|Model||Channels||Watts||Wireless Speakers||Bluetooth Streaming||Price||Rating|
|Yamaha YAS-203 Sound Bar with Bluetooth and Wireless Subwoofer||7.1||200||Yes||Yes||$$$|
Pros: iOS and Android apps to control the soundbar system. IR repeater in case it blocks your TV remote receiver. This soundbar system learns your TV remote which is incredibly convenient and prevents “remote clutter.”
Cons: No HDMI, but that can easily be addressed with an HDMI Optical Splitter.
Verdict: Great sound with a wall mountable 7.1 soundbar and technology to make this easy to use makes it a clear recommendation at this price point.
Design and Aesthetics
The Yamaha YAS-203 is a very sleek design that can be placed on a TV stand or mounted to a wall. In the case where the soundbar may block the TV remote receiver, this system “learns” your TV remote so you don’t have to add another remote to your home theater system. Yamaha also offers iOS and Android apps to control the system from a phone or tablet. The wireless subwoofer makes it easy to place throughout the room. The simplistic design and piano black finish are sure to match most modern TVs and fit in your living room nicely.
Setup and Use
The YAS-203 surround sound soundbar is extremely easy to setup and get running. It features common inputs as pictured above, which are standard for soundbars nowadays. The system includes an optical digital cable so you can get up and running right out of the box. Once plugged in, simply sync your TV remote with the soundbar and leave the Yamaha remote in the drawer, who wants extra remote clutter on their coffee table!? Bluetooth is equally easy to get up and streaming with.
Sound Quality and Performance
With a virtual 7.1 surround sound out of this sleek, compact package, it is hard to describe how clear everything sounds. The AIR SURROUND XTREME technology immerses the TV-goer in surround sound. Movie dialogue isn’t drowned out in all the action due to an integrated voice volume boost. I did experience some clipping when turning the volume up about 85%, but that’s expected as the listening level is far too loud for normal use.
Overall, this is a very tight, compact system that can be virtually mounted anywhere and produce good, surround sound for movies, TV, and music. The finish is superb and will fit even the most critical of design tastes. My personal favorite is the ability to sync your current TV remote to the soundbar, thus eliminating ANOTHER remote in my home theater system. The YAS-203 soundbar includes everything you need to get up and running right out of the box, including an optical cable so you don’t have to worry about buying any extras. This is a great improvement over your standard TV speakers and would be a welcome addition to any home system looking for a surround sound setup.