Yamaha YSP-2700

FOR Spa­cious sur­round-sound; good dy­nam­ics; slim de­sign AGAINST Tre­ble needs more bite; care­ful place­ment re­quired

What Hi-Fi (UK) - - Contents -

There are nu­mer­ous rea­sons you might shun a tra­di­tional full sur­round-sound sys­tem in favour of some­thing more con­ve­nient – lack of space, too many wires, too much hassle. Yamaha’s YSP sound­bar range has been one of the best so­lu­tions for over a decade now, of­fer­ing a sim­pler, more com­pact way to get the sur­round-sound ef­fect into your home. And we think the YSP2700 could be its best it­er­a­tion yet.

Bounc­ing off the wall

It uses 16 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 7.1ch ef­fect – up from the YSP2500’S 5.1ch ca­pa­bil­i­ties.

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.

There are two main modes on the YSP2700 – 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, as it cre­ates a very nar­row sound­field. There are also a num­ber of DSP modes la­belled up for movies, mu­sic and en­ter­tain­ment, but it adds un­nat­u­ral ef­fects to the per­for­mance that are at best dis­tract­ing, at worst off-putting.

The YSP2700 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 HDMIS sup­port HDCP 2.2 and 4K/60p video, plus they 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 – if there are enough in­puts.

Less zing in your gun­fire

As for wire­less con­nec­tiv­ity, the YSP2700 is a Mu­s­ic­cast device, which makes it part of a multi-room sys­tem with other Yamaha kit, plus sup­ports stream­ing over wi-fi (up to 24-bit/192khz), Bluetooth and Ap­ple Airplay. It can trans­mit via Bluetooth to a pair of wire­less head­phones or speaker.

Put on a movie and the Yamaha im­me­di­ately demon­strates just how wide it’s ca­pa­ble of throw­ing the sound. Dur­ing a shootout with the Butcher’s hench­men in

Amer­i­can Sniper, gun­shots and ex­plo­sions are de­liv­ered with good weight and punch, whizzing from left to right and over­head with a 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. The clip­ping of the tre­ble means there’s not as much ex­pres­sion in di­a­logue as with Dali’s Ku­bik One, for ex­am­ple, and the top-end zing in gun­fire doesn’t have the same bite ei­ther.

Dy­nam­i­cally, it works well with sound ef­fects and sound­tracks to ramp up ten­sion. It ar­tic­u­lates the differences be­tween loud and soft with ease, jump­ing into ac­tion but equally ca­pa­ble of scal­ing right back too. The YSP2700 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 com­pli­cated pieces of mu­sic. Play an up­beat track like Flume’s

Smoke And Ret­ri­bu­tion and there's enough drive to keep your toes tap­ping.

Not to be sniffed at

The Dali does pip it for mu­si­cal ca­pa­bil­i­ties though, de­liv­er­ing more de­tail, nuance and in­sight, which ul­ti­mately makes for a more up­front and en­gag­ing per­for­mance. That’s a fair re­flec­tion of their char­ac­ters with movies too, but then the Dali can’t boast such a wide, pre­cise sound­stage, such a wealth of con­nec­tiv­ity op­tions or such an ac­com­mo­dat­ing de­sign – you’ll need a whole shelf on your rack to house the Dali.

That wide sound­stage in par­tic­u­lar is not some­thing to be sniffed at. It isn’t as ex­plicit an ef­fect as with a full sur­round-sound sys­tem, of course, but the place­ment of sound in ar­eas other sound­bars sim­ply can’t reach makes for a more in­volv­ing sound­bar ex­pe­ri­ence than any other.

There’s no doubt its pric­etag will mean the YSP2700 sits at the top end of most bud­gets, but its ex­cel­lent per­for­mance and unique ca­pa­bil­i­ties more than jus­ti­fies it.

For sur­round sound ef­fects in a small bar, the Yamaha YSP-2700 is an ideal so­lu­tion

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