Yamaha YAS-207 Soundbar Review
THE VERDICT
DTS Virtual:X is the attention getter on the Yamaha YAS-207. When enagaged, Virtual:X creates a tall and wide soundstage. However, if you look past this, you’ll see that the 207 isn’t as feature rich as some of its competitors.

Design 8
Features7.5
Value7.5
Ease of Use9
Sound Quality7
The Good
  • DTS Virtual:X creates an expansive sound field. The limited amount of inputs on the Yamaha YAS-207 make it easy to set up.
The Bad
  • Sloppy bass can sometimes overwhelm mid-range. Not as feature rich as some competitors on the market.
7.5Overall Score

On the surface, the Yamaha YAS-207 appears to be an incremental upgrade over Yamaha’s previous units. However, Dolby Atmos and DTS:X have been wowing home theater owners with their 3D-like audio quality. Typical DTS:X and Atmos setups reply upon an array of overhead speakers or specially designed speaker modules to provide overhead excitement. With soundbars, you don’t have the luxury of setting up this type of arrangement. In order to achieve a similar effect, the 207 includes DTS Virtual:X. This new format is designed to create 3D surround sound à la  Dolby Atmos and DTS:X without the need for additional speakers. The YAS-207 is one of the first soundbars to hit the market that includes Virtual:X.

 

Yamaha YAS-207 Soundbar Review

Yamaha YAS-207 Design

The Yamaha YAS-207 looks like most soundbars on the market. It’s a squat, long, slim black bar. Does it redefine what a soundbar should look like? No, but that’s OK. Its unassuming appearance means it should blend in well with most decor. The 207’s low profile allows it set in front of most TVs without obstructing the screen. Alternatively, you can also attach the bar on the wall courtesy of the hanging brackets located on the back.

 

The front of the bar uses LED lights to indicate various stats such as volume level and the currently selected input. Also on the front are a series of touch-sensitive buttons which control volume, input switching, and power.

Yamaha YAS-207 Soundbar Review

The Yamaha YAS-207 is accompanied by a slim subwoofer. To some, the subwoofer may look a little generic, but heck, most subwoofers are. The nice thing about the 207’s sub is that it’s not your typical cube. Instead, it’s tall and lean which makes squeezing it into tight spots a little bit easier.

 

Yamaha partners the YAS-207 with a small and thin remote that easily lets you switch inputs, turn the unit on/off, and select surround modes. The rubberized buttons are spaced out well on the remote and easy to press.

Yamaha YAS-207 Connections

When it comes to inputs, the Yamaha YAS 207 doesn’t give you a generous supply of connection options. With the 207 you get 1 HDMI (ARC) output, 1 HDMI input, 1 optical, 1 – 3.5 mm AUX, and 1 USB input (for firmware updates). With its limited amount of inputs it’s not the most flexible soundbar we’ve come across, however, this shortcoming does make the bar easy to set up. The HDMIs support HDCP 2.2 and allow 4K video pass through with HDR. If you prefer a wireless connection, the 207 also includes built-in Bluetooth so that you can send music to the bar from a smartphone, tablet, or iPod. Unlike some soundbars on the market, the 207 doesn’t support Apple AirPlay, MusicCast, or Chromecast Built-in.

 

Audio Formats

The 207 can handle both Dolby and DTS soundtracks. In addition, the YAS-207 is one of the first soundbars to include DTS Virtual:X. This new format is designed to create 3D surround sound à la  Dolby Atmos and DTS:X without the need for additional speakers. One thing of note, if you decide to purchase the 207 you’ll need to download and install a firmware update in order to unlock Virtual:X on the bar.

 

Sound Quality

The Yamaha YAS-207 has solid highs and solid lows. After we got the bar hooked-up, the slim subwoofer immediately rumbled to life making its presence known. Dialogue was also clear and crisp. For more dialogue boost, the Clear Voice feature on the bar made vocals clearer and more focused.

 

The soundbar supports both DTS Virtual Surround and DTS Virtual:X. Between the two, your best bet is Virtual:X. With Virtual Surround engaged, the bar sounded recessed and lacked punch. When we plopped in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Virtual:X instantly cast a wide and tall soundstage.  It didn’t match the immersion of a full Dolby Atmos or DTS:X setup, but it definitely made the movie’s soundtrack more engaging. With Virtual:X  activated, the YAS-207 displayed impressive surround sound capabilities with X-wing fighters zipping around our home theater space.

 

We did feel that the bar came up a little short in the mid-range department. At times the audio sounded a little flat and the subwoofer, while solid, sometimes overwhelmed mid-range frequencies.

 

Overall, the 207 does pretty good with music. The soundbar displayed copious amounts of detail with upper frequencies. However, as mentioned above, mid-range and low frequencies lacked definition.

 

The Verdict

The Yamaha YAS-207 soundbar isn’t perfect, but it’s still light years beyond your standard TV speakers. DTS Virtual:X does a good job tricking your ears into believing surround speakers are present while also creating an expansive soundstage. We only wish the soundbar had more mid-range and low-frequency definition.

 


Where to Buy:

See Price on Amazon



Please like & share:

Enjoy this blog? Please spread the word :)