LG Display Crystal Sound OLED TV Hands-on: The Soundbar Is Dead

LAS VEGAS - At some point in the not-too-distant future, there will be no need to put a soundbar underneath your flat screen in order to get great audio. I know that because I’ve already seen and heard the future at CES 2019.

LG Display has created an 88-inch 8K Crystal Sound OLED display that essentially turns this beautiful and superslim canvas into a giant speaker. The 3.2.2-channel sound system is embedded into the display, with two exciters up top, one in the middle and two more towards the bottom.

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The best part is that you can hear directional sound as if it were coming from the left, right, above and below you, thanks in part to Dolby Atmos support.

During one demo, little spaceships floated around the screen, and I could tell where the sound was coming from as each one moved. There were also visual cues in another scene; as cars raced from left to right, I could pinpoint the vehicles with my ears.

The bad news is that you can’t run out and by this TV. LG Display makes technologies it sells to other companies, and not just LG. But I could easily see a Crystal Sound OLED coming to market in the next year. At that point, sound bars will be toast.

Mark Spoonauer

Mark Spoonauer is the global editor in chief of Tom's Guide and has covered technology for over 20 years. In addition to overseeing the direction of Tom's Guide, Mark specializes in covering all things mobile, having reviewed dozens of smartphones and other gadgets. He has spoken at key industry events and appears regularly on TV to discuss the latest trends, including Cheddar, Fox Business and other outlets. Mark was previously editor in chief of Laptop Mag, and his work has appeared in Wired, Popular Science and Inc. Follow him on Twitter at @mspoonauer.