Yamaha has unveiled the MusicCast BAR 400 sound bar, which the company claims is a ‘complete package of audio performance, versatility and functionality,’ and is considered ideal for lovers of both movies and music. For home theater users, the sound bar offers both Dolby Digital and DTS Digital Surround and incorporates DTS Virtual:X post-processing technology for 3D virtual surround, including the sensation of height, from both stereo and multichannel sources. The BAR 400 will be available in September for $499.95 MSRP.
The unit also includes Yamaha MusicCast wireless multi-room audio technology, Wi-Fi access for music-streaming services, optional wireless surround speakers to improve home theater performance, and voice control via Amazon Alexa devices, including Amazon Echo smart speakers.
It supports high-resolution audio formats at sampling rates up to 192kHz and 24-bit. The sound bar includes a wireless subwoofer as part of the package (rather than as an optional component). It also incorporates Yamaha Clear Voice to improve audibility and clarity of dialogue in movies and TV shows, and a Compressed Music Enhancer should improve the sound quality of compressed music formats by restoring high frequencies lost during the compression process.
There are a number of connectivity options, namely an HDMI input, an HDMI output with Audio Return Channel (ARC), and optical and analog audio inputs. Beyond hard-wired connections and Wi-Fi, customers also have the convenience of connection from any Bluetooth-enabled device.
According to the company, this is the first sound bar to include Yamaha MusicCast Surround technology, by giving users an option to add wireless MusicCast Surround-enabled rear speakers. MusicCast Surround uses a Wi-Fi link to send surround-channel audio directly from the BAR 400 to a pair of MusicCast 20 speakers, or to one or two stereo-capable MusicCast 50 speakers, which can combine to create a ‘realistic’ 5.1 home theater.
MusicCast Surround complements the MusicCast wireless multi-room audio platform, which can stream music to MusicCast-enabled products located throughout a home, including internet radio stations, music streaming services, and files stored on mobile devices and computers, all controlled from the in-built Controller app. Streaming services include Spotify, Pandora, SiriusXM Internet Radio, TIDAL, Deezer, and Napster.
“The MusicCast BAR 400 offers exceptionally high performance and gets the most out of your music, video and gaming content,” said Robert Goedken, general manager, AV Division, Yamaha Corporation of America. “This sound bar packs a wide array of features and advanced technologies at a price unmatched in its class.”