Review: Yamaha YAS-306

Rather complete

If you are looking for an affordable option with multi-room, and do not want an extra bass crate, then this one is good.

Karakter
Yamaha YAS-306
We think
A low price and good usability are a plus, and the soundbar provides a rich enough audio without a subwoofer.
Music in stereo lacks energy and life.
Specifications
  • HDMI: nei
  • Digital inn: Optisk, koaksial
  • Nettverk: Wi-Fi, ethernet
  • Trådløst: MusicCast, Bluetooth
  • Analog inn: RCA
  • Subwoofer: Nei (RCA ut)
  • B x H x D: 95 x 7,2 x 13,1 cm
  • Farge: Svart eller grå
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forfatter

This Yamaha soundbar has a built-in subwoofer and does not need an external subwoofer. It is very convenient for those who do not have enough space for one or if, for example, you live in a block and don’t want to bother the neighbours with too much deep bass. With such a solution, the manufacturer cannot make a soundbar that sounds weak, as there is no subwoofer next to it to save it. We therefore expect a solution that sounds balanced and rich enough on its own.
Yamaha has its own proprietary multi-room system called MusicCast, which allows you to connect many Yamaha products together through the home network, and manage them from your mobile phone with an app. The user interface is simple and straightforward and goes straight for Sonos’ throat, but has previously lacked support from Tidal and Deezer services. Now it is finally official that support for these will come, although the services were not available during the testing period. This time, therefore, we have assessed the music with Spotify Connect.

Just like the soundbars from Sonos and Bluesound, the YAS-306 has no HDMI inputs. Instead, it must be connected to the TV with an optical digital cable. Luckily, we had no problems with lips sync on this, unlike with some of the other soundbars.

Sound quality

Movies are rendered with clear dialogue. This is a huge boost from standard TV audio. You can hear every word from the loudmouth, anti-superhero Deadpool Outers from behind his mask. The surround feature allows the soundscape to grow beyond the physical dimensions of the soundbar. So when you are supposed to get the feeling that bullets are flying through the room, you get a certain sense of this, and the soundbar works perfectly well without the use of a separate subwoofer. You don’t actually get deep base, but the sound is rich enough. A little more punch and dynamism is desirable. This can be achieved by connecting an external subwoofer with a cable.
Music in stereo has rich enough bass rendition, but the upper bass area masks the crucial vocal range. The soundbar feels somewhat constricted and canned. Acoustic music does not work particularly well. Female vocals seem smothered and lack air. YAS-306 does not challenge the best here, including Sonos. It simply isn’t open and linear enough. Remember, by the way, to set it to Stereo and not Surround, as the latter adds a sound to the music that is quite unfortunate for the music.

Conclusion

With the YAS-306, Yamaha wants to provide better sound from the TV without the need for a separate subwoofer. It works in a multi-room setup together with other MusicCast products, and it’s very easy to use.
It works okay on movies with rich enough sound and clear dialogue. However, on music in stereo it is anaemic.

Also in this test

Yamaha YSP-2700

Hissing sound

The biggest problem with this soundbar is a huge hole in the soundscape.

Many speaker drivers and advanced DSP allow one to get virtually true surround sound.
There is a large hole in the sound between the subwoofer and the soundbar. The soundbar gives us the consonants from vocals, while the subwoofer provides the vowels.

Bluesound Pulse Soundbar

The most accomplished

Bluesound’s soundbar costs a bit more, but pays off in the form of a much better experiences on both film and music.

Very powerful sound, even without a subwoofer, timbre balance is great and user-friendliness very good.
There could also be even more air at the top.

Sonos PlayBase

The TV's resting pad

Sonos’ new sound base PlayBase acts as a base for the TV. But did it arrive too late?

The sound is balanced, and the room correction fixes problems. Increased chassis volume accommodates subwoofers.
It lacks HDMI inputs, and the sound is not as engaging as the best sound bases.

Sony HT-NT5

Good compromise

This is designed to lie flat and point towards the ceiling, but nevertheless sounds good facing forward. It works pretty good.

The most successful flat soundbar we have heard. Sounds both natural and open, and has good usability.
The focus of the soundscape is better from the soundbar that play directly forward.

Samsung HW-MS660

Impressive balance

Samsung’s soundbar sounds just as well on music as it does for movies.

The sound is very clear and clean, Samsung is in the forefront when it comes to natural sound.
The bass can once in a while almost be too rich.

Philips HTL5160

Clear speech

The Philips soundbar does its job, with crystal clear dialogue and a fairly balanced sound.

The balance in the sound is fine, and the soundbar simulates surround sound quite well. Google Cast provides great usability for streaming.
We want more overtones, and the stereo perspective on the music should be wider.

Bose SoundTouch 300

Not good enough

Bose has banked on user-friendliness, but has unfortunately forgotten about the sound quality.

In typical Bose style, the soundbar is very user-friendly, and room correction can help in difficult environments.
The sound is too bad, and it lacks support for multiple streaming services.

Klipsch RSB-14

A lot of sound pressure, little else

Klipsch has the highest sound pressure in the test. But the soundbar disappoints on sound quality.

When it comes to sound pressure, Klipsch is in a separate class. The user-friendliness of the Play-Fi multi-room is very good.
The sound quality does not measure up.

Heos HomeCinema

User-friendly and tough

Heos has endowed this with user-friendliness, and here one also gets tough, rich sound for one’s money.

The usability is top notch, many streaming services are supported, and with subwoofer included, the price is very favourable.
It lacks some nuances in the overtones, especially for music in stereo.

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