Yamaha ATS-2090 Review

Is the Yamaha ATS 2090 worth it? This article reviews every detail of the soundbar from design, controls, features and its audio performance.

Specifications at a glance

Before getting into the details of Yamaha ATS 2090, let us look at an overall picture. The table below summarizes the soundbar specifications.

Features
Yamaha ATS 2090
Channel configuration
2 channel
Dimensions
36-5/8" × 2-1/2" × 4-1/4"
Weight
6 lbs
Color
Black
Drivers
Four 4.6 cm (1-3/4") cone, Two  2.5 cm (1") dome tweeter
Frequency range
190 Hz to 22 kHz (Speaker), 9 kHz to 22 kHz (Tweeter), 34 Hz to 190 Hz (Subwoofer)
Impedance
4 Ω (8 Ω × 2)
Maximum power output
50 W × 2ch
Input jacks
1 (HDMI IN), 1 Optical
Output jacks
1 (HDMI OUT (ARC))
Bluetooth version
4.2
Audio formats
Dolby Digital, DTS, DTS: X
Features
Yamaha ATS 2090
Channel configuration
2 channel
Dimensions
36-5/8" × 2-1/2" × 4-1/4"
Weight
6 lbs
Color
Black
Drivers
Four 4.6 cm (1-3/4") cone, Two  2.5 cm (1") dome tweeter
Frequency range
190 Hz to 22 kHz (Speaker), 9 kHz to 22 kHz (Tweeter), 34 Hz to 190 Hz (Subwoofer)
Impedance
4 Ω (8 Ω × 2)
Maximum power output
50 W × 2ch
Input jacks
1 (HDMI IN), 1 Optical
Output jacks
1 (HDMI OUT (ARC))
Bluetooth version
4.2
Audio formats
Dolby Digital, DTS, DTS: X

What is inside the box?

Unpacking the box, you will find the center unit, which is the Yamaha ATS 2090 soundbar along with a wireless subwoofer for extended bass response. To operate the audio system, there is a remote control. The remote control comes with a lithium battery already inserted into it, ready for use. Apart from there, to connect the soundbar to the television there are some important wires. The box includes two power cords and one optical digital audio cable. A good feature about the setup of this active soundbar is that it can be wall mounted, hence the box includes a mounting template for user guidance. Lastly, there are instruction manuals and safety guides for the user.

A Simple and Sleek Design

With its all-black, sleek design, the Yamaha ATS 2090 is a very elegant soundbar that would make your home theater look sophisticated. It’s minimal style with curved edges is has an aesthetic vibe that we absolutely love.

Yamaha ATS 2090 is not that heavy, weighing at about 6 lbs. It is also not as high as most soundbars, so there is no worry of it obstructing the television screen. However, it is fairly wide, which might make it difficult to fit between the TVs legs. The soundbar being lightweight makes it easier to set it up on the wall for a newer look. There is also wall mounting templates included in the packaging but you would need to get the brackets and extra equipment by yourself.

Yamaha ATS 2090 has no display. Looking at it from a distance, the soundbar looks like a rectangular black block with curved edges. However, the input and functions are marked at the top surface of the soundbar with LED. The LED indicators on the top panel flash or glow to show the status of the settings. These also indicate whether Bluetooth or Alexa voice assistant has been enabled. This placement of LED is not as efficient because if the ATS 2090 is mounted or placed further from the listener, it will be difficult to observe what’s actually going on at the surface of the soundbar.

Satisfactory but High Maintenance Build Quality

The soundbar has decent build quality and is made mostly out of melamine. Most of it is wrapped delicately in a black mesh like fabric with the top and back exposed. Although the fabric keeps the drivers inside the sounbar protected, there is always this hassle of it attracting dirt and ripping due to force. The uncovered parts of the soundbar are built of plastic.

The subwoofer is also made up of melamine and its side and front are completely adorned with the mesh black fabric. It has ports in the front which are made of glossy plastic that shines when light reflects on it. Overall, the build quality is good but the same problem stands with the mesh fabric.

How can the ATS 2090 be Controlled?

As mentioned earlier, the top panel of the soundbar hosts a number of controls for convenient listening. These controls are touch sensitive, meaning that you can touch on the top of the bar to change its settings accordingly. There is a touch control for the voice assistant Alexa to enable or disable voice command. The microphone control can be disabled using a single touch when the voice assistant is not required. There is also an input control button that will allow the user to select the input source. Besides that, two buttons are designated for volume- one that can be pressed to increase volume and the other to lower it. Lastly, there is a power button situated at the end of the panel.

Apart from these touch sensitive controls, adjustments can also be made in the ATS 2090 using a remote control. Using the remote control, the listener can further make adjustments in the surround sound modes, enable or disable bass extension function, adjust volume of subwoofer, switch between 3D surround playback and surround playback, make stereo adjustments and control the subwoofer.

Versatile Connectivity Options

At the back of the Yamaha ATS 2090 are various ports for connectivity. At one end of the soundbar is the port for the power connector which accepts the power cord. There is an HDMI input which is used for connecting to an HDMI-compatible AV device, such as a BD/DVD player, a satellite and cable TV tuner, and a game console, and inputting video/audio signals. An HDMI out jack is used for r connecting to an HDMI-compatible TV and outputting video/audio signals. When a TV that supports Audio Return Channel (ARC) is used, TV audio signals can also be input through this jack. The Ethernet cable can be connected through the network jack available in the back of the soundbar. The TV input jack can be used to connect to a television that does not support ARC. There is also another jack that can be used to update the unit’s firmware.

An Immersive and Three Dimensional Audio Performance

The Yamaha ATS 2090 is able to produce audio in the frequency range of 190 Hertz to 22000 Hertz at a maximum power output of 50 watts per channel within an impedance of 4 ohms. Thesoundbar is capable of delivering well-balanced audio response with decent stereo dynamics.

Thanks to the subwoofer paired up with the ATS 2090, the system can produce punchy bass that can go as low as 34 hertz. Yamaha has a bass extension technology which boosts the bass from the subwoofer to produce more depth and detail in its bass output. Watching action movies is made more enjoyable for the low end produces rumble and bangs with great realism. However, the controlled bass leaves out some fun in case of stereo listening.  The upper range or treble is very energetic and colorful. The vocals and dialogues are coherent and precise, and there isn’t much distortion in the audio output. Clear voice audio enhancement can raise level of dialogue clarity whilst maintaining overall sound quality.

Yamaha ATS 2090 is known for its immersive three dimensional sound experience. The soundbar is compatible with Dolby Digital, DTS and DTS:x audio formats. These audio formats can be listened using the DTS virtual: X mode which offers vertical and horizontal surround sound. There is also a virtual surround mode limited to horizontal surround effects only. The stereo mode can be used especially for listening to music. DTS Virtual: X adds virtual height effects to audio for a more immersive surround sound experience. It can be used with any content and different modes as applicable.

Special Features

There are some notable features of the device which are very useful.

Alexa Voice Assistant: The first most useful feature of the soundbar is the built-in Alexa voice control. Yamaha ATS 2090 offers Alexa voice command with built-in microphone for hands-free control of the soundbar, smart devices and many more. With the voice assistant enabled, the user can ask Alexa to switch input sources, adjust volume levels and select streaming services. Moreover, the user can ask Alexa to play music, check the weather, listen to the news, control lights, set timers and so on. To activate the voice assistant, the user needs to simple say “Alexa” or press on the Alexa button on the top control panel of the soundbar. ATS 2090 can be grouped with other Alexa devices for multi-room audio.

Soundbar Controller App: Yamaha has a special soundbar controller app to make the audio experience easier for listeners. This app is mainly for Apple IOS 9.0+ users and Android OS 5.0+ users. The Soundbar Controller App allows the user to carry out basic functions such as power on/off, play/pause, previous/next track, volume up/down, mute and sound settings selection. This app is mandatory to set up Alexa Voice Assistant. It also allows the user to play audio files from their mobile phones through the soundbar wirelessly.

IR remote control: For wireless operation of the soundbar, the IR remote can be used. This remote control includes various adjustment options along with basic controls such as power on or off, pause or play, and volume adjustments. Through the remote control you can also make adjustments to the audio modes.

Alexa enabled streaming service: The voice assistant Alexa supports online streaming services such as Amazon Music and Spotify through the soundbar. Spotify Connect can be used by Spotify Premium users to stream music from the Spotify app.

Bluetooth Audio Streaming: Yamaha ATS 2090 features built-in Bluetooth 4.2. This allows the user to stream music wirelessly with ease from a Bluetooth enabled device. The device has a wireless range of 33’. If a device has been paired before with the soundbar using Bluetooth feature, the unit will connect the device when the Bluetooth button on the soundbar is pressed. There is a Bluetooth standby function which allows the user to automatically switch on or off the soundbar whilst being linked to another device.

Auto Power Standby: This is a super useful feature that saves power. The soundbar, if it remains inactive for 8 hours, will automatically switch off. It goes into standby mode when it remains inactive for more than 10 minutes.

Why you should get the Yamaha ATS 2090

So, why should you get the Yamaha ATS 2090? What is so great about it? Here are some of the reasons why getting this soundbar would be a win for you:

  • The built-in Alexa Voice Assistant lets the soundbar perform functions such as playing music, controlling lights and thermostats, settings timers just by users’ voice command. This leaves the hassle of moving up from the watching space and towards the Yamaha ATS 2090 to manually control it using its control buttons on the top panel. Moreover, multi-room music can also be enabled with this feature.
  • The soundbar is really easy to setup with HDMI or optical cable. It offers both HDMI in and HDMI out for the ease of connectivity. Since the soundbar is lightweight, it can also be wall mounted for aesthetics or to save space in the audio room.
  • There are a wide range of playing options. Yamaha ATS 2090 allows users to play music and podcasts through Spotify Connect, Wi-Fi or Bluetooth.
  • With the Yamaha ATS 2090, you will get an accurate audio response with clear vocals for enhanced dialogue clarity. Movies will no longer require subtitles, every dialogue seems crystal clear and seamlessly coherent.
  • One of the main features of the soundbar is that it is capable of producing three dimensional surround sound effects thanks to its DTS Virtual: X audio compatibility. The bass response is punchy and realistic and overall, the audio output is great for its price.

Problems with Yamaha ATS 2090

Yamaha ATS 2090 is a great soundbar with wonderful features but it does have its fair share of shortcomings.

Firstly, in terms of the design- the soundbar is nicely built but the main concern is the mesh fabric and the LED light placement. The mesh fabric collects dust and dirt which can be difficult to clean. The lack of display makes it difficult for the user to understand what adjustments have been set and the LED indicators being placed on the top is not very helpful.

Next, Yamaha ATS 2090 supports many audio formats but it does not support Dolby Atmos. It supports DTS Virtual: X and although this produces impactful three dimensional audio, it also gives off a lot of false reverberation.

The bass response of these active soundbars are a bit too colored and could have been given a more natural tone. Some users complained about the lack of tonal clarity and the mid and high range being muddled. Hopefully Yamaha can work on these problems in the upcoming models.

Other Alternatives

If you are still wondering what other soundbars are available that fill the gaps which the Yamaha ATS 2090 has, here are some of our suggestions.

Features
Sonos Playbar
Samsung HW Q67CT
Yamaha YAS 209
Channel configuration
3.0 channel
7.1 channel
2.1 channel
Dimensions
5.51 x 35.43 x 3.35 inches
38.6" x 2.3" x 4.1"
36-5/8" × 2-1/2" × 4-1/4"
Weight
11.9 lb
7.5 lb
6 lb
Color
Matte black
Black
Black
Drivers
3 inch aluminum cone woofer (6), 1 inch titanium dome tweeter (3)
11 speakers
Center unit: Front L/R: 1-3/4" cone × 4, Tweeter: 1" dome × 2, Subwoofer: 6-1/2" cone
Frequency range
56 Hz to 20 kHz
10Hz-80KHz
34 Hz- 190 Khz
Maximum power output
125 Watts
450 W
200 W
Input jacks
Digital optical, Ethernet
HDMI in, Digital optical
HDMI in, Digital optical
Output jacks
-
HDMI out
HDMI out
Bluetooth version
Not available
4.2
4.2
Audio formats
Dolby Digital
DTS Digital Surround,DTS Virtual:X,Dolby Digital 5.1
Dolby Digital, DTS Digital, DTS Virtual: x
Features
Sonos Playbar
Channel configuration
3.0 channel
Dimensions
5.51 x 35.43 x 3.35 inches
Weight
11.9 lb
Color
Matte black
Drivers
3 inch aluminum cone woofer (6), 1 inch titanium dome tweeter (3)
Frequency range
56 Hz to 20 kHz
Maximum power output
125 Watts
Input jacks
Digital optical, Ethernet
Output jacks
-
Bluetooth version
Not available
Audio formats
Dolby Digital
Features
Samsung HW Q67CT
Channel configuration
7.1 channel
Dimensions
38.6" x 2.3" x 4.1"
Weight
7.5 lb
Color
Black
Drivers
11 speakers
Frequency range
10Hz-80KHz
Maximum power output
450 W
Input jacks
HDMI in, Digital optical
Output jacks
HDMI out
Bluetooth version
4.2
Audio formats
DTS Digital Surround,DTS Virtual:X,Dolby Digital 5.1
Features
Yamaha YAS 209
Channel configuration
2.1 channel
Dimensions
36-5/8" × 2-1/2" × 4-1/4"
Weight
6 lb
Color
Black
Drivers
Center unit: Front L/R: 1-3/4" cone × 4, Tweeter: 1" dome × 2, Subwoofer: 6-1/2" cone
Frequency range
34 Hz- 190 Khz
Maximum power output
200 W
Input jacks
HDMI in, Digital optical
Output jacks
HDMI out
Bluetooth version
4.2
Audio formats
Dolby Digital, DTS Digital, DTS Virtual: x

Sonos Playbar

Reasons to buy

  • Spacious and detailed soundstage
  • Wireless subwoofer can be added for improved bass response
  • Easy to setup and allows wall mounting options

Reasons to avoid

  • Limited audio connectivity options
  • Bass response lacks the thump
  • Does not include remote control
  • No voice assistant feature for convenience

Design and quality

The Sonos Playbar is a 3 channel dynamic soundbar that has rectangular block shape and a matte black finish. It is composed mostly of plastic that is of good quality. This solid bar is covered with a tight black fabric which can act as a protective shield but also can be quite a hassle to keep clean. Both the sides of the bar consist of metal grilles and the back and underside of Sonos Playbar is composed of silver plastic which is of high quality. The silver touch into the black design really stands out and makes it look sleek and stylish. The soundbar is quite wide enough and may not sit between the legs of all television.

Controls and Connectivity

You might be perplexed when you first see the Sonos Playbar since you might be searching for the display and controls. The soundbar is completely plain with not display or control buttons on its front and top surface. However, on much inspection you will observe that the controls are tactfully placed on the right side of the bar. The buttons are minimal- there is only controls for play/pause and volume up/down. There is also a status light that blinks or changes color based on the activity of the soundbar. At the back is an optical audio input port to playback Dolby Ditigal content and two Ethernet ports for Wi-Fi connectivity. The connectivity options are very limited but Sonos Playbar does allow wall mounting options.

Audio Performance

The soundbar has decent audio quality for its price. The bass response is a bit underwhelming since the rumbles and thumps in the movies lack the impact to make it come to life. However, the sound profile is fairly neutral and bright as the soundbar performs better in the midrange and upper audio section. What the Sonos Playbar really shines at is, however, its soundstage. It has quite a wide soundstage because of the side firing speakers combined with the stereo speakers. It has a dedicated center channel that deliver outstanding vocal clarity. The stereo dynamics is also great and the soundbar can perform surprisingly well at high volumes without much distortion. One setback, however, is the fact that Sonos Playbar has a generally dispersed audio response than it coming from pinpoint locations.

Samsung HW Q67CT

Reasons to buy

  • Minimal and elegant design that compliments any home theater system
  • Wide range of audio connectivity options
  • Offers Bluetooth connectivity for wireless streaming
  • Useful features such as different sound modes for a more customized audio expereince

Reasons to avoid

  • The soundbar requires a lot of space to set up
  • It is quite heavy

Design and quality

The Samsung HW Q67CT is a sleek soundbar that compliments any home theater system. However, do not mistake its sleek design for ease in portability. The soundbar is actually a bit heavy and does take up quite a lot of space. It can nevertheless compliment home theaters that include large televisions thanks to its width of 38.6 inches. The construction of the soundbar is well thought and it quite efficiently incorporates eleven speakers for an immersive and three dimensional audio response. Since the soundbar does take a lot of space, it allows the option of wall mounting and the packaging also includes the wall mounting kit for the convenience of the user.

Controls and Connectivity

Samsung HW Q67CT does not include any display on its surface. Now this may be a little inconvenient as it will difficult to follow the settings and status of the soundbar without the display pointing out. Nevertheless, there are some indicator lights that flash up and show the status of the bar, notifying the users about the settings. There are some basic control buttons on the top of the soundbar which are used to adjust the volume, to play or pause the audio and there is a button for input source as well. The HW Q67CT does offer a wide range of connectivity options, though. IT has HDMI input and output ports that can be compatible with 4k passthrough. There is also HDMI Arc connectivity options found at the back of the soundbar. Lastly, Samsung HW Q67CT supports both wireless and wired connectivity. It also offers Bluetooth connectivity for easy pairing up of devices and seamless wireless audio streaming.

Audio Performance

Samsung HW Q67CT has an excellent audio response. Thanks to its Acoustic Beam Technology, the audio is enhanced to the fullest but still retains its original natural tone for an enjoyable home theater experience. This technology ensures that the sound coming from the device is directed towards the listeners for maximum audio output.  Apart from this technology, the soundbar supports Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS Virtual:X audio formats. This results in a wide soundstage and expansive surround sound. This is not all, Samsung HW Q67CT also offers three sound modes: surround sound expansion for enhanced dialogue clarity; game pro for realistic gaming audio and standard mode for regular audio listening.

Yamaha YAS 209

Reasons to buy

  • Wide and spacious soundstage
  • Voice assistant is available for easy usage
  • DTS Virtual:X offers a rich surround effect
  • Five different surround modes for customizable audio

Reasons to avoid

  • No onscreen display. LED indicators are on top surface of soundbar
  • Includes only 1 HDMI input

Design and quality

The Yamaha YAS 209 is a long and thin black bar that looks simple yet has a sophisticated and minimal design. It’s stylish round edges really give it a complete look. The soundbar is made mostly of mesh fabric around the top and back. The soundbar is quite, long approximately 37 inches wide and 2.5 inches tall, and can find it difficult to fit between the legs of most televisions. The interface is found at the top with the controls and light indicators. The build quality is good and there has been improvements made in the plastic input buttons. However, like the 2090, the mesh fabric here is a concern- it might get easily dirty with dust collecting on its surface.

Controls and Connectivity

Yamaha YAS 209 has controls on its top surface and the interface is located in that place as well. There are controls for input, volume up or down adjustments, power on or off buttons, a mute mic and an Alexa button. However, it should be kept in mind that the voice assistant won’t work if the mute button is enabled. The soundbar also includes an IR remote control which can be used to choose six different sound modes for customized audio experience. Yamaha YAS 209 has a lot of connectivity options, with the most common ones being the optical audio input for televisions lacking HDMI ARC. There are also connectivity ports for HDMI ARC and Full HDMI in ports which can be used to connect to Blu-ray or gaming console. There is also a USB slot and an Ethernet port for wired connectivity. However, the soundbar does lack a 3.5 mm input jack that most soundbars include.

Audio Performance

The soundbar has a good stereo response. The subwoofer ensures that the bass response has just the right amount of depth and punchiness for a dynamic audio response. This makes the soundbar great for bass heavy music and action packed movies. The midrange and the treble is well balanced.  It offers a variety of five different sound modes (Music, TV Program, Movie, Sports, and Game) that the user can switch to according to his or her likings and necessity. The subwoofer ensures that the audio dialogue has excellent resonance and the soundstage is really wide in the surround mode. The soundbar supports both both Dolby Digital and DTS over the HDMI ARC port. However, it does not support Dolby content.

FAQ

well, we are almost at the end of the article, and here we are, still trying to solve some of your problems.

  1. How do I set the Yamaha ATS 2090 soundbar?
  • First, you need to install the subwoofer externally of the center unit. It is advsed to angle the subwoofer slightly toward the center of the room to prevent sound from reflecting off of walls.
  • Next, you should connect the TV, which supports Audio Return Channel (ARC), to the unit with an HDMI cable. If the TV does not support ARC, use the optical digital cable instead.
  • Connect an AV device such as a media streaming device to the unit with an HDMI cable
  • Once all connections have been made, connect the unit to power using the power cord.
  1. How do I connect my soundbar to a network using Sounbar Controller app?
  • Install the Sound Bar Controller app on your mobile device to connect the unit to a network.
  • Open the app from your phone and follow the on screen instructions to complete the settings.
  • The wireless indicator will glow on the unit when the soundbar is connected to a wireless network.
  1. Why cannot I turn on the power of the soundbar?

If you want to power the soundbar but cannot, here are some possible reasons:

  • The protection circuitry has been activated three times consecutively. To avoid this, unplug the power cord from the AC wall outlet and contact the nearest authorized Yamaha dealer or service center.
  • The firmware has not been updated properly. Use a USB flash drive to update the firmware and the problem will be solved.
  1. Why isn’t Alexa operating in the unit?

This can happen if Alexa is not properly configured. You can use the Sounbar Controller App to configure Alexa. Other causes might be that the unit is not connected to the network.

  1. How do I configure HDMI control function?

First you need to turn of the central unit, i.e. the soundbar. Next, press and hold HDMI for at least five seconds to enable or disable the HDMI control function. Once the indicator has shown the HDMI control function setting applied to the unit, the unit will turn on.

Conclusion

The Yamaha ATS 2090 is a great soundbar that offers powerful audio for money. With this soundbar connected to the television, action movies come to life- the explosions and thunders are dynamic thanks to the impeccable bass response. There is also great audio clarity because of the dedicated center channel and dialogues are coherent. Nevertheless, there are some drawbacks such as the reverbation coming from the 3D surround sound effect. Moreover, the design lacks a display which can make it difficult to monitor the status of the soundbar.