Top critical review
Satisfactory, But Not Outstanding
on June 5, 2015
First, the Yamaha YAS-103 does not produce even a good imitation of "surround sound." I recently replaced a seventeen-year-old television set which did a much better job of imitating "surround" than this sound bar can manage. But I wanted a trade off with simple connection, simple operation, and a sound quality improvement over what the flat screen TV provides, and this serves the purpose. I knew going in that I probably would not get anything close to "real" surround, and, unfortunately, I was right. But I was also right in thinking that the unit would be easy to connect to the TV, intuitive to operate, and provide reasonable sound quality. If you are an audiophile, you may not be satisfied with this, but I didn't want to spend twice as much on a sound bar as the TV set had cost in the first place, so this is a good compromise. The only operational weakness I find is that the remote control is poorly designed. Instead of organizing the frequently used functions (like "volume up and down" and "mute") in easy to reach places and with larger buttons, the designers put them on small, poorly marked buttons the middle of a bunch of stuff you actually do NOT want to be accidentally pressing. Instead of being able to grab the remote in a dimly lit room, quickly access what you want, and go back to watching your program, you must turn on a light, hunt for the right button, and carefully press so that nothing else gets "accidentally" activated. Not at all smart. Overall, I would have given this a "three-and-a-half" star rating, but since half stars cannot be awarded, and since the foolishness behind such a poorly organized remote affects how satisfying the unit is to operate, I dropped back to just three stars.