If you find Yamaha’s other home-theater-in-a-box systems a little too big and loud, but appreciate the attention to sound quality, then their YHT-494 system – with its move to a sound bar design and overall compactness – might be for you.

Aside from the sound bar, there’s a subwoofer, two surround speakers, and a full sized AV receiver box that comes with all the ports you need, and that includes four 3D-enabled HDMI inputs. This is in line with Yamaha’s strategy of offering better features than virtually all of its competition, at a lower price – and in this case only Sony’s HT-CT150 seems to be somewhat staying in the race.

And while  nobody’s given the YTH-494 a listen, a first look will tell you that it packs a lot of functionality and Yamaha sound quality, at a price ($550) that’s lower than their previous offerings.

Case in point: notice the true surround speakers, a rarity in sound bar systems at any price.