Can I Use My Soundbar as a Center-Channel Speaker?

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Q Can I use a soundbar like the Yamaha YSP-5600 as a center channel in a traditional 5.1/7.1 or Atmos setup? Would it sound better than a standard center-channel speaker? Also, does it have to be set up on its own first or last to blend in with the rest of the system? —Oliver Johnson / via e-mail

A The setup you suggest is not recommended for several reasons. The Yamaha YSP-5600 is a 7.1.2-channel powered soundbar with built-in Dolby Atmos and DTS decoding. With a total of 46 drivers, it’s designed to serve as a complete audio system, not a center channel. (At $1,600, it’s also pricey for the use you have in mind.) With center-channel speakers, it’s always a good idea to use a same-brand model designed to match the other speakers in your system, or even three of the same model across the front. By using a matched set of speakers with similar voicing, cabinets, drivers, and crossover electronics, you’ll stand a much better chance of getting a seamless surround sound experience.

mtymous1's picture

...for Al Griffin and S&V in general.

It's important that new and less experienced enthusiasts have a forum to post questions like these, however, I strongly feel that a weekly selection isn't the way to go for "Ask S&V."

The sister sites all have them and while it can sometimes be Pandora's Box with the responses, they can be generally informative. If policed properly, it could be a model for the sister sites to follow.

instybob's picture

There's only one way I can see this happening - you would have to open the soundbar, access the actual leads to the speakers and tap that to your receiver. You wouldn't be using the amp in the soundbar but from the receiver. Technically, I guess it could be done, but matching sound would be the biggest hurdle. Oh yeah, maybe do it with a much cheaper speaker.