Yamaha launches new cheap soundbar that should have Sonos worried

Yamaha has just announced its latest cheap and affordable soundbar, and it looks like a seriously tempting package – especially compared to the Sonos Ray, which is aiming to be the budget ’bar to beat in our list of the best soundbars.

The Yamaha SR-C30A will launch in October, and will cost $279/£299/AU$399. That’s basically identical to the official price of the Sonos Ray, except that with the Yamaha SR-C30A you get three features the Sonos Ray doesn’t have: HDMI-ARC connectivity, Bluetooth wireless streaming, and – most importantly – a wireless subwoofer to handle bass.

The Yamaha SR-C30A is very compact: the soundbar is 600 X 64 X 94 mm / 23-5/8 x 2-1/2 x 3-3/4 inches, while the subwoofer is just 160 X 335 X 364 mm / 6-1/4 x 13-1/4 x 14-3/8 inches. This means it’ll work with the best 32-inch TVs and bigger, while the subwoofer is small enough to fit even in small gaps, as demonstrated by this handy image from Yamaha.

Yamaha SR-C30A soundbar and subwoofer in TV unit

Lacking space for your subwoofer? The Yamaha SR-C30A doesn’t mind… (Image credit: Yamaha)

In terms of speakers, you’re getting a very simple setup here: there are two 4.6cm drivers in the soundbar, and a 13cm bass driver in the subwoofer. That’s fewer drivers than you get in the Sonos Ray (which has four), which may mean less dynamic and clear sound… however, the Sonos Ray’s speakers also have to handle bass, and the Yamaha gets to pass that work off to the subwoofer, which could go a long way to balance out that on-paper disadvantage.

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