I've had the pleasure of testing out the fourth-generation Yamaha surround sound bar, the YSP-4000. You know, the box that sits under a TV and projects 5 discrete beams of audio using Cold War directional sonar steering from submarines. This generation has had its trapezoid- shaped array turned into a more of a hexagon, and the chassis is more rigid. There are HDMI inputs, and upscalers for analog content. And there are DSP modes for stereo music sources that did not exist before. Does the fake surround work? Hell yes, better than ever.

Unlike past YSP setups, this fourth generation is so good, out of the dozen or so demonstrators, from sound engineers to casual listeners, all sorts of CEDIA audio nerds were satisfied by the directionality of the sound beams. Each is so discrete, even in the demo room's open top and back, all that could be seen were the heads of the audience nodding in approval. I love this thing, and I'd even be willing to place the tallish speaker in front of my table-mounted LCD, blocking the bottom few inches of my picture. That's a bit crazy, I know, but I'm impressed. For more details, hit our last post.