By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Buena Park, Calif. – Yamaha upgraded its opening-price active soundbar by adding Bluetooth to play back music streamed from mobile devices and enable a free app to control the system.
The YAS-103 will retail for a suggested $299 like its predecessor, the YAS-101, when it becomes available later this month.
Like its predecessor, the YAS-103 features dual built-in down-firing subwoofers, proprietary Air Surround Xtreme to deliver virtual 7.1-channel surround sound, Dolby Digital and DTS decoding, two full-range drivers, two down-firing subwoofers, a bass reflex port and Advanced Bass Extension Processing for surround sound.
Also like its predecessor, the wall-mountable bar features two optical inputs, one coaxial input, one analog input and a learning feature that enables a user’s TV remote to control select soundbar functions. If the soundbar blocks a TV’s remote sensor, the bar’s built-in IR repeater passes through the TV remote-control signals.
The new bar and its predecessor also feature Yamaha’s UniVolume technology to eliminate volume spikes when a TV commercial comes on, channels are changed, or sources are switched.
In the new bar, Yamaha’s Bluetooth-enabled Home Theater Controller app enables iOS and Android devices to adjust input selection, surround modes and other settings.
The slim bar lacks a separate outboard subwoofer, said A/V products general manager Bob Goedken, because “many soundbar shoppers want deep, rich bass to add impact to TV and movie viewing, but they just don’t want the clutter of a separate subwoofer in the room.”
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