Until recently there were only a couple of sound bars that peeked "Kilroy was here"-style over the $1,000 mark, but now we have two just from Yamaha alone. The company is following up its gargantuan YSP-5600 sound bar with a sleeker, less-costly option in the YSP-2700.
The YSP-2700 is a "7.1-channel" sound bar -- with a wireless sub -- that uses Yamaha's Digital Sound Projector technology to simulate surround sound. The Yamaha uses a series of 16 drivers across the front of the unit to beam sounds around the room. In the past we've found the technology works better than competitors' in providing an enveloping soundstage, even if it's not very successful at producing rear effects.
Like models such as the Zvox's SB500 and Definitive Technology's W Studio series, the 37-inch-wide Yamaha YSP-2700 takes cues from the computer industry by shunning a plastic housing in favor of a solid block of aluminum.
As expected for a $1,199 (AU$1,499; not yet announced for the UK) sound bar, the connectivity includes three HDMI inputs and one output that offer 4K pass-through compatibility. The sound bar will also decode both Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio for users who want to be able to decode all manner of Blu-ray soundtracks.
The Yamaha includes Bluetooth streaming both from a phone and even more handily to a set of Bluetooth headphones.
As with most new products under the Yamaha banner, the YSP-2700 includes Yamaha's multiroom Wi-Fi system called MusicCast. It offers streaming of a number of services including Pandora, Spotify and Rhapsody plus hi-res music from a networked device.
The YSP-2700 will be available in the US in September, while availability in the UK and Australia have yet to be announced.