December 22, 2010
| by Rachel Cericola
Last week, we were talking about the benefits of using a soundbar for your audio setup. Yes, they do save on space. However, there can be certain tradeoffs in the sound department. Face it, a small soundbar just can’t match a system with multiple components, can it?
Yamaha makes a slightly larger push, with the YSP-5100. Instead of lumping this unit into the soundbar category, the company makes it sound more sophisticated by using the “sound projector” moniker. However, it doesn’t just stand above in name, but also features. This system packs in HD audio decoding, 1080p-compatible HDMI, and 3D support into a smaller package than your typical 7.1 surround setup. Yes, did we mention that the YSP-5100 promises to recreate 7.1 sound?
Another difference between the YSP-5100 and your average compact soundbar is that this big boy likes to stretch out. Think lawn-chair-meets-La-Z-Boy stretch. The YSP-5100 measures whopping four feet wide, making it a better companion for bigger HDTVs that need a little extra oomph. Aside from using 42 (!) speakers to rock out 120 watts of sound, the YSP-5100 also features four HDMI inputs (and one output), 11 CINEMA DSP program settings, and wireless options for an add-on subwoofer or iPod/iPhone.
What the Manufacturer Says
When it comes to innovation, sometimes less is more: the YSP-5100, for example. It’s much thinner than previous YSP models for a slimmer, more elegant appearance appropriate for your HDTV or OLED TV. Yet its room-filling surround sound is spectacular. Slightly wider than its smaller cousin, the YSP-410*0 DSP, the YSP-5100 has two extra 1-inch balanced-dome tweeters to accommodate larger-size HDTVs.
The YSP-5100 Digital Sound Projector offers great new features like HD Audio decoding, 1080p-compatible HDMI (4 in and 1 out), IntelliBeam calibration, UniVolume, and numerous listening modes. Also included are two yAired wireless accessories for connecting to your iPod/iPhone and wireless subwoofer.
Visit the Yamaha Website to Learn More About the Yamaha YSP-5100 Sound Projector
Reviews and Ratings from Around the Web
High-end speaker boasts 7.1 surround sound.
Wireless options for iPod/iPhone, subwoofer
42 speakers create 7.1 surround sound
High price tag
Deserves a dedicated subwoofer
“In few words, Yamaha is providing here an all-in-one solution capable of providing nice 7.1 surround quality, without occupying too much space in your room.”
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4 out of 5 stars
“It’s one of the few sound bars that actually does a credible job of creating virtual surround-sound effects, and it’s packed with almost as many features (four HDMI inputs, analog video upconversion, automatic speaker calibration) as a standard AV receiver. It’s also a powered unit, so it may be bulky, but it’s a more simplified approach than unpowered sound bars that require a separate AV receiver.”
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“Except for the cost, YSP-5100 is a credible sound system but there are 5.1 home theatre systems offering even better sound experience. If you are an audiophile, we suggest you check out such home theatre systems priced in the same range despite including a subwoofer system. Wireless iPod dock, numerous connection options, unlimited sound format support all in one sound bar home theatre system.”
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What Electronic House Says
The YSP-5100 is a big step up from the average soundbar, in price and quality. Yamaha seems to have designed the YSP-5100 for the average user, but not the average user’s budget. We found this unit for under $2,000 on Amazon. However, it’s still a bit on the expensive side. For that kind of money, you could get a full audio setup. Maybe if Yamaha threw in a subwoofer, this would seem like a more complete system for the cost. That said, this compact option does deliver a lot of bells and whistles. If you’re short on space but want a punch similar to that from a 7.1 surround system, it’s hard to beat the features and sound quality of the YSP-5100.
What is Electronic House Buyers Scorecard?Rather than bring our users a single opinion on a product or service, our EH Buyers Scorecard combines what the manufacturer has to say about their product with real ratings and reviews from other websites, along with our own opinions and knowledge of the product to derive a wider lens recommendation that can help you in making a purchase decision.
Over the past 15 years, Rachel Cericola has covered entertainment, web and technology trends. Check her out at www.rachelcericola.com.