Some people just want a decent sound when watching TV and movies without having to spend a lot of money. Fortunately, Yamaha offers exactly this with their new and reasonably priced YAS-105 soundbar with built-in subwoofers.
It's understandable that not everyone is interested in spending hundreds or even thousands of dollars on a soundbar and subwoofer combination, but if you're looking for an upgrade that is not only modestly priced but also offers a decent performance and a contemporary design, you should take a closer look at the Yamaha YAS-105.
Being compact and having a relatively low profile (35” x 2-1/8” x 5-1/8”) makes the YAS-105 fit very well with 40" TVs or larger. It will however start to look a bit on the small side if you pair it with TVs larger than 55 inches, but the relatively small size also makes it easy to place it in front of a TV without it blocking the IR receiver of the TV.
Speaking of placing, this can be done by either putting it on a bench/table or by hanging it on the wall. On the back you'll find a position selector switch for setting up the soundbar depending on the installation location - T for Tabletop or W for Wall mount.
The YAS-105 has a plain and discreet look, and although it has rounded edges, it's far from being any designer's wet dream. We've seen both prettier and uglier soundbars, and the build quality is just above average in this price class.
Connectivity and Home Theater Controller App
The first thing we notice when looking at the back of the soundbar is that it is missing HDMI inputs. This may be a deal-breaker to some, but since the soundbar isn't a real 5.1 system and don't do HD sound a HDMI interface isn't really necessary anyway. For those who don't mind the lack of HDMI, we can inform you that it is very quick and easy to connect the YAS-105 to your TV using the included digital optical cable.
Apart from the optical digital input you'll also find a coaxial digital input, a 3.5 mm stereo mini jack and a subwoofer output. It also has Bluetooth if you're more into wireless music streaming.
The YAS-105 comes with a simple remote control of the credit card type, but also has control buttons for the most basic commands on the soundbar itself. These buttons are placed at the back and the markings at the top, which makes sense if you wall mount it but may be a bit awkward if you use it in a tabletop position as it’s harder to see the indicator lights when sitting down in the couch.
If you own a mobile device you can download Yamaha's Home Theater Controller app. This gives you some basic function control, such as volume up/down, input selection and setting mode selection via Bluetooth.
Powerful, Detailed and Dynamic
The YAS-105 doesn't include a separate subwoofer, but gives you the option to add one thanks to the subwoofer output in the back. It did however quickly become apparent that a subwoofer wasn't necessarily needed as the Yamaha provide more (and deeper) bass than you'd expect from such a compact soundbar. Compared to the sound of most average TVs you will notice a significant improvement in terms of power, details and dynamics.
To really put the YAS-105 to the test, we popped our latest favorite, ‘Mad Max: Fury Road‘, into the Blu-ray player. This movie won six Oscars (2016, including Best Achievement in Sound Mixing and Sound Editing), and should offer quite a thrilling experience on any decent audio equipment.
The things that impressed us the most was, as mentioned, the details and dynamics combined with a surprising amount of power - even without an added subwoofer. Adding a subwoofer will give you some extra depth in the bass and add to the overall size of the sound image, but the soundbar by itself still has a lot of impact and clout, and the energy and suspense of the action scenes translated very well on the YAS-105, especially in the desert chase scene. It played loud enough without any noticeable distortion in our medium sized room.
Compared to the ‘Stereo’ mode, the ‘Surround’ mode does sound a bit more spacious, but there is obvious limitation to what a two-channel soundbar can do. If you want to improve the surround sound performance we suggest you have a look at Yamaha’s YSP series (1600, 2500, 5600), but they will cost you a bit more money.
Despite the low price and absence of the latest technology and features, the Yamaha YAS-105 is still a very interesting option for those who want a simple but potent improvement to the sound of their TV - with the added bonus of Bluetooth functionality. It provides a full-bodied sound with enough power and details to make most movie night enjoyable.
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- IN ThE bOX
- Ultra-slim design perfectly complements the look of your TV
- Deep, rich bass from dual built-in subwoofers
- Simple setup with a single-cable connection
- Wall-mountable with flexible orientation
- Bluetooth® wireless music streaming
- Home Theater Controller app
|General||Output Power||(Front L / R) 30 W + 30 W (6 ohms, 1 kHz, 10 % THD) (Subwoofer) 60 W (3 ohms, 100 Hz, 10 % THD)|
|Drivers||Subwoofers (Dual 3” cones) Front L / R (Dual 2-1/8" cones) Tweeters (Dual 3/4" balanced dome)|
|Power Consumption||22 W|
|Standby Power Consumption||0.4 W|
|Dimensions (W x H x D)||Tabletop (35” x 2-1/8” x 5-1/8”) Wall mount (35” x 5-1/8” x 2-3/8” (with spacer)|
|Input / Output||Digital Optical||1 in|
|Digital Coaxial||1 in|
|Analog Audio||1 in (Stereo mini)|
|Subwoofer Output||1 out|
|Sound Technology||Surround Technology||AIR SURROUND XTREME|
|Audio Formats||Dolby Digital||Yes|
|Dolby Pro Logic II||Yes|
|Connectivity||Wireless Music Streaming||Yes (with Bluetooth®)|
|Bluetooth Version/Profile||Ver. 2.1 + EDR (A2DP, SPP) / SBC, MPEG4 AAC|
|Other Features||App Control||Yes|