The Yamaha RX-V683 AV receiver with MusicCast

Home theater audio manufacturers are beginning to release their 2017 lines, providing advanced features and high-quality sound at high-value price points.

This week Yamaha and Onkyo followed Denon’s recent S-Series AVR release by revealing new entry and step-up AVR models, a number of which include support for object-based audio format decoding along with Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio.

Yamaha presented its 2017 RX-V AV receiver series offering affordable options for adding some of the latest home theater surround sound formats along high quality music reproduction.

Read more about the new AV receiver offerings after the jump:

The four new Yamaha V Series AVR models include the 7.2-channel RX-V683 ($649.95 suggested retail) and RX-V583 ($549.95), which both ship in May, and the 5.1-channel RX-V483 ($449.99) and RX-V383 ($299.99), which both ship in April. All of the new V Series AVRs are capable of passing through 4K Ultra HD video with High Dynamic Range (HDR) at up to 60fps over HDCP 2.2 outputs.

The RX-V583 and RX-V683 AV receivers incorporate the Enhanced Cinema DSP sound field system in addition to Dolby Atmos and DTS:X object-based audio format decoding.

The RX-V383 is a well-featured bargain with Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio support.

In addition to supporting the traditional EOTF PQ-gamma-based HDR formats, like HDR10 and Dolby Vision, the new Yamaha models will also support the newer Hybrid Log-Gamma (HLG) HDR system, which is being considered for use in the next ATSC 3.0 broadcast system and other applications. Support for HLG and Dolby Vision will come through a planned firmware update expected by the fall, Yamaha said.

Yamaha said it has also expanded the number of music streaming services available through the receivers with the addition of the TIDAL and Deezer, services joining current roster including Pandora, Spotify, Napster and SiriusXM Internet Radio. Both streaming music services will be added through a firmware update expected at the end of May.

Each of the new Yamaha V-Series AVRs, except the entry RX-V383, include Yamaha’s acclaimed MusicCast wireless multi-room audio system that uses Wi-Fi to connect the receiver with more than 40 MusicCast-enabled products. These include: other AV receivers, wireless speakers, sound bars, Hi-Fi components and HTiB systems. The system is controlled through an app on Android and iOS mobile devices.

Music can also be streamed by the Yamaha V-Series AVRs from virtually any source, including streaming music services, internet radio stations, music files on smart devices and computers, Bluetooth sources, as well as external sources such as a TV, DVD, Blu-ray Disc, CD and even vinyl, when connected to these AV receivers.

Each of the new Yamaha AVRs, including the entry RX-V383, also feature Bluetooth and Compressed Music Enhancer that enables high-quality wireless music playback from smartphones and tablets. Users can also send music from any connected Blu-ray Disc, CD or other source out to Bluetooth headphones for private listening.

The RX-V683 (arriving in May) adds a phono input for vinyl enthusiasts.

                                                                                   The Onkyo

Onkyo, meanwhile, introduced two mid-range AVRs in its TX-NR676 ($649 suggested retail) and TX-NR575 ($549), which will both hit retail shelves in May providing support for Dolby Atmos and DTS:X object-based audio formats. They will also bring the ability to pass through 4K Ultra HD video with HDR at up to 60 fps. The receivers will support both the HDR10 and Dolby Vision HDR formats.

The company also announced that it is offering a firmware update to its 2016 7-, 9- and 11-channel products to enable Dolby Vision support later this year.

The receivers come with Chromecast built-in and DTS Play-Fi, and ship with Spotify Connect for easy streaming with compatible apps.  Pandora, TIDAL, TuneIn, and Deezer music streaming apps are offered for a wide choice of content available through the Onkyo Controller. Users can also stream music from a mobile device via AirPlay or Bluetooth wireless technology.

Both Onkyo receivers include FireConnect powered by Blackfire, a multi-room audio technology operating over 5 GHz/2.4 GHz Wi-Fi that distributes network and connected analog audio sources to supported wireless speakers, such as the upcoming Onkyo NCP-302.

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Powered Zone 2 speaker outputs give the option of amplified audio distribution to speakers in another room, and the TX-NR676 adds bi-amp-ready outputs for front L/R channels.  Zone 2 line out is included, and multi-zone audio is managed via the Onkyo Controller.

Other features include pairs of component and composite video inputs (each with 480i/p de-interlacing), six analog audio inputs, a phono input, three digital audio inputs (two optical and one coaxial), and a USB input.

The outputs 140 W/Ch (6 Ohms, 1kHz, 10% THD, 1 channel drive) or 80 W/Ch (8 Ohms, 20 Hz–20 kHz, 0.08% THD, 2 channels driven, FTC). It has six HDMI 2.0a inputs with HDCP 2.2.

The outputs 170 W/Ch (6 Ohms 1kHz, 10% THD, 1 channel drive) or 100 W/Ch (8 Ohms, 20 Hz–20 kHz, 0.08% THD, 2 channels driven, FTC). It has six rear HDMI inputs plus one front HDMI (6+1) for video camera connection. Main Out and Sub Out HDMI can connect a projector and TV display simultaneously.

Combined with a 32-bit DSP chipset, high-quality AK4458 384 kHz/32-bit DAC, and proprietary VLSC filtering, the Onkyo receivers support Hi-Res Audio formats such as DSD 5.6 MHz/2.8 MHz and PCM 192 kHz/24-bit formats, in addition to the aforementioned Dolby Atmos and DTS:X 3D audio formats.

Both Onkyo receivers come with Dolby Surround and DTS Neural:X up-mixing to recreate an object-based experience from legacy multichannel formats in environments where height channels are available.

Auto room calibration is supported via AccuEQ Room Acoustic Calibration including AccuReflex technology for phase-matched sound with Dolby Atmos-enabled elevation speakers.

Joining the new Onkyo mid-range AVRs will be the brand’s new entry level 5.1-channel AVR in the (shipping shortly at a $349 suggested retail) offering support for the advanced DTS-HD Master Audio and Dolby TrueHD surround formats, along with 155 W/ch in 6 Ohms (1 kHz, 10% THD, 1-channel driven) or 80 W/Ch into 8 Ohms (20 Hz–20 kHz, 0.08% THD, 2-channels driven, FTC) of output power. Two pre-outs are available for sub-woofer connections to maximize bass output found in games, movies and music.

The Onkyo entry model also includes low-latency Qualcomm aptX audio for CD-quality streaming from supported smartphones, digital audio players and laptops via Bluetooth wireless technology.

Other features include: Advanced Music Optimizer, an original DSP listening program that enhances compressed audio such as MP3/AAC/WMA formats stored on USB memory devices or streaming Bluetooth audio for stereo playback.  A selection of listening modes are included to enhance different types of content, including Direct Mode for high-quality sources such as SACD over HDMI or CD via pairs of digital or analog audio inputs.

Onkyo also includes in the entry model its AccuEQ Room Calibration technology. HDMI inputs support 4K/60p video with HDR10 HDR over HDCP 2.2 copy protection.

By Greg Tarr

 

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