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Yamaha YAS-152, ATS-1520 and YSP-1400 Soundbars Preview

Yamaha YAS-152, ATS-1520 and YSP-1400 Soundbars

Yamaha YAS-152, ATS-1520 and YSP-1400 Soundbars


  • Product Name: Yamaha
  • Manufacturer: YAS-152 and YSP-1400 Soundbars
  • Review Date: October 18, 2013 08:00
  • MSRP: $350 (YAS-152/ATS-1520); $450 (YSP-1400)
  • First Impression: Pretty Cool

YAS-152/ATS-1520 Virtual Surround Bar

  • Designed for 55" and larger TVs
  • Air Surround Xtreme
  • Wireless Bluetooth
  • Dual built-in subwoofers
  • Home Theater app
  • TV remote repeater
YSP-1400 Digital Sound Projector

Yamaha had their entire lineup of soundbars available to us at the 2013 CEDIA Expo in Denver, but we were particularly interested in the newest models in both the digital sound projector and traditional virtual surround categories. The YAS-152 (also known as the ATS-1520) is their new Virtual Surround Bar, which retails for around $350 and is available this month. This particular soundbar is interesting for a number of reasons. First of all, it's designed for larger TVs—55" and above, to be exact. They've already got other surround bars but there are a few features here that round out the line nicely and fill some voids. While the drivers are virtually the same as the YAS-101, this model also includes Bluetooth technology, an optical digital input, and analogue stereo inputs so you can quickly connect a legacy audio device or iPod directly.

It takes a 5.1 signal from digital audio input, but it uses Air Surround Xtreme to create a virtual surround image using advanced DSP that is based on that  actual surround signal—so it's not just extrapolating from stereo (although it can do that as well). It's a great surround bar that looks good and seems to fit a really good niche at a great price point. I wish we could tell you how it sounds, but although we were able to connect an iPhone to it, the results on the show floor simply weren't enough to tell you anything other than it can play very loudly and without any audible distortion that we could discern. Anything that can do that on a noisy show floor is promising to say the least.

YSP-1400 subwoofer feet

YSP-1400 subwoofer feet

Yamaha's digital sound projectors can range all the way up to $2000 for their flagship model. What piqued our interest was the YSP-1400, Yamaha's new entry-level model that uses just 8 drivers instead of the more traditional 16, and features dual subwoofer drivers in the oversized feet of the sound bar. It does real surround, not virtual, because it uses those "beamable" drivers to put the sound where it needs to be in the room.

Yamaha lacks a setup mic for this system, but what it does is use the company's home theater app to configure your room via the GUI. Then, you can use that information to program the soundbar to configure itself for your room's needs. It's a pretty smart solution and is a great compromise. For under $450, this is a great piece of technology that you shouldn't miss.

Unless otherwise indicated, this is a preview article for the featured product. A formal review may or may not follow in the future.

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Clint Deboer was terminated from Audioholics for misconduct on April 4th, 2014. He no longer represents Audioholics in any fashion.

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