Yamaha has a great track record with budget AV receivers, with last year’s RX-V375 winning a Best Buy Award.
So can the new Yamaha RX-V377 continue the success of its predecessor?
With 70W for each of the five channels (at six ohms) and 4K Ultra HD pass-through across its HDMI inputs, you’d be forgiven for thinking the RX-V377 is identical to its previous model – aside from being 10 quid more expensive.
But the real difference lies (apart from a slight reordering of inputs and outputs) in its surround-sound performance.
Powerful, punchy and full of detail, this RX-V377 lives up to expectations.
Yamaha receivers usually excel at steering surround-sound effects across the room with precision and detail, and this receiver shows off these talents on both Blu-ray and DVD.
Play Pacific Rim Blu-ray and you’re in a bubble of sound with such startlingly accurate and detailed placement that you’re immediately sucked into the action.
Integration between the speakers is seamless. It’s weightier and more authoritative than the RX-V375 too, and it demands your attention, whatever the film.
In Bruges is a perfect case in point – the RX-V377 shows off its clarity and subtlety very well.
This receiver comes with no fewer than 17 distinct DSP modes, and while they’re fun to play around with (Sci-Fi and Drama for movies are worth trying), we prefer the ‘Straight’ option.
AV receivers don’t tend to be as skilled with music as with movies, and the RX-V377 is the same.
However, its newfound authority gives music Blu-rays and songs played from an iPod a touch more confidence and punch than before.
We’re not surprised to see a few features sacrificed to keep the price in the budget category.
There are no networking features on the RX-V377, meaning you can’t stream wirelessly as there’s no DLNA, AirPlay, wi-fi, or Bluetooth. Nor do you get internet radio.
However, the RX-V377 does have built-in FM and AM tuners and there’s also the option of plugging in a YBA-11 Bluetooth wireless receiver into the back panel.
It will cost you around £50, but it will let you stream music from your smart device using Bluetooth.
Those with Apple devices can still play their digital tunes by plugging an iPod, iPhone or iPad into the front panel USB port (which handily also charges your device), while other music players can be plugged into the 3.5mm input.
We do wish the speaker terminals were of a consistent type across the board – it’s a mixture of spring clip terminals and banana plugs.
Sturdily built, relatively compact and available in black or silver, this receiver keeps things refreshingly simple.
The display is large and the on-screen menu is basic but easy to use.
Yamaha’s automatic calibration set-up is easy, and makes sure the receiver is tuned to suit your speakers and room acoustics.
Its measurements are largely accurate, although we’d still manually check the speaker configurations (it kept registering our very large centre speaker as ‘small’).
Meanwhile, the remote control is a little cluttered, but once you get used to where the buttons are, it’s intuitive to use.
The RX-V377 isn’t revolutionary, yet Yamaha doesn’t rest upon its laurels – this is a hugely capable budget receiver.