Yamaha basically created the sound bar category and continues to sell its best-in-class Digital Sound Projector line, but it can be hard to recommend the company's sound bars when they generally cost in excess of $1,000.
The YAS-101 ($250 street price) is Yamaha's entry into the increasingly crowded budget sound bar field, and it's one of the few that manages to stand out.
That's largely because of Yamaha's decision to eschew a separate subwoofer, instead using a built-in subwoofer, which gives the speaker system a more streamlined look. The YAS-101 also has a very helpful "IR flasher" on the back, so it will pass remote signals through to your TV if the sound bar is blocking the TV's remote sensor. Sound quality is surprisingly strong for TV and movies, although don't expect miracles with two-channel music. Our major criticism is that the YAS-101's connectivity options are bare-bones, but that's not as much of an issue if you use your TV to switch between devices.
With its reasonable price, simple design with built-in subwoofer, and innovative remote-control workaround, the Yamaha YAS-101 is one of the top budget sound bars available.