Yamaha YAS-207 Soundar with DTS Virtual:X Hands-On - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 71 Old 08-09-2017, 09:41 AM - Thread Starter
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Yamaha YAS-207 Soundar with DTS Virtual:X Hands-On

Update: It's up and running and my first impression is if you use the "stereo" mode it sounds good and gets nice & loud.

Here's my hands-on article: Yamaha YAS-207 DTS Virtual:X Soundbar Hands-On


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The Yamaha YAS-207 on the sidewalk in front of my house. It had just arrived. Photo by Mark Henninger


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The AVS Forum Hands-On Review Process (master list of hands-on threads)

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post #2 of 71 Old 08-10-2017, 10:46 AM
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Excited for your review!
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post #3 of 71 Old 08-10-2017, 11:10 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tguccy View Post
Excited for your review!
I'm a fan of DSP processing that creates a virtual surround, as long as it's well done. Some of the best I've heard has come from DTS, so fingers crossed I'm hopeful for this one. I have another sound bar review that I have to wrap up first, but I will get this thing open soon enough.

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post #4 of 71 Old 08-10-2017, 06:09 PM
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It's been more than 24 hours since your first post, Mark.

I am a fan of DSP too, been going smaller and wireless these days, really curious what you think of the YAS-207.

Just looked at the Amazon reviews, most are great, but perhaps it's a placebo effect, one gives me a pause: https://www.amazon.com/gp/customer-r...R1M2L8D1CCMM0C

Can't wait to hear your opinion.

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post #5 of 71 Old 08-26-2017, 06:41 AM
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Looking forward to your review as well.
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post #6 of 71 Old 08-26-2017, 08:22 AM
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No rear satellite speakers for this one either?

Also, I'm kind of disappointed that the Sony is the only Atmos soundbars that works with high ceilings (which I will have in my new apartment +12ft).

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post #7 of 71 Old 08-28-2017, 10:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imagic View Post
Yamaha's YAS-207 2.1-channel soundbar system just arrived. It's the first to feature DTS Virtual:X immersive audio technology. I have not yet unpacked it, but will do so in the next few days, so please stand by.


The Yamaha YAS-207 on the sidewalk in front of my house. It just arrived. Photo by Mark Henninger



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The AVS Forum Hands-On Review Process (master list of hands-on threads)
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post #8 of 71 Old 08-28-2017, 10:50 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by maynerd View Post
Oh man getting read for CEDIA, lol. Time flies. Wow. I'll open it today, lol. I'll even post pics to prove it!!! (tomorrow).

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post #9 of 71 Old 08-28-2017, 11:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveFi View Post
No rear satellite speakers for this one either?

Also, I'm kind of disappointed that the Sony is the only Atmos soundbars that works with high ceilings (which I will have in my new apartment +12ft).
can you expand on this? I am moving, later this week, into a house with a great room. How does the Sony Atmos bar work any better than the Samsung 950 bar in directing the sound off the high ceiling?
other thing I need to consider is, is that the great room also has a ceiling fan. even with the fan off i wonder if it would reak havoc with the sound coming from the bar
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post #10 of 71 Old 08-29-2017, 11:36 AM - Thread Starter
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OK, getting started now...







I'm pairing it with the TCL P Series HDR 4K TV I recently reviewed. One of my first orders of business will be to hear how the world of Los Santos (i.e. Grand Theft Auto 5) sounds through this thing.

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post #11 of 71 Old 09-01-2017, 05:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imagic View Post
OK, getting started now...







I'm pairing it with the TCL P Series HDR 4K TV I recently reviewed. One of my first orders of business will be to hear how the world of Los Santos (i.e. Grand Theft Auto 5) sounds through this thing.
I assume you will watch movies both with and without DTS:X coding as well...
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post #12 of 71 Old 09-06-2017, 10:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imagic View Post
OK, getting started now...







I'm pairing it with the TCL P Series HDR 4K TV I recently reviewed. One of my first orders of business will be to hear how the world of Los Santos (i.e. Grand Theft Auto 5) sounds through this thing.
I thought we'd at least have a review of the box packaging by this point. LOL
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post #13 of 71 Old 09-06-2017, 10:50 AM
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Maybe someone could do a review of the photographs?
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post #14 of 71 Old 09-06-2017, 11:24 AM
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I am sure Mark is busy at Cedia now and probably will have a lot to report on all the new toys when it is done.
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post #15 of 71 Old 09-06-2017, 11:41 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maynerd View Post
I thought we'd at least have a review of the box packaging by this point. LOL
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Originally Posted by taichi4 View Post
Maybe someone could do a review of the photographs?
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I am sure Mark is busy at Cedia now and probably will have a lot to report on all the new toys when it is done.
Yeah CEDIA snuck up on me. Can't do anything with this until next week.

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post #16 of 71 Old 09-16-2017, 10:02 AM
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I have to say I'm getting very ancy...
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post #17 of 71 Old 09-16-2017, 10:15 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by tguccy View Post
I have to say I'm getting very ancy...
Still writing all the news I collected at CEDIA, even going into the weekend. I will switch back to hands-on mode this week, and in the meantime I promise I'll play some video games with the 207 handling sound today and tomorrow, lol.

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post #18 of 71 Old 09-18-2017, 05:16 PM
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Subscribed. Picked up this sound bar yesterday. Curious of your impressions. Also curious on the correct audio output settings from my Samsung KS8000, Xbox one S, and ps4, but I'll wait for the review first.
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post #19 of 71 Old 09-18-2017, 05:28 PM
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What about your impressions? Did it come with the newfirmware already installed?
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post #20 of 71 Old 09-18-2017, 06:26 PM - Thread Starter
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I'll have measurements and first impressions tomorrow. Just finished writing up all the CEDIA stuff I saw, came home with a week's worth of extra posts, lol. But it's back to hands-on now...

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post #21 of 71 Old 09-18-2017, 07:57 PM
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Originally Posted by taichi4 View Post
What about your impressions? Did it come with the newfirmware already installed?
I unfortunately haven't got to spend much time with it since hooking it up. It did not have the firmware update installed, but I did install it today.

I bought this to replace a Sharp HT-SB60. I bought the sharp on sale two years ago with low expectations, yet that sound bar was surprisingly pretty good for the price.

My initial impressions with the Yamaha is it's definitely clearer sound. It seems to have more powerful bass than the sharp, but you need to crank it up to feel that. The sharp was very bass heavy. I had base and sub on -2. The Yamaha I have the sub turned up to +3. More than that and I start to notice voice being played through the sub.

As for the 3D surround that I got with installing the update today, I'm not quite sure about yet. I tried a live football game, and Star Trek Beyond 4k blu ray with my Xbox one S. It instantly makes it louder. But from my initial short stint with it, it actually sounds pretty terrible. I'm not sure if I have the output settings on my Samsung KS8000 and my Xbox one S correct for this setting. If anyone has any advice on that, it would be appreciated.

Overall I like it. I think it's an upgrade to the sharp in clarity. It also does get pretty damn loud.

Not 100% sure if I'm sold on it yet though. I was debating between a low cost one like this, or a higher end model like the Samsung HW-k950 or the Sony HT-ST5000. My issue with those are the price, because they're still sound bars. Correct me if I'm wrong, but arent sound bars only going to sound so good, or do these much higher end models really sound drastically different from the 3-$500 models?
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post #22 of 71 Old 09-18-2017, 08:59 PM
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You are correct that sound bars have limitations compared to a traditional surround systems but there are differences between the various sound bars. Thee further you go in price you typically get better sound quality, surround sound or features. Sometimes you can spend more and only get more features and not better sound or vice versa. It really varies depending on the sound bar. The bars you are considering with available surround speakers will certainly give better surround sound than bars without surround speakers. There are some that will sound considerably better but might not have as many features. In fact a decent pair of well placed book shelf speakers with a 5" woofer or larger will typically give better sound quality than almost any sound bar.

People have different needs for sound bars. Some want better sound quality, some want surround sound and others needs certain features. Of course we all want it all But, no perfect sound bar exists at any price. You have to decide which factors are most important to you and how you listen and then find the right sound bar for your needs and budget. There are definitely sound bars that would be an upgrade over the 207.
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post #23 of 71 Old 09-19-2017, 09:59 AM - Thread Starter
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First things first. Tested HDMI with my PC. It passed UHD up to 60 Hz and HDR through HDMI, which means it can be used for gaming as well as TV, music and movies.

Meanwhile "stereo" sounds really good. Again, usually "stereo" underwhelms me, but on this soundbar I like what I hear with it when considering the MSRP.

I just don't know what to make of "surround" but I still have to try it on games and movies and measure it, so more on that soon. Looks like I might need a firmware update.

Stereo mode is impressing me... listening to Action Bronson's new album Blue Chips 7000. Even the sub is bumping along nicely.

Oh, as an aside, I'm putting a 40 foot Blue Jeans brand HDMI cable through some fairly rough workouts, swapping between gear and unplugging and re-plugging. It did not occur to me that as a reviewer I put much more stress on cables than a regular consumer would, but it's true.

Time to update the firmware and...

OK, that was easy enough, and it's done. And now, the moment of truth...

Phew, DTS Virtual:X is delivering a significantly expanded sound field that also appears to be somewhat elevated above the physical height of the soundbar. The upshot is that sound appears to be coming from the screen, not under it.

But, DTS Virtual:X comes at the cost noticeably altering the tonal balance of the source material but it's not clear if it's actually less accurate or just brighter.

It appears that DTS Virtual:X will work well with at least some music genres, for example I would say Deadmau5 benefits from the effect. But you might not want to use that mode when listening to acoustic recordings and vocals. Or maybe you will, because the added sense of space is nice.

More good news is that the stereo mode sounds great for a $300 soundbar. To my ears, it is quite faithful what an accurate in-room tonal balance should be. You have to give up the broad, elevated soundstage for it but I think that's a fair trade—it's a two-trick pony! You can still choose the one you think sounds best with any particular song or album. And as a bonus, it plays nice and loud for something in its price class...

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post #24 of 71 Old 09-19-2017, 11:45 AM - Thread Starter
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Okay, here's the surprise... DTS Virtual X, i.e. surround mode, measures better than stereo mode. I was not prepared for that. Now, technically you could make an argument for the way stereo mode ramps down high frequencies, creating a softer sound. By comparison, surround mode does sound bright, but also more detailed. And it offers deeper bass response.

Okay, I admit, DTS Virtual:X is better than I expected. Going to have to do some more listening.

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post #25 of 71 Old 09-19-2017, 11:53 AM
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I think that DTS Virtual X is the raison d'etre for the soundbar, so I'd be surprised if the firmware upgrade didn't make a difference,
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post #26 of 71 Old 09-19-2017, 12:22 PM
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Interesting take on the surround mode. Maybe I'm not quite using it right, but when I had the 3D surround mode on (light glowing blue) it was noticbly louder, but the voices in the movie or TV program I was watching were kind of tinney sounding. Makes me wonder if I have my audio output settings wrong.
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post #27 of 71 Old 09-19-2017, 12:28 PM - Thread Starter
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Interesting take on the surround mode. Maybe I'm not quite using it right, but when I had the 3D surround mode on (light glowing blue) it was noticbly louder, but the voices in the movie or TV program I was watching were kind of tinney sounding. Makes me wonder if I have my audio output settings wrong.
I think this sort of processing can have that effect. Oh, and the surrounding mode is literally louder... between 3 and 5 dB louder for most of the audio spectrum. I should have mentioned that. So to really compare it you can't just toggle between the two modes, you also have to compensate with the volume control.

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post #28 of 71 Old 09-19-2017, 01:03 PM
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Yeah, what I was doing was turning it off and then raising my volume to what sounded like equal and it seemed to just sound better.

You seem to be the guy to talk to on this subject. Not to thread jack, but are there any other units you'd recommend in this price range, up to maybe $500 that are better choices?

It's also worth mentioning I have the opportunity to get the Sony HT-ST5000 a few months old, for $500 from my cousin. I've read the atmos feature on that is a gimmick, but I'd imagine at $1499 new price tag it's still gotta be pretty damn good

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post #29 of 71 Old 09-19-2017, 01:14 PM - Thread Starter
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Yeah, what I was doing was turning it off and then raising my volume to what sounded like equal and it seemed to just sound better.

You seem to be the guy to talk to on this subject. Not to thread jack, but are there any other units you'd recommend in this price range, up to maybe $500 that are better choices?

It's also worth mentioning I have the opportunity to get the Sony HT-ST5000 a few months old, for $500 from my cousin. I've read the atmos feature on that is a gimmick, but I'd imagine at $1499 new price tag it's still gotta be pretty damn good
I think you're crazy if you don't grab that Sony. Yes, you get better drivers, a larger sound bar, a better subwoofer... all kinds of performance upgrades which is what you'd expect for five times the MSRP.

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post #30 of 71 Old 09-19-2017, 01:26 PM
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Figured that. Unfortunately he's 350 miles away. Going to figure something out though I think.
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