Yamaha soundbar YAS-203 proves to be one of the top soundbars the company has produced. It combines great sound and build quality with an affordable price. Thanks to the integrated proprietary Air Surround Xtreme technology the Yamaha soundbar YAS-203 has become one of the most convincing soundbars for TV when producing surround sound effects.
It is packed with features and comes with a separate subwoofer that just adds to the already great sound quality. The Yamaha soundbar YAS-203 is a great choice for anyone looking to upgrade the audio from their TV and enjoy true surround sound effects from a well known brand soundbar with subwoofer, without breaking the bank.
Sound Bar Size: 35”
Output power: 200 W total power: 50 W x 2 (6 ohms, 1 kHz, 10 % THD) + 100 W subwoofer (5.5 ohms, 100Hz, 10 % THD)
Drivers: Front speaker system: 2-1/8” cone x 2, Subwoofers: 6-1/2” cone woofer
Audio Decoding Technology: Dolby Digital®, Dolby Pro Logic II, DTS
Sound Enhancement Technology: Air Surround Xtreme, UniVolume, Clear Voice
Total Power: 200 W
Installation: Tabletop and wall-mountable
The Yamaha soundbar YAS-203 looks different than the previous soundbar with subwoofer released by the company. It is made out of sturdy black glossy plastic and the cloth grill under which the speakers are housed, covers only the two sides of the front. In between the speakers area at the front of the soundbars for TV you will find a bunch of LED indicators for the different types of input and connection with the subwoofer. The Yamaha soundbar YAS-203 is also fitted with quick buttons for power, input and volume control, that do not come into use that much, as the remote control included is quite smart and provides you with more options to control remotely.
Of course, at the back of the soundbars for TV are located all the connection sockets like a digital optical input, a digital coaxial input and an analog RCA input. Again, you also have the Bluetooth connectivity option for direct streaming of audio. The Yamaha soundbar YAS-203 lacks an HDMI input that would have offered a better audio quality, but at least you are able to control the power and volume of your soundbar with subwoofer from your TV remote.
The Yamaha soundbar YAS-203 would easily fit any 40 inch or larger TV, but with it’s height, it will definitely block the signal from your TV remote. Yamaha has equipped the Yamaha soundbar YAS-203 with a smart solution to that issue - an IR signal repeater that is also found at the back of the soundbars for TV.
The wireless subwoofer that comes with the Yamaha soundbar YAS-203 has the usual cube shape with a cloth grille covering the front. The rest of the body is made of the same glossy plastic as the soundbars for TV. Under the housing, the subwoofer has 6 ½-inch driver and a 100 W of power ready to give you more than a decent bass.
The 6 ½-inch cone woofer housed in the subwoofer is paired with two 2 ⅛-inch drivers bringing the total power of the Yamaha soundbar to 200 watts. The sound quality doesn’t come only from the power and the speakers of course. Here in play comes the proprietary Air Surround Xtreme technology that claims creating a virtual 7.1 channel surround sound effect by getting the sound waves to bounce off the walls of your room.
The Yamaha soundbar YAS-203 features few more audio enhancing technologies like Clear Voice and UniVolume, as the first one makes the dialogues to pop up in a way and be clearer to listen to and the second one is aimed to maintain the volume level when switching through channels or programs and adds.
We have already mentioned the ability of the Yamaha soundbar YAS-203 to repeat the IR signal coming from your control in case it can’t directly reach your TV, but there is also another feature that turns to be very useful and that is the Learning function that allows you to use your remote to actually power on and off your Yamaha soundbar YAS-203 and also control the volume and even mute it.
Of course, let’s do not forget the option to use the Bluetooth to pair your Yamaha soundbar to any mobile device and stream audio directly from it. The aptX Bluetooth audio coding improves the audio quality even more than expected. An all this, of course backed up by the powerful subwoofer that also connects wirelessly and allows you to place it anywhere in your room.
As we always do, the first thing we have put to the test was the Air Surround Xtreme feature. It did work in a way, as it didn’t really create a full surround sound environment, but sound effects like revving engines, gunshots and so on were quite powerful and impacting. The Yamaha soundbar YAS-203 actually turned out to be a fantastic performer when watching movies and the Clear Voice feature came in very handy in a non action dialogues where we were really able to make the difference and hear them clearer and sharper.
When it comes to music, the performance was above average, but not what you will get from a full surround sound system. However, if you are not a hard core audiophile, you will actually enjoy the audio that the Yamaha soundbar YAS-203 is able to produce.
We were extremely happy when we tested the Yamaha soundbar while playing the favourite Battlefield: Bad Company II. The sound effects while in game were amazing and we really felt like being at a battlefield.
Overall, the Yamaha soundbar YAS-203 has all the right ingredients a top soundbars would need. The build quality is high, the performance it delivers is excellent and it has just the right features to fit different needs. The price tag is fair for what you get from one of the best known brands on the market and you will not feel like you have made a bad investment.