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Yamaha YHT-697BL HTiB System Preview

Yamaha YHT-697BL HTiB System

Yamaha YHT-697BL HTiB System


  • Product Name: YHT-697BL
  • Manufacturer: Yamaha
  • Review Date: August 16, 2012 06:15
  • MSRP: $749.95
  • First Impression: Pretty Cool

AV Receiver

Model RX-V473
Amplifier Section Channel 5.1
Rated Output Power (1kHz, 1ch driven) 115W (8ohms, 0.9% THD)
Rated Output Power (20Hz-20kHz, 2ch driven) 80W (8ohms, 0.09% THD)
Dynamic Power per Channel (8/6/4/2 ohms) 110/130/160/-W
Surround Sound Processing CINEMA DSP Yes (3D)
DSP Programs 17
Compressed Music Enhancer Yes
Virtual Presence Speaker Yes
Dolby TrueHD Yes
Dolby Digital Plus Yes
DTS-HD Master Audio Yes
Audio Features YPAO sound optimization Yes
Adaptive DRC (Dynamic Range Control) Yes
Initial Volume & Maximum Volume Setting Yes
Audio Delay Yes (0-250 ms)
192kHz/24-bit DACs for all channels Yes (Burr-Brown)
Video Features HDMI 3D passthrough Yes
HDMI Audio Return Channel Yes
Deep Color/x.v.Color/24Hz Refresh Rate /Auto Lip-Sync Yes
4K Pass-through Yes
Extensive Connection HDMI Input/Output 4 / 1
HDMI CEC Yes (SCENE, Device Control)
USB Input iPod/iPhone/iPad, USB Memory, Portable Audio Player
Network Port With access to vTuner Internet Radio service and DLNA 1.5 Compatible.
Front AV Input USB/Mini Jack/Composite
Digital Audio Input/Output: Optical 2 / 0
Digital Audio Input/Output: Coaxial 2 / 0
Analog Audio Input/Output 4 (front 1) / 1
Component Video Input/Output 2 / 1
Composite Video Input/Output 5 (front 1) / 1
Preout Subwoofer
Headphone Output 1
Connectivity AirPlay Yes
User Interface App Control Yes (iPhone/iPad/Android phone/tablet)
On-screen display Yes (Color OSD)
SCENE SCENE (4 sets)
Remote Control Unit Yes (Preset)
Tuner Section FM/AM Tuner Yes
General ECO mode Yes
Standby Power Consumption (IR only) ≤0.1W
Auto Power Down Yes
Dimensions (W x H x D) 17-1/8” x 6-3/8” x 12-3/8”
Weight 17.9 lbs.


Model NS-PA40
Cabinet Type Plastic
Front Speakers Speaker Size Dual 2-3/4” cone woofer and 1” balanced dome tweeter
Dimensions (W x H x D) 9” x 39-3/8” x 9” (with stand) (each)
Weight (lbs.) 6.2 lbs. (with stand) (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” (each)
Weight (lbs.) 1.3 lbs. (each)
Subwoofer Model NS-SW40
Power Output 100W
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.

YHT-697_speakersDouble-takes and triple-takes. That's what we've been doing lately. Either we are getting old or features aren't trickling down any more - they are pouring. It's like a waterfall of features. Not two years ago, AirPlay was announced as the new standard for streaming iOS content. It has been the new "me too" feature ever since. Now we're seeing standalone speakers, receivers, media players, and much more bragging AirPlay. But, generally speaking, these new AirPlay enable products have been pretty expensive. It has only been this year that we've seen AirPlay show up in entry level receivers. And those will still run you well over $300.

When we started reading about the new Home Theater in a Box (HTiB) solution from Yamaha, we were impressed. Five speakers and a sub plus a receiver for $750? That's not the best price we've seen but it isn't bad. But then we noticed it was networked and could stream content from your DLNA certified sources plus Internet Radio. That's pretty forward thinking for Yamaha. They even included app control not only for iOS devices by Android.

And then we looked closer.

Yamaha didn't include some paired down receiver or their very entry level model with their YHT-697BL HTiB system. They threw in the RX-V473, a receiver that retails for $450. Featuring 115 watts per channel (80 watts 2 channels driven full range), discrete amps, 4K and 3D pass-through, Audio Return Channel, and 4 in 1 out HDMI connections, the RX-V473 is a receiver to grow with. It has two in, one out component video, four in and one out composite video, and two each optical and coaxial digital audio inputs. The front-mounted USB input can be used to stream content off your iDevice natively or from any USB storage source. It decodes all the new HD audio codecs and, most impressively, has Apple's AirPlay.


When you think about the $750 price tag for the YHT-697BL, the $450 price tag for the RX-V473 becomes all the more impressive. You are getting a great receiver with a 5.1 speaker system. At this point, any decent performance out of the speakers would be more than enough to justify the price.

YHT-697_subThe main speakers for the YHT-697BL are floorstanding with integrated bases. They feature dual 2.75" woofers and 1" tweeters. They are 9” by 39-3/8” by 9” (with stand) and weigh (again with the stand) 6.2 pounds. Like all the speakers in the system, they are constructed out of plastic (no word if the sub enclosure uses MDF or simply plastic like the rest of the speakers). The center is designed to sit on a shelf (or in a cabinet or on a display) and has a single 2.75" driver. It is 10-7/8” by 4-3/8” by 4-5/8” and weighs 1.61 pounds. The two rear speakers have the same 2.75" driver in a 4-3/8” by 6-7/8” by 4-5/8”, 1.3 pound enclosure. 

To tune the system's response, Yamaha included their YPAO room correction system. This upgraded YPAO confirms that the subwoofer is fully responding before making audio adjustments. From the pictures, the sub looks to be side ported though we have no idea how or what types of connections/controls are available. The sub includes a 100 watt amplifier and a forward firing 6.5" driver. It is 11-3/8” by 11-1/2” by 12-7/8” and weighs in at a featherweight 17.6 pounds. The entire system has a gloss black finish. No indication is made of performance of the speakers. Please note that we listed the price on the website. The Yamaha press release suggests that the retail will be $100 less.


We have to admit that the single driver configuration of the center and surround speakers in the Yamaha YHT-697BL was a bit disappointing to us. This design (at this price point) is unlikely to provide a very uniform sound typical of matched driver LCR speakers. The main speakers, however have two, 2.75 woofers and a 1" tweeter. We're guessing that looks alone will sell a lot of YHT-679BL home theater systems for Yamaha. The curvilinear front speakers really draw attention. But looking closer, you'll see a really powerful receiver (for a HTiB) at its heart. The Yamaha RX-V473 is a receiver that you can grow with, not the sort of throwaway units we see with other HTiB offerings. At $750, consumers will end up with a great receiver with included speakers that they'll be able use until they decide to upgrade. And, really, that's all we want out of a HTiB.

For more information, please visit www.yamaha.com.

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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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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