What We Like
What We Don't Like
Yamaha is one of those special few companies which seems to have its hands in just about every market going. From top of the range concert grand pianos to motorbikes; from industrial robots to speakers: they’ve got it all.
Yamaha’s grand pianos are something of a design icon. Alongside Steinway & Sons, they populate just about every concert hall, practice room, and music shop going. And they certainly look the part. It’s no surprise then that a company with interests as diverse as Yamaha’s learns from its successes in other fields when it comes time to design products elsewhere. Perhaps this is why the NS-333s are available in one color, and one color only: piano black. It’s glossy, it’s jet black, and it’s pretty gorgeous.
Simple but striking, the dark cabinets are offset by the naturally colored metals which comprise the cones. All in all, it’s a lovely design that ticks all the boxes for elegance and versatility.
The NS-333s are tonally matched. This means that they are capable of producing a seamless soundscape which draws you right into the heart of the action of whatever movie you are watching, game you are playing, or track you are listening to. It’s a thoroughly immersive experience.
Like many bookshelf speakers, Yamaha provides the option for you to mount the NS-333s on a wall for your convenience. As well as being an aesthetic choice, the placement of speakers has a huge impact on their overall performance, and so it is vital that you try them out in a few positions in order to find the optimal placement for the particular room in which you will be using them the most.
So they look great, they have all of the features which you would expect for this price point, but what about the all important matter of the sound itself? Well, it’s a pretty solid experience all things considered. But let’s start with a small issue we found.
Firstly, as is typical of speakers of this size, the NS-333s lack something in the way of punchiness towards the lows and lower mid tones which can lead to a little loss of overall clarity. A lot of this has to do with the form factor rather than any specific problems with this model, and so you can generally expect to find a bass response which leaves a little to be desired with the majority of bookshelf speakers.
The soundstage offered by this entry from Yamaha is as wide, deep, and teeming with character as an orchestra pit. Highs are phenomenally detailed, and the clarity is almost unnervingly accurate in some tracks. It’s an agile sound, too, which really comes into its own when listening to electronic tracks or otherwise synth heavy sounds. It’s quite something. The midrange is silky smooth, rich, and seems to adapt well to fairly contrasting material which always speaks volumes as to the overall quality of the audio performance. Lows, as mentioned, leave a little to be desired and can venture occasionally into a slightly fuzzy sound, but it’s no big deal and really part and parcel of this kind of speaker.
The Yamaha NS-333s are a gorgeous looking, high performing pair of speakers that provide heaps of value for the price point. The listening experience is best described as versatile and leaves little in the way of room for improvement.