Yamaha SR-B20A Review — Sleek Soundbar at a Budget Price (2021)

Yamaha SR-B20A Review

The Yamaha SR-B20A is like a full home theater system within itself. It’s advertised as having everything you would want in a larger system within a more compact body. But does the soundbar live up to the hype? 

To make sure you are not spending your money on a subpar product, our experts have analyzed and tested the soundbar in this Yamaha SR-B20A review.

Pros

Cons

Yamaha SR-B20A Design

The design is perhaps the most renowned part of the SR-B20A soundbar. Our experts are big fans of the Yamaha YAS-109 or 108, and the SR-B20A isn’t pretty much different in terms of appearance. In fact, they are strikingly similar with the only difference being the weight.

At a quick glance, the SR-B20A could be mistaken for a YAS-109 entry-level soundbar, but when you take a closer look you will notice the subtle difference in material and shape. One big improvement Yamaha made to the SR-B20A is the display panel. 

A display panel is one of the SR-B20A features that stood out to our team. It is still located in the same place, on top of the sound bar, but it is in a larger size now than the YAS-109 and is easier to read. However, our experts would have liked it more if it was located in the front of the grille for easy reading, but the larger LED lights do help with visibility.

The slim design of Yamaha soundbars make them simple to use and easy to place. You can set it on a flat surface without the need to construct the wall mount, or it can be wall-mounted to save space. Either way, the lightweight SR-B20A will do wonders for your music.

Don’t let the compact size fool you, the Yamaha’s SR-B20A features all you would want in a soundbar and has two embedded subwoofers to boost the bass drivers quality. Tons of single soundbar options do not have a external subwoofer to enhance the low-frequency sound and deliver films and music at their highest potential.

Features of the Yamaha SR-B20A

Sound Quality

Whether or not a sound bar justifies its price depends on the audio quality it delivers. No one wants a product that is expensive and below average. 

When analyzing the capability of the sound bar speakers, our experts took to different types of media to see how well they fare with the Yamaha SR-B20A. Many people might also be wondering if this model can outperform the options in the YAS line.

Overall, our experts had nothing but positive things to say about the performance of the SR-B20A soundbar. This Yamaha soundbar has a 120 watts of power, a pair of 55mm midrange drivers and two 75mm bass drivers. It already has two of its own built-in subs, so even without an external subwoofer, this soundbar can portray the low-end tones without any issues. However, it does still have an output for a bass and low-frequency extension if you want more rumbling vibrations, a feature our experts found useful in this SR-B20A’s review.

A soundbar with a built-in subwoofer not only saves on space, but it also does wonders for the bass and sound quality the soundbar can produce on its own. Your movies and TV shows will instantly sound better. 

What our team will add is that an embedded subwoofer output will not have as much power as an external option. Audiophiles who have sensitive ears and have high expectations for bass should look into adding a subwoofer to the mix.

The mids and the highs are also well-balanced in this Yamaha product. It also has enough power to belt out the vocals and sound effects to fill even a medium to large-sized room. On just the standard mode, our team quite enjoyed movies and music without even needing to activate the special sound mode options.

Sound Formats

Advanced audio technology is always appreciated in home theater system components. While the YAS-109 has more supported sound formats than the SR-B20A, the included DTS Virtual:X virtual 3D sound will still improve your listening experience by miles compared to a soundbar without it.

We call it virtual surrounding sound because the new SR-B20A does not have over 5 channels unlike the most coveted JBL 5.0 soundbar. To be a true surrounding sound system, your setup needs at least 5 to create the most realistic 3D surround sound.

Audio Modes

Just the single audio format is still helpful, especially when you activate the audio mode options. With this enhancement, your media will be much clearer. 

The soundbar thoughtfully features Clear Voice mode, and in Yamaha soundbars this means the dialogue spoken onscreen will be in much clearer detail so you won’t ever miss what’s said in hushed conversation.

Other than the Clear Voice, some other helpful modes include standard, stereo, movies and games. Our team was surprised there weren’t ones for music or news, since those are two very common sound options. 

However, we were able to make do with stereo of music. Stereo also works as a surround mode when activated with the DTS even without Dolby Atmos.

Wireless Connectivity

For wireless connectivity, the SR-B20A comes with Bluetooth 5.0. Bluetooth is extremely convenient for streaming content from mobile devices such as your smartphone, tablet or computer. 

Since the YAS-109 has Wi Fi and Amazon Alexa built-in, it’s quite discouraging that this model does not. However, Bluetooth is just as convenient for room to room streaming as long as you’re not too far away.

Soundbars at a more affordable price usually do not feature WiFi and Amazon Alexa [1], so we won’t be too hard on the SR-B20A, especially since its Bluetooth feature is quite handy for the price.

Connections

Soundbars all feature wired connections, and the SR-B20A comes with a single HDMI input port plus a digital optical input. HDMI is always our team’s top recommended option for ease of setup and support of high definition content. HDMI ARC is another option as HDMI ARC can support both sending and receiving signals. 

If your TV does not have HDMI compatibility, then the optical audio is the next best option on the list. Digital optical can process digital content up to 4K HDR.

The more connections, the better. Some soundbars will offer two optical connection ports for the option to connect more devices at once. Think about how many external components you will hook up to your system to determine how many you need.

Control

There are a few ways to control the SR-B20A Yamaha soundbar. Like the Sony Music Center app in HTCT790, this Yamaha has a sound bar remote app you can get by downloading it from your app store. Of course, you can also make use of the included remote or configure your existing TV one to control the bar.

The settings are easy to access from the menu page and there are even one-button features that are present on the remote. Our overall experience with the soundbar’s control during our Yamaha SR-B20A’s review was a highly positive one. 

All your customizations and settings are displayed on the display panel, which is located on the front surface. It will show your power settings, volume level, and other related options.

Yamaha SR-B20A Setup

The setup of these products needs to be simple enough to figure out even without an instruction manual. No one likes to spend time figuring out how to connect the speakers and use the sound bar remote. 

The SR-B20A is a device with a simple setup that has the technology to stream a standard movie or music from multiple places. The subwoofer combo is already embedded, so there is no need for additional setup in that department. 

Because this Yamaha soundbar operates with HDMI cable, all you need to do is plug in the ends of the cable into the right ports on the back of both devices. All necessary pieces are included with your purchase so if you like minimal hassle, the SR-B20A won’t take up much of your time.

Yamaha SR-B20A Price

For what you get, such as DTS Virtual:X, virtual surround sound, and supported audio mode technology that fills the room to mention a few, the SR-B20A is very fairly priced. It’s straightforward to use and the perfect choice for those who like an elevated experience with advanced technology at an entry-level price.

Yamaha SR-B20A Review Conclusion

We will end our  review on a very positive note. Our experts thoroughly enjoyed this product as its speakers possessed a ton of power and DTS Virtual:X that can improve your audio. 

There is also a handy display panel and even though it’s not in the front, the enlarged size makes it highly visible. If you like a device that’s easy to set up through HDMI or optical while unlocking audio potential, then the SR-B20A is for you.

Writer

Willie Greer
Willie Greer
Willie Greer is the founder of The Product Analyst. A cinephile, he has made it a personal quest to achieve the awesomest home theater possible. He now shares what he has learned through the years on the site, and has enlisted the help of tech-savvy colleagues in providing more insight about today’s most sought-after gadgets.