LG’s 97-inch vibrating OLED TV claims to offer 5.1 audio without speakers


LG Display OLED.EX TV panel

LG Display has shown off some interesting ideas as it looks to change the way OLED panels work, from positing bizarre form factors to addressing dimmer brightness levels compared to LED alternatives. Now, the panel maker is exploring a new approach to OLED TV audio.

Today, LG Display announced its creation of a 97-inch OLED EX TV panel that debuts the company’s Cinematic Sound OLED (CSO), “which allows the display to vibrate and generate the sound directly from the display without separate speakers.”

“A 5.1 channel sound system is embedded into the widescreen, creating a performance that offers a cinematic level of immersion,” LG Display said.

Sony has used similar technology called Acoustic Surface in OLED TVs since 2017. These sets also don’t use speakers and instead vibrate actuators behind the display. However, Sony doesn’t compare Acoustic Surface to 5.1 surround sound. Instead, it encourages users to connect their own gear to the set and to use the TV as the center channel for a surround sound setup.

Considering audio will be coming from a central point rather than all around you, it’s hard to imagine LG Display’s gargantuan TV panel can deliver the surround sound experience of a movie theater. But that’s not to say the vibration-induced soundscape will be worthless. No integrated TV audio can compete with a thoughtfully constructed home theater setup, but the latest TV with Sony’s Acoustic Surface, the A9G, has a positive reputation among reviewers.

Audiophile site What Hi-Fi?, for example, called it the “best-sounding TV” it had ever tested, with a “good spread of sound” and directness that worked well with dialogue. FlatpanelsHD reported that voices on the A9G sound like they’re coming directly out of characters’ mouths and that the overall sound is “significantly better than average TV speakers,” though the site still recommended external audio for the best experience.

We haven’t tested LG Display’s Film CSO technology, but based on reviews of similar tech, there’s a good chance that the audio will be at least as good as the integrated speakers in a traditional TV.

Bigger and brighter

LG Display announced its OLED EX technology in December, saying it provides up to 30 percent brighter screens than standard OLED displays, thanks to the use of deuterium and the company’s “EX Technology algorithm.”

OLED EX TVs are starting to roll out from brands like LG and Philips, but the 97-inch size is a rarity among OLEDs. LG’s first 97-inch OLED TV, the G2, is expected to release this year.

LG Display didn’t detail any upcoming TV products with its vibrating OLED EX panel. In March, FlatpanelsHD reported that the company confirmed a 25,000 euro (about $25,800) price tag for the G2, so we don’t expect any TVs with LG Display’s newly announced audio tech to be anywhere near affordable.

For now, the company will demo the OLED TV, along with other OLED designs, at the Korea Display Industry Association’s K-Display 2022 conference, which started today and ends Friday.

Leave a Comment