Yamaha SR-C30A compact soundbar: small enough to fit on your desk

Yamaha has just announced its latest soundbar, the ultra-compact SR-C30A, which will sell for $280 when it becomes available to U.S. buyers in October 2022. The diminutive bar measures just 23.6 inches wide, which makes it narrow enough to be placed under most 27-inch computer monitors.

Yamaha SR-C30A compact soundbar seen on a desk in front of dual computer monitors.

Though small, the SR-C30A should have no problem pumping out room-filling sound. It boasts 90 watts of power, which is delivered via the soundbar’s two 1.8-inch full-range drivers and its included small-footprint wireless subwoofer, which has a 5.1-inch driver.

The subwoofer is just as compact as the soundbar — it’s just 5.9 inches wide and can be placed on its side. Depending on how tall your sofa’s legs are, you might even be able to squeeze the sub under your seating.

In terms of connectivity, you get HDMI ARC,  a surprising two optical ports, an analog stereo mini-input, and Bluetooth for wireless audio streaming, with multipoint for connecting two devices simultaneously.

Yamaha SR-C30A compact soundbar.

The soundbar has a collection of controls on its top panel, but there’s also an included remote control, and you can use Yamaha’s Sound Bar Remote app for iOS or Android as a third control option.

Yamaha has chosen not to support Dolby Atmos or DTS:X on this model, but it does support Dolby Digital, and there’s a 3D Movie mode that Yamaha says can provide a 3D virtual surround sound experience. There’s also a dedicated gaming mode that is meant to improve your ability to hear key in-game sounds when sitting close to the speaker, as well as standard and stereo modes.

Close-up of Yamaha SR-C30A compact soundbar.

Finally, the CR30 provides two additional options for improved TV and movie watching: clear voice, which enhances dialogue clarity, and adaptive low volume, which Yamaha says will automatically equalizes highs, mids and lows at low volumes. The company claims that this technique is “superior to so-called ‘night listening’ modes in other brands’ sound bars that squash frequencies across the board.”

Hopefully we’ll get our hands on a review unit in the near future so we can put these claims to the test.

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