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What just happened? LG has a reputation for producing top tech products—though its defunct phone division shows it doesn't always get things right. The company's UltraGear monitors are especially well-received by gamers and reviewers alike, and now its first gaming-focused, battery-powered portable speaker is available in the US: The LG UltraGear GP9.
Looking like a small, RGB-packed soundbar with a design that will likely be described as contentious, LG is marketing the GP9 as the perfect accessory for one of its UltraGear gaming monitors. It features the company's proprietary 3D Gaming Sound technology that incorporates a specially designed HRTF (head-related transfer function) algorithm to tailor a game's audio according to genre.
"Not only does it allow users to download professionally tuned EQ settings via a companion app, the GP9 also lets users share custom sound settings for specific games with other gamers," writes LG.
In addition to the three EQ modes, there are two genre-optimizing modes that cover first-person shooters, allowing users to hear the quietest of footsteps, and an RTS mode with genuine spatial sound for the likes of real-time strategy titles and racing games.
Internally, there are dual 2-inch woofers, dual 20mm tweeters, and a passive radiator for a combined total output of 20W. The outside, meanwhile, has all the physical controls, including that chunky dial, and RGB lighting capable of showing 16.8 million different colors. It also comes with a 2600mAh battery that LG says will last 6 hours.
The GP9 isn't just a speaker. Its "voice-chat" function allows users to chat with others without the need for a separate headset or microphones. The built-in mics have an echo-cancellation algorithm that can identify a voice over background noises and sounds. If you do want to plug in a headset, there's a 3.5mm audio jack and support for DTS Headphone:X with 7.1 virtual surround sound effects and a first-party Hi-Fi quad DAC.
The GP9 can be connected using optical cable or USB-C, or linked wirelessly via Bluetooth, with support for the SBC and AAC audio codecs.
The big caveat for many will be the price. The LG UltraGear GP9 costs $499.99, more than the MSI Optix MAG274QRF-QD 27", our pick for the best mainstream 1440p gaming monitor. It's currently out of stock at LG and Amazon.