We have reviewed several Yamaha sound projection soundbars over time and so we’d a pretty good notion of what things to expect from the YSP-5600. Obviously, when it found normal soundbar duties the Yamaha didn’t disappoint, delivering an excellent all-round performance. The sheer dimensions of the key unit meant that it might immediately deliver a decent sense of stereo separation, without even bringing all 46 speakers into action. The weight of the soundbar and how big is its woofers meant that it might also deliver a decent bass response, so for many who are likely to just make make use of it on its own you may expect a great efficiency with TV programmes and movies. Naturally after we added the NS-SW300 subwoofer to the proceedings the low frequencies were a lot more pronounced and after some careful setup, the bass integrated very well with all of those other sound field.
The addition of sound projection technology ensures that once you move to multi-channel 5.1 and 7.1 soundtracks, the YSP-5600 can immediately distinguish itself from your own average soundbar. The make use of sound beams creates an authentic sense of surround envelopment with audio tracks effects quite obviously from the sides and rear. Precisely how effective the sound beams are will rely upon your room, where in fact the soundbar is put and where you’re sat nonetheless it definitely works. Whilst we’d never say that this approach is more advanced than a genuine multi-speaker layout – you can’t bounce the low frequencies for example, so it is all high frequency information – it’s certainly easier and tidier than putting speakers all over the room.
Since the most the content you will be hearing won’t use a Dolby Atmos or DTS:X soundtrack, it is important that the YSP-5600 are designed for regular soundtracks and it really did, making an open delivery that filled leading soundstage and moved around to the sides and even the trunk sometimes. However despite each one of these sound beams bouncing around the area the Yamaha were able to retain a feeling of cohesion to the entire sound field. In addition, it were able to keep dialogue clear and centred on the screen, whilst integrating the bass and louder influences very effectively. The soundbar could go quite loud without sounding distorted or brittle, so that it can definitely handle a more substantial room. Of course if you play multi-channel test tones through the machine then the illusion commences to dissipate however when watching actual content the sense of surround sound is palpable.
Regardless of the success of sound projection technology with multi-channel soundtracks, we were in the beginning somewhat sceptical about the YSP-5600’s capability to deliver a powerful immersive audio tracks experience from an individual point; especially as we already have a complete 7.2.4 setup with overhead speakers inside our home cinema. However after carefully installing and establishing the soundbar and ensuring we were sat in the perfect position, the results were genuinely impressive. We’ve several demo scenes that we’ve used in combination with all of the various Dolby Atmos AV receivers reviewed up to now therefore we immediately paid attention to those on the YSP-5600.
The results were genuinely surprising, there is a larger sense of immersion and sounds did seem to be via overhead when appropriate. We watched various Dolby Atmos trailers that people are intimately acquainted with and again they sounded virtually identical with the YSP-5600. Since Dolby themselves advocate using upward-firing speakers unless you desire to be hanging speakers from the ceiling, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the YSP-5600 really works but it’s still impressive that it could create a 7.1.2-channel experience from an individual source. Much like other multi-channel soundtracks, the same limitations apply with regards to room condition and dimensions, located area of the soundbar itself, the listening position and any furniture, windows, doors or decorations. Furthermore the sound beams are again largely limited by higher frequencies but, instead of putting nine speakers around your lounge, the YSP-5600 is successful.
Because the YSP-5600 is a Yamaha soundbar it has a suite of CINEMA DSP processing features that are grouped under Movies, Music and Entertainment headings. The Movie heading includes Sci-Fi, Adventure and Spectacle settings, under Music there’s Music Video, Concert and Jazz Club, whilst Entertainment includes Sports, Talk Show, Drama and Game. Addititionally there is the option to carefully turn these DSP features off entirely, plus a setting called Target which sends audio tracks to a particular location. Whether you truly use these DSP features is basically a matter of personal choice, we prefer to leave our audio tracks unprocessed but there are certainly others who swear by Yamaha’s CINEMA DSP modes.
Finally, because the YSP-5600 forms part of Yamaha’s MusicCast multiroom system, we were extremely interested to listen to how it handled stereo sources and overall we were happy with the results. The essential size and layout of the soundbar meant that whenever you by-passed all of the processing it was with the capacity of a decent performance with music. This implies you can put it to use for hearing music within a MusicCast system looked after implies that devices linked to the YSP-5600, including the TV or Blu-ray player, can be listened to in the areas of the MusicCast network. The effect is a soundbar that’s not only an excellent all-round performer with a leading edge feature set but also the one that is surprisingly flexible, adding a dimension to its performance that goes beyond just sound quality.