Yamaha YHT-S400BL Home Theater System
When it comes to home theatre systems not everyone has either the cash or the space required for a full 5.1 or 7.1 surround system with its full compliment of speakers wiring and receiver so over the last several years the major manufacturers have started to wise up and try to supply decent products to this market sector. The Yamaha YHT-S400BL Home Theater System is one such offering that as it tuns out is actually a very solid choice for those strapped for cash and/or space.
The overall look of the unit is quite minimalist with the receiver being very simple and modern in general appearance with a pretty solid feel to its build quality one interesting feature of this system is the fact that the subwoofer is actually built directly into the receiver which while a little odd looking at first is in actuality quite effective and powerful, this is assuming however that you like your receiver front and centre in your room. If you tend to put your black boxes off to the side this may be an issue and you may find the Yamaha YHT-S400BL is not a great match for your needs. Anyway on from there the second item supplied in the box is the extremely compact and nicely designed sound bar this is a 3x50w affair which is actually very easy to configure and place, I pretty much had it directly on front of the Sony BRAVIA KDL46BX420 I was testing it with with no problems.
Connections wise the Yamaha YHT-S400BL has all the basic connectors you would expect. 3 HDMI inputs, 1 analog in and an option for iPod input via the Yamaha Universal Dock (YDS-11). Setup is extremely easy taking less than 10 minutes form start to finish the only issue being receiver placement and sound bar height adjustment dependant on where your TV has its IR port you may need to remove the legs of the soundbar to get it lower. The menuing and configuration is easy to use and well designed (not too much sub menu diving on this unit) and the remote allows easy function access to everything you’ll need to adjust on a day to day basis.
One thing I was ever so slightly worried about was how the YHT-S400BL would deal with loud sounds and rattling issues since the sub is built into the units reviver, I needn’t have worried though as this has obviously been dealt with well by the Yamaha engineers as even at high volumes I found no such issues. So overall how is the sound? Well for a full sound bar based system that’s list price is less than $600 and in actuality sells for far less I wasn’t expecting a massive sound stage or pin point accurate placement of sounds and effects but I was actually very pleasantly surprised. The Yamaha YHT-S400BL has a very refreshing and punchy if a little “upfront” sound. If you plan to use your system for a lot of quieter passages, things like watching acoustic or orchestral recordings then perhaps this system will be a bit too unsubtle for your ears. Its bass handling though is excellent and will fill up most small to medium sized rooms with aplomb, it handles pseudo surround well and gave a decent feel of immersion if perhaps not standing up to the feel of a well configured mid range 7.1 system. Overall I’d hartily recomend the Yamaha YHT-S400BL Home Theater System to anyone working with a smallish room who is planning on using the system for mostly TV and up tempo action and adventure type movies.
Output power: 250W total: 50w x 3, soundbar / 100W, subwoofer
Decoding processing: Dolby Digital / dts Digital Surround
Soundbar (NS-BR300): Three 1.5″ x 3.75″ cone drivers
Subwoofer (SR-300): 5.0″ woofer integrated into receiver unit / Bass-reflex
Best video connections: 3 HDMI inputs, 1 output
Digital audio connections: 1 optical input
Other connections: 1 analog audio input
Remote control: Included
UniVolume keeps volume during TV programs and commercials at the same level
Yamaha Air Surround Xtreme virtual surround sound
Yamaha 24kHz Head Related Transfer Function
Yamaha Extended Stereo
iPod compatible via optional Yamaha Universal Dock YSD-11
Bluetooth compatible via optional Yamaha Bluetooth Wireless Audio Receiver YBA-10
Compressed Music Enhancer
RRP: $599.95 (Check Amazon for Current Pricing)