Yamaha dresses 2020 AV receivers to the nines with 8K resolution and Wi-Fi – CNET

yamaha-rx-v-avr-lineup
Yamaha

A/V Receivers have a tradition of being ugly. Great, yes, but ugly nonetheless. Only in once in a while does a manufacturer change things up with something that's a little more stylish. Yamaha's brand new RX-V range joins the Denon HEOS AVR in offering something of a conversation piece. Yamaha has dispensed with the "hearse"-like appearance of yesteryear, and its new models are right up to date in terms of specification. It will even do 8K (whenever that actually becomes a thing).

Unlike in previous years, the company is skipping over the number 5 in the US and concentrating on the RX-V4A and RX-V6A models instead. The $440 (about £335 or AU$610) RX-V4A is a 5.1-channel receiver while the $600 model offers Dolby Atmos compatibility in a seven-channel receiver.

I wasn't expecting to see the RX-V4A and RX-V6A's rounded, glass-like fascias, and my first response was literally "wow!" The hi-res LCD display and centered volume control also look pretty spiffy, offering a level of sophistication not usually seen at this price.

But looks aren't everything and it appears that specs-wise it offers everything an AV enthusiast will need for the foreseeable future. It includes HDMI 2.1 compatibility with built-in features including auto low-latency mode and quick media switching. The receivers will also support longer HDMI cable runs with a bolstered power supply. Yamaha claims its receiver has more 8K HDMI inputs than any other brand, including three on the RX-V6A (making seven inputs in total) and all four inputs on the RX-V4A.

Both models offer Wi-Fi support in addition to the company's MusicCast multiroom system, which can be controlled via Alexa, Google and Siri-enabled devices. It also includes AirPlay 2 and Spotify Connect, though no mention has been made of Bluetooth (it's probably there, just not included in the press release). The receivers also include compatibility with MusicCast Surround which allows wireless MusicCast speakers to be used as surrounds.

Products have taken longer to reach stores in 2020. And in the case of some, like Yamaha, the ranges have been slimmed down considerably or, like Sony, carried on from previous years. I have yet to hear any of the new 2020 models, but I expect the Yamahas will put in a good showing, especially in terms of sonics, build quality and feature counts. I look forward to reviewing the RX-6A in particular so watch this space.

RX-V6A at a glance

  • 7.2-channel, 100-watt AV receiver with Zone 2
  • 8K/60Hz & 4K/120Hz, HDMI 2.1 with HDCP 2.3 and eARC (seven in, one out)
  • Dolby Atmos, DTS:X and Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization*
  • YPAO multipoint automatic room calibration 
  • Voice control with Amazon Alexa, Siri (via AirPlay 2) and Google Assistant
  • MusicCast multiroom app control with optional wireless surrounds
  • $600, available September 2020

RX-V4A at a glance

  • 5.1-channel, 80-watt AV receiver
  • 8K/60Hz & 4K/120Hz, HDMI 2.1 with HDCP 2.3 and eARC (four in, one out)
  • YPAO automatic room calibration 
  • Voice control with Amazon Alexa, Siri (via AirPlay 2) and Google Assistant
  • MusicCast multiroom app control with optional wireless surrounds
  • $440, available August 2020

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