LG OLED55C7V sound: a fair compromise

You could be forgiven for thinking that, because LG differentiates its OLEDs almost entirely on audio quality, the C7 must sound awful - but that’s definitely not the case.

This is a spacious sound with pretty decent dynamics, which means explosions and other big special effects stand out from the rest of the delivery with extra volume and punch. Voices are also clear and there’s reasonable detail by flatscreen sound standards.

The issue is that everything sounds as if it’s coming from behind the TV - which is largely because it is. That’s not a huge issue, but it does mean the audio is a bit indirect and doesn’t stretch into the room particularly well. And don’t get over-excited about the Dolby Atmos badge. It doesn’t really add anything.

In short, if you care about sound you’d be wise to add a soundbar or other sound system. But we’d also recommend doing that if you bought an LG G7, E7 or a Sony A1 because, even though they sound better than the C7 we’ve got here, they still can’t compete with a proper audio setup, and beautiful OLED should always be accompanied by awesome sound.

LG OLED55C7V features: WebOS is a lovely place to be

As with practically every 2017 LG TV, the C7 comes with the company’s own WebOS 3.5 at its core, and it provides a rather lovely user experience.

It’s a bright and friendly system, with sources, smart services and features all presented as colourful cards that can be rearranged, added and deleted as you see fit, and navigation is snappy too.

According to LG, this year’s incarnation of the platform is 40% faster, so streaming the likes of Netflix, Amazon Video, Now TV and catch up services via apps or Freeview Play is a cinch. There are dedicated buttons on the remote for Netflix and Amazon, and the number buttons can double-up as user-definable shortcuts to your other favourite apps and inputs.

In general, the remote is excellent, combining the motion-sensing pointer skills of LG’s existing Magic Remotes with a full suite of buttons in a smart and ergonomically sound size and shape. Basically, you can find what you want to watch with a minimum of fuss, and that’s all that really matters. We’d like an option to turn the motion-sensing feature off and use the remote as more of an old-school clicker, but on the other hand plenty of people will find the pointer functionality useful.

LG OLED55C7V verdict

The OLED55C7V (and therefore, presumably, the B7) is the pick of LG’s 2017 OLED range. It’s the most affordable model and has the weakest sound, but we’d recommend an audio upgrade regardless of which model you buy, and since the picture is essentially the same, you might as well get the cheapest one. You even get a prettier, more minimalist chassis to boot.

The real question is whether you should go for an LG at all, because the Sony A1 is even better, adding an extra layer of punch and dynamism to the already stunning recipe.

Ultimately, with only a £500 (RM2760) gap between the official prices of the two models it’s the Sony that wins, but only just. Prices will inevitably fluctuate in the weeks and months to come, and if the gap gets bigger we could well see the C7 becoming the no.1 OLED for 2017. Right now, it will have to settle for a close-run second place.


Stuff says... 

LG OLED55C7V review

The most affordable 2017 LG OLED is the pick of the bunch for most people - but also consider the Sony A1
Good Stuff 
The same, awesome picture as the rest of the range but a bit cheaper
Simple, minimalist design
Sound is actually better than expected
Bad Stuff 
You’ll still want a separate sound system
The Sony A1 provides an even better picture