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Why the latest LG soundbar will be music to Millennials' ears

LG's new soundbar, the Music Flow HS8, is both curvaceous and clever and is clearly plugged into the latest consumer trends.

gadgets Updated: Aug 13, 2015 14:00 IST
LG,Music Flow HS8,Google Cast
The LG Music Flow HS8 Wireless Curved Sound Bar. Photo: AFP

LG's new soundbar, the Music Flow HS8, is both curvaceous and clever and is clearly plugged into the latest consumer trends.

Offering up to 360 watts of sound, the Music Flow HS8 can automatically distinguish what type of content it is broadcasting and optimise its sound to suit.

This system, called i-Sound, means that there's no need to mess with levels or equalization when switching between blockbusters, live sports and music videos.

But what's more, the curved soundbar is also designed to work with most mobile devices via Bluetooth or wi-fi and can be used with a host of music streaming services via Google Cast.

Wi-fi connectivity also means that the HS8 can work in concert with other LG Music Flow speakers around the home.

"In the digital age, the way consumers listen to music has changed dramatically and LG Music Flow is our response to movie and music lovers' desire for beautiful devices that perform as well as they look," said Min Byung-hoon, senior vice president of the LG Home Entertainment Company's Consumer Audio Visual division.

And its features related to use with mobile devices and the focus on music as well as that will chime most with consumers.

The rising popularity of soundbars over the past several years was initially driven by televisions becoming flatter and thinner and therefore poorer at replicating audio on a par with the image quality -- after all, speakers are not flat.

However, consumers are no longer seeing them as simply a way of amplifying the televisual experience. According to NPD Group research published at the end of July, 55% of US consumers who have a soundbar at home now use it for listening to music, podcasts or the radio and 23% say that they connect their smartphone to it.

And it's the younger generation that is driving the trend.

"Soundbars have been around for nearly a decade, and we are still seeing significant momentum in the market," said Ben Arnold, executive director, industry analyst, The NPD Group. "Features like Bluetooth have helped to drive interest, sales, and usage -- especially among millennial consumers."

Two thirds of Millennial soundbar owners use the device for listening to music as well as for watching TV (compared with 55% of all soundbar owners) and claim to spend roughly 22% of their time doing so. The NPD Group's research was based on a survey of 6,000 US consumers.

First Published: Aug 13, 2015 12:32 IST