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LG claims it has a 4K speaker, a thing that doesn't exist

Of all the inventions we get to see here at CES, the least appreciated ones are often linguistic. Take LG’s glorious example today: the Korean company has used some absolutely arbitrary math to justify slapping a “4K High Resolution” claim on its latest soundbar, the SJ9. If you listen to two channels of 24-bit/96kHz audio, you wind up with a data stream of more than 4,000kbps. 24 x 96,000 x 2 = 4,608,000 bits per second.

But is 4K resolution on TVs related to the data being processed per second? No. It refers to the horizontal resolution of a display — the count of pixels — and it’s not particularly precise, either. A bunch of TVs with resolution of 3,840 x 2,160 get away with calling themselves “4K,” because that’s in the general vicinity of 4,000 pixels. But pixels don’t exist in the audio realm and such a thing as a 4K speaker cannot exist. Except it does now, because LG has no respect for the sanctity of language or the usefulness of consumer-friendly tech taxonomy.


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