Home Tech These expensive Yamaha speakers are tonally brilliant but visually stirring

These expensive Yamaha speakers are tonally brilliant but visually stirring

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Front view of 2 glossy black rectangular speakers on a red fabric covered surface

The bright bounce of a Yamaha grand piano holds a special place in the soundtrack of my youth. As a young performer and singer, I spent countless hours in elementary school listening to the sunny tones of an obsidian Yamaha grand piano in our local performance hall. So it was probably inevitable that Yamaha’s gorgeous new NS-600A speakers, inspired by the brand’s instrumental heritage from design to tonal delivery, would evoke some visceral nostalgia.

You’ll find much of Yamaha’s signature sound in the NS-600A, with brilliant articulation and clarity, a wide, dimensional soundstage, and soulfully dynamic bass. Its premium price further rewards buyers with an elegant design, embodied in elegant angular cabinets with a glossy marble finish that exudes luxury.

For all its swag, the NS-600A’s brighter tonal flavor can sometimes evoke more bite in the upper register than some of my favorite speakers at its lofty price point. However, that’s more personal preference than gospel, and most speakers delight in the content. Listeners with a huge budget who prefer sharp clarity over tonal subtlety may well find that the NS-600A hits all the right notes.

concert hall class

Photography: Ryan Waniata

Taking the speakers out of their individually packaged boxes, there’s no denying their sleek appearance. The rounded corners on the front fade toward the back panel in angled lines, making the cabinets appear to lean into the listening position ready to pounce. The glossy finish looks as impressive as Yamaha’s best pianos, and the considerable weight of each speaker, at just under 22 pounds, lets you know it contains heavy-duty bracing and high-end components.

On the back of each speaker panel, ergonomic binding posts rest beneath a beveled bass port, designed to minimize port hiss as the bass increases. Even the magnetic acoustic grilles flex some thread, with a sympathetic curve hugging the rounded top of each speaker, leaving the front face’s gold logo exposed beneath.

Photography: Ryan Waniata

Yamaha says its engineers used the same acoustic principles for sound absorption and vibration suppression found in its musical instruments to optimize the NS-600A’s internal cabinet design. The speakers use Yamaha’s patented “Absorber” tube to minimize standing waves, while a specialized resonance suppression chamber sits behind each tweeter, both intended to preserve the character and tone of instruments and vocals.

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