A strength of the YAS-209’s performance is its skilful blending of soundbar and subwoofer, with the latter sounding punchy, powerful and not afraid to dig quite deep (there’s a Bass Extension mode to instigate if it want it to push harder, but this can make it overbearing at times). With the cartoonish antics of The Grinch (Sky Cinema), it adds bouncy, bassy enjoyment to all the onscreen bangs and bumps, and fills out the bottom end of Danny Elfman’s score. Above it, the soundbar’s sextet of drivers work to create a warm-sounding midrange and clear (although not necessarily attacking) HF. You can go loud with confidence.
With none of the beam-steering/reflective tech from Yamaha’s YSP models, the YAS-209’s soundstage never approaches the sides of your listening position, remaining resolutely in front of you. Yet its stereo spread is appealingly broad, and even without a physical centre channel, dialogue is well-projected.”
Another brilliant advantage of Roku’s platform is how easy it is to run. The Hisense R50B7120 is about as far from a high-end TV as you can get, yet the Roku UI is slick, with no apparent bugs, and never slows down any other aspect of the TV’s menus.
Roku also lets you control the R50B7120 from your smartphone or tablet via its tidy and effective iOS or Android app, which also makes it easy to share photos, music and video from your phone/tablet to the TV. The app also supports ‘private listening’, letting you shunt the TV’s sound to your smart device headphones while the Hisense remains silent – potentially a very useful feature for some.
Given the Katch One performs as essentially two devices – it’s a music system that doubles as a soundbar – it can only fairly be described by separating the two tasks. So first, as a music player, the DALI performs admirably. The company’s audiophile pedigree is immediately apparent from the moment you start listening, with its bright and clear tone being the first characteristic that strikes you. With the omission of any real adjustable EQ function, the company’s intention is clearly a transparent listening experience, and this is undoubdly the case with the Katch One. It shows an exceptional level of detail, especially in the mid to higher frequencies.”