Yamaha's KEF killer

KEF's Kit 100 has long been the king of cheat surround sound – its black magic, though, is no longer a tech secret, and Yamaha has joined a throng of

KEF's Kit 100 has long been the king of cheat surround sound – its black magic, though, is no longer a tech secret, and Yamaha has joined a throng of two-speaker assassins with this new home theatre.

Yamaha's moniker for its DVX-S30's effect is 'Air Surround', although the principal is largely the same as KEF's pioneer – an amplifier and two speakers use sound reflections from walls to create multi-channel sound, which is particularly effective in small rooms.

Setup won't be quite as simple as the company's one-speaker YSP-800, but the lack of rear speakers will still reduce furrowed brows when it comes to installing it in your lounge. The system also packs a sonic punch, thanks to the 100W subwoofer amp, supplemented by 35W to six channels, but will tone down the volume of loud explosions if you want night listening mode. How considerate.

Beyond blockbuster watching, the S30 will also play MP3 and JPEG CDs, and has four neat buttons on its remote (movie, music, sports and game) which will change the sound field to suit the subject of your slumping session.

The system's really big boast, though, is the price – at £600, it whips the rug from under its competition, including the Kit 100 (£1000) and Denon's S-101 (£850). We'll let you know how much of a bargain it is when we've had a listen. Until then, pop over to Yamaha's Japan site for more info.

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