Yamaha RX-V6A review: The future sound of entertainment

The waters about AV receivers drift somewhat than rage. As opposed to TVs and soundbars, modify will come slowly to these massive black packing containers. The Yamaha RX-V6A ($850 at Amazon) is a refreshing splash in a pool that has stagnated in modern years. With rounded excellent seems to be reminiscent of higher-stop brand names like Classe, paired with a laundry listing of futuristic functions, this is the most ahead-hunting receiver I have viewed in a extended time.


  • Fantastic seems to be (for a receiver)
  • Seems partaking with music and movies
  • Up-to-day aspect set and connections

Never Like

  • Liquid crystal display screen can be challenging to go through
  • No created-in Chromecast

Seems are not everything with out the performance to back it up and the RX-6A served up wonderful sound top quality in my listening exam. This midpriced receiver RX-V6A gives Dolby Atmos playback and lots of music replay choices far too, making it as snug with an episode of The Mandalorian as it is with impromptu dance parties.

It really is obtained some quirks — the speaker outputs are organized in an strange purchase and that Liquid crystal display screen is tougher to go through than an LED — but overall this Yamaha is basically extra fun than its rivals. I am hopeful that the RX-V6A is the spark that ignites a rethink on AV receivers and can help provide the category back into the mainstream.

Join all your stuff

The RX-V6A is a seven.1.2-channel receiver with Dolby Atmos and DTS:X playback, and 100 watts for every channel. But the specification sheet is just not the initially detail that catches the eye.

Ty Pendlebury/CNET

The Yamaha RX-V6A’s rounded, glass-like fascia is a true departure from the black shoe packing containers of Sony, Denon and Onkyo. The edges are curved in a way I have under no circumstances viewed ahead of, but it doesn’t seem ostentatious. The front houses a centered quantity handle and higher-res Liquid crystal display screen that seems to be sensible but is just not all that brilliant. It really is off-centered so if you might be sitting off to the left it really is even extra tricky to go through even at utmost brightness. I desire the LED readouts uncovered on rivals.

This receiver could not be “the upcoming” with out a carefully up to day spec sheet and the RX-V6A doesn’t skimp. It involves seven HDMI inputs, 3 of which are 8K-compatible HDMI 2.1 ports ports built to help the comprehensive output abilities of sources like the Xbox Sequence X, PlayStation five and Personal computer graphics cards these as the Nvidia RTX 3090. Yamaha promises this is extra 2.1 ports than any other manufacturer, and they supply these goodies as auto minimal latency method and brief media switching. The receivers also help for a longer period HDMI cable runs with a bolstered electric power supply. 


Ty Pendlebury/CNET

Yamaha also manufactured variations about back. Most receivers, which includes previous Yamahas, place the L/R speaker output at the left of the panel, which is followed by the center and then the rears. For whatever cause the RX-V6A places the front pair in the middle alternatively of the left, which could be perplexing — specifically if you might be bent around it in a darkened theater location. It won’t just take extended to remember which output is which, and after you get your speakers related it really is not a massive offer.

The RX-V6A may not be as absolutely loaded when it will come to Wi-Fi streaming help when in contrast to our existing Editors’ Choice winner, the Onkyo TX-NR696, but it nevertheless gives one thing for most people today. Yamaha’s MusicCast multiroom program is a single of the greatest built-in methods, and it also enables the use of Yamaha sensible speakers as rears. The receiver gives AirPlay 2, Spotify Join and Bluetooth too, though it lacks Chromecast created-in. IT can be controlled by way of Alexa, Google Assistant and Siri-enabled devices, but the instructions are mainly simple — mainly quantity, enter and up coming/previous track controls.


Ty Pendlebury/CNET

The receiver will come with a remote handle that gives a variety of features, which includes a focused Bluetooth button. It really is brilliant and cheery additionally gives a zone 2 handle swap for extra versatility.

Even though the aesthetics have been soundly improved, the on-monitor screen is a smaller phase back. The interface functions blocky white and blue icons, whereas rivals these as Sony supply extra person-pleasant interfaces with greater icons and better hand-keeping for newcomers.


Ty Pendlebury/CNET

This is the upcoming of sound

I in contrast the Yamaha RX-V6A from yet another new receiver, the Denon AVR-S960, and uncovered myself returning to pay attention to the Yamaha extra generally. While the Denon is relaxed-sounding, the Yamaha gives extra residence theater thrills and pep when listening to your favored tunes. Simply just place, the Yamaha appears extra fun.

I started my screening with an underrated common — the Iron and Wine/Calexico collaboration EP, In The Reins. When streaming by way of Roon to the Oppo UDP-203 ($three,999 at Amazon) and then letting the receivers decode, the Yamaha had a solid, 3 dimensional sound. By it Sam Beam’s voice was extra firmly rooted in room, and the backing vocals a little a lot easier to discern than on the Denon. 


Ty Pendlebury/CNET

Receivers that are tuned for movies are seldom excellent with music — they can sound overly severe and tiring — but the tambourine-ahead sound of Spoon’s You Obtained Yr. Cherry Bomb sounded fuller on the Yamaha than the Denon. The song’s chugging bass underpinned the percussion in the arms of the V6A and the entire manufacturing sounded fewer thrashy and extra composed. The Denon was a shade subtler but didn’t make me sit up in my seat in the same way.

Turning to residence theater with Avatar, the Yamaha driving a pair of Bowers and Wilkins 603 S2 speakers sounded greater and extra easy than any soundbar I have listened to. The opening dialog of the Thanator chase scene was extra intelligible far too, and certainly better than the JBL Bar 2.1 Deep Bass ($three hundred at Amazon) soundbar, for illustration. It may not have had the same booming outcome on the creatures’ footfalls, but this was simply tweaked by way of the Yamaha menu. 

Immediately after that tweak the Yamaha had bass consequences I could actually truly feel with my ft and, in contrast to the Denon, I uncovered it sounded extra atmospheric, but the bass nevertheless was not as impactful.

Must you purchase it?

If you might be attempting to make a decision between the Yamaha and the Denon, equally sound top quality and functions appear into participate in. The Yamaha gives an additional HDMI port than the Denon and extra 8K-compliant 2.1 ports far too. The RX-V6A also seems to be better and appears extra entertaining. 

The receiver didn’t get every little thing appropriate — that Liquid crystal display screen is a misstep — and I nevertheless desire the Onkyo by a nose since of its superior streaming choices and better screen. While there are extra receivers coming in mid-2021, if you want one thing that gives a diploma of upcoming proofing and higher-top quality sound appropriate now, the Yamaha is an outstanding decision.