In the music world, it is vital to own a product that plays music as the artist intended it to be heard — as clear, crisp and lively as possible. However, in the practical world, it is important to stay within your means. For the most detail-oriented of us, a surround sound system would be the ideal listening experience. The downside for most, however, would be the cost of such a system.
With the vast array of surround sound systems on the market, getting a product that delivers quality sound for a reasonable price can be a daunting task. Yamaha offers a unique solution to this problem by introducing the Yamaha ATS 1070.
What Is The Yamaha ATS 1070?
The Yamaha ATS 1070 provides the next generation of Yamaha’s surround sound experience. This product is a sound bar; a long, thin speaker that is generally mounted to a wall under a television or entertainment center. Sound bars have seen an increase in popularity over the years, mainly because they provide big sound in a small package.
The product works by connecting it to a television, MP3 player, or other audio source and makes the sound come alive. Soundbars now often replace surround sound systems for many reasons, but mostly because they can significantly reduce the amount of space taken by a conventional system while replicating the sound of one. The ATS 1070 measures in at about 35 inches long, which is less intrusive than an entire 5 speaker setup.
With the virtual surround sound effect, the Yamaha ATS 1070 gives the authentic experience of being in a room with speakers mounted all around you. Yamaha has placed various speakers within the soundbar that serve different purposes to achieve this effect. The different speakers adjust the way in which the sound waves hit your eardrum, thus simulating the experience of surround sound.
This sound bar features both a midrange driver and a tweeter driver, setting it apart from some of its competitors; most sound bars have one driver or the other. The midrange driver reproduces sounds that range between 250hz to 2000hz, which covers a decent range and would give nice sound quality alone. The tweeter driver is the power behind the sound, allowing the soundbar to reproduce louder sounds accurately.
Perhaps one of the more ingenious points of this sound bar’s design is the addition of a built-in subwoofer. You heard me right: it's built in. The subwoofer adds depth over what one would get from a standalone speaker. However, for those of you who swear by an external subwoofer, there is also the option of adding one.
Some other notable features of the ATS 1070 are Bluetooth compatibility and HDMI optimization. Bluetooth compatibility gives you the power to listen to sound not only from movies and television, but also, from any device that is Bluetooth enabled. Simply put, an MP3 player or computer would easily, and wirelessly, be able to connect to the speaker. The HDMI optimization also allows the bar to produce high definition sound while using a television.
Setup has also been optimized for efficiency; this sound bar has a single cable that connects to your television. Similar to other sound bars, this product can be mounted if desired. Weighing in at only 7.5 pounds, installation is a single-person job.
Now, with all the above-mentioned features and benefits, you would think this sound bar would cost an astronomical amount of money. I’m happy to report that the Yamaha sound bar can be purchased for an average of around hundred sixty bucks, depending on the place of purchase.
Some recommended sources to buy the sound bar from are:
Some of the listed retailers offer certain discounts or price match guarantees that are worth looking into. Be advised that if you buy from sources that offer a “used” option, it will void the factory warranty.
How It Compares
Some similar products that are currently on the market are listed below, and we reviewed each one to see how they stack up compared to the Yamaha ATS 1070.
- Ultra-slim, beautifully-simple design
- Built-in subwoofers for deep bass without a second box
- Clear Voice for enhanced dialogue clarity
Ease of Use
- Works with Alexa for voice control (Alexa device sold separately). Number of Speakers: 9
- Hear consistently great sound anywhere in the room with tweeters that cover a much wider frequency range.
- Increases the power and depth of bass with control that precisely coordinates the movement of each speaker.
Apart from the Yamaha is the Samsung HW-MS650 sound bar. Similar in design, this product is a one-piece unit that delivers quality sound. Also like the Yamaha, this product features individual speakers encased within the bar, making sounds more lifelike and natural.
The Samsung HW-MS650 features nine individual speakers, which is an increase over the Yamaha’s three. However, despite multiple speakers, the sound falls rather flat due to the lack of a booming, consistent bass. A small but important detail, the lack of a strong bass washes out the sound and leaves something to be desired when listening to something loud, say an action movie. While the sound itself is clear and crisp, the lack of bass takes away from the overall quality of the sound.
Optimized for “Smart” devices like Amazon’s Alexa or the up-and-coming trend of Smart TVs, the Samsung soundbar blends right in with other new age, technology-laden homes. Some users find, however, that sometimes the “smart” technology isn’t as easy to use as one would hope. Small details, like the auto shut off function kicking in too early, pose a problem for select users. That aside, the ability to connect with a Smart TV or virtual assistant sets this product aside from its competitors.
The advantage comes at a price though. The extra hardware inside the sound bar makes it that much heavier for the user to install. Clocking in at about 14 pounds, the Samsung sound bar is almost double the weight of the Yamaha ATS 1070. This should be considered when thinking about possibly mounting the product with the included hardware as it would not be a one-person job.
Ease of Use
- Experience Dolby Atmos in a 7.1.2ch, 800W soundbar
- Maintain quality from source to screen with 4K HDR support and HDCP 2.21
- In the box: Sony 7.1.2-Channel Hi-Res Soundbar with Wireless Subwoofer and Dolby Atmos, HDMI Cable, Batteries, Warranty...
The Sony HT-ST5000 is another of the Yamaha sound bar’s competitors. The Sony sound bar boasts support for Dolby Atmos technology—meaning that its virtual surround sound is incredible, especially for movies. Dolby Atmos is a technology more commonly used in movie theaters to create a three-dimensional listening environment.
The Sony sound bar does not specify the exact amount of individual speakers within the bar, but says the speakers move individually to eliminate any distortion that may come from the environment. The tweeter and woofer speakers work in tandem, creating a lifelike and crisp listening experience. On top of the internal woofer, there is also an external subwoofer that adds more even more dimension to the sound.
Besides offering support for “smart” devices, the Sony soundbar has a built-in Chromecast. This means that devices made by Google, such as the Google Home, can be directly integrated with the sound system. Doing this would make the sound system voice activated, which would prove useful especially when the remote is misplaced.
While the sound bar comes with an external subwoofer, it is not DTS:X compatible. In short, the system does not allow for someone to add more speakers if desired. This may not be a big deal to some, but Dolby Atmos technology works best with multiple speakers to create a truly three-dimensional soundscape.
The Sony sound bar is a beautiful piece of machinery that performs exceptionally well and has a unique look. With exposed tweeters, this sound bar looks somehow more upscale than its competitors. “Upscale” comes at a hefty price, though. Ranging from upwards of almost a thousand and three hundred, this sound bar is not an affordable option for those looking to buy at a reasonable price.
Ease of Use
- Surround on Demand - detachable wireless surround speakers with NFC for Bluetooth pairing
- Stand-alone portable Bluetooth speakers with aptX and AAC for wireless music streaming
- Connect to HDMI x 2 for great picture and sound quality
The final product up for consideration on the market is the Philips Fidelio B5. Similar to its competitors, the Philips sound system uses High Definition sound in its playback. However, what is very different is that this sound system is convertible, meaning some of its speakers can be removed and repositioned.
The repositioning of the speakers could be seen as both a pro and a con. The positive side is that repositioning the speakers gives an authentic surround sound experience. The negative is that the speakers are battery powered, so if they die half way through a movie, your sound will be unbalanced. The conversion of the speakers is a seamless process though. With the ability to calibrate the speakers right from the remote, finding the perfect position for the speakers is easier than one would think.
In addition to being able to remove the speakers, you can also use them independently with Bluetooth. For example, you could detach a speaker and bring it with you to play your music wherever. While this is certainly a useful concept, it is not the most practical. The speakers are meant to be used all at once, meaning if you lost one, your system would sound terribly unbalanced.
That aside, the Philips sound system is beautifully constructed, and Bluetooth enabled. With One Touch technology, the Philips sound system allows you to connect your devices with, you guessed it, one touch. The system itself also comes with an external subwoofer for additional depth. The cost is around six to seven hundred, similar to the Samsung sound bar.
Ease of Use
While we’ve looked at many exceptional products in this article, the Yamaha ATS 1070 stands out in many ways. This product provides quality High Definition sound and provides an impressive virtual surround sound effect. The design is light and easy to mount, while still blending in effortlessly with any home's entertainment system. With Bluetooth and HDMI optimization, this product is not lacking in staying up-to-date with the latest, and most common, technology.
This Yamaha sound bar keeps up with its competitors for an impressively low cost. It’s easy on your pocket (and your back) while still providing the quality sound entertainment enthusiasts are looking for. That being said, this product is my first pick and gets 5 stars overall from me.
The Samsung HW-MS650 is a close second choice. If the Samsung sound bar included a stronger subwoofer, and they dialed the cost back, it would be an even stronger competitor. The Philips Fidelio B5 is also a solid product, but there is room for improvement as far as design and affordability go. Finally, the Sony ST-5000 is certainly a luxurious product but doesn't seem worth the exorbitant cost.
In all, the Yamaha soundbar definitely gives the most bang for your buck; it provides quality sound at a fraction of the cost of other systems, while still being backed by Yamaha's reliable brand presence.