Yamaha's B20 DTS Virtual:X soundbar is compact and affordable

Yamaha's new B20 and C20 soundbars
(Image credit: Yamaha)

Yamaha's new B20 (SR-B20A) and C20 (SR-C20A) soundbars promise maximum performance from minimal footprint. They have been, the company declares, designed to fit any space without sacrificing sound or specs.

The B20 (£249) is the more advanced of the two new models, based on the same DTS Virtual:X technology found in the Yamaha YAS-207, a current What Hi-Fi? Award-winner. 

The DTS codec aims to virtually simulate sound delivered by a 7.1.4 set-up, and our experience of the technology inside soundbars has only been positive – which bodes well for the new B20 indeed. Could we be looking at a new best budget soundbar buy? Quite possibly.

Two tweeters, woofers and subwoofers apiece fire out from its 91cm-wide and 5cm-tall chassis, which houses HDMI ARC and optical (two) inputs, a subwoofer output and a Bluetooth receiver. 

Yamaha's Clear Voice mode – supposedly a customer favourite – is onboard to enhance dialogue clarity, while a handful of sound settings (stereo, standard, movie and game) go some way to offer personalisation, too.

Yamaha's new B20 and C20 soundbars

(Image credit: Yamaha)

The C20 (£219), meanwhile, goes without DTS Virtual:X, although it has Dolby Digital and Virtual Surround processing to help its two full-range drivers, woofer and twin passive radiators punch out sound from its 60cm-wide and 6cm-tall chassis. 

HDMI ARC – not a given at this price – and two optical inputs sit alongside a mini input for gaming consoles and other portable devices, while Bluetooth is also present and correct. It also shares the Clear Voice and four sound modes with its sibling.

Not only are both the Yamaha B20 and C20 modestly sized for easily squeezing onto a shelf or TV rack, they can also be wall-mounted via the built-in keyholes, with no additional bracket required.

The new Yamaha soundbars will be available in 'early fall', so we hope to have the pleasure of their company in our test rooms very soon. Australian pricing and availability is yet to be announced.


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Becky Roberts

Becky is the managing editor of What Hi-Fi? and, since her recent move to Melbourne, also the editor of Australian Hi-Fi magazine. During her 10 years in the hi-fi industry, she has been fortunate enough to travel the world to report on the biggest and most exciting brands in hi-fi and consumer tech (and has had the jetlag and hangovers to remember them by). In her spare time, Becky can often be found running, watching Liverpool FC and horror movies, and hunting for gluten-free cake.