When we finally took the plunge and bought a flat-screen television, we had to buy a sound bar as well. We chose a Yamaha YAS-101. We like it...
- Size: 4-1/4 x 35 x 4-3/4”, with removable feet that shorten it to about 3-1/2” tall.
- Speakers: two 2-1/2” cone midrange speakers facing forward, two 3" woofers facing downward; a Bass Reflex channel that runs the width of the bar. No separate subwoofer or subwoofer driver, but has a jack for a subwoofer.
- Inputs: two optical digital and one coax cable audio inputs; HDMI input or jacks for mini stereo, USB, or RCA audio. No wireless.
- Specifications: RMS power rating of 48 watts (120-watt peak), frequency response 20-20,000 Hertz.
- In the Box: YAS-101 with feet attached, 6-foot AC cord, remote control with batteriesv(2 AAA), 5-foot optical digital sound cable, wall spacers and wall mounting template, owner's manual.
A sleek, piano-black synthetic case that’s unobtrusive while elegant. An LED cluster and two fabric grille covers break the face; low-profile black buttons for input, volume and power are on the face. Bass reflex ports on the ends amplify bass response of woofers. The firmware is compatible with surround-sound formats including DTS Digital Surround and Dolby Digital.
An on-board digital amplifier powers the speakers. It can deliver 7.1-channel surround sound. The amp runs two channels at 24 watts (RMS) - 6 ohms, 1kHz, 10% total harmonic distortion); and a single channel at 48 watts (RMS) - 3 ohms, 100kHz, 10% THD.
- Audio Delay Control: to adjust sound and picture synchronization.
- Clear Voice: picks voices out to make dialog clearer.
- Subwoofer Volume: control bass volume separately from overall volume
- TV Remote Control Relay: transfers through an infrared transmitter on the back for systems where the sound bar blocks for the television’s IR remote port.
- UniVolume: supposed to maintain consistent volume across all programming.
Owning a YAS-101:
It’s very attractive, and complements the simple flat-screen television designs. Installation and hookup are simple: you hook up the digital optical cable, plug in the bar, and turn it on.
The remote is simple, though rather crude-looking. Besides power, mute, and volume-control buttons; it has input selectors, on-off switches for the bar’s software features, a toggle for surround sound vs. stereo, and separate volume controls for the subwoofers. Each feature is represented by a combination of LEDs on the unit's face.
I'm not an audio snob; it sounds fine to me. For me the best feature is that it's louder than the television alone. The sound isn’t as rich as the bookshelf speakers on my stereo system, but it’s quite clear; low tones that are rather surprising for a pair of 3-inch speakers.
The difference between "surround" and "stereo" is not readily apparent except on big-screen epics. Clear Voice proves useful for scenes with excessive background noise, and being able to boost o reduce the bass is useful for people who have high-frequency hearing loss. Overall, quite satisfactory sound quality.
My main complaint is that the TV Remote Control Relay doesn’t work fpr me, probably because of location mismatch between the bar’s output port and the TV’s input.
Overall, the YAS-101 packs lots of useful features and decent sound into a small package that didn’t cost an arm and a leg. If you need a sound bar for a second flat screen like one in the bedroom, or if you lack room for a huge home theater system, this is a good buy. I recommended it to those who want good sound but can't afford a Bose system I'm the kind who likes simple, well-designed products with affordable quality, and the Yamaha YAS-101 fits the bill..