Yamaha MusicCast YSP-2700 Soundbar
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.
As for wireless connectivity, this Yamaha soundbar is a MusicCast device, which automatically makes it part of a multi-room system with any other Yamaha kit, plus it supports streaming over Wi-Fi (up to 24-bit/192kHz), Bluetooth, and Apple Airplay. It can even transmit via Bluetooth to a pair of wireless headphones or a speaker. Put on a movie and this Yamaha soundbar immediately demonstrates just how wide it’s capable of pumping gorgeous quality sound in a way you rarely get with other soundbars.
While watching action movies, gunshots and explosions are delivered with good weight and a hefty amount of punch, whizzing from left to right and overhead with an enveloping sense of accuracy and agility. It’s a well-balanced sound, with low-end wallop controlled and light-footed enough that it doesn’t impress itself too heavily upon the rest of the frequency range. It gives more substance to the midrange, which is focused and decently detailed. Voices have no hard edges and the sound has a touch more authority.
Dynamically it works well with sound effects and soundtracks to ramp up the tension. It articulates the differences between loud and soft with ease, jumping into action but equally capable of scaling right back too. The Yamaha MusicCast YSP-2700 Soundbar makes a good case as a decent music system too, with its balanced sound working as well with lossless music as it does lower-res Spotify streams. It times well, keeping itself coherent and organised during more complicated pieces of music where you’ll hear the subtleties of every instrument and voice. The sound bar is truly excellent with music, delivering superb levels of detail, which ultimately makes for a more upfront and engaging performance.
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.
If you want high-quality surround-sound that comes close to a discrete system but without this hassle, then the Yamaha YSP-2700 is for you. 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, the Yamaha YSP-2700 is the soundbar of choice for movie lovers.