In 2016, Yahama released their so-called entry level receiver – the Yahama RX-V381. Judging the look of the RX-V381, you might have cast your judgement prematurely as it does not differ much from its sibling the 379 model. However, often we make such assumptions based on first appearance and we should always refrain from doing so until we experience the real deal.
When you look at the receiver, you see the LCD display and the other configuration buttons on the same front. Split into top and bottom halves, its meant to give users a clearer distinction. Other than being clear at the upfront, they have also improved their remote by leaps and bounds. Perhaps the many feedback from our community has finally gotten to them seriously and now we have a simple but functional remote control with the RX-V381. No worries about having too many buttons or complex functions, as now you have something easy to use and no lessons needed anymore. Not as beautiful as you would imagine or want it to be, well its meant to be entry level right? What I found very good was the great ease of use and for that it has gotten one extra point in my assessment.
If you are looking for many inputs in the RX-V381, you may be disappointed. It does have almost what its peers have especially competing with the other amplifiers in the entry level scope. It has four HDMI inputs and one output only. It does have a few analog inputs for your needs and also one digital optical input and two digital coaxial.
In this entry level model, you have the Bluetooth directly embedded. This is considered necessary as you would need Bluetooth to connect your music since wifi or usb port is absent. With this Bluetooth feature built in to the receiver, the sound quality of the compressed audio is greatly enhanced and improved.
Speaking of video compatibility, the four HDMI inputs and the one output all support the HDCP2.2, 4K, HDR and the BT.2020. These can be considered some features that are popular amongst consumers and we have it here in this model. Just to recap, this is introduced as the entry level player so what else more can you ask for?
Now, here is the important question: how easy or complicated is the setting up of the RX-V381?
Thankfully the setting up process is as similar to what its known for: entry level, thus its really easy even for beginners. If you are unsure just as how I usually do it, Yamaha even has their own application that you can download from the app stores. I tried doing it and it was really easy. Otherwise if you have no time, just simply connect your speakers with the center and surround channels through the spring clips on the rear of the model and the rest falls into place.
Here’s why this model has outperformed its rank
The 70 watts per channel Yamaha RX-V381 actually sounded more and bigger than its humble self-marketing. Whether you want to bring home the cinema sound experience or you demand high quality performance in the comfort of your home, you need not look any further. The beauty of this model lies in its price – the entry level amp. If you are not distracted by the need to have many other dangling features then this is for you.