There’s nothing quite like old school when you’re buying gear. After all, there’s a reason why people buy vintage guitars – it reminds them of simpler times. But unfortunately, buying vintage guitars seems to be becoming easier than getting your hands on a good pair of speakers. Anyway, when it comes to good old fashioned bookshelf speakers, Yamaha NS 6490 won’t disappoint.

In this review, I’ll be giving you a detailed rundown about this product and why you should or shouldn’t invest in them.

Yamaha NS-6490 3-Way Bookshelf Speakers Finish (Pair) Black
  • These 3-way speakers can be added anywhere in your home component sound system front or rear speakers, even as auxiliary speakers for another room
  • Each speaker enclosure has 3 drivers - an 8 woofer/ a 4 midrange/ a 0.75 dome tweeter that work together to provide an 45Hz to 23Khz frequency response range
  • Magnetically shielded to suit home-theater applications

Product Overview

Let’s start with a brief product overview to give you a quick rundown about this product. These 3-way bookshelf speakers that are meant for home theater use. The cabinets are magnetically shielded which anther commendable feature that people with home theater systems will appreciate since it protects TV picture.

Here are some features that are worth knowing about:
  • 3-way speakers that work well as part of your home theater system, it can also be used for home studio work.
  • Each speaker includes 3 drivers, 8 woofers, a 0.75 dome tweeter and a midrange. All these features combine to give excellent sound.
  • The cabinets are magnetically shielded to protect your TV for home-theater use.

Design

Don’t be too quick to dismiss the importance of design. I’m not trying to be superficial here but looks do matter, especially when you’re investing in gear. After all, you don’t want to end up speakers that are too big for your home studio now, do you?

Coming back to the NS6490, the design is a lot chunkier than what most people expect when buying gear but there’s a reason for this. The chunky look is quite similar to what you see in vintage speakers. If you’ve seen vintage speakers before than this feature may not bother you as much.

The cabinets are made using solid materials so you don’t have to worry about durability. The speakers also feature a multi-faceted grille which adds a nice old school touch. The overall appearance of the gear is pretty boxy as Yamaha tries to keep things classy with this design. If you don’t have to worry about space constraints, this model is a fairly good choice. However, if you’re one of those people who like the minimalist look then you’re better off with a smaller set of speakers.

Size

I know these are marketed as bookshelf speakers, but the size is still pretty awkward. I wouldn’t recommend this model if you don’t have a lot of room to work with and are already struggling with space. For those of you who have nothing to worry, this product seems to work fairly well.

Overall, while I’m a fan of the sound, I’ll have to admit that the chunky size can be a lot to look at sometimes.

Yamaha NS-6490 3-Way Bookshelf Speakers Finish (Pair) Black

Sound

It’s worth mentioning that most bookshelf speakers that fall under this range typically don’t go below 60-70 Hz but the NS6490 offers a response range of 45Hz to 23Khz. Overall, I’m a fan of the 3-way design since it gives a nice crossover to the subwoofer driver. This allows users to experience a wide range of bass frequencies. On the other hand, the tweeter and mid-woofer do an excellent job in accentuating the highs and lows of the speaker.

Because of its awesome three-way design, it’s safe to say that the NS6490 outperforms just about any 2-way speaker. As for the budget, I think you get what you pay for and I wouldn’t complain too much about the quality of sound. But then again, if you’re a professional, consider investing in equipment that will prove to be worth your while. Otherwise, you’re only wasting time.

If you’re looking for speakers that offer sound enough sound to fill the whole room, I’d say that this is a good enough choice. It’s also a relief that you won’t have to spend extra bucks on a subwoofer to take care of the bass. So yes, it’s nice to work with a piece of equipment that offers the right balance in terms of convenience and performance.

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Performance

Yamaha NS-6490 3-Way Bookshelf Speakers Finish (Pair) Black

Three-way speakers can take a lot of room so buying something that doesn’t work well is a waste of money. This model is a great investment and performs pretty well. The overall soundstage is worth raving about and for the price, I think you get a fairly good deal. Especially when you consider the performance of the transducers and the wide frequency range. You get fairly clear vocals and balanced mids which is great for home studio work or for general use.

The only potential downside of this speaker is its lack of acoustic tuning. This can be a bummer for people who want to listen to the fine details of their performance. I’ve found that the overall sound can seem too overly saturated. While this shouldn’t be a major problem with careful positioning, it definitely is something worth looking into before you make an investment.

Having highlighted the above points, we’ve established that the NS6490 does have some flaws that are worth looking at. If you’re looking for speakers for general use and don’t have many specifications or reasons to be fussy, this is a good buy. On the other hand, if you’re determined to get the best performance out there and are specifically looking for an awesome 3-way speaker, you’re better off buying something more powerful. Generally, I wouldn’t recommend this product to folks who are extra finicky about sound. You’re better off investing in a more expensive option that will give you the results you want.

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Pricing

As far as the pricing is concerned, these speakers are pretty reasonable. Most 3-way models can be priced incredibly high and may not be worth your while. For this price, you get three drivers combined with an 8 woofer and an impressive 7.1 channel surround sound system.

These speakers are designed for both professional and home entertainment purposes. I’m being completely honest, you’ll get better value for your money if you’re investing for the latter. The drivers work great and the overall sound response is good. I wouldn’t say that these speakers are the best purchase for home studio use, but if you need something to warm up with, this is a cost-effective way to begin.

It’s also worth mentioning that this model is passive so it won’t work without a receiver. Needless to say, these aren’t your everyday plug-and-play speakers if that’s what you’re looking for.

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Pros and Cons

Since we’ve already discussed the features of the Yamaha NS 6490 in detail, it’s time we get down to the actual pros and cons. I realize that buying music gear can be potentially nerve wracking but if you have all the information at hand, it’ll make the process much easier. So let’s start with the pros:

Pros
  • 3-way design speaker with a great sound response.
  • 70W amplifier power for awesome results.
  • 4” mid-range.
  • 8” high performing woofers, this eliminates the need for installing additional woofers.
  • The tweeter and mid-woofer do an excellent job in focusing on the highs and mids.
  • Vintage, old school look that makes it a great choice for home theater systems.
  • Powerful speakers at an affordable price range.
  • Designed for professionals and home entertainment applications.
  • Quite affordable when compared to other 3-way speakers in the market.
  • Comes with a 2-year warranty which is good but not great.
  • Great choice for folks who don’ want to invest in a subwoofer.
Cons
  • Some users may not like the bulky design. However, it’s best to be realistic when buying three-way speakers as these models tend to be much larger.
  • Not entirely suitable for hard-core professionals who want to hear even the minute details of their music. You’ll be better off investing in specialized speakers for home studio use.
  • Cannot be connected to your laptop, or any other devices. This is usually a given with bookshelf speakers but who wouldn’t miss the added functionality?
  • Despite its low price, I wouldn’t say that you get the best value for money.

Verdict

I’ve pointed out a lot of stuff in my review – while I wouldn’t recommend this product for hardcore studio use, you can buy it for general purposes. You may think that I’ve highlighted too many cons in this review but since this is a blog about home studio equipment, I want to be completely honest with my readers.

Is there something you’d like to add? Let me know in the comments section below. Also, feel free to recommend products for me to review. You might end up seeing your suggestion in my next blog post.

Here are some other reviews and comparisons of Yamaha speakers that you might be interested in: