Yamaha YHT-699UBL Product Review

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Just when we thought Yamaha is out of the picture for a few weeks/months this unit is catches up with some of the most influential reviewers/enthusiasts in the US. Personally I respect Yamaha more than most audio equipment companies, but their new designs seem to lack the artist’s focus; I mean let’s take this unit (YHT-699UBL) for example, every piece of it seems to come from a different home theater system and put together like a home entertainment Frankenstein.

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Now don't get me wrong, it doesn't look that bad, it just doesn't seem to fit within itself (weird choice of words). But I'm sure that won't stop this unit by providing great Yamaha sound to a lot of enthusiasts and audiophiles alike. With over 125 of experience, I guess they know what they're doing, right?

This unit recently became available for purchase at Amazon, on April 30, 2013. But as with any other home theater systems I would highly advise you to go and take a look at it at your local retailer; this way you can see it real-life, measure it, get a real feel on how this unit will look like in your home. And above all, checking out in real life will allow you to see how it "runs", is it for you or not!?

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  • SCENE for One-touch start
  • Very good price-quality ratio
  • Poor design

As a primary and key feature I guess we need to talk about the hardware. It's equipped with one of their top of the line high performance network AV Receiver (we'll talk about its network capabilities in a few minutes). the receiver AV receiver provides advanced HDMI features including 4K pass-through, which is really great for any TV/movie buff looking for the absolute highest picture quality and image clarity there is, and will be. This receiver can also handle 3D signal data and is equipped with Audio Return Channel technology (data sent and received via the same HDMI cable) allowing you to enjoy the best of audio/video experience there is. The unit comes packed with striking gloss black speakers that bring enhanced audio capabilities with CINEMA DSP 3D. This will allow you to enjoy a luxurious/Hi-Fi home theater experience. The Yamaha YHT-699UBL basically consists of a 5-channel full range speaker system and a powerful 6-1/2" 100 W subwoofer. The High-performance and quality audio delivery is brought by technologies like Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD Master Audio, Dolby Digital Plus and DTS-HD High Resolution Audio. And to make everything better the YPAO feature will analyze the entire room's acoustic characteristics and will automatically adjust the various audio parameters for the most optimal sound. This makes the whole calibration and configuration process easy and professional.

As for networking capabilities, these don't let down at all. The variety of network functions will enable any user to access a lot more streaming sources and also enhance the entire system operation. You can also connect the A/V receiver to a PC and enjoy Internet radio. As for mobile streaming sources these are really great and various; like the AV Controller App (developed by Yamaha) that will allow you to operate different functions from an iPod, iPhone, iPad or Android devices (tablets included). The MHL feature provides connection with compatible smartphones directly to the AV receiver. The features allows playback of up to 1080p video and multi-channel audio directly from the phone (amazing stuff); the receiver also charges your device in the meantime. And of course, last but not least, the Yamaha YHT-699UBL comes with AirPlay; actually Yamaha receivers were within the first to present this feature. This feature will basically allow you to accept wireless music streaming from an iPod touch, iPhone or iPad, as well as from iTunes on Macs or PCs. And to make it complete the guys from Yamaha equipped this unit with a USB port directly on the front panel for convenient access and connection of an iPod, iPhone, iPad; this also charges the device when connected. because the digital signal is transmitted directly to the A/V receiver, there will be no signal loss and/or interference, leaving you to enjoy the utmost sound quality possible.

The features mentioned above are just a little taste of the whole, complete package this Yamaha system offers. But with additional features like Low Standby Power Consumption, Selectable Auto Power Down and ECO Mode (this will help you reduce power consumption by about 20%) this unit should be taken highly into consideration when looking to purchase a "future-ready" home theater system.

Because the name Yamaha already recommends this unit all I want to say is that I was highly pleased with the sound and picture quality this unit has to offer. The one things people might be confused with is the actual design, but that shouldn't be an issue when shopping with a trusted retailer. Give this unit a try and enjoy additional audio feature like Subwoofer Trim and Virtual Presence Speaker (just to name a few). Totally recommended for its quality, performance and durability.

Click here to purchase this product on Amazon.

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