Yamaha YAS-71 review

Can soundbars challenge 5.1 surround sound systems?

Yamaha YAS-71
Handy for reducing clutter, but the surround sound isn't as good as a standard 5.1 system

TechRadar Verdict

A decent attempt at making a soundbar but sadly they are not quite as good as a full 5.1 system. Only choose this option if space is at a premium


  • +

    Easy to set up

  • +

    Air Surround Extreme mode


  • -

    No optical cable included

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Setting up the Yamaha YAS-71 soundbar was simple: plug in some wires, turn the unit on and you're ready to go.

The main thing to remember is that you need a metre between you and the soundbar, so while it's fine for a media centre PC, you're probably not going to be playing games or listening to music while you work, at least not with this technology.

An optical cable wasn't included, which was surprising as without it you're restricted to stereo sound. While the remote's Extended Stereo button does offer a slight improvement to the sound quality, it's not to the level of Air Surround Xtreme mode.

This produced a vast improvement on our 40in LCD television's integrated speaker, and a convincing surround sound experience, but it's definitely no match for a full 5.1 or 7.1 system.

We found that even with constant furniture rearranging and settings tweaking, the psychoacoustics necessary for rear speaker emulation didn't produce the expected results.

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