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Yamaha Brings Active Soundbars To $299

9/06/2011 02:31:38 PM Eastern
 Buena Park, Calif. - Yamaha unveiled its lowest-priced active soundbar to date at a suggested $299.

YAS-101 Front Surround System features proprietary Air Surround Xtreme technology to deliver a virtual 7.1-channel soundfield from two 2.5-inch cone speakers, an integrated 60-watt subwoofer consisting two 3-inch drivers, and embedded Dolby Digital/DTS 5.1 and DTS ES 6.1 surround-sound decoders.

The company already offers a $599-suggested YHT-S400soundbar-based home-theater system, which uses the same virtual-surround technology but consists of a soundbar and an A/V-receiver. The A/V receiver incorporates a subwoofer built into its chassis.

Other active soundbars from the company start at $999 and, like the new YAS-101, are single-chassis models that don't require a packaged A/V receiver and incorporate all electronics and amplification in the soundbar itself. Unlike the YAS-101, however, these soundbars feature step-up Digital Sound Projector virtual-surround technology, which uses multiple tiny drivers to deliver focused "beams" of direct sound waves and wall-reflected sound waves to create multichannel surround sound.

Like other Yamaha active soundbars, the new piano-black model features UniVolume technology, which maintains consistent sound levels when connected video sources are switched, TV channels are changed, and commercials interrupt a TV program.

The new soundbar switches between audio sources connected via two optical digital inputs and one coaxial digital input. A subwoofer output is available to add on a subwoofer, but the internal subwoofer's bass-reflex design delivers bass down to 50Hz.

The bar is only 35 inches by 4.25 inches by 4.75 inches with stands or brackets. It can be placed on a credenza in front of a TV or mounted on a wall. Total output is 120 watts.

Because the soundbar features IR code learning, a TV or cable-box remote can be used to turn the soundbar on/off and adjust its volume. If the soundbar is placed in front of the TV's IR eye, the soundbar's rear-facing IR blaster will pass through the TV remote's codes to the TV.
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