Just last week, Yahama unveiled its new RX-V381 A/V receiver, an affordable yet powerful 4K-ready receiver with built-in support for HDR, Bluetooth and a host of other features. It turns out that was just the beginning, and Yamaha was saving the bigger news for this week.
Yamaha unveiled four new models in its RX-V 81 series this week: The RX-V781, RX-V681, and RX-V581 are all 7.2-channel models, while the RX-V481 is more of a companion to the unit announced last week, offering 5.1 channels. Each model supports 4K Ultra HD and wireless multiroom audio, as well as Bluetooth and Yamaha’s Compressed Music Enhancer for better quality playback from mobile devices.
“The RX-V 81 Series offers our consumers unparalleled flexibility in feature sets, the most immersive high performance HD audio and video technologies and the freedom of wireless multiroom audio connectivity options,” said Bob Goedken, general manager of Yamaha Corporation of America’s A/V division. “Industry-leading innovation and must-have features are key to the RX-V Series’ best-selling success for years. Our latest 3D surround and 4K format enhancements, combined with MusicCast this year will keep these AV receivers at the front of innovation.”
Like the unit introduced last week, all of these receivers offer 4K at 60p with 4:4:4 color depth, and support BT.2020 for a wide color gamut and improved contrast. Setup is made easy with the inclusion of Yamaha’s YPAO automatic calibration, which uses an included microphone to ensure that your home theater system sounds the best it can without manually setting volumes and speaker distances.
One of the core features of all of these receivers is MusicCast, which offers easy access to any component connected to the receiver as well as streaming music sources and more, all controlled by a simple app. Earlier this year we took a hands-on look at MusicCast, and walked away impressed.
As 7.2-channel models, the RX-V781, RX-V681, and RX-V581 all support Dolby Atmos and DTS:X 3D surround sound, making for a much more immersive experience. Vinyl connoisseurs will be happy to hear that both the RX-V781 and RX-V681 feature a dedicated phono input as well. The RX-V781 will sell for $850, while the RX-V681 and RX-V581 will sell for $650 and $550, respectively.
While the RX-V481 cuts the channel count down to 5.1 channels, losing Dolby Atmos and DTS:X along the way, it’s still a capable receiver, with all the features mentioned above. It’s more powerful than the RX-V381 introduced, but at $450, it doesn’t sell for much more.
As for when buyers will be able to get their hands on these, it depends on the model. The wait for the RX-V781 is longest, with that unit arriving sometime in June. The RX-V681 and RX-V581 will be available in May, while the RX-V481 goes on sale in April. For more information on the RX-V 81 series, see the Yamaha website.