Our Verdict 
Best home cinema amplifier up to £350, Awards 2012. A fantastic first step into the realm of 5.1 sound
For 
Impressive dynamics and detail
excellent effects processing
four HDMI ins
easy to use
Against 
Limited to 5.1 channels
restricted streaming functionality
no upscaling
Reviewed on

The likes of Sony, Onkyo and Pioneer were a bit upset when the £500 Yamaha RX-V673 stormed to victory in a home cinema amp Group Test. So we’re eager to see if its entry-level sibling can continue the trend…

The Yamaha RX-V373 might not be bursting with features but there’s no real cause for consternation. You can't grumble at four HDMI inputs at this price-level, nor the ability to pass through 4K content or stream music from an iDevice via USB.

Power is a reasonably healthy 85W per channel, but there’s no provision for extra niceties such as front height, width or surround back channels – it’s 5.1-only here.

Streaming functionality and video upscaling aren’t at your disposal, but at this money, that shouldn’t come as a surprise.

Yamaha RX-V373: Sound quality

Of course, the Yamaha can decode all the relevant standard-definition and high-def surround-sound formats, and it does so with considerable skill. For a product of its type, the Yamaha sounds remarkably exciting and dynamic.

Many amps at this price tend to buckle when pushed hard, but the Yamaha doesn’t display any telltale harshness. Spin Gladiator and the Colosseum carnage is dispatched with an impressive level of confidence.

As chariots, swords and bodies collide, the Yamaha apportions an impressive amount of weight and body to low frequencies. The surround processing does a good job of positioning you in the middle of the baying crowds, while dialogue is expressive and crystal clear.

Yamaha RX-V373: Verdict

If you’re looking to take a first step on the home cinema ladder and need to keep to a strict budget, then the RX-V373 will reward you in spades.