We review our fair share of high-end receivers and speakers here at TrustedReviews, but Yamaha is here to remind everyone that putting together a separates system needn’t be hugely expensive. We recently looked at the company’s NS-P20 speaker package, which delivers decent sound for just over £100, and now we’re testing the budget AV receiver designed to drive it – the RX-V371.
This unassuming five-channel AV hub may not have the same mind-boggling feature list as the latest network-enabled Onkyos, Denons and pricier Yamahas, but that’s reflected in the bargain basement price tag. And, crucially, it carries out all the essential audio duties, such as decoding Blu-ray audio formats and passing the pictures to your TV, including those of the 3D persuasion.
The look is vintage Yamaha – harsh, angled lines, a black-as-night finish and a bright dot matrix display panel. It’s sleek, compact, robustly built and screams ‘hi-tech’, although it lacks the elegance of a Denon and fans of minimal styling might be put off by all the buttons peppered around the lower half of the fascia. You’ll find composite and analogue stereo inputs on the front, which can be hidden with a dust cover, but sadly no USB or HDMI ports for transient media playback. Minijack ports are supplied for the setup mic and portable music devices though, and the large volume dial is unmissable.
On the back are four HDMI v1.4 inputs plus a single output. A set of component outputs and two composite outs are also provided, alongside three composite inputs and two sets of component inputs. There are plenty of analogue stereo sockets too (three in, two out), while digital audio is catered for by two optical and two coaxial ports.
Elsewhere there’s a subwoofer pre-out, radio antenna inputs and a ‘Dock’ connector for peripheral Yamaha devices, which can be added at extra cost. These include the YDS-12 iPod dock and the YBA-10 Bluetooth (A2DP) audio receiver.
Not bad then, but designed very much with simplicity in mind. Some may lament the lack of multichannel analogue inputs and extra zone outputs for multi-room use, but at this price sacrifices have to be made. The inclusion of springclip terminals for the centre and surround speakers is disappointing though, as the small openings force you to use thinner cables than you might have wanted.