The waters all around AV receivers drift relatively than rage. In comparison to TVs and soundbars, alter comes gradually to these massive black bins. The Yamaha RX-V6A ($850 at Amazon) is a refreshing splash in a pool that has stagnated in latest yrs. With rounded very good seems reminiscent of large-conclusion models like Classe, paired with a laundry list of futuristic characteristics, this is the most ahead-looking receiver I have observed in a extended time.

Like

  • Exceptional seems (for a receiver)
  • Sounds engaging with tunes and films
  • Up-to-day aspect set and connections

Do not Like

  • Liquid crystal display exhibit can be tricky to examine
  • No crafted-in Chromecast

Seems are not something with out the general performance to back it up and the RX-6A served up great audio top quality in my listening check. This midpriced receiver RX-V6A delivers Dolby Atmos playback and plenty of tunes replay alternatives too, creating it as cozy with an episode of The Mandalorian as it is with impromptu dance events.

It is really acquired some quirks — the speaker outputs are arranged in an strange get and that Liquid crystal display exhibit is more difficult to examine than an LED — but general this Yamaha is merely far more pleasurable than its competitors. I’m hopeful that the RX-V6A is the spark that ignites a rethink on AV receivers and assists carry the group back into the mainstream.

Hook up all your stuff

The RX-V6A is a seven.one.two-channel receiver with Dolby Atmos and DTS:X playback, and 100 watts for every channel. But the specification sheet is just not the 1st issue that catches the eye.


Ty Pendlebury/CNET

The Yamaha RX-V6A’s rounded, glass-like fascia is a real departure from the black shoe bins of Sony, Denon and Onkyo. The edges are curved in a way I have never observed just before, but it doesn’t search ostentatious. The entrance homes a centered quantity management and large-res Liquid crystal display exhibit that seems intelligent but is just not all that vivid. It is really off-centered so if you happen to be sitting off to the left it is really even far more tough to examine even at optimum brightness. I choose the LED readouts discovered on competitors.

This receiver could not be “the potential” with out a extensively up to day spec sheet and the RX-V6A doesn’t skimp. It involves 7 HDMI inputs, three of which are 8K-suitable HDMI two.one ports ports made to assistance the entire output capabilities of resources like the Xbox Series X, PlayStation 5 and Computer system graphics playing cards these as the Nvidia RTX 3090. Yamaha claims this is far more two.one ports than any other brand name, and they offer these goodies as auto reduced latency method and fast media switching. The receivers also assistance for a longer period HDMI cable operates with a bolstered power provide. 

yamaha-rx-v6a-rear

Ty Pendlebury/CNET

Yamaha also designed variations all around back. Most receivers, which includes earlier Yamahas, put the L/R speaker output at the left of the panel, which is adopted by the middle and then the rears. For no matter what explanation the RX-V6A destinations the entrance pair in the middle instead of the left, which could be complicated — specifically if you happen to be bent in excess of it in a darkened theater placing. It will not consider extended to remember which output is which, and when you get your speakers linked it is really not a massive offer.

The RX-V6A may well not be as thoroughly loaded when it comes to Wi-Fi streaming assistance when when compared to our present-day Editors’ Decision winner, the Onkyo TX-NR696, but it continue to delivers a thing for most men and women. Yamaha’s MusicCast multiroom process is 1 of the most effective integrated systems, and it also allows the use of Yamaha intelligent speakers as rears. The receiver delivers AirPlay two, Spotify Hook up and Bluetooth too, while it lacks Chromecast crafted-in. IT can be managed via Alexa, Google Assistant and Siri-enabled gadgets, but the instructions are typically fundamental — primarily quantity, input and upcoming/prior track controls.

20201224-123241-hdr

Ty Pendlebury/CNET

The receiver comes with a remote management that delivers a assortment of features, which includes a focused Bluetooth button. It is really vivid and cheery additionally delivers a zone two management change for far more versatility.

Nevertheless the aesthetics have been soundly enhanced, the on-display screen exhibit is a small stage back. The interface characteristics blocky white and blue icons, while competitors these as Sony offer far more person-welcoming interfaces with even bigger icons and improved hand-keeping for newcomers.

yamaha-rx-v6a-6

Ty Pendlebury/CNET

This is the potential of audio

I when compared the Yamaha RX-V6A towards yet another new receiver, the Denon AVR-S960, and discovered myself returning to hear to the Yamaha far more usually. While the Denon is calm-sounding, the Yamaha delivers far more house theater thrills and pep when listening to your favorite tunes. Basically place, the Yamaha appears far more pleasurable.

I started my tests with an underrated vintage — the Iron and Wine/Calexico collaboration EP, In The Reins. When streaming via Roon to the Oppo UDP-203 ($3,999 at Amazon) and then allowing the receivers decode, the Yamaha had a stable, three dimensional audio. By it Sam Beam’s voice was far more firmly rooted in room, and the backing vocals a tiny much easier to discern than on the Denon. 

img-9841

Ty Pendlebury/CNET

Receivers that are tuned for films are hardly ever very good with tunes — they can audio overly severe and tiring — but the tambourine-ahead audio of Spoon’s You Bought Yr. Cherry Bomb sounded fuller on the Yamaha than the Denon. The song’s chugging bass underpinned the percussion in the palms of the V6A and the overall creation sounded a lot less thrashy and far more composed. The Denon was a shade subtler but failed to make me sit up in my seat in the very same way.

Turning to house theater with Avatar, the Yamaha driving a pair of Bowers and Wilkins 603 S2 speakers sounded even bigger and far more easy than any soundbar I have heard. The opening dialog of the Thanator chase scene was far more intelligible too, and undoubtedly improved than the JBL Bar two.one Deep Bass ($300 at Amazon) soundbar, for illustration. It may well not have had the very same booming result on the creatures’ footfalls, but this was conveniently tweaked via the Yamaha menu. 

Following that tweak the Yamaha had bass results I could really experience with my feet and, when compared to the Denon, I discovered it sounded far more atmospheric, but the bass continue to was not as impactful.

Really should you get it?

If you happen to be attempting to choose in between the Yamaha and the Denon, both of those audio top quality and characteristics come into engage in. The Yamaha delivers an excess HDMI port than the Denon and far more 8K-compliant two.one ports too. The RX-V6A also seems improved and appears far more entertaining. 

The receiver failed to get every thing ideal — that Liquid crystal display exhibit is a misstep — and I continue to choose the Onkyo by a nose due to the fact of its outstanding streaming alternatives and improved exhibit. While there are far more receivers coming in mid-2021, if you want a thing that delivers a diploma of potential proofing and large-top quality audio ideal now, the Yamaha is an great alternative.