Our listening session
The sound quality is good, but it's hardly stellar. Bottom-end punch and drive are lacking. As a result we weren't fully wowed by the frenetic mix on the Requiem for a Dream DVD; the bass was a tad flabby, and the surround effects weren't as expansive as we like. But then we sampled the V620's digital-signal-processing (DSP) prowess. Beyond the de rigueur Concert Hall and Jazz Club settings, the RX-V620 allows the user to individually adjust some parameters--for example, room size, delay, and so on--for each DSP setting. Yes, you'll have to work your way through more than a few menus to access these settings, but technically inclined owners will have hours of fun. If you don't want to go through the motions, though, no problem; the 26 factory-supplied settings are pretty good on their own. Those DSP modes proved especially useful for older, spatially restricted films, such as Dune and Carrie. You can tweak the effects to suit your taste.
We have a few gripes with the RX-V620: it inhibited some of the more explosive DVDs' dynamic impacts; the sound muted for a fraction of a second when skipping chapters on DVDs; and the slender universal remote is a little too skinny and awkward to use. But on the plus side, Yamaha's Silent Cinema processing delivers something beyond the usual inside-your-head effect for headphone listeners; the sound is much more open and spacious--more like surround sound from speakers.
Yamaha packs a ton of good stuff into the RX-V620, including a one-year warranty. Oh, and don't forget: the 5.1-surround flexibility works equally well on movies and music. But if you just want a great-sounding, easy-to-use receiver for a little less money, check out the .