Yamaha expands its RX-V 81 series with new Dolby Atmos and DTS:X-capable models

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.

Home Theater

How much are the initials ‘LV’ worth? $700 if you put them on your earphones

If you're looking for truly wireless earbuds that make as much of a statement about the state of your finances as they do about your high-tech street cred, Louis Vuitton's Horizon earbuds fit the $995 bill.
Home Theater

What are HDMI ARC and eARC? Here’s how they can simplify your home theater

HDMI ARC is one of the coolest TV features at your disposal. But if you're like most folks, you have no idea how it works, if you even know what it is at all. Here's our primer on HDMI ARC, as well as the next generation technology, eARC.
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.
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.
Photography

Starting your very own vlog? Here are the best cameras to buy

Any camera that shoots video can be used to vlog, but a few models stand out from the crowd thanks to superior image quality, ergonomics, and usability. When it comes to putting your life on YouTube, here are the best cameras for the job.
Home Theater

What’s new on Amazon Prime Video (February 2019)

Amazon Prime Video adds new titles each month that are available for free to all Prime members. Check out our list to find all the content hitting Amazon Prime Video in January and February, from new original series to classic films.
Features

Netflix’s latest price increase heralds the end of streaming’s golden age

Netflix’s recent price rise is just the latest in a string of signs that streaming’s golden age is nearly over. As more services enter the fray, content will be further partitioned, signaling the end of streaming’s good old days.
Home Theater

Looking to cut cable? Here’s everything you need to know about Pluto TV

Pluto TV offers plenty of entertainment in a fashion similar to live internet TV services, only at no cost — you don’t even need to register. Too good to be true? Here’s everything you need to know.
Home Theater

Want to mirror your smartphone or tablet onto your TV? Here's how

A vast arsenal of devices exists to allow sending anything on your mobile device to your TV. Our in-depth guide shows you how to mirror content from your smartphone or tablet to the big screen from virtually any device available.
Deals

Need a smart speaker? Amazon knocks $50 off Sonos Beam soundbar with Alexa

If you're looking to add some oomph to your home audio setup, then through February 3, the Alexa-enabled Sonos Beam is on sale for $50 off, bringing this excellent smart sound bar down to just $349 on Amazon.
Home Theater

Walmart abandons its plans for a streaming Netflix killer

Rumored plans for a Walmart owned, Vudu-labeled Netflix streaming killer have been shelved according to a new report from CNBC. The billions it would have needed to invest in order to compete apparently gave the mega retailer cold feet.
Home Theater

Dolby’s secret recording studio app may soon exit stealth mode

In secret testing since June, Dolby's stealth recording and social network app may soon be ready to make an appearance. Dolby 234 blends unique noise-canceling tech with Instagram-like audio filters.
Home Theater

From the Roku Ultra to the Fire TV Cube, these are the best streaming devices

There are more options for media streamers than ever, so it’s more difficult to pick the best option. But that’s why we're here. Our curated list of the best streaming devices will get you online in no time.
Home Theater

Plex is the latest player to contemplate the subscription streaming game

With massive reach thanks to its client app being supported virtually every media device on the planet, Plex is now looking at the future of its media curation platform. A future that may include free and subscription services.