Yamaha is the mother of all soundbars, and was first out with soundbars where a whole bunch of speaker drivers used the ceilings and walls to reflect the sound from behind the back channels, so the sound actually hit the listener from behind. The surround sound is thereby not virtual, but genuine.
The YSP-2700 utilises 16 speaker drivers that work together to create true 7.1 channel surround sound. A measurement microphone is included to make the configuration automatic, which would otherwise be very cumbersome and time-consuming (and probably impossible) to do manually.
Three HDMI inputs support all latest HDCP 2.2 copy protection, essential for rendering Ultra HD video. On the music side, Yamaha’s multi-room audio system MusicCast is used, so that the soundbar can be grouped with other products on the same home network. It is finally official that the soundbar has an built-in support for Tidal and Deezer, in addition to Spotify which it already had. However, this was not available during the testing period.
The user-friendliness is very good. Automatic setup with a measurement microphone is a breeze, and connecting to a network is easy with the MusicCast app. MusicCast is also very easy to use, a system we like very much.
So far so good. Unfortunately, it’s not as good when the movie is inserted in the Blu-ray player. It becomes immediately clear that the soundbar itself does not play low enough to work well with the accompanying subwoofer. There is almost only treble sound coming from the soundbar, while the subwoofer plays too far into the midrange. Not far enough, because there is a hole in the frequency range between the sub and soundbar. But still far too high for it to be good for anything at all. Take dialogue, for instance. The consonants from the actors are emitted through the soundbar. But the chest voice – the vowels – come from the subwoofer. With the surround sound feature enabled, some of this is fixed since it takes some of the focus away from this phenomenon, and one can sit and enjoy surround sound to some extent . But it is there all the time. The further away the subwoofer is placed from the TV, the worse it gets, so be sure to keep it as close as possible.
Music in stereo becomes a crisis. The lower frequency range from all instruments comes from the subwoofer, while the soundbar renders the hissing sound from the upper midrange and upwards. The whole soundscape is crooked and it engages poorly.
Yamaha YSP-2700 uses advanced digital processing and many speaker drivers to reproduce true surround sound, using the room’s walls, ceilings and floors. It also has the multi-room feature, MusicCast, which allows it to be able to integrate with an already existing multi-room setup from Yamaha. Smart.
What is not so smart is that it stumbles in the area of sound quality. The soundbar doesn’t go far enough in frequency, so the subwoofer has to play midrange. Vowels in vocals and dialogue come from the subwoofer, while consonants come from the soundbar. It works poorly.