As much as I like going to the cinema, I often just want to enjoy a good movie in the comfort of my own home. We’re pretty lucky to be living in a time when TVs are getting bigger and cheaper and audio systems are getting better. I have a 55″ TV at home which has great picture quality but the sound leaves more to be desired. In an attempt to make the thinnest and brightest TVs, manufacturers often have to compromise the size of the built-in speakers and hence the sound performance. It’s not unusual to have to purchase a separate sound system if you want good sound. We’ve seen sound bars ranging from $200 to thousands of dollars but they also vary as much in quality. So what’s a good all-round system that won’t break the bank? We recently tested the Yamaha YSP-2700 surround sound bar in our office and here’s what we thought.
The Yamaha YSP-2700 is made up of two components, a sound bar and a wireless subwoofer. The sound bar is quite slender and has a beautiful brushed metal finish that would complement the look of any TV set. The subwoofer is a solid cube that can be placed anywhere in the room without compromising on performance. The sound bar delivers clear high and mid-range sound, while the 75-watt subwoofer pumps out strong, powerful bass. Together, they add up to a total of 107 watts, which is ideal for a small to mid-sized room.
One of the key features of the YSP-2700 is its ability to pump out awesome 7.1 channel surround sound with just the two speakers. Although, that’s a slight understatement because the sound bar alone is constituted by a whopping sixteen high-quality beam drivers, each powered by a dedicated amplifier. The beam drivers are designed to release focused sound beams into the room. When they hit the walls, they bounce back and converge at one point, creating the “sweet spot” for the surround sound effect.
To ensure the optimal setup in every type of room regardless of speaker placement, the Yamaha YSP-2700 uses a calibration technology called “Intellibeam”. This is performed in the initial setup using a microphone that’s provided with the system and only takes a few minutes. During the setup, the sound bar releases sound waves into the room, which reflect off surfaces and gets picked up by the microphone. The Intellibeam software then analyses this information and calibrates each of the sixteen drivers to produce beams that are specific to the size and shape of your room.
There are other systems in the market that are similar to the YSP-2700, claiming that they can also do surround sound. However, without Intellibeam they are unlikely to work quite as well. There is a small drawback to this type of dual speaker system, though. Without the physical presence of actual speakers around the room, not everyone will get the same surround sound experience if they’re not seated in the sweet spot, but having said that, the YSP-2700 is powerful enough to ensure that they’re not going to be too disappointed regardless of where they are sitting.
The YSP-2700 is flexible when it comes to connectivity. For cabled audio, there are two optical, one coaxial and one analogue stereo input. For video, there are three HDMI inputs and one output. All HDMI inputs and outputs support 4K/60p videos and HDCP 2.2. (needed for streaming copyrighted 4K content from Chromecast, Netflix, Apple TV and other services).
Alternatively, you can ditch the cables and go wireless as the YSP-2700 supports Wi-fi, Bluetooth and Apple Airplay. It also has MusicCast – Yamaha’s multi-room audio system. It’s a closed network that connects all Yamaha devices in the home over Wi-Fi, allowing you to play a single song throughout the home or different songs in separate rooms. You can access MusicCast using the MusicCast Controller app (available on Android and iOS), which also acts as a remote control.
The Yamaha YSP-2700 is minimalist in design but certainly not in sound. There are a lot of sound bars options out there but few look quite as sleek as the YSP-2700, especially in the black brushed metallic finish. It is also available in brushed metallic silver. Retailing at $1,499 it’s a great option for anyone looking for one system that has crisp music playback, multi-room expansion capabilities and can also produce an immersive cinematic sound experience. Having watched a couple of movies with the YSP-2700 in our office, I’d definitely like to have it in my lounge room for the next season of Game of Thrones.
Visit au.yamaha.com for more information.