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Yamaha YSP-1400 Digital Sound Projector Review

by Sid November 27, 2013
Yamaha YSP-1400 Digital Sound Projector

Yamaha YSP-1400 Digital Sound Projector

  • Product Name: YSP-1400
  • Manufacturer: Yamaha
  • Performance Rating: StarStarStar
  • Value Rating: StarStarStar
  • Review Date: November 27, 2013 08:00
  • MSRP: $ 449.95
  • Buy Now
  • Output Channel: 5.1-channel
  • Output Power: 76 W total power: 2 W x 8 beam drivers + 30 W x 2 subwoofers
  • Power Consumption: 24 W
  • Standby Power Consumption: 0.5 W
  • Beam Drivers: 1-1/8” x 8 beam drivers
  • Woofers: Dual 3-1/4” subwoofers
  • Dimensions (W x H x D): 39-3/8” x 3-3/4” x 5-1/4” (With brackets: 5-1/2”)
  • Weight: 9.5 lbs.
  • Digital Optical: 1 in
  • Digital Coaxial: 1 in
  • Analog Audio: 2 in (Stereo 3.5 mm, dual RCA)
  • Surround Technology: Digital Sound Projector
  • CINEMA DSP Movie: 1
  • CINEMA DSP Music: 1
  • CINEMA DSP Entertainment: 2 (Sports, game)
  • UniVolume: Yes
  • Dolby Digital: Yes
  • DTS: Yes (DTS Digital Surround)
  • Wireless Music Streaming: Yes (With Bluetooth)
  • App Control: Yes
  • TV Remote Repeater: Yes
  • Learning Function: Yes


  • App Control
  • Enough inputs
  • Subwoofer output
  • Bluetooth works well
  • IR Pass Through for Blocked TV IR Receivers


  • Sibilant
  • Even in optimal room, surround effect unconvincing
  • Wall mounting may look a little goofy
  • Bass light
  • Weak stereo separation


Yamaha YSP-1400 Introduction

We haven't reviewed a soundbar or a surroundbar or digital sound projector in ages. One of the first ones we did was the YSP-4000, a near top of the line offering from Yamaha. Since then, Yamaha has expanded their surround soundbar line by leaps and bounds, becoming for many the defacto recommendation whenever their friends ask about a surround soundbar.  

I have to admit that I fall into this category.

I've probably talked with friends about surround soundbars a dozen times in the last year. Each time Yamaha's name has come up. "If you have to buy a surround soundbar, look at Yamaha," is my mantra. They've been doing it as long if not longer than everyone else. They don't just do phase adjustments to "trick" your ear into thinking you're hearing sounds from behind you, they actually bounce the sound around the room.

That's been the real defining reason I've suggested Yamaha so much - they implement both phase and bouncing techniques in their surround soundbars. But that is only at the highest cost offerings. With lower cost ones, they have to make a choice. Enter the YSP-1400 Digital Sound Projector.

First Impressions and Build Quality

my future bikeThe YSP-1400 came in a blue and white box reminiscent of their motorcycle colors. It is a fairly simple unit to unpack and set up. There is the surround soundbar, the remote, an attached power cord, a manual with an optical cable, and a template for wall mounting. Including the template was a nice touch as it has the entire outline of the YSP-1400 on it so you can see exactly how the bar is going to look on the wall. The integrated keyhole mounts are offset (rather than evenly spaced) on the back so I could see people making mistakes without the template and getting quite upset with Yamaha. A piece of cardboard probably saved them dozes of customer service calls.

Yamaha is targeting a very specific customer with the YSP-1400. These are customers that want surround sound and as much bass as possible from a single bar. While that doesn't really describe many audiophiles, it does describe a healthy segment of the buying public. The fit and finish of the YSP-1400 is very good. There is a central grille that hides eight, small, 1.125" drivers. Those familiar with Yamaha surround soundbars will recognize these immediately. On the larger bars, the entire front of the unit will be covered with these small drivers. On the left side of the grille is a number of LEDs to give you information when you are using the unit. The right side has a couple of control buttons including power, volume up and down, and an input scroll button.


Love the colors

The back of the unit has the keyhole mounts and a couple of larger "feet". These feet double as grilles for downfiring 3.25" woofers with rear-firing ports. They call them subwoofers but I don't for the same reason that I don't call a camel a horse with a hump. Because it isn't. This is a pretty nifty design for those that plan on shelf-mounting their YSP-1400. For those that plan on using the keyhole mounts for wall-mounting, the dangling feet take away from the clean lines. When you have downfiring drivers or rear firing ports, you are always worried about boundary reinforcement. My thought is that Yamaha compensated for either the ports firing into the wall or the feet firing into the shelf. I'm not sure how possible that actually is. I imagine that if you put the YSP-1400 on a shelf against a wall, the additional boundary effect would distort the bass more than they planned.


You can both put the holes in the right places and see what the YSP-1400 will look like on the wall

Also on the back are the inputs. The YSP-1400 has an optical and a coaxial digital audio input. It also has an analogue audio (stereo RCA) input and a "portable" 3.5mm input. For outputs, the YSP-1400 is limited to a single subwoofer connection. There are a few ways to look at this lack of inputs. First, you might assume that the YSP-1400 is designed to be used with only a display in mind. If you connect the display to a source, you can usually pump the audio down to the surround soundbar. This gives you all the inputs of the TV plus two additional the YSP-1400 (three if you count the portable). The other way is up to three connections on the YSP-1400 direct from your sources (I'm thinking a cable box, Wii, and a VCR because, why not?). Either way, there is no HDMI input or video pass-through so you'll have to run a separate cable to your display.


Though I'm sure many would argue, it won't explode if you plug a DVD player into the optical port