Dolby Atmos and DTS:X are the hottest sound formats for use in the home, promising more enveloping sounds than ever before because of ceiling-mounted speakers. Movies that support these formats remain rare but those we have heard can improve audibly when paired with the right hardware.
The following are some speakers
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Atmos and DTS:X firsts come in a sound-bar design with the new Yamaha YSP-5600.
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Yamaha has generally been successful in releasing a good sound bar. The speaker offers a large, wide sound field that allows for both music and movies to be enjoyed. Moreover, the 3D bubble of sound that it creates can be more immersive than when using just an average speaker. Certainly not as immersive as a multi-speaker surround system, this sound bar still sounds great.
The Yamaha YSP-5600 retails at a price of $1,699.99 US but that is without the addition of a subwoofer. The yamaha YSP-5600 might not be sonically as good a deal as an ELAC Debut 5.2.1 surround speaker kit combined with an Onkyo TX-NR646, but it takes up much less space for the tradeoff of sonic quality.
*The Yamaha YSP5600 is the first Atmos sound bar, and can be an intriguing option if you want its combo of single-speaker style and room filling sound.*
Sound bars are usually no higher than an inch or two, but the YSP-5600 is 8 inches tall – as tall as many center-channel speakers and twice as wide. It lacks rubber stoppers underneath, proving that it is really meant to be mounted on a wall.
The unit is complete in metallic black and the majority of the soundbar’s machinery is concealed by wire mesh. A blue LED screen sits behind this protective covering, though it can be difficult to read sometimes because of how thick it is. Several controls are located at the top of Yamaha’s speakers, which is where you will find a 3.5 mm jack to connect the included calibration microphone.
The remote is large and easy to use, with all buttons easily within reach. Although it does not light up, you won t have any problems finding what you need.
Though the YSP-5600 does have an onscreen display, it’s a little small and has a text from the 90s with Microsoft DOS feeling. Also, set up for next page of setup is two presses instead of arrows; not accurate intuitive.
The Yamaha YSP-5600 may be the first Atmos enabled sound bar, and its surround effects are created by 44 beam drivers that bounce sounds off of your walls.
The Yamaha YSP-5600 includes angled speakers that bounce sound off of the ceiling to create an incredible surround sound. This is a great feature for rooms lacking in living space and traditional square speaker layouts can be limiting. Unfortunately, not being able to turn up or down the volume of these speakers is a challenge.
sound bars The Yamaha receiver delivers the best inputs we ve seen in a soundbar yet with 4 HDMI 2.0a ports as well as dual optical, coaxial digital and analog input
The Yamaha YSP-5600 is a great way to experience wireless music. It offers AirPlay and Spotify Connect along with Bluetooth (both for streaming to Bluetooth headphones). In addition, the system includes MusicCast—Yamaha s own proprietary, multiroom system. The MusicCast networked speaker system is capable of streaming your own phone, the Internet or even variety of radio stations. For discerning listeners who have golden ears for audio quality, the system supports FLAC and WAV files that Sonos can’t support.
To begin with, we ran the YSP-5600’s IntelliBeam computerized sound optimization system with the supplied microphone sitting atop a mic stand mounted on top of an office desk. We positioned the mic in prime listening position on our CNET couch and launched the test sequence. For a short time, the IntelliBeam computerized sound optimization system sent an extended group of tones, beeps and swooshes through the YSP-5600 sound bar and our Klipsch R-110SW subwoofer.
The subs volume was way too loud, and we used the s handy remote control to turn it down. This helped a little but we didn t feel the R-110SW was an excellent match with the YSP-5600 so replaced that sub with a Yamaha NS-SW300 ($499). None needed.
If you re not using a subwoofer, the machine is set to Front/Wireless by default. You can activate this program if you hook up an external subwoofer.
a sound field was immediately evident with the Dolby Atmos-encoded Gravity Blu-ray. This space thriller about astronauts stranded in orbit demonstrated an excellent spatial capability that is useful for both movies and gaming. Even when the sound bar was well forward of the surround speakers, as in our test setup with speaker positions carried out specifically for this review, we found that in comparison to other tested models, all voices had an unnatural amount of reverb and reverberation.
The Atmos effects, though never seeming to come from the ceiling and not truly like a 5.1 system due to its lack of rear channels, had an excellent surround sound. We heard a large difference when switching between Stereo and Surround modes. The dialogue from the sound bar’s center-channel speakers sounded recessed and distant in surround mode at times. We corrected the problem of low sound by adjusting volume from the remote. Switching between Surround and 3D Surround, there was little to no difference in sound quality.
We’re pleased to report that the YSP-5600’s large and spacious imaging remained stable as we moved around the CNET listening room.
See Also (rather than “given”): The power of the YSP-5600 is that everyone in the room will hear great surround sound from any distance at up to 4 feet (1.2 meters) if they are sitting closer than others who sit too far back.
When playing Mad Max: Fury Road Atmos Blu-ray movies, the YSP-5600 gave us plenty of power and energy. However, when playing music from The Wall Atmos Blu-ray, it sounded strained and lacked dynamics. The SS-5600 doesn’t fare as well when it comes to handled sustained bloody music sequences, but softer, more atmospheric tunes like Don’t Leave Me Now came out great. The YSP 5600’s deep sound stage is still an amazing feature.
After listening to the YSP-5600, we put aside that sound bar and checked out a more expensive model from another company. The W Studio handled The Wall Blu-ray’s hard rock assaults with greater ease and dialogue sounded more natural, but the W Studio couldn’t quite match the YSP-5600’s soundstage.
Both sound bar systems excelled at playing CDs, but the W Studio’s treble was less clear and coarse.
We also enjoyed the Yamaha YSP-5600’s onboard MusicCast system and found that it communicated a WAV rip of Okkervil River’s Black Sheep Boy with all the current passion that singer Will Sheff could muster, regardless if dynamic range was as low as we found with CDs. When a soft acoustic cover of a Tim Hardin song is played on the title song, and the fingerpicked guitar originates from clear over the room, speakers create an enormous sound stage.
With a sub-woofer, the Yamaha YSP 5600 does a fantastic job delivering all different kinds of music. Without one, it falls short.} If you are considering buying our sound bar, we recommend in the strongest terms that additionally, you buy a sub.
It was unclear why we could not get the speaker to play music through Spotify Connect.
What the Yamaha YSP-5600 does best is produce a deep, room filling sound field. It’s one of the most expensive options we’ve tested but this quality comes with an inconvenience in that you must purchase a separate subwoofer for approximately $500 (about 360 or AU$700).
For overall sound quality, we think the cheaper Definitive Technology W Studio is much better: it sounds more dynamically alive, dialogue sounds more natural, the blend between sub and sound bar is better, and the chassis looks much sleeker. The tradeoff is that the W Studio sounds absolutely unimpressive when compared to the loud and room-filling soundstage of the YSP-5600.
It will be interesting to compare the Yamaha against the other announced Atmos sound bar by Samsung, once it becomes available. For now, if you need Atmos and a compelling surround system from a soundbar, then your best option is the Yamaha YSP-5600.