Yamaha RX-A810

AV receivers can be really pricey because they are cramped with a ridiculous number of features nowadays and also having to keep up to date with the latest technologies. Some are also designed to support larger home theater configurations. This makes it a bit difficult to choose the right AV receiver for your home theater system because you need to make sure that you are paying for features that you are actually using. Some AV receivers can provide more than enough features but you have to pay a heavy amount as a result. This is why Yamaha’s lineup of AVENTAGE models consist of 5 models priced from $650 to $2,000.

Often times, rushing to buy the cheapest model may be regretful if there is a lacking feature that you can benefit from. If you are willing to stretch your budget a little you might want to take a look at the Yamaha RX-A810 as it costs just under $1,000 and comes with numerous improvements over last year’s RX-A800.

Yamaha RX-A810

Yamaha RX-A810

Design

What is nice about the whole AVENTAGE series is that all models are built the same high standards. You still get the classy aluminum frame that the high-end models have. Design is very important for an AV receiver of this caliber to perform at optimum performance. The RX-A810 has many sensitive components that power the technologies and capabilities and they need the proper shielding from external noise and generated energy.

Click here to view the back panel layout

Even the legs underneath the player are important for the Yamaha RX-A810 to operate in a stable manner. In fact, four legs were simply not enough which is why the Anti-Resonance Technology Wedge had to be implemented. This technology basically makes use of another leg planted on the center of the AV receiver to heavily reduce the vibrations so they won’t damage the transistors as well as the heat sinks and power transformer.

Features

The RX-A810 features 2 optical digital audio inputs, 2 coaxial digital inputs, and 5 analog audio inputs with one analog audio output. On the video end, there are 2 component video inputs and a single component video output. If you need more inputs and analog and digital audio outputs, you have to go for a higher-end model. But if you have lots of modern components that rely on HDMI ports, you will be pleased to know that there are 7 HDMI inputs on the back and one on the front. Plus, you also have 2 HDMI outputs for dual displays or room for a projector. All of the HDMI ports are compatible with any 3D-enabled devices including the latest Blu-ray and HDTVs.

Connecting the components is always the first step in getting your home theater system up and running but you also have to do some software configurations so the home theater operates properly and adapts to your room environment. The Yamaha RX-A810 provides a very friendly GUI to aid even the newest users. The menu system is very easy to navigate and you should be able to set up your speakers and check if all components are working even without resorting to the manual. There is a status bar that shows some useful information including the volume level, input source, audio format, and DSP.

It is also the place where you can take advantage of the YPAO Sound Optimization with Multi-Point Measurement technology for properly calibrating each speaker. All you need to do is follow the instructions and activate the feature so the RX-A810 can do all of the footwork in configuring each speaker based on their placement and your optimal listening area.

Like other AV receivers in this price range, the Yamaha RX-A810 is capable of connecting to the Internet through Ethernet and accessing a number of popular services including Pandora, Rhapsody, and Sirius XM. These online sources will gain the audio performance benefits of the RX-A810 so you can expect some high audio quality. To make the experience even better, Yamaha decided to add smartphone and tablet connectivity to open up additional ways to control the RX-A810 remotely. You can use the screen of an iPhone, iPad, or virtually any Android smartphone to use various features of the RX-A810 just by downloading the AV Controller App.

Performance

In order to properly see how well the RX-A810 performed a new Blu-ray title needs to be used for testing. The Blu-ray version of Dinner for Schmucks was used as it was used in other tests for older Yamaha Blu-ray models. From the faces of the people to the textures of the clothes that they are wearing, you can immediately see how elaborate the details were. The colors also looked great on a number of tested displays and the various paintings shown in the movie looked very vivid.

This particular title was also chosen because of its immersive soundtrack that supports DTS-HD MA 5.1. This allowed all the sound effects to shine including the ambience noise. It is very easy to understand the dialogue even if you do not have subtitles enabled and this is important since much of the movie relies on dialog. The HD Audio with CINEMA DSP 3D technology adds the realism to the Yamaha RX-A810 surround sound quality while the Adaptive DSP Level and Dynamic Range Control allow all of the sound elements to be clear regardless of the volume setting.

Yamaha also manages to perform while keeping the energy consumption low. When the HDMI Standby Through mode was activated, the RX-A810 only consumed 2 watts. Once standby mode was triggered, the consumption went down to just 0.3 watts.

Bottom Line

If you need more than 6 HDMI inputs and more than 1 HDMI output along with 7.2-channel support, the Yamaha RX-A810 is the as cheap as you can get. It costs around $850 which is the same price as the older Yamaha RX-A800. Although you might find some better deals with the Yamaha RX-A800, you should still get the RX-A810 because it features some enhanced components that should help provide a better sound experience and a longer life span before you need to consider replacing your AV receiver.

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