Forget Sonos — Yamaha's new soundbar offers Dolby Atmos for hundreds less

Yamaha SR-B40A soundbar lifestyle PR image with TV screen
(Image credit: Yamaha)

Look out, Sonos, Yamaha is raising the bar in the budget soundbar arena with two new Dolby Atmos speaker systems. The Yamaha SR-B30A is the most affordable model pitched at exactly the same price as the Sonos Ray (the company's entry-level soundbar priced at $279). While the Yamaha SR-B40A is a soundbar package priced at $399 with a wireless subwoofer.

Sonos' cheapest soundbar that supports Dolby Atmos is the $899 Sonos Arc

The Yamaha SR-B30A all-in-one soundbar measures approximately 36 × 3 × 5.25 inches (WxHxD), making it an ideal size for working with small to medium-sized screens such as the best 43-inch TV screens or best desktop monitors

It employs 4x 1.75 inch full range speaker drivers, 2x 1 inch dome tweeters along with 2x 3 inch bass drivers inside a bass-reflex ported speaker cabinet. The SR-B40A uses the same cabinet design fitted with same full range speakers and tweeter drivers, but drops the internal bass drivers to step up the bass performance via a dedicated wireless subwoofer fitted with a 6.25-inch bass driver inside a ported cabinet.

Yamaha's value Dolby Atmos soundbars

Yamaha SR-B40A

Both new Yamaha soundbars support Dolby Atmos and have HDMI eARC/ARC and optical inputs. The SR-B40 adds a dedicated wireless subwoofer fitted with a 6.25-inch bass driver inside a ported cabinet. (Image credit: Yamaha)

While I've been impressed with the 2.0 channel sound of the Sonos Ray, the lack of Dolby Atmos support is a turn off for some buyers seeking the strongest format support for the money. Another differentiating factor not found on the entry-level Sonos soundbar is that both new Yamaha models include HDMI ports with ARC (Audio Return Channel), and Bluetooth wireless connectivity is also supported.

Yamaha SR-B30A PR image of control panel

(Image credit: Yamaha)

Unlike the Sonos Ray, though, the Yamahas don't offer multi-room connectivity to seamlessly integrate with other speakers systems around the home, or offer music streaming support via its app.

In terms of formats, both new Yamaha models support Dolby Atmos, Dolby True HD, and Dolby Digital Plus soundtracks. Yamaha also mentions tailored EQ modes including Standard, Movie, Game, and Stereo, but quite how these sound remains to be seen when we carry out our review. The Yamaha soundbar remote app takes care of everyday functionality, and there's a Clear Voice mode aimed at enhancing dialogue clarity.

Like the Yamaha YAS-207 that continues to rank as one of our best soundbars below $300, there's no doubt that Yamaha is looking to pack a punch by offering Dolby Atmos support and HDMI connectivity on the SR-B30A soundbar for the same price as the Sonos Ray. 

Once again, the Yamaha SR-B30A soundbar will cost $279 when it goes on sale in September, while the SR-B40A soundbar and subwoofer package will cost $399 when it arrives in August. Look out for our reviews coming soon.

Lee Dunkley
Audio Editor

After 2.5 years as Tom's Guide's audio editor, Lee has joined the passionate audio experts at where he writes about luxury audio and Hi-Fi. As a former editor of the U.K.'s Hi-Fi Choice magazine, Lee is passionate about all kinds of audio tech and has been providing sound advice to enable consumers to make informed buying decisions since he joined Which? magazine as a product tester in the 1990s. Lee covers all things audio for Tom's Guide, including headphones, wireless speakers and soundbars and loves to connect and share the mindfulness benefits that listening to music in the very best quality can bring.

  • inch89
    This definitely seems a great new option for Dolby Atmos supporting soundbars but I believe the cheapest Sonos device supporting Dolby Atmos is the Beam gen 2 has Dolby Atmos and has HDMI arc. Not quite as cheap (£499) as the SR-B40A it's still a great option, especially if you have already invested in other Sonos devices.