Yamaha RX-A1010 review

The Yamaha will make your movies sound massive and your music sound lush Tested at £1000

What Hi-Fi? Verdict

The Yamaha will make your movies sound massive and your music sound lush


  • +

    Huge but fluid delivery

  • +

    flexibile in source material and partnering kit

  • +

    great spec


  • -

    Doesn’t have quite the fine detail or precision of some

  • -

    wirelessness costs extra

Why you can trust What Hi-Fi? Our expert team reviews products in dedicated test rooms, to help you make the best choice for your budget. Find out more about how we test.

So, what does the ‘A’ stand for in RX-A1010? ‘Aventage’, according to Yamaha; the company says it’s a whole extra level of sonic ability and attention detail.

For example, this new RX-A1010 boasts a symmetrical power amp layout, a heat sink with anti-vibration and anti-thermal properties, an extra rigid chassis, and even a 5th foot, all of which is intended to make it more capable.

And you know what? It’s a cracker. Play the Sucker Punch Blu-ray and it’s immediately clear that this is very different approach to that of the Pioneer VSX-LX55 and Onkyo TX-NR709.

Where those receivers favour attack and precision, the Yamaha goes for power, body and spaciousness.

Mesmerising surround sound
The surround field is downright enormous – the speakers sonically disappear and the sound stretches from right next to the listening position to far beyond the physical constraints of the room you’re in.

While individual effects might not be quite as exact in their position in the room, they flow around it with seamlessly, and the overall effect is mesmerising.

It’s got texture, too, so the scenes in the dance studio, for example, sound like they’re really recorded in a dance studio, with authentic reflections from the square, unfurnished room.

Easygoing about partnering kit
The unaggressive way in which the RX-A1010 flows means it’s happy with any material and almost any partnering equipment – there’s never any hardness or brightness, just fluidity, body, and sweeping dynamics.

Of course, sometimes what you want is real attack and drive, and while the Yamaha loves a good gunfight or Metallica track, it is that little bit more reluctant than some to really let-rip.

The exception is when you switch to the Sci-Fi DSP mode, which Yamaha was very keen for us to try and certainly adds an extra degree of punch to proceedings.

However, while it certainly has its place (especially when you’re playing games), it sacrifices a little too much of the amp’s natural texture and expansiveness to be your everyday setting.

HD music and Napster support
And the spec? As substantial as you might expect: eight HDMI inputs and two simultaneous outputs, a boat-load of digital and analogue audio inputs, and plenty of upconvertable and upscalable analogue video inputs, including one of those fast-disappearing S-Video sockets.

The USB port on the front is iPod compatible, or you can opt for one of the optional docks, and you get vTuner internet radio and Napster alongside DLNA streaming, which goes as far as 24-bit/96kHz FLACs in terms of format support and takes in MP3, WMA, AAC and WAV on the way up there.

The Yamaha RX-A1010, then, is clearly a heftily specified – and hefty sounding – AV amp.

See all our home cinema amplifier Best Buys

Follow whathifi on Twitter

Join whathifi on Facebook

What Hi-Fi?

What Hi-Fi?, founded in 1976, is the world's leading independent guide to buying and owning hi-fi and home entertainment products. Our comprehensive tests help you buy the very best for your money, with our advice sections giving you step-by-step information on how to get even more from your music and movies. Everything is tested by our dedicated team of in-house reviewers in our custom-built test rooms in London, Reading and Bath. Our coveted five-star rating and Awards are recognised all over the world as the ultimate seal of approval, so you can buy with absolute confidence.

Read more about how we test