Yamaha ATS-1090 Soundbar with Built-in Subwoofers

As an expert in audio technology, I had the pleasure of delving into the Yamaha ATS-1090 soundbar, a sleek and powerful addition to the audio landscape. Let’s break down its key features and performance aspects.

Compatibility and Inputs: The Yamaha ATS-1090 boasts a comprehensive range of inputs, making it a versatile companion for your home entertainment system. With one HDMI input and output supporting TV ARC, a digital optical input, and a subwoofer output, this soundbar ensures seamless connectivity. The 4K pass-through capability, supporting HDR10 and HLG, enhances its compatibility with modern high-resolution content.

Performance and Quality: The ATS-1090 doesn’t compromise when it comes to performance. The drivers, including front L/R speakers and built-in subwoofers, deliver a robust output power of 120W. This comprises 30W per channel for the front L/R speakers and an impressive 60W for the built-in subwoofers. The result is a rich, immersive audio experience that elevates your movies, music, and games.

Yamaha ATS-1090 soundbar
Yamaha ATS-1090 soundbar

Energy Efficiency: Yamaha demonstrates a commitment to energy efficiency with the ATS-1090. The soundbar consumes a modest 30W during operation, and in standby mode, it minimizes power consumption to as low as 0.2W (HDMI control off, network standby off). This thoughtful design aligns with the demand for eco-friendly audio solutions.

Design and Dimensions: Sleek and versatile, the ATS-1090 is designed to complement your entertainment setup. Whether installed in front of a TV or mounted on a wall, the soundbar’s dimensions (35″ x 2-1/8″ x 5-1/8″) and weight (7.5 lbs) make it a discreet yet impactful addition to your living space.

Sound Technology and Surround Modes: Yamaha’s sound engineering prowess shines through with the incorporation of DTS Virtual:X™ technology. The virtual surround capability creates an expansive soundstage, enhancing your listening experience across various modes—Music, TV program, Movie, Sports, and Game. The Compressed Music Enhancer further ensures optimal sound quality, especially for Bluetooth® streaming.

Audio Formats and Connectivity: Supporting a range of audio formats, including Dolby Digital, Dolby Pro Logic II, and DTS Digital Surround, the ATS-1090 accommodates diverse preferences. Built-in music streaming services, Wi-Fi connectivity, and Bluetooth® (Version 4.2) with a communication range of approximately 33 feet add layers of convenience to your audio experience.

Additional Features: The Yamaha ATS-1090 comes with the Sound Bar Controller app for easy and intuitive control. While lacking a learning function and wireless subwoofer, its front surround system and absence of MusicCast Surround may be trade-offs for some users.

Price: Priced competitively at $219.95, the Yamaha ATS-1090 soundbar strikes a balance between affordability and premium features, making it an attractive choice for audio enthusiasts seeking quality without breaking the bank.

The Yamaha ATS-1090 proves to be a satisfactory option for music enthusiasts. Its default sound profile leans towards a bass-heavy and dark tone, occasionally obscuring voices. However, the simplicity of this soundbar limits the extent of sound customization, allowing only for the adjustment of subwoofer volume without the ability to fine-tune bass or treble settings. Notably, it lacks in low-bass reproduction, particularly evident in genres like EDM and hip-hop, where the expected thump and rumble are somewhat subdued.

Yamaha ATS-1090 soundbar
ATS-1090 soundbar – images: Yamaha

Yamaha appears to cater to users who may be new to soundbars, ensuring a straightforward setup process. The YAS-109 prioritizes user-friendly adjustments, avoiding potentially detrimental changes to audio quality. For instance, the various sound modes—Movie, TV, Music, and Sports—offer subtle shifts in the EQ, providing a user-friendly experience without the risk of ruining the audio. This approach is advantageous for novice consumers, preventing accidental speaker damage due to mode selection.

The compact remote complements the overall simplicity, featuring all necessary buttons for input selection, volume control for mids/tweeters and subwoofer, sound mode selection, and an Amazon Alexa button. While the remote is serviceable, control feedback is only satisfactory, making it somewhat challenging to gauge speaker and woofer settings at a glance. Adjusting volume with the TV remote is not entirely seamless, requiring multiple presses before a noticeable change in decibels occurs.

In terms of movie performance, the Yamaha ATS-1090 falls into the middle ground. Its 2.2 configuration lacks the immersive feel provided by multichannel audio formats like Dolby Digital, as it must downmix 5.1 surround sound into stereo for playback. This results in a less clear and realistic audio experience. Additionally, the soundbar does not support Dolby Atmos content, and the absence of low-bass impact is noticeable in action scenes, where the expected rumble accompanying large explosions is somewhat subdued.

The Yamaha ATS-1090 soundbar delivers a harmonious blend of compatibility, performance, and quality. With its sleek design, powerful audio output, and thoughtful features, it stands as a commendable option in the realm of soundbars. Whether you’re a cinephile, music lover, or avid gamer, the Yamaha ATS-1090 promises to elevate your audio experience to new heights.

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