The Yamaha YSP-800 An Amazing Digital Sound Projector
The Yamaha YSP-800 - also known as a sound bar or digital sound projector is an amazing piece of technology. I installed one recently for a client here in Oklahoma City and I was very, very impressed with its performance. How in the heck do they get such realistic surround sound from one source?
They do it - with multiple digital phase controlled amplifiers - one for each of its 23 speakers -- 21 of which are 1.62" tweeter/midrange drivers and a two 3.94" woofers. The technological marvel works by focusing sound into "beams" and projecting those beams at angles throughout the room utilizing a proprietary "IntelliBeam" function. The YSP-800 controls each speaker's delay time and it digitally optimizes the levels and frequency response of each beam. The result is sound waves that are both direct and reflected which create a soundfield that appears to be come from speakers placed around the room nearly identically and amazingly similar to an actual 5.1 surround sound system.
The YSP-800 measures only 31.5 x 6 x 4.5 inches but sounds much larger than its slim exterior suggests. The 23 digital amps decode Dolby Digital, DTS, Pro Logic II, and DTS Neo:6 and offer 3 Cinema DSP programs.
Setup is a breeze with the onboard room setup and calibration program. The process is nearly amusing with its cybertronic sound emissions which automatically sets the levels for each sound beam. The included microphone is placed at the normal seating area's "sweet spot" and the setup procedure does the rest with a series of frequency sweeps and UFO-like sounds that takes just a few minutes but is fascinating to behold as the levels are set and sound starts coming from your left and right and YES even from behind.
You will want the optional subwoofer for the best experience as the bar itself does include two woofers amongst the 23 speakers but the powered, linking sub really brings out the bottom end.
If you want big surround sound without all the accompanying wires and clutter -- check out the Yamaha YSP-800 and Yamaha's associated line of digital sound projectors. Other more powerful and more expensive line models are available - but for under $600 the value and performance can't be beat. There are some new imitators to the YSP-800 - like the weak offerings from ZVOX - but accept no imitations. The Yamaha YSP-800 is the real deal.