LG UltraGear GP9 review: The best gaming speaker you shouldn’t buy

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LG GP9 speaker in front of monitor

LG UltraGear GP9 review: The best gaming speaker you shouldn’t buy

MSRP $499.00

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score details

“The LG GP9 is an incredible speaker that is only as good as its price allows it to be.”

professionals

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    Best sound quality for gaming

  • DTS:X and Hi-Res Headphone Support

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    wide sound field

  • great microphone echo cancellation

Shortcoming

  • very expensive

  • weak battery life

  • subpar music experience

LG’s Ultragear brand is best known for gaming monitors, but it’s branching out. The GP9 gaming speaker is LG’s first attempt to establish UltraGear as a gaming brand beyond the realm of monitors, and hopefully join LG in the conversation when it comes to the best gaming speakers. It’s a solid effort, but unfortunately it’s spoiled by negligence and an astronomical $500 price tag.

It looks like LG designed the GP9 in a vacuum, outpacing options like the Razer Leviathan and Panasonic SoundSlayer by a few hundred dollars. On paper, the GP9 has features that justify its higher price tag – a built-in microphone for voice chat, support for hi-res audio, and wireless operation on the built-in battery. In practice, however, these perks don’t match the price LG is asking.

Immediately after unboxing and installing the GP9, I was impressed with its performance while gaming. It’s one of the best gaming speakers out there, and there’s no way to deny it, but it’s hard for the GP9 to keep up with the conversation when the speaker is well over half the price.

to be connected

Input on LG GP9 speaker.
Jacob Roach / Nerdshala

GP9 includes three inputs and two outputs. As for input, you can connect it via a USB-C connector, an optical cable, or Bluetooth. It’s a solid assortment of options, though I’d have to imagine most would default to using USB, which is what I did during my review.

Bluetooth is a nice addition, but I don’t want to use the GP9 as a bluetooth speaker. It’s big and heavy, for one, so it’s not the best travel companion, and it doesn’t have an IP or water-resistance rating, so it’s not a good idea to leave it outside. Even with those issues, the real killer is battery life.

The GP9 has a built-in battery that LG says can last up to five hours, but is also generous. During a morning with little use for video calls and the occasional YouTube video, the speaker lasted just shy of four hours. Blink, and GP9 is dead.

In addition to inputs, the GP9 includes a headphone output. This port supports DTS Headphone:X for virtual 7.1 surround sound, but that feature is less and more a plus. After all, the GP9 is a $500 gaming speaker, so it would be a shame to plug in headphones just to use virtual surround sound.

made for gaming

Using the GP9 for the first time is the equivalent of putting on a pair of the best gaming headphones. The soundscape suddenly opened up, the sound effects felt like they had an effect, and the music complemented the game audio rather than worked against it. If you’ve used a high-quality gaming headset, you already know what the GP9 offers.

LG GP9 speaker on a desk.
Jacob Roach / Nerdshala

In Deep Rock Galactic, The synth-ridden soundtrack perfectly overlayed the sound of a drill through stone, and the sound field seemed to stretch from one end of the room to the other. My desk is in the living room, but still, the GP9 took up the space.

The default sound profile sounds great. I took it out for a spin in a few rounds Call of Duty: Vanguard And Hello Anant, And I was able to remove the footsteps, gunshots and explosions all around me. LG’s 3D gaming sound may sound like a gimmick, but it works.

In addition to the default profile, GP9 includes an FPS profile and an RTS profile. Names are irrelevant, even if these profiles sound great. The FPS profile has more of a forward presence, with a lot of sound playing in the center of the sound field, while the RTS profile tends to push things to the sides, as if the floor has dropped out of the frequency range.

There’s no denying that the GP9 sounds excellent at games.

The GP9 sounds great for games, especially keeping up with the little nuances around the sound field in a way that even detached 2.0 systems fail to manage. However, the cost is hard to ignore. At $500, the sound isn’t enough. The Razer Leviathan also sounds great, and is half the price, And It includes a dedicated subwoofer.

Movies and music take a backseat

The LG GP9 is a gaming speaker, and it shows the sound quality in other mediums. It is tuned for playing games, not listening to music or watching movies.

LG GP9 speaker on a desk.
Jacob Roach / Nerdshala

Music was the biggest pain point…

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