The Yamaha NS-P40 is priced aggressively and promises to give other brands a big competition because of its sound quality and utility. So, we got down to reviewing the product to see if it really delivered what it promises.
An elegant-looking HT speaker package
Out of the box
The NS-P40 is an elegant looking home-theatre speaker package. The glossy finish, black coloured grilles, curved edges and non-parallel sides add an immense aesthetic value to this system. The grilles are permanently attached to the speaker fronts, which create the right amount of protection for the speakers. They are safeguarded from all sorts of external things that can cause damage to them. Even the subwoofer features a similar grille protection. Aesthetically, the NS-P40 is a good looking system and even the build quality is top notch.
The plastic finish of the satellites is strong and you can bet on your life that they will last a considerable amount of time.
The NS-P40 speaker package consists of five satellite speakers, of which the fronts and the surrounds bear a similar look. They have a 2.75-inch full-range driver in each of them and, as the name goes, they have the duty of handling the entire audio spectrum. Low-end content would be a tough job for these satellites to reproduce and that’s where the 6.5-inch active subwoofer comes into the scene. The subwoofer is capable of handling frequencies right down to 30Hz, while the satellites can extend the high frequency response of the system up to 25kHz. The four satellite speakers along with the centre channel have a nominal power handling of 30W, so this evidently means that they do not have huge power demands so even a decently priced AV receiver will be able to deliver just the right amount of power to run these boys.
The subwoofer features a newly developed advanced YST II technology for tighter bass; it is front firing and has a side firing bass reflex port. The rear panel of the subwoofer is quite simple; it doesn’t even consist of phase and crossover frequency controls. But it’s no surprise as most budget speaker packages do not have such controls. All you need is a volume control to adjust the amount of level of bass in your room, and with regards to the crossover frequency, you can take care of that from the connected AV receiver.
We began setting up the fronts and the surrounds in the studio with the help of the speaker cable that was provided along with the package. The cable came in handy to connect the surrounds to the Yamaha RX-V371 AV receiver; we also connected the fronts, the centre channel and the subwoofer in a similar manner. Once all the connections were done, we began configuring the home-theatre system. Since the subwoofer has no crossover control knob, all the settings for the subwoofer has to be done through the connected AV receiver. So on the AV receiver, the subwoofer crossover point was set at 120Hz and all the other speakers were switched to the small mode.
Rear panel - subwoofer
The next step was to find out the real mettle of the Yamaha NS-P40. To get a powerful jump start for the review, we began with the DVD of the ‘Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen’. The DVD packs enough punch and dynamic slam to test almost any home-theatre system. As the disc began to spin, and the movie progressed, the NS-P40 created a powerful impression on our minds. The way this modestly powered system handled the blows and explosions of the action scenes had us wondering whether it was good to call this speaker package as a docile creature or a power-packed beast. The sound of Optimus Prime’s blades cutting and slashing the Decepticons to pieces felt like real metal. These metallic sounds coupled with the mighty explosions from the subwoofer crafted a live war scene right in front of our eyes.
If we’re talking about war between the Autobots along with their human allies versus the Decepticons, then the entire feel and aura of being surrounded by choppers, bullets, bombs exploding and buildings crashing to the ground was one big challenge to replicate in our studio. But the brilliant timing and speed between the surround channels and the fronts managed to create an atmosphere for guns, dust and raw action. We knew we were there at the scene of the action and it just couldn’t get better than this. The centre channel had to deal with low-mid vocal content from the robots as well as mid-range content from the human characters on screen, but the centre channel played its character very well. The dialogues were crisp and clear and the good part about the centre channel was to hear such good clarity despite being exposed to a wide range of voices.
Next, we decided to shift gears and move from the multi-channel drama to a more musical experience from the stereo mode. When we heard John Mayer’s ‘’Waiting On The World To Change’’, we were let down a bit. This was because there was some amount of energy that was missing from the low-mid section. The subwoofer was doing a good job of delivering a tight low-end to supplement the foundation of the song, but the fronts almost skipped the musical content in the 150Hz to 500Hz region. But it was a commendable feat to see such a wonderful mid-range output; John’s vocals were reproduced with pristine clarity and the small front speakers handled the mid-range content without any distortion even at high listening level, especially when the front houses just a single full-range driver. And if you were to be present with us as the song played, you would say that the high frequencies were airy and full of detail.
Verdict and price in India
The multi-channel output of the Yamaha NS-P40 is excellent. It delivers clean sound, does not sound bright, has good pace and every satellite works in a perfect cohesive manner to deliver a breathtaking 5.1 soundstage. The small form factor of the NS-P40 will make it an instant hit in houses that are cramped for space. Plus, this beautiful looking speaker package comes for Rs 17,490, which is quite affordable—it gives you not even a single reason as to why you should not buy them. They can be easily paired with your existing AV receiver without any hassles and guarantee you a movie experience that you and your family will enjoy thoroughly.
AV MAX is a special interest audiophile magazine that focuses on reviewing high-end AV equipment like amplifiers, stereos, floorstanding speakers and related news
Updated 19 May, 2013, 5:16 pm IST
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