While it’s easy to find an entry-level soundbar, you may end up wasting hundreds of dollars if you don’t know the best features you should look for.
There are some big decisions you must make, including whether you want Google Cast, virtual surround sound, or if you even need a subwoofer. If you’re looking for a specific product recommendation on this site, we’ve tested one of the best soundbars that doesn’t break the bank – the Yamaha YAS-207.
The Yamaha YAS-207 is light on features and is a bit bland in appearance, and so might not fit everyone’s idea of a home theatre. However, for people who have a limited budget, this model will be satisfactory as the others on our guide.
The YAS-207 provides a balanced sound quality and surround sound features that make it stand out a bit more from the entry-level crowd. Even though it is a budget speaker, it performs better than most products in this price point.
With a price tag of $300, the Yamaha YAS-207 faces difficult competition from other models like Sony’s HT-MT300 or the LG SH7B. Both support Airplay and Google Cast and they have plenty of other features as well.
However, if you are not too keen on a lot of features and can live with the fundamental design, the Yamaha YAS-207 will be a good choice. Let’s see some of the reasons why.
This Yamaha model isn’t anything new when it comes to looks, and this is evident the first time we tested it. Like many soundbars, it’s just a low-profile black bar with a separate rectangular sub.
When you conceal the Yamaha symbol, there is no way of telling who the maker of the model is. This might be good if you are trying to build a furtive system but for a layman, it is a bit too generic.
On the front of the soundbar, there are touch controls for switching the input, controlling the volume, and for power. These controls come with green indicator lights that display active inputs, and is useful for volume control too.
The lights show a few things, including surround type selection and source. Other products are made without indicators like this, but it’s something you get with the YAS-207. This makes it easier to tell which settings are active at a glance.
These green lights appear similar to the 1990s stereos that provide Yamaha YAS-207 with the appearance of an outdated design straight out of the box. If you are conscious of the soundbar looks and you want something more modern, you may wish to try the Sonos Playbase or the Sonos Playbar.
Then again, if you’re a fan of the dated look, the YAS-207 will do just fine.
As far as the ports go, Yamaha has included HDMI ARC, HDMI input, HDMI output, and a 3.5 mm analog jack. It also has an optical connection and a USB-A port for firmware updates. But more on this later.
If you need to connect it to a 4K UHD source, it would only pass HDR10 though, which could be a problem for some. Still, most people only need HDMI ARC.
The dimensions of the soundbar are 36.62 x 2.37 x 4.25 inches (W x H x D). It’s not as compact as other products in the market, so it best fits mid-sized or larger TVs. The height of the bar itself is only a little over 2 inches, so it’s fairly inconspicuous and not too high when it sits under your TV.
If you want to see the Yamaha YAS-207BL compared to other soundbar models, you can check our guide here: https://theproductanalyst.com/best-soundbar/
Like the soundbar itself, the subwoofer design is pretty generic as well, which is a bit disappointing.
The YAS-207 sub is a straightforward rectangular box having a black cloth covering for the driver. There is a bass port available on the front and the back, and there’s also a power port with a pairing button for syncing up with the soundbar. You only have the power at the back, which is unlike most subs we use.
The wireless subwoofer and the sound bar are already paired by design, meaning it’s not complicated to use and set up the two. In terms of performance, the bass extension can be quite loud, so we recommend turning it down to a volume that feels appropriate for you.
For soundbars with subwoofers, consider the JBL 5.1 and JBL 9.1 soundbars, too!
Yamaha comes with a good remote control which has large buttons and type. These buttons allow you to switch the input, toggle the stereo, and choose surround modes.
Furthermore, there are options available for bass and dialogue enhancement. The remote will allow you to alter the balance of the bass and improve the dialogue of a program, whatever your preferences are.
So if you like to do your own tweaking with the sound, the Yamaha YAS-207 allows adjusting of the bass and treble to the settings you like.
Aside from the remote, the YAS-207 also allows you to use an app for controlling and changing your settings. This is not the first time we’ve encountered an app in all our reviews, and there’s a high chance you wouldn’t need much help using this one from Yamaha.
When we used the Yamaha app, it has a pretty basic interface and it worked seamlessly every time. However, you can’t play media straight from it and the Bluetooth Standby is missing too.
This Yamaha soundbar has an excellent sound quality and it offers a crisp, deep bass. In the multiple reviews we’ve done, it provided a reliable performance and an impressive audio experience especially when you use the surround mode.
The dialogue that comes out from the soundbar is clear and loud for TV programs and movies. Plus, you can boost the dialogue further by pressing the Clear Voice button available on the remote.
However, we do recommend that the audio be used in middle or higher levels. The bass of the YAS-207 can be overpowering at times, so we recommend that you bring it down to a modest level.
The stereo is still high in quality when playing movies, music, and other media. Even though it only has a surround sound technology and not a Dolby Atmos tech-worthy feature.
The Yamaha YAS-207BL and SR-C20A were the first soundbars that added support for DTS Virtual:X. The company also added compatibility to DTS Surround to give users a more cinematic sound quality.
DTS Virtual:X is the digital signal processing system of the company which aids the soundbar to have more conventional surround sound speaker effect. You get a 3D soundstage with this technology in place, making movies, music, and other media sound much better and more realistic. So even without physically placing speakers around the room, this DSP in Virtual X simulates the cinematic experience.
Another important thing to note here is that YAS-207 needs you to have a firmware update for using the DTS Virtual:X. If there’s an update, you may wish to update it quickly, particularly because 3D audio is practically impossible to listen to out of the box.
Updating the firmware is quite simple even for new users. You just have to download the firmware to a USB stick and check the installation instructions online. Once that’s done, you’ll find two surround modes on the device – the traditional 2D surround sound mode and the DTS Virtual:X surround mode.
Of course, you wouldn’t need to use stereo mode on this soundbar if you want to experience the performance that Dolby Digital and DTS can deliver. What makes it even better is you can use it without mastering any programming because it will work with any audio source you feed it.
Now, you might be asking: is there any drawback to having Virtual:X in a sound bar? While its main purpose is to elevate the sound, sometimes Virtual X can overdo it with unnecessary boosts. The audio can be quite harsh and fatiguing at times, especially when the background noise is bumped up too much that dialogues are compromised.
Despite this drawback, know that the Yamaha YAS-207 is an basic-level soundbar, which is part of why the DTS Virtual:X doesn’t live up to audiophile expectations. In higher end soundbars we’ve tested, the Virtual X technology integrated with the device is fairly well-balanced yet immersive. Still, the audio doesn’t come close to what the Dolby Atmos can provide.
(See more options. We also reviewed the Vizio M21d-H8 here.)
Yamaha YAS-207 Review Conclusion
The Yamaha YAS-207 is a good choice for buyers looking to better their TV and movie watching experience at a lower cost. The sound bar offers a balanced audio, easy setup, Bluetooth technology, and DTS sound processing.
One of the downsides is the size. If you have limited space available, you might wish to try the Sony HT-MT300. It’s a small unit with a slim wireless subwoofer.
If you prefer, you can also slide the Yamaha YAS-207 under the couch. But if you’re on the search for a multi-room setup, there are other options available like those featured in our comparison of the best soundbar for 55-inch tv.
But overall, the Yamaha YAS-207 soundbar offers great value and packs superb sound quality for the given price. The use of DTS Virtual:X at this price point is a great thing, but then its performance is below par with the surround sound you can get from premium sound bar models these days.