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Yamaha Expands Active Soundbars

9/24/2013 08:00:00 PM Eastern

DENVER – Yamaha is expanding its active-soundbar lineup at the CEDIA Expo to 10 models with the launch of a pair of models with built-in subwoofers.

The two space-saving models join two current soundbars with built-in subwoofers and become the company’s first soundbars with Bluetooth. Both models stream AAC over Bluetooth.

Significantly, Yamaha is reducing the opening price point for a soundbar with Digital Sound Projector technology to a suggested $449 from $999 with the launch of the YSP-1400. The technology is promoted as delivering “real, not virtual” 5.1-channel surround sound by reflecting sound beams off the walls to deliver surround-channel information to listeners.

The YSP-1400 is also the first Digital Sound Projector soundbar with built-in rather than outboard subwoofer.

The other new soundbar, the $349 YAS-152, incorporates the company’s Air Surround Xtreme virtual- surround technology, dubbed “front surround” because it delivers “distinctly separate surround effects” without bouncing sounds off walls, the company’s website shows. The YAS-152 is intended for 55-inch and larger TVs.

Both new models ship in October.

With the addition of the YSP-1400 and YAS-152, Yamaha said it offers more active soundbar options based on size, price point and type than any other manufacturer. The types consist of one-piece models, models with wired outboard subwoofer, models with wireless subwoofer, and one model packaged with an A/V receiver (AVR) that incorporates a built-in subwoofer.

Both new models offer dual built-in subwoofers, remote repeater to pass through a TV remote’s IR signal if the soundbar blocks the TV’s IR eye, and a learning feature, which lets a TV’s remote turn the soundbar on and off and control soundbar volume. Both models can also be controlled from a control app available for Apple iOS and Android devices.

Both soundbars also feature Clear Voice technology, which makes make dialog easier to hear, and UniVolume, which maintains a consistent volume level when changing TV channels or video sources or when a TV program transitions to a commercial.

Yamaha’s current five soundbars with Digital Sound Projector technology are priced from $999 to $2,199. The company’s current four soundbars with Air Surround Xtreme are priced at $299 to $449, excluding a $699 system that packages a soundbar with an AVR that itself incorporates a built-in subwoofer.

Yamaha is also showcasing its two highest priced two-channel components, the recently announced A-S3000 integrated amp and CD-S3000 CD/ SACD player at suggested retails of $7,999 and $6,999, respectively.