Yamaha’s soundbars have wowed us, with many receiving our top recommendations in several classes. Yamaha’s newest entry, the YAS-207, marks a serious step ahead. It’s the first soundbar so as to add DTS Virtual:X technology. DTS Digital:X is such a big and spectacular function that house owners of previous-generation, entry-level Yamaha soundbars will need to improve to it.
Slim profile with a wi-fi sub
Yamaha’s YAS-207 is a slimline soundbar and wi-fi subwoofer bundle. Whereas the YAS-207’s rectangular design received’t win any awards, it should actually attraction to clients who need a soundbar with a small footprint and a wall-mount possibility. Yamaha features a template so you realize precisely the place to drill the holes. No particular is required to wall mount the YAS-207, although you will have to supply the suitable screws. You can even put the YAS-207 on high of or inside a cupboard. There aren’t any on-board EQ choices to compensate for these completely different placements.
The included wi-fi subwoofer eschews the sq. field design of most subs. As an alternative, Yamaha’s wi-fi sub is vertically tall and skinny. The front-ported sub seems to be extra like a tower laptop, making it good to suit close to a sofa or tight areas. The subwoofer’s quantity could be managed independently of the principle soundbar, so you may tweak it to your style. There’s an non-compulsory bass increase function on the distant that additional enhances the low finish. I do not just like the bloated impact that outcomes from by these gimmicky options, although I do know some shoppers like them. It is there if you happen to want it.
Once I unpacked the soundbar and wi-fi sub, the 2 got here pre-paired and able to go. I intentionally unpaired the wi-fi sub to see how troublesome it might be ought to a person have pairing issues. Re-pairing the sub was straightforward. I’d merely warning that you could be attentive to the particular process listed within the guide or the pairing will not work.
A high quality distant and cellular app
The Yamaha’s distant management is much better than most at this value level. Buttons are logically laid out with moderately massive sort. The distant isn’t backlit, however the buttons have completely different shapes and colours so you may simply make them out in both dim lighting circumstances or with out trying. Yamaha is among the many few soundbars at this value level to come back with a complementary cellular app that takes care of all of your management wants. All I needed to do was join the YAS-207 by way of Bluetooth, obtain the Yamaha House Theater app on my iOS machine, and I used to be in enterprise.
All of the inputs you want
The YAS-207 supplies you with HDMI, Toslink optical, Bluetooth, and analog inputs. It is rather uncommon that you simply get each an HDMI enter and HDMI output at this value. The HDMI output helps HDMI’s audio return channel (ARC), so a single HDMI cable can be utilized to ship AV alerts to the TV in addition to obtain audio again from the TV over the identical cable. HDMI ARC is a neat function, although you’ll must make it possible for your TV’s CEC possibility is enabled for ARC to work. Most TVs include the HDMI CEC turned off by default.
The supported HDMI model is not explicitly acknowledged, however it’s most definitely HDMI 2.0a since Yamaha states the YAS-207 helps 4K UHD alerts with HDR (excessive dynamic vary). Supporting video alerts is often irrelevant, since most individuals use a soundbar for processing solely audio. Nonetheless, there are conditions the place it is useful and sensible to have an HDMI enter on the soundbar.
Must you join a 4K UHD supply to the Yamaha, remember that it should in all probability cross solely HDR10 (as we speak’s dominant HDR normal) and not one of the different or forthcoming HDR standards such as HDR10+, Dolby Vision, or HLG HDR. HLG HDR will likely be used for future TV broadcasts as soon as the ATSC 3.0 broadcast standard is pushed out to shoppers.
Good sound for a finances soundbar
The YAS-207 is a good-sounding entry-level soundbar that is going to be much better than the horrible audio coming out of your TV audio system. The Yamaha delivers intelligible dialog and enhances films and TV programming. The midrange appears like it’s voiced particularly to emphasise dialog. It’s extremely efficient, however for my style it sounds a bit skinny. Comparatively talking, the Yamaha could not ship the identical sonic satisfaction I bought from the marginally costlier Q Acoustics M3 that I just lately reviewed.
Introducing DTS Digital:X
Should you’re contemplating the YAS-207, you doubtless aren’t going to place it into plain outdated stereo mode. Let me clarify why.
The large promoting level of the YAS-207 is DTS Digital:X. Yamaha’s YAS-207 is the primary soundbar accessible to ship this technological enhancement. DTS Digital:X is a know-how by DTS (sure the identical DTS that has its brand see plastered throughout Blu-ray discs) that analyzes an incoming audio sign and makes use of the Yamaha’s audio system to simulate a 3D sound stage—together with creating digital audio system the place none exist. Proper now, solely a handful of merchandise have DTS Digital:X. That can change within the new yr as extra firms announce assist.
With a purpose to make the most of DTS Digital:X, my YAS-207 evaluation pattern wanted to be up to date to the newest firmware. You’ll be able to download the latest firmware for the YAS-207 from Yamaha’s website. Relying on when your YAS-207 soundbar was manufactured, it could or might not include the newest firmware.
Performing the replace was easy. I downloaded the firmware to a USB stick, adopted the web directions to put in the firmware, and in a couple of minute flat I used to be able to go. After the DTS Digital:X replace, miserable the “encompass” button gave me two encompass modes. The primary mode is a simulated, conventional, 2D encompass sound. If you have interaction the normal encompass, you’ll see a inexperienced mild on the entrance of the soundbar. Urgent the encompass button a second time turned the sunshine encompass mild blue and activated DTS Digital: X.
You don’t want programming mastered with DTS:X (the corporate’s 3D audio know-how) for Digital:X to work its magic. That is the actually cool factor in regards to the know-how. It can work on just about any audio supply you feed it. Nonetheless, I couldn’t consider a greater take a look at of DTS Digital:X than the remastered Harry Potter films.
Warner Brothers despatched me copies of the primary 4 Harry Potter films, which have now been re-released in each 4K UHD Blu-ray and Blu-ray with a remastered DTS:X immersive audio monitor. Should you’re a fan of the Harry Potter franchise who hasn’t seen and heard the remastered films, it is best to.
I’ve by no means been a fan of simulated 2D encompass from soundbars. My opinion hasn’t modified after sampling the YAS-207. Its simulated encompass sound function is solely OK. DTS Digital:X, nonetheless, is a completely completely different ball recreation.
The film theater-like sensation DTS Digital:X delivers is nothing wanting astounding. It’s one of the best simulated encompass sound know-how I’ve heard in a soundbar. If you first have interaction DTS Digital:X, it is best to be aware that there’s a little bit of trickery. The quantity will get louder. Our human listening to will understand louder volumes as higher. However there is no trickery concerned on the subject of what Digital:X can do.
The audio sound stage expanded considerably in top, width, and depth. Dynamics got here to life. If you wish to get an immersive audio sensation, however can’t afford the area or price related to DTS:X or Dolby Atmos, then DTS Digital:X is an incredible different. It made a believer out of this skeptic.
Digital:X in comparison with a 7.1.four DTS:X audio setup
Now, so that you simply don’t misunderstand, I examined the Yamaha YAS-207 in my DTS:X 7.1.four theater area. Whereas the YAS-207 did yeoman’s work, it nonetheless wasn’t near delivering the very good refinement devoted immersive audio setup can ship. It additionally didn’t come near rendering the discrete top results you get from devoted in-ceiling audio system. For instance, within the 14th Chapter of the Goblet of Hearth, when Harry first encounters the dragon, in a correct DTS:X immersive audio setup, you’ll hear the dragon wisp above you and when he breathes fireplace at Harry, you’re sonically surrounded by the fireplace because it disappears behind and above you. I didn’t get wherever close to that impact from the Yamaha, although I did get a considerably elevated top sensation, which I didn’t get from the Yamaha in plain outdated stereo mode.
One of the stunning options of DTS Digital:X is the way it enhanced on-screen dialog. Nearly as good of a price because the Yamaha YAS-207 is, it nonetheless has a boxy sound and skinny tonal high quality to it. Turning on DTS Digital:X enormously lowered these sonic shortcomings. Even with Digital:X, nonetheless, the general sound of the YAS-207 nonetheless has a skinny high quality to it.
Drawbacks of Digital:X
Nearly as good as DTS Digital:X is, that doesn’t imply it isn’t with out its occasional pitfalls. I discovered that enabling DTS Digital:X led to a sure harshness to the audio—together with some smearing. DTS Digital:X generally tended to make listening classes fatiguing, consistently elevating the sounds of background audio objects. In some cases, dialog really grew to become fuzzier.
Whereas watching the 10th chapter of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Hearth, for instance, witch journalist Rita Skeeter takes Harry Potter into a brush closet for an interview for the Triwizard Event, Rita’s voice had a hissy high quality to it as if it was mixing into background sounds that have been elevated as a part of Digital:X’s digital sign processing. I can’t say if these cases of audible artifacts and harshness are a byproduct of DTS Digital:X, the best way the YAS-207 renders the know-how, or just the truth that this budget-priced soundbar doesn’t have higher drivers.
Switching over to my devoted 7.1.four DTS:X immersive audio setup, all these harsh audio components disappeared. I’d suspect that there may be much less harshness with higher-end soundbars using DTS Digital:X.
Yamaha’s soundbars have at all times been stellar performers of their respective value classes. That stays true right here. Yamaha’s YAS-207 with DTS Digital:X is a winner. The inclusion of DTS Digital:X differentiates the YAS-207 from amongst its friends. Whereas Yamaha’s soundbar isn’t good, it delivers a lot of punch and pleasure to please those that need a greater film expertise at house. The YAS-207 can even function compromise for spouses who need audio tools in the home to be heard and never seen.