Spring has sprung, which means it’s the season for new AV receivers to be introduced. Among them this year are six models in the Yamaha RX-A 80 series. All six feature MusicCast Surround, which lets you install wireless surround speakers.
Of course, MusicCast also lets you stream audio from just about any source over your home’s Wi-Fi network to multiple MusicCast products throughout the house. The new models also support Bluetooth and AirPlay and provide many audio-streaming apps, such as Pandora, Spotify, Tidal, Napster, and others.
Another common feature is support for Dolby Atmos and DTS:X immersive-audio formats. Even the entry-level RX-A680 provides seven channels of amplification for a 5.2.2 immersive setup. In addition, all the new models support three high dynamic-range formats—HDR10, Dolby Vision, and HLG—out of the box, with no firmware update required. And all HDMI inputs and outputs support 4K/UHD video up to 60 fps with HDCP 2.2 copy protection.
The top three models—RX-A1080, RX-A2080, and RX-A3080—are equipped with Surround:AI. This next-generation artificial-intelligence technology is said to deliver a clearer, more engaging experience by automatically adjusting audio levels in real time to match individual scenes in a movie or TV show.
Surround:AI analyzes a scene’s audio characteristics, including dialog, sound effects, and channel balance. It then compares these characteristics to a reference database of movie scenes and automatically processes the scene’s sound to enhance the audio experience. For example, Surround:AI makes dialog more intelligible in scenes with lots of background noise. It also delivers full-bodied sound for scenes with big sound effects, and it ensure that listeners can hear softly spoken dialog and faint background sounds.
The top three models also provide three HDMI outputs. This is extremely handy for home theaters with a projector and flat panel TV as well as a TV in another room. Of course, long HDMI runs usually require a special cable, but if you need 4K video and surround audio in the remote zone, these AVRs can supply them.
All six models can be controlled by voice using Amazon Alexa-equipped devices. Also, they can be integrated into control systems such as Control4 and RTI.
Acoustic room compensation is provided by YPAO (Yamaha Parametric Acoustic Optimization). The RX-A780 adds RSC (Reflected Sound Control), which compensates for furniture and walls near the speakers, and YPAO Volume, which automatically equalizes the audio to deliver balanced low, mid, and high frequencies at any volume level. The RX-A880 adds Precision EQ and multipoint calibration, and the RX-A1080 upgrades the DAC (digital-to-analog converter) to the 32-bit ESS SABRE.
The new Yamaha RX-A 80 series AVRs will be available exclusively at authorized Yamaha AV dealers starting this month. Here’s a summary of the six new models:
|Model||MSRP||Avail.||Amp Ch.||Watts/Ch.||HDMI Ins||HDMI Outs|
For more on the new Yamaha RX-A 80 series, click here.