Yamaha ATS-1090 Review (2.2 CH Soundbar)

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Yamaha ATS-1090

Product Name: Yamaha ATS-1090

Product Description: 2.2 CH Soundbar

  • Design - 8.6/10
  • Movies Performance - 9/10
  • Music Performance - 9/10
  • Inputs and Features - 8.8/10
  • Price / Quality - 9.4/10


Reviewed at $149.00


  • Good front soundstage
  • Easy to setup and to use
  • Nice connection options
  • Very good price


  • No surround activity
  • DTS Virtual:X is a hit or miss
  • Not the most highly detailed output
  • Very few sound options

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Today’s review was a request from some of our users. So we decided to go ahead and make a thorough analysis just for all of you out there. It seems that Yamaha has a soundbar on sale that is extremely similar to their 2020 Yamaha YAS-109. And in our Yamaha ATS-1090 review today we are going to find out how similar these two systems are.

Yamaha ATS-1090 Review (2.2 CH Soundbar) | Home Media Entertainment

The ATS-1090 is a soundbar that belongs in the lower tier category with a sub-$200 price tag. There is huge competition in this category with many known, and less known, brands fighting over what is a relatively big chunk of the market. This model is a single sound bar unit without a dedicated subwoofer or rear speakers. And as such is its capabilities are evidently limited.

But let’s see what this one offers. This is a 2.2 channels soundbar with a total of 120 watts of power. It supports Dolby Digital, DTS and DTS Virtual: X, comes with both WiFi and Bluetooth and is equipped with some extra features like Amazon Alexa, Spotify and Amazon Music streaming, High Resolution Audio and app control.

Our initial feel is that both the Yamaha YAS-109 and Yamaha ATS-1090 are exactly the same system. At least their design, capabilities and features are entirely the same. But to confirm our suspicions we need to go deeper and check every single aspect of it. So without further delay let’s start our analysis.

Specifications and Features



Yamaha soundbars never went for the design awards no matter which model you are looking at. All their designs aimed mostly for a rather neutral look. One that would certainly not draw the attention or look overall premium. And the ATS-1090 does not stray from this path.

We measured the ATS-1090 just 35” x 2-1/8” x 5-1/8” (890 x 53 x 131 mm) and with a weight of 7.5 lbs (3.4 kg) it makes placement either on a furniture or on a wall far easier than you may think of. With such a short length the sound bar can fit nicely below TVs that are even smaller than 49″ and thus making it ideal to a wider audience.


Design wise the ATS-1090 looks identical to the YAS-109. There is no difference whatsoever between the two, no matter how much we looked at them.

The entire soundbar is wrapped in a black cloth that extends on the sides and cuts on the upper back side. Now to have this in full cloth may give the ATS-1090 a unique look, just like the YAS-109 was. But we are certain that opinions on whether this looks good or not are divided. As this cloth can easily get damaged and can also get dirty pretty fast.

Another characteristic of this soundbar is the holes the ATS-1090 has on both its sides. Unlike other models that feature a bass reflex design with holes at the back Yamaha decided to place these on the sides. There are many sound bars that come with bass ports in order to enhance their low end. But featuring these on the sides of the unit is not very common.

Yamaha ATS-1090 Review (2.2 CH Soundbar) | Home Media Entertainment

At the back there are two insets for the ports. Also since there is no IR repeater available you will have to make sure that the height of the sound bar will not obstruct your TVs IR sensor.

Now what is rather unique is the way you can place it on the wall. Since Yamaha has placed the drivers in a rather uncommon angle it means that placing the unit on a furniture differs from the angle you can place it on the wall. Now if this is for the better or worse is up on the air. But certainly it’s not something you see everyday in such a low cost unit.

Colors & Quality of Materials

The soundbar comes in a single color, black. The construction of the unit was rather good. But don’t expect anything premium. Its price does not allow for anything extraordinary. But overall we didn’t notice any defects or any other obvious problems.

Display Type

At the top side there is a thin strip exactly in the middle where Yamaha has placed the built-in buttons. But this strip is not only for the available buttons as it also acts as the display of the soundbar. You see, with the type of cloth that Yamaha used in this one it would be hard to have a functions display under it as we see in many other soundbars. For this reason they included some short of display along with the built-in buttons at the top in this thin strip of plastic.

This is not a very practical design. You cannot see the LEDs clearly unless you are really close to the unit. Also you will have to remember the exact placement of each LED to remember what is lit and what not. Lastly, since these look upwards, when you sit at a distance these are almost completely invisible.

Yamaha ATS-1090 Review (2.2 CH Soundbar) | Home Media Entertainment

Now for what we actually get in this plastic strip at the top from left to right there are lights for status, appropriate source selected, surround sound, clear voice and Alexa function while next to these lights we find the built-in buttons.

Although having some short of display is better than no display at all the one in the ATS-1090 is almost useless. We cannot comprehend how those that designed it thought it was practical enough.

Internal Hardware

Next we will look into the system’s internal hardware. Yamaha is not explicitly advertising how many channels the ATS-1090 has. So we had to look a bit more thorough in order to get the information we needed.

Configuration & Power Distribution

The Yamaha ATS-1090 is basically a 2.2 channels soundbar. So let’s analyze this a bit further.

Yamaha ATS-1090 Review (2.2 CH Soundbar) | Home Media Entertainment

Channels Analysis

Each of the two channels are using a single 2.5 cm (1″) dome tweeter for the high frequencies along with one 5.5 cm (2-1/8″) cone for the mid-range. These two have been placed at an angle so the tweeter looks forward while the mid-range cone is aim upwards.

Yamaha also included two 7.5 cm (3″) subwoofer cones in order to boost the low end as much as possible. Obviously these drivers don’t have the punch or the low end extension of a dedicated subwoofer. But without a dedicated subwoofer this is the next best thing you can get in a soundbar.

Total power output is 120 watts. The two front channels are rated at 2 x 30 watts and with a frequency response of 170 Hz to 22 kHz for the mid-range woofer and 5 kHz to 23 kHz for the high frequency tweeter. The two subwoofer drivers are also rated at 2 x 30 watts for a total of 60 watts power and have a frequency response of 62 Hz to 170 Hz.

The above specs are entirely the same as the Yamaha YAS-109. No differences at all.

Yamaha ATS-1090 Review (2.2 CH Soundbar) | Home Media Entertainment


Physical Ports

It seems that the ATS-1090 comes with exactly the same ports as the YAS-109. So let’s see what we get in this one.

From left to right we find a subwoofer output, which is rather unusual for such a cheap soundbar. Even far more expensive ones do not have such capability so it is rather nice for Yamaha to include one. With this port you can add a 3rd party subwoofer and boost the system’s low end significantly.

Next we get the usual Ethernet port, an optical digital audio input, a USB type-A that is used only for updating the unit and two HDMI ports. One is the input and the other the output which also comes with ARC capabilities.

Having these two HDMI ports means that you can use this soundbar in pass-through mode. Unfortunately with only one input you cannot add multiple devices and make the ATS-1090 your central connection hub.

Both HDMI ports are HDCP 2.3 and support 4K@50/60Hz, YCbCr=4:4:4, HDR10, HLG and 3D pass-through. Unfortunately there is no support for either HDR10+ or Dolby Vision so in case you want to pass these you will have to connect your device directly to the TV. On the other hand the ports support 4K@120Hz but not in 10-bit mode. There is also no VRR support.

Wireless Capabilities

As for the unit’s wireless capabilities we get built-in WiFi (802.11b/g/n) along with the older Bluetooth 4.2 which supports the A2DP and AVRCP profiles along with the SBC and AAC codecs. A pretty standard configuration for this price really.

Control Options

Next we will be looking at the ways you can control this device. Again, the ATS-1090 is entirely the same as the YAS-109 so everything remains the same here also.

Yamaha ATS-1090 Review (2.2 CH Soundbar) | Home Media Entertainment


The remote remains the main means for controlling the unit. And the one that comes with this soundbar is the usual design you would expect from a low price soundbar like this.

It’s made out of plastic and has small rounded buttons with enough space between them which helps a little if in use in low lit environments as the remote lacks any kind of backlight functionality. Plastic quality is good enough and in general the remote feels sturdy and is very responsive.

At the top left we get the Alexa button while at the top right the power control. Below a set of buttons for input selection, two buttons for clear voice and surround options and various sound modes below that. Two big buttons for subwoofer and main volume are placed at the bottom with mute, bass extension and info buttons between them.

Again, the placement of the Alexa button in the top left side feels a bit awkward. It’s not easy to press it with one hand, especially if you are right handed. We do not know the reasoning for placing that button there, but for a function that could potentially be used all the time the placement choice feels wrong.

Built-in Controls

As we mentioned above there are some built-in buttons you can also use. These are positioned in the same plastic strip on the top face of the unit right next to the light indicators.

Here we find buttons for controlling Alexa, mute microphones, in case you don’t want Alexa to respond to voice commands, input selection, volume control and power control. These are touch-sensitive buttons so while they look more premium they can be frustratingly hard to find in a low lit environment.

Yamaha ATS-1090 Review (2.2 CH Soundbar) | Home Media Entertainment

Mobile App

Yamaha also included a mobile app that you can download to your smartphone or tablet called “Sound Bar Controller”. This app has a nice interface and through it you can control various functions of the sound bar, listen to music or stream content either through Bluetooth or from some online streaming service from the ones available.

Voice Control

Lastly, the sound bar comes with built-in Amazon Alexa support which means you don’t need an external Alexa device for this to work. The YAS-109 has a built-in microphone array and with this you can issue your commands directly to the unit.

There is also a mute Alexa function in case you don’t want the voice control platform to be activated accidentally. Or if you don’t like to have a microphone open all the time in general.

Unfortunately Google Assistant is missing so if you prefer Google’s solution you are out of luck here.

Extra Features and Services

High Resolution Audio

Although not explicitly advertised the ATS-1090 supports high resolution audio. But only through WiFi streaming since there is no USB streaming available for that. As such there is support for WAV and FLAC files up to 192 kHz, ALAC up to 96 kHz as well as lower resolution MP3, WMA and MPEG-4 AAC up to 48 kHz.

Yamaha ATS-1090 Review (2.2 CH Soundbar) | Home Media Entertainment

Bluetooth and Online Streaming

You can also stream audio through a Bluetooth connection. And since audio quality through Bluetooth is usually less than stellar the soundbar is using Yamaha’s proprietary Compressed Music Enhancer technology in order to improve the quality of the streamed audio.

But your streaming options are not limited only to Bluetooth and local network. Through the Sound Bar Controller app that we talked about, you can stream music through some of the available streaming services. The available options are not exactly extensive as you can use either Spotify or Amazon Music but nevertheless these two are better than having none.

Audio Formats & Technologies

Dolby Atmos and DTS:X may be the trending words in the home theater market. But there is no point in adding them if your hardware cannot truly support them. As such the ATS-1090 tries to stick to its guns and support only Dolby Digital and DTS which is what any self-respecting 2.2 channels system should do.

But except from these two the soundbar also supports Dolby Pro Logic II. This is an up-mixing technology that can turn a stereo mix into full 5.1 channels surround audio. And since we mentioned surround sound, since there are no surround speakers the ATS-1090 is missing a key component in order to deliver 360 degree audio. That’s why Yamaha included DTS Virtual: X in order to give the unit the ability to create a more immersive experience.

These virtual technologies rely on special audio processing in order to give you the illusion of sound originating from other places other than the front. But this tech doesn’t have either the precision or clarity of real dedicated speakers while the audio many times feels over-processed.

We will not say it’s a bad technology. Certainly for low cost solutions like this unit that doesn’t have the necessary hardware it is better than nothing. Just keep in mind that its performance depends heavily on the content as well as on your room acoustics. To enable DTS Virtual: X in the ATS-1090 you simply press the 3D surround button on the remote.

Yamaha ATS-1090 Review (2.2 CH Soundbar) | Home Media Entertainment

Sound Management

In terms of sound management things are as simple as they get. There are no EQ settings, nor treble control. Also you are not going to find any individual channels calibration. So you don’t have much control over the soundbar’s audio output.

Sound Modes

The unit also comes with extra sound modes in order to choose the one you like the most depending on the content you are watching.

There are five modes available with Movie, TV, Music, Sports and Game. There are a few extra sound options available with the first being Stereo which is ideal of stereo mixes and turns on 2-channel stereo playback, there is a Clear Voice functionality that enhances dialogue if you feel like you need this and lastly there is Bass Extension if you want a boost of the low end.

You also have the ability to turn Surround mode on and off which enables the unit’s DTS Virtual: X feature. We tried this with some different content but it is a hit or miss situation and we wouldn’t advise you to use it all the time.

Auto Calibration System

The ATS-1090 does not come with any kind of room correction feature. So everything is done manually and the kind of sound you get is more or less pre-set depending the mode you use.

So no matter what kind of room design you have the soundbar will output exactly the same.

Yamaha ATS-1090 Review (2.2 CH Soundbar) | Home Media Entertainment

Initial Setup

Chose How to Connect

The ATS-1090 offers a few different ways to connect it to the TV. You can either use its pass-through capabilities or use ARC to pass audio from the TV to the soundbar itself. Another option is to use the optical port if HDMI is out of the question.

After you finish connecting everything we strongly suggest you download the Sound Bar Controller app in order to setup the unit to your network.

Further Steps & Calibration

Once this is done, the app gives you a few basic options to play with. The soundbar is dead simple so don’t expect to find any EQ or complex calibration settings to waste your time.

On the main screen you can change the volume while if you press on the soundbar tab it will open you further options including changing input, choose a streaming service or check your music.

Movies and TV

For this test we decided to use the pass-through capabilities of the ATS-1090 and connect our Panasonic UHD player to the soundbar. Then we went ahead and tried a couple of movies specially selected for this review.

Our choices this time were Avengers: Infinity War and Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom in 4K UHD. Unfortunately since the soundbar has limited capabilities we could hear only the core Dolby Digital and DTS mixes in both films.

Yamaha ATS-1090 Review (2.2 CH Soundbar) | Home Media Entertainment

Front Soundstage

From the first scenes we tried what was evident was the fact that the Yamaha ATS-1090 soundbar exceled in creating a broad and immersive front soundstage, expanding the audio field beyond the physical confines of the soundbar itself.

The system was capable of rendering seamless sound panning effects across the front soundstage. As sound moved from left to right or vice versa, we noticed smooth and natural transitions, enhancing the realism of on-screen action and creating a heightened sense of immersion.

Sound quality was good enough all things considered. You will get enough details in the sound but don’t expect to get any premium quality sound out of it. It is just good enough for its money.


Dialog clarity was a standout feature of the soundbar, ensuring that every line spoken by the characters in both movies was easily understood. Whether it’s the intense exchanges in “Avengers: Infinity War” or the crucial conversations in “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom,” the soundbar preserved dialog intelligibility, keeping us engaged throughout.

At no point we thought to use the available dialog enhancing mode. So everything sounded great for the Yamaha soundbar in this regard.

Surround Sound

Since the soundbar does not have any rear speakers it tried to create a more immersive output with the use of virtual technology. DTS Virtual: X can be a good, even if less capable, alternative to the real thing but it is not always successful at enveloping you in sound.

And this was evident during our tests. Although there were moments when sound felt closer to our position, we never felt we were inside a 360 degrees immersion bubble. Also because a lot of processing is happening with this feature a lot of time sound came a bit unnatural. Sounds would render in areas where they shouldn’t be and in general you could sense that sound was not as in the original mix.

But not everything was doom and gloom. There were moments that you do get some nice panning and ambient effects. But these were rare and did not do much to change our overall impression of the system’s surround capabilities.

Yamaha ATS-1090 Review (2.2 CH Soundbar) | Home Media Entertainment


The soundbar delivered satisfactory bass response for both movies we tried, adding weight to action sequences and low-frequency effects. While not overpowering or jaw dropping impressive, the bass we got was good enough considering there is no subwoofer available.

Obviously adding a sub will vastly improve the ATS-1090’s performance and it’s good that the soundbar give you such an option. Because we are sure many people will find its low end lacking a lot, and not without reason.

Maximum Volume

The Yamaha can get pretty loud but not without some noticeable distortion when pushed too much. In normal levels the system was pretty stable so most probably you are going to be fine with it. But if you like to take your system to its absolute limits then you will sense some of that balance getting lost.


The device offers two ways to stream music, through WiFi and through Bluetooth obviously. Just for the record we opted to use its online capabilities in these tests.

Fidelity & Overall Quality

When it comes to music playback, the Yamaha ATS-1090 delivered satisfactory fidelity and overall quality. Whether you’re listening to music tracks or soundtracks from movies, the soundbar reproduced the audio with clarity and balance, ensuring an enjoyable listening experience.

Stereo imaging was nice with some nice stereo sound panning across the soundstage. Its mid-range was remarkably stable without much fluctuations. It seems that Yamaha did good work at both ends of the frequency spectrum creating a pretty linear output overall.

Highs had enough emotion without overwhelming you while the bass had some punch to it. Just don’t expect to shake your walls with it. No soundbar can do that without a dedicated subwoofer.

Yamaha ATS-1090 Review (2.2 CH Soundbar) | Home Media Entertainment

Different Content

The soundbar performed well across different types of music content, ranging from upbeat pop songs to classical compositions. It effectively reproduced the nuances of each genre and captured enough of the dynamics and intricacies of the music.

Keep in mind that you are going to lose some of the finer details a premium speaker system will render. So don’t expect the most crystal clear sound reproduction ever. But the system did really good across the board. It was not a memorable performance but one you will most probably enjoy to the maximum.

Compared to other Systems

We have reviewed a lot of low cost soundbars before, but the ATS-1090’s $149 price tag is really pushing it to a new all time low. Usually many similar soundbars are more in the $200-$300 price range. Anything lower and you will mostly find some relatively unknown brands of questionable quality.

The first obvious comparison, and the reason why we did this review, was to compare it to the Yamaha YAS-109. Both soundbars are entirely the same. Same specs, same features and same sound output. Why Yamaha has products that are essentially the same with different name is unknown.

With that in mind the only other well known soundbar that we could think of that can compete with the Yamaha is the Polk Audio Signa S2. Although this is an old release, Polk Audio still has it in circulation selling for just $169. Compared to the Yamaha ATS-1090 we would say that the Signa S2 has the upper hand. And this happens because with the Polk Audio you get a dedicated subwoofer that can output much deeper bass than what the Yamaha can do.

Yamaha ATS-1090 Review (2.2 CH Soundbar) | Home Media Entertainment

Final Thoughts

When talking about low cost soundbars the sweet spot is usually between the $200-$300 price range. So seeing a Yamaha product go as low as $149 is surely an interesting offering. The Yamaha ATS-1090 surely has a lot of weaknesses. But given its low cost nature, it will surely find its way into many living rooms that seek something better than what their TVs can do.

Its major strengths are its simplicity and ease of use, its good front output and obviously its remarkably low price. We also like the inclusion of a subwoofer port and pass-through capabilities, giving you some extra flexibility, that you don’t find in this category.

On the downsides, the unit’s DTS Virtual: X feature simply cannot replace a true surround experience. The soundbar is missing any kind of EQ settings or calibration system. While in terms of clarity and ultra high attention to details, the ATS-1090 misses slightly the mark.

Closing our Yamaha ATS-1090 review we can say that if you are very tight on budget but you would still like to have something better than what your TV can output, this soundbar can be a very good deal. Either it is meant for a living room, a bedroom or a media room this Yamaha soundbar will definitely make its money worth it.

Yamaha ATS-1090 Review (2.2 CH Soundbar) | Home Media Entertainment

For more reviews you can check our dedicated Single Soundbar reviews section or even look at our Product Reviews Table where you can find the brand and specific product you are looking for.

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*We are a reader-supported website. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn a small affiliate commission at no extra cost to you. Home Media Entertainment does not accept money for reviews.*

Yamaha ATS-1090 Specifications

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4 thoughts on “Yamaha ATS-1090 Review (2.2 CH Soundbar)”

  1. I have seen the ATS-1090 in walmart and I was thinking also that it looks crazy similar to the YAS-109. But didn’t check on the specs to see how similar these were. I am also curious why Yamaha has two same products with different names. It seems more confusing than it should be. Although to be honest I haven’t seen the YAS-109 for a while now. Maybe a renaming?

    • Hey there. Not really sure what Yamaha was thinking. But the fact is that both of them are the same so whichever you find makes no difference.

  2. Thank you for sharing this comprehensive review of the Yamaha ATS-1090 soundbar! I am looking for a cheap soundbar for my bedroom but cannot afford to spend much on it. And the ATS-1090 looks to be the perfect one. I like that you added a few alternatives. This gives me the ability to check on the ones you mention also. I like to have a few more options.

    kind regards


    • Hello Matthew. I am glad we could help you with our review. If you need any further help deciding let me know and I will help you as much as I can.


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