Yamaha YSP-5100 doesn’t make any compromises in its quality which you would have guessed when looking at its price tag. It is priced around $2000 mark offering a single speaker home theater solution. It is one among the few speakers that are available offering virtual surround sound effects and the speaker includes almost every connection options that would be needed and most features. The speaker system starts at $1500 mark but goes on up to $2000 and this makes us a step back in recommending as there are many others offering almost same quality despite pricing very cheaper to it.
YSP-4100 offers almost the same audio quality but is priced $300 less than our model. Added to the disappointment is that there is no sub woofer included in the $2000 tag. YSP-5100 is a great option but we always recommend the YSP-4100 just to reduce the money you pay.
Most of the speakers nowadays are designed very sleek and slim but YSP-5100 is not of the same case as it is surprisingly big. The sound bar measures a 47.25 wide, 8.38 inches in height and 3.5 inches deep. 8.38 inches in height is too big as you cannot place it below your TV without blocking a part of the bottom screen. The best solution for this would wall mounting but we have to adjust with the wires that are running all around once you mount.
The speaker bar has a matte black speaker grille up front along with a strip of glossy black which runs at the bottom. Behind the grille is the speaker with 1.5 inch 40 drivers and two 1-inch tweeters and these are what responsible for such quality. At the centre of the strip are an LCD screen and other indicators. The remote control disappoints when considering the price tag. The volume control surprises a lot as it does two functions, one for controlling volume and the other to change channel. Yamaha should have been given a dedicated volume rocker as the system on a whole is only sound based. However it wouldn’t be a problem as we can purchase a universal remote, after all it is only a few bugs compared to the monster’s price.
YSP-5100 includes some notable features that most others lack but didn’t fail to miss a few features that cheaper speaker systems include. It does not support 3D video but to use the 3D functionality you need a separate cable to be connected to 3D HDTV along with the audio cable connected to the YSP-5100. 3D is still under dilemma and we are not sure when it will take off or will never and hence it not a great issue.
As said above, it does not include a sub woofer which most cheap speaker systems include. However we didn’t feel that we missed it, impressed with its sound quality.
The speaker system includes a text based graphical user interface and hence you can make adjustment on the HDTV. We couldn’t find any other system including a GUI like this. YSP-5100 includes most connectivity options pushing the YSP-4100 to second place. Connection options include four HDMI inputs, three digital audio inputs etc. It does not include a mini jack input but is compensated by the inclusion of YIT-W10 wireless dock. YSP-5100 supports analog video including both composite video and component video and is also capable of analog video up conversion meaning that analog video signals can be sent through the HDMI output. YSP-5100 outclasses other home theater system by supporting almost all audio formats including the DTS-HD master audio and Dolby True HD which are high resolution formats.
It is time to say about the wireless iPod dock. The YIT-W10 wireless iPod dock allows you to stream music to the YSP-5100 and this makes it superior to other HTIBs. All you have to do to connect the iPod is stick the adapter and select the source as iPod. It is even possible to adjust the volume using the iPod. You will not find any interruption in the wireless transmission unless you take the iPod from the line of sight.
YSP-5100 includes a microphone which is necessary for automatic speaker calibration. This is an important feature as the virtual surround technology needs a careful setup. Another step up from its competitors is the inclusion of the FM tuner.
The sound quality wholly depends upon the wall reflection and hence we always recommend you mount them on the wall. More the empty room more is the surround sound experience. The sound bar home theatre offers both automatic and manual setup options. Manual setup will result efficiently only if done by professionals and hence if you are not one of them, don’t try to dig deep. When we tried adjusting manual settings we couldn’t achieve good results but resulted only with reduced quality.
Yamaha did not include a written manual but only a CD-ROM including setup instructions. If you are a first timer, just plug in the microphone and run the auto setup program. It might take a few minutes for completion. The Dynamic Range Control (DRC) will be always on and hence you need to turn it off if you are watching movies.
Enough of bass is achieved using the 4.5 inch woofers but it will be always better to include a sub woofer. The system supports any brand subwoofer but we recommend you buy the $300 YST-SW315. There is only a slight difference in sound quality when compared with the YSP-4100 and hence you are one among them using YSP-4100, don’t even think of upgrading it to YSP-5100 just for sound quality.
Except for the cost, YSP-5100 is a credible sound system but there are 5.1 home theatre systems offering even better sound experience. If you are an audiophile, we suggest you check out such home theatre systems priced in the same range despite including a subwoofer system. Wireless iPod dock, numerous connection options, unlimited sound format support all in one sound bar home theatre system. We are really confused whether to recommend it or not considering its price.