Yamaha SR-C30A review: a compact soundbar limited by its subwoofer

Yamaha SR-C30A review: a compact soundbar limited by its subwoofer

The SR-C30A is a soundbar with two 4.6 mm speakers offering stereo rendering. It is accompanied by a wireless subwoofer and embeds the technology ofupmix Dolby Surround. If the bar does not come out too badly thanks to a balanced sound and enveloping surround effects, the set struggles to convince us completely because of a certain lack of precision in the treble and an inefficient subwoofer .

Let’s first look at the bar’s pure performance. The SR-C30A delivers a homogeneous and balanced rendering, allowing you to enjoy both musical and cinematographic content. Vocals are crystal clear and stand out naturally from the rest of the instruments or movie soundtrack. The treble extremes are slightly flattered, however, allowing for an expansive soundstage, going beyond the physical limits of the bar, but which further highlights the concerns of precision in this region: the cymbals have a brittle and the high-pitched instruments “sparkle”. These accuracy issues also get worse as the volume increases. It is therefore necessary to be careful to remain wise on the output level of the whole. A concern all the more regrettable that the power does not rise very high in the turns and remains relatively reasonable.

The subwoofer provides a significant foundation in the bass and adds warmth and roundness to the sound reproduction. However, the transition between the box and the bar is abrupt and therefore creates a lack of coherence and homogeneity in the sound reproduction. In addition, the box has a hard time keeping up: once a certain volume level has been exceeded (sustained, but not delirious), the speaker of the box saturates and emits disturbing clicks. Once again, care must be taken not to push the volume too far to its limits, otherwise the listening experience will be completely damaged.

The bar has four listening modes. The first, called Stereo, disables all processing ofupmix surround to offer a classic stereo rendering that is perfectly suited to musical content and classic television content (television news, programs, etc.). You should also deactivate the Bass EXT mode so as not to suffer from excessively invasive bass.

The Standard, 3D movie and Game modes are reserved for cinematic content, as they significantly extend the soundstage, while applying a small reverb effect which is not particularly suitable for musical content. In these three modes, the soundstage is particularly enveloping, which is quite surprising given the size of the bar. It even manages to recreate certain rear surround effects that very few bars, even at the top of the range, manage to transcribe. However, all this is valid in a sweet spot very limited, well in front of the bar and about 2 m. In other cases, the surround effects are messy and no longer have any interest.

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