An audio reviewer hears two lines over and over: “That never happened with any of the other samples” and “We created this [fill in the blank] because the products that are out there now are inadequate.” I heard the second line last week in a ramshackle Van Nuys, California industrial space bordered by a security gate and half-filled with piles of decades-old test gear. Unlikely as the setting seemed, its tenant actually delivered on his claims.
T.H.E. Show Newport Beach wrapped up yesterday evening, and I think everyone in attendance would agree that it's a harbinger of good things to come. In its third year, the show has matured into an event that would impress even the most jaded audiophile. There was something for everyone, from half-million-dollar systems to some that cost less than $500.
AT A GLANCE Plus
Clean, dynamic sound with enveloping surround
A wealth of inputs and listening options
Key functions can be operated with TV remote
Voices can sound a little thin
Much more complicated and expensive than most soundbars
If you don’t mind a little complexity, the YSP-4300 is one of the best soundbars you can buy for movie and TV viewing.
Soundbars are supposed to be simple, right? The home theater sound system for people who can’t figure out an A/V receiver, right? Well, the Yamaha YSP-4300 isn’t simple. Its 24 speaker drivers, numerous inputs, 10 surround modes, 55-button remote, and 80-page manual make it almost as complex as one of Yamaha’s receivers. The only thing that’s simple about it is that there’s a lot less to hook up than with a full surround sound system.