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Yamaha YAS-109 Soundbar Review

Tested using Methodology v1.0
Reviewed Feb 16, 2021 at 09:43 am
Yamaha YAS-109 Picture

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

N/A 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.
N/A 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.
N/A 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.
N/A 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.
  • N/A Mixed Usage
  • N/A Dialogue/TV Shows
  • N/A Music
  • N/A Movies
  1. Updated Feb 23, 2021: Updated HDR10 Passthrough from 'No' to 'Yes'.
  2. Updated Feb 16, 2021: Review published.
  3. Updated Feb 11, 2021: Early access published.

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-209

The Yamaha YAS-209 has a better performance than the Yamaha YAS-109. The YAS-209 comes with a dedicated subwoofer that helps reproduce a more extended low-bass. It's also better-built, and it has a better soundstage.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Sonos Arc

The Sonos Arc is a better soundbar than the Yamaha YAS-108. The Sonos is a 5.0.2 setup that's better-built and supports Dolby Atmos content. It has better soundstage, center, and surround performances, and it comes with a room correction feature. Some listeners may prefer its more neutral sound profile out-of-the-box. That said, the 2.0 Yamaha has more wireless playback options, and it comes with a Full HDMI In port.

Sonos Beam (Gen 2)

The Sonos Beam (Gen 2) is better than the Yamaha YAS-109. The Sonos is a better-built 5.0 setup that supports Dolby Atmos content. It has better soundstage, center, and surround performances. There are some more sound enhancement features too, like room correction. That said, the 2.0 Yamaha is still a fair choice for dialogue-centric content like TV shows. Unlike the Sonos, it has a Full HDMI In port and Bluetooth support.

Samsung HW-S60A

The Yamaha YAS-109 and the Samsung HW-S60A are both smart standalone soundbars, but the Samsung is better overall. The Samsung is a better-built 5.0 setup with better soundstage, center, and surround performances. It also has more sound enhancement features, like a graphic EQ. However, unlike the 2.0 Yamaha, it doesn't have a Full HDMI In port for high-quality passthrough.

Sony HT-X8500

The Sony HT-X8500 is better than the Yamaha YAS-109. The Sony is better built, and it supports Dolby Atmos content. That said, the Yamaha has built-in voice assistant support and more wireless playback options. It also has a better soundstage performance.

JBL Bar 5.0 MultiBeam

The JBL Bar 5.0 MultiBeam and the Yamaha YAS-109 are both standalone soundbars, but the JBL is better overall. The JBL is a 5.0 setup that supports Dolby Atmos content, unlike the Yamaha. It has better soundstage, center, and surround performances, too. Also, it has a better build quality. That said, the 2.0 Yamaha is still okay, especially if you mostly listen to vocal-centric content like TV shows.

Sony HT-S100F

The Yamaha YAS-109 is slightly better than the Sony HT-S100F. The Yamaha is a standalone 2.0 setup with better soundstage and surround performances. It comes with more wireless playback options, and it reproduces a bit more low-bass than the Sony. That said, the Sony gets louder, and it's still a decent option for dialogue-heavy content like TV shows.

Samsung HW-Q600A

The Samsung HW-Q600A is better than the Yamaha YAS-109. The Samsung is a 3.1.2 setup with a dedicated subwoofer that can reproduce a more extended low-bass. It's better-built, and unlike the Yamaha, it supports Dolby Atmos content. It also has better soundstage and center performances. There are even more sound enhancement features available, including a graphic EQ. That said, the 2.0 Yamaha still has a better surrounds performance.

Samsung HW-A550

The Samsung HW-A550 is better than the Yamaha YAS-109. The Samsung comes with a dedicated sub that can reproduce a more extended low-bass. It's better built, and it has a better soundstage performance. It even comes with more sound enhancement features, like a graphic EQ. However, the Yamaha's standalone design may be more suitable for some listeners. It also has better center and surround performances.

Bose Smart Soundbar 300

The Bose Smart Soundbar 300 is better than the Yamaha YAS-109. The Bose is a 3.0 setup that's better built. It also has better soundstage and center performances. That said, only the 2.0 Yamaha has a Full HDMI In port for high quality passthrough. Some users may also prefer that it has EQ presets for sound customization.

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Test Results

perceptual testing image
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 Lock" (Lock cm)
Height Lock" (Lock cm)
Depth Lock" (Lock 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
Locked

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
Locked
Design
Back - Satellites
Mounting
Locked
N/A
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
Lock m (Lock ft)

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

Sound
N/A
Sound
Stereo Frequency Response
Tested Preset
Locked
Slope
Lock
Std. Err.
Lock dB
Channels
2.0
Low-Frequency Extension
Lock Hz
High-Frequency Extension
Lock 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.

N/A
Sound
Stereo Frequency Response With Preliminary Calibration
Suggested Preset
Locked
Suggested Bass Setting
Lock
Suggested Treble Setting
N/A
Slope
Lock
Std. Err.
Lock dB
Low-Frequency Extension
Lock Hz
High-Frequency Extension
Lock 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.

N/A
Sound
Stereo Soundstage
Crosstalk Error
Lock 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.

N/A
Sound
Stereo Dynamics
SPL @ Max Volume
Lock dB SPL
DRC @ Max Volume
Lock 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.

N/A
Sound
Stereo Total Harmonic Distortion
Weighted THD @ 80dB
Lock
Weighted THD @ Max Volume
Lock

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.

N/A
Sound
Center
Localization
Locked
Slope
Lock
Std. Err.
Lock dB
SPL @ Max Volume
Lock dB SPL
Weighted THD @ 80dB
Lock
Weighted THD @ Max Volume
Lock

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.

N/A
Sound
Surround 5.1
Localization
Locked
Slope
Lock
Std. Err.
Lock dB
SPL @ Max Volume
Lock dB SPL
Weighted THD @ 80dB
Lock
Weighted THD @ Max Volume
Lock
7.1 Rears
Locked

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.

N/A
Sound
Height (Atmos)
Localization
Locked
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.

N/A
Sound
Sound Enhancement Features
Room Correction
Locked
Dialogue Enhancement
Locked
Auto-Volume/Night Mode
Locked
Subwoofer Level Adjustment
Locked
Bass Adjustment
Locked
Treble Adjustment
Locked
EQ
Locked
Surround Level Adjustment
Locked
Rear Level Adjustment
Locked
Height Level Adjustment
Locked
Virtual Surround
Locked

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
Locked
HDMI ARC
Locked
HDMI Out
Locked
Full HDMI In
Locked
Analog Audio In 3.5mm (Aux)
Locked
RCA In
Locked
USB for Files
Locked
Ethernet
Locked

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.

N/A
Connectivity
Audio Format Support - ARC
eARC
Locked
Dolby Atmos
Locked
Dolby Digital
Locked
Dolby Digital Plus
Locked
DTS
Locked
DTS:X (eARC only)
Locked
Dolby TrueHD (eARC only)
Locked
DTS-HD MA (eARC only)
Locked
5.1 PCM (eARC only)
Locked

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.

N/A
Connectivity
Audio Format Support - Full HDMI In
Dolby Atmos
Locked
DTS:X
Locked
Dolby Digital
Locked
Dolby Digital Plus
Locked
DTS
Locked
Dolby TrueHD
Locked
DTS-HD MA
Locked
5.1 PCM
Locked

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.

N/A
Connectivity
Audio Format Support - Optical
Dolby Digital
Locked
DTS
Locked

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.

N/A
Connectivity
Latency
- SAMPLE -
Get Insider Access for videos & test results
Yamaha YAS-109 Latency Video Sample
ARC
Lock ms
Optical
Lock ms
Full HDMI In
Lock 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.

N/A
Connectivity
Wireless Playback
Bluetooth
Locked
Wi-Fi
Locked
Chromecast built-in
Locked
Apple AirPlay
Locked

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
Locked
4k @ 60 Hz @ 10 bit Passthrough
Locked
4k @ 60 Hz @ 4:4:4 Passthrough
Locked
HDR10 Passthrough
Locked

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
Locked
Connectivity
Connectivity - Satellites
Sat Wireless
Locked
Additional Features
Additional Features
Interface
Display
Locked

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
Locked

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
Locked
Google Assistant
Locked
Apple Siri
Locked

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 Locked
iOS Locked
Android Locked
Acts As A Remote
Locked
Controls Soundbar's Settings
Locked
Casts Device Files
Locked

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
Locked
HDMI CEC (TV Remote Control)
Locked

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.

Discussions