Yamaha YAS-109 Soundbar Review

Tested using Methodology v1.0
Reviewed Feb 16, 2021 at 09:43 am
Yamaha YAS-109 Picture
6.4
Mixed Usage
6.7
Dialogue/TV Shows
6.5
Music
6.0
Movies
Channels
2.0

The Yamaha YAS-109 is a 2.0 setup from 2019. It's the next generation of the Yamaha YAS-108/ATS-1080, adding an Ethernet port, six EQ presets, Alexa built-in voice assistant, and Wi-Fi wireless capabilities. That said, it shares many of the same strengths and weaknesses as its predecessor. Although it has two built-in subwoofers, it still struggles to reproduce a thumpy bass. Also, it has to downmix surround content into stereo to play it, which doesn't sound as immersive. Still, while it can't get very loud, there aren't many compression artifacts at max volume, so your audio is fairly clean and pure at high volumes.

Our Verdict

6.4 Mixed Usage

The Yamaha YAS-109 is acceptable for mixed usage. It has a boomy sound profile, but it struggles to reproduce low-bass, so genres like EDM or sound effects in action films lack thump and rumble. That said, it can reproduce vocals and dialogue fairly clearly. While it doesn't get loud enough to fill a large or crowded room, there aren't many compression artifacts at max volume.

Pros
  • EQ presets available.
  • Good latency performance.
Cons
  • Poor surround performance.
  • No Atmos support.
6.7 Dialogue/TV Shows

The Yamaha YAS-109 is alright for dialogue and TV shows. Although it's a 2.0 setup and it lacks a dedicated center channel, it has a fairly neutral mid-range, which results in fairly clear and accurate dialogue. If you want to further improve vocal clarity, it also has a dialogue enhancement feature. Its audio latency also falls within good limits, so you shouldn't experience out of sync audio or visuals.

Pros
  • EQ presets available.
  • Good latency performance.
Cons
  • No auto-volume mode.
  • No room correction.
6.5 Music

The Yamaha YAS-109 is okay for music. It has a boomy sound profile and lacks low-bass, which may be disappointing for fans of EDM and hip-hop. That said, it has a fairly neutral mid-range, so vocals and lead instruments are present in your mix. If you prefer a different sound, there are six EQ presets available. While the bar can't get loud, there aren't many compression artifacts at max volume.

Pros
  • EQ presets available.
  • Bluetooth and Wi-Fi compatible.
Cons
  • No room correction.
  • Lacks low-bass.
6.0 Movies

The Yamaha YAS-109 is mediocre for movies. It struggles to reproduce low-bass, so action-packed scenes lack thump and rumble. The bar also doesn't get very loud, although there aren't many compression artifacts at max volume. It has to downmix surround content into stereo to play it, which doesn't sound very immersive, and it doesn't support Atmos.

Pros
  • EQ presets available.
  • Good latency performance.
Cons
  • Poor surround performance.
  • No Atmos support.
  • Lacks low-bass.
  • 6.4 Mixed Usage
  • 6.7 Dialogue/TV Shows
  • 6.5 Music
  • 6.0 Movies
  1. Updated Feb 23, 2021: Updated HDR10 Passthrough from 'No' to 'Yes'.

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Market Context
Market Context
Market Context

The Yamaha YAS-109 soundbar is an entry-level soundbar from 2019. This 2.0 setup is the next generation of the Yamaha YAS-108/ATS-1080, but now has Alexa voice assistant built-in, as well as an Ethernet port and Wi-Fi compatibility. While it doesn't come with a discrete subwoofer, it has a Subwoofer Out port if you want to add one down the line. It competes with other 2.0 setups like the Bose TV Speaker, the Bose Solo 5, and the Sony HT-X8500.

Design
Design
Style - Bar

The Yamaha YAS-109 has a plain design. The bar is mostly wrapped in black fabric, which can become dirty or easily rip. It has rounded edges, and there are two ports on the bar's sides to help with its bass reproduction as it doesn't have a dedicated subwoofer.

Design
Style - Subwoofer

This soundbar has dual subwoofers built-in. You can also purchase a dedicated subwoofer separately.

Design
Style - Satellites

There are not satellites in this setup.

Design
Dimensions - Bar
Width 34.9" (88.7 cm)
Height 2.0" (5.1 cm)
Depth 5.3" (13.4 cm)

The Yamaha YAS-109 is a somewhat compact soundbar. It should fit between the legs of most 55" TVs. It's also not very tall, so it shouldn't obscure your view of the TV unless your TV is flush to the table.

Design
Dimensions - Subwoofer
Width N/A
Height N/A
Depth N/A
Design
Dimensions - Satellites
Width N/A
Height N/A
Depth N/A
Design
Back - Bar
Bar Mounting
Universal (holes on underside)

The back of this bar has an opening for the power cable and another one for the inputs. There are universal holes on its underside if you want to wall-mount this soundbar.

Design
Back - Subwoofer
Enclosure
Integrated
Design
Back - Satellites
Mounting
No
6.5
Design
Build Quality

The Yamaha YAS-109 sound bar has an alright build quality. It's mostly made of good plastic and has a fabric wrap to protect its speakers. However, the fabric feels very loose and can rip or collect dirt or hair over time.

Design
In The Box
HDMI Cable Length
N/A
Digital Optical Cable Length
1.5 m (4.9 ft)

  • Manuals
  • Power cable
  • Optical cable
  • Mounting template
  • Remote
  • Battery for remote
  • Rubber feet for mounting

Sound
7.0
Sound
Stereo Frequency Response
Tested Preset
Stereo
Slope
-0.83
Std. Err.
2.95 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
59.9 Hz
High-Frequency Extension
17.7 kHz

The Yamaha YAS-109 has a satisfactory stereo frequency response. It has a boomy sound profile but it struggles to reproduce low-bass, so your mixes lack thump and rumble. That said, its mid-range is fairly neutral, which should result in clear and present vocals as well as lead instruments. If you prefer a different sound, it has six EQ presets you can cycle between.

7.0
Sound
Stereo Frequency Response With Preliminary Calibration
Suggested Preset
Stereo
Suggested Bass Setting
-2
Suggested Treble Setting
N/A
Slope
-0.35
Std. Err.
2.64 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
61.7 Hz
High-Frequency Extension
17.7 kHz

This soundbar has a satisfactory stereo frequency response with preliminary calibration. Lowering the bass level to -2 by using the subwoofer level balances the response. It still lacks low-bass, but now its sound profile a bit less boomy. That said, the mid-range is still very balanced, which helps the reproduction of vocals and lead instruments.

6.5
Sound
Stereo Soundstage
Crosstalk Error
2.57 dB

The Yamaha YAS-109 soundbar has an okay stereo soundstage. The soundstage is perceived as a little bigger than the bar. Its focus is also good towards the ends of the bar. However, the focus seems a bit more diffused in the center, especially as it doesn't have a dedicated center channel.

7.3
Sound
Stereo Dynamics
SPL @ Max Volume
89.1 dB SPL
DRC @ Max Volume
1.58 dB

This soundbar has decent stereo dynamics. While it struggles to get loud enough to fill a large or crowded room, there aren't a lot of compression artifacts at max volume, resulting in a clean and pure sound.

7.1
Sound
Stereo Total Harmonic Distortion
Weighted THD @ 80dB
0.62
Weighted THD @ Max Volume
2.97

The Yamaha YAS-109's THD performance is satisfactory. At normal listening volumes, the amount of distortion falls within good limits. However, there's distortion present if you push the bar to max volume. This can be hard to hear with real-life content, though.

6.6
Sound
Center
Localization
Phantom
Slope
-0.90
Std. Err.
2.96 dB
SPL @ Max Volume
88.8 dB SPL
Weighted THD @ 80dB
0.49
Weighted THD @ Max Volume
2.83

The Yamaha YAS-109 has an okay center performance. This 2.0 setup lacks a dedicated center channel, so it uses its left and right speakers to simulate a center channel, which doesn't sound as immersive. That said, its mid-range is fairly balanced, so vocal-centric content should be clearly and accurately reproduced.

4.2
Sound
Surround 5.1
Localization
Stereo (Downmix)
Slope
-0.90
Std. Err.
2.97 dB
SPL @ Max Volume
88.6 dB SPL
Weighted THD @ 80dB
0.48
Weighted THD @ Max Volume
2.87
7.1 Rears
No

The Yamaha YAS-109 has a poor surround 5.1 performance. Since it's a 2.0 setup, it has to downmix surround content into stereo. This won't recreate a very accurate or clear representation of surround objects, which reduces the overall immersiveness of your audio. Objects are perceived as coming from in front of you rather than coming from all around you.

0
Sound
Height (Atmos)
Localization
Not Supported
Slope
N/A
Std. Err.
N/A
SPL @ Max Volume
N/A
Weighted THD @ 80dB
N/A
Weighted THD @ Max Volume
N/A

This soundbar doesn't have height channels, and it doesn't support Atmos.

4.0
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
Presets
Surround Level Adjustment
No
Rear Level Adjustment
No
Height Level Adjustment
No
Virtual Surround
Yes

The Yahama YAS-109 soundbar has poor sound enhancement features. It offers six EQ presets: 'Movies', 'Music', 'TV', 'Sports', 'Game', and 'Stereo'. It also has a virtual surround feature called '3D Surround' as well as a dialogue enhancement feature called 'Clear Voice'. There's also a subwoofer level that can be used to adjust the bar's bass response, even if you don't have a subwoofer connected.

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)
No
RCA In
No
USB for Files
No
Ethernet
1

This bar offers a few inputs. It has a shared HDMI ARC and HDMI Out port as well as a Full HDMI In port. You can also add an external subwoofer to your setup using an RCA cable into the 'Subwoofer Out' port. Unfortunately, it lacks an AUX port, so you can't connect a mobile device to the bar using a 3.5mm input cable.

6.1
Connectivity
Audio Format Support - ARC
eARC
No
Dolby Atmos
No
Dolby Digital
Yes
Dolby Digital Plus
No
DTS
No
DTS:X (eARC only)
No
Dolby TrueHD (eARC only)
No
DTS-HD MA (eARC only)
No
5.1 PCM (eARC only)
No

The Yamaha YAS-109 has mediocre audio format support via its ARC port. It doesn't support eARC or Dolby Atmos, and it can only play Dolby Digital content. While the manufacturer advertises that this bar can play DTS content, we were unable to play this content via this connection.

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

This bar has great audio format support via its Full HDMI In port. It can play both Dolby Digital and DTS content using this port, which are commonly found on DVDs or Blu-ray discs.

6.0
Connectivity
Audio Format Support - Optical
Dolby Digital
Yes
DTS
No

The Yamaha 109 has mediocre support via its Optical In port. While it supports Dolby Digital content, which is commonly found on Blu-ray discs and streaming media, it downmixes DTS content into PCM 2.0. However, the manufacturer advertises that this bar can play DTS content.

7.6
Connectivity
Latency
ARC
-60 ms
Optical
-45 ms
Full HDMI In
-54 ms

This bar has a good latency performance. There's some negative latency via ARC, Optical, and Full HDMI In, which indicates that sound comes before visuals. However, if you're connected via Optical or Full HDMI In, this effect is very slight and you may not notice it. The latency when using an ARC connection may be slightly more noticeable. That said, some TVs and apps compensate for latency differently, so your real-life experience may vary.

8.0
Connectivity
Wireless Playback
Bluetooth
Yes
Wi-Fi
Yes
Chromecast built-in
No
Apple AirPlay
No

The Yahama YAS-109 has great wireless playback capabilities. It supports both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, which is great if you want to wirelessly stream audio from your smartphone or tablet. However, you won't be able to cast audio using Chromecast or Apple 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

Update 02/23/2021: We updated our results to reflect that this soundbar supports HDR10 Passthrough with Apple TV.

The Yamaha YAS-109 can be used as a hub between your TV and your PC, and text sent using this signal looks clear and crisp.

Connectivity
Connectivity - Subwoofer
Sub Wireless
No
Connectivity
Connectivity - Satellites
Sat Wireless
No
Additional Features
Additional Features
Interface
Display
No

The interface is found on the top of the soundbar and lacks a display screen. There's a light to indicate which settings you're using.

Additional Features
Bar Controls

The touch-sensitive controls are found on the top of the bar. You can activate Alexa, mute or unmute the mic, switch inputs, adjust the volume, and turn the soundbar on or off.

Additional Features
Remote
Universal Remote
No

The Yamaha YAS-109 comes with a remote that allows you to control all of the soundbar's features.

Additional Features
Voice Assistants Support
Amazon Alexa
Yes (Built-in)
Google Assistant
No
Apple Siri
No

The Yamaha YAS-109 has Amazon Alexa built-in. There's also a mic mute button located on the top of the soundbar.

Additional Features
App
App Name Yamaha Sound Bar Controller
iOS Yes
Android Yes
Acts As A Remote
Yes
Controls Soundbar's Settings
All
Casts Device Files
Yes

This soundbar is compatible with the Yamaha Sound Bar Controller companion app. You can control the soundbar, as well as adjust its sound profile using one of its six EQ presets.

Additional Features
Other Features
Power Saving
Auto-off
HDMI CEC (TV Remote Control)
Yes

The Yahama YAS-109 turns off when no operations have been performed in eight hours. The bar also turns off if it doesn't detect any audio input or if no operations have been performed after 10 minutes.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

The Yamaha YAS-109 comes in one variant: 'Black', and you can see our model's label here.

If you come across another variant, please let us know in the discussions and we'll update our review.

Compared To Other Soundbars

The Yamaha YAS-109 is a 2.0 setup. It's the next generation of the Yamaha YAS-108/ATS-1080 and has new features like an Ethernet port and EQ presets. It also has a port so you can add a dedicated subwoofer down the line. However, like many 2.0 setups, it struggles to reproduce low-bass, and it doesn't get very loud. Check out our recommendations for the best soundbars under $200, the best budget soundbars, and the best soundbars for dialogue.

Yamaha YAS-108/ATS-1080

The Yamaha YAS-109 is the next generation of the Yamaha YAS-108/ATS-1080. The YAS-109 has an Ethernet port instead of an AUX port, it supports wireless playback via Wi-Fi, and it also has EQ presets. However, the YAS-108 can get a bit louder with fewer compression artifacts.

Sonos Beam

The Sonos Beam is a better soundbar than the Yahama YAS-109. The Sonos is a 3.0 setup that feels better-built and has a more neutral sound profile. Its center channel performance is better, and it has more sound enhancement features. However, the Yahama has more physical inputs like a Full HDMI In port, and it supports Bluetooth.

Bose TV Speaker

The Yahama YAS-109 is a slightly better soundbar for mixed use than the Bose TV Speaker. The Yahama has fewer compression artifacts at max volume, comes with EQ presets, and has a better surround performance. It also has a Full HDMI In port and supports Wi-Fi. However, the Bose is better-built and sounds more neutral out-of-the-box.

Bose Solo 5

The Bose Solo 5 and the Yamaha YAS-109 have different strengths and depending on your preferences, you may prefer one over the other. The Bose is smaller, better-built, and has a more neutral sound profile. However, the Yahama can get a bit louder, it has EQ presets, and its surround performance is better. It also has a Full HDMI In port, and it supports Wi-Fi.

Discussions