Product review: Yamaha RXA3080 AV receiver

Struggling to choose between the best of home cinema and the best stereo sound available? The new Yamaha RXA3080 may be the AV receiver for you. Packed with innovations to get the best of both worlds, join us as we find out if Yamaha has hit all its targets. Now may be the time to dip into your savings to upgrade to the latest home cinema technology…

Yamaha is one of the most recognised audio brands on the planet and whenever it unveils a new product there is intense anticipation. With the new Yamaha RXA3080 coming in as the standard bearer for the Aventage range of amplifiers, it has a lot to live up to. The philosophy of this range of AV receivers is to provide the best in home cinema entertainment and class leading stereo amplification for your music.

The new RXA3080 certainly provides plenty of reasons to suggest it can live up to the task. Yamaha has included 9 channels of amplification along with expandability for an 11.2 channel set up. This can be distributed whatever way suits your needs, whether that is a 7.2.4 set up for full Dolby Atmos or DTS:X 3D surround sound or providing music into another room. There is an option for every situation here.

Yamaha has also included its latest YPAO room calibration software with the RXA3080. This includes specification to allow for sound reflection meaning you get the best possible sound for your room. This sort of calibration used to be the limit for home cinema, but Yamaha has also included their Surround AI technology here which listens and adjusts in real time. There really isn’t much more they could include to improve home calibration.

For those audiophiles among us there is the rare inclusion of balanced inputs, as well as balanced outputs for the front speakers. This dramatically reduces the level of distortion in your sound and means this receiver can be used in conjunction with a whole host of high-level devices. These XLR ports are widely used across the music industry and here mean you can get the cleanest sound from a Blu-ray or CD player.

On the other side of things, the pre out XLRs allow the user to connect to an additional stereo amplifier, bringing the best quality sound from your front speakers. These inputs are matched by the quality of DAC (Digital Analogue Converter) which Yamaha has chosen to include. The ESS Sabre Pro ES9026 DAC is one of the best available and ekes every drop of detail out of your digital files. From personal experience the difference these sorts of connections make is extremely clear, it’s a real step up in terms of audio quality.

With all these new features it’s easy to forget some of the great other capabilities Yamaha packs into its AV receivers. Yamaha’s MusicCast multiroom system is included to provide access to streaming services like Spotify and Deezer, while also allowing you to control your device over WiFi. There is also DAB radio, Alexa voice control and a phono stage included which really make this a match for any system.

All these features may sound impressive, but the most important thing is how they come together to create a performance. To find out we hooked the Yamaha RXA3080 up to a set of Monitor Audio Silver speakers in our demonstration room with a set of in-ceiling speakers acting as our height channels to create a 5.1.2 setup. Installation was easy thanks to the new user interface included this year making everything that bit clearer and easier to find.

To test what the RXA3080 can do we popped a copy of Star Wars: The Last Jedi into our Panasonic DPUB9000 Blu-ray player with XLR outputs. The opening evacuation scene looked fantastic thanks to the Yamaha’s ability to pass through Dolby Vision HDR over HDMI. In terms of sound performance, the RXA3080 lived up to all our expectations and then some. It took full advantage of the two in ceiling speakers above us to create a true to life 3D sound effect as ships flew overhead and engines spun past. Every movement encapsulates you thanks to the powerful amplification stage within.

The RXA3080 is also available in titanium.

Next, we turned to audio performance and chose to play some 24 Bit FLAC files over our network in store. We wanted to test how the Yamaha performed with top quality audio files over those XLR inputs and we weren’t disappointed. We chose “Dreams” by Fleetwood Mac as the mastering is very good and really shows off what great equipment can do. The rising tones of Stevie Nicks’ vocals really show off the clarity of the high-quality Sabre DAC while the extension of the symbols as they roll away highlights the lack of distortion in the sound. This is truly one of the best sounding AV systems on the market right now.

While the Yamaha RXA3080 may not be the cheapest AV receiver on the market (or even in the mid-range) it certainly does not lack in performance of features. This unit has everything we’ve come to expect from a top-quality home cinema setup. Perfect for those with both a TV and projector, thanks to its twin HDMI outputs and 4K video passthrough.

Where it really shines is the level of audio fidelity thanks to those balanced XLR inputs. This is a system that could replace a good quality stereo amplifier and not leave you wanting more. For those with limited space or just wanting fewer boxes under the TV this is a great option, although you need full range speakers to make the most of it. It’s easy to recommend such a well catered unit which was so impressive in everything it did. To have a listen to what the Yamaha RXA3080 can really do, pop in to your local Richer Sounds store and arrange a demonstration today.

Click here to learn more about the Yamaha RXA3080 AV receiver

Author: Robert, Brighton store

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