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Yamaha’s YAS-108 Sound Bar Promises Immersive Sound From A Tidy Package

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Yamaha YAS-108 Sound Bar

Yamaha YAS-108 Sound Bar

Summary

  • Product Name: YAS-108
  • Manufacturer: Yamaha
  • Review Date: July 13, 2018 21:00
  • MSRP: $199
  • First Impression: Gotta Have It!
  • Buy Now
  • Drivers: 2-1/8" cone woofer × 2, 3" built-in subwoofer × 2, 1" dome tweeter × 2
  • Output power: 120 W total power: 30 W x 2 + 60 W built-in subwoofer
  • Dimensions (W x H x D): 35" x 2-1/8" x 5-1/8" (In front of TV placing), 35" x 5-1/8" x 2-1/2" (Wall-mounted)
  • Weight: 7.1 lbs

Executive Overview

Compact sound bars continue to be a popular choice for people who want better TV sound without all the fuss of a complicated system. The new Sonos Beam combines smart-speaker functionality with sound bar simplicity, but its $400 price tag will force budget-minded shoppers to look elsewhere. Polk Audio’s Signa Solo sound bar is selling for just $109 on Amazon, but it provides only a modest improvement over the tinny sound that today’s super-slim televisions produce. Yamaha hopes to hit the low-price, high-performance sweet spot with its new YAS-108 sound bar, which is slated to ship this July, and sell for $199.

The new YAS-108 features DTS Virtual:X 3D surround emulation, which Yamaha claims will enable the single-chassis sound bar to create a “life-like, immersive 3D sound field that envelops you in sound that moves around and above you, all without the need for separate front-, surround-, and height-channel speakers.” This technology first appeared on last year’s YAS-107 and YAS-207 models, which delivered relatively impressive performance for their small size and $200-$300 price-tags. The faux-surround effect is unlikely to convince serious home theater enthusiasts, but it’s certainly a more cinematic experience than a TV can provide on its own. DTS Virtual:X processing handles object-based surround formats such as DTS:X and Dolby Atmos, and can also be applied to traditional stereo and multichannel signals. Meanwhile, Yamaha’s “Clear Voice” technology promises to make dialogue more audible and easier to understand.

The YAS-108 employs a total of six drivers in its slim, 35-inch-wide, ported enclosure: two 1” dome tweeters, two 2 1/8” woofers, and two 3” “subwoofers.” A separate subwoofer is not included (nor required, according to Yamaha), but users have the option of adding any subwoofer of their choice via the analog subwoofer output. When placed on a shelf in front of a television, the low-profile YAS-108 stands only 2 1/8” inches tall, so the up-firing drivers shouldn’t block the screen, nor the infrared signal from a remote control. Alternatively, the bar can be mounted on the wall with the drivers firing forward. A built-in gyroscope allows the YAS-108 to optimize the sound for whichever orientation you choose.

The sound bar’s HDMI connection ticks all the boxes, supporting ARC (audio return channel), 4K Ultra HD and HDR pass-through, and HDCP 2.2. Optical (toslink) and analog audio inputs are also present. New for 2018 is an enhanced Bluetooth implementation that allows two devices to be paired to the YAS-108 simultaneously. Users can switch from one streaming device to another without having to disconnect and reconnect multiple times. Owners of an Amazon Echo device can easily connect it to the YAS-108 via Bluetooth, and then use Alexa to stream music and podcasts to the sound bar.

At $199, the Yamaha YAS-108 appears to be a strong contender in the crowded sound bar category. Are you tempted to see and hear what it can do? Share your thoughts in the related forum thread below.

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About the author:

Jacob is a music-lover and audiophile who enjoys convincing his friends to buy audio gear that they can't afford. He's also a freelance writer and editor based in Los Angeles.

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Recent Forum Posts:

WineOfTheVeins posts on August 17, 2018 14:02
I'm in the market for a soundbar for my upstairs TV. This one looks pretty nice, thanks for the consideration.
Surprised to see Yamaha going against the big soundbar players.
ANTHONY.capetown posts on August 12, 2018 13:14
Hey there Gene, thanks for info on the Yamaha YAS 108!

I'm curious (having a lot of trouble figuring out bluetooth freatures specifically)?!!!

Can you connect two seperate Bluetooth earbuds to the soundbar, so that:

? Two people can listen to the audio output via their Bluetooth earbuds (connected to the soundbar) simultaneously?

? Use soundbar built-in speaker output >> ?? so you can either just listen via earbuds, (?? Like for late night listening, where you don't want to disturb others in the household?), ???? or with soundbar speakers AND attached earbuds at the same time, (?? Like if one member of the household is hard of hearing and uses their Bluetooth earbuds to listen, whilst others in the room can still listen via the soundbar speakers?).

If anyone has been able to do this, or can suggest a soundbar with Bluetooth 5.0 capability that can replicate above, I'd be most grateful for your assistance and advice.

Cheers,

ANTHONY.capetown
gene posts on July 14, 2018 00:57
The new Yamaha YAS-108 sound bar hopes to hit the low-price, high-performance sweet spot at $199. The compact and lightweight YAS-108 uses DTS Virtual:X 3D processing to deliver enveloping sound from any movie or TV soundtrack — no surround speakers or additional subwoofer required. Will the YAS-108 be another best-seller for Yamaha, or will stiff competition from LG, Polk Audio, Vizio, and Sonos thwart Yamaha’s efforts?

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Read: Yamaha YAS-108 Sound Bar with Virtual DTS:X
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