There was a good deal to see and hear from Yamaha at CEDIA 2014. While their receivers didn’t see an update, their RX-A3040 and CX-A5000 are upgradable to Dolby Atmos and they did demo that. What they did have to show off were new sound bars and new integrated amplifiers.
The Yamaha YSP-2500 is a smaller version of the YSP-4300 sound bar that I previously reviewed. It also uses a version of the IntelliBeam technology for producing very effective surround effects without extra speakers. It includes integrated Bluetooth, a wireless subwoofer, and three HDMI inputs that will pass 4K/60 content but probably are not HDCP 2.2 compliant. Unlike the YSP-4300 it has a very low profile that can fit in front of almost any TV and let the IR signal through.
The Dolby Atmos demo from Yamaha was OK, but not my favorite at the show. The room itself was very small, so it was easier to narrow down the location of the sounds from the in-ceiling speakers. The larger rooms with a more diffuse sound provided a more effective Atmos demo I felt. The clips chosen from the Dolby demo disc were also not the ones I thought did the best job of really showing off what Atmos can do. It was also open up to the floor a bit so it showed that Yamaha can do Atmos, but it didn’t show it off as well as other companies.
Like many others, Yamaha had a lot of integrated stereo amps available. An integrated stereo amp would have been a rare sight on the show floor just a couple of years ago but the rebirth of vinyl has brought them back out. Almost all of them now include a DAC and the Yamaha A-S801 is no exception. It does 100 watts per channel into 8 ohms and includes USB, Optical, and Coaxial digital inputs. My notes indicate that it has the ESS SABRE 9012 DAC, which is just a step below their reference 9018 DAC. With attractive retro styling, a MM phono input, and a lot of features for $1,000 it is a product I want to see come out soon.