Forget the remote: Yamaha offers two new affordable, Alexa-enabled soundbars

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Yamaha made huge strides in recent years when it comes to making some of the best-sounding audio devices at extremely affordable prices. In particular, we’ve been very impressed with the company’s home theater offerings, with several Yamaha models making it onto our list of the best A/V receivers, and the company’s YAS-207 still ranking as our favorite soundbar you can buy.

On Tuesday, the company announced two new models that fans can get excited about: The YAS-109 and YAS 209, both of which are aimed at those who want to add great sound to their setup, but who don’t want to spend a ton of money for cinematic sound.

Perhaps the biggest draw for potential buyers of the new models is something that you can’t see on the surface: Both models feature Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant built-in, which means you’ll be able to control everything from volume level to specific inputs without so much as looking at a remote. That’s pretty cool, and makes these an especially great addition to a home that already uses other Alexa-enabled devices.

Speaking of inputs, both new soundbars feature every standard bit of modern connectivity you might expect, with 4K HDMI inputs with ARC, HDR support, and CEC for control with compatible remotes (should you not want to use your voice). Both also have Bluetooth, Spotify Connect, and all other Alexa-enabled music services. In fact, you get 90 days of Amazon Music Unlimited free with your purchase.

That main differences between the two models will come in the form of low-end response. The YAS-209 comes with an included wireless subwoofer, so it’ll do a bit better than that YAS-109 model in terms of bass response — the YAS-109 doesn’t come with an included sub.

Honestly, we’d probably go with the YAS-209 if we were in the market, as neither model will cost you an arm and a leg. The YAS-109 carries an MSRP of $240, with the YAS-209 costing $350. As far as we’re concerned, the addition of a wireless subwoofer for a little over $100 is probably worth it. Both models will be available for purchase in July. We look forward to getting our hands on them for a full review.

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