Yamaha YSP-1400 Transcending The Sound Bar

4/14/2014 11:51:00 AM

When is a sound bar not a sound bar? When the manufacturer decides to call it something else. The Yamaha YSP-1400 looks like a sound bar, is intended to work like a sound bar, and in all fairness is a sound bar. Yamaha on the other hand prefers the much fancier title of “Digital Sound Projector”. Marketing jargon aside, apparently Yamaha has a good reason for doing so.

Description: C:\Users\levankhoa.bhc\Desktop\Untitled.jpg

Experience real 5.1-channel surround sound with
Yamaha’s exclusive Digital Sound Projector technology.

Sound bars generally provide 2.1 channel sound, with fancier models claiming to deliver virtual surround sound with the help of software and algorithms. Yamaha however states that the YSP-1400 achieves “actual” surround sound, even though it has a single unit design. This feat is achieved with the help of eight 2.8cm array speakers mounted in the center of the device. They project sound beams which are specifically directed to bounce off walls to provide a surround sound experience.

Unfortunately, Yamaha’s claim of an actual surround sound experience fails to hold up under testing, with some caveats. After our listening experience, we hold the opinion that the YSP-1400 has a decent soundstage good enough to be considered among the best for sound bars. The ability to skew left or right it via a button on the remote control to better fi t your seating arrangement is also very good. But when all is said and done, the soundstage of the YSP-1400 does not come close to one that is offered by a discrete 5.1 channel speaker system.


Yamaha Digital Sound Projectors create actual surround sound by producing beams of sound that reflect off the walls in controlled directions, delivering an amazingly immersive experience.

Additionally, since this Digital Sound Projector relies on beams bouncing off walls for the surround sound effect, placement for the YSP-1400 can make or break your auditory experience. Placing the Yamaha sound bar in an open space, for example, is detrimental to its performance as there are no nearby surfaces for the sound to reflect off of.

With regards to the quality and tone of the audio from the YSP-1400, we were slightly disappointed with what we heard. When listening to music, the Digital Sound Projector impresses with its attention to details and good transient response. The sizzle on tracks such a Smooth Criminal by Michael Jackson is clearly audible. But after a while the charm of the details wears off and you realize that the middle frequencies come across as hollow, which means that tracks lack the desired impact.


No need for a separate subwoofer unit! The YSP-1400 is equipped with eight array speakers on the front and two down-firing subwoofers integrated into the feet of the sound bar.

Switching over to movies, the YSP-1400 gives a better account of itself. As mentioned earlier, even though the soundstage does not match up to a discrete 5.1 speaker system’s soundstage, it is still quite wide and spacious. In addition, the Yamaha product also has a strong center channel and hence is very good at delivering dialogue. Dual 8.5cm woofers are fitted into the unit with a downward fi ring orientation. They definitely add oomph to the low ends and sound effects from the Yamaha Digital Sound Projector are quite good. If that isn’t enough bass for your taste, there is an extra input for adding an extra subwoofer to the mix.

Like many modern sound bars, the Yamaha YSP-1400 focuses on providing audio rather being the central hub of your AV system. The product is intended to be hooked up to your TV via optical cable and has no HDMI ports for the purpose of hooking any peripherals directly to the sound bar. The YSP-1400 does allow for wireless Bluetooth connectivity, which is par for the course for audio products today. It also has an app that allows for remote control from smart devices.

Priced at $799, the YSP-1400 is decent value for the outlay. But if you are willing to spend a little extra, there are better products available to outfit your home theater setup.


·         Drivers: 2.8cm Array Beam Speakers x8

·         Sub-woofer: 8.5cm drivers x2

·         Weight: 4.3kgs

·         Price: $799


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