Yamaha YAS-101 walks into a soundbar, orders a stiff glass of 7.1

What can you get for $300 these days? A bunch of stuff, probably, including the latest soundbar from Yamaha. The YAS-101 Front Surround System offers up 7.1 sound, a built-on 60-watt subwoofer and support for Dolby Digital and DTS. The UniVolume feature, meanwhile, helps maintain a constant level through loud volume increases during commercials. IR codes can also be sent through the speaker bar, so you don't have to worry about it blocking the set. Check out some press info after the break.

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YAS-101 Front Surround System Is Sound Bar Game Changer; Unprecedented Performance And Ease-Of-Use At Sub $300 Price

BUENA PARK, Calif.-Yamaha Electronics Corporation today unveils its game-changing YAS-101 Front Surround System (MSRP $299.95), a sound bar which combines stellar surround sound performance and ease-of-use with flexible installation options for a price below $300. The space-saving one-piece sound bar integrates a dual-driver speaker design with a powerful built-in 60-watt subwoofer, dramatic styling and a piano black finish to enhance the esthetics of any TV room or home theater.

The YAS-101 features Yamaha's exclusive Air Surround Xtreme technology that delivers 7.1 channels of highly accurate surround sound, with precise positioning to more distinctly deliver dialog, sound effects and music soundtracks that immerse the listener in movies, sporting events, concerts or any other programming. The model also supports Dolby Digital and DTS surround sound formats. Yamaha's UniVolume function eliminates the annoying and unsettling spike in volume during commercials when watching TV programming.

"Yamaha introduced the sound bar category in 2005. With each model we've introduced, we have offered consumers the benefit of our unique understanding of sound and audio, including extensive input from our pro audio and musical instrument product companies," said Tom Sumner, president, Yamaha Electronics Corporation. "With the YAS-101, we are able to give customers an incredible audio experience, as well as simple set up and installation at an unprecedented price. This is the ideal entry point for anyone interested in stepping up to a serious sound bar solution."

The YAS-101 can be operated by the supplied remote control, and can also be powered on and have its volume adjusted via the user's TV, cable or satellite remotes. This is made possible by the sound bar's ability to learn the control codes of these other components of a home entertainment system.

Offering great installation flexibility, the YAS-101 can be placed in front of the TV without blocking the picture. The unit's feet are placed wide enough apart to fit over the monitor's pedestal. Since the sound bar will often be placed in front of the TV, Yamaha engineers built-in a unique and patent-pending solution that allows the YAS-101 to pass IR remote codes through to the TV, solving a problem that plagues other sound bars. It can also be placed on a separate shelf or easily wall mounted.

The YAS-101 easily connects to any HDTV with a single digital cable (included). This sound bar also provides two optical inputs, 1 coaxial input, as well as a subwoofer output (line out) for an optional external subwoofer.