Deciding which sound bar to get is no easy task because often times, standard speaker systems are cheaper but outperform sound bars in audio quality. If you want to get a sound bar in the first place, you must know that you are paying for the ease in setting the system up. These sound bars also take up very little space. Still, even if you are set in pairing your TV with a sound bar, you still have to consider the various price points where some sound bars focus on audio performance while others try to attract with a bigger feature set. With all this in mind, you can come up with the conclusion that the safest purchases are the ones that try to balance everything out. The Yamaha YAS-152 is one of the sound bars that strive this kind of balance.
Yamaha might not be a first choice for home theater enthusiasts that want to stick to a single brand. A home theater system that consists of components all from the same maker does have some advantages in a design standpoint and you often get exclusive features too. But the YAS-152 has a design that is interesting enough to complement all sorts of home theater components that also care about good design. The smooth piano-black finish looks great and should blend in well with other glossy home theater equipment. Plus, there is a white variation too in case you want the speaker to match other white components. On top of that, the sound bar has a nice curvy form. It is pretty amazing to see how a very long sound bar intended for 55-inch TVs looks interesting. If your TV is already mounted, you can use the included mounting template to mount this sound bar to the wall too and it highlights the curved design even more.
The front of the Yamaha YAS-152 is pretty minimal as well with no kind of LED display. Instead, you get a set of lights pointing to different statuses making the YAS-152 pretty easy to understand once you get used to it. As far as controls go, there are just 4 buttons consisting of volume buttons, the power button and input button.
The rear side of this sound bar highlights even more how simple the Yamaha YAS-152 really is. The main input lies on the TV input which accepts an optical cable. There are also digital coaxial and analog audio ports so older components can connect to the YAS-152. There is even a subwoofer output if you feel the need to upgrade the sound bar’s already impressive bass.
The Yamaha YAS-152 is one of the widest sound bars with built-in Bluetooth making this sound bar model quite interesting for smartphone and tablet users. Because Bluetooth is a very common feature amongst gadgets old and new, wireless music streaming to the YAS-152 ends up being very interesting. Once you paired the mobile device with the sound bar, you can stream whatever music content you please. You just need to make sure that the device is in range. Once you get hooked to the feature, you can also explore the other features that rely on Bluetooth. This includes the remote capabilities which are exclusive to smartphones running Android and iOS.
Once you have downloaded the free Home Theater Control App for your corresponding device, you can use it as a touchscreen remote where you can send simple commands like setting adjustments and mode switches via Bluetooth. The distance might be limiting depending on your device but Bluetooth is more versatile. The standard remote remains available although the small design isn’t for everyone. Your TV remote can be used to operate the Yamaha YAS-152 too after you went through the programming steps. No matter which remote control you use shouldn’t have to worry about changing the channel because the back of the YAS-152 also has a repeater. This means that you can block the TV’s sensor with the sound bar because there is another sensor on the front that accepts TV remote signals and forwards them to the TV.
A speaker with a single subwoofer is pretty impressive but the Yamaha YAS-152 brings up the value by featuring 2 built-in subwoofers. Not only are these full-range cone woofers loud they measure 2 and a half inches but they are nicely positioned within the speaker to produce some awesome sound.
The YAS-152 also features a sound enhancing technology called Air Surround Xtreme. It falls under the category of virtual surround sound fields but the execution here is pretty spot on. The results are quite accurate with good imaging and pretty rich presence although you will really appreciate the benefit of this effect if you will watch a lot of high-definition movies and shows. As for other content, you shouldn’t have any trouble with the surround sound formats as both DTS Digital Surround and Dolby Digital are compatible with the Yamaha YAS-152.
There are a couple of other features that can boost the audio performance even more if you know what you are doing. The UniVolume feature, for instance, maintains a very consistent and comfortable volume level across all different sources and channels while the Clear Voice enhancer brings up the clarity of voices only so you can better comprehend news agencies and many big movies that have a lot of dialogue.
At $350, the YAS-152 is a bit expensive compared to those attractive sound bars normally priced at $50 less. But there are a couple things that you have to remember about this fine product. First, the Yamaha YAS-152 is best suited for owners of really huge TVs. Second, it is right up there with the competition in an age where practically every new sound bar has Bluetooth. Therefore, the YAS-152 can still be considered as a decent balanced speaker.
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