The Yamaha YSP-2200 comes with the sort of plentiful feature list that’s all too rare among soundbars these days. First up, it kicks out 132W of audio power from its digital amplifier and decodes Dolby True HD and DTS HD Master Audio, which means you can feed it bitstreams directly from your Blu-ray deck’s HDMI output. And call us superficial but we love that the format name pops up on the display panel.
It’s also equipped with 11 digital sound processing (DSP) modes, which tailor the sound to suit different types of material. In our experience it’s usually worth leaving these well alone, but you might have some joy playing around with them. They’re split into Movie (Sci-Fi, Adventure, Spectacle), Music (Music Video, Concert Hall, Jazz Club) and Entertainment (Sports, Talk Show, Drama, Game, Multichannel Stereo).
There are also several listening modes that use the beam drivers in different ways (see the picture above for an idea of how they work). The regular setting for 7-channel sources is 5 BeamPlus2, but you can select from Stereo 3BeamPlus2, 5 Beam, Stereo 3Beam, 3Beam, Stereo and My Surround.
Finally, Music Enhancer aims to restore detail to compressed music formats, while UniVolume keeps a consistent level between different input sources and types of material.
Setting up the Yamaha YSP-2200 is an absolute cinch. The soundbar and subwoofer are connected using the supplied speaker cable, which hooks up to springclip terminals at either end. Once in place, Yamaha’s IntelliBeam automatic calibration uses the supplied microphone and a series of test tones to analyse the acoustic characteristics of its surroundings and set the appropriate levels, beam angles and frequency response.
Alternatively you can adjust the levels manually in the setup menu. This can be accessed on the front panel display, or your TV using the composite video output – sadly it’s not available through the HDMI out. Its layout is basic, using white text on a blue background, but gets the job done.
As well as sound adjustments – which are remarkably detailed for an ostensibly simple product – the setup menu lets you assign inputs, store settings in memory presets, change the display and alter the way IntelliBeam works.
It’s all controlled with consummate ease by the remote, which makes up in practicality what it lacks in coffee-table allure. The buttons are well spaced out, nicely sized and clearly labelled, with two rows dedicated to the various sound modes at the top and dedicated subwoofer volume controls.