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Yamaha YAS-108/ATS-1080 Soundbar Review

Tested using Methodology v0.8
Updated Sep 30, 2019 at 09:00 am
Yamaha YAS-108/ATS-1080 Picture
Test Methodology v0.8
6.3
Mixed Usage
6.7
Dialogue/TV Shows
6.4
Music
6.1
Movies
Channels
2.2

The Yamaha ATS1080 YAS-108 is a unique 2.2 soundbar setup with two built-in subwoofers. It has a fairly dark sound profile but isn’t quite able to reproduce the deep thump and rumble of bass. It can get loud enough for most uses and performs well without compression at max volume. However, it doesn’t do well with surround content and due to its configuration, downmixes 5.1 content to stereo. On the upside, you can get an external subwoofer with this soundbar if you want better bass performance.

Our Verdict

6.3 Mixed Usage

Okay for mixed usage. The Yamaha ATS-1080 has an okay audio reproduction that will be suitable for most music genres and dialogue content like podcasts and audiobooks. However, its bass isn't extended, which won't be great for movies and bass-heavy music. It also has sub-par performance with surround channels and doesn’t support height channels, resulting in a less immersive listening experience. Also, its soundstage isn’t that wide, and it will downmix 5.1 surround content down to stereo.

See our Mixed Usage recommendations
6.7 Dialogue/TV Shows

Passable for dialogue and TV shows. The Yamaha YAS-108 has a good mid-range performance, which results in accurate voices, but its overall sound profile is dark as it lacks detail in the treble range. It will get loud enough for most content and you’ll be able to easily stream podcasts and audiobooks via Bluetooth. The bar also has a dialogue enhancement feature to help make dialogue clearer, even at lower volumes.

See our Dialogue/TV Shows recommendations
6.4 Music

Okay for music. The Yamaha ATS1080 doesn’t have the best bass performance as it lacks a lot of sub-bass, meaning it won’t be great for bass-heavy music. Its overall sound profile is also fairly dark and the soundstage is narrow. On the upside, it gets loud and performs quite well at max volume, and you’ll be able to play music via Bluetooth with your smart device, but you won’t be able to EQ the sound to your liking.

See our Music recommendations
6.1 Movies

Mediocre for movies. The Yamaha YAS-108 has a decent overall audio reproduction, but it doesn’t do well with surround channels. On top of that, the soundstage isn’t that wide and the bar doesn’t have height channels and doesn’t support Atmos. All of this will result in a less immersive listening experience. This 2.2 setup will downmix 5.1 content and won’t sound as real as other high-end setups. You can use its surround mode to help a bit, but the audio quality won’t be the greatest.

  • 6.3 Mixed Usage
  • 6.7 Dialogue/TV Shows
  • 6.4 Music
  • 6.1 Movies
Pros
  • Good connectivity options.
  • Decent for dialogue-oriented content.
  • Performs well at max volume.
Cons
  • Cheap fabric-covered design.
  • Lacks sub-bass.
  • Downmixes surround content to stereo.

Check Price

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Market Context
Market Context
Market Context

The Yamaha ATS-1080 is a rebrand of the 2018 Yamaha YAS-108. It's a unique 2.2 setup that has two built-in subwoofers intended to create a deep bass in a soundbar without a dedicated wireless subwoofer. It's almost identical to the ATS1070, but with a few more inputs. The ATS1080's main competitors are the Yamaha YAS-108, the Yamaha ATS-2070 with a separate sub, and the Bose Solo 5.

Design
Design
Style - Bar

The Yamaha YAS-108 is very plain. It's almost entirely covered with fabric except at the sides, where you'll find the ports for the two integrated subwoofers, and the back, which is plastic. This fabric can easily attract dirt or rip.

Design
Style - Subwoofer

There are two subwoofers in this setup that are integrated into the sub.

Design
Style - Satellites

There are no satellites in this setup.

Design
Dimensions - Bar
Bar Width 34.4" (87.5 cm)
Bar Height 2.1" (5.3 cm)
Bar Depth 4.8" (12.2 cm)

The bar isn't too wide and depending on the stand of a 55" TV, it might or might not fit in-between the legs. It's not too tall and won't obstruct the view of the bottom side of the screen unless your TV has a very short stand or sits flush on the table.

Design
Dimensions - Subwoofer
Sub Width N/A
Sub Height N/A
Sub Depth N/A

The subwoofers are integrated into the bar.

Design
Dimensions - Satellites
Sat Width N/A
Sat Height N/A
Sat Depth N/A

There are no satellites in this setup.

Design
Back - Bar
Bar Mounting Type
Universal (holes on underside)

The back of the Yamaha YAS-108 is made of good quality plastic and has one opening for the input ports. When wall-mounted, the top side will be facing you.

Design
Back - Subwoofer
Enclosure
N/A

The subwoofers are integrated into the bar.

Design
Back - Satellites
Sat Mounting Type
N/A

There are no satellites in this setup.

6.5
Design
Build Quality

The Yamaha ATS-1080 has a decent overall build quality. It's almost entirely covered with fabric except for the ports on the sides, the back, and the underside which are made of good quality plastic. The fabric can get dirty and rip easily and doesn't give the soundbar a premium feel.

Design
In The Box
HDMI Cable Length
N/A
Digital Optical Cable Length
5.0 ft (1.5 m)

  • Remote
  • Power cable
  • Optical cable
  • Analog Audio In adapter
  • Manuals
  • Spacers (x2) for wall-mounting

Sound
6.4
Sound
Stereo Frequency Response
ST Slope
-0.96
ST Std. Err.
3.12 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
61.7 Hz
High-Frequency Extension
19.9 kHz

The Yamaha ATS-1080 has an okay stereo frequency response. This soundbar doesn’t have a very extended bass and so has a bit of difficulty recreating the deep punch and rumble of movies and music. This might be because it doesn’t have a wireless subwoofer, but rather two built-in subs. On the upside, the mid-range is well-balanced and results in an accurate reproduction of voices. The overall sound profile is a bit dark due to the lacking detail in the treble.

Sound
Stereo Raw Frequency Response
6.5
Sound
Stereo Soundstage
Crosstalk Error
3.23 dB

When listening to the Yamaha ATS-1080, the soundstage isn’t that great. The soundstage seems to be as wide as the bar and the ATS1080 doesn’t do anything to make it sound wider. The soundstage sounds fairly focused, but the dark frequency response makes sounds come from a small general area rather than a very accurate pinpoint location like some other soundbars.

8.1
Sound
Stereo Dynamics
ST SPL @ Max Volume
92.9 dB SPL
ST DRC @ Max Volume
0.98 dB

The Yamaha ATS-1080 has great dynamics performance. The bar can get loud enough for most uses and will be a good option in crowded environments or large rooms. Also, the bar doesn’t compress at max volume, which is great.

8.0
Sound
Stereo Total Harmonic Distortion
ST Weighted THD @ 80
0.25
ST Weighted THD @ Max Volume
2.49

The THD performance of this soundbar is great. At a normal listening volume, the Yamaha ATS-1080 reproduces a clean and pure sound, but there’s a big jump in THD at max volume, throughout the range. However, most people will have trouble hearing this with real-life content.

6.6
Sound
Center
C Localization
Phantom
C Slope
-0.98
C Std. Err.
3.12 dB
C SPL @ Max Volume
92.0 dB SPL
C Weighted THD @ 80
0.22
C Weighted THD @ Max Volume
2.46

This 2.2 setup doesn’t have a dedicated center channel, which results in poor center localization, but still has an okay performance. It uses the left and right speakers to create a sound in the center, which will sound more diffused and less clear compared to a discrete center. Also, due to its configuration, this soundbar will downmix 5.1 content. On the upside, the mid-range is still fairly good and dialogue in movies is clear.

4.1
Sound
Surrounds
Sr Localization
Stereo (Downmix)
Rears
No
Sr Slope
-1.06
Sr Std. Err.
3.24 dB
Sr SPL @ Max Volume
92.0 dB SPL
Sr Weighted THD @ 80
0.27
Sr Weighted THD @ Max Volume
2.44

The Yamaha ATS1080's performance when sending surround content to the soundbar is quite poor. Everything is downmixed to a stereo signal, which won’t produce an accurate and clear representation of surround objects. This means the result isn’t very immersive and the objects are perceived to come from the front instead of the sides or behind you.

0
Sound
Height (Atmos)
H Localization
N/A
H Slope
N/A
H Std. Err.
N/A
H SPL @ Max Volume
N/A
H Weighted THD @ 80
N/A
H Weighted THD @ Max Volume
N/A

The Yamaha YAS-108 setup doesn’t have height channels and doesn’t support Atmos.

4.3
Sound
Sound Enhancement Features
Room Correction
No
Dialogue Enhancement
Yes
Auto-Volume/Night Mode
No
Subwoofer Level Adjustment
Yes
Bass Adjustment
No
Treble Adjustment
No
EQ
No
Surround Level Adjustment
N/A
Rear Level Adjustment
N/A
Height Level Adjustment
N/A
Virtual Surround
Yes

The Yamaha ATS1080 has poor sound enhancement features. It's missing Room Correction, which means this soundbar may sound differently depending on your room. There's also no Auto-Volume/Night Mode, so it can't normalize the sound between types of content like a TV show and the sound level of a commercial. On the upside, it supports dialogue enhancement features to help you hear the dialogue better and more clearly, even at lower volumes. You can also separately adjust the level of the subwoofer, which is useful considering that the two built-in subwoofers don’t perform that well. Although the bar has a 3D surround mode, the sound quality isn't the best when using it. You'll be better off using the normal surround mode, which doesn't sound as bad.

Connectivity
Connectivity
Physical Inputs - Bar
Optical Audio In
1
HDMI ARC
1 (shared)
HDMI Out
1 (shared)
Full HDMI In
1
Analog Audio In 3.5mm (Aux)
1
USB for Files
No
Ethernet
No

The Yamaha ATS-1080 has a good set of inputs. The Optical Audio In can deliver surround sound, while the Full HDMI In and HDMI ARC can be used to relay video signals from your games consoles or Blu-rays to your TV, enhancing both your sound and visual experiences. The soundbar also offers a plain Audio In 3.5mm for direct connection to the Audio out jack of older devices with limited connectivity. Finally, there's a 'Subwoofer Out' port allowing you to connect to an external subwoofer with an RCA mono cable, to enhance your bass experience. Unfortunately, there's no ethernet port for connecting to your network, or a USB port to play music from a USB key.

7.1
Connectivity
Audio Format Support - ARC
eARC
No
Dolby Atmos
No
Dolby Digital
Yes
Dolby Digital Plus
No
DTS
Yes
DTS:X (eARC only)
No
Dolby TrueHD (eARC only)
No
DTS-HD MA (eARC only)
No
5.1 PCM (eARC only)
No

Over the HDMI ARC, the soundbar supports only the most common Dolby Digital and DTS formats. It can decode 5.1 surround sound from streaming platforms or Blu-ray discs, but downmixes it to 2.2 due to its configuration. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to play lossless or object-based formats via HDMI ARC, but you can connect through the Full HDMI In, to playback uncompressed 5.1 PCM audio.

8.3
Connectivity
Audio Format Support - Full HDMI In
Dolby Atmos
No
DTS:X
No
Dolby Digital
Yes
Dolby Digital Plus
No
DTS
Yes
Dolby TrueHD
No
DTS-HD MA
No
5.1 PCM
Yes

The Yamaha ATS-1080 can playback surround sound that's encoded in Dolby Digital or DTS formats when the signal is received through its Full HDMI in port. It can also decode 5.1 PCM uncompressed sound which will also downmix to 2.2 just like all other surround signals. Unfortunately, you won't be able to experience any object-based surround sound as there's no support for such formats with this bar.

10
Connectivity
Audio Format Support - Optical
Dolby Digital
Yes
DTS
Yes

The Yamaha ATS1080's optical port supports both Dolby Digital and DTS. Dolby Digital is usually found on Blu-ray discs and streaming platforms like Netflix. DTS isn't so common on its own, but rather as the fallback of the higher quality DTS-HD MA commonly found on Blu-ray discs. When playing back surround sound, the ATS 1080 downmixes it to 2.2.

6.0
Connectivity
Wireless Playback
Bluetooth
Yes
Wi-Fi
No
Chromecast built-in
No
Apple AirPlay
No

The Yamaha ATS-1080 allows you to play content wirelessly through its Bluetooth connection. This is great for connecting your smartphone or tablet, but in the absence of that, you won't be able to connect to the Wi-Fi or cast using Chromecast built-in or AirPlay.

Connectivity
Other Input Specifications
4k @ 60 Hz Passthrough
Yes
4k @ 60 Hz @ 10 bit Passthrough
Yes
4k @ 60 Hz @ 4:4:4 Passthrough
Yes
HDR10 Passthrough
Yes

You can place the Yamaha ATS-1080 in-between one of your devices like a PC or a gaming console and your TV. If you do so, the soundbar can send proper 4k @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4 which means that you'll enjoy crystal clear text. It also supports HDR10 passthrough, which is great if you have a Blu-ray player or one of the newer gaming consoles.

Connectivity
Connectivity - Subwoofer
Sub Wireless
N/A

The subwoofers are integrated into the bar.

Connectivity
Connectivity - Satellites
Sat Wireless
N/A

There are no satellites in this setup.

Additional Features
Additional Features
Interface
Display
No

The bar's interface is very basic. It only consists of lights at the top of the bar that show you the settings you're using. We didn't notice any hangs or lags during our testing.

Additional Features
Bar Controls

The bar has a touch-sensitive surface that allows you to control the power or the input source, mute the soundbar, or change the volume.

Additional Features
Remote
Universal Remote
No

The remote control is fairly small and fits entirely within your hand. It is, however, very versatile, as it can perform many functions. There are buttons to enable preset modes and you can also control the subwoofer level independently of the volume.

Additional Features
App
App Name Yamaha Home Theater Controller
iOS Yes
Android Yes
Acts as the Remote
Limited Support
Controls Soundbar's Settings
Some
Casts Device Files
No

The Yamaha ATS-1080 pairs with the same app as the YAS-207. It's a fairly basic app that offers most of the remote's features, but is missing functions like the home theater controller. It doesn't allow you to cast audio files directly to the soundbar.

Additional Features
Other Features
Power Saving
Standby
HDMI CEC (TV Remote Control)
Yes

The soundbar can turn itself off after some time of inactivity or if the input source is disconnected. The ATS 1080 supports HDMI CEC, and you'll be able to use your TV’s remote to control the power and the volume of the soundbar.

Compared to other soundbars

The Yamaha ATS-1080 is a unique soundbar that has two built-in subwoofers, which results in a fairly dark sound profile. However, it doesn't have the good bass performance of a dedicated subwoofer like other budget soundbars. See our recommendations for the best soundbars, the best budget soundbars, and the best soundbars with a subwoofer.

Bose Solo 5
SEE PRICE
B&H

The Bose Solo 5 and the Yamaha YAS-108/ATS-1080 are very similar-sounding soundbars, but the ATS-1080 is slightly better. It gets louder and doesn't compress as much as the Solo 5. The ATS-1080 also has two built-in subwoofers. It has more connection options and has a dialog enhancement feature to make voices clearer. On the other hand, the Solo 5 is better-built and has a slightly better stereo frequency response, but most people won't notice the difference.

Yamaha YAS-207
SEE PRICE
Newegg.com

The Yamaha YAS-207 is a better soundbar than the Yamaha YAS-108/ATS-1080. It has a separate subwoofer instead of the two built-in subs the ATS-1080 has, which results in better overall bass performance. Also, the rest of the frequency response is noticeably more accurate. Both bars have the same inputs, connectivity options, and app.

Sony HT-S200F
SEE PRICE
B&H

The Sony HT-S200F is a bit better overall than the Yamaha Yamaha YAS-108/ATS-1080. The Yamaha has two built-in subwoofers, which gives it a very dark sound profile, while the HT-S200F is a bit better-balanced and neutral. The Sony is also smaller and easier to fit in your setup, on top of being a bit better-built, although still cheaply made. On the other hand, the Yamaha ATS-1080 has a Full HDMI In port, which the Sony lacks, and it also supports DTS.

Sonos Playbar
SEE PRICE
B&H

The Sonos Playbar is better than the Yamaha YAS 108/ATS-1080. It has a dedicated center channel for accurate and clear voices and dialog. Even if the ATS-1080 has two integrated subwoofers, the bass performance of the Playbar is more accurate and doesn't sound as dark. Also, the Playbar has a great soundstage performance and has plenty of sound enhancement features, including room correction. On the other hand, the Playbar doesn't have as many inputs and lacks an HDMI ARC or Full HDMI In ports. It also doesn't support DTS and you're only able to cast content wirelessly via Wi-Fi, while the ATS-1080 supports Bluetooth instead.

TCL Alto 7+
SEE PRICE
B&H

The overall performance of the TCL Alto 7+ is very similar to that of the Yamaha YAS-108/ATS-1080. Both lack a bit of sub-bass, even if the ATS-1080 has two built-in subs and the 7+ has a dedicated wireless subwoofer. The Alto 7+ gets louder but you get more compression artifacts at max volume. On the other hand, the ATS-1080 has better connectivity options and supports DTS, on top of having a Full HDMI In port, which the Alto 7+ doesn't have.

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