Yamaha RX-S600D Home Theatre Receiver review: Yamaha RX-S600D Home Theatre Receiver

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CNET Editors' Rating

4.5 stars Outstanding
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good Good basic home theatre performance. DAB+ digital radio. Solid network features. Very good USB audio support.

The Bad No zone support. Not suitable for regional Australia due to lack of AM tuner. No on screen display for DAB+ tuner.

The Bottom Line The Yamaha RX-S600D offers strong performance, proper digital radio and good network functions in a slimline package. Best for efficient speaker systems.

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Yamaha's RX-S600D home theatre receiver offers two rare features. One is a built-in DAB+ radio tuner. The other is its slimline appearance. (Note: in the world of home theatre receivers, 111mm of height is pretty slimline.)

It's a five channel unit. So many receivers these days have seven, or even nine channels, but it seems likely that the extra channels remain dormant for the most part. Few people want to load up the lounge room with seven or more loudspeakers, plus subwoofer.

The five channels are each rated at 55 watts across the full audio bandwidth, and from the specifications each could reach 80 watts at a pinch. Don't worry too much about this 55 watts compared to the 100 watts often specified for similarly priced receivers. The relationship between power and loudness is not linear. The difference between 55 watts and 100 watts is 2.6 decibels. If you pay attention you can hear a difference in volume level of one decibel, perhaps a bit less. Still, if you want lots of volume, go for efficient loudspeakers that will deliver plenty of sound for lower power inputs.

It's fitted out for HDMI, but also supports analogue video and audio and digital audio in both coaxial and optical formats. One of the five HDMI inputs supports MHL, by which some Android phones can deliver high definition video and sound while being charged.

Five HDMI inputs are available.
(Credit: Yamaha)

On the front panel is a 3.5mm audio input, which is useful whatever portable music device you use.

But you'd probably want to go digital with many devices. The USB socket on the front supports iPods and iPhones in addition to USB storage media. The Ethernet port on the back provides for audio streaming. And soon the unit will support Spotify Connect. This is a new wrinkle on the paid premium Spotify service, by which you can stream an almost limitless selection of music of your choice. You work it by playing music on your iOS device (Android's coming). When you're within range of your home WiFi network you can select the 'Connect' icon in the player, choose this receiver as the playback device, and your music starts coming from it instead.

It's a bit like Apple Airplay (which this receiver also supports) or the push version of DNLA (ditto), but in fact the music doesn't stream from your device to the receiver. Instead it connects directly through the Internet to the Spotify resource and plays it from there.

Problem is this feature depends on a firmware upgrade, which is yet to arrive. I've used Spotify on another brand successfully — with firmware that was released in recent days — and I have no reason to think that Yamaha won't fulfill its promise on this front.

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Where to Buy

Yamaha RX-S600D Home Theatre Receiver

Part Number: CNETYamaha RX-S600D Home Theatre Receiver

Typical Price: $949.00

See manufacturer website for availability.