Yamaha SR-C20A soundbar review: When I used to review more TVs than before, readers would ask me, “Which TV should I fit in my media cabinet?” The tiny Yamaha SR-C20A reminded me of that question ($ 180 on Amazon). If your main criteria for choosing a Soundbar if its ability to shoehorn in a given room then this compact speaker might be for you.
No DTS playback limits the options for viewing DVDs
Vizio V21 beats it for home theater
At just 23 inches wide, the C20 is the smallest soundbar I’ve seen from Yamaha. The Sonic Chops are still decent, however, and it sounds better than the even smaller Roku Streambar ($ 130 on Amazon) ($ 130) with stronger bass and a softer high end. While the Roku lacks the streaming capability, the Yamaha offers more connection options.
The problem is that the Yamaha C20 is just too expensive for what you’re getting. If size isn’t your thing, there are tons of great-sounding options available to you for the same money, starting with the Vizio V21 ($ 180 at Best Buy). The C20 needs a drop in price to be recommended to a larger group of people.
Small, solidly built
As I’ve found on previous Yamaha products, this looks chic RX-V6 For the mini-systems and the soundbars, the build quality of the C20A is solid. The speaker measures just 23.6 “wide, 2.5” high and 3.75 “deep and is covered with an attractive fabric grille that matches the larger speakers in the series.
Yamaha has made some usability improvements that larger models don’t. For example, the Welcome screen is now on the front of the device instead of facing up for easy reading. While the controls are on top, they include an input selector, volume, and power.
The C20 offers a pair of 1.8 “cone drivers, a built-in 3” subwoofer, and two passive radiators. While I haven’t heard the B20 yet, this speaker features a larger cabinet with bigger drivers and special tweeters. It also takes most of the functionality of the C20 and adds a subwoofer output. However, the B20 loses the 3.5mm input.
Like all Yamaha audio products, the C20 has always offered some great sound modes, including Stereo, Game, Movie and Clear Voice. The C20 supports Dolby Digital but unfortunately not DTS, which is strange since it includes DTS Virtual: X surround sound emulation.