May 04, 2013 00:00
By Paisal Chuenprasaeng
Yamaha's new Front Surround System Sound Bar immerses you in sound and it looks good too
A perfect companion to a large-screen thin LCD or LED TV set, Yamaha’s YAS-101 Black Front Surround System Sound Bar brings a home theatre ambience to any small room.
With its compact body and shiny finish, the YAS-101 looks good whether placed in front of your TV on the same stand or hung on the wall under the TV.
The YAS-101 is equipped with dual front speakers and dual-driver subwoofer but uses its patented Air Surround Xtreme technology to achieve 7.1-channel surround sound without the need to wire up seven speakers.
However, you will need to use the YAS-101 to feel the immersive surround sound environment, because the sound bar needs walls to bounce the sounds and create full surround effects.
The YAS-101 is compatible with popular surround sound formats, such as Dolby Digital and DTS Digital Surround, to create the multichannel movie sound.
The YAS-101 combines two 6.5-cm cone speakers with a dual-driver – two 7.5 cm-cone subwoofers. The sound bar system is driven by a digital amp with a total output of 120 watts (30 watts for each front speaker and 60 watts for the sub woofer).
It has three digital inputs – two optical inputs and one coaxial – for connecting to your Blu-ray disc player, TV and a TV set-top box or other sound sources. It is however lacking a Bluetooth wireless connection.
Another nice feature is the infrared pass-through function, which is very useful if the sound bar system blocks the infrared port of your TV when you place the YAS-101 in front of it. This function allows your TV remote to send infrared instructions to your TV through the IR sensor at the front and IR flasher at the back of the sound bar unit.
If you want to enjoy stereo music from a CD, you can decode and amplify the sound on the YAS-101’s stereo channels. If you watch movies on your satellite receiver or BD player, you can select to play surround sound.
The sound system also has two useful functions for watching movies and TV. Clear Voice enhances narration or dialogue, giving it greater clarity. It can also automatically adjust and compensate the excessive volume differences of various TV channels when you switch channels or when the programming pauses for commercials. It uses the UniVolume function to adjust the volume level automatically.
During the test in my large living room, the YAS-101 filled my room with sound. I listened to a stereo music CD played on my Samsung BD player connected to the YAS-101 with an optical digital audio cable.
I also tested the surround sounds from TrueVisions satellite TV receiver (Samsung brand), which is connected to the YAS-101’s optical input. I enjoyed watching HBD HD and other HD channels with the sound played by the YAS-101. I selected the Dolby Digital Plus audio on the TrueVisions satellite receiver, which was properly decoded by the YAS-101.
The dialogue of the movies was clear. But while I enjoyed the sound effects and bass sounds of the movies, I couldn’t feel the immersive surround sounds enveloping me. Possibly this was because my living room is too large. The full immersive surround effects may be achieved in a smaller bedroom.
I watched Peter Gabriel’s “New Blood”concert Blu-ray disc on the YAS-101 and was impressed by the music quality with good bass sounds.
YAS-101 Black Front Surround System Sound Bar from Siam Music Yamaha Co Ltd retails for Bt11,900 (VAT included).
_ Maximum Output Power: Front L/R 30 Wx30 W (6 ohms, 1 kHz, 10 % THD); Subwoofer 60 W (3 ohms, 100 Hz, 10 % THD)
_ Front Speaker: Acoustic suspension type
_ Drivers Dual: 6.5 cm (2-1/2 inch) full range cone with frequency response of 150 Hz–20 kHz
_ Subwoofer: Bass reflex type, n Drivers: Dual 7.5 cm (3 inch) cone with frequency response or 50 Hz–150 Hz
_ Input: 2 Optical Digital, 1 Coaxial Digital
_ Output: 1 Subwoofer output, 1 System Control
_ Power Consumption: 22 W
_ Standby Power Consumption: 0.5 W
_ Dimensions (W x H x D): 890 X 88 X 115 mm (without stands/brackets)