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Yamaha Brings Active Soundbars To $299

 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


soundbar-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.