Yamaha RX-V6A Reviews
Great receiver great app!
Rated 5 out of 5
Great receiver with multi-zones and great sound output. The receiver has a great control application called music cast that is intuitive and looks great.
Worth the Wait
Rated 5 out of 5
Because I've only spent two weeks with my RX-V6A, this review will be more of an overview rather than a deep dive. I purchased it to replace my 15-year old Yamaha HTR-5860 because it lacked HDMI, ARC, Wi-Fi internet access, and other modern connectivity features.
The RX-V6A is well-built, and the piano black finish on the front panel looks gorgeous. It will likely require more cleaning because it is a fingerprint magnet. Fortunately, the remote control will keep you from touching the receiver very often as it provides access to all the settings.
Connecting my 4K Blu-ray player and 4K Apple TV was a breeze, but make sure you're using modern HDMI cables for feature compatibility. Connecting the speakers presented a problem for me because the terminal spacing on my former receiver allowed me to use dual-post banana connectors. In contrast, the RX-V6A connectors are spaced too far apart, requiring the use of single-post banana plugs like the Tera Grand plugs (BH item #TECONBANANAC). With my 7.1 speaker setup, it will cost $84.00 to replace all of my connectors. Since I didn't order any single-post plugs, I decided to screw the soldered wires into the terminals. I may upgrade the connectors later, but in my case, having to rework the speaker connections was a disappointment.
When I finally started configuring the receiver, it was easy to get it on my Wi-Fi network because that procedure was the first step that automatically appeared on the screen. It connected to my iPhone (Androids might work the same way) and automatically configured the Wi-Fi connection. But it was clear that some of the other settings hadn't been added to the firmware when it left the factory. I performed the OTA (over the air) update to 1.23, and that provided all the settings I needed, save Dolby Atmos, promised in a future update.
One thing that's still strange is that the Setup and Options menus cause the TV to completely blackout when I'm on the homepage of the Apple TV or when I'm playing YouTube content. They're only visible when other apps like Netflix and CBS are playing. Perhaps that's a setting on the TV or the receiver I haven't discovered yet. It's not a deal-breaker, but it's odd. Otherwise, the menus are laid out well and are easy to configure. It would be nice to have this corrected with a firmware update.
Plugging in the YPAO microphone takes you to the acoustic setup menu. The process is simple, but the frequency sweeps will annoy your dogs. After the process was finished, I changed a few settings for my taste. For instance, I bumped up the subwoofer level because I like more low end. There's also a 7-band graphic equalizer to make custom tonal adjustments.
I prefer Yamaha receivers for their sonic characteristics, and the RX-V6A doesn't disappoint. Dialogue seems a bit richer and more focused than my old receiver. Sharp, dynamic excursions from movies seem to be more acute and hit harder, too. All genres of music are sonically well represented. This receiver provides a fantastic listening experience.
Overall, I'm thrilled with my purchase. I hope the Atmos update comes sooner than later.
Pros: Great sound and connectivity, firmware upgradeable, easy acoustic configuration.
Cons: Banana terminal spacing, menus don't always appear on specific video signals, no Dolby Atmos support...yet.
Solidly the worst Yamaha product I’ve ever owned
Rated 2 out of 5
After owning only Yamaha receivers for the last 20 years, and over 30 years of experience with them, this review does not come lightly - this is the worst Yamaha product I’ve ever used.
First, the serious defects that make me wonder if they even tested it before releasing it. The ARC HDMI port is either entirely defective, or is entirely incompatible with the ARC port on my Samsung Series 6. Finally found a workaround, but talk about an obscure permutation to get there. The only way to summarize is: Can’t use ARC as ARC, and “Mode 2” ... cryptic, know, but no room for a white paper here.
The next, “OMG, did they even test this?” item is the on screen menu system. Until you get the configuration right so it will display the menu, the constant flashing and glitching out makes it almost impossible to even see. After hours of this, I finally found that “Mode 2” seems to alleviate the flashing. And I won’t get into the click delays that make navigating the menu system agonizing.
And from an audio tuning perspective, all of the audio controls are buried in that menu, so good luck tuning the sound so it’s to your taste.
In addition, the Bluetooth pairing appears to be about a decade behind what I might call today’s standard. The process to do this with my iPhone XR was convoluted enough, it reminded me of the pairing process with the first BT device I ever used.
Finally, in part because the list of issues is so long, the MusicCast App is a complete flop. It’s a missed opportunity to avert this entire review. It doesn’t seem to do anything I would want it to - Like allow you to configure and tune your 2020 “future proof” receiver. In fact, I’m removing the app because I can’t tell that it does anything I would need, and really just cost me about 30 minutes of futzing only to realize it’s useless.
So after hours of tribulations to get this very beautiful (yes, it’s pretty) receiver working, the question I have to ask is... Did they even test this product before releasing it? The Yamaha receiver it replaces in my house worked day in and out for over 18 years without skipping a beat. This one sounds almost identical, with a little more fun with the added channels and updated surround sound decoders, but holy smokes... the menu system, configuration, and compatibility with other devices is nothing shy of confounding.
Still love Yamaha, but this one has me in a state of total dismay. And after about 6 hours of permutations to get it out of the “brick” state and into what appears to be “functioning”, I might just suggest that anyone considering this might wait for a firmware release or two before investing.
Works As Advertised
Rated 5 out of 5
This unit is replacing a 7 year old Pioneer that failed. Set up of these units always takes a little longer than expected because of the configuration options available, but once I got it going it's great. The sound quality is superb, as you would expect. What differentiates these units for me these days is the added features and connectivity. I love that I can stream Spotify direct to the unit and control by zone. I have WiFi control of the unit with dual zones, and can also stream direct via Bluetooth from my phone if needed. My WiFi coverage in my house is excellent, but range is better than expected for Bluetooth. Since all my devices are now newer, I can control them through HDMI using my TV remote. My equipment is hidden in a closet, but if you have to keep this one visible, it really is sleek and looks great.
Great sound, Bad App.
Rated 3 out of 5
I’m pleased with the sound quality and the front interface, but the options to control this unit via app are basically non-existent. I had this item pre-ordered for months and am disappointed by its lack of clear instructions and the remote control function. The on-screen setting controls feel like they belong on a cheaper model, and the responses to user input feels slow.
Again, it sounds great, but I can’t easily get to many of the settings because i cannot get the suggested app to function correctly. Fumbling around via arrow buttons on a cheap remote is disappointing.
It’s probably a four-star item, but I’m salty because I waited so long for mediocrity.