The remote control of the YHT-299 is similar to controls of other HT systems from Yamaha like YHT-196 and AV receiver RX-V471. The only difference here was that with more buttons this controller looked a little cramped up but the presentation and use of sober colours to differentiate between the buttons is what did the trick. The controller is light in weight and there were no hassles while using it too.
Back-panel for the AV Receiver in YHT-299 set
The YHT-299 is a small HT system, the fronts and the surrounds are smaller in size as compared to the centre channel. Ideally, setting up the entire HT system and placing the loudspeakers in their respective positions was a quick job. Once all the connections were done, I made use of Yamaha’s Parametric Room Acoustic Optimizer (YPAO) to calibrate the entire system. I switched on the AC, and hit the enter button on the remote control and immediately stepped out of the room. This was done to achieve accurate settings and in no time the calibration was done. The AV receiver now knew exactly where each loudspeaker was placed in the room and also the levels of each individual loudspeaker were automatically gauged and adjusted by the YPAO. The highlight of the YPAO is that it also highlights a particular loudspeaker if it is incorrectly connected to the AV receiver (phase).
Now, it was time to check the mettle of the Yamaha budget HT system. To begin with, I started off with the Blu-ray of ‘Jack The Giant Slayer’. Firstly, a HT system is all about dynamics and here, I am talking about natural dynamics and not enforced ones where for a moment there is silence and the next minute all hell breaks loose and there is a lot of noise in the room. There was a high-level of slam in the sound of the YHT-299, the louder and busy moments of the movie were handled exceptionally well by the small satellite loudspeakers. In moments where the scenes commanded subtleness in expression and a quiet background because there were dialogues, I must say that the natural mid-range immensely improved the entire movie watching experience. The dynamics as I said before are important and thanks to the solid and open sound of the five loudspeakers, the movie created a deep impact on me, not to mention that the finesse in rendering the dialogues was really good and also the deep roaring bass of the giants was a wonderful full-range experience. The subwoofer knew exactly where to stop delivering more bass into the room, this pace in the bass and immediate disappearing act of the low-frequencies is really commendable.
Satellite speakers in the YHT-299 set
Next, I moved on to the Blu-ray of ‘Where the Light Is: John Mayer Live in Los Angeles’. This is a phenomenonally fantastic sounding Blu-ray, and with a Dolby TrueHD 5.1 surround sound mix (96 kHz/24bit), we knew that we were in for a musical treat. The concert starts off with two simple instruments that have a lot of harmonics in them, an acoustic guitar and John’s voice. John’s voice that was emanating from the centre channel did not sound strained; instead, it had brilliant timbral richness in it. The acoustic guitar, too, had superb intelligible sound, the overall clarity of the guitar and the high resolution sound instantly created a deep emotional bond with me. I just couldn’t stop myself from touching the remote control and going back again for an encore of the first few opening songs, especially “Stop This Train”.
Subwoofer in YHT-299 set
Later, I went ahead to try on the Blu-ray of ‘Star Trek’ too. The Dolby TrueHD 5.1 channel revealed what it takes to make a 5.1 multichannel setup sound spacious and wide. In action scenes of the movie, you get a chance to experience the seamless performance of the fronts, the surrounds and the modestly powered subwoofer. There was no absence of low-mid energy during any of the fight scenes, and at a time when someone would think that small loudspeakers are not capable of recreating a big wholesome sound, they should take time to listen to the YHT-299. The high-frequency sounds that emanate from the small satellite loudspeakers has a lot of air and sparkle, and it is equally coupled with a solid low-mid region to give you a powerful impact of the sound without missing out on any of the details that exist in the scenes. To put it simply, the multichannel experience of the YHT-299 was astonishing.
Yamaha YHT-299 Home-Theatre System Review
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