Yamaha RX-V6A review: The future sound of entertainment

Victoria D. Doty

The waters all around AV receivers drift instead than rage. Compared to TVs and soundbars, alter will come little by little to these large black packing containers. The Yamaha RX-V6A ($850 at Amazon) is a refreshing splash in a pool that has stagnated in modern yrs. With rounded fantastic seems reminiscent of substantial-conclusion models like Classe, paired with a laundry listing of futuristic features, this is the most ahead-seeking receiver I have noticed in a long time.

Like

  • Superb seems (for a receiver)
  • Seems engaging with tunes and motion pictures
  • Up-to-day characteristic established and connections

Will not Like

  • Lcd display screen can be difficult to go through
  • No created-in Chromecast

Appears to be are not everything without the functionality to back again it up and the RX-6A served up wonderful seem good quality in my listening take a look at. This midpriced receiver RX-V6A provides Dolby Atmos playback and a great deal of tunes replay selections too, generating it as comfortable with an episode of The Mandalorian as it is with impromptu dance get-togethers.

It is really obtained some quirks — the speaker outputs are organized in an uncommon purchase and that Lcd display screen is more durable to go through than an LED — but total this Yamaha is merely additional enjoyable than its competitors. I’m hopeful that the RX-V6A is the spark that ignites a rethink on AV receivers and allows convey the classification back again into the mainstream.

Link all your things

The RX-V6A is a seven.one.2-channel receiver with Dolby Atmos and DTS:X playback, and a hundred watts for each channel. But the specification sheet just isn’t the to start with matter that catches the eye.

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Ty Pendlebury/CNET

The Yamaha RX-V6A’s rounded, glass-like fascia is a actual departure from the black shoe packing containers of Sony, Denon and Onkyo. The edges are curved in a way I have hardly ever noticed prior to, but it doesn’t look ostentatious. The front houses a centered quantity control and substantial-res Lcd display screen that seems intelligent but just isn’t all that shiny. It is really off-centered so if you happen to be sitting off to the remaining it is even additional hard to go through even at highest brightness. I like the LED readouts found on competitors.

This receiver couldn’t be “the future” without a thoroughly up to day spec sheet and the RX-V6A doesn’t skimp. It consists of seven HDMI inputs, a few of which are 8K-appropriate HDMI 2.one ports ports made to aid the comprehensive output capabilities of sources like the Xbox Sequence X, PlayStation 5 and Pc graphics cards these types of as the Nvidia RTX 3090. Yamaha promises this is additional 2.one ports than any other brand name, and they provide these types of goodies as car low latency mode and rapid media switching. The receivers also aid longer HDMI cable runs with a bolstered electricity provide. 

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Ty Pendlebury/CNET

Yamaha also built variations all around back again. Most receivers, like past Yamahas, put the L/R speaker output at the remaining of the panel, which is adopted by the centre and then the rears. For what ever purpose the RX-V6A places the front pair in the center as a substitute of the remaining, which could be complicated — specifically if you happen to be bent in excess of it in a darkened theater placing. It would not consider long to remember which output is which, and at the time you get your speakers related it is not a large deal.

The RX-V6A may not be as thoroughly loaded when it will come to Wi-Fi streaming aid when in comparison to our latest Editors’ Preference winner, the Onkyo TX-NR696, but it nevertheless provides a little something for most individuals. Yamaha’s MusicCast multiroom technique is a single of the very best integrated methods, and it also enables the use of Yamaha intelligent speakers as rears. The receiver provides AirPlay 2, Spotify Link and Bluetooth too, despite the fact that it lacks Chromecast created-in. IT can be managed by way of Alexa, Google Assistant and Siri-enabled devices, but the commands are generally essential — predominantly quantity, enter and future/past observe controls.

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Ty Pendlebury/CNET

The receiver will come with a remote control that provides a range of capabilities, like a dedicated Bluetooth button. It is really shiny and cheery furthermore provides a zone 2 control swap for additional flexibility.

While the aesthetics have been soundly enhanced, the on-display display screen is a modest action back again. The interface features blocky white and blue icons, whereas competitors these types of as Sony provide additional consumer-friendly interfaces with more substantial icons and better hand-holding for newcomers.

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Ty Pendlebury/CNET

This is the future of seem

I in comparison the Yamaha RX-V6A from yet another new receiver, the Denon AVR-S960, and found myself returning to pay attention to the Yamaha additional usually. While the Denon is calm-sounding, the Yamaha provides additional household theater thrills and pep when listening to your preferred tunes. Merely set, the Yamaha seems additional enjoyable.

I begun my tests with an underrated typical — the Iron and Wine/Calexico collaboration EP, In The Reins. When streaming by way of Roon to the Oppo UDP-203 ($three,999 at Amazon) and then permitting the receivers decode, the Yamaha had a sound, a few dimensional seem. Via it Sam Beam’s voice was additional firmly rooted in space, and the backing vocals a minor a lot easier to discern than on the Denon. 

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Ty Pendlebury/CNET

Receivers that are tuned for motion pictures are almost never fantastic with tunes — they can seem extremely severe and tiring — but the tambourine-ahead seem of Spoon’s You Got Yr. Cherry Bomb sounded fuller on the Yamaha than the Denon. The song’s chugging bass underpinned the percussion in the hands of the V6A and the total generation sounded fewer thrashy and additional composed. The Denon was a shade subtler but didn’t make me sit up in my seat in the same way.

Turning to household theater with Avatar, the Yamaha driving a pair of Bowers and Wilkins 603 S2 speakers sounded more substantial and additional easy than any soundbar I have listened to. The opening dialog of the Thanator chase scene was additional intelligible too, and definitely better than the JBL Bar 2.one Deep Bass ($three hundred at eBay) soundbar, for illustration. It may not have had the same booming influence on the creatures’ footfalls, but this was quickly tweaked by way of the Yamaha menu. 

Immediately after that tweak the Yamaha had bass results I could basically truly feel with my ft and, in comparison to the Denon, I found it sounded additional atmospheric, but the bass nevertheless wasn’t as impactful.

Should you buy it?

If you happen to be trying to determine between the Yamaha and the Denon, the two seem good quality and features arrive into play. The Yamaha provides an added HDMI port than the Denon and additional 8K-compliant 2.one ports too. The RX-V6A also seems better and seems additional entertaining. 

The receiver didn’t get everything appropriate — that Lcd display screen is a misstep — and I nevertheless like the Onkyo by a nose because of its outstanding streaming selections and better display screen. While there are additional receivers coming in mid-2021, if you want a little something that provides a degree of future proofing and substantial-good quality seem appropriate now, the Yamaha is an exceptional alternative.

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