AV Receiver of the Year $2000-$5000
JUDGES’ COMMENT “Solid performance, fine facilities and a satisfying user experience — Yamaha’s top integrated receiver keeps its crown.”
A Xs noted by Yamaha Music Australia’s Simon Goldsworthy when collecting this Award, this is the ninth year running that Yamaha’s RX-A30X0 receiver (where gets one bigger each year) has won our award in this price category. Indeed as you can see opposite, the lower-level RX-A1080 (at $2099) also gets a Highly Commended award within this price bracket.
What gives the Aventages their advantages? Overall it’s the way this range, and this the highest integrated receiver model within the range, continues a tradition of solid performance, fine facilities and a satisfying user experience. For $2999 the RX-A3080 gives you the versatility of nine high-quality amplifier channels, so that’s all you need for Dolby Atmos/DTS:X in 5.1.4 (five on the floor, four for height) or 7.1.2 channels (seven on the floor, two height) — and it has processing for more, so you can upgrade to 7.1.4 by adding two external channels of amplification. Flexible redirection capabilities are provided, including the ability to drive a second zone, for which there’s also (new this year) a dedicated second-zone HDMI output.
The attention to sound quality is significantly above what has traditionally been the case on AV receivers. Besides the 150W per channel rating (full-range, all channels driven, 0.06% distortion) into eight ohms, there are high-level ESS Sabre DACs used for conversion, and balanced XLR outputs available for the front stereo channels on the 7.2 pre-outs (there is also one balanced audio input). Yamaha is one of the few companies that has a DAB+ tuner built into its receivers (along with FM, but not AM). For modern connectivity it has Ethernet, 802.11ac dual-band Wi-Fi and Bluetooth (with support for the Apple-friendly AAC codec). And there’s the enormous bonus of Yamaha’s MusicCast platform included, which adds AirPlay and multiroom options and Bluetooth sending, in addition to app control over streaming music services via the network. New this year, there’s even compatability with Alexa voice control from any of Amazon’s Alexa smart speakers.
With Yamaha’s use of ‘Scenes’ it’s easy to switch between one set-up for movies and another for stereo, and one thing that impresses us most is just how good this Aventage sounds with music — limitless authority over speakers, with enormous reserves available. If anyone tells you that AV receivers don’t do music, give them a crank of this one. You’ll see why it keeps Yamaha’s crown in place. More info: au.yamaha.com
Yamaha Music Australia’s Simon Goldsworthy celebrates the ninth year of Aventage victory.