The Yamaha YSP-5100 Soundbar is one of the newer Digital Sound Projectors offered by Yamaha. This soundbar is available at around $2,200, but you can find it cheaper or more expensive depending where you buy it from. This unit is perfect for those who want to save some space: you just have to mount it on your wall, underneath your LCD TV and you will be good to go. The system contains many drivers which have enough power to fill a medium or even large room and best of all, the sound is exceptionally clear.
This model is similar in design with the YSP-4100. The middle portion of the unit contains 40 drivers, each side contains one woofer and the soundbar also comes with two tweeters which are placed on its edge. A very simple black grille covers all of these drivers and they have a power output of 120W. Just below the grille, you will notice a small glossy portion which bears the Yamaha name, an LCD display screen and some buttons for basic commands. The remote control is gray and it has an easy-to-pick-up design. The button layout is simple and pretty intuitive. You can also use it for controlling TVs that are CEC compatible, even if the soundbar isn’t turned on.
Setting up the Yamaha YSP-5100
The best part about the Yamaha YSP-5100 is that you won’t need to connect it to an amplifier. If you want to get sounds that are more powerful from your TV, you simply have to plug in your soundbar, connect it to your TV and enjoy the result. Those who have a Blu-Ray or DVD player will have to connect that device too, so you will have to deal with 3 cables at most. If you feel you need more power from this soundbar, you can get an extra subwoofer that will connect through a wireless transmitter, so no extra cables there. There are 4 HDMI inputs and one output, which is perfect for connecting multiple sources at once. You will also notice 1 component and 2 composite inputs and one composite output. The system comes with 2 analog, 2 optical digital and 1 coaxial digital audio outputs and one minijack on the front-panel, which pretty much covers the needs of the average user.
This soundbar should be mounted on the wall and it will fit great under LCD TVs of up to 50 inches in length. Those who don’t want to get the optional wall mounting bracket will have to place this unit on a shelf, which might affect the overall look of the system, but it won’t affect its functionality. You will need to take a look at some optional tabletop pedestals and floor stands, which come at around $400 or $500. If your shelf can hold 24.3 pounds, it will support this system. The YSP-5100 is only 3 inch deep, 47 inches wide and almost 9 inches tall, so it will fit just about anywhere.
The yAired technology allows users to connect their iPhones and iPods to the system wirelessly. This, along with the integrated FM tuner for Sirius Satellite Radio, makes this soundbar the right choice for those who want to listen to music without too much hassle.
After you finish setting up the system, you just have to start the calibration process. Just place the microphone which is included in the package in your listening area and the system will make the necessary adjustments in around 3 minutes. After that, you’ll be good to go.
The strong point of this Digital Sound Projector is its ability to decode HD audio. You will receive support for Dolby Digital, Dolby Pro Logic IIx, Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD Master Audio, DTS HD and DTS Neo:6. This means that your Blu-ray disc player will finally live up to its potential. Because each person has different needs when it comes to sound quality, you can further enhance the performance of this system by choosing between 5 listening modes and 11 cinema modes. You will eventually figure out which setting is best for the type of program you are about to watch. The 5 beam plus 2 and the 5 beam mode are the ones which might offer you a glimpse of surround sound. You shouldn’t expect a full 7.1 or 5.1 channel system experience, but this soundbar will certainly get close to that type of sensation.
Another common problem that is addressed by the YSP-5100 is high volume spikes during commercials or even during a movie. The UniVolume feature will keep these spikes in check, so you won’t have to worry about explosions making too much noise if you don’t want to.
The system uses a technology that will make all of your mp3 files sound better. The Compressed Music Enhancer feature will certainly be noticed.
Those who have LCD screens are probably not happy with the quality offered by their TVs when watching movies from analog sources. The Yamaha YSP-5100 will help you get rid of this problem by upcoverting these movies to high definition quality. The result is more than satisfactory and anyone can see the difference.
Pros and cons
The Yamaha YSP-5100 is a great system for some of the things it does: it eliminates the need of cables, it occupies very little space and it offers incredible sound. The surround sound capabilities of this system are acceptable, but they can’t be compared with those of a real 5.1 channel system. After you play around with the audio settings for a bit, you will certainly be happy with the result.
The downside is that you will have to buy the wall mounting bracket separately. It would have been nice to see it in the package.
The Yamaha YSP-5100 costs $2,200 and this price tag will satisfy most of your listening needs. Your music files will sound better than ever before and so will your movies. You will even notice some improvements when watching clips from analog sources, you will save a lot of space and the system will look great under your TV. All in all, you should consider buying this unit if you are looking for a soundbar.