Tuesday, September 14th 2021

LG Debuts UltraGear GP9 Gaming Speaker, Matches its Displays

LG has gained a pretty good reputation for its UltraGear monitors and the company has now launched its first accessory, the matching GP9 gaming speaker. At first glance, it just looks like a compact soundbar, but looks can be deceiving and that's very much the case here, as not only is it a portable, battery powered speaker, but it hides quite a few features that aren't apparent at first glance.

For starters, LG has incorporated what they call a "Quad DAC" with some help from ESS in the shape of the 9038Pro, which is ESS' flagship 32-bit DAC. LG uses this to deliver virtual 7.1-channel audio and the GP9 is Hi-Res Audio certified. The GP9 also has a built-in noise cancelling microphone, so you can use it for voice chat or online meetings if so inclined.
As this is a portable speaker, it also comes with a 2600mAh battery, which LG claims is good for up to 6 hours of usage, although it's not clear if this is with RGB on or off, as yes, the GP9 does of course come with built in RGB LEDs like any respectable gaming focused product these days.

Connectivity consists of USB-C, optical S/PDIF and Bluetooth, as well as a 3.5 mm output jack that can be used with a headset for those times when the speaker might be too loud. There's also support for DTS Headphone:X and a customizable equalizer that can be configured via LG's XBOOM app. LG doesn't seem to have paid too much attention to the Bluetooth side of things, as only the SBC and AAC audio codecs are supported. Both Google Assistant and Siri are also supported, although it's not clear if this works in a stand-alone mode or requires a mobile device to be connected.

Speak wise, we're looking at two 2-inch "woofers" and two 20 mm tweeters with a total output of a meagre 20 W, so don't expect this speaker to be a floor shaker. LG has also incorporated several gaming presets, such as FPS and RTS modes, in addition to three EQ modes. With an MSRP of US$499.99 we can't see this being a huge seller though, as the GP9 is really quite overpriced for what it seems to offer.
Source: LG Electronics
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42 Comments on LG Debuts UltraGear GP9 Gaming Speaker, Matches its Displays

#1
Rahnak
I think the word "matches" is a pretty big stretch. Aside from the shape at the back to better fit between the feet of the monitor base, the design isn't that similar.

This is not quite what I expected when I read the title, but in any case, I hope soundbars for PC become a thing. I want one, but the options are extremely limited right now.
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#2
Vayra86
Oh wow they managed to make the ugliest soundbar to date.

Gamur looks, yep. Strange how it is always synonymous to horrible design. Looks good as a brick to toss at your buddy's head though if you lose.

In a world of curved 21:9 displays they manage to make a 'matching' shape out of rectangles. Well done.
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#3
Crackong
So a battery powered DAC with mediocre speakers + mic attached?

Who in the right mind would buy this at $499.99 ?

This is a tough sell even at $299.
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#5
deu
Looks like acer predator logo... Not a fan of the visuals.
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#6
TheLostSwede
deuLooks like acer predator logo... Not a fan of the visuals.
It's a stylised LG logo... Very pro gamur!
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#7
Vayra86
TheLostSwedeIt's a stylised LG logo... Very pro gamur!
But it looks like VG... and then it hits me... its actually UG

UltraGear. I guess they REALLY dislike curves and love straight lines.
CrackongSo a battery powered DAC with mediocre speakers + mic attached?

Who in the right mind would buy this at $499.99 ?

This is a tough sell even at $299.
Yeap. Its basically a jbl charge without the charge, the portability or the decent design, or the featureset.. at triple price.

But it has RGB leds!
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#8
TheLostSwede
Vayra86But it looks like VG... and then it hits me... its actually UG

UltraGear. I guess they REALLY dislike curves and love straight lines.
Right, that makes sense.
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#9
Yrd
Jesus fck. Who on earth would be willing to pay $500 for some tiny little bluetooth speaker like this? Are they know for great audio equipment?

This is unbelievable to me that there are even people shelling out money in this range for a piddly-ass 2inch tweeter device. Thank the world of beats headphones and the like for the state of fashion audio equipment and it's prices. Instead of fashion it's the gamerbroz you gotta upsell, now.

I am personally inclined to have an entire audio system with an AVR and speakers. $500 basically can buy that.... Lately I wouldn't mind a speaker bar for just my desk. I have an 34" wide monitor that takes up most of the desk space so underneath is really the only place for speakers. But, a $500 portable speaker from a refrigerator company aint it.


Edit: I'm not a big DAC audiophile. Does the 9038 cost $400. If so, then it makes sense.
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#10
Chomiq
Imagine if this would be a soundbar that you could attach to the underside of your display.
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#11
Rahnak
Vayra86But it looks like VG... and then it hits me... its actually UG

UltraGear. I guess they REALLY dislike curves and love straight lines.
All this time I though it was an oddly positioned L. That makes a lot more sense. Sadly, the logo is hideous nonetheless. LG really needs better product designers/designers in general. Their new stand design for the UltraGear monitor lineup is equally atrocious.
ChomiqImagine if this would be a soundbar that you could attach to the underside of your display.
I actually thought it'd be something like that. Either attached under the display or kinda merged with the feet of the monitor. And a lot more understated. I was sorely disappointed.
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#12
Tardian
YrdJesus fck. Who on earth would be willing to pay $500 for some tiny little bluetooth speaker like this? Are they know for great audio equipment?

This is unbelievable to me that there are even people shelling out money in this range for a piddly-ass 2inch tweeter device. Thank the world of beats headphones and the like for the state of fashion audio equipment and it's prices. Instead of fashion it's the gamerbroz you gotta upsell, now.

I am personally inclined to have an entire audio system with an AVR and speakers. $500 basically can buy that.... Lately I wouldn't mind a speaker bar for just my desk. I have an 34" wide monitor that takes up most of the desk space so underneath is really the only place for speakers. But, a $500 portable speaker from a refrigerator company aint it.


Edit: I'm not a big DAC audiophile. Does the 9038 cost $400. If so, then it makes sense.
Actually $57 in quantities of >99.

Yamaha 5.1Ch Home Theatre Pack YHT-1840B $435. AUD

www.amazon.com.au/Yamaha-Channel-Home-Theater-YHT1840B/dp/B07DGJ1PN9
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#13
xela333
RahnakI think the word "matches" is a pretty big stretch. Aside from the shape at the back to better fit between the feet of the monitor base, the design isn't that similar.

This is not quite what I expected when I read the title, but in any case, I hope soundbars for PC become a thing. I want one, but the options are extremely limited right now.
After upgrading to an Ultrawide monitor, I bought a Panasonic SC-HTB200EBK to go underneath. Managed to get it for £40 refurbished from their official eBay store. Connected via optical. Highly recommend it. Just don't connect via Bluetooth, too much lag.
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#14
Valantar
Holy hell that is a fugly speaker. Wow. And as mentioned by several people above, claiming this "matches" an UltraGear monitor is ... a stretch. At best. I guess it matches the worst qualities of their design, none of which are visible from the front? This just looks cheap as hell and plasticky.

Feature-wise it's actually pretty neat - a good DAC and USB-C + SP/DIF inputs makes this a pretty unique product. But ... ugh, that design. NO. And for $500? **** NO.
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#15
holyprof
Yeah right, top-quality DAC, good connectivity and then ... super ugly and calling a 2" speaker a woofer is the funniest thing i've read today.
Hell, a good 3-way speaker has a mid-band speaker bigger than 2".
Putting the speakers next to each other then using software gimmicks to emulate positional sound. :kookoo:
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#16
FreedomEclipse
~Technological Technocrat~
I could probably get a better product at my local costco for $100
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#17
TheLostSwede
ChomiqImagine if this would be a soundbar that you could attach to the underside of your display.
Dell does that, they sound terrible.
Then again, their highest-end model is only $70.
www.dell.com/en-us/member/shop/dell-pro-stereo-soundbar-ae515m-skype-for-business-certified/apd/520-aaor/monitors-monitor-accessories
ValantarHoly hell that is a fugly speaker. Wow. And as mentioned by several people above, claiming this "matches" an UltraGear monitor is ... a stretch. At best. I guess it matches the worst qualities of their design, none of which are visible from the front? This just looks cheap as hell and plasticky.

Feature-wise it's actually pretty neat - a good DAC and USB-C + SP/DIF inputs makes this a pretty unique product. But ... ugh, that design. NO. And for $500? **** NO.
C'mon, it has the same red grills and weird angular design language...
Posted on Reply
#18
Valantar
TheLostSwedeDell does that, they sound terrible.
Then again, their highest-end model is only $70.
www.dell.com/en-us/member/shop/dell-pro-stereo-soundbar-ae515m-skype-for-business-certified/apd/520-aaor/monitors-monitor-accessories
I actually have one of those lying around, got it from work way back, it's ... acceptable for office PC use. Fine for random youtube videos and teleconferencing. Does distort pretty badly at high volumes, and sound quality is very meh overall, but the convenience factor is pretty great. I don't have any monitors that it fits onto though, as Dell (in true corporate form) seems to have changed the mounting system for these every 1-2 monitor generations for the past decade.

Oh, btw, when did you start writing for TPU? Haven't noticed that until now. Great to see another knowledgeable writer on the team :)
FreedomEclipseI could probably get a better product at my local costco for $100
Kind of doubt that, at least unless you're willing to go into a very different product category. You won't find a good soundbar for $100; you will likely find a decent BT speaker for that price but with no USB or SP/DIF connectivity; you will definitely not find anything with this DAC. That obviously doesn't mean this price is warranted - far from it. And audio quality can absolutely be pretty crap even with the best DAC around - it has tiny speakers packed close together after all. And of course you can't put a price on that design :roll:
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#19
TheLostSwede
holyprofYeah right, top-quality DAC, good connectivity and then ... super ugly and calling a 2" speaker a woofer is the funniest thing i've read today.
Hell, a good 3-way speaker has a mid-band speaker bigger than 2".
Putting the speakers next to each other then using software gimmicks to emulate positional sound. :kookoo:
Yeah, well, hence the use of "woofers", as I didn't buy that part either.

I guess you've missed the entire soundbar trend that has been going on for years? People seem to prefer them to surround sound setups in their living rooms, as there are fewer wires going everywhere.
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#20
Valantar
TheLostSwedeC'mon, it has the same red grills and weird angular design language...
Yes, but those things are all on the back (or bottom?) of the monitors. You literally can't see them in most cases.
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#21
FreedomEclipse
~Technological Technocrat~
ValantarKind of doubt that, at least unless you're willing to go into a very different product category. You won't find a good soundbar for $100; you will likely find a decent BT speaker for that price but with no USB or SP/DIF connectivity; you will definitely not find anything with this DAC. That obviously doesn't mean this price is warranted - far from it. And audio quality can absolutely be pretty crap even with the best DAC around - it has tiny speakers packed close together after all. And of course you can't put a price on that design :roll:
ok... Maybe a tad over $100 but its still better
Posted on Reply
#22
TheLostSwede
ValantarI actually have one of those lying around, got it from work way back, it's ... acceptable for office PC use. Fine for random youtube videos and teleconferencing. Does distort pretty badly at high volumes, and sound quality is very meh overall, but the convenience factor is pretty great. I don't have any monitors that it fits onto though, as Dell (in true corporate form) seems to have changed the mounting system for these every 1-2 monitor generations for the past decade.

Oh, btw, when did you start writing for TPU? Haven't noticed that until now. Great to see another knowledgeable writer on the team :)
Not tried any of their recent ones, maybe they've improved, but they were pretty awful, but then again, so are built-in speakers when it comes to monitors.
And yes, that's also annoying, you see those speakers being trashed every so often when office equipment is being upgraded and they can no longer be attached to the replacement monitors.

Yesterday, just helping out a bit.

This is the actual press release text...
The UltraGear Gaming Speaker offers a unified, ultra-stylish aesthetic when paired with one of LG's lightning fast UltraGear gaming monitors as it's designed to fit neatly between the legs of the monitor's stand. But the GP9 was designed to pair well with any display, its "tactical" matte black finish and understated metallic elements looking great next to any device in any room.
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#23
Valantar
FreedomEclipseok... Maybe a tad over $100 but its still better
Looks like a good deal, but I would be very skeptical of its sound quality without seeing any reviews. That certainly looks a bit too good to be true at a cursory glance. (Also, Costco seems nice - I love that the recommended products when looking at a soundbar are turkeys and toilet paper :p) Looks like HDMI ARC is the only available audio source though (with no extra ports for pass-through), so good luck connecting that to anything other than a TV. Also, not that it matters to me personally, but you're kind of proving my point, pitting a soundbar with a subwoofer against a combo "desk soundbar"+portable speaker, even if it is grossly overpriced. My guess sound-wise: that Philips obviously has more bass (it has a sub ...), but that bass is likely boomy and poorly defined, and I would expect this LG to deliver more crisply defined audio in the sound spectrum it's actually capable of producing. The Philips should obviously be able to go much louder as well. That's of course pure guesswork, but anything else would surprise me given their positioning and featuresets.
TheLostSwedeThis is the actual press release text...
Oh dear.
"ultra-stylish" :roll:
""tactical" matte black finish and understated metallic elements" :roll::roll:
"looking great next to any device in any room" :roll::roll::roll:

Man, this is too good.
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#24
TheLostSwede
ValantarOh dear.
"ultra-stylish" :roll:
""tactical" matte black finish and understated metallic elements" :roll::roll:
"looking great next to any device in any room" :roll::roll::roll:

Man, this is too good.
This could be you...

Posted on Reply
#25
FreedomEclipse
~Technological Technocrat~
ValantarLooks like a good deal, but I would be very skeptical of its sound quality without seeing any reviews. That certainly looks a bit too good to be true at a cursory glance. (Also, Costco seems nice - I love that the recommended products when looking at a soundbar are turkeys and toilet paper :p) Looks like HDMI ARC is the only available audio source though (with no extra ports for pass-through), so good luck connecting that to anything other than a TV. Also, not that it matters to me personally, but you're kind of proving my point, pitting a soundbar with a subwoofer against a combo "desk soundbar"+portable speaker, even if it is grossly overpriced. My guess sound-wise: that Philips obviously has more bass (it has a sub ...), but that bass is likely boomy and poorly defined, and I would expect this LG to deliver more crisply defined audio in the sound spectrum it's actually capable of producing. The Philips should obviously be able to go much louder as well. That's of course pure guesswork, but anything else would surprise me given their positioning and featuresets.


Oh dear.
"ultra-stylish" :roll:
""tactical" matte black finish and understated metallic elements" :roll::roll:
"looking great next to any device in any room" :roll::roll::roll:

Man, this is too good.
Can be hooked up to older consoles that still have optical out :roll: :roll: otherwise theres always purchasing a HDMi audio extractor that will extract audio from HDMi to optical if it has an optical out. Not ideal i know but the choice is there.

But still, for $140 you can buy a good BT speaker for portable use and both the philips and the BT speaker would be cheaper than LGs GP9. So youre still winning either way. Reviews for the costco soundbar are pretty positive.
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