RX-A550 5.1-channel ($550)
The newest (and most affordable) member of the Aventage family tacks on the series’ premium build quality with an aluminum front face, as well as useful features you don’t expect in a base-model receiver (albeit from a premium line). Highlights include 4K UHD passthrough with HDCP 2.2 compatibility, wireless connection via Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi with AirpPlay and Wireless direct, on-board Spotify and Pandora, and high resolution file playback for DSD files (2.6MHz/5.6MHz) and PCM WAV, FLAC, and AIFF files. The receiver also features compatibility with Yamaha’s controller app, and YPAO automatic setup/room correction.
RX-A7550 7.2-channel ($700)
Stepping up to the A7550 provides a few extra perks, including two more surround channels and support for that second subwoofer you’ve had your eye on, as well as support for Yamaha’s YPAO Reflected Sound Control which takes room reflections into account for better room optimization. In addition to 4K UHD passthrough, the A7550 offers support for HDR (High Dynamic Range) video signals, which allow for unprecedented contrast between light and dark scenes, thereby producing a richer picture on forthcoming HDR-equipped 4K UHD TVs. The feature will help the receiver grow with the 4K UHD hardware and video content of the future.
RX-A8550 7.2-channel ($1,000)
Moving up to the A8550 provides the company’s more advanced room optimization, YPAO – R.S.C. for better sound optimization at every listening position. That should be helpful, as the A8550 is also the lowest priced model with Dolby Atmos decoding, which not only allows for more precise pinpointing of surround sound “objects” from content mixed in Dolby Atmos, but also allows two channels to be diverted to floorstanding speakers that bounce sound off the ceiling, or overhead speakers aiming down from above to create a more immersive soundscape.
RX-A1050 7.2-channel ($1,300)
Dolby Atmos is an excellent addition to the Aventage family, but for those looking for even more versatility, stepping up to the A1050 may be the way to go. Along with Atmos, the A1050 is the lineup’s most affordable receiver compatible with DTS’ answer to Dolby Atmos, DTS:X. That makes the A1050 armed for virtually any surround sound mix coming down the pike. The unit also allows for HDMI multi-zone switching to send video and audio to a separate room. Adding those features to the rest of the Aventage line’s war chest might make the A1050 the starting point for hardcore home theater enthusiasts.
RX-A2050 9.2-channel ($1,700)
Here’s where Yamaha really starts to bring out the big guns, allowing for a host of Dobly Atmos and DTS:X configurations, including up to 4 ceiling speakers to complement a regular 5.2 surround sound setup. The receiver also harnesses dual ESS Technology Sabre Premiere DACs (the A1050 has just one) for high-quality digital audio conversion that should considerably benefit stereo music listeners.
RX-A3050 9.2-channel ($2,200)
Finally, at the top of the heap is Yamaha’s flagship RX-A3050. Along with all the Aventage bounty plucked from the A2050 and below, the A3050 rewards buyers with elite features including dual 192kHz/32bit Sabre32 Ultra DAC chips for the main seven channels, and a Sabre Premiere for the presence channels, as well as pre-out expansion for up to 11.2 channels, and Yamaha’s top YPAO R.S.C room optimization to get everything locked in, down to the millimeter.
All of Yamaha’s new Aventage receivers will be available in July, except the flagship RX-A3050, which is slated to arrive a month later in August.