The Yamaha YSP-4100 is one of those soundbars that have a little bit of everything: 40 beam drivers and two woofers that will offer powerful sound, 4 HDMI inputs which are perfect for watching 1080p movies and yAired, the perfect wireless feature for those who want to listen music from their iPod or iPhone. This unit doesn’t need a separate amplifier, so you just have to mount it under your LCD TV and plug it in.
This soundbar is quite thin: only 3 and a half inches deep. This means that it will fit perfectly under any LCD TV if you use a wall mount bracket. The black soundbar comes with a simple design; all of the drivers are scattered on the entire length of the unit and the two woofers are placed on each side. A simple grill covers these drivers. The bottom side is where you will see a small LED screen and a few buttons, but you will use the remote most of the time. Each one of the 40 drivers measures 40 mm and the woofers are 110mm in diameter.
Setting up the Yamaha YSP-4100
After you mount the unit on your wall and plug in the power cord, source cable and output, you will have to go through the sound calibration process. This only takes a couple of minutes and it will help the soundbar offer the best sound quality possible. There are 4 HDMI inputs and two component and digital inputs. Keep in mind that the YSP-4100 will bounce sounds off the walls, so it will perform best if you don’t have large objects obstructing the beams. Thi system is ideal for those who have rooms with 4 walls and without small pieces of furniture. If you have an open space instead of the back wall, you won’t receive the full experience. Those who have consumer electronics control TV’s will be able to use one remote to control both the soundbar and their LCD.
The soundbar is 1030mm in width and 210mm in height. This unit is meant to be placed under a 40 or 42 inch TV. Keep in mind that the wall mounting bracket will cost some extra money since it is not included in the package.
If you have a Blu-ray player, the YSP-4100 will provide great sound thanks to the HD audio decoding feature. There are various listening modes to choose from and if you play around with these settings for a bit you will eventually find the perfect mode. You can also switch between 3 movie modes, 3 music modes and 5 entertainment modes. No matter how large your room is, some of these modes will be able to fill it with powerful sound. UniVolume is the feature which will take care of the sound levels. Whenever you will change the channel or when a commercial pops up, the soundbar will maintain the sound properly leveled, so you don’t have to worry about keeping your hand on the volume button.
The YST-SW255 subwoofer can really improve the power of this system. An extra 120 watts of power will make a huge difference, but even without it, the soundbar performs way above other models that come at a similar price.
The unit will struggle to offer surround sound, but you won’t be able to notice it unless you figure out the perfect settings for your room. Even in the best case scenario, getting full surround sound is impossible. However, you will hear the beams coming from your sides and sometimes even from behind you. The YSP-4100 lacks in the surround sound department, but it makes up for it in sound clarity and power.
The yAired feature offers the possibility of connecting an iPod or iPhone through a simple wireless transmitter. This is perfect for listening music without the hassle of connecting wires or buying an iPod dock. The Compressed Music Enhancer will make your mp3 songs sound better than ever before.
The soundbar can upconvert analog signals to HDMI, but this it he only upscaling you will see. Video quality is not what the people from Yamaha were focusing on, so this system is most likely dedicated to those who are interested in getting high quality sound. If you have a full HD TV and the right source for playing movies, you should get this soundbar as a way to increase the movie viewing experience in the audio department.
Pros and Cons
The YSP-4100 is certainly dedicated to those who are looking for HD audio decoding. Listening to music is great on this system and those who are not searching for surround sound won’t have any complains. Even if you can use the seven-channel surround sound mode, the result won’t be impressive most of the time. Besides not offering surround sound, the unit is not that great when it comes to deep bass.
Some soundbars might offer a better package, especially the models which include a Blu-Ray player, but if you already own such a player and you are happy with the video quality offered by your TV, you can get the YSP-4100 and improve the audio quality of your movies and mp3s. This Yamaha soundbar will cost you around $1900, which is reasonable if you take a look at the overall sound quality and features.