Yamaha’s new 4K-friendly AV receiver lets you keep the surround speakers in the front of the room

It’s frustrating when you get home with a backseat piled full of home theater gear, carefully drag everything inside and begin giddily assembling your soon-to-be personal entertainment zone, only to find that you can’t set up your new beloved 5.1 surround system in a practical or effective way. But because you’re stubbornly determined, you’ve got duct tape and cables dangling between chairs and tables like tripwires waiting to snag your dog’s paws and bring the whole tenuously strung-together patchwork arrangement down.

Yamaha’s got a better idea. Its freshly announced RX-V377 A/V receiver is feature-rich and utilizes a discrete amp configuration that includes a new proprietary technology dubbed “Cinema Front.” Cinema Front is designed so that users can position all five speakers and a subwoofer at the front of the listening area without sacrificing the benefits of surround sound. It works by creating two “virtual speakers” in the rear of the room, emulating a 5.1 system in a manner that’s a sort of hybrid between active soundbars and the average 5.1 setup.

Along with Cinema Front come your usual roster of today’s A/V receiver features, including four HDMI inputs and one output with 4K Ultra HD pass-through, a full complement of HD Audio format decoding (including Dolby True HD, DTS-HD Master Audio, Dolby Digital Plus and DTS-HD High Resolution Audio), some Yamaha-exclusive surround processing, and the YPAO automatic system calibration, which is meant to balance and time speaker output for a seamless surround sound experience. 

Lastly, Yamaha has included a front panel USB input for easy playback and connectivity to music on iPhones, iPods and USB flash drives. You can read more about the RX-V377’s specs and features here.

The new receiver is available  directly from Yamaha for $300, a surprisingly competitive price for so many handy features.

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: DIY smartphones and zip-on bike tires

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Product Review

Mediocre battery and a big notch slight Google's otherwise perfect Pixel phone

Google’s Pixel 3 XL has two big flaws: The gigantic notch on the front, and mediocre battery life. That being said, this is the best Android experience you can find in a smartphone today.
Outdoors

The Wau stands out in the crowded ebike market with its 60-mile range

The Wau ebike is a high-tech commuter that offers onboard GPS tracking, geofenced alarm systems, built-in front and rear lights, and pedal-assist speeds of up to 20 mph, with a range of as much as 60 miles between charges.
Home Theater

Still listening on tinny TV speakers? Try one of our favorite soundbars

You no longer have to sacrifice sound for size when selecting home audio equipment. Check out our picks for the best soundbars, whether you're looking for budget options, pure power, smarts, or tons of features.
Home Theater

These awesome A/V receivers will swarm you with surround sound at any budget

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to shopping for a receiver, so we assembled our favorites for 2018, at multiple price points and all loaded with features, from Dolby Atmos to 4K HDR, and much more.
Smart Home

How to create spooky Halloween effects with smart home lighting and sound

This Halloween, bathe your home with eerie smart home lighting and audio effects guaranteed to spook your neighbors. Use colored light and eerie sounds to create eerie Halloween effects.
Home Theater

I’ve seen the 8K TV future, and you should be excited. Here’s why

Samsung set the tech world on fire when it announced it would sell an 85-inch 8K TV in the U.S. along with several 8K screen sizes in Europe. Debates over the validity and value of such a high resolution have continued since, and we're here…
Movies & TV

The best new movie trailers: ‘Glass,’ ‘Mortal Engines,’ ‘Pet Sematary’ and more

Everyone loves a good trailer, but keeping up with what's new isn't easy. To simplify things, we round up the best ones each week. On tap this week: New trailers for Pet Sematary, Glass, Mortal Engines, and other upcoming films.
Movies & TV

The best movies on Amazon Prime right now (October 2018)

Prime Video provides subscribers with access to a host of fantastic films, but sorting through the catalog can be an undertaking. Luckily, we've done the work for you. Here are the best movies on Amazon Prime Video right now.
Movies & TV

Best new shows and movies to stream: ‘The Haunting of Hill House’ and more

Need something to watch this weekend? Check out our list of the best new shows and movies to stream right now. On the list this week: The Haunting of Hill House season 1, The Romanoffs, and more.
Movies & TV

'Prime'-time TV: Here are the best shows on Amazon Prime right now

There's more to Amazon Prime than free two-day shipping, including access to a number of phenomenal shows at no extra cost. To make the sifting easier, here are our favorite shows currently streaming on Amazon Prime.
Emerging Tech

Here’s all the best gear and gadgetry you can snag for $100 or less

A $100 bill can get you further than you might think -- so long as you know where to look. Check out our picks for the best tech under $100, whether you're in the market for headphones or a virtual-reality headset.
Home Theater

Dish Network or DirecTV: Which is the better choice for you?

So, you’ve chosen to go with a satellite television provider. Check out our quick rundown of what both Dish Network and DirecTV offer in terms of content, hardware, and pricing, and why you might choose them over streaming services.
Home Theater

Apple Music recommendations could get superpowers thanks to latest acquisition

Following the approval of its Shazam acquisition, a new report has surfaced saying that Apple has acquired music analytics firm Asaii, with its founders now members of the Apple Music team.