Soundbars are a great way of bringing immersive audio to your home cinema setup and boosting your TV’s puny inbuilt speakers – but if your living room is on the smaller side, or you want to squeeze a bar into your bedroom, office, or student dorm room, you may find that many of the best soundbars are far too big.
Yamaha is hoping to provide a solution with its latest compact soundbar, the SR-C20A, which is just 600mm (23 inches) long and 64mm (2.5 inches) high, making it ideal for situations where space is at a premium – you could even pop it on a desktop in front of your computer monitor.
- The best soundbars of 2020
- Read our Sonos Arc review
- The best back to school sales
Despite its small size, Yamaha says the new soundbar doesn’t skimp on audio power, with a built-in subwoofer and passive radiators – something the company says is “a rarity in the realm of compact soundbars”.
Small but mighty
It comes with four preset sound modes (standard, stereo, game, and movie”, a “virtual surround sound mode”, and support for Dolby Digital. The soundbar also makes use of Yamaha’s Clear Voice technology, which should help to decipher mumbling actors in your favorite shows.
There are plenty of connectivity options available, including HDMI ARC, two optical ports, and an “analog stereo mini input for gaming consoles and other portable devices”. As well as that, you get Bluetooth with multipoint connectivity, so you can switch between devices easily.
Costing £219 (around $290 / AU$400), the Yamaha SR-C20A might be ideal if you’re heading back to school on a budget, with the ability to squeeze into tiny dorm rooms and shared living rooms.
If you’re looking for something a little bigger (and higher spec), Yamaha has also announced the SR-B20A, which is packing DTS: Virtual X, which recreates the sound of a 7.1.4 setup, without the need for lots of additional speakers. It won't have the Dolby Atmos immersion of bars like the Sonos Arc, but the B20 will likely sound far better than your TV's speakers.
While the B20A will set you back a little more than its smaller sibling at £249 (about $330 / AU$450), it’s still pretty cheap for the specs – ideal for anyone who wants the immersion of surround sound without the cost.
Both soundbars will be available in “early Fall” according to Yamaha – for our readers in the Southern Hemisphere, that means they’ll likely be released in September.
Looking for a new soundbar? Check out the best soundbar deals we've found below: