Yamaha Yas-209. In the world of affordable soundbars, three main trends seem to be on the way right now: the discontinuation of the separate subwoofer, the addition of sound control, and the move to Dolby Atmos delivered via eARC. Of the three trends, Yamaha is following only one with the new YAS-209 soundbar.
Like its predecessor, the YAS-207 (which continues with the YAS-209 for now), with an even better edge, the Yamaha’s new soundbar comes with a large wireless subwoofer and eschews Dolby Atmos and eARC in favor of DTS Virtual:X and standard ARC. The main change is the addition of Amazon Alexa, which is built right into the bar (not the remote control), thanks to the two remote microphones. Of course, what matters most is performance, and the Yamaha YAS-209 largely upholds the good reputation Yamaha has made for itself with soundbars.
YAS 209 soundbar design
While there isn’t much room for creativity in soundbar design – long and thin almost certainly – the YAS-209 is more stylish and fashionable than most. Its rounded edges and fabric cover make it look like it belongs to the Amazon Echo family, even though it was removed. The Yamaha YAS 209 measures slightly wider (93cm to 65cm) but is roughly the same height and depth. That means it will fit in front of most TVs without blocking the signal from the remote. It can also be mounted cheaply and easily on a wall, thanks to a pair of integrated screw holes.
The Yamaha YAS-209 features a tailor-made subwoofer, which has real benefits in terms of bass depth and weight, but means there’s a much larger second box that needs to be placed. Going wireless means there’s almost no clutter and increased versatility, but there are limits to how it works much it can hide – the subwoofer performs best in free space and relatively close to the soundbar.
Above the soundbar, there is a row of touch-sensitive ‘buttons’ that control volume, power, input switching and microphone. There is also a row of small LEDs, each labeled with the name of the source or feature. If there is no display, these LEDs light up in a variety of different configurations to indicate when you are changing settings.
Figuring out what each light setting indicates means referring back to the manual, which isn’t ideal. Thankfully, reasonable out-of-the-box configurations keep tinkering to a minimum, and the Sound Bar Controller app offers a more obvious method for changing settings.
App for everyday soundbar control
You can also use the app for everyday soundbar control, but there’s also a simple remote bundled for quick switching of sound inputs and presets. On the back, there’s one HDMI input compatible with 4K and HDR as well as an HDMI output that supports ARC. There’s also an optical input for TVs that don’t support ARC, and an ethernet jack for those who prefer to use a wired network connection over wi-fi. Connecting the YAS-209 to the internet allows, among other things, Spotify Connect, and there’s also Bluetooth on board.
Yamaha accepts Dolby Digital, DTS, and PCM soundtracks for up to 5.1 channels, with no native support for Dolby Atmos or DTS:X object-based audio formats. Instead, the bar uses DTS Virtual:X processing to increase the height of the incoming signal. This feature can be activated via the ‘3D Surround’ button provided on the remote.
With DTS Virtual:X disabled, Yamaha will still add virtual surround sound processing to the audio, only without adding a height effect, but you can disable processing completely by enabling stereo mode. We recommend that you do this while listening to music. Otherwise, we’re more or less sticking to the Movie preset.
Starting with the DTS soundtrack from Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows – Part 2 on 4K Blu-ray, we were immediately impressed by the speed of the YAS-209. There’s real solidity and weight to the magical barrage fired at Hogwarts, and as the camera sweeps overhead during a ground attack, the effects accurately swing around the expansive, high soundstage that DTS Virtual:X processing offers.
Moving on to the Unbroken bombing scene, the YAS-209 offers an expansive and atmospheric delivery. It doesn’t quite fill up the room like other brands like Sony, but there’s plenty of width and height to the B-24 Liberator’s engine and surrounding noise. As the action begins, intense machine gun fire from strafing fighter planes is well focused and well placed in the sound field.
It’s a soundbar capable of delivering large, weighty movie soundtracks with expertly placed and attractive surround effects, while ensuring important elements such as dialogue are clear and well projected. It gets a huge amount, but there are some annoying flaws and the excellent class standard means you can buy better for the same money. Read More !
wake up 4
Input ; HDMI, Optical
eARC ; No
Audio format support; DTS:X
Bluetooth ; Yes
Dimensions; (hwd) 6.2 × 93 × 10.9cm
Heavy ; 2.7kg
Dimensions; (hwd) 42 x 19.1 × 40.6cm
Heavy ; 7.9kg