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on 7 January 2012
First off, I didn't actually buy via Amazon as I wanted to see such an expensive piece of kit before I bought it, so a trip to Richer Sounds in Cambridge and a few pounds more (I don't believe it's right to take up the shop assistants time and then buy online to save a few quid) , but I'm a happy customer.

I'll leave someone who actually knows about Hi Fi to write a better technical review, but I can sum up as:

Very easy to set up and connect.
Easy to understand menus and controls.
Unobtrusive and smart design.

But mostly, it sounds awesome! Bass is fantastic through a wood floor, speech is very clear and my rather un-trained ears detect no distortion or unpleasant artifacts.

The speaker bar is discrete and fits nicely under our 37" Plasma, but I did have to buy a wall mount ( Duronic PLB103M-K Black Universal 32"-55" LCD/Plasma/LED/3D TV Wall Mount Bracket Tilt with [[ SECURITY LOCKING BAR  ) to move the TV up and above the speaker bar which otherwise obscured the remote control receiver. Our TV has no digital output so we are working off the audio out RCA ports which means that we cannot use the TV remote to control the sound unit, however I anticipate that we will change the TV in a year or so, and given that panels are getting flatter and the laws of physics (with repect to creating sound from tiny speakers in flat panels) don't seem to be changing, I think we will get many years of use out of this bar.

The difference in sound from the TV speakers to the sound bar is equivalent to the change in picture quality from an old analog CRT telly to a modern Hi Def digital set. It may cost as much as a television, but I'd say that without good sound you are only getting 2/3 the value from your TV.

I don't have an opinion as to how this bar stacks up against an equivalent price surround sound system, for us it was more important that it fit our living room and we didn't want extra speakers and wires trailing about the place.

Hope this helps.
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on 23 September 2014
great sounds and adequate to fill a small to medium sized living room. surround sound is only evident if you have a clear way for the speakers to bounce their sound around. otherwise get additional rear speakers to make a true surround effect. i must admit i didn't future proof enough as streaming media content seems to be the norm. the yamaha brand is great and the product is great. consider getting wired or wireless speakers and bluetooth enabled sound bars.
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on 3 March 2013
I spent some time looking for a sound bar whilst this is a bit more expensive than most.It ticks all the boxes,it can decode pretty much any thing from Dolby True HD to DTS Neo. It has HDMI CEC control and ARC so if you have a newish Samsung or LG it will turn on and off and the volume can be controlled by the TV remote, once you enable HDMI CEC link in Yamaha and the TV - on LG its called Simplink and Samsung Anynet. It can take 3 HDMI INPUTS and an optical. Now you may question what an optical is needed for.However most Sky HD boxes only output Dolby Digital via the optical cable. So here the Yamaha shines, you can allocate the optical to any of the HDMI inputs - clever or what. It sounds great with just the sound bar,theres no comparison with TV, but this is sound bar that thinks its an AV receiver - you can add rear surounds then it really comes alive ! (got some Jamo A102 from amazon which sound brill and are very small and discrete, you need to get 6 - 8 ohm speakers though - 4 ohm wont work)
The bar itself has adjustable legs so it can be adjusted to sit above a tv stand and the tv frame,although it is bit of a dust magnet.It does have 3 speakers so you get a proper centre channel for speech.
I have an LG Blu ray on one input connected via the Yamaha to LG tv, the simplink works through and with the Yamaha, just turning on the Blu ray the Yamaha auto switches to the Blu ray and displays it on the TV. (You'll need to set the output on the blu ray to bit stream to get the Yamaha to decode, also if your blu ray disk has one of the advanced HD audio outputs youll need to set this in the audio options from the discs menu, otherwis it will default to Dolby Digital )
ARC means that only one HDMI cable is needed but it needs to be ARC compatable 1.4a (got mine from amazon at a fraction of shop costs), but you will need an ARC Compatible TV and need to ensure that the HDMI is connected into the ARC HDMI on the TV
The Sky HD box is a bit more annoying- being very old HDMI version you'll need to manual switch the HDMI input to get sound.The picture displays when turned on, but the TV is saying I'm controlling the sound.

Finally its fully iPad /iPhone compatible so it can control and charge an iPad,ipod or iphone(not 5),showing the track name on the display you can even move the track on by using the remote.
Downsides base could be better on music,spring clips for speakers are fiddly, no on screen graphics. so you have to look at its own display which is a bit small in a large room, you need to get right up close to be able to see the decoder displays.
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on 18 December 2012
I dont often write reviews, but this time I felt I needed to.

This soundbar system really is rather good, producing sound that is far superior to the original speakers of my Panasonic Viera Tv and the old Onkyo HDMI Reciever it replaces.

For me the plus points are:

The ability to control the bass level from the remote control on an adhoc basis
The ability to connect two rear speakers physically to the system (yet to do yet but on the shopping list)

I also researched without success to find out if any of the soundbars could pass through a HDMI signal with the device turned off, I took the plunge with this model and to my suprise/relief have been able to pass through the sky signal over HDMi for both audio and video with the device on standby. This is a massive plus point for me as it allows the wife to use the system without the soundbar on, which is probably her preference during the daytime!

A great system, totally recomended!
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on 21 August 2014
I've just bought this soundbar and have been putting it through it's paces...Fantastic piece of kit!

It oozes quality from the second you open the box....the subwoofer/ amp is quite heavy but that's what you want...it needs to be solid. The soundbar is really adjustable from height perspective meaning it should suit almost any set... Both look great with your tv.

The sound on this system is excellent ..ample base and a good range from the soundbars 3x 50w speakers...this is a gargantuan improvement on my samsung f350 soundbar and passive sub....when watching films the floor vibrates and when things move across the screen the sound moves with it just like at the cinema...great!

This package has the option of adding speakers in the future too so it's got more to it than most systems...plus (I didn't know this) you plug your hdmi sources into the sub and it does the rest ...one hdmi into your tv via arc and away you go! No need for optical cables!

It needs tweaking slightly using my optimum settings below which are fairly simple but seem to get the best out of it:

Tv and Blu Ray - Use surround movie mode, increase the bass to +6, use clear voice and uni volume to keep sound levels constant.

Don't fiddle with any other settings..... Hope this helps you! Enjoy!
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on 31 January 2013
I have a small living room and i dislike all the cables that come as standard on most home cinema surround systems. I chose this product after researching on various websites. I love it. It is very easy to set up and the sound quality in more than enough for what i require. I have it connected to my Samsung 40 inch LED Smart TV.
I have set it up as follows -
HDMI1 connected to SKY Plus HD Box
HDMI2 connected to Samsung Blu Ray Player
HDMI3 connected to HDMI splitter which connects my Xbox 360 and HDMI Multimedia HDD.
HDMI Output connected to TV
Digital Optical Lead connected to TV.

It was really easy to set up. Take a couple of minutes to read the instructions. I found the illustrations clear and simple to follow.
It is never going to be as good as a 7.1 surround sound system but it produces crisp clear sound and is a vast improvement on the TV Speakers.
The volume goes all the way up to 100 but i haven't used it higher than 25 and my fiance thinks that is loud.
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on 14 February 2013
Vast improvement over the TV speakers. Speech which was unclear is now perfectly enhanced although perhaps not as good as full surround pound for pound gives me excellent results. Also able to play my music from the hard drive on my recorder which is a real bonus.

Brilliant value for money and has all the connections needed for games machines etc.
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on 24 July 2014
I bought this soundbar after i bought a new TV because the new TV had a crappy sound, but i have to say this soundbar is amazing with an amazing price and i have tried it with my ps4, TV and classic IPOD and its perfect worth the money
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on 27 May 2013
Down -sizing forced me to look for a smaller sound system. After a lot of research the Yamaha YTH S401 was the best choice available. Having had a more advanced Yamaha system in the past I was not sure if I was going to be happy with my choice. After hearing similar and more expensive sound bars I am pleased that I selected this one. Easy set up but must buy quality HDMI and optical cable. There is also an option of connecting two satellite speakers which make it sound better.

I am also pleased that I bought it through Richer Sounds. Competitively priced, delivery was fast and communications very good. I have no doubt should I have any future difficulties Richer Sounds will sort it out.
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on 16 December 2013
......this is for you. I live in a barn conversion where space is at a premium and loads of kit would look out of place. This partners my Sony LCD well, has all the connections and facilities I need in one neat solution. Radio, USB for I-pod/MP3 connection, Blu-ray and dvd recorder etc all connect up well. Switches over automatically via hdmi and can set it to adjust volume from tv remote. Sound is not the same as a full surround set up, but more than good enough for everyday tv, movies and music to my ears and so much better than tv speakers and I-pod docks/speakers. Would have liked a digital tuner so minus one star.
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