- Good surround-sound speakers, wide range of speaker settings.
- No HDMI or S-Video, no on-screen interface, no auto calibration microphone.
Yamaha's YHT-475B is a mid-priced home theatre system offering a good range of customisation for the budding enthusiast. What it lacks are next generation features such as HDMI connectivity and automatic calibration microphones. However, for the user who doesn't mind manual tinkering, and whose primary concern is sound quality, the YHT-475B makes a good buy.
Price$ 1,299.00 (AUD)
Sound is paramount for any home theatre system, and in this regard the YHT-475B didn't disappoint. The 5.1 system comes complete with four tall floor-standing surround speakers and a smaller centre speaker. A somewhat petite floor-firing sub-woofer completes the package. We were very impressed with the large, room-filling sound given off by the five satellite speakers, as the dual woofers they contain are only 8cm in diameter.
Bass was rich and varied both with or without the sub-woofer engaged, though still a little muddy in pieces with complex low frequency sound. The upper tonal registers sounded spot on, and we heard little trace of distortion. Testing the system across multiple genres of music really showed how the YHT-475B was just as suited to the classical strains of Bach as it was to Eminem's The Real Slim Shady. The system also performed well with respect to volume. When we cranked up the bass on tracks from the Chemical Brothers we literally had the cabinets in our room shaking.
Moving on to movies, we were again impressed, for the most part. The battle scene from Troy involving Hercules and Hector was especially involving, with the flick of swords ricocheting effectively around the surround speakers. Other scenes, such as fireballs rolling into the Greeks' camp, were a good test of the subwoofer. The multiple explosions sounded powerful and deep, though the sub showed it wasn't so good at the subtle nuances of low frequency sound.
Gamers are also well catered for, with dedicated sound processing options for use with games consoles. We connected up the Playstation 3 and had a go with Ridge Racer 7. The whole experience was far more involving with the screech of tyres behind our heads and the thumping soundtrack pounding out from all directions. Gaming really isn't complete without a decent surround system.
Of course sound quality is only one part of the equation, and it's just as important to have a decent receiver too. While the AV receiver Yamaha has bundled (the HTR-5930) has a good range of features, it's far from being exceptional.
Firstly, there's the range of input connections. Yamaha has included multiple Composite and Component connectors, but there's no sign of HDMI, or even S-Video. With the multitude of HDMI compliant devices hitting the market, such as the aforementioned Playstation 3, this is a disappointing exclusion. In the case of the Playstation 3, we were forced to connect the console's sound by using an optical cable, of which there are two inputs. This isn't all that many, and with only one coaxial input, people with lots of digital audio devices may be left lacking.
One other disappointment is the lack of an automatic calibration microphone. These handy little devices plug in to the front of receivers, and using an onboard setup process, tune in the speakers to all the correct settings. These are almost standard now on most systems, so the lack of one here is a little surprising. However, Yamaha has included a wealth of setup options for those that want to customise the sound, including a whole range of sound adjustments for speaker distance.
Accessing all these options can be a bit of a chore, however, as Yamaha has spurned the use of an on-screen menu. Instead, the user is supposed to contend with the one-line LCD that adorns the front of the receiver. This can make adjusting the settings a little difficult without the aid of the manual. Thankfully all the most important settings have dedicated buttons on both the remote and the main unit. This includes bass and treble adjustments, selecting input devices and accessing sound processing.
When it comes to sound processing, Yamaha has thrown in all the regulars such as Dolby Digital, DTS and Pro Logic II. Yamaha also uses its own proprietary "cinema DSP" processor which allows for additional options with specialised sound for sports, video games and various kinds of movies. There are also some unusual options which supposedly recreate the acoustical ambience of some famous American music clubs. We weren't feeling the music to that degree, but the wide range of options is a nice inclusion.
Overall Yamaha has done an excellent job in crafting a good-sounding system with plenty of audio functionality. What's disappointing is the omission of some features that we have come to think of as standard.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 LG 2017 OLED TV range full review: W7 Signature Wallpaper, G7, E7 and C7 UHD TVs
- 2 Tag Heuer Connected Smartwatch and Android Wear 2 review
- 3 Subaru XV 2017 review
- 4 Samsung 2017 QLED Q7 TV: Full, in-depth review
- 5 Kogan Atlas UltraSlim Pro laptop: full, in-depth review
Latest News Articles
- Plex Cloud is now open to all paid users
- Google eyes remote content controls for parents in YouTube Kids app
- Up next for Apple TV: 4K streaming reportedly in the works
- Apple’s original TV shows are almost ready for prime time
- Apple snags Amazon Fire TV exec to lead Apple TV efforts
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
- LG 2017 OLED TV range full review: W7 Signature Wallpaper, G7, E7 and C7 UHD TVs
- Huawei P10 smartphone review
- Huawei P10 Plus phone: Full, in-depth review
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- FTSocial Media Executive / Specialist (Facebook) - online gamblingNSW
- CCPrincipal Project ManagerQLD
- FTDeputy Chief Engineer - Defence Systems - IT Services - Nowra BasedNSW
- FTClient Onboarding ManagerNSW
- FTSCRUM Master, CX, Financial ServicesNSW
- FTEnterprise Architect - BusinessQLD
- CCEnd to End Project ManagerVIC
- TPData Migration LeadNSW
- FTData Analyst - SASNSW
- TPLevel 2/3 Technical Service AnalystOther
- FTFull Stack Developer - JavaNSW
- CCSalesforce DeveloperNSW
- FTUAT CoordinatorQLD
- FTNV1 Cleared Software Engineer (Mid level) - Defence Projects - North Ryde areaNSW
- FT.Net DeveloperNSW
- CCIT Security Risk AnalystVIC
- TPProject ManagerVIC
- FTTechnical WriterACT
- FTPHP DeveloperNSW
- FTEnterprise Architect - Network and TelecommunicationsNSW
- FTClient Onboarding ManagerNSW
- TPBusiness AnalystQLD
- FTBusiness Development Manager IT Software & Primary HealthcareQLD
- CCUnix AdministratorNSW
- CCAppian Developer x 2VIC