Best TV sound bar systems review

yamaha_spoundbar

Best Soundbars 2019, Compact Audio Systems For Any Budget

It doesn’t matter how much you spent on your TV, the resolution it has of how good the image is. If there is one thing that is widely accepted is that when watching any content on TV, whether it is a film, standard TV, playing games, etc, their built-in speakers tend to be lacking in quality and the sound you hear is always a letdown. It makes sense that you look at alternatives to boost the quality and get audio quality that is consistent with the image quality that your TV renders. If you’re lucky enough to own one of the latest 4K TV screens, you really deserve to invest in a device that’ll deliver top quality sound to match and that is where soundbars come into the picture.

If you simply love the slim aesthetic of your new TV over everything else, then a good soundbar is your best option. They won’t stand out as a traditional stereo system does, the best soundbars are built to be just as aesthetically pleasing as they are sound pleasing. They are slim and powerful, designed specifically to blend in, rather than stand out. Soundbars are also a good solution for smaller homes and rooms with little space that wouldn’t be able to squeeze a 7.1 channel speaker system in. Despite most only featuring front-facing speakers, soundbars are able to confidently project sound in a way that makes it seems as though there’s booming audio coming from most directions.

Most soundbars are made to sit in front of or just below your screen, but they can also be wall-mounted above or to the side of it as well, giving you ultimate choice as to how your home entertainment set-up looks. We have shortlisted the best 5 soundbars in 2019 so you don’t have to go through all the many options out there.

yamaha_spoundbar

Best Soundbars 2019, Compact Audio Systems For Any Budget

It doesn’t matter how much you spent on your TV, the resolution it has of how good the image is. If there is one thing that is widely accepted is that when watching any content on TV, whether it is a film, standard TV, playing games, etc, their built-in speakers tend to be lacking in quality and the sound you hear is always a letdown. It makes sense that you look at alternatives to boost the quality and get audio quality that is consistent with the image quality that your TV renders. If you’re lucky enough to own one of the latest 4K TV screens, you really deserve to invest in a device that’ll deliver top quality sound to match and that is where soundbars come into the picture.

If you simply love the slim aesthetic of your new TV over everything else, then a good soundbar is your best option. They won’t stand out as a traditional stereo system does, the best soundbars are built to be just as aesthetically pleasing as they are sound pleasing. They are slim and powerful, designed specifically to blend in, rather than stand out. Soundbars are also a good solution for smaller homes and rooms with little space that wouldn’t be able to squeeze a 7.1 channel speaker system in. Despite most only featuring front-facing speakers, soundbars are able to confidently project sound in a way that makes it seems as though there’s booming audio coming from most directions.

Most soundbars are made to sit in front of or just below your screen, but they can also be wall-mounted above or to the side of it as well, giving you ultimate choice as to how your home entertainment set-up looks. We have shortlisted the best 5 soundbars in 2019 so you don’t have to go through all the many options out there.

Build Quality99%
Performance99%
Connectivity94%
Sound Quality98%
Our Top Pick
Philips B5/37 Fidelio Soundbar

The Fidelio B5 is a fabulous soundbar that brings you the best of both worlds. It’s a clutter-free TV speaker that can also deliver real surround sound when required, a unique feature in the soundbar world. The detachable surround speakers are a brilliant idea well executed, allowing you to tidy away the clutter when movie night is over.


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Build Quality99%
Performance99%
Connectivity94%
Sound Quality98%
Our Top Pick
Philips B5/37 Fidelio Soundbar

The Fidelio B5 is a fabulous soundbar that brings you the best of both worlds. It’s a clutter-free TV speaker that can also deliver real surround sound when required, a unique feature in the soundbar world. The detachable surround speakers are a brilliant idea well executed, allowing you to tidy away the clutter when movie night is over.


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The Philips B5/37 Fidelio Soundbar Speaker is something quite unexpected and remarkable in the world of soundbars. It packs a whole lot more funk in its trunk that you might think of when you first lay your eyes on it. This sound bar is a shape-shifter – a soundbar that, thanks to two detachable speakers, can transform itself into a surround sound system, as well as a Bluetooth-powered multiroom system. All this from one package and no extra wires.

You see, Philips’ curvaceous soundbar has a seriously powerful USP: it can switch from traditional soundbar to 4.1 surround sound system in seconds. Whether you’re using it as a straightforward soundbar or as a surround system, the Fidelio B5 delivers a hugely entertaining and viable surround sound performance.

At first glance, it might look like an ordinary soundbar, with a wireless subwoofer and front-firing speakers, but yank the end units off either side of the Philips B5/37 Fidelio and they become individual wireless satellite speakers that you can place around your room to give you a more cinematic effect. The switch from 2.1 system to 4.1 surround takes a single beat, and the Fidelio B5 automatically switches into its cinema mode without you having to do anything. It’s even rocking some impressively simple room calibration tech, which dynamically adjusts the levels in the surround channels to cope with offset placement around your room.

The rest of us just want something quick, easy and with a decent approximation of cinema sound, which is what Philips has created with this soundbar. If you’re listening to music you can switch from ‘Movie’ to ‘Music’ mode with a touch on the elegant remote control. This then alters the signal to deliver the full audio around the room, rather than just the surround channels. Both rear speakers can be switched into Bluetooth mode, and since they’re completely wireless and easily portable, you can take them into different rooms, and you got yourself a multiroom system, with no extra set-up, wires or fiddling with apps. Snap the rears back into place, and the song sounds more solid and cohesive with the full soundbar intact. That remote also enables you to adjust bass and treble, as well as nudge the audio synchronisation if the image and sound are falling out of step.

The Philips B5/37 Fidelio is an excellent soundbar that stands apart from its price rivals. The ingenious design, its expansive and detailed sound quality, and ease of use make it an absolute delight.

The Philips B5/37 Fidelio Soundbar Speaker is something quite unexpected and remarkable in the world of soundbars. It packs a whole lot more funk in its trunk that you might think of when you first lay your eyes on it. This sound bar is a shape-shifter – a soundbar that, thanks to two detachable speakers, can transform itself into a surround sound system, as well as a Bluetooth-powered multiroom system. All this from one package and no extra wires.

You see, Philips’ curvaceous soundbar has a seriously powerful USP: it can switch from traditional soundbar to 4.1 surround sound system in seconds. Whether you’re using it as a straightforward soundbar or as a surround system, the Fidelio B5 delivers a hugely entertaining and viable surround sound performance.

At first glance, it might look like an ordinary soundbar, with a wireless subwoofer and front-firing speakers, but yank the end units off either side of the Philips B5/37 Fidelio and they become individual wireless satellite speakers that you can place around your room to give you a more cinematic effect. The switch from 2.1 system to 4.1 surround takes a single beat, and the Fidelio B5 automatically switches into its cinema mode without you having to do anything. It’s even rocking some impressively simple room calibration tech, which dynamically adjusts the levels in the surround channels to cope with offset placement around your room.

The rest of us just want something quick, easy and with a decent approximation of cinema sound, which is what Philips has created with this soundbar. If you’re listening to music you can switch from ‘Movie’ to ‘Music’ mode with a touch on the elegant remote control. This then alters the signal to deliver the full audio around the room, rather than just the surround channels. Both rear speakers can be switched into Bluetooth mode, and since they’re completely wireless and easily portable, you can take them into different rooms, and you got yourself a multiroom system, with no extra set-up, wires or fiddling with apps. Snap the rears back into place, and the song sounds more solid and cohesive with the full soundbar intact. That remote also enables you to adjust bass and treble, as well as nudge the audio synchronisation if the image and sound are falling out of step.

The Philips B5/37 Fidelio is an excellent soundbar that stands apart from its price rivals. The ingenious design, its expansive and detailed sound quality, and ease of use make it an absolute delight.

Build Quality99%
Performance96%
Connectivity95%
Sound Quality99%
Our Top Pick
Yamaha YAS-207BL Sound Bar

The Yamaha YSP-2700 truly delivers on its promise to create a convincing, premium 7.1 channel experience. Of course, that premium experience does come with a premium price tag. Still, when it comes to overall audio quality, multi-room wireless features, connectivity options, and space-saving benefits, this is a fantastic soundbar system.


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Build Quality99%
Performance96%
Connectivity95%
Sound Quality99%
Our Top Pick
Yamaha YAS-207BL Sound Bar

The Yamaha YSP-2700 truly delivers on its promise to create a convincing, premium 7.1 channel experience. Of course, that premium experience does come with a premium price tag. Still, when it comes to overall audio quality, multi-room wireless features, connectivity options, and space-saving benefits, this is a fantastic soundbar system.


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Yamaha’s latest entry, the YAS-207, marks a major step forward. It is the first soundbar to add DTS Virtual:X technology. DTS Virtual:X is such a significant and impressive feature that owners of previous-generation, entry-level Yamaha soundbars will want to upgrade to it. The Yamaha YAS-207BL Soundbar is a slimline soundbar and wireless subwoofer package. While the YAS-207’s rectangular design won’t win any awards, it will certainly appeal to customers who want a soundbar with a small footprint and a wall-mount option. Yamaha includes a template so you know exactly where to drill the holes. You can also put the YAS-207 on top of or inside a cabinet. There are no onboard EQ options to compensate for those different placements.

Yamaha’s wireless sub is vertically tall and thin. The front-ported sub looks more like a tower computer, making it perfect to fit near a couch or tight spaces. The subwoofer’s volume can be controlled independently of the main soundbar, so you can tweak it to your taste. There’s an optional bass boost feature on the remote that further enhances the low end.

One nice touch is that the soundbar and wireless sub came pre-paired and ready to go. We deliberately unpaired the wireless sub to see how difficult it would be should a user have pairing problems. Re-pairing the sub was easy. We would simply caution that you need to be attentive to the specific procedure listed in the manual or the pairing won’t work. The Yamaha’s remote control is far better than most at this price point. Buttons are logically laid out with a reasonably large type. The remote isn’t backlit, but the buttons have different shapes and colours so you can easily make them out in either dim lighting conditions or without looking. Yamaha is among the few soundbars at this price point to come with a complimentary mobile app that takes care of all your control needs. All I had to do was connect the YAS-207 via Bluetooth, download the Yamaha Home Theatre app on my iOS device, and I was in business.

Yamaha’s soundbars have always been stellar performers in their respective price categories. That stays true here. The Yamaha YAS-207BL with DTS Virtual:X is a winner. The inclusion of DTS Virtual:X differentiates the YAS-207 from among its peers. While Yamaha’s soundbar isn’t perfect, it delivers lots of punch and excitement to delight those who want a better movie experience at home.

Yamaha’s latest entry, the YAS-207, marks a major step forward. It is the first soundbar to add DTS Virtual:X technology. DTS Virtual:X is such a significant and impressive feature that owners of previous-generation, entry-level Yamaha soundbars will want to upgrade to it. The Yamaha YAS-207BL Soundbar is a slimline soundbar and wireless subwoofer package. While the YAS-207’s rectangular design won’t win any awards, it will certainly appeal to customers who want a soundbar with a small footprint and a wall-mount option. Yamaha includes a template so you know exactly where to drill the holes. You can also put the YAS-207 on top of or inside a cabinet. There are no onboard EQ options to compensate for those different placements.

Yamaha’s wireless sub is vertically tall and thin. The front-ported sub looks more like a tower computer, making it perfect to fit near a couch or tight spaces. The subwoofer’s volume can be controlled independently of the main soundbar, so you can tweak it to your taste. There’s an optional bass boost feature on the remote that further enhances the low end.

One nice touch is that the soundbar and wireless sub came pre-paired and ready to go. We deliberately unpaired the wireless sub to see how difficult it would be should a user have pairing problems. Re-pairing the sub was easy. We would simply caution that you need to be attentive to the specific procedure listed in the manual or the pairing won’t work. The Yamaha’s remote control is far better than most at this price point. Buttons are logically laid out with a reasonably large type. The remote isn’t backlit, but the buttons have different shapes and colours so you can easily make them out in either dim lighting conditions or without looking. Yamaha is among the few soundbars at this price point to come with a complimentary mobile app that takes care of all your control needs. All I had to do was connect the YAS-207 via Bluetooth, download the Yamaha Home Theatre app on my iOS device, and I was in business.

Yamaha’s soundbars have always been stellar performers in their respective price categories. That stays true here. The Yamaha YAS-207BL with DTS Virtual:X is a winner. The inclusion of DTS Virtual:X differentiates the YAS-207 from among its peers. While Yamaha’s soundbar isn’t perfect, it delivers lots of punch and excitement to delight those who want a better movie experience at home.

Build Quality99%
Performance95%
Connectivity92%
Sound Quality96%
Our Top Pick
Sonos Playbar

If you’re looking for a simple device that will massively improve the sound from your TV (as opposed to a bona fide surround sound set-up) and give you immediate access to more music than you could ever possibly hope to listen to, the Sonos Playbar is an excellent option. The Sonos Playbar may not be cheap but feels worth every penny.


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Build Quality99%
Performance95%
Connectivity92%
Sound Quality96%
Our Top Pick
Sonos Playbar

If you’re looking for a simple device that will massively improve the sound from your TV (as opposed to a bona fide surround sound set-up) and give you immediate access to more music than you could ever possibly hope to listen to, the Sonos Playbar is an excellent option. The Sonos Playbar may not be cheap but feels worth every penny.


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One of the best-selling points of Sonos Playbar is its multi-room capabilities. What is multi-room you ask? It means that once you have one Sonos component, you can add more speakers to other rooms, as part of the same ecosystem. This technology is not new to Sonos. They have been working on this concept since 2002, so they are experts in it, and the Sonos app is always being refined.

Start with the Playbar, add more speakers to other rooms over time, at your pace. We believe a home full of music is a happy home and when it is all centrally controlled, it adds to the overall seamless listening experience. You could be playing your favourite album on all of your speakers in a matter of seconds!

The Playbar is multi-purpose in the sense that it can make your TV shows and films sound incredible, but second to that; you can stream your favourite music to it when the TV is not on. Easily add your music streaming service subscriptions, iTunes playlists or stream free radio to it. You no longer need a separate HiFi system for your music and TV audio. That’s why we are confident that the Sonos Playbar will beat your expectations.

With ten dedicated amplifiers packed inside with the end two facing outward, the Playbar delivers highly rich and detailed sound with a soundstage that massively outperforms its physical form. And the exceptional sound is just the beginning of what Sonos can offer. The Playbar brings all of your TV and music content to life such as TV shows, films, games, audiobooks and music. With its nine dedicated amplifiers, the sound is dispersed fantastically well and will continue to do so for many years to come.

With the addition of all of its useful features paired with its award-winning sound quality and usability we are confident, there is no better soundbar on the market to offer as much fluidity or versatility to the listening experience.

One of the best-selling points of Sonos Playbar is its multi-room capabilities. What is multi-room you ask? It means that once you have one Sonos component, you can add more speakers to other rooms, as part of the same ecosystem. This technology is not new to Sonos. They have been working on this concept since 2002, so they are experts in it, and the Sonos app is always being refined.

Start with the Playbar, add more speakers to other rooms over time, at your pace. We believe a home full of music is a happy home and when it is all centrally controlled, it adds to the overall seamless listening experience. You could be playing your favourite album on all of your speakers in a matter of seconds!

The Playbar is multi-purpose in the sense that it can make your TV shows and films sound incredible, but second to that; you can stream your favourite music to it when the TV is not on. Easily add your music streaming service subscriptions, iTunes playlists or stream free radio to it. You no longer need a separate HiFi system for your music and TV audio. That’s why we are confident that the Sonos Playbar will beat your expectations.

With ten dedicated amplifiers packed inside with the end two facing outward, the Playbar delivers highly rich and detailed sound with a soundstage that massively outperforms its physical form. And the exceptional sound is just the beginning of what Sonos can offer. The Playbar brings all of your TV and music content to life such as TV shows, films, games, audiobooks and music. With its nine dedicated amplifiers, the sound is dispersed fantastically well and will continue to do so for many years to come.

With the addition of all of its useful features paired with its award-winning sound quality and usability we are confident, there is no better soundbar on the market to offer as much fluidity or versatility to the listening experience.

Build Quality99%
Performance99%
Connectivity95%
Sound Quality99%
Our Top Pick
Sony HT-ST5000 Dolby Atmos

Having a Dolby Atmos soundbar and subwoofer match the sound of a stereo product on all counts is a hefty task, and on almost all fronts the HT-ST5000 performs excellently. It’s not something you’re likely to notice unless you’re often swapping between expensive soundbars. Its Dolby Atmos is probably best-in-class and it delivers a neutral and balanced sound.


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Build Quality99%
Performance99%
Connectivity95%
Sound Quality99%
Our Top Pick
Sony HT-ST5000 Dolby Atmos

Having a Dolby Atmos soundbar and subwoofer match the sound of a stereo product on all counts is a hefty task, and on almost all fronts the HT-ST5000 performs excellently. It’s not something you’re likely to notice unless you’re often swapping between expensive soundbars. Its Dolby Atmos is probably best-in-class and it delivers a neutral and balanced sound.


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Sony’s first soundbar to launch with Dolby Atmos support, the Sony HT-ST5000 is a beast. Stretching 1180mm wide alongside a wireless sub, at first glance it may look like an over-dressed 2.1 package, but Sony describes the HTST5000 as a 7.1.2 proposition. In addition to Dolby Atmos and DTS:X decoding, there’s High-Res Audio support, built-in Chromecast functionality, dual-band Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. The soundbar is certainly in the pricier end of the market, but for the money, you’re getting a very capable piece of equipment.

The build quality of the Sony HT-ST5000 is fabulous, there’s no debate about that. The bar comes with a fabric grille, but looks better uncovered, because the drivers are as pretty as a picture. Left and right are two matching coaxial speakers with gold-rimmed, high-frequency tweeters, while a coaxial driver with mid-range cones handles the centre channel.  This slight difference translates to a minor timbre mismatch, although it isn’t really apparent when listening live to multi-channel mixes.

Unlike lesser bars, the HTST5000 offers full AV receiver versatility. There are four HDMI (three inputs, plus one ARC output). All are HDCP 2.2 ready for your various 4K sources (UHD player, Xbox One X, Amazon Fire 4K) but need to be configured before being paired. Select Enhanced over Standard, in order to support 4K 60p and 4:4:4 (or incrementally lower) video settings. There are a number of additional display options, all of which are best left in Auto mode. Located right-side on the bar is a covered USB port, for handy local file playback. There’s also an optical digital audio input and a stereo minijack on the HT-ST5000. An Ethernet LAN port enables wired networking, but there are Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, the latter with NFC pairing and Sony’s proprietary LDAC headroom extension.

The Sony HTST5000 may be expensive, but it justifies its price tag with knock-out good looks and superior performance. Sony’s first Dolby Atmos soundbar is gloriously over-engineered and offers an audio performance that’s rich and exciting, more than warranting its flagship status. If you want a top-flight sound system that doesn’t take over your room, then the Sony HT-ST5000 has few equals.

Sony’s first soundbar to launch with Dolby Atmos support, the Sony HT-ST5000 is a beast. Stretching 1180mm wide alongside a wireless sub, at first glance it may look like an over-dressed 2.1 package, but Sony describes the HTST5000 as a 7.1.2 proposition. In addition to Dolby Atmos and DTS:X decoding, there’s High-Res Audio support, built-in Chromecast functionality, dual-band Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. The soundbar is certainly in the pricier end of the market, but for the money, you’re getting a very capable piece of equipment.

The build quality of the Sony HT-ST5000 is fabulous, there’s no debate about that. The bar comes with a fabric grille, but looks better uncovered, because the drivers are as pretty as a picture. Left and right are two matching coaxial speakers with gold-rimmed, high-frequency tweeters, while a coaxial driver with mid-range cones handles the centre channel.  This slight difference translates to a minor timbre mismatch, although it isn’t really apparent when listening live to multi-channel mixes.

Unlike lesser bars, the HTST5000 offers full AV receiver versatility. There are four HDMI (three inputs, plus one ARC output). All are HDCP 2.2 ready for your various 4K sources (UHD player, Xbox One X, Amazon Fire 4K) but need to be configured before being paired. Select Enhanced over Standard, in order to support 4K 60p and 4:4:4 (or incrementally lower) video settings. There are a number of additional display options, all of which are best left in Auto mode. Located right-side on the bar is a covered USB port, for handy local file playback. There’s also an optical digital audio input and a stereo minijack on the HT-ST5000. An Ethernet LAN port enables wired networking, but there are Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, the latter with NFC pairing and Sony’s proprietary LDAC headroom extension.

The Sony HTST5000 may be expensive, but it justifies its price tag with knock-out good looks and superior performance. Sony’s first Dolby Atmos soundbar is gloriously over-engineered and offers an audio performance that’s rich and exciting, more than warranting its flagship status. If you want a top-flight sound system that doesn’t take over your room, then the Sony HT-ST5000 has few equals.

Build Quality99%
Performance99%
Connectivity98%
Sound Quality98%
Our Top Pick
Yamaha MusicCast YSP-2700 Soundbar

Provided you have a room shape that works with the Intellibeam sound technology, the YSP-2700’s refined sound, incredible virtual surround and thumping bass will make films so much more immersive, you’ll feel right inside the action, literally with virtual surround-sound that envelopes you with its killer audio.


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Build Quality99%
Performance99%
Connectivity98%
Sound Quality98%
Our Top Pick
Yamaha MusicCast YSP-2700 Soundbar

Provided you have a room shape that works with the Intellibeam sound technology, the YSP-2700’s refined sound, incredible virtual surround and thumping bass will make films so much more immersive, you’ll feel right inside the action, literally with virtual surround-sound that envelopes you with its killer audio.


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The Yamaha’s YSP range is at the forefront in terms of soundbars and they definitely represent one of the best solutions in the market, offering a simpler and more compact way to get stunningly sharp and crisp surround sound into your home. In layman’s terms, you get what you pay for, quality in every aspect. The Yamaha MusicCast YSP-2700 Soundbar uses 16x 2.8cm array drivers, each driven by 2W of amplification, to beam sound around your room, bouncing it off the surrounding walls to create a stunning 7.1ch effect. The grunt of the set-up is handled by the new cube-shaped front-firing wireless subwoofer, which works with the bar to create a total power output of 107W, and can be placed anywhere in your room.

The soundbar should be placed centrally, but thanks to the Intellibeam calibration technology, which tests your room’s acoustics and changes settings accordingly, it works with corner set-ups too. The procedure takes no more than a few minutes, and once it’s completed, you’re ready to go.

There are two main modes on the YSP-2700 soundbar, surround and stereo. Select the former for anything movie-based and the latter for music listening, with both tuned by Yamaha specifically for a UK audience. We’d avoid the third ‘target’ option entirely though, which creates a very narrow sound field. There are also a number of DSP modes labelled up for movies, music and entertainment, but it adds unnatural effects to the performance that is at best distracting, and at worst, off-putting.

The Yamaha MusicCast YSP-2700 Soundbar certainly delivers when it comes to connectivity, with three HDMI ins and a single out, plus one each of optical, coaxial and analogue audio. All HDMI’s support HDCP 2.2 and 4K/60p video, plus they are able to decode HD audio formats like Dolby Digital TrueHD and DTS: HD. For that reason, we recommend using the soundbar to do the HDMI switching instead of your telly as long as it has enough inputs for you of course.

The YSP-2700 isn’t as explicit an effect as a full surround-sound system will deliver, of course, but the placement of sound in areas that other soundbars simply can’t reach makes for a more involving soundbar experience than any other we’ve heard. There’s no doubt its price tag will mean the Yamaha MusicCast YSP-2700 Soundbar sits at the top end of most budgets, but its excellent performance and unique capabilities more than justify it.

The Yamaha’s YSP range is at the forefront in terms of soundbars and they definitely represent one of the best solutions in the market, offering a simpler and more compact way to get stunningly sharp and crisp surround sound into your home. In layman’s terms, you get what you pay for, quality in every aspect. The Yamaha MusicCast YSP-2700 Soundbar uses 16x 2.8cm array drivers, each driven by 2W of amplification, to beam sound around your room, bouncing it off the surrounding walls to create a stunning 7.1ch effect. The grunt of the set-up is handled by the new cube-shaped front-firing wireless subwoofer, which works with the bar to create a total power output of 107W, and can be placed anywhere in your room.

The soundbar should be placed centrally, but thanks to the Intellibeam calibration technology, which tests your room’s acoustics and changes settings accordingly, it works with corner set-ups too. The procedure takes no more than a few minutes, and once it’s completed, you’re ready to go.

There are two main modes on the YSP-2700 soundbar, surround and stereo. Select the former for anything movie-based and the latter for music listening, with both tuned by Yamaha specifically for a UK audience. We’d avoid the third ‘target’ option entirely though, which creates a very narrow sound field. There are also a number of DSP modes labelled up for movies, music and entertainment, but it adds unnatural effects to the performance that is at best distracting, and at worst, off-putting.

The Yamaha MusicCast YSP-2700 Soundbar certainly delivers when it comes to connectivity, with three HDMI ins and a single out, plus one each of optical, coaxial and analogue audio. All HDMI’s support HDCP 2.2 and 4K/60p video, plus they are able to decode HD audio formats like Dolby Digital TrueHD and DTS: HD. For that reason, we recommend using the soundbar to do the HDMI switching instead of your telly as long as it has enough inputs for you of course.

The YSP-2700 isn’t as explicit an effect as a full surround-sound system will deliver, of course, but the placement of sound in areas that other soundbars simply can’t reach makes for a more involving soundbar experience than any other we’ve heard. There’s no doubt its price tag will mean the Yamaha MusicCast YSP-2700 Soundbar sits at the top end of most budgets, but its excellent performance and unique capabilities more than justify it.