Yamaha announced this week a pair of home theater in a box (HTiB) solutions designed to simplify the cost and setup of a 5.1-channel surround sound experience in the home.

The Yamaha HTiB models YHT-5950U ($599.99 suggested retail) and YHT-4950U ($499.95) will be available in early July. Receivers anchoring each of the packages are billed as being compatible with the most recent in 4K video and dynamic audio capabilities, including the high dynamic range (HDR) profiles HDR10 and Dolby Vision.

Also supported in the YHT-5950U is the new Enhanced Audio Return Channel (eARC) with greater bandwidth than the previous ARC system over an HDMI connection. This enables support of full-resolution, multi-channel audio formats such as Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio from the TV to the receiver.

Features in YAS-4950U receiver include Yamaha CINEMA DSP technology to playback lossless HD Audio formats (Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD Master Audio, etc.), providing natural and expansive sound imaging. Yamaha said CINEMA DSP transforms the dynamics of the listening environment, with acoustic reproduction of famous venues such as the Bottom Line, Roxy Theater, and European cathedrals.

Both units include” Yamaha AV receivers joined by five speakers (right front, center, left front, right rear and left rear) a powered subwoofer and speaker wire to connect the speakers and receiver together.

Both systems also offer Yamaha Parametric room Acoustic Optimization (YPAO), that will automatically calibrate settings to balance with the characteristics of the room. YPAO analyzes the room acoustics and in tandem with the system, then precisely adjusts various audio parameters to provide the best sound for the space. The company said that by placing the supplied microphone at ear position and switching YPAO on, the system will be automatically tuned for optimum performance.

The YHT-5950U model also supports voice control from popular voice assistants, including Siri, Google or Alexa.

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Apple AirPlay 2 support adds the ability to stream Apple Music and other streaming services from an iPhone, iPad, HomePod and Mac to multiple Yamaha devices and other AirPlay 2-enabled speakers.

Voice control is also available via Amazon Alexa and Google by linking with supporting smart speakers and devices outfitted with far-field mics.

Both systems are Bluetooth-enabled, allowing for seamless wireless music playback from smartphones, tablets and more.

Furthermore, the YHT-5950U incorporates support for the Yamaha wireless multi-room audio system, MusicCast. The built-in wireless music streaming functionality allows leveraging a MusicCast app installed in a mobile device to access the most popular music-streaming services and relaying that to a connected MusicCast speaker over a Wi-Fi network. Among the streaming services available through the app include: Spotify, Apple Music via AirPlay 2, Pandora, SiriusXM Internet Radio, TIDAL, Deezer, Napster and Qobuz.

MusicCast also allows the YHT-5950U to support the MusicCast Surround feature, that enables replacing the included wired rear speakers with wireless MusicCast 20 speakers to create a 5.1-channel setup with wireless rear surrounds.

By Greg Tarr

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