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Yamaha YHT-4910U Home Theater in a Box Preview

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Yamaha YHT-4910U HTiB

Yamaha YHT-4910U HTiB

Summary

  • Product Name: YHT-4910U
  • Manufacturer: Yamaha
  • Review Date: June 12, 2014 22:00
  • MSRP: $479.95
  • First Impression: Pretty Cool
  • Buy Now
  • 5-channel powerful surround sound
  • 100 W per channel (8 ohms, 1 kHz, 0.9% THD, 1-ch driven)
  • 70 W per channel (8 ohms, 20 Hz-20 kHz, 0.09% THD, 2-ch driven)
  • Discrete amp configuration
  • HDMI® (4 in / 1 out) with 4K Ultra HD pass-through for super high resolution images
  • Front panel USB digital connection for iPod® and iPhone®
  • Virtual CINEMA FRONT provides virtual surround sound with five speakers in front
  • Extra Bass enriches powerful bass sound even with small speakers
  • YPAO™ sound optimization for automatic speaker set up
  • Multilingual color OSD for improved visibility (English, German, French, Spanish, Russian, Italian, Japanese and Chinese)
  • ECO mode operation for about 20 percentage less power consumption

Receiver

  • Dimensions: 17-1/8” x 6” x 12-3/8”
  • Weight: 16.3 lbs.

Front Speakers:

  • Speaker Size: 2-3/4” full-range cone
  • Dimensions (W x H x D): 4-3/8” x 6-7/8” x 4-5/8”
  • Weight (lbs.): 1.3 lbs. (each)

Center Speaker:

  • Speaker Size: 2-3/4” full-range cone
  • Dimensions (W x H x D): 10-7/8” x 4-3/8” x 4-5/8”
  • Weight (lbs.): 1.61 lbs.

Surround Speakers:

  • Speaker Size: 2-3/4” full-range cone
  • Dimensions (W x H x D): 4-3/8” x 6-7/8” x 4-5/8”
  • Weight (lbs.): 1.3 lbs. (each)

Subwoofer: Model: NS-SW40BL

  • Power Output: 100 W
  • Driver Size: 6 -1/2” cone
  • Dimensions (W x H x D): 11-3/8” x 11-1/2” x 12-7/8”
  • Weight (lbs.): 17.6 lbs.

Executive Overview

Yamaha has, for the last few years, paired their entry-level receivers with speakers as Home Theater in a Box (HTiB) solutions. We are huge fans of this practice as it gives consumers on a budget a (practically) turn-key solution. The big advantage to a system like this is that Yamaha uses one of their entry-level receivers as the powerhouse of the system. This way, when users decide to upgrade, they don't have to start from scratch. They can add new speakers without worrying about proprietary connections found on other HTiB solutions, or they can take the speakers and use them in different applications as they upgrade. The receiver can be used later in a second room as well.

One of the classic problems with surround systems is that they usually require wires to be ran from the front of the room, or wherever the receiver is located, to speakers located all around the room. Some systems have experimented with "wireless" speakers, but these have met with limited success. Yamaha and others have a number of "digital sound projectors" or surround soundbars as an option. Depending on the room, these can sound anywhere from, "Hey, that sounds like it is sort of coming from behind me," to "Why does it sound all echoy like that?"

Yamaha is trying to give you the best of both worlds with their new Virtual Cinema Front DSP (digital signal processing) mode. This allows you to place all five speakers at the front of your room and the receiver uses DSP to trick your ears into thinking the sound is coming from behind you. While we're skeptical about the actual performance of this DSP, if you are going to use it, using the same speakers for front and rear channels is a good idea. It just so happens that the YHT-4910U comes with matching front and rear speakers.

The YHT-4910U is a 5.1 system with the RX-V377 receiver as its heart and brains. Featuring five speakers and a 100-watt sub, the YHT-4910U uses Yamaha's proprietary YPAO room correction system to set up your speakers and dial-in performance. YPAO will also analyze your room for the Virtual Cinema Front DSP if you decide to use it. The speakers all sport a single 2.75" driver that Yamaha describes as "full range." The sub has a 6.5" driver and is quite small in an approximately 12" cube enclosure.

rx-v377_back 

RX-V377 Rear Panel

The receiver sports four HDMI inputs and one output, which is pretty standard. It can pass 3D and 4k content and has a full suite of analog and digital inputs for legacy gear. There is a "Made for iPhone" certified USB input on the front for a direct digital connection to your iDevice. At 70-watts per channel (20Hz-20kHz, 2ch driven), the RX-V377 should have no problems with the small included speakers as long as you don't place them in too large a room or try to provide music for a rave. Like all Yamaha receivers, the RX-V377 sports discrete amplification. Overall, there's nothing too out of the ordinary with the RX-V377.

The speakers have a gloss-black finish and are very small at 4-3/8” by 6-7/8” by 4-5/8”. The center channel is slightly larger and is meant to be placed on its side. The larger size doesn't hide an extra driver, however, as all the speakers have the same single driver according to Yamaha. Yamaha has included an "Extra Bass" mode to help give the system more oomph for movies, but remember that a subwoofer with a 6.5" driver can only play so loud or low.

Of course, the selling point will be price. At $479.95, the YHT-4910U is a 5.1 system that costs less than many soundbars. While we don't like the idea of putting all five speakers at the front of the room for the Virtual Cinema Front, at least owners have the option of moving the rear speakers to the back if they don't like the effect. That isn't the case with surround soundbars.

Conclusion

Yamaha is pushing "all in" with their new Virtual Cinema Front DSP. Allowing you to place all five speakers at the front of your room and using extra processing to "steer" the sound to the back of the room sounds good on paper. We're not sure how it will sound in practice. In essence, the YHT-4910U system from Yamaha features the RX-V377 receiver and five matched speakers with a 100-watt subwoofer. We love that Yamaha has included a full-featured receiver so that users can easily upgrade without starting over. At less than $500, we expect the YHT-4910U to sell well.

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About the author:

As Associate Editor at Audioholics, Tom promises to the best of his ability to give each review the same amount of attention, consideration, and thoughtfulness as possible and keep his writings free from undue bias and preconceptions. Any indication, either internally or from another, that bias has entered into his review will be immediately investigated. Substantiation of mistakes or bias will be immediately corrected regardless of personal stake, feelings, or ego.

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Recent Forum Posts:

rojo posts on June 13, 2014 14:11
The DSP reminds me of Aureal A3D from the 90's. I had an Aureal Vortex 2 sound card for a few years in my PC back in the day. The demo sounds were pretty convincing, but I never came across any games employing A3D, or any other practical use. Between lack of content and a lawsuit with Creative Labs, it's little wonder they went under. But the tech was interesting, anyway.
3db posts on June 13, 2014 12:36
admin, post: 1036606
As an Audioholics forum member, a preview of another HTiB probably isn't that exciting.

However, what do you think about Yamaha's Virtual Cinema Front DSP, which allows you to place all five speakers at the front of your room and “steer” the sound to the back of the room?



Read the full preview: Yamaha YHT-4910U Home Theater in a Box Preview

Looks like something one could buy at Costco
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