakers are angled 45 degrees to capitalize on the reflection of sound waves from the room’s walls. The end effect is quite convincing: the soundstage has a perfectly good stereo foundation with no discernible acoustic “holes.”
However, the inverse of this configuration is a lack of scene consistency. The center channel is the only one that radiates directly to the listener and has considerably different acoustic properties than the left and right channels. As a result, an object traversing the scene from left to right, for example, abruptly changes tone in the middle of its journey, then returns to its previous tone on its way out.
LG Eclair QP5 Review – Connections
The QP5 connectors are on the back of the soundbar. There are two HDMI ports – one in and one out – as well as a USB 2.0 connector, an optical input, and a power supply plug.
LG Eclair QP5 Review- Conclusion
To summarise our assessment of LG’s QP5, the Eclair is an extremely compact soundbar with a loudness that exceeds its size. It’s a shame that cinematic sound reproduction is out of reach for such a small speaker. However, those looking for more imaginative and elegant designs in a home theatre audio system would surely be interested in the Eclair.
|Amplifier output||100 watts|
|Amplifier output||220 watts|
|Inputs||1 x HDMI 2.1|
|1 x Optical TOSLINK|
|Outputs||1 x HDMI 2.1 eARC / audio / video port|
|USB ports||1 USB port (audio)|
|Wireless audio protocols||Bluetooth 4.0|
|Bluetooth codec support||AAC|
|Audio decoding||DTS Digital Surround, DTS-HD High Definition, DTS-HD Master Audio, DTS: X, Dolby Atmos, Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby TrueHD, LPCM|
|Sampling rate||Up to 192 kHz|
|HDMI Compliance||ARC, CEC, eARC|
|HDR compatible||HDR10, Dolby Vision|
|Supported file formats||AAC, FLAC, MP3, OGG, WAV, WMA|
|Power consumption||30W (soundbar)|
|Standby mode||<0.5W (soundbar)|
|Dimensions and weight|
|Recommended screen size||40 inches and above|
|dimensions||29.7 x 6.1 x 12.4 cm (soundbar)|
|33.8 x 29 x 18.5 cm (subwoofer)|
|Weight||1.5 kg (soundbar)|
|7.7 kg (subwoofer)|