Pros: 3 HDMI inputs, DTS HD, sound projection that really works, outstanding audio clarity with music and movies with surround effects
Cons: Not wall-mountable, subwoofer is not too powerful, enhanced configuration requires a composite video-capable display, non-backlit remote
I was looking for a budget Sound Bar for < $700 and was strongly considering the SONOS as I have a dealer friend that was going to sell them to me at cost. However, after my research I found that while it offered outstanding music clarity in a 3.1 configuration, it did not support 5.1 nor 7.1 audio both of which were deal breakers for me. It also did not include a sub nor satellites and even if I were to get them as add-ons, the price would skyrocket.
I then continued my research until I hit the Yamaha YSP-2200. Everything looked good in writing and had won HIFI awards but I really had a hard time finding a store to test it. I decided to take the plunge after a surprise visit to Amazon when I saw the price magically go down from about $700 to $576. I live in small apartment and really had 2 choices for this bar: my bedroom and the living room. Altough, I originally wanted it for the bedroom, I decided to first test it in the living room. See the details below:
- Comes with a self-powered subwoofer. Although not very powerful and wired, it is rectangular, light and can be positioned either vertically or horizontally. In my case it met my needs for a small bedroom but on a large living room, the subwoofer might be too weak
- Has 3 HDMI and 2 Optical inputs that can be selected from the remote. However, can't select a video/audio source from HDMI and simultaneously select an optical source
- Provides a true sound projection experience that is so real it looks as if there were satellite speakers hidden in the walls
- Yamaha includes pretty much every single cable you'd need for the setup. This is a nice touch but I wish they'd also included an HDMI cable
- Setup is a breeze as long as you have a rectangular shaped room. This was the case in my bedroom. However, it could take a lot of effort or might be even impossible to properly optimize for a non-rectangular area as I have in my living room. I eventually gave up with the living room after the self-configuration settings did not work properly as I not only did not have a composite video capable device but also the time and energy to use the non-friendly user interface to set it up properly
- My setup is a Tivo Roamio DVR, an Apple TV Gen3 and an Oppo BDP-83 all connected via HDMI in and then HDMI out going to a Samsung UN65FH6001FXZA LED TV.
- The sound bar has a small LCD that shows the surround modes and other status and menu selections. Source selection and volume can be setup via the sound bar buttons but anything more advanced requires the use of the non-backit remote. The remote is not too intuitive so reading the product manual is definitively recommended.
- This soundbar DEFINITIVELY sounds no better than a true 5.1 or 7.1 sound system. I had a Yamaha receiver with B&W speakers and it sounded much better. However, it was a very messy configuration with lots of cables and speakers all over my small bedroom.
- In all fairness and for what this is, it is an excellent compromise between design, aesthetics, price and sound performance.
- Sound quality is truly remarkable for music. However, I must insist that stereo music must be heard in stereo mode. The use of any other effects would actually decrease the listening pleasure.
- I was impressed when I listened the BluRay movie "Up". There is a scene when the boy knocks the door and I really heard the door knocking is coming from the back right corner of my bedroom despite not having any speakers there. The Yamaha demo DVD is also an invaluable source to compare the quality of the soundbar versus pre-existing or competing equipment.