Yamaha describes each of its newest ‘entry-level’ soundbars, of which the SR-B20A is the bigger, as upgrades on your TV sound. That is one thing very a lot required lately when flat TV screens typically imply weedy built-in TV sound.
Not like many rivals at this worth, there’s mercifully little pretence from Yamaha that the bars will ship ‘encompass’ sound, aside from choices labelled ‘3D Encompass’ and a few moderately optimistic claims for the inclusion of DTS Virtual:X. These advertising extravagances apart, what’s promised is just stable sound with which to get pleasure from your shiny new flatscreen.
What we notably like in regards to the SR-B20A on evaluation right here is that it goals to carry out with out the standard wi-fi subwoofer. This not solely retains the worth down, it makes the entire bundle much more handy to make use of.
The query is whether or not an extended flat bar of a speaker like this could create stable sufficient sound with out that subwoofer in assist. And fortunately the reply right here is a reasonably resounding sure.
Regardless of the entry-level worth, the Yamaha SR-B20A feels solidly constructed, and appears fashionable too, with black material wrap and curving ends. It stretches to 91cm broad, which makes it a very good match for 55-inch TVs however gained’t stop its use with both smaller or bigger TVs.
Yamaha SR-B20A tech specs
Outputs HDMI out (TV ARC)
Inputs 2x digital optical
4K passthrough No
Encompass tech DTS Digital:X
Dimensions (hwd) 5 x 91 x 13cm
Among the many literature within the field is a mounting template that exhibits the soundbar will be caught flat to the wall with the equipped foam spacers and a few sturdily fastened screws.
For those who grasp it on the wall, the controls, the indicator lights and a lot of the drivers usefully face the listener. You’ll be able to all the time bench it in entrance of your TV as a substitute, during which case the controls and lights are much less usefully hidden.
The SR-B20A is a stereo soundbar, with six drivers in all. 4 of those fireplace upwards if the unit is benched (ahead if on the wall) – in accordance with the specs these are 55mm mid-range models close to every finish and 75mm bass drivers midway from every finish to the centre, augmented with side-firing ports within the curves of the bar.
The quoted energy scores additionally counsel that the woofers are working in a dual-mono configuration moderately than stereo, which Yamaha confirms. Lastly, there are two 25mm tweeters on the entrance edge (benched) or firing down (wall-mounted); no quantity of torchlight may reveal their location by means of the grille material.
The bar can get sound out of your TV in two (or doubtlessly three) methods. The most suitable choice is an HDMI cable from the bar to an ARC-equipped HDMI socket in your TV, assuming it has one. If it doesn’t, or in the event you don’t want to quit one of many HDMI sockets in your TV, the subsequent most suitable choice is an optical digital connection, for which a cable comes within the field; there isn’t any HDMI cable included.
There is no such thing as a analogue mini-jack fall-back enter right here, although one does characteristic on the smaller SR-C20A (£229, $180, AU$299), and there’s no networking of any variety. There’s Bluetooth with assist for each SBC and AAC codecs, primarily meant for music streaming from a sensible system, though TVs that may output audio by way of Bluetooth may additionally ship their audio to the bar on this method (on the peril of potential transmission delay, relying on the system).
There are a few different connections, in addition to the mains cable – a second optical enter for any appropriate system, and a coaxial digital output.
Provided that including a separate subwoofer of high quality will greater than double the worth, you’d do higher to purchase one in a bundle in the event you’re after that backside octave of movie-style bass: Yamaha has various such combos, however the SR-B20A does a very good job with out further assist.
Regardless of its slim dimensions, the SR-B20A carries that welcoming full Yamaha tone. It’s near its smaller sibling by way of character, solely the size right here is predictably higher.
The stability is nice, too; it’s simple for producers to roll off lots of top-end at this entry-level worth level, to keep away from something too harsh, however the SR-B20A is pleased to go excessive into the excessive frequencies with confidence.
These built-in bass models get by means of a good bit of labor as properly. You’ll be able to dial in as a lot or as little as you want – you may need to tweak a bit in case your TV rack is lower than strong, to keep away from any flabbiness – however with good stable assist it is a weighty efficiency not wanting presence. It doesn’t fairly rumble like a devoted subwoofer, however that not often equates to nice sound in an all-in-one soundbar anyway.
Extra spectacular, although, is how the SR-B20A is ready to unfold results. It is a lengthy soundbar, and it makes good use of dimension. When you aren’t going to get something like 3D sound in actuality, this Yamaha is expert sufficient to put sounds both facet of the listening place in a fashion you actually wouldn’t frequently affiliate with this sort of price ticket.
Nevertheless, you lose a little bit of focus with the soundbar firing upwards on the TV display screen, which leads us to contemplate whether or not the SR-B20A is definitely extra suited to wall mounting.
That slight lack of precision is current within the SR-B20A’s dynamic and rhythmic efficiency, too. Giant-scale dynamic shifts are introduced properly, however we find yourself wishing there was just a little extra in the way in which of expression on provide. Music playback additionally reveals this Yamaha isn’t fairly the final phrase on timing, however once more we’re far off calling it a poor efficiency.
It’s tough to know what to anticipate when approaching an entry-level product such because the Yamaha SR-B20A, nevertheless it’s secure to say on this event any expectations have been met.
It is a big-sounding soundbar that makes full use of its dimension. It is likely to be greatest suited to wall mounting, nevertheless it’s fairly tough to make it sound dangerous.
Learn our information to the best soundbars
Learn our Sonos Beam review
Learn our JBL Bar 5.0 MultiBeam review