Buena Park, Calif. — Yamaha is adding built-in Wi-Fi for the first time to A/V receivers (AVRs), launching the feature in three of four new RX-V series networked receivers.
Two of the four receivers are also the company’s first AVRs with HDMI 2.0 connections, and all four get HTC Connect technology for the first time compared to their predecessors.
All four also add Virtual Cinema Front technology, unavailable in their predecessors, to deliver virtual surround sound when five speakers are placed up front. The feature appeared first in a $299-suggested RX-V377, which was previously announced and is already shipping.
The Wi-Fi AVRs are the $849-suggested RX-V777BT, $649 RX-V677, and $549 RX-V577. The $449 RX-V477 features Ethernet port and option to add an outboard Yamaha Wi-Fi adapter. The $449 and $549 models ship in March. Ship dates for the $649 and $849 models haven’t been announced.
The top three models are 7.2-channel models and the $549 model is a 5.1-channel model
Last year’s networked RX-V models connected to an optional Wi-Fi adapter, and last year’s $849 model was bundled with Wi-Fi adapter. This year, Wi-Fi is embedded in three of four models, and the $849 model is bundled with a Bluetooth adapter. The other three models can be connected to an optional Bluetooth model like their predecessors.
Like last year’s models at the same price points, the quartet features AirPlay, vTuner Internet radio, Pandora, DLNA networking for music, and control from the company’s AV Controller App for Apple and Android devices. But this year’s models add HTC Connect and Spotify Connect out of the box. Spotify Connect was available as a firmware upgrade for last year’s models.
The $849 RX-V777BT and $649 RX-V677 also feature SiriusXM Internet Radio and Rhapsody music streaming. Rhapsody and SiriusXM were also available in select models last year.
With the launches, 4K passthrough starts at $449 like last year, and 4K/60 fps up-scaling starts at $549 like last year.
App control of DSP settings is available in all four models.
At $449, the RX-V477 features 192/24 FLAC and WAV playback, 96/24 Apple Lossless playback, gapless playback of music files, 192/24 DACs on all channels, six 3D-capable HDMI ins, one HDMI out with audio return channel, and amp section rated at 5x80 watts into 8 ohms with 0.09 percent THD with two channels driven.
The $549 RX-V577 adds biamp capability and Dolby Pro Logic IIx, among other features. Output is rated at 7x80 watts.
The $649 RXV-677 adds HDMI 2.0, 4k/60fps up-scaling, Rhapsody, SiriusXM Internet Radio, a front HDMI input with MHL capability, web browser control and 7x95-watt amp.
The $849 RXV-V777BT adds bundled Bluetooth adapter, a second HDMI output for zone-two audio and video, and other features.
Virtual Cinema Front is promoted as an option for rooms in which a traditional 5.1-speaker setup is not practical. The feature uses Air Surround Xtreme virtual-surround technology, which is used in the company’s lower-priced active soundbars. With the 5.1-channel AVR, five up-front speakers deliver virtual 5.1-channel surround, and with the 7.2-channel AVRs, five up-front speakers deliver virtual 7.2-channel surround.