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Home Theater in Small Spaces

Think you need a large space? Think again.

If you’ve ever wanted to have a great-sounding home theater or music streaming system in a small apartment or rented space but thought that it wasn’t possible, prepare to be surprised.

Sound bar on a cabinet below a flat screen tv.

Yamaha MusicCast BAR 400.

With a sound bar that includes a wireless subwoofer (such as the Yamaha MusicCast BAR 400) as your foundation, you can easily create and install a quality surround sound setup for movies, TV, gaming and streaming audio in even the smallest space, and without the need for a dedicated receiver or the hassle of running cables everywhere. (No need for drilling holes in walls or floors, either!)

Let’s take a closer look at the components of such a system:

Sound Bar

The key to creating a home theater in a small space is the sound bar, which reproduces the all-important center channel (where most dialog lives) as well as the left and right stereo channels, critical to music playback. As its name implies, the MusicCast BAR 400 utilizes MusicCast, the wireless multi-room audio system developed by Yamaha for easy connection through your home Wi-Fi® network. In addition, you can remotely control MusicCast devices from your smartphone or tablet using a simple app.

Photo of rear panel.

MusicCast BAR 400 rear panel connectors.

All you need is a single cable to connect the BAR 400 directly to your TV’s HDMI, optical or analog outputs. (For music-only content, you don’t need any cable at all since wireless connection can be made via Bluetooth®, AirPlay® or Spotify Connect.) You can even have hands-free operation of your system via Alexa voice control using any Amazon Echo device. And by adding a pair of optional Yamaha wireless MusicCast Surround-enabled speakers (see below), you can turn your system into a full 5.1 wall-shaking surround setup.

The BAR 400 provides great sound, with four 1-3/4″ woofers and dual 1″ tweeters for maximum sound coverage. It’s versatile too, with the ability to create simulated surround from DTS® Virtual:X™ soundtracks and decode Dolby® Digital and DTS® audio for full 5.1 surround sound (with the use of optional rear speakers). It can also play back virtually every audio file format from MP3 and MPEG-4 to AIFF up to 192 kHz/ 24-bit.

 Subwoofer

Photo of small rectangular subwoofer.

MusicCast BAR 400 subwoofer.

If you’re looking for realism, you need the bone-shaking low-end audio that can only come from a subwoofer. The subwoofer included with the MusicCast BAR 400 features a 6-1/2″ cone woofer that delivers bass frequencies with clarity and punch. And because it connects wirelessly via Bluetooth, you can place it anywhere in the room that’s convenient … without having to run a long cable.

Rear Surround Speakers

Every great home theater needs a great pair of rear surround speakers to hear those flyovers, effects and explosions. By adding a pair of Yamaha MusicCast 20 or MusicCast 50 wireless speakers, you can complete your 5.1 home theater (or create a multi-room audio setup) without having to run any wires around your couch, comfy chair or through the walls.

Two pairs of speakers.

Like the rest of the system, these small, unobtrusive speakers allow voice control via Alexa. They also feature a wide variety of connection choices including Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, AirPlay and Spotify Connect. Add a pair to the BAR 400 and you’ll have a full-blown 5.1 home theater system with left, center, right, left surround and right surround speakers, as well as a subwoofer.

Accessories

One of the huge advantages of building a home theater system around a MusicCast BAR 400 is that you don’t need a receiver or speaker wire — in fact, you don’t need any cabling at all, other than a single HDMI, optical or analog cable for connection to your TV. It’s a great way to turn any small space into the perfect binge-worthy home theater, powerful music system or booming game sound center.

 

Click here for more information about the Yamaha MusicCast BAR 400.



ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Rich Tozzoli
Rich Tozzoli is a Grammy-nominated producer/mixer/composer based in the New York area. His credits include work with artists such as Ace Frehley, Hall & Oates, Omar Hakim and Al DiMeola. Rich's music has appeared in over a thousand TV series in 36 countries, and he has written for such shows as Live PD, Pawn Stars, Counting Cars, Duck Dynasty and NBC Olympics. Tozzoli has also authored numerous articles on audio production and technology as well as a book on surround sound mixing.

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