The battle to become the best soundbar has only become more competitive over the years, especially now that we're all spending more time than ever enjoying entertainment at home. But even in a crowded field of high-end competitors that offer an immersive theater-like experience, it's the Yamaha YAS-109 that takes the inaugural Tom's Guide soundbar award for its superb value and performance.
The Yamaha YAS-109 builds on the already excellent YAS-108, delivering rich sound, 4K passthrough and intuitive controls within a sleek and compact design. The soundbar includes a built-in subwoofer for deeper bass, as well as crisp high-end for bringing out the finer details in your favorite movies and shows.
The YAS 109's thin, minimalist 35-inch-wide design looks great under most TVs as well as mounted on walls, and its 120 watts of output can easily fill most living rooms with great sound. The soundbar's Clear Voice feature helps bring dialogue to the forefront, while its built-in DTS Virtual:X support brings virtual 3D surround sound into the mix.
But where the YAS 109 really stands out over its predecessor is the introduction of Alexa voice controls. This lets you control the soundbar with your voice alone, whether you want to fire up some music on Spotify, hear the latest news, or take command of any connected smart devices in your home.
And while great soundbars typically cost a premium, you can usually find the YAS-109 for as low as $199. With its great sound quality, attractive design and voice assistant smarts, the Yamaha YAS-109 sets the standard for soundbar value, and wins this year's Tom's Guide Award with flying colors.
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Mike Andronico is Senior Writer at CNNUnderscored. He was formerly Managing Editor at Tom's Guide, where he wrote extensively on gaming, as well as running the show on the news front. When not at work, you can usually catch him playing Street Fighter, devouring Twitch streams and trying to convince people that Hawkeye is the best Avenger.