The Yamaha YAS-209 is an entry-level soundbar with a 2.1 setup. Overall, it's a decent soundbar with a well-balanced sound profile. The subwoofer helps create good bass, so the soundbar's good for many different uses. The soundbar has two channels, left and right, so without any dedicated satellites speakers, it can't properly project surround sound. However, there's a virtual surround sound setting, which may help it with this problem. It has a built-in Alexa feature and the controls are fairly easy to use. It's a slight improvement over the Yamaha YAS-207, with a sleeker design.
The Yamaha YAS-209 is a decent soundbar with a well-balanced sound profile. It has a great frequency response, and the subwoofer helps produce good bass. The soundbar won't offer an immersive listening experience because of its lack of surround sound and height channels. Alexa users will be happy with a built-in Alexa feature. In addition, the soundbar has a simple, sleek design that won't stand out with most TV setups.See our Mixed Usage recommendations
The Yamaha YAS-209 is good for dialogue. As a 2.1 system, the soundbar is able to reproduce voices and dialogue well, and has a dialogue enhancement feature to enhance clarity. Unfortunately the soundbar doesn't get very loud, but most TV shows won't need max volume.See our Dialogue/TV Shows recommendations
Decent for music. The Yamaha YAS-209 has a well-balanced sound profile, and the dedicated subwoofer produces a good low-frequency extension, which is good for bass-heavy music. The stereo soundstage is alright, but on the upside, there isn't much compression at the max volume, so the quality doesn't decrease the louder it gets.See our Music recommendations
Okay for movies. The Yamaha YAS-209 doesn't have dedicated satellite speakers, and there's no Atmos support, so this might not please most movie fans. The soundbar mixes surround sound content to the left and right channels, so it gives out a more stereo feel. However, there's a virtual surround setting to try to help with this problem, but we didn't measure this setting.
The Yamaha YAS-209's bar has a simple style with an all-black design. It's made out of mesh around the soundbar, but the top and the back where the inputs are placed are made out of plastic. Unlike the Yamaha YAS-207, whose controls were in front, the controls on the Yamaha YAS-209 are on top, so you won't see any distracting control lights when watching TV.
The subwoofer has a straightforward design. It's made out of melamine, but one of the sides and the front are completely covered by mesh fabric. The port is in the front and made from a glossy plastic, which looks like an improvement over the Yamaha YAS-207.
The Yamaha YAS-209's bar is fairly wide, and depending on the TV, it might not fit between the TV's legs. It's not very high, so it shouldn't cover the screen on most TVs.
The Yamaha YAS-209's subwoofer isn't very wide, so it'll fit in most setups, whether it's next to the couch or with your TV bench. It's about the size of a desktop computer.
This setup doesn't have any satellites.
The back of the Yamaha YAS-209's bar looks extremely similar to the Yamaha YAS-207. There are two slots for inputs and two holes for universal mounts.
The back of the Yamaha YAS-209's subwoofer isn't very different from the Yamaha YAS-207. Only the power source is plugged in the back.
The Yamaha YAS-209 has decent build quality. The controls on top of the soundbar are a nice improvement on the Yamaha YAS-207, but overall, the two look similar. Mesh-like fabric covers the soundbar, except the top and back for the inputs, which are both made with plastic. Mesh fabric is prone to attract dust and get dirty, especially if you have animals in the house. The fabric can also rip, but this shouldn't be a problem if it doesn't move around too much. The subwoofer is made mostly of melamine, but a mesh fabric covers the front and one side.
The Yamaha YAS-209's stereo frequency response is great. Its dedicated subwoofer helps create a good low-frequency extension, which is great for movies and bass-heavy music. It creates quite a bit more bass than the Yamaha YAS-207. The rest of its sound profile is fairly well-balanced and is suitable for a wide variety of content.
The stereo soundstage of this soundbar is decent. It's ever so slightly wider than the bar itself and sounds very focused. You can easily tell that objects come from an accurate pinpoint location rather than a general area, like they do when listening to the Bose Soundbar 500, which sounds more diffused.
The Yamaha YAS-209 doesn't have much compression at its max volume, which is great. However, it doesn't get very loud, but should still satisfy most users.
The stereo total harmonic distortion performance is good. The THD is within good limits and there's no significant jump under heavier loads. This means that the sound should still be clear and pure, even at max volume.
The center channel performance of the Yamaha YAS-209 is decent. Since this is a 2.1 system, the bar lacks a dedicated center channel and instead uses the stereo channels to create a phantom-localized center. This results in a more diffused and less clear reproduction of center noises. On the upside, It still has a fairly well-balanced sound, but is noticeably quieter than other soundbars.
Due to its 2.1 configuration, the Yamaha YAS-209 has poor surround performance. It can receive surround content, but will downmix it to be able to play it with the left and right speakers. This means that sounds might feel like they're coming from in front of you rather than around. On the upside, it has a virtual surround setting which might help with this, although we tested the soundbar with the default settings.
This soundbar doesn't support Atmos content.
The Yamaha YAS-209 has a few sound enhancement features and even has six different EQ presets made for different types of content, which weren't available on the Yamaha YAS-207. It also features a DTS-X 3D virtual surround setting and an immersive surround mode, although we didn't test those as we test soundbars with their default settings.
The Yamaha YAS-209 has most of the common inputs. There's an Optical Audio In for TVs that don't have an HDMI ARC, and HDMI ARC and Full HDMI In ports are included, which can be used if you want to connect a Blu-Ray or gaming console. Unfortunately, if you're looking for a wired connection to your phone, there's no analog 3.5mm jack. Additionally, there's a USB slot, which can only be used for updates, and an Ethernet port as well.
The supported audio formats over ARC on the Yamaha YAS-209 are decent. Like most soundbars, it supports both Dolby Digital and DTS over the HDMI ARC port. This way you'll receive 5.1 surround sound on most content that supports it, like streaming platforms and Blu-rays, but since this is a 2.1 bar, it'll downmix the signal to be able to play it. Unfortunately, it doesn't support lossless or object-based formats.
The Yamaha YAS-209 soundbar can serve as a hub via the Full HDMI In port. With Dolby Digital and DTS support, you'll be able to play 5.1 audio from any source that supports surround sound but since this is a 2.1 bar, it will downmix the signal to be able to play it. Also, the HDMI 5.1 PCM video didn't play any sound in our tests, but the manual says it's supported on the soundbar.
This soundbar supports both Dolby Digital and DTS via the optical cable, like most soundbars. You'll receive 5.1 surround sound on any source that supports it, like Blu-ray discs, but it will be downmixed.
The Yamaha YAS-209 has both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity. There's a built-in Alexa feature, and you can connect your phone to play music from your favorite apps. Unfortunately, the soundbar doesn't have Google Chromecast or Apple AirPlay support.
The Yamaha YAS-209 supports 4k @ 60Hz, 4k @ 60Hz @ 10 bit, 4k @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4, and HDR10 passthroughs. This is an improvement over the Yamaha YAS-207, which only supported 4k @ 60Hz and HDR10 passthroughs. You'll be able to connect Blu-ray players, gaming consoles, or your PC monitor with these available passthroughs.
The subwoofer connects to the soundbar wirelessly, saving you the hassle of an extra wire. There's a pairing button at the back of the subwoofer to connect to the soundbar.
The Yamaha YAS-209 has an interface with light indicators, which lets you know which settings you're on. The interface is responsive, and there weren't any problems with it. The controls are on top, so you shouldn't see any blinking lights when facing it, but you also won't know which settings you're on.
The bar controls on the Yamaha YAS-209 include input, volume up/down, power, mute mic, and an Alexa button. However, Alexa doesn't work if the mute mic is enabled.
The remote for the Yamaha YAS-209 is curved, compared to the straight design of the Yamaha YAS-207. However, the curve faces inwards, so it's a bit awkward to hold. There are input controls, and a child lock procedure on the remote as well. You can control the volume of the soundbar and the subwoofer independently, and there are six different sound settings you can change with a click of a button.
The Yamaha Sound Bar Controller is pretty much a digital version of the Yamaha YAS-209 remote, with all the same features available on the remote. You can play audio files from your phone on the app, and use music apps to play on the soundbar. You can also control Alexa using the app.
The Yamaha YAS-209 soundbar has a standby mode when there's no audio input or any commands done for 10 minutes. It also supports HDMI CEC, so you can use your TV remote to control the volume and power of the soundbar.
The Yamaha YAS-209 is a decent overall soundbar with good performance for a 2.1 setup. It has one of the better-performing stereo frequency responses that we've tested so far. This soundbar doesn't support Atmos content, so it's not as great of an option for movies compared to some of the higher-end models, but the wireless subwoofer is a good addition to an entry-level soundbar. It doesn't get loud like some other soundbars, but there isn't much compression at max volume. See our recommendations for the best soundbars, the best soundbars with subwoofers, and the best budget soundbars.
The Yamaha YAS-209 is a slight improvement over the Yamaha YAS-207. It performs a bit better at max volume, but doesn't seem to get as loud as the previous model. However, it should still get loud enough for most people. The YAS-209 has a slightly better sub as well, which produces deeper bass. It also now supports Wi-Fi wireless playback, which the YAS-207 lacks.
The Samsung HW-Q60R is slightly better than the Yamaha YAS-209. It's a 5.1 system compared to the 2.1 configuration of the Yamaha. It gets louder and its dedicated center speaker makes for better reproduction of dialogue and voices. It's also better-built and feels more high-end. On the other hand, the YAS-209's sub produces deeper bass on stereo content and also supports Wi-Fi playback, which the Samsung doesn't do.
The Yamaha YAS-209 is a bit better than the Sonos Beam if you only get the bar by itself. The YAS-209 comes with a dedicated wireless subwoofer that helps to produce more bass than the Beam. It also has a lot more connection inputs and you can also connect to it via Bluetooth. On the other hand, the Beam is more compact and you can easily upgrade your setup with a sub and rear speakers.
The Samsung HW-Q70R is a better soundbar than the Yamaha YAS-209. It's more high-end and it has a 3.1.2 configuration, which should be better than the 2.1 YAS-209. The Samsung has a dedicated center channel, which is great for accurate reproduction of dialogue, and also has two up-firing speakers for Atmos content.
The Yamaha YAS-408 and Yamaha YAS-209 are very similar, but the YAS-408 is ever so slightly better thanks to a better build quality and the ability to play content wirelessly via AirPlay, which the YAS-209 can't do. Sound-wise, they pretty much have the same sound signature and most people won't notice the difference.
The Yamaha YAS-209 is slightly better than the JBL Link Bar. The 2.1 YAS-209 comes with a wireless subwoofer than performs better bass reproduction than the 2.0 Link Bar. Its overall sound signature is also a bit more balanced and it has a better center channel performance, although it's noticeably quieter. On the other hand, if you like Chromecast built-in, the Link Bar has it while the YAS-209 lacks it.
The Yamaha YAS-209 is a much better soundbar than the Polk Audio SIGNA S2. The YAS-209 has a better balanced frequency response and performs better with music. However, it doesn't get as loud as the Polk, but it performs way better at max volume. It also has a lot more inputs and supports more audio formats, on top of being able to play content via Wi-Fi.