Professional reviewers haven't evaluated home theater speakers as inexpensive as the 5.1-channel Yamaha NS-SP1800, but owner reviews say it offers great sound quality and value considering its budget-friendly price. Though costlier systems usually sound better, nothing else in its price range comes close to the NS-SP1800
Trumps TV speakers and soundbars. Considering its price tag, the Yamaha NS-SP1800 offers pretty good surround-sound quality. While it's not ideal for listening to music, movies sound great, at least at reasonable volumes. The powered subwoofer delivers satisfying bass for smaller rooms, though it doesn't pack enough punch for action films. Audiophiles will roll their eyes at this speaker system, but less demanding users say that sound quality easily outperforms what even the best built-in TV speakers can provide. For those who can afford to spend more, the Energy Take Classic 5.1 (*Est. $400) is a terrific value in its own right, and it can provide notably better sound quality in small- to moderately sized rooms.
Sized right. The Yamaha NS-SP1800 speakers aren't tiny, but they are reasonably small. The finish shown on review sites is black plastic, though Yamaha says on its website that colors and finishes may vary. The speakers work with wall-mounts and conventional brackets, and include removable grills.
Well built, but skip the included speaker wire. Users say that the Yamaha NS-SP1800 offers solid built quality. Its four two-way satellites use a 2-inch woofer and a half-inch tweeter; the center-speaker speaker follows suit but includes an extra woofer. The 50-watt subwoofer includes an 8-inch driver. All speakers have magnetic shielding, which isn't entirely necessary since cathode ray tube (CRT) televisions are a thing of the past.
Some complain that the speaker wire included with the Yamaha NS-SP1800 is too small to securely fit into the connectors; one Amazon.com contributor recommends replacement with no smaller than 16-gauge speaker wire.
You can't do better in this price range. While the Yamaha NS-SP1800 can't compare to more expensive systems, users say it far outperforms its price tag. That makes it a hard-to-beat choice for those who want true surround sound but are on an extra-tight budget. Just be sure to keep expectations reasonable.
Review Credibility: Excellent More than 250 Amazon.com consumers weigh in on the Yamaha NS-SP1800, and a majority of them give it positive marks. Many say it offers great sound and construction quality for its low price. Few negatives are consistently cited, but some say the included speaker cables are flimsy.
Review: Untitled, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of May 2013
Review Credibility: Good Most contributors to the web site for B&H, a New York City consumer electronics retailer, give the Yamaha NS-SP1800 an overall thumbs-up, though the number of reviews is limited compared to Amazon.com. Many praise the system for being a good value, and most contributors recommend it to others. A handful of the reviews here are drawn from the manufacturer's web site.
Review: Yamaha NS-SP1800 5.1-Channel Home Theater Speaker System, Contributors to BHPhotoVideo.com, As of May 2013