The past years have been marked with serious technological advancements, especially in the soundbar industry. There have been the noticeable soundbars along the way, spearheaded by the Dolby Atmos soundbar.
Followed by Yamaha’s own YAS-5600.
Yet, the Dolby Atmos soundbar has significantly improved lately, with a great array of sleek and stylish options. This is for you if you want to go big without necessarily getting big.
With the new developments, the price bars are getting higher literally and figuratively. The entry-level now have an affordable tech with impressive performance. Yamaha YAS-207 is the latest benefactor evolution with multiple features and great sound at a killer price. While the firm touts 207’s DTS Virtual:X tech as the selling point, reviews show that it’s everything else you enjoy from the 207 that makes it the next big thing.
Out of the box
YAS-207 is impressive from the start with its rounded form factor, and it’s top slick vinyl, wrapped taut acoustic mesh.
The accompanying sub is shockingly stout for a budget soundbar duo sized like a desktop PC with a honking front-side bass port and a side-firing driver.
Other things that are included in the package are a pair of power cables for the two components, a slim and light remote, and an optical digital audio cable. Once you pull the plastic contact strip on the back, you’re good to go. If you want to connect through the HDMI, which is the preferred method, you’ve got to buy your HDMI cables.
Setting up the YAS-207 is very simple, especially if you use the optical cable. All you’re required to do is plug your sources into the Tv. And then run the optical audio cable down to the soundbar. If you have a television with an HDMI ARC connection, it’s advisable to connect through the ARC HDMI ports on both gadgets.
This will not only help you get the best signal to and from your TV but will also enable many Tv remotes to control the soundbar’s volume and power.
You’ll require an HDMI cable for that, and you may need to engage HDMI-CEC or ARC in your TV’s setting menu and the sound output to the receiver or external speaker.
Luckily, the YAS-207 has an extra HDMI input, meaning you can connect your main video component (gaming console or Blu-ray player) to the bar. This typically allows for better audio decoding than your TV. And support for DTS Digital Surround and Dolby Digital.
To get sound from your TV in this configuration, you’d click on the soundbar’s TV input for a game console or blu-ray and audio in this setup. You’ll choose the HDMI input that allows for 4K/HDR passthrough at 60 frames per second.
Features and design
Like a lot of technology in the world (excluding smartphones), soundbars are becoming more powerful while their size is getting smaller.
Although the YAS-207 doesn’t match the profile of its major competitor at the entry-level, Polk’s Magnifi Mini, it’s close to anything else at its level as it is less than 3 inches tall and 3 feet long. Behind the soundbar are dual notches for mounting screws. Mounting it safely to the wall shouldn’t be hard, as it’s merely six pounds.
The soundbar’s exterior has some refined and impressive touches that give it an air of quality, which includes touch controls on its front panel.
YAS-207 also has a display system of LEDs that show multiple settings, from volume and subwoofer level to source and surround sound codecs or in an altogether or relatively intuitive configuration.
Allow with an optical input and HDMI. There’s a 3.5mm analog input for any gadget with a Bluetooth connection and headphone jack for streaming music on your phone. If you’re looking to opt into MusicCast (Yamaha’s Wi-Fi-based multiroom audio system), you’ll require a more costly soundbar option like Yamaha’s YAS-706. YAS-207 isn’t a part of that universe.
The great buttons on the micro remote simplify everything with control keys for DSP effects and EQ settings such as Bass extension and Clear voice, and buttons for subwoofer level adjustments and quick volume on the fly. Not to forget source buttons on the top.
Just below the source keys, the surround sound key switches between the new DTS Virtual:X mode and the system’s surround sound mode digital signal processing (DSP). This is designed to match the wide and vertical surround sound image provided by 3D surround sound systems such as the Dolby Atmos bars.
In the cabinet, the soundbar hosts various mini drivers like four 1¾-inch drivers and two 1-inch tweeters pushed by 100 watts.
The sound quality of YAH-207 is fantastic, with deep bass and crisp highs. Dialogues for TVs and movies are clear. But there is a way to enhance the dialogues further by clicking on the ‘clear voice’ button on your remote. When the sounds of the highs and mids are impressive, out of the box, there can be too much bass, so dialing it down by one is okay.
Yamaha was among the first companies to add support for DTS Virtual Surround and DTS Virtual:X to its YAS-207 soundbar.
DTS Virtual:X is the firm’s digital signal processing that enables a soundbar to sound like traditional surround speakers. It’s important to note that the YAS-207 needs a firmware update to be able to use DTS Virtual:X. Be sure to do the updates as soon as the possible virtual surround is almost unbearable out of the box.
Even though the traditional stereo sound of the soundbar is excellent, the DTS Virtual:X and DTS Virtual Surround settings make the magic happen. While the dialogue sounded crisper and the soundstage got better. The signal processing sounds artificial with boosted highs and lows, fluctuating the reverberation of instruments during orchestral scores.
Although the response of the soundbar is impressive, it can become a little uncontrolled at the low end. High-quality subs resonate for a short period, cutting off sound immediately, but YAS-207 allows bass notes to linger, making it less controlled.
As far as streaming audio inputs are concerned, Yamaha YAS-207 only supports Bluetooth, while other soundbars offer music streaming over WI-FI, which is nice.
Although we’re not entirely sold on the virtues of DTS Virtual:X, YAS-207 has a clear, rich, and powerful sound for a pittance. It’s primed to be the TV room audio workforce of choice.
What are my alternatives?
Our first and second recommendation is obviously the Polk Magnifi Mini. It has similar performance and is within the budget range as well as comes in the form of a smaller package.
With that said, the YAH-207 does an excellent job of staying out of the way and throws in one more HDMI input allowing quality audio decoding from video components.
It’s worthwhile to note that Yamaha is currently having a new model (YAS-209). It still has great sound quality, and it accommodates Alexa’s support. The YAS-207 is still a great option if you find it at a discount on its original price.
How long will it last?
With its solid design, and being one of the most respected soundbars manufactures on the planet, and features like 4K/HDR passthrough and ARC, the YAS-207 should serve your TV room’s audio hub for as long as you wish.
Should you buy it?
Sure. If you’re searching for an excellent soundbar at the $300 mark, it will be almost impossible to get anything better than Yamaha’s YAS-207.
At only $300, the YAS-207 will significantly improve your movie and TV experience thanks to its immersive and wide sound. YAS-207’s 3D-surround-sound mode is somewhat close to Dolby Atmos (this makes things better in the sound mix).
Although having one HDMI may seem to limit the experience, all other specs are on par with other expensive units. The only setback is the way it handles music. If you want a soundbar that plays tunes as it does in TV shows and movies, you might need to top up your budget for a supreme soundbar.