Yamaha YSP-4300 vs. Sony HTST7 - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 11-29-2013, 05:26 PM - Thread Starter
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All - I'm in the market for a high-end soundbar (~$1500 range), and I'm looking for the best all-around option.  My priorities are best tv/movie surround sound experience, multiple inputs (so Sonos is out), music quality, and appearance (ML vision is too bulky IMO).  Based on these, I've narrowed it down to the YSP-4300 or the new HTST7 from Sony.  Based on research I've done, this is my takeaway:

 

- YSP4300 has the best surround sound experience, but iffy on music

- HTST7 is not as good on surround sound, but music experience may be better

- Both have the inputs I'm looking for and IMO both look great

 

I haven't seen any real comparisons of these, so I was wondering if anyone has tested these out or knows of anywhere I can find such a comp?  Secondly, is my quick and dirty assessment on these accurate?  Lastly, if there are any other soundbars that I should consider based on what I'm looking for, I'd certainly be open to hearing about them.  

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post #2 of 6 Old 11-29-2013, 10:49 PM
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i like my sony a lot. only wish: for there to be some kind of message or display from the sony what audio codec its playing so i know for sure its actually playing the high def codecs im trying to get sent to it.
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post #3 of 6 Old 11-30-2013, 07:36 AM
 
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I agree with the 4300s statement. Decent for surround sound but not great for sound quality. I haven't heard the Sony but its small ~2.5" speakers are typically not going to give great sound either and will have to cross over the sub at a high frequency causing localization and bass problems. That is the same problem the 4300 suffers from. The bars with bigger speakers and better sound tend to not be as good looking. I liked the Yamaha 5100 but was pricey especially when you consider adding a decent sub and it is big compared to the 4300 and ST7. Other units I liked were the Pioneer, Sonos, Atlantic Technology and Paradigm in no particular order but I would have to say of those the Paradigm is probably the best looking followed by the Sonos.

However, none of those have HDMI inputs and only the Sonos has decent surround effects but they all have better sound quality compared to the 4300. The ML I didn't like as much as the AT, Sonos and Paradigm but I would rank it higher than the Yamaha and Pioneer for sound quality. And for looks the ML probably beats all those I recommended but it is deep and if mounting it that makes it bulky. The Paradigm and Sonos are not as deep depending on how you mount the Sonos but are taller than many others. The AT and Pioneer are about as deep as the ML. When you try to factor aesthetics and good sound it is often a tradeoff. Let us know what you decide.
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post #4 of 6 Old 11-30-2013, 07:47 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for this.  I've been doing a little more digging around on the Sonos Playbar/Sub setup, which seems to have rave reviews.  My biggest hangup with this was the fact that 1) my TV (like most others) can't decode 5.1 surround sound and 2) I have multiple inputs for which 5.1 is available.  However, it seems there are devices out there such as this HDMI to Toslink switch

 

http://www.monoprice.com/Product?c_id=101&cp_id=10110&cs_id=1011002&p_id=5557&seq=1&format=2

 

that would seem to solve the issue.  Basically, I'd set this up as Cable Box, Apple TV, PS3 all going into this switch, with video out to TV, and the optical cable going into the Playbar.  So this now leaves me with a couple questions:

 

1) Will this work?  Will I be able to get 5.1 DD to the Playbar?

2) How do folks think the Playbar + Sub setup compares to the YSP-4300?  Based on ttlnb's feedback, it seems that I'd be best2 served going with the Sonos; even though I'd be sacrificing the surround effects (I wouldn't pick up Play 1s/3s right away), the overall sound quailty seems as though it'd be decisively better.  

3) Back to the YSP-4300, my room is a rectangular setup with the TV on one long side of the wall in the corner and the couch on the other long side against the wall facing the TV with windows behind it.  Given the fact that my couch is directly on the wall, is that going to create an issue with the rear channels and minimize my ability to fully appreciate the 7.1 effects the YSP-4300 can deliver?  

 

I'm really quite torn at this point.  It's somewhat frustrating that it seems that I have to accept a tradeoff (surround sound vs. overall sound quality) at this price point, but I suppose it is what it is.  I guess ultimately I'll have to decide what's most important, but it would be quite helpful to hear some thoughts on just how great the YSP-4300 surround sound experience is, whether I'll be able to take advantage of it given my room set up, and just how different the sound quality from the YSP-4300 vs. others (incl. the Playbar + Sub setup) is (presuming the answer to 1) above is yes).

 

Thanks to all

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post #5 of 6 Old 11-30-2013, 07:53 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for this.  I've been doing a little more digging around on the Sonos Playbar/Sub setup, which seems to have rave reviews.  My biggest hangup with this was the fact that 1) my TV (like most others) can't decode 5.1 surround sound and 2) I have multiple inputs for which 5.1 is available.  However, it seems there are devices out there such as an HDMI to Toslink switch from Monoprice that would seem to solve the issue.  Basically, I'd set this up as Cable Box, Apple TV, PS3 all going into this switch, with video out to TV, and the optical cable going into the Playbar.  So this now leaves me with a couple questions:

 

1) Will this work?  Will I be able to get 5.1 DD to the Playbar?

2) How do folks think the Playbar + Sub setup compares to the YSP-4300?  Based on ttlnb's feedback, it seems that I'd be best2 served going with the Sonos; even though I'd be sacrificing the surround effects (I wouldn't pick up Play 1s/3s right away), the overall sound quailty seems as though it'd be decisively better.  

3) Back to the YSP-4300, my room is a rectangular setup with the TV on one long side of the wall in the corner and the couch on the other long side against the wall facing the TV with windows behind it.  Given the fact that my couch is directly on the wall, is that going to create an issue with the rear channels and minimize my ability to fully appreciate the 7.1 effects the YSP-4300 can deliver?  

 

I'm really quite torn at this point.  It's somewhat frustrating that it seems that I have to accept a tradeoff (surround sound vs. overall sound quality) at this price point, but I suppose it is what it is.  I guess ultimately I'll have to decide what's most important, but it would be quite helpful to hear some thoughts on just how great the YSP-4300 surround sound experience is, whether I'll be able to take advantage of it given my room set up, and just how different the sound quality from the YSP-4300 vs. others (incl. the Playbar + Sub setup) is (presuming the answer to 1) above is yes).

 

Thanks to all

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post #6 of 6 Old 11-30-2013, 09:25 PM
 
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1. Should work but haven't tried it. I"m always leery of adding anything else in the HDMI chain.
2. The Sonos with sub kills the 4300 for sound quality. The Sonos without sub beats the 4300 with sub for sound quality just not as much bass. The sub included with the 4300 is not that impressive.
3. 7.1 is a dream on any of these regardless what the marketing department states:-) Your room would be tough even for a conventional 7.1 system with the couch against the wall. So I wouldn't expect much for sound coming from behind you.

The only advantage to the 4300 is surround sound and looks. I like the look of the 4300 better, the Sonos is a little more plain looking IMHO. The Sonos you could hear the sound almost directly to the side of you, maybe just slightly forward of being to the side of you. The 4300 could get the sound to the side of you but slightly behind you which gave a better effect. Though not directly behind you as from back speakers in a 7.1 system. My seating was away from the back wall so this should have been a better set up.

I'm not sure if this is possible but Yamaha makes a wireless subwoofer kit, if you can replace the subwoofer in the 4300 with a better sub using this kit it could make the 4300 have more comparable bass to the Sonos Sub. That might be a good compromise. I still think the Sonos would have better overall sound quality but a good sub on the Yamaha might make it closer with better surround sound. However, surround sound would definitely be better if you add play 1/3s for surrounds in the future.
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