Release Date: 03/14/2018
Just like TVs, sound systems are only something I upgrade with a TV. My last soundbar was the Samsung HW-K550 and it was decent at the time, but the subwoofer was really weak and it has constant disconnection issues. Instead of buying an LG soundbar with my new TV I went with Sony due to the lacking reviews towards LG. I decided to spend the extra cash (like $500 extra) and get a premium high-end soundbar.
Right when you start setting this up you start noticing the premium features right away. It looks more like a piece of furniture rather than some piece of tech sitting on your entertainment center. This soundbar actually has video output and has wifi and you can go into the menu through the TV and set everything up. This surprised me as I only had soundbars that had simple settings on the bar itself with the remote.
One of the best features of this soundbar is the Vertical Surround feature which allows sound to pass over you and increases the depth of the surround sound immensely. There’s really no need to turn it off and doesn’t mess with the sound like other soundbars do. There are also plenty of media presets such as game, music, movies, and news. Each preset is pronounced and works well without needing any adjustments. Another software feature is the integration with Alexa and Spotify. You can control Spotify from your soundbar and have a visual on screen, but any smart TV does this as well, so it feels like a redundant feature.
One thing I do have to mention is that DTS:X and Dolby Atmos cannot be transferred over Bluetooth or optical, so you must connect an HDMI cable for these features to work. Playing games and movies that feature Dolby Atmos sound amazing and even DTS or Dolby Digital media is crisp and the subwoofer booms which is quite nice. The overall sound fills the room and brings you front and center.
Overall, the HF-Z9F is a high-end soundbar that delivers every high-end sound tech available to date. With 4K and HDR passthrough, DTS:X, Dolby Atmos, Alexa support, and an actual video display, this is as high-tech as it gets right now. The Vertical Sound option brings the sound to you and the overall sound fills the room. If you have the extra cash or wants something more than an average soundbar experience, this is the way to go.