The problem with entry-level soundbars is that many of them don’t quite hit the mark when it comes to function and performance. However, there are still some models, like the Yamaha ATS 1080, that have become popular in the market.
So, our experts did a full Yamaha ATS 1080 review to see if this soundbar is a worthy purchase.
Yamaha ATS 1080 Soundbar Design
Before we get into the reviews and nitty-gritty of the soundbar features, we’ll first clear up something that some users may find confusing. The Yamaha ATS 1080 is a rebranded version of the Yamaha YAS 108 soundbar, so you might find that their names are interchanged in online reviews.
Other than that, both soundbar models are essentially the same.
Design-wise, the Yamaha ATS 1080 clearly takes from its predecessor, the YAS-107. Instead of the usual block-style we see from most soundbar products, the ATS 1080 adopts a low and flat shape, kind of like a huge popsicle stick.
The YAS 108 soundbar measures 35 inches long, 2 inches high, and 4 inches deep. The edges are rounded, with the front and top being covered by a gray cloth mesh.
At the top of the YAS 108 bar, you’ll see the on-device controls and the LED indicators. We find it a bit unreasonable to have the LEDs on top since they aren’t visible when you’re seated, unless you mount the soundbar on the wall.
Alternatively, you can use the app to view and navigate through your settings, but more on the app later in the review.
Like most sought-after soundbars, you can simply place the Yamaha ATS 1080 soundbar on your TV stand or have it wall-mounted. There are already keyhole mounts at the back of the unit, and there’s a wall-mounting template included in the package as well.
Plus, there are also rubber pads at the rear that helps secure the YAS 108 bar while preventing it from scratching surfaces.
Inside the sound system, there are two midrange cone woofers, two dome tweeters, and two 3-inch built in subwoofers. With everything equal in this dual-ported design, the sound remains well-balanced with the ATS 1080.
Features of Yamaha ATS 1080
Connectivity & Audio Format Support
One of the things that impressed us during our Yamaha ATS 1080 review is the decent array of inputs and outputs that this soundbar provides. It has an optical audio input, HDMI ARC output, 3. 5mm analog audio-in, and Bluetooth for wireless streaming.
There’s no Wi Fi in the YAS 108 sound bar, though, so you can’t access content via MusicCast, Yamaha’s multi-room technology for streaming music.
Along with the absence of the Wi Fi, it’s also a bit disappointing that the HDMI cables don’t come in the box, which means that you’ll have to buy separate HDMI cables if you choose this connectivity option. The optical cable for the optical port is included, though.
Still, we find it quite impressive that the YAS 108 soundbar has ARC, which is usually found in higher-end 2. 1 channel soundbars and rarely at this price range. You do need to enable HDMI CEC on the TV and the soundbar for this feature to work.
In this aspect, our audio experts agree that HDMI is better than the optical port since you can switch between the TV’s sound and another device, such as a Blu-ray player. This soundbar can also work with 4K HDR, which means you don’t have to upgrade the YAS 108 sub any time soon.
You can also use your TV remote control to turn the soundbar on and off, control the volume, but we’ll get to that later in this review.
Another nifty function of the Yamaha YAS 108 is its ability to support two devices at once via Bluetooth. This soundbar features Bluetooth 5.0, which then supports data speeds of up to 2Mbps.
Obviously, the dual Bluetooth connection doesn’t let you play music from two devices at the same time. You have to stop the playback on one device to start playback on the other. This can be convenient when you have friends and family who want to share digital access to the YAS 108 bar.
As for audio formats, the Yamaha YAS 108 sub only features DTS Virtual X and basic Dolby. You won’t have Dolby Atmos, which you’d find in higher end Samsung soundbars like the Samsung HW-Q900T.
Unfortunately, surround sound formats will be downplayed to 2. 1 stereo, but we find that it’s still detailed enough for an entry-level soundbar.
Sound Quality & Performance
Putting the system under review, you’ll find two-inch, front-firing cone woofers at the end of the YAS 108 soundbar. The woofers terminate at the bass ports, and there’s also a once-inch dome tweeter for the higher tones and sound. And of course, the built in subwoofers in the soundbar are there as well. The subwoofers make it have that full digital stereo or surround sound.
Compared to other sound bar products in the market, the drivers of the ATS 1080 are located at the ends of the bar. This then creates good sound at the center, instead of having actual woofers in the middle spot.
In our reviews, the performance and sound quality of the Yamaha ATS 1080 soundbar is great considering its price point. Whether we played music or watched movies, the soundbar fills in the room nicely with well-balanced volume and tones.
The dialogue is clear, and the sound details are crisp. Although without a separate subwoofer, the lowest notes or sound can be lax, especially in movies with a lot of action and explosions. If you want a subwoofer for this purpose, the Yamaha YST-FSW150 sub and the Yamaha YST-SW215PN subwoofer be great choices.
The frequency range on the treble runs from 61Hz to 19KHz, while the minimum bass frequency response stands at 61Hz. If you need a bass volume boost, you could add a wireless subwoofer to the YAS 108. This is a relief since some soundbars like the Bose Solo and Bose Solo 5 don’t support it.
There also might be a bit of bass distortion at a high volume, but everything’s decent at a moderate volume. The bass remains clearer at this point. Also, the YAS 108 soundbar can get pretty loud, with its peak volume at 90dB.
In our audio experts’ Yamaha ATS 1080 reviews, this soundbar provides an overall well-rounded listening experience.
Yamaha ATS 1080’s Clear Voice Technology
One thing we pay attention to in soundbar reviews is dialogue and quality of human voices. For a lot of users, there’s nothing worse than not hearing good digital sound from TV shows, news programs, home films, and movies.
The ATS 1080 features Yamaha’s Clear Voice technology, which enhances the dialogue in various content to make it sound clearer. In our review, this tech really makes the sound, dialogue, and voices pop, even at low volume. So, you can hear what the characters are saying even without subtitles.
DTS Virtual: X
Entry-level soundbars aren’t typically that immersive compared to higher-end models. But in our review, the way that the YAS 108 soundbar makes up for that is through DTS Virtual:X.
Previous soundbars like the Yamaha YAS-107 features DTS, and that has carried on to the Yamaha YAS 108 soundbar. This technology simulates object-oriented sounds to give content the illusion of height, which would otherwise be only possible with a physical ceiling or rear speakers.
With DTS, you’ll be able to enjoy virtual digital 3D surround sound. In our review, this mode significantly boosts the audio performance and experience compared to stereo.
However, the DTS Virtual:X is still not close to what Dolby Atmos  can offer, a good example of which is the Samsung HW-Q90R bar. But if that’s more than your set budget, soundbars like the Yamaha YAS-209 and the Sonos Beam have DTS tech.
Yamaha ATS 1080 Subwoofers
If you don’t have the space for an external subwoofer, then Yamaha ATS 1080 soundbars will fit your home just fine since there are two subwoofers already built-in.
Our YAS 108 soundbar review reflects that the bottom end is thunderous enough for most users, but you might be looking for more bass oomph. In that case, there’s a subwoofer output port where you can connect an aftermarket subwoofer for that deep bass.
Most soundbars at this price point don’t make much of an effort when it comes to the remote control. However, the YAS 108 doesn’t skimp on the remote. The remote makes it easy to navigate the app and adjust volume according to your preference.
The tactile buttons on the remote are nicely laid out, and the functions can be easily distinguished because they have different colors. Another nice function is the dimmer button, which lets you select if you want the LED lights to be off, dim, or bright — handy if you find them distracting your view during a movie.
But the more impressive thing about the YAS 108 is the few ways you can control the sound bar. Either you use the included remote, use your TV’s remote, or download the Home Theater Controller app if you prefer visual navigation.
Power Saving Feature of Yamaha ATS 1080
Yamaha YAS 108 soundbars can also go into Standby mode when not in use for long periods of time. Not all soundbars can automatically go into a low power state, so this can help you save power when the YAS 108 is not in use.
Setup, User Manual & Firmware Update
In our review, the YAS 108 sound bar only took minutes to set up. There’s not much to figure out, you just connect the sound bar to the TV via the connection option that you prefer.
As one of the budget soundbars, the YAS 108 soundbars don’t support built-in voice control. However, you can get around that by pairing an Alexa-enabled device such as Amazon Alexa Dot.
We also recommend checking for firmware updates to make sure your soundbar provides the best sound and performance possible.
How do I connect my Yamaha ATS 1080?
You connect your Yamaha ATS 1080 soundbar to your TV by connecting one end of the HDMI cable to the HDMI IN (ARC) port on your TV. Then, connect the other end of the HDMI cable to the HDMI OUT port on the soundbar.
If this isn’t available, you can opt for the digital optical connection instead or the 3. 5mm analog audio-in connection.
Yamaha ATS 1080 Review Conclusion
Concluding this review, the Yamaha ATS 1080 is a sound bar that provides incredible value for the money. It features good design, a wide array of connectivity options, good sound quality, deep bass performance, great dialogue, and more functions than most soundbars our experts have tested at this price point.
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