Soundbars provide a simple, no-hassle solution to improve TV sound, but there is another option that can provide a full surround sound experience without spending a lot of money.
A home theater-in-box system (aka HTIB) is a solution that supplies a home theater receiver (or similar central unit) a set of speakers, remote control, and connection cables in one package, making shopping and setup easy.
Yamaha has announced its entry into this product category for the 2021/22 model year, the YHT-5960U HTIB. This system comes with a 5.2 channel receiver (RX-V4A), a five-channel bookshelf speaker system (left, right, center, left surround, right surround), and one powered subwoofer (a second subwoofer can be added – requires additional purchase).
The included RX-V4A home theater receiver provided is rated at 80 wpc with .06% THD (Total Harmonic Distortion) which is enough power to provide clean sound for a medium-size room.
The receiver is compatible with most Dolby Dolby and DTS surround sound formats including Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio (up to 5.1 channels). However, it is important to point out that Dolby Atmos and DTS:X are not supported.
Several preset surround processing modes, as well as a compressed music enhancer, are provided. The compressed music enhancer uses audio processing algorithms to restore what is commonly lost with compressed music file formats, such as MP3.
4K/8K/HDR (HDR10, Dolby Vision, HLG are included – HDR10+ will be added with a pending update). video pass-through HDMI ver 2.1 inputs and one HDMI output is provided. HDMI support for ARC/eARC is included.
NOTE: No analog video inputs or outputs are provided.
The RX-V4A receiver included with the YHT-5960U also incorporates Bluetooth, as well as network connectivity via Ethernet or Wi-Fi, which provides access to Yamaha’s MusicCast streaming platform and works with Apple AirPlay2, and Spotify Connect.
MusicCast also supports wireless multiroom audio with compatible Yamaha wireless speakers, as well as a wireless surround speaker option that you can use in place of the YHT-5960U’s wired surround speakers.
Another MusicCast bonus is voice control compatibility with Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri.
The Speaker System
The center, front left/right, and surround speakers have the same driver complement (except that the center channel speaker is horizontal). The center channel speaker has two 2-3/4″ 6-ohm drivers in a sealed cabinet (acoustic suspension), while the other speakers each have one 2-3/4″ full-range cone full range 6-ohm driver in a ported cabinet (bass reflex). All the speakers can be a shelf, stand, or wall-mounted.
The provided subwoofer features an 8-inch cone driver supported by its own 50-watt amplifier. The subwoofer also has a front-firing Yamaha twisted flare port (Bass Reflex design) that provides extended low-frequency response.
To make speaker connection easy, the back of the receiver features well-spaced and clearly labeled speaker terminals, with an etched diagram that provides an example of how to connect and place the speakers and subwoofer. All the required speaker connection wires/cables are provided.
To optimize the performance of the YHT-5960U, Yamaha includes its YPAO (Yamaha Parametric room Acoustic Optimizer).
Using a provided microphone and following prompted steps, YPAO analyzes speaker distance, placements, and room acoustics, via test tones generated by the receiver. YPAO then adjusts the system to get the best performance from the receiver and speakers in relation to your room.
TIP: One really great bonus is that since this system includes a standard home theater receiver and speakers from Yamaha’s product line, you can, at a later date, upgrade your system with different speakers and/or subwoofer. The downside, as mentioned previously, is that the receiver is not compatible with the Dolby Atmos or DTS:X immersive surround sound formats.
However, if you want a basic home theater setup with practical features, the YHT-5960U might just be the ticket for you. Take a deep dive into everything that it offers on the official product page.