Small soundbars like the Yamaha SR-C20A are generally not as powerful as larger soundbars or ones with an external subwoofer. So how do you know if the soundbar will even be an improvement to your TV speakers? Our experts answer that question by discussing the results of our Yamaha SR-C20A review.
Yamaha SR-C20A Design
Yamaha wanted to bring a smaller soundbar capable of big sound to the market. The benefits of such a design include room-saving features for home theaters while still being able to enjoy high quality sound from movies and TV shows.
The soundbar only measures at 23 inches wide, which makes it the smallest soundbar from Yamaha. Don’t let the profile fool you though — while many people are afraid it will provide low-end sound and under-perform, our experts found that that just isn’t the case.
The C20A is the bar for those who are tight on space but still want to enjoy good sound. It is compatible with SVS SB-1000 subwoofer that can make your sound system more powerful. The connections are found on the back of the soundbar and are adequately spaced apart to allow for easy input and output connections.
On the soundbar’s surface, there is a panel that displays indicator lights to signify your settings. You won’t have to rely on the TV screen being on every time to know your adjustments. The great thing about this display is it is situated on the front of the soundbar rather than the top.
On a compact sound bar, this feature is incredibly helpful because it allows you to view the display without ever having to leave your seat.
The soundbar offers two cone drivers, a built-in subwoofer and two passive radiators to evenly produce all the highs, mids and lows on the sound spectrum. It can easily fill your living room with enveloping sound.
The small C20A soundbar can be wall-mounted to save room. It’s even easier to mount than designs of roughly the same size due to it being very lightweight.
Features of the Yamaha SR-C20A
To give you an accurate and unbiased Yamaha SR-C20A review, our team of experts has tested out the Yamaha C20A soundbar with different content. We tried music, music, games and TV shows, and one thing is clear: the Yamaha C20A is a small soundbar with powerful sound.
The Clear Voice dialogue mode present in other soundbars like Klipsch Cinema 600 or Bar 48 does a number on the speech in varying contents. What was previously barely audible from your TV speakers became enhanced and clear. In Yamaha C20A, if Clear Voice isn’t enough, the soundbar also offers different sound modes to elevate your experience.
Despite what it may seem like, the Yamaha C20A is still an elementary model in terms of features. For this reason, the sound modes are basic as you will see stereo mode, standard, and movie and game mode.
For such a small size, the Yamaha sound bar has advanced technology virtual surround sound with the help of DTS Virtual X. You’ll find expansive and enveloping audio that fills your living room and maybe more. The previous C20 model does offer Dolby Digital but not DTS so for multi-dimensional sound, the C20A is the way to go.
Many people wonder if the C20A soundbar is an upgrade from the B20A. While the B20A does offer a larger cabinet, the sound production in both soundbars are comparable but the B20A does feature analog 3.5mm.
Surround technology is necessary to create room-filling sound even in small spaces for a 2.1 channel soundbar. Without 5 channels or more, the 23 inches wide soundbar cannot produce true surround sound. Or you can connect it to good quality speakers like Harman Kardon Onyx 3 and Onyx 2 to improve its sound and bass.
The audio from the Yamaha soundbar was balanced and accurate and won’t distort even at higher volume levels. Our audio team was quite impressed by the size and sound output correlation.
Subwoofer on the Yamaha SR-C20A
The subwoofer is another big win for the Yamaha C20A. It can match up to the higher performing soundbars without the need for a bass extension because it has one built-in. The 3-inch subwoofer pumps out the bass in your home theater system. Of course, you can feel free to add external subwoofers to increase the subwoofer output in your system, but if you don’t have the space, the C20A sub will be enough.
The 3-inch subwoofer can deliver bass that is stronger than you would imagine for a soundbar of this length. If you like heavy bass without taking up more space, our team recommends this soundbar option.
Some smaller soundbar models on the market such as the Sonos Beam do not support wireless streaming. The Yamaha soundbar however, does. Immersive sound can also be enjoyed through Bluetooth connectivity. You will be able to stream content from all your mobile devices.
The C20A doesn’t support Wi-Fi , but Bluetooth can cover the same features you would want. The Bluetooth pairing is easy to use and your favorite movies will have elevated audio from sound modes like movie mode.
If you do use Bluetooth, make sure the devices are close together for a stable connection.
Our experts say the connections affect the quality of sound more than people would think. The best audio for movies and music and other related content is channeled through HDMI connection. Our team always suggests HDMI for the best great sound relays.
Not all products will have an HDMI input, but there are some that offer improved audio through the HDMI ARC port. This type of connection, no matter what form, is also the easiest to use and set up. It is a single cable plug-and-play design and most products will come with the required cables.
The C20A also has two optical ports. Digital optical is the next best option for sound quality if your TV or sounding bar does not support the above option. Aside from digital, this Yamaha bar also has aux options.
No one likes a device that is difficult to use and control, which is why Yamaha has made the process incredibly easy. This product can be used with the compatible app or be configured to work with your TV remote. If you would like a separate way to control your new device, the Yamaha SR-C20A also comes with its own remote control.
Our experts find the app very handy if you don’t like having multiple remotes for varying devices as it can be hard to keep track of. Not to mention, in the case your remote breaks down or you lose it, the app is a great solution to controlling your soundbar.
Yamaha SR-C20A Setup
Chances are if a soundbar is simple to use, the setup is also hassle-free. We don’t know anyone who doesn’t like a simple setup, and Yamaha makes it that much easier by including everything you need in the box.
What you will find are the necessary cables, the remote, a power adapter, spacers, everything you need to wall mount the device, the warranty details and more.
All you need to do is to locate the correct corresponding ports on the back of both devices or to enable Bluetooth and follow through with the connections by either plugging the cables into the right ports or pairing the two devices. It doesn’t get much easier than that. You can go from unboxing to listening in a matter of minutes.
Smaller soundbars or even smaller speakers such as Sonos Play 1 and 3 are often cheaper than their larger counterparts, and for the C20A, this rings true. The price is very reasonable for all you get with your purchase. Not only do you have virtual surrounding sound with advanced technologies, but you also have helpful features such as sound modes to improve your experience.
The convenience of Bluetooth is also considered as well as the well thought-out design. You won’t miss out on the bass tones, thanks to the built-in sub all for a very affordable price. For the value this soundbar offers, our team believes it’s more than worth your money.
Yamaha SR-C20A Review Conclusion
At the end of our Yamaha SR-C20A review, our team will leave you with a simple takeaway: the soundbar is priced very affordably, it is a great option for limited household spaces that still crave for a home theater, and it is best for those who like bass without the bulky external sub.
The Yamaha soundbar comes with many benefits such as Clear Voice which is the enhancement that improves speech to bring you a much more accurate relay, virtual surrounding sound through DTS Virtual:X, and different sound modes to ensure optimal performance from the soundbar regardless of the type of content.
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