Yamaha is known for its big, brawny home-theater-in-a-box (HTIB) systems, but the company is taking a different tack with the new YHT-494. The system includes a sound bar, a full component-sized AV receiver, a subwoofer, and two surround speakers. And even better, the full system is available now for just $550, which feels like a deal with all the functionality offered.
The full-size AV receiver (which Yamaha sells on its own as the HTR-3063) allows the YHT-494 to pack a lot of connectivity into the system, including four 3D-compatible HDMI inputs. That's more than any other similarly priced system offers, with only Sony's HT-CT150 coming close. We also appreciate the the inclusion of true separate surround speakers, as the vast majority of sound bar systems can't create convincing surround effects.
While we won't know how the Yamaha stacks up sound-wise to other sound bar home theater systems until we give it a listen, the design seems promising, especially at the relatively low price point.