Budget-Friendly Yamaha Home Theaters Bring 4K Passthrough and AirPlay

Yamaha's home theaters and soundbars have always been excellent—even before you consider that they offer great value for the money. The newly refreshed $850 YHT-897 home theater in a box might make it one of the best deals out there right now.

The YHT-897 introduces two new features to Yamaha's top-end home theater system: AirPlay support and a 4K passthrough. The former will allow you to stream audio from compatible Apple devices. Using the system's network-ready receiver, and the Yamaha AV Controller App, you'll also be able to wirelessly play music from your Android devices.

As for the 4K passthrough, this isn't the first system to support the super-high resolution signals, but unfortunately there aren't any movies available for the format yet. There aren't even commercial HDTVs that will display 4K resolution. This technology, however, isn't far off on the horizon, so Yamaha is right that the 4K passthrough makes the system "future proof" to a certain extent. Indeed, with all the beautiful new TVs on the horizon, the 4K future is looking more attractive than ever.

Unlike the 7.1 channel, YHT-895, the YHT-897, is only a 5.1 channel system, but both sport similar audio and power specs including a beefy 100-watt, 10-inch subwoofer.

Yamaha has also refreshed its less expensive 5.1 channel systems. The YHT-797 ($800) and YHT-597 ($650) both come with AirPlay and 4K compatibility. The YHT-497 ($480) and YHT-397 ($450) come with the 4K passthrough but don't have AirPlay. All of the systems will be available this month. [Yamaha]