As one of the world’s most highly regarded home audio and consumer electronics companies, it’s no surprise that Yamaha has its own range of audio and video receivers on offer. Designed to offer high quality audio to both stereo gurus and home theater viewers, the large range of Yamaha receivers on offer is one that emphasizes quality, defines crisp and clear audio, and is surprisingly easy to use.
Yes – you heard that right – Yamaha’s audio receivers aren’t needlessly complex or near impossible to operate. Instead, they’re fairly simple for anyone to use – home audio buff or not – despite having an exhausting list of features. From home theater controls to simple home stereo listening, all of the standard functions are available on a Yamaha receiver, often accessible within seconds for a user.
There are three basic types of home audio receiver offered by Yamaha. The first is the standard 5.1 home theater receiver – a large and somewhat complex system made for home theater gurus. Most of Yamaha’s receiver lineup uses the same basic design, with a large volume control on the forward facing side, and a variety of digital audio and video inputs (and outputs) along the back plating.
Their 5.1 receivers, most notably the RX series, however, are much less complex to use than their button-filled construction would hint at. Users can select from a variety of input sources – most of which can be shifted between using a simple remote – and an even greater variety of speaker and system playback modes. These functions allow users to shift their music’s ‘atmosphere’ easily.
Almost all 5.1 Yamaha receivers can draw sound from an HDMI input, allowing them to work with a variety of modern digital video and gaming devices. 5.1 sound playback is available for DVD and Blu-ray movies, as well as games that are encoded in the format. A wide range of specialist CDs can also be played back in full 5.1 surround sound, although special discs may need to be purchased.
Yamaha’s 7.1 receiver lineup is, despite its more advanced feature set, much the same as their basic models. A large volume control adorns the front of each unit, acting as both a master volume and an adjustment gauge for multiple channels. Users can craft their sound to suit their speaker layout, with a small amount of audio coming from the back speakers, or a mixed amount divided almost evenly.
Most high-end Yamaha receivers, particularly those with 7.1 surround as standard, can be controlled using either Yamaha’s own standard remote, or a computer outfitted with BlueTooth. Users with the Yamaha control application are even able to link their computer or mobile phone with their system, and in turn control various aspects of their Yamaha receiver on-the-fly without any manual input.
Finally, Yamaha also offers a small selection of home audio systems, most of which are designed to offer simple two-channel playback. Although this type of receiver has fallen out of favor with home theater gurus, many audiophiles and home audio gurus appreciate its simple, stereo sound. Yamaha receivers are available in this configuration, although the new model selection is on the thin side.
A possible alternative for home audio gurus is to look used, as a wide range of Yamaha receivers are available in good condition online or from a local dealer. The obvious downside of this is that is has relatively little in the way of security – Yamaha offers no warrant on used goods. As such, the safest option for new customers is to purchase a new Yamaha receiver – preferably a 5.1 or 7.1 model.
All Yamaha AV receivers include some select features, including Cinema DSP digital sound realization, which improves the clarity and depth of sound in home audio and movie environments. Another top feature from Yamaha is Compressed Music Enhancer – a helpful feature that lowers the amount of compression that’s heart on digital music such as MP3s and OGGs, and even lower-end CDs.
All Yamaha home audio receivers are capable of playing back audio from a variety of sources, with standard auxiliary input ports and AV audio included as standard on all models. Select home theater receivers may also include HDMI digital inputs, which allow users to directly link their Blu-ray or DVD player with their Yamaha receiver, limiting quality loss and producing a crisp audio signal.
While Yamaha’s wide range of audio and home theater receivers are neither the cheapest available nor the most expensive, they have a reputation for quality that’s tough to beat. Priced for the smart consumer and built to survive in even an audiophile’s sound system, a Yamaha receiver can be one of the most versatile, powerful, and rewarding home audio purchases you’ll ever make.