Yamaha Yas-209 Vs Sony Ht-x8500 Which Is Better?

Yamaha Yas-209 Vs Sony Ht-x8500 Which Is Better?

Today we have a great match up for you with the Yamaha YAS-209 vs Sony HTX8500. Recently we looked at the Yamaha YAS-209 Vs Sonos Playbar Which Is Better? which was a lot of fun. Today, Yamaha is stepping into the steel cage with Sony and as a huge Sony fanboy, I am very interested to see how these two match up against each other. These are both fairly priced soundbars in my opinion and do what they do very well so if you want a solid soundbar, but do not want to be close to a grand then these two are well worth your time looking at.

The Price

Getting as much bang for your buck is something I pride myself in so that is why the price is our first category in our Yamaha YAS-209 vs Sony HTX 8500 battle. We have looked at soundbars at all ends of the pricing spectrum here on the site and these are not super expensive, but at the same time, they are not exactly cheap either.

Yamaha YAS-209:

Yamaha Audio YAS-209BL Sound Bar with Wireless Subwoofer, Bluetooth, and Alexa Voice Control Built-In

The price for the Yamaha YAS-209 varies on what seems like a daily basis! Currently, you are looking at around 359 bucks for this which is not a bad price at all. You have to factor in that you are also getting a dedicated subwoofer with this so that is not a horrible price. If you are willing to shop around a bit, I have found this for closer to the 300 buck’s mark. So being patient and doing a bit of looking can save you a few bucks. There are some used ones on eBay, but to be honest with you I would stay away from a used soundbar.

Sony HTX8500:

Sony HTX8500 2.1ch Dolby Atmos/DTS:X Soundbar with Built-in subwoofer, Black

The current asking price for this is around 400 bucks. As of me writing this article the best place to get the Sony HTX8500 is actually Walmart and they have it listed for $398. There is a listing for this on Amazon, but there are currently none available. From what I have seen on there this can go anywhere between 380 and 420 bucks so do some shopping around. If you look on eBay it is pretty damn weird as the majority of things that pop up are replacement remote controls. I saw a few “brand new” ones listed, but they wanted way more than what Walmart or Amazon are asking.

The Verdict: I am giving this round to the Yamaha YAS-209. The Sony is not bad value for money at all and they do give you the subwoofer built in. However, I have to be honest and say that I prefer a separate subwoofer. Not just for sound, but I feel like I am getting way more for my money.

The Design:

If you look at an article like my Bose Soundbar 700 Vs Sonos Arc Which Is Better?, you know that I greatly value the design of a soundbar. Not just in terms of how it connects to your TV, but in how stylish and cool it looks too. I consider the design to be the second most important category in our Yamaha YAS-209 vs Sony HTX8500 fight. A soundbar is always out on display so you want to make sure that you have one which has a real sense of style about it.

Yamaha YAS-209:

If you have a look at this Reviewing The Yamaha YAS-209 Soundbar – What’s Changed From The YAS-207? you can get a great idea of just how this thing looks. We do have to talk about the soundbar and the subwoofer here, but they are a very stylish pair. The actual soundbar is a decent size as it is coming in at 36.4″ x 2.4” x 4.0”. This does mean that the Yamaha YAS-209 is quite long so you need to make sure you have the space for it. Like Sonos have done, Yamaha has gone for a more fabric kind of design. The main part of the soundbar is of course made with a strong plastic, but covering this is a black mesh that goes all around the front and the side of the soundbar. It is a cool effect and something I like. However, as someone with kids, I am sure they could have fun poking their fingers through this, as would my cat and his little claws so that is something to watch out for.

The subwoofer that is part of this package is pretty cool. It has your basic subwoofer design if I am being honest, but I do think that it is pretty cool. There is only so much a company can do with the design of a subwoofer, to be honest with you and I am please to say that I like the design of this and think that it compliments the soundbar very well. The dimensions of the subwoofer are 7.5” x 16.5” x 15.8 and it has far more weight to it than I thought it would. This is a wireless subwoofer and it connected to the soundbar with just the press of a button so I was very happy about that.

When we look around the back of the soundbar we can see how this thing can be hooked up. I was very happy with the connection options available here. You have an HDMI Arc out, an HDMI in, an ethernet port, an optical port and there is also a USB port as well for firmware updates if needed. They give you all you need on the back of here so I give them a big thumbs up for that.

Sony HTX8500:

I found this pretty neat video unboxing for the Sony HTX8500 which gives you a pretty good idea of what to expect. If you have read any other article that I have written on the site, more often than not my love for Sony products comes up. The Sony HTX8500 has a very interesting kind of design. The grille is metal and I freaking love it, I always like a metal grille as it gives a soundbar a really high-end kind of look. The rest of the soundbar is made of black plastic as you would expect, but the top of it is rather strange. It has a kind of leathery feel to it and I like it, but I do worry about it getting damaged over time or from one of the kids feeling like they need to touch it or run Lightning McQueen over it. This has a subwoofer built in so there are two open areas on the sides of the soundbar to accommodate this. The dimensions of the soundbar are 6.75 x 37.25 x 6.25 so it is comparable to the Yamaha in that regard.

The top of the soundbar has the Sony logo, but it is placed to the right-hand side. I like this as Sony is one company who I like to be able to see the name of on their products. Overall, I think that the soundbar has a cool and stylish look to it that I think makes it very appealing and something that certainly will get people asking about it when they see it in your home.

On the back of the Sony HTX8500, we have your connection options of which there is a nice variety. It supports HDMI and optical and at the end of the day that is what you want from a soundbar. I am not sure what the point of the little diagram they have here is, but hey I am sure someone will find it useful. The power port is located on the other side of the soundbar and that is a design choice I actually really like, next to this we have a USB port in case you need to ever update the soundbar.

The Verdict: I think that both of these are great looking soundbars and to be honest with you I am having a really hard time picking a winner here. They both look cool and stylish and I would happily have either of these out on display. The thing is while the fabric mesh looks cool, I do prefer the more solid design that the Sony HTX8500 has so I am giving the win to Sony in this round.

The Sound:

Here we go I bet some of you guys who come to this Yamaha YAS-209 vs Sony HTX8500 showdown have come straight to this category. The main reason that we all want a soundbar is to get better sound than what our TV speakers give us. I love the way TVs look these days, but in a quest for even thinner TVs, the speakers have taken a real hit. Also, those who love movies and want as close to a cinema sound as possible need a soundbar too!

Yamaha YAS-209: I know this could be a psychological thing, but the fact the Yamaha YAS-209 comes with a separate subwoofer right away gets my mind thinking that it has more bass. I know that is silly to say, but even at what I consider to be a rather modest price, this offers far more power and kick than you would think. I recently got the 4K version of Batman Begins and I watched it with this providing the sound and I was very impressed. The vocal clarity this offers, especially when Christian Bale is doing his Batman’s voice is fantastic. You even have a clear voice button on the remote control which is really handy. I think the way that the 209 is able to offer good vocal clarity, but still rock the room when there is loud action is pretty damn impressive.

I do want to give a special mention to the subwoofer. Are you going to get the same kind of room shaking bass and rumble that you get with a subwoofer from our article, The 7 best subwoofer for rock and metal music under $500 review in 2021? No, you clearly are not. However, I do have to say that this subwoofer is far better than it has any right to be. For a rather modest subwoofer, I was quite impressed when it was firing and think that Yamaha has done a great job here all the while keeping the price to something I consider to be very reasonable.

Have a quick look at this Yamaha Sound Bar YAS-209 | Upgrade to crystal clear TV sound video from Yamaha to see why they take so much pride in the sound this offers.

If you are a music lover as well as a movie lover then you will be pleased to know that the Yamaha YAS-209 is offering you Bluetooth connectivity. Truth be told, I think Bluetooth connectivity should be required on all soundbars by law, but how they would enforce that I am not sure. Anyway, being able to quickly and easily stream music from your phone through something like Spotify is always something I consider to be a nice bonus.

Sony HTX8500: I think that the sound the Sony HTX8500 produces is pretty darn impressive. This is a 2.1 system and thanks to having a subwoofer built into the soundbar it has a bit more punch and bass than many other similarly sized soundbars do. We had a family movie night while I was testing this and we watched War For The Planet Of The Apes. It is probably my least favorite of the three movies, to be honest, but it did a great job of showcasing this soundbar. I was impressed at how clear it remained even when the volume was nice and loud, stuff like gunfire and shouting truly did fill the room and while it is not surround sound, I do think it is more than room filling enough to keep most people happy.

I found this pretty good Sony HT-X8500 Soundbar LIVE Sound Test which uses Ralph Breaks The Internet for its test. What I liked was how loud the music was, but you also can hear just how clear the voices are. Granted you lose a bit of the quality as this is a recording, but trust me the vocal clarity this manages to produce is exceptionally clear. By the way, going back to Ralph Breaks The Internet for some weird reason the 4K version of this is cheaper than the standard Blu-Ray! I have been noticing this lately with other Disney releases too such as The Incredibles 2 and Moana as well.

Now, the Sony HTX8500 does support Dolby Atmos and it is one of the cheaper soundbars to do so. If you look at the recent The 5 best Dolby Atmos soundbars worth the money we put up on the site, you will see quite a price different from this to the ones on there. So, yes this does support Dolby Atmos, but it is not quite as “epic” as I would like. Again, the sound is good, very good. However, if Dolby Atmos is what you really want, you may be better saving up a bit longer and getting something a bit higher end. It does offer Bluetooth connectivity so you can stream your music from your phone through the soundbar which is always a plus in my book.

The Verdict: The real winner here is sound… ok so that was very cheesy I will admit, but I have to say that both of these sounded great, and picking a winner is really tough. I think that the Sony HTX8500 does really well considering it does not have a dedicated separate subwoofer. However, for me I have to give this one to the Yamaha YAS-209, but only just. I know it may be a psychological thing like I said before, but I just feel as a package it offers more kick.

The Remote Control

Usually when I do one of these vs articles the remote control is usually a pretty easy category to do, but for this Yamaha YAS 209 vs Sony HTX8500 wrestling match it is one of the hardest that I have done. I have to start by saying that both of these offer great remotes, but which one do I like best?

Yamaha YAS-209: One of the things that I like about the series of soundbars from Yamaha is that they all have a very similar kind of remote control. This is quite compact and it gives you all the access you could ever want to your soundbar. There are buttons for various presets, you have clear voice and 3D surround sound with their own dedicated button. And you have very simple to understand controls for volume as well. I think the reason that Yamaha has not changed up the design of their remote control is quite simple. They truly nailed it and I respect them for not changing the design just for the sake of doing so.

Sony HTX8500: Now this is a remote! Sony remotes always have a kind of “style” to them and this is what I would imagine a Sony remote for a soundbar like this would look like. It has handy dedicated buttons for settings such as voice and night. You also have different sound settings like sports and video games too. While the functionality of the remote is great, it just has that Sony quality and style that I am always a big fan of.

The Verdict: Man, this is so tough! I am a real sucker when it comes to a great remote control. In an ideal world, I would have something like this, Logitech Harmony 650 Infrared All in One Remote Control, but if I spent over 200 bucks on a remote, my wife would kill me. In all seriousness, both these remotes are fantastic, but I have to give this win to the Sony HTX8500 as I just find it a bit more stylish and cooler than the one Yamaha has.  

What Is In The Box?

I am a big believer in people should know exactly what they are getting when they are spending money and both of these are over 300 bucks so they are not exactly what you would call cheap. Here we are looking at what you can expect in the box from both of these soundbars.

Yamaha YAS-209: The most important things in the box for the Yamaha YAS-209 are of course the soundbar and the power cable, the subwoofer and its power cable actually come in their own separate box, that is actually something to consider if you are going to a store to pick this up. Anyway, they also give you an optical cable in the box too, along with your remote control. I really think that they should have thrown an HDMI cable in here. I know that these are dirt cheap, but that is kind of my point, Yamaha could have thrown one in here so that people do not have to rush out and buy one or dig through a box of wires in their garage trying to find one.

Sony HTX8500: Inside the box of the Sony HTX8500 you have your actual soundbar waiting there for you. You also have your instructions and your power cord as you would expect too. They give you batteries for the remote which is pretty rare these days, by the way, when did this simple form of convenience become a luxury? They also give you an HDMI cable, but there is no optical cable. This is something that grinds my gears! Why could they not throw in an optical cable as well? The soundbar has a connection for one! You can buy a decent iVANKY Digital Optical Audio Cable for under ten bucks so it is not the end of the world, but that is not the point!

The Verdict: Hmm, this is a tough one and I think I may have to make it a draw. Sony does not give you an optical cable, but they do give you an HDMI and for Yamaha, it is the opposite. At the end of the day, this category is just too close for me to call.  I hand on heart think that a soundbar should give you all of the cables you could possibly need inside the box. Take the Sonos Beam for example. They give you an HDMI cable, but they also give you an HDMI to optical cable in the box as well, making sure that you are covered no matter how you intend to hook it up.

What Is The Best Soundbar?

This was a really close fight and I think the Yamaha YAS-209 vs Sony HTX8500  battle may even be a closer fight than The Ultimate Warrior and Ravishing Rick Rude had at SummerSlam 1990! Out of place wrestling references aside, I do not think you could go wrong with either of these soundbars. I liked them both, they are two companies that I have a lot of time for and two companies that have never really done me wrong.

The strange thing about this battle is that I am sure I could revisit this a few months down the line and change my mind, that is how close it is. While the Sony fanboy in me is saying that I should give it to Sony. However, I feel that if you want a Sony Dolby Atmos soundbar, you would be better getting a different one such as the Sony HT-G700. I have to be honest and say that I am giving the win to the Yamaha YAS-209, but only just. I think if my parents, a friend, or someone came to me and asked what they should get out of these two, I would probably be more likely to tell them to go for the Yamaha.

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