The 2019 Yamaha YAS-109 is a 2.0 configuration. It is the Yamaha YAS-108/successor to the ATS-1080, with an Ethernet port, six EQ presets, built-in Alexa voice assistant, and Wi-Fi wireless capabilities. Despite this, it has the same pros and cons as its predecessor. Despite the two built-in subwoofers, it has difficulty reproducing heavy bass. Surround sound video playback requires downmixing to stereo, which lacks a sense of realism.
The audio is still largely pure and clean at high volumes even though it can’t get extremely loud because there aren’t many compression artefacts there. This sound bar is an inexpensive method to get a lot more out of your large flat screen and will unquestionably enhance your home theatre experience. This is not the soundbars for picky audiophiles who are willing to spend a little more for better sound quality, but it is adequate in smaller living rooms and apartment settings where the proximity of your neighbors would inevitably limit your sound system.
Yamaha YAS-109 review: Design
The YAS-109 performs an admirable job of blending into the background of your entertainment Centre or living room from the perspective of design philosophy. The YAS-109 fits flawlessly right between the caltrop feet of our 50-inch 2019 Vizio M-Series Quantum TV, sitting shallowly enough to barely even cover the bottom bezel of the screen. In particular if your TV stand is darker in color, its cloth-covered speaker array attaches to the chassis in a mixture of black plastic and charcoal cloth, giving it a stealthy outfit.
The little remote appears satisfied to only be used sometimes, too. It’s simple to never touch the on-set controls because all the buttons you could ever need are right here, including input selection, volume settings for the mids/tweeters and subwoofer, sound mode selection, and an Amazon Alexa button. Like other Yamaha bars, the control feedback is merely adequate. It’s not particularly simple to tell at a glance how loud the speakers or woofers are set, and changing the volume with the TV remote is also a bit of a wash.
We feel like we have to push the volume up or down on our TV remote about ten times before we start to notice an appreciable difference in decibels. A benefit of the LED feedback array is that it can be used in a dark, movie theater-like environment (unless your room is very bright). As you might think, there isn’t anything particularly premium-feeling about using or looking at this sound bar, but it slides out of the way and lets its sound quality speak for itself, which is all that’s necessary in this price bracket.
Unexpectedly, we tested the more contemporary and slightly less priced Yamaha SR-B20A before the more conventional YAS-109, and the comparison is enlightening. We would say that if you gave us something like the Klipsch Cinema 400, we’d be happy listeners even though we genuinely don’t care about features like built-in streaming apps or voice assistants in our sound bars.
We can’t help but wonder why so many features that are standard on the YAS-109 were removed this year in favor of the similarly priced SR-B20A. also you will learn our article on Yamaha YAS-109 review. It’s a nice thing that you have such functions if you’re so inclined, but we didn’t find ourselves using the YAS-109’s Alexa functionality or WiFi/Spotify Connect capabilities on a regular basis. Nevertheless, they don’t clutter or compromise the bar.
We are unsure of the justification for choosing the more recent Yamaha SR-B20 over the earlier YAS-109, which has all of the same sound settings and modes as the latter plus all of the other features mentioned below. They are well-implemented functions, and the YAS-109, which is happy to serve as a supporting actor next to your TV, never once insisted on being connected to the internet or utilized with Alexa. At this pricing point, a bar would benefit greatly from having an extra HDMI input.
Yamaha YAS-109 review: Connectivity
When it comes to the sort and quantity of connection ports we receive with low-cost sound bars, things typically tend to be very light. And because home theatre setups today have greater requirements, we are constantly looking for additional connections. As for the YAS-109, we would describe it as being in the middle because we wouldn’t say we are either delighted or disappointed with the options we receive.
Beginning on the left, we find a subwoofer port. This one is a bit odd because we’ve seen far more costly sound bars without one, but Yamaha seems to have decided that it was necessary in case you wanted to use a specialized subwoofer with this particular model. The following ports are an Ethernet port for networking the sound bar, a digital optical input for older devices without an HDMI port, a USB port that is regrettably only used for updating, and two HDMI ports—one input port and one output port.
Both HDMI ports are HDCP 2.3 compliant and offer 3D pass-through, 4K@50/60Hz, YCbCr=4:4:4, HDR10, and HLG. Dolby Vision and HDR10+ are not supported, thus if you want to use them, you will need to connect your device directly to the TV. There is no eARC present here, however the HDMI output does provide ARC capabilities in case you require it. Regarding the wireless capabilities of the device, we have built-in WiFi (802.11b/g/n) and the older Bluetooth 4.2 standard, which supports the A2DP and AVRCP profiles in addition to the SBC and AAC codecs.
The YAS-109 is simple to set up as long as you have a phone and an HDMI cable (this sound bar doesn’t come with either). The bar usually defaults to the HDMI ARC port, so connect to it from the equivalent port on the back of the device after setting it up, and you should be ready to listen. The bar’s power and volume should be managed automatically by your TV remote as well (though you may need to turn on CEC in your TV settings). It’s easy and reasonably painless to connect Alexa. To link the bar with your network, just download the Yamaha Sound Bar Controller app and follow the on-screen directions. From there, you can ask Alexa pretty much anything you want.
Yamaha YAS-109 review: Control Options
The primary control method for the device is still the remote, which is nothing exceptional but does the job with this sound bar. There aren’t any genuine surprises there because we wouldn’t anticipate anything extravagant in this pricing bracket. It is composed of plastic and features small, rounded buttons with appropriate space between them.
This helps a little while using the remote in dimly lit areas because it doesn’t have any backlighting capabilities. The plastic quality is adequate, and the remote seems robust and responsive overall. The Alexa button is located at the top left, while the power control is located at the top right. A row of input selection controls, two buttons for clear voice and surround options, several sound modes, two sizable buttons for the subwoofer and main volume, and buttons for info, bass extension, and mute are all located below.
The positioning of the Alexa button was the only issue we had because the power button typically occupies the upper-left corner of most gadgets, and it took us some time to adjust to the new location. However, after you get used to it, you won’t have any significant issues.
This sound bar’s bass and low frequencies won’t be as powerful as a true subwoofer, common sense dictates. Without the proper specs, it is just impossible to deliver a deep, resonant bass. Considering their size, the built-in subwoofers on this sound bar provide a respectable depth. Considering the size of the acoustic space and the size of the satellite speakers, and are truly rather astounding.
But as we previously stated, they fall short when compared to a subwoofer with a large cone. With the bass extension option, the music does have some depth, but it doesn’t truly shake the room. The auditory experience’s truly outstanding components are found elsewhere. DTS Virtual produces a powerful surround sound effect. In the past, speakers for surround sound had to be mounted in the ceiling or pointed above. The sound appeared to be higher as a result.
A new surround sound experience is produced by DTS Virtual, which also gives the impression of height. As a result, other sounds are all around you while the discussion is still focused in front of you. very astute Additionally, this sound bar’s 120 watts of overall power produce a powerful sound. you can read our article on Yamaha YAS-109 review.
The Yamaha YAS-109 is suitable for a variety of uses. Although it has a boomy sound profile, it has trouble reproducing low-bass, which makes it unsuitable for genres like EDM or the sound effects in action movies. Nevertheless, it can reasonably clearly replicate dialogue and singing. There aren’t many compression artefacts at maximum level, even though the sound doesn’t reach loud enough to fill a big or packed room.