Yamaha YAS 109 vs 209 which is better?

Yamaha YAS 109 vs 209 is it a significant upgrade?

In this Yamaha YAS 109 vs 209, we are looking at if the 209 is a significant upgrade over the 109! The Yamaha YAS-109 is a fantastic soundbar and one that is easy for me to recommend. It more than held its own when I looked at the Yamaha YAS-109 vs Sonos Beam battle a short while ago. I also looked at the Yamaha YAS-209 Vs Sonos Playbar where I was very complimentary about the Yamaha YAS-209  and what it could do. Now we are putting Yamaha against Yamaha, if you like wrestling it is like when Bret Hart had to fight his brother Owen Hart back in 1994… ok, so maybe not quite that dramatic, but this is going to be a fun matchup.

The Price

I consider Yamaha to be one of the big boys when it comes to audio equipment. Back when I was in my first year of school many, many years ago our teacher had this electronic organ and that was a Yamaha… what does that have to do with anything. Nothing really, so let’s get to looking at how much you can expect to pay for these.

Yamaha YAS-109:

YAMAHA YAS-109 Sound Bar with Built-In Subwoofers, Bluetooth, and Alexa Voice Control Built-In

I am not 100 percent sure that the Yamaha YAS-109 is still in production by the good folks at Yamaha. You can still buy this new at places like Amazon and as I write this it is just under 220 bucks which is a very decent price in my opinion. You may be tempted to shop around, but in the research, I did, I found that people on eBay are kind of nuts with this thing as I saw it close to 300 bucks by a couple of sellers.

Yamaha YAS-209:

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

Over at Amazon, the Yamaha YAS-209 is currently priced at $349.95. That is just over 100 bucks more than they are asking for the 109 so that is quite a bit more expensive. However, Yamaha does give you a subwoofer with this so when you factor that in and the fact you would be easily looking at another 100 bucks for a decent subwoofer if you wanted to add one to the 109, I do not think that the RRP on this thing is bad at all. What is weird about this is that like the 109, prices for the 209 on eBay are all over the place and some people are crazy about what they think people are going to be willing to pay.

The Verdict: I think that price was a great place to start this Yamaha YAS 109 vs 209 fight. I think both of these are being sold for a very fair price. I just feel that even though the Yamaha YAS-209 is priced at around 100 bucks higher, that 100 bucks is well worth the money and I do feel that overall, you are getting more bang for your buck with the 209. I mean, if you get lucky and find the 109 for like 100 to 150 bucks somewhere then we have a conversation to have, but at their RRP, the 209 is the winner here for me.

The Design

If you read my article, Bose Soundbar 700 Vs Sonos Arc Which Is Better? then you know who much the design of a soundbar is important to me. Everyone that I know who has a soundbar has it out on full display as that is the point of them. The last thing you want is some ugly chunk of plastic! That is not a concern here and this category in our Yamaha YAS-109 vs 209 battle is going to be close as they are very similar in their design.

Yamaha YAS-109:

Before we start, I want to suggest that you have a look at this World’s Best Cheapest Soundbar? | Yamaha YAS 109 Soundbar with Alexa as they do an unboxing and you can get a great idea of what this looks like. I have to say that this is one very cool looking soundbar and I do not see this looking bad in any living room. The dimensions of the soundbar are 34.9” x 2.0” x 5.3” which I would say is about average these days for a soundbar. What you might not be able to tell from the images is that this is not a dark black, it has a bit of a lighter tint to it which I do like.

As you would expect, most of the Yamaha YAS-109 is made from a strong plastic. This has a solid and strong feel to it, but Yamaha has covered the soundbar with this black fabric which does look very cool. This is a design choice that many other soundbars are going for these days and the trend does not look like it is stopping any time soon. However, as someone who has kids, I would worry about them poking their sticky little fingers through this. It will also be a real magnet for dust and pet hair too! So, yes it does look cool, but you will need to make sure you look after it.

The sides of the soundbar are open which is to accommodate the “built in subwoofer” and help with the bass. Along the top, you have touch controls which I am not a big fan of as they are too noticeable, but to be fair, some people may like this. Round the back of the Yamaha YAS-109, we have your ports. You have HDMI, optical and there is also a USB and ethernet port as well.

Yamaha YAS-209: Talking about the Yamaha YAS-209 is a little different as we have two parts to discuss as this is not just a soundbar, it also has a subwoofer.

If you want to get a closer look at this check out this Yamaha YAS 209 Sound Bar Unboxing & Review | All About Yamaha Alexa Sound Bar YAS-209 Setup & Review which shows it off very well. The dimensions of this are 36.4″ x 2.4” x 4.0” so it is a couple of inches longer, but overall there is not much in it between these two. Like the 109, the 209 is made from a nice and strong plastic that has a solid feel to it. Also, it once again is covered with this fabric material which looks very cool, I actually like how it wraps all the way around the soundbar as it gives it a very classy kind of design. Of course, the issues that I had with the 109 apply here such as the kids ripping it or you constantly having to remove dust and pet hair!

Sony SACS9 10-Inch Active Subwoofer,Black

The subwoofer that is included here is far better than I thought it would be. Granted you cannot expect something of a similar quality to say this, Sony SACS9 10-Inch Active Subwoofer, but I do still like this subwoofer. It does not take up a ton of space, coming in at 7.5” x 16.5” x 15.8”. I like the design of this, it may look basic, but I feel that it fits in very well with the design of the soundbar and that is all you can ask for at the end of the day. The thing is, this subwoofer I was sure was going to be a tad on the “cheap” side, but that is not the case at all. It feels far sturdier and more impressive than I thought it would. 

At the rear of the soundbar you have your ports and these are exactly the same as the 109. You have HDMI, optical, USB, and ethernet ports awaiting your attention. The subwoofer is wireless so this connects to your soundbar with the press of a button. Overall, they give you all the hookups you could want with this.

The Verdict: I think that both of these look good, but I do like the way the 209 looks slightly better. Do not get me wrong, the 109 is fine, but it is like they learned from that soundbar and made a few tweaks to give the 209 a sleeker and cooler look. Also, that subwoofer is far better quality than it has any right to be at this price range!

The Sound:

The reason that we all want a soundbar is because modern TV speakers are lacking. I had this CRT Sony TV back in the late 90s and the speakers on that thing were awesome. These days, TVs are so thin so the speakers take a real hit. That is why speakers are such an important category in our Yamaha YAS-109 vs 209 fight!

Yamaha YAS-109: When you take into account just how affordable the Yamaha YAS-109 is, it is very impressive how good the sound this thing offers is. As far as lower priced soundbars go, I would actually say that this is one of the better ones when it comes to sound quality. The level of bass it produces is far better than you would think and it hits that mid-range pretty much perfectly in my opinion. Two movies that show off the range this has well are, Spider-Man: Far from Home / Spider-Man: Homecoming. I say this because there is a fair bit of speaking, mixed with very loud action in both of these movies and that is where this shines. It has fantastic vocal clarity thanks to the whole clear voice thing and even at louder volumes, it packed a fairly decent punch. 

I would say that anyone who is going to the Yamaha YAS-109 straight from their TV speakers is going to be amazed. Look, you do have to be realistic and know that you are not getting Dolby Atmos level sound like you would with the SAMSUNG 3.1.2ch Q800A Q Series Soundbar, but considering the price, that is to be expected. I think that you get a nice range of sound through this and when I cranked the volume up, I will admit that it may not have knocked my socks off, but it was much clearer than I thought it would be.

A nice bonus that the Yamaha YAS-109 has is that it offers Bluetooth connectivity so you can easily stream music from your phone through this and it sounds great. I was messing around and tested the music quality by playing November Rain by Guns n Roses and I was very impressed with how good it sounded. 

Yamaha YAS-209: I do think this is a bit of an unfair comparison. Not just because the Yamaha YAS-209 comes with a dedicated subwoofer, but because this is the upgraded version of the 109. The value for money here is excellent and my thoughts on that only got better when I started putting it through its paces.

Like many people The Matrix Resurrection trailer got me hyped so I watched the entire Matrix Trilogy on 4K via the Yamaha YAS-209. I was very impressed with what this thing was capable of doing. Neo has a very soft-spoken kind of voice that sounded so clear through this. There is a clear voice button on the remote that you can use, but I found even with the default setting, the speech was great through this. Of course, there is a lot of action here, that scene on the road in the second movie, in particular, is a real favorite of mine and that sounded great coming through here.

Bose Bass Module 700 - Black- Wireless, Compact Subwoofer

The power of the subwoofer is not going to rock the room like a more expensive one like the Bose Base Module 700 does. However, that is to be expected. I found the bass the subwoofer provided to be more than decent. Tron: Legacy is an awesome and criminally underrated movie (I actually like it better than the original) and it has some fantastic music, music with a lot of bass. That came through very well with this and I even cranked it up pretty loud to see if there would be any kind of distortion and there was not.

Like the Yamaha YAS-109, the 209 is offering you Bluetooth connectivity. To be honest, this is a feature that I feel all soundbars should have as it surely does not cut into their profit margin much at all. Anyway, just like the 109, the 209 is great when listening to music. I spent a little while messing with a few of my Spotify playlists and was very happy with how it sounded.

The Verdict: Look, this is a pretty easy round, I have to give this to the Yamaha YAS-209. At the end of the day, the 109 is more than fine and Yamaha did a great job. However, with the 209, you get that dedicated subwoofer and I also feel that the actual soundbar is just a bit better as well, like they learned from the 109 and made it better.  

The Remote Control

I have a bad feeling that in like the next ten years, most companies will want you to have an app instead of a remote control and that sucks! Anyway, here we are in our next category in our Yamaha YAS-109 vs 209 contents as we look at the remote controls that these come with.

Yamaha YAS-109: One of the things that I like about Yamaha is that they made a great remote a soundbar or two back like the Yamaha YAS-108 and they have just kept that remote and tweaked it a little bit here and there The Yamaha YAS-109 has a fantastic remote, it really does. It is nice and compact and it gives you all the control you need over your soundbar. It has dedicated volume controls for volume and subwoofer. It has a dedicated button to activate clear voice or 3D surround too. The way it has six different presets as well that can be easily activated is great.

Yamaha YAS-209: Yamaha decided not to completely reinvent the wheel with the Yamaha YAS-209 remote control. At first glance, this remote control looks like it is exactly the same as the one that comes with the 109. The difference here is that this one has a bit more of a curve to it which I guess means it is less likely to slip out of your hand? Just like the 109, you have all the same buttons on here with the volume and subwoofer having their own volume buttons, clear voice, and 3D surround sound also having dedicated buttons and you can even select from the same six presets as the 109 remote control.

The Verdict: This is one category that could actually be decided by the flip of a coin as the remotes are practically the same. I am raising both their hands as they both win this category. However, if I am being very picky, I will say that I do prefer the slightly curvier design that the Yamaha YAS-209 has is more appealing to me. On the flip side of this, I could see someone liking the flatter design of the 109 better, so really it is just a personal preference thing.

What Is In The Box?

Next up we are going to look at what you can expect to find in the box for both of these soundbars. This way, you can know if you need to order anything else at the same time when you order your soundbar which happens more often than you would think!

Yamaha YAS-109: Once you rip open the box for the Yamaha YAS-109, you will find the soundbar! Well, clearly you will find that. However as well as that you get your power cord, the remote, batteries for the remote, and your instructions. As far as connectivity goes they give you an optical cable… and no HDMI cable! If you have read any other comparison articles, I have done on the sight you know this drives me nuts! It should come with both an HDMI and an optical cable. Yes you can get this Amazon Basics Premium-Certified Braided HDMI Cable for like seven bucks, but that is not the point, Yamaha are a big enough company that they could have given us an HDMI cable in the box.

Yamaha YAS-209: I am going to get just as mad here as I did with the 109! Ok, so let us start with the good. In the box, you get your Yamaha YAS-209 soundbar, remote control with batteries, instructions, and an optical cable as well. The Subwoofer actually comes in its own box and that comes with the power cord. Like the 109, Yamaha has not included an HDMI cable. You can even get a more higher-quality HDMI cable like this 4K HDMI Cable 2 Pack 6ft which gives you two HDMI cables for just over ten bucks! I would highly recommend you make sure you have an HDMI cable before this arrives.

The Verdict: I have to say that this category is a tie! They both come with pretty much the same stuff in their boxes. The 209 does come with an extra box as it comes with that dedicated subwoofer. To be honest with you I am still pretty mad that they did not throw in an HDMI cable in either of these sets! To be fair, Yamaha are not the only company that is guilty of this these days.  

Which is better Yamaha YAS-109 or 209?

I had a lot of fun with this Yamaha YAS-109 vs 209 article today. These are both two very good soundbars and I could see a person making a case for either one of these. I think that the Yamaha YAS-109 is a great soundbar. Yamaha did a great job with it and if you can find it closer to that 200 bucks mark, maybe even under it is a steal and well worth considering. However, I do feel that with the Yamaha YAS-209, Yamaha learned a great deal from the 109 and the soundbars that they made which came before it. They give us a separate subwoofer that is way better than it has any right to be and I think that overall, it just offers a better sound so that is why the Yamaha YAS-209 is the better soundbar in my opinion.

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