Yamaha’s second-generation single-speaker YSP-800 Digital Sound Projector is a thoughtful innovation based on the blueprint of award-winner YSP-1, and a smaller and more affordable version of YSP-1000. Some may refer to it as a home theatre in a box – minus the box! And this thoughtful innovation is set and ready to go with just a tv and a DVD player.
Design YSP-800 weighs as little as 20lbs, but incorporates an entire surround sound speaker system with 21 tweeters and a pair of small woofers with their own amplifier channels. It has its own built-in power amps and 5.1 channel surround processor that allows comfortable playback with a TV, DVD player and an additional subwoofer. This stylish and compact design is especially suited for screen sizes of 42 inches or less, and is an improvised and improved design from its predecessor, YSP-1000. The slim, contemporary design complements most video display units with a selection of either black or silver finish. While it may be small, users may still have the illusion of space through the 3 cinema DSP modes of Music, Movie and Sports.
A small LED display, volume control and an input selector can be found at the lower-front panel, however, these can be easily handled by the remote control, including for the purpose of executing setup routines.
Setting up the YSP-800
As a light-weight system with a smaller chassis compared to the “elder brother” YSP-1000, the first advantage of YSP-800 is placement. Setup and installation of this versatile system is easy as it can be fitted next to, beneath or above the tv where the center speaker of a conventional home theater system sits. Alternatively, users may mount it on the wall with a bracket. There is also no complicated wiring, and optimizing it was easy with the included microphone that goes well with simple set-up procedures delivered on screen with an easy setup menu. An A/V receiver is also not required unless the user prefers to have one.
Operating this system is easy too, as users may easily optimize sounds based on condition of the room, including how curtains might possibly affect the bounce of the sounds. It utilizes an auto-setup program, similar to what users may find in auto-setup equipped A/V receivers. Users only need to plug in the included optimizer microphone and follow on-screen instructions. It takes only several minutes to complete the set-up and this default configuration already delivers higher than average satisfaction. More experienced users may opt for manual setup, however, this process may be too complex and tedious for those who are not technically knowledgeable.
Sound quality It has five sound-field modes, ranging from simple mono to various levels of surround sound. Surround processing modes include the standard Dolby Digital and DTS decoding, as well as Dolby Pro Logic II, DTS Neo:6 and Yamaha’s proprietary Cinema DSP technology. Its digital signal processing creates the effects by either directing sounds directly to the listener, or bouncing off the walls. Although users may not expect too much from this small system, the average user may still enjoy much of the benefits of a surround sound experience. It may not give an operatic performance for musical pieces unless with an additional powered subwoofer, however, users will give a thumbs-up when it comes to DVD playback due to its 5-Beam surround mode. While it can be used on its own, YSP-800 does not deliver well for bass tones, hence the need for an additional good subwoofer to supply the missing bass for more oomph performance. Some users find more satisfaction with this system compared to the YSP-1 which was the reference model for the YSP-800.
There may be a little hissing sound if users listen very carefully on a quiet night when the system is not in use, otherwise it is not noticeable and does not affect performance in anyway. The hissing sound is not there when it is being used.
Pros and Cons The system is compact, and suitable for smaller rooms. Setting up is easy with the autosetup capability. There are 2 4-inch woofers paired with 21 1.5-inch microdrivers, and built-in Dolby and DTS surround processing. Also included are Dolby Pro Logic II, DTS Neo:6 and Yamaha’s proprietary Cinema DSP technology surround processing modes. As the amplifiers run on digital power, it eliminates the need for an A/V receiver. It is ideal for minimalists and for those with very “bright” acoustics.
However, users need an additional subwoofer for optimal sound quality, especially for music playback. Also, setup is best in a room that is barely furnished or symmetrically arranged. An additional subwoofer will be required to deliver a satisfying bass tone.
Conclusion YSP-800 is in par with the award-winning YSP-1 and some users may find it better than YSP-1000. It is also more affordable and easier to setup compared to the YSP-1000. While YSP-800 may not be a complete home theatre system, the surround effects can be fairly convincing for an average user.
Note: As of autumn 2007, this product has been replaced by the YSP-900.