Sometimes, as much as we like to enjoy movies at home in the best possible conditions, the audio section represents a problem. The space that the speakers occupy in a 5.1 system , or simply the extra budget involved in buying a home-cinema of acceptable quality can slow down more than one fan. This is where the sound bars come into play and, logically, the protagonist of this in depth: the Yamaha YAS-101 .
The Yamaha YAS-101 is one of the most highly regarded home theater equipment on the market, and that is why it won the Tuexperto.com 2011 award for the best product in the home-cinema category . This is a very complete sound bar , which also integrates ingenious solutions such as the subwoofer built into the body of the equipment or the infrared emitter to transmit the signal from the TV remote control . And all this in exchange for a rather moderate financial outlay, since for the same cost as a simple or low-end receiver , we can obtain a complete system and in one single piece. By this we do not mean that theYAS-101 , and by extension, sound bars , can replace a home cinema equipment by components, but it can be a valid option as a more compact and economical system, and that will surely be more than enough for many users.
The Yamaha YAS-101 is a soundbar with a modern, minimalist design and, above all, very stylish. It is also very elegant, thanks to its glossy black front finish that will also match many of today's flat screen televisions. The two speakers at the ends and the small buttons on the bottom profile are the only protagonists on the front of the YAS-101 .
The subwoofer is located on one side of the lower part of the YAS-101 , while on the side we will find the air outlet of the bass reflex system . As for the back, this is responsible for housing the remote control signal transmission system, apart from the small connection panel.
Regarding its installation, two supports or feet in the lower part raise the bar a little, making it very easy to place it in front of the television and avoiding unwanted vibrations by not being completely in contact with the surface of the furniture. If we prefer, we can also screw the YAS-101 to the wall, removing the desktop supports. Finally, its dimensions, 890 millimeters wide (in inches, about 35) by 109 high and 121 deep , make it look good with any screen on the market.
As we have already said above, the YAS-101 cannot be compared or much less substitute for a home cinema with separate components, but the sound quality it offers is great coming from a single device and also as compact as this. To achieve this good performance, the Japanese company has resorted to Air Surround Extreme technology . This feature allows the Yamaha YAS-101 to simulate the effect of a 7.1 sound system using just its two built-in speakers and the subwoofer .
The two front speakers have a diameter of 6.5 centimeters , and are covered with a grid Saran Net that protect and transmit clear sound, crisp and pleasant. For the subwoofer, a double cone system is also used , although in this case 7.5 centimeters in diameter . Also, the bass reflex port on the side features a straight and deep design, which added to the larger size of the subwoofer compared to the front speakers helps the YAS-101 achieve a full and powerful bass response.
To effectively drive all the speakers, the Yamaha YAS-101 equips an amplifier capable of delivering a total power of 120 watts . This amplifier or power stage is of the digital type, smaller and lighter than conventional ones, so that it leaves a lot of free space inside the equipment for the speakers and the bass reflex system. As a complete home theater equipment, the YAS-101 also integrates an audio processor compatible with the most popular digital coding systems in the industry such as Dolby Digital, Dolby Pro Logic, Dolby Pro Logic II and DTS .
One of the problems common to many sound bars or projectors is the transmission of the remote control signal. By placing the equipment in front of the television, we can block the signal receiver of the same, with the consequent inconvenience that the remote control does not work. To fix this, the Yamaha YAS-101 incorporates an infrared receiver on its front, plus a receiver on the back. This system therefore takes care of transmitting or repeating the received signal, solving any television signal reception problem.
One of the highlights of the Yamaha YAS-101 is the Clear Voice function . This option solves a common problem in 2.1 systems, with which, depending on the movie, the dialogues are looser in volume with respect to the sound effects, causing us to have to use the remote control more times than necessary if the audio was well balanced. The Clear Voice corrects this defect, raising the level of the dialogues without affecting the quality or the performance of the equipment.
Another feature that the YAS-101 incorporates is Uni Volume . This option consists of a system that keeps the volume of the bar constant even if we change channels or announcements come, avoiding shocks due to sudden level changes. If we see that this function affects the dynamics of the sound in the movie we are watching, we can deactivate or activate Uni Volume whenever we want. We don't want to forget about another cool feature like Lip Sync , which synchronizes the sound with the movement of the lips in the image.
If the Yamaha YAS-101 fully complies in terms of sound and technology, in the connectivity section is where it stays a bit fair. And is that, if we take a look at the rear connection panel we will simply find three digital inputs , two with fiber optic connector and one for coaxial cable with RCA connection . This may be enough for many users, but some of us miss an HDMI port or an analog audio input, even if it was a minijack . As a result, to connect some equipment we will be forced to use some other player as a signal distributor, such as a high definition television.
For those who need more powerful bass, the YAS-101 incorporates an RCA line output to connect an external subwoofer. This breaks the all-in-one charm that Yamaha achieves with this model, but in any case, the possibility exists, for those who want to take advantage of it.
The Yamaha YAS-101 is a compact and elegant home cinema system with good performance and ingenious solutions, such as the infrared signal emitter / receiver, that help to solve small practical problems. Its good note in design and performance diminishes a bit due to its limited connectivity, where at least one analog auxiliary audio input would be missed. On the other hand, the included connections are more than enough for most applications, and only if we want to directly connect some unusual equipment in a home theater, such as an MP3 player or a CD player that does not have digital output.
Finally, the great advantage of our protagonist is its excellent quality / price ratio: the Yamaha YAS-101 has a recommended retail price of approximately 300 euros , which makes it a very interesting option for those looking for a home cinema that occupies little space and offering good sound .
|Output power||120 W total power: 30 W x 2 (6 ohms, 1 kHz, 10% THD) + 60 W from subwoofer (3 ohms, 100 Hz, 10% THD)|
|Speakers||2 x 6.5 cm cones, 2 x 7.5 cm cones (for built-in subwoofer)|
|Dimensions||890 x 107 x 121mm (with floor / wall brackets); 890 x 88 x 115mm (without floor / wall brackets)|
|Consumption||22W / 0.5W approx. in standby mode|
|Connections||2 optical digital inputs|
1 coaxial digital input
1 subwoofer output
|Benefits||Air Surround Extreme|
Audio Delay Control (Lip Sync)
|Supported formats||Dolby Digital|
Dolby Pro Logic
Dolby Pro Logic II
|Price||300 euros approx.|