Outside the box

Yamaha YHT-697

Tech : Electronics By Photo by Yamaha VIA

We’ve never been big fans of packaged home theater setups. They tend to be a mishmash of clunky, subpar components that do little to warrant their price points — no matter how low. The Yamaha YHT-697 ($750) does its best to shake the HTIB stereotype thanks to some serious future proof features, normally reserved for top tier gear and striking looks not normally found inside of a giant cardboard box.

The 3D-capable AV receiver pumps out 115W per channel, and includes HD Audio decoding for every format to ensure that your favorite Blu-Rays sound as good as they look. An integrated Ethernet port provides network capabilities, allowing access to hundreds of online radio channels and critical AirPlay connectivity for iPhones and iPads. A free Yamaha AV Controller App enhances the system’s mobile chops by providing complete control of the setup from any Apple iOS device. It even supports 4k pass through — meaning it’ll work long after 1080p becomes so 2010. And with all the researching time you’ll save snagging a pre-packaged solution, you can finally give that golf swing (or your better half) the extra attention they deserve.

Buy Now: $750