Sonos Arc vs Yamaha YAS-209 which is a better soundbar?

Sonos Arc vs Yamaha YAS-209 which is a better soundbar?

Talk about what looks like a lopsided matchup, this Sonos Arc vs Yamaha YAS-209 is looking at two very different soundbars. The Sonos Arc is one of the most popular soundbars on the market and has been for a little while right now. However, I wanted to put it up against the more affordable Yamaha YAS-209 to see how they compare and give you guys a bit of an idea about which one of these would be right for you. These are two solid soundbars, but by the end of this article today I will have picked which one I feel is the best and it is going to be much tougher than you would think.

 

The Price:  

There is a pretty massive price difference between these two soundbars, but that is what makes price such an interesting category to start this Sonos Arc vs Yamaha YAS-209 article off with.

 

Sonos Arc:

SONOS ARC White

I would say that 9/10 you are looking at paying the RRP of $799.99 for the Sonos Arc. I do not think I have seen this thing drop more than like 20 bucks anywhere! It is so popular that they have never had to drop the price. Actually, a few weeks back, this was pretty hard to get a hold of and many places raised the price to the better part of a grand! I would certainly not recommend paying scalpers prices for it, but just be prepared that there are not many deals floating around for the Sonos Arc.

 

Yamaha YAS-209:

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

While there is no Dolby Atmos compatibility with the Yamaha YAS-209, it is still a damn fine soundbar/subwoofer combo. That is right, the asking price here includes a subwoofer which makes the $347.99 it is currently listed on Amazon a truly amazing deal and tremendous value for money. If you look on eBay, the prices for this thing are all over the place. I would actually say that more people than not are asking more than the RRP for this so I would say you are best just sticking with Amazon on this one.

 

The Verdict: If you are on a budget, but want to get cinema style sound at home, you have to go for the Yamaha YAS-209. However, as far as Dolby Atmos capable soundbars go, you do not get much better than the Sonos Arc! I know that it is over double the price of the 209, however, it is probably one of the best “bang for your buck” soundbars on the market right now.

 

The Design:

The design category in our Sonos Arc vs Yamaha YAS-209 battle is going to be a fun one. These are two very stylish looking soundbars and actually, both Sonos and Yamaha make great looking audio equipment so, in terms of the design, both of these are great!

 

Sonos Arc:

The Sonos Arc is available in black and white, it is the white version that I am specifically talking about today. If you want to hear about the black version, I suggest you check out this Sonos Arc – Unboxing, Test, and Impressions video. This is a nice and large soundbar and the dimensions are 45” x 3.4” x 4.5”. This is the best soundbar that Sonos make. Not just from the sound, but from the design as well. This is as premium as Sonos get and I love the curvy style of this soundbar as most companies tend to have a more rectangular and boxy shape and that is a style I like. I think that is what makes the look of the Sonos Arc stand out so much actually. Sonos has used a plastic grill on the front of the soundbar and the way it kind of wraps around the front is very cool, I do think that a metal grill would have been better, but it still looks pretty damn awesome. Without a doubt, this is something that will look awesome in your living room or home theatre.

On the back of the soundbar, there is a single HMDI port. I know that this may not sound like much, but this is a soundbar that is made with people using it for Dolby Atmos in mind and that requires HDMI. Sonos to be fair does give you an HDMI to optical cable for those that do want to connect it that way. The one area where Sonos is lacking is the remote control as there is not one. The Sonos App is great, but when I watch a movie, I do not want to have my phone or a tablet with me the whole time. I think they should have also thrown in a basic remote control

 

Yamaha YAS-209: I really do like what Yamaha has done with the Yamaha YAS-209. This is a soundbar that has a much more premium look than its rather modest asking price suggests. It is a fair bit smaller than the Arc as the dimensions of the actual soundbar are 36.4″ x 2.4” x 4.0”. Like the Arc, the 209 has a very curvy and sexy kind of style to it instead of being angular which I do like. The way it is more rounded is a pretty cool design and something Yamaha has used before. The grill is fabric and while I like the way it wraps around; I am not a massive fan of a fabric grill. On the back of the Yamaha YAS-209, we have both an HDMI and optical port for connecting it to your TV. There is also a USB port in case of any firmware updates. Overall, this is one very stylish and cool looking soundbar that has a premium look, without a premium price.

As the Yamaha YAS-209 comes with a subwoofer, we have to take a look at that. This is a damn fine subwoofer, coming in at .5” x 16.5” x 15.8 it does not take up a ton of space. I like the design of it, Yamaha has used the same kind of fabric design as they have on the actual soundbar here so they go great together. The little bit of gloss that it has is also a nice effect too. Yamaha gives you their standard remote control with this and it is the same remote they have used with the Yamaha YAS-109 and 109. It has dedicated buttons for the main features and it is a very well designed remote control.

 

The Verdict:  This is actually way harder to call than you would think. I really like the design of both of these soundbars and the subwoofer that comes with the 209 is pretty damn awesome too. However, I am giving this round to the Sonos Arc as the fabric grill on the 209 brings it down a stand.

 

The Sound:

The sound category in this Sonos Arc vs Yamaha YAS-209 is going to be a bit trickier to look at. We have a Dolby Atmos soundbar going against one that does not offer it, but it does have a subwoofer so this is going to be pretty interesting to look at.

 

Sonos Arc: I am a massive and I mean a massive fan of the Sonos Arc. This is one of the best Dolby Atmos soundbars on the market and truth be told I would have a hard time picking between this and the Bose Smart Soundbar 900 for my favorite Dolby Atmos soundbar. I have used this in both my home theatre and living room and this just rocks it! It fills the room with sound and the level of Dolby Atmos this provides is just staggering, a movie like Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 which has an awesome Dolby Atmos track really does become so much more enjoyable and cinema like when you watch it with the help of the Sonos Arc. Many soundbars will say that they give your “surround sound” however, I have to say this is as close as I have felt that to ever be true. It honestly does fill the room with sound.

Another movie that is great for showing off the Dolby Atmos capabilities of the Sonos Arc is Hacksaw Ridge. I think that a movie that also is very dialogue heavy shines with the Arc as it has crystal clear dialogue, no matter if there is explosions, cars, or whatever going on in the scene as well. I have watched a ton of movies with the Sonos Arc and I can hand on heart say that I have never had an issue. The Sonos App is fun to mess around with as there are various presets and you can play around with the sound to get it to a way that you like. I have talked about the Sonos Arc a million times here on the site and I think that the more I use it, the more I come to appreciate just how good it is.

 

Yamaha YAS-209:

You may wonder just how good a soundbar that comes with a subwoofer and costs around 350 bucks can be! However, I was very impressed with the Yamaha YAS-209. The two soundbars that came before this were good, but Yamaha took what they learned there and expanded on it here. Even though this does not have Dolby Atmos capabilities, this still fills the room with sound. This short Yamaha YAS-209 – Sound Test – Solid Performance video shows of the sound capabilities of this pretty well. Anyway, this has a lot of power and I decided to watch Robocop in honor of this having 209 in its name (you know, like ED-209?). The Yamaha YAS-209 can get really loud and thanks to that subwoofer you get a really nice level of bass which is great for more action heavy movies.

While this does not have Dolby Atmos, it does have 3D Surround Sound which can be activated by the press of a button. While it does fill the room with sound, I think calling it surround sound is a bit of a stretch. A movie I love is The Frighteners and when played through this it was great. It has a fantastic clear voice function which can make the dialogue even clearer which I am sure will be something many people do like. I have to say at this price range, the Yamaha YAS-209 is one of the best soundbars that I have had the pleasure to play around with. It has a sound profile and quality that some more expensive soundbars I have tested over the years cannot match. If you want excellent value for money then this is actually pretty damn hard to beat. However, Dolby Atmos is becoming more and more prevalent these days so the lack of it may be an issue a year or two down the road.

 

The Verdict: This is a pretty harsh one to call. Look, sound wise the Sonos Arc wins this round with a pretty big knockout blow. There is just no way that the 209 can match the Arc and not just because it is lacking Dolby Atmos capabilities. The Yamaha YAS-209 is a great sounding soundbar, but it just cannot match what the Sonos Arc can do.

 

What Is The Better Soundbar?

I have to say that while this Sonos Arc vs Yamaha YAS-209 has been pretty one sided, it has still been fun to put together. I have to say that clearly, the Sonos Arc is the better soundbar out of the two. It not only offers you Dolby Atmos, but the sound in general truly is cinema like in the comfort of your own home. However, I have to give a ton of credit to the Yamaha YAS-209. It comes with a dedicated subwoofer and it sounds fantastic and has some really cool features that you can play around with to get the sound to your liking. To be fair I feel that these two soundbars are aimed at completely different people.

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