If you want to get an audio system without buying a large 5.1 channel unit, you should take a look at the Yamaha YSP–3050. This sound bar won’t take much space and it can be placed next to or under any flat panel TV screen. With a single unit, you can now get the illusion of surround sound through a technology which sends sound beams at different angles for the perfect result. The YSP-3050 contains no less than 21 drivers and 2 woofers, along with 23 digital amplifiers. The result is 82 watts of output, which is not bad for a single unit system. With such an audio ensemble, you can be sure that the sound quality and power won’t disappoint you. The Yamaha YSP-3050 comes at the price of $1,399.

Setting up the Yamaha YSP-3050

There are two coaxial and two optical digital audio inputs on the YSP-3050. You will also notice analog stereo audio connections and a subwoofer output. Luckily, the people from Yamaha also included two HDMI inputs and one output, which was certainly a necessary addition.

The system can be wall mounted or you can simply place it in front of your TV on a shelf. There are only a few controls present on the sound bar itself, such as volume, input selection and power on/off. A LED display is also present.


This audio system can also play HD surround sound from XM Satellite Radio, which is a great addition. Am built in AM/FM tuner is available. If you don’t want to listen to radio, you can always buy the YDS-11 dock and connect your iPod to the sound bar. After you do this, you can switch between songs with the included remote control and basic info will be displayed on the screen. Some sound bars will play music from iPods, but the quality offered is questionable. With the YSP-3050, you can be sure that the songs from your iPod will be played at top quality.

Sound and video quality

One of the best features of this system is the fact that it is capable of upconverting analog signal to HDMI. Video upscaling can reach 1080i, but you can also connect sources which play 1080p thanks to the two inputs and one output which can be noticed on the back of the unit. This means that you will get the highest video quality possible through the YSP-3050, no matter what type of movie you are trying to watch. The only inconvenience is the lack of Dolby TrueHD decoding, which will be noticeable when playing 1080p Blu ray movies.

If you notice a delay between the sound and video of one of your movies, you can use the Lip Synch adjustment feature. In just a few minutes, you will manage to synchronize the sound with the video and you will be able to watch the movie without any problems.

Unlike other sound bars, the YSP 3050 will offer a very wide sound stage, so you can be sure that everyone will get to experience the surround sound feeling, no matter where they are seated. The My Surround mode is recommended for those who want to be sure that surround sound will be present in the entire room, but you can also try other modes such as 2- channel Stereo, 3 Beam, 3 Beam stereo, 5 beam or 5 channel stereo. The My beam mode is perfect for those who want to watch a movie or listen to music alone, because the sound will be focused on your exact position for maximum quality. If you have enough time, you can experiment with these options and see which one is the best for your room’s shape and size. If you are not a fan of adjusting the sound yourself, you can always use the IntelliBeam system calibration which will choose the perfect settings for you. You just have to connect the microphone which is included in the package and the system will start calibrating itself depending on the shape and size of your room.

This system can offer high quality sound and video because it supports various codecs such as Dolby Digital, Dolby Pro Logic II, DTS or DTS Neo:6. Besides this, the unit included the Cinema DSP technology which will dramatically improve the sound quality when watching movies.

The sound modes offered by the Yamaha YSP-3050 are great and they can enhance the listening experience in any situation. For example, if you want to watch a movie at night and you can’t make a lot of noise, you can use the Night Listening Enhancer mode. With this option, dramatic sounds like explosions and gunfire will be lowered, but the dialog will always be clear. The TV Equal Volume mode is also a great feature because it will make aggressive sounds dimmer. Another important feature which can be noticed is the SRS Trubass technology which will improve the sound quality offered by the woofers. However, if you really want deep bass levels, you should connect a subwoofer which you have to buy separately.

Pros and cons

The Yamaha YSP-3050 is a great sound bar when it comes to surround sound. The sound stage is wide compared to what you get from other units and the power is reasonable for the price you pay.

The system could include more HDMI inputs, but this is not a problem for everyone. Another disadvantage is the fact that the soundbar can’t upscale videos to 1080p, but you can at least watch 1080p movies if they are already in this format. The lack of decoding for Dolby TrueHD will lower the quality of Blu ray movies.

The Yamaha YSP-3050 is a great sound system for those who don’t want to connect many sources and are looking for surround sound. This system scores excellent when it comes to the wide sound stage and the only problem appears when trying to watch a Blu ray movie. If you don’t care much about the lack of Dolby TrueHD decoding, you won’t be disappointed by the YSP-3050. If you do, you might want to look for another sound bar.

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