Yamaha’s sub-$200 soundbars look to take budget crown from Vizio – CNET

b20a-c20a-yamaha-soundbars

The Yamaha B20A (top) and C20A soundbars

Yamaha

Yamaha has added two sub-$200 soundbars to its range, the SR-C20A and SR-B20A, which offer an all-in-one design and HDMI connectivity. The models also include Bluetooth.

The $180 C20A is the compact option at 23 inches long and 2.5 inches, and it includes a "built-in subwoofer" and dual passive radiators. It offers four different sound modes (standard, stereo, game, movie), in addition to a virtual surround mode. 

Yet for a little more at $200, the B20A appears to be the early pick, as it's reportedly an update to the older YAS-108 with a similar design and lack of Amazon Alexa. (The YAS-109, which came out in 2019, has the voice assistant onboard but costs more at $220). This 35-inch 20A includes dual built-in subwoofers, plus a step-up feature that Yamaha debuted several years ago -- DTS Virtual:X. At this price only the Vizio V21 has this sound mode and it's one of the most impressive ways that I've heard to boost immersion in movies without adding speakers.

The soundbars can be controlled with either your existing TV remote (HDMI CEC), the remote included in the box or the company's Sound Bar Controller App for smartphone control. Both soundbars can be wall-mounted via built-in keyholes. 

Yamaha is up against some tough competition at the price, with the excellent Vizio V21 debuting at $180 earlier this month. The Vizio exceeds the Yamaha for features with a dedicated wireless subwoofer and a (admittedly weird) voice assistant input. Yet, if you want something more compact without the need to place a soundbar, the Yamahas offer an intriguing alternative.

The $200 SR-B20A will be available in late summer, while the $180 SR-C20A will available in early fall.

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