By Todd Anderson on Jun 11, 2017 at 8:56 AM
  1. Todd Anderson

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    Yamaha Poised to Launch First DTS Virtual:X Product (YAS-207)


    Screen Shot 2017-06-11 at 9.53.25 AM.png
    (Yamaha/DTS)

    (June 11, 2017) Immersive sound is easily one of the most impactful audio technologies of the last decade, and both Dolby and DTS continue to find ways to deliver an immersive experience to a wide range of consumers. Recently, DTS announced that its DTS Virtual:X platform is primed to go public this coming summer. The first product to carry the tech will be a Yamaha soundbar.

    "Our mission at DTS is to make the world sound better and deliver premium audio solutions to our partners and consumers," said Joanna Skrdlant, general manager, home audio at Xperi. "With the introduction of DTS Virtual:X technology, listeners can enjoy height and surround sound with simply a sound bar, making it more accessible and affordable than ever to experience the benefits of immersive audio at home."

    DTS Virtual:X supports source material ranging from stereo to 7.1.4 encoded audio, and is specifically optimized to operate best with DTS codecs (including the company’s new immersive audio effort, DTS:X). It handles this material by offering manufacturers numerous features, including upmixing of legacy content and a range of simulated sound modes (Virtual Height, Virtual Surround, Bass Enhancement, and Multiband Hard Limiter).

    One segment Virtual:X is designed to enhance is the all-in-one world of soundbars. Coming this July, Yamaha will release its new YAS-207 soundbar, which will be eligible for a for a Virtual:X firmware upgrade in August. According to DTS, Yamaha’s soundbar is the first of many products (including AV receivers and televisions) that will be announced in the coming months.

    DTS is wise to pursue the virtual market. Sales numbers show that the soundbar segment is the fastest growing home audio category. In addition, DTS says that fewer than 30-percent of consumers that purchase a multi-channel AVR connect height channels for immersive audio. Both of those “facts” point to a consumer landscape that’s ripe for a virtualized experience. The remaining question is: how well can a virtual product relying on a two-dimensional speaker array mimic the capabilities of a true immersive sound system? Perhaps DTS Virtual:X will provide a positive answer to that question during its 2017 rollout.

    Yamaha’s YAS-207 soundbar system (soundbar plus subwoofer module) will be available in July for $299. Look for more DTS Virtual:X products later this fall, with compatible televisions hitting the market sometime during 2018.
     

Comments

Discussion in 'AV Industry News' started by Todd Anderson, Jun 11, 2017.

    1. I'd love to add some sound bar to my TV in the bedroom. But I have not found one that stood out enough to make a purchase. This might do it if it really works well. Yamaha ought to be able to pull it off if any manufacturer can.
       
    2. Todd Anderson

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      I'm going to see about a review unit on this one... soundbars are very catch as catch can.
       
    3. tesseract

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      That is not a bad price at all for what it offers. I expect, provided the sound is of decent quality, that it will do well in the market.
       
    4. The question for me is how it handles various formats, no format, mix down, etc. A device like this needs to seamlessly sound good across content without having to configure it. As much of a tweaker as I am I don't want to have to mess with it for casual watching in bed, where I am likely to switch sources and channels a lot.
       
    5. Todd Anderson

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      I would imagine it's rather dummy proof... plug in and let it play. It's focusing on a market segment that not only doesn't desire tweaking, but would likely stumble a bit if required.

      Bottom line: this particular is dirt cheap. Definitely makes it a curiosity.
       
    6. I hope so. I prefer to be a dummy when just watching TV in the bedroom. :)
      Also, note that it won't ship initially with the DTS Virtual:X capability (and there won't be any content until the fall) but you will need to do a firmware update.
       
    7. Peter Loeser

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      From my experience, Yamaha's soundbars do the best job of generating a 3 dimensional sound field (in a mostly optimal room, at least) out of the major brands in the budget category. The trouble with most of these compact self-powered soundbars is you're typically stuck with a weak subwoofer.
       
    8. Jeff Santerre

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      Sound bars are a tough one for me.From an audiophile perspective, they are completely unacceptable and compromise in every possible way except space and simplicity. That being said, I humbly admit that I have one in the room where my wife and I primarily watch TV. It was for my sanity as I continued to get phone calls at work, driving, etc. on why something wouldn't work on our audio system, couldn't get a picture, etc. Even with the addition of a programmable remote, issues still persisted. Plus, to my wife, audio equipment was ugly.
      Now, before anyone gets up in arms, I still have a respectable audio system complete with HD TV in another room where we occasionally watch movies. My point: soundbars were made to provide sound that is better than the TV and to save marriages (at least that is my thought). Yamaha does make very respectable soundbars, with this one appearing to compliment the line. If one is willing to compromise on true high fidelity sound quality, the Yamaha soundbar line is an excellent choice.
      OK, I didn't lose my man card here, did I?
       
    9. Your snobby audiophile card maybe, but that is not recognized here, so you are ok, Jeff. I don't have one either, and I have wanted a sound bar for the second TV for a while but the performance was just not enough to excite me into a purchase. The Yamahas have been some of the better choices in the reasonably priced sound bars, and I am hoping that a little advance in the technology will give it the boost it needs.
       
    10. Jeff Santerre

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      Leonard, I've "experienced" several different models at home and, quite honestly, I settled for what worked best. None were what I would call good. However, some of these new soundbars are even including Dolby Atmos and look like they may have some promise. I am really interested to hear this one with DTS Virtual:X. I really would like to replace the one I have now with something closer to good sound. Still hoping....
       

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