Yamaha releases two new sound bar systems that probably cost more than your HDTV

Yamaha releases two new sound bar systems that probably cost more than your HDTV

Summary: When it was released back in late 2007, Yamaha's YSP-4000 sound bar system was favorably reviewed by our sister site CNET, which praised its sound quality, considering that it was a single-speaker setup. Of course, it also pointed out how expensive the system was at $1,800.

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TOPICS: Hardware, Mobility
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When it was released back in late 2007, Yamaha's YSP-4000 sound bar system was favorably reviewed by our sister site CNET, which praised its sound quality, considering that it was a single-speaker setup. Of course, it also pointed out how expensive the system was at $1,800. Now, Yamaha is releasing a pair of follow-ups that it hopes will better the performance of the YSP-4000—while matching that same stratospheric price tag.

The company uses 40 separate "beam drivers" to output surround-sound audio (Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD Master Audio, Dolby Digital Plus and DTS HD High Resolution) from the single unit; obviously, the center channel is directed at the center of the room, while the other channels are sent bouncing off the walls to create a sense of space to the sound. The YSP-4100 also comes with a pair of woofers with separate amplifiers, while the YSP-5100 (pictured above) matches the YSP-4100 and adds a pair of tweeters with dedicated amps. Either comes with four HDMI inputs, an integrated FM tuner, and support for Sirius XM Satellite radio.

The sound bars come with a couple of other useful features. Yamaha's UniVolume levels the sound while you're watching TV and a commercial hopes to blast out at a louder volume than the show that's on. Also cool is the yAired feature, which allows the systems to play content wirelessly from an iPod or iPhone. It requires a small transmitter to be connected to your Apple portable, but the Yamahas obviously come with it.

But unless you have a high-end HDTV, you're probably not in the market for one of these. The YSP-4100 matches its predecessor's $1,899.95 price tag, and the YSP-5100 is even pricier at $2,199.95. If you need even more punch, you can add a wireless subwoofer for yet more cash. Both are shipping this month for those who can afford the space-saving stylishness these sound bars offer.

Topics: Hardware, Mobility

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6 comments
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  • TV is not worth it anymore

    I do not spend much on TV anymore. I certainly am not going to spend over a grand on a sound bar?? OMG I can buy a real nice stereo system for that! Got a pretty good markup I would say Yamaha.
    jscott418-22447200638980614791982928182376
    • Agree

      Much too expensive, and great systems can be had for a lot less $.
      ITOdeed
  • Agree

    Who buys this stuff? Obviously targeted at some *phile that would rather get a 7.1 system. For our family room where the kids watch Hannah Montana I bought a 2.1 for 200 bucks and it does just fine for that purpose. For the HT room I sprang for a six speaker system. So what is the audience for this?
    rernst99
  • RE: Yamaha releases two new sound bar systems that probably cost more than your HDTV

    I have an earlier generation Yamaha Sound Bar ... and I love it.

    Yes indeed you could buy a STEREO system for less money. I had a STEREO system. But buying the Yamaha soundbar let me upgrade my TV & movie watching experience from STEREO to convincing and good-sounding Dolby/DTS 5.1, without having to buy a new good quality multi-channel receiver/amplifier and a new good quality conventional 5.1 or 7.1 speaker set-up ... and then have all that equipment dominate the (wife's) living room.

    If you want most of the effect without all the gear, this is a very good option.

    Sub-woofer makes a very big difference, I was surprised and impressed at how much it added to the movie watching experience. (For my model soundbar, that wasn't part of the package.)

    I enjoy multi-channel concert DVDs so much on this system that I have not bought a stereo CD in two or three years.

    I have a large and very irregularly shaped living room, L-shaped with a 2-story pointed ceiling, and lots of glass and hard surfaces, listening area asymetrically positioned ... the system self-tuned itself to deal with all of that very well.

    I'd buy one again.
    Doug_Dame
  • There is a market for it.

    Just like the previous comment, it is for a house whereby the significant other won't let you have a 5/7.1. I believe Yamaha have been making great products for a good price for years, I trust that this is piece would be worth it.

    Personally, I'll stick with 5.1, I think it's only tricking you to think the sound is behind you.
    jdstrong
  • Maybe as a last resort...

    I guess if I had no other option (for whatever reason), it's nice that this product exists. But sound that eminates from just one side of the room could never fully duplicate having actual surround sound.
    ddferrari