Yamaha has been making soundbars since before Sonos existed, and the pricey YSP-3300 is a typically premium bit of kit. It's the only one here to bounce sound off the walls for virtual surround sound, while its striking shape helps scuplt the soundwaves and means the bar neatly straddles your TV's pedestal. And talking of neat, you feed all of your sources into the bar via HDMI and it sends video (including 4K and 3D) to your TV via a single cable.
The 3300 comes with a transmitter for streaming tunes from your iThing, Mac or PC. It's not as elegant as Wi-Fi or Bluetooth but it sounds great. A bundled wireless slimline bass box can be placed almost anywhere in the room, as long as it can still reach a power socket.
Real surround sound
Other soundbars might create a wide sound or a big sound, but the Yamaha is the only one that creates surround sound. It properly fills the room, with individual effects flying in from the sides so convincingly that you'd swear you had a speaker there. That sonic performance will depend to an extent on the shape of your room and a full 5.1 package will always do it even better, but the 3300 serves up a phenomenal sound without needing all those extra speakers.
Surround sound skills from a simple box of tricks – Yamaha's done it again