Yamaha YAS-207 Soundar with DTS Virtual:X Hands-On - Page 2 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #31 of 113 Old 09-19-2017, 01:40 PM
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You don't have to drive 350 miles. He can pack it up in the original box and send it to you. $500 is an amazing price for that soundbar. And supposedly there will be an option for wireless rears. Don't hesitate (as long as the Sony is in 100% working order).
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post #32 of 113 Old 09-19-2017, 05:06 PM - Thread Starter
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After a few hours, my main thought is that at least the "regular" surround mode is there if you want something the offers an expanded soundfield but without the edgy sound of DTS Virtual:X.

At modest volume, I find Virtual:X fun to listen to when sitting in a position that maximizes the enveloping effect. But let's say I'm on the other side of the open kitchen/living room... either stereo mode or regular surround mode come across as more relaxed-sounding because neither one is subject to as much processing as Virtual:X.

I suppose I should stress that... to enjoy DTS Virtual:X, it is best to be seated perhaps 6-15 feet from the soundbar, and at least somewhat centered to it. There's an a definite payoff to sitting centered to it.

It's interesting. This soundbar is turning out to be on the more optimistic side of what I expected at its price. But be forewarned, I have modest expectations of any $300 soundbar.

Is it gonna shut down the market for soundbars that have up-firing drivers? I don't think so. But it does show that DSP processing can perform some impressive tricks these days. And the less-aggressive surround mode is nice in that it provides an expanded soundstage with the music-friendly EQ curve of stereo mode.

So far, I think the non-DTS Immersive:X surround mode is my favorite. I guess it's "just" Yamaha's method but to my ears it's simply much less aggressive and therefore considerably easier to listen to.

Enough for today. Still have not gamed or watched a Blu-ray. Listening to Infected Mushroom, Return to the Sauce at this moment.
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Last edited by imagic; 09-19-2017 at 05:31 PM.
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post #33 of 113 Old 09-19-2017, 06:09 PM
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Mark: Have you listened to Atmos or DTS X encode material, or have you used the Virtual X emulation with non encoded?
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post #34 of 113 Old 09-19-2017, 06:26 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by taichi4 View Post
Mark: Have you listened to Atmos or DTS X encode material, or have you used the Virtual X emulation with non encoded?
Non-encoded. DTS and Atmos test clips tomorrow, that's gonna be the primary test for efficacy. Right now, just assessing tonality using familiar music. And, assessing how it expands music that tends to benefit from such processing.

Well, truth be told right this second I'm listening to an AVR-based system because I'm not working, lol.

And video games. I have high hopes it'll provide a good immersive experience in that context.

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post #35 of 113 Old 09-19-2017, 07:13 PM
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DTS or Atmos material won't make a difference since the sound bar can't decode those formats. The sound bar is sent a 5.1 PCM signal from the player. The player takes the base layer of Atmos/DTS:X material and not the height information.
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post #36 of 113 Old 09-19-2017, 07:40 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Ellebob View Post
DTS or Atmos material won't make a difference since the sound bar can't decode those formats. The sound bar is sent a 5.1 PCM signal from the player. The player takes the base layer of Atmos/DTS:X material and not the height information.
Yes I get that, but if it can't extract appropriate info based on the same cues, which are intentionally blatant in the demo clips, then we basically have nothing to discuss because the regular surround mode is more pleasant to listen to.

So far, no sense of height upmixing music. Not sure what to say here, there are no miracles in the world of audio. Yamaha will blow your mind if you spend $1600. But at $300, what this soundbar is doing in stereo and regular surround mode are, to me, the traits that would lead me to recommend it.

If you want 3D immersive audio, well... I think you have to bounce sound off the ceiling, at the very minimum. And really, I'm allergic to the idea of cheapening the concept to the point where it is a gimmick.

But that does not mean I won't find positives to the DTS Virtual:X mode. Everything is relative.

More tomorrow.

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post #37 of 113 Old 09-19-2017, 08:07 PM
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Correct me if I am wrong or misunderstand but that sound bar doesn't decode Dolby True HD or DTS:X? The Atmos/DTS:X cues will not be in the PCM data. Since Atmos was added to Dolby True HD and DD+ it was done in a substream from the main stream and when a player converts it to PCM it only does the main stream. It is a little different for DTS:X as it is was also added to DTS Master Audio. To do this they have a base 7.1 layer than a height layer and a ceiling layer. When converting to PCM it just uses the base layer. I am not sure how any of these players could add the Atmos/DTS:X info to PCM channel data but I could be wrong. That's why I said it shouldn't make a difference for this sound bar's virtual X. If it decodes these lossless formats than it certainly could.

Nice review
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post #38 of 113 Old 09-19-2017, 08:14 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ellebob View Post
Correct me if I am wrong or misunderstand but that sound bar doesn't decode Dolby True HD or DTS:X? The Atmos/DTS:X cues will not be in the PCM data. Since Atmos was added to Dolby True HD and DD+ it was done in a substream from the main stream and when a player converts it to PCM it only does the main stream. It is a little different for DTS:X as it is was also added to DTS Master Audio. To do this they have a base 7.1 layer than a height layer and a ceiling layer. When converting to PCM it just uses the base layer. I am not sure how any of these players could add the Atmos/DTS:X info to PCM channel data but I could be wrong. That's why I said it shouldn't make a difference for this sound bar's virtual X. If it decodes these lossless formats than it certainly could.

Nice review
I believe that we are in agreement... I am simply asking/saying, does the upmixer make good guesses?

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post #39 of 113 Old 09-19-2017, 08:45 PM
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I have a particular television that has a surround sound, DSP based mode. I have noticed reliably that the surround effect is much more pronounced when I'm playing surround sound encoded material. I'm pretty sure that this television does not have a decoder, yet the system seems to pick up on some of the surround cues that are in the audio track .

So even though DTS Virtual X is purely a software/algorithm technology, I remember reading that it is intended to work best with object based audio tracks. If I am deluded, then the reviewer of the following article shares a similar delusion.


…While DTS Virtual:X produces the most convincing envelopment from content designed in object-based immersive formats, such as DTS:X, it also works its magic on any stereo or multichannel content, up mixing non-immersive soundtracks and even music to create spacious 3D sound with a height dimension.…

http://www.stereolifemagazine.com/ne...yamaha-yas-207

I like Mark's use of the word "guess", because I think that DTS Virtual X guesses better when it has more information to chew on.
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post #40 of 113 Old 09-20-2017, 05:40 AM
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My point is, it doesn't have object based audio formats to get its cues from. it can only receive 5.1 channel PCM which doesn't carry the height information. It is totally up mixed from standard surround sound information. It is probably the reason they call it 'Virtual' otherwise they would just say it is an Atmos/DTS:X sound bar if it could decode those formats. I don't think the reviewer has a clue that the sound bar is not capable of receiving object based data and only gets channel based data for 5.1channels. That doesn't mean it won't give a nice up mixed effect.
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post #41 of 113 Old 09-20-2017, 11:28 AM
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I have a call into Yamaha on this whole question of source material for this sound bar, but I did manage to speak to somebody from DTS. DTS Virtual X is designed to work best with a DTS decoder, but he did agree that it is possible that the way some discs are down mixed that there might be some height information included. It is therefore theoretically possible that some discs with object oriented soundtracks, down mixed to 5.1, will still contain some height information that may be played with advantage through the Virtual X codec, even in the absence of a DTS decoder.

This is why I asked Mark the simple question, from the attitude of an open minded experimentalist, whether he had listened to any DTS or Atmost discs yet. In simple terms, "it can't hurt."

It's also why I speculated in the Nakamici thread about the application of Virtual X in the 9.2 sound bar, which I believe does have a DTS encoder as well as robust surround sound hardware.
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post #42 of 113 Old 09-20-2017, 04:09 PM
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It would really be up to the disc player if it tries to decode the height information before it converts it to PCM for the sound bar, because the sound bar only accepts PCM for lossless sound. I doubt disc players process the additional height information and then mix it into the base information and then convert it to PCM. I would think if a device is asking for PCM from the source it is probably not capable of Atmos/DTS:X. With Atmos a sub-stream was added for the height information with metadata to stear the audio. DTS did it slightly differently but still has a base 7.1 signal and then the DTS:X info is added to the Master Audio signal. It has to be this way to maintain backwards compatibility since Atmos/DTS:X came ~10 years after the original Blu-ray which would have Dolby True HD or DTS Master Audio.
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post #43 of 113 Old 09-20-2017, 08:52 PM
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Sorry if this is a stupid question, but are there advantages to using the HDMI ports on the back of the sound bar besides the ARC?

Right now I have the HDMI arc directly to my TV and nothing else. Is there an advantage to hooking my Xbox one S and/or ps4 pro into the sound bar directly in addition to using the ARC?
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post #44 of 113 Old 09-20-2017, 10:59 PM
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If you go into the sound bar directly you will get lossless sound via multichannel PCM which ARC is not capable of carrying.
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post #45 of 113 Old 09-21-2017, 01:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ellebob View Post
If you go into the sound bar directly you will get lossless sound via multichannel PCM which ARC is not capable of carrying.


Hi Ellebob


so in your opinion which is the best solution in order to connect soundbar and devices TV/ Mysky Playstation?


thanks
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post #46 of 113 Old 09-21-2017, 02:37 PM
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Ideally mysky to one of the TV HDMI inputs, the PS to the HDMI in of the sound bar. Sound bar HDMI out to the ARC input of the TV. If you have problems with ARC/CEC then turn off CEC on all devices and run an optical cable from the TV to the sound bar.
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post #47 of 113 Old 09-21-2017, 03:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imagic View Post
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...
Curious to see if you can hear any height or L/R effects with DTS Virtual X, and how the sub performs in movies...
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post #48 of 113 Old 09-21-2017, 03:33 PM - Thread Starter
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Curious to see if you can hear any height or L/R effects with DTS Virtual X, and how the sub performs in movies...
Hahahahaha that's the sound of me going insane. So today I rotated my entire living room 90 degrees, sanded and painted a wall, and hung a TV. And as soon as it's all back together again I'll check that stuff out... (runs away with arms flailing in the air)
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post #49 of 113 Old 09-22-2017, 02:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Ellebob View Post
Ideally mysky to one of the TV HDMI inputs, the PS to the HDMI in of the sound bar. Sound bar HDMI out to the ARC input of the TV. If you have problems with ARC/CEC then turn off CEC on all devices and run an optical cable from the TV to the sound bar.

thanks so much Ellebob. I believe to have some problems with TV HMDI ARC and soundbar Arc so if i need to use optical cable ,could you kindly confirm that i need to proceed in this way?


Tv to SB ptical cable
TV/ My Sky: connected with HDMI
TV / PS: connnected with HDMI


in this case i cannot use HDMI ARC right? Besised i cannot connect MY SKY to SB with HDMI?


sorry if i'm making confusion..
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post #50 of 113 Old 09-22-2017, 04:32 AM
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No worry, a lot of this stuff is confusing to consumers. It is why I have a job

If you are having trouble with ARC/CEC you need to turn it off in your devices. It is called different things by different manufacturers, Sony - Braviasync, Samsung - Anynet, Lg - Simplink, etc. To turn off ARC/CEC on the SB, turn off the SB and hold down the HDMI button on the remote for more than 3 seconds. The HDMI light should turn off indicating HDMI control is off on the SB.

There are a few ways to hook this up without ARC/CEC, here are a couple.

1. PS to SB HDMI in, Sky to TV 9, SB HDMI out to TV. TV to SB optical. Advantage: the PS will have lossless sound. You could reveres the sky and PS but I doubt the Sky programming has lossless sound available where Blu-ray on the PS does. I am not familiar with the Sky box but here cable and satellite sources do not use lossless sound. Disadvantage: to use this set up is you have to switch both the SB and TV inputs to switch devices.

2. PS to TV, Sky to TV, TV to SB with optical. Advantage: You only have to switch the TV input to change between devices. Disadvantage: You lose lossless sound for Blu-ray (not the end of the world).

Ps. If you don't use ARC you will lose volume control from your TV remote. I would suggest an inexpensive decent universal remote anyway to control your system if using multiple remotes bothers you.
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post #51 of 113 Old 09-22-2017, 04:55 AM
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Dear Ellebob
really really thanks for your precious suggestions . This evening i'll try . ..
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post #52 of 113 Old 09-22-2017, 05:51 AM
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Hi Ellebob


sorry last question related to point 1


1. PS to SB HDMI in, Sky to TV 9, SB HDMI out to TV. TV to SB optical. Advantage: the PS will have lossless sound. You could reveres the sky and PS but I doubt the Sky programming has lossless sound available where Blu-ray on the PS does.


SB has two HMDI (1 HDMI arc ( This is HDMI out right ? ) 1 HDMI In


so PS to SB HDMI in, Decoder SKY to TV..(HDMI cable right?) . SB HDMI ARC to TV (HMDI not ARC ) , TV and SB Optical cable


is all right? thanks
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post #53 of 113 Old 09-22-2017, 08:25 AM
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Quote:
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Hahahahaha that's the sound of me going insane. So today I rotated my entire living room 90 degrees, sanded and painted a wall, and hung a TV. And as soon as it's all back together again I'll check that stuff out... (runs away with arms flailing in the air)
Well I just ordered one...it was my birthday so I figured why not? So I guess I'll get to see soon too
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post #54 of 113 Old 09-22-2017, 12:01 PM - Thread Starter
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I just posted a hands-on on the homepage: Yamaha YAS-207 DTS Virtual:X Soundbar Hands-On
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post #55 of 113 Old 09-22-2017, 12:17 PM
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Thanks for the comprehensive review, Mark!
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post #56 of 113 Old 09-22-2017, 12:52 PM
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I have been looking at the yamaha website and came across this HTIB https://usa.yamaha.com/products/audi...ubl/index.html

the specs look promising but have not really found anyone who owns it on here who can give some thoughts on it.
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post #57 of 113 Old 09-22-2017, 08:34 PM
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Hi Ellebob


sorry last question related to point 1


1. PS to SB HDMI in, Sky to TV 9, SB HDMI out to TV. TV to SB optical. Advantage: the PS will have lossless sound. You could reveres the sky and PS but I doubt the Sky programming has lossless sound available where Blu-ray on the PS does.


SB has two HMDI (1 HDMI arc ( This is HDMI out right ? ) 1 HDMI In


so PS to SB HDMI in, Decoder SKY to TV..(HDMI cable right?) . SB HDMI ARC to TV (HMDI not ARC ) , TV and SB Optical cable


is all right? thanks
Looks correct
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post #58 of 113 Old 09-22-2017, 09:36 PM
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So I?m a little confused on the capabilities of the pass through on this sound bar. I had my Xbox one S hooked up using it. Sound bar ARC to HDMI arc on TV. Xbox one S to HDMI IN on bar. When I checked the video output settings in the Xbox, all boxes were checked except for one. I believe it was 4k HDR at 24hz. It said my TV was not cable of this. When I hooked the Xbox directly to my TV that problem went away.

Next step I tried was the PS4 PRO in the HDMI in of the bar. Then went to the ps4?s settings and checked the same thing. On the PS4 pro all display output boxes were checked correctly without issues. I do know for a fact the PS4 pro will recognize an issue, as earlier I purposely changed settings to see if it would, and it said it was only compatible with 2k hdr, 4k was not.

Sorry for the questions, giving myself a headache here lol
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post #59 of 113 Old 09-22-2017, 11:10 PM
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Think I'll look at buying something like this when they are a bit more generous with the HDMI inputs.

If you want to use this to replace a AV receiver, only one makes it a bit difficult...
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post #60 of 113 Old 09-26-2017, 08:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ITALBOY View Post
Hi Ellebob


sorry last question related to point 1


1. PS to SB HDMI in, Sky to TV 9, SB HDMI out to TV. TV to SB optical. Advantage: the PS will have lossless sound. You could reveres the sky and PS but I doubt the Sky programming has lossless sound available where Blu-ray on the PS does.


SB has two HMDI (1 HDMI arc ( This is HDMI out right ? ) 1 HDMI In


so PS to SB HDMI in, Decoder SKY to TV..(HDMI cable right?) . SB HDMI ARC to TV (HMDI not ARC ) , TV and SB Optical cable


is all right? thanks

Hi Ellebob


believe something wrong... on above description there are 2 link between TV and SB(both HMDI Arc both Optical)
no link between PS and TV,...


so resuming all


TV and SB ? HDMI ARC or optical?
TV - MYSKY . ok HMDI
PS and SB: Ok HDMI IN
PS and TV?


thanks
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