When considering speakers for PC gaming, a soundbar isn’t the first thing that may come to mind. Typically associated with a home theater setup, a soundbar is a cost-effective way to get a more robust audio setup. When applying that logic to gaming, however, a soundbar does make more sense; having a way to elevate the audio quality to something home theater worthy furthers the overall experience. That’s the goal LG set for itself with the UltraGear GP9, which the brand sent to SPY for review.
LG UltraGear GP9: What We Liked
The UltraGear is pretty distinctive in its design, with its angular, almost trapezoid-like design. Being a gaming speaker, there are oblivious gaming flourishes like metal accents and customizable RGB lighting (of course). The length is a little shorter than what you may anticipate from your typical home audio soundbars. Likewise, the GP9 is slightly taller than most standard soundbars. Nevertheless, it should comfortably fit under the gaming monitor on your desk. If you’re familiar with the look and feel of gaming-related accessories, it should feel right at home in your setup.
The GP9 uses two sets of woofers and tweeters, located on the left and right sides of the speaker, with an adjustable volume dial in the middle. On the back, you’ll notice a handful of ports, which is where the device gains some real value. The device supports USB-C, optical audio cable and even Bluetooth connectivity. The latter is where the GP9 becomes pretty special, as the Bluetooth connectivity allows you to disconnect the unit (it’s chargeable!) and move it around your space accordingly. So even if you don’t happen to have room on your desk for the speaker, you can find another area for it. It also adds more value to its overall price point, although it’s more than likely you already have some sort of portable Bluetooth speaker at this point.
Another handy feature is the GP9’s ability to function as a microphone. I was skeptical of this ability, as I thought my teammates would hear some of the — you know — actual audio coming out of the speaker. Yet I was shocked when there wasn’t any feedback bleeding through. To have a proper all-in-one solution of this quality is something special.
As for the sound quality of the GP9, it works pretty well. The crunchy, punchy sounds of the array of weapons in the Halo Infinite arsenal really sung through the speaker, as did many of the weapons and powers of the Guardian classes in Destiny 2 and its various expansions. Music on the device sounded solid as well, providing a rich base to my favorite testing music, Tame Impala’s Currents album.
LG UltraGear GP9: What We Didn’t Like
While the sound on the GP9 is good, we can’t help but feel that for the $500 price, it could be better. There’s definitely room for improvement on a future version of the product. Additionally, that price will likely be a sticking point for many, as there are plenty of speaker setups that produce fantastic audio for a price that’s a lot cheaper than the GP9. There are enough great features in the GP9 to make it worth recommending, however, but if your primary concern is audio-first, you may consider looking elsewhere.
Verdict: LG’s UltraGear GP9 Is a Compact Solution to Your Audio Woes
Buying PC gaming accessories can get to be expensive pretty quickly, so the benefit of having an all-in-one solution is pretty fantastic. The GP9 delivers on this promise but still leaves plenty of room for growth regarding future iterations of the project.