If you’re looking to upgrade your sound system but don’t have a Premiership footballer’s budget at your disposal, Yamaha has an ideal solution. The NS-P20 is a 5.1-channel speaker package that sells for an eminently affordable £125 (approx) and is designed to be partnered with Yamaha’s equally-affordable AV receiver, the RX-V371.
Naturally at this price it’s a compact system, which means it can be placed around the living room on AV racks, shelves or furniture without taking up much space. In the package are four NS-B20 satellites for the fronts and rears, an NS-C20 centre speaker and the NS-SW20 powered subwoofer.
Affordable it may be, but ugly it ain’t. The 176mm-high NS-B20s are styled in a sleek gloss-black finish, with a curvy back end that oozes elegance. Below the grille is a recess that serves no real purpose but makes an interesting aesthetic feature. The centre speaker is horizontally aligned for easy placement under a TV, measuring 291mm wide. All of the satellites sport keyhole opening on the back for wall mounting.
Closer inspection of the speakers reveals, somewhat unsurprisingly, that their build quality isn’t the best – the cabinets are light and plasticky, with tiny springclip terminals on the back that can be fiddly to rig up if your cables are thicker than the ones supplied in the box. But this is all par for the course, and as budget speakers go the NS-P20 is actually a nicely made little system.
The subwoofer’s build is decent, boasting a sturdy cube-shaped cabinet that should be easy to accommodate with dimensions of 262(w) x 264(h) x 299(d)mm. It’s a real bonus to get a powered sub – most brands would have gone with a passive model at this price – while flashes of gloss black here and there give it a little pizzazz.