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First Look: Yamaha RX-V667

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First Look: Yamaha RX-V667

2:45 /

Yamaha's RX-V667 is one of the best midrange AV receivers of 2010, with excellent sound quality, a best-in-class user interface, and more connectivity than its competitors, but it may be more AV receiver than you need.

Hi, I'm Matthew Moskovciak, senior associate editor at CNET.com and we're here we the Yamaha RX-V667. This is a midrange AV receiver from Yamaha and it's currently selling for about $550 online. The Yamaha has a two-tone look with the top half getting the glossy black treatment and the bottom getting a more brushed metal style. There's an LCD display in the center and in the bottom right, behind a pop-out piece of plastic, is an HDMI input and a standard AV input. Now, while the external design is lackluster, the Yamaha's graphical user interface is the best we've seen on a midrange AV receiver this year. The colorful menu show up on the left hand side of the screen and they'll actually overlay whatever content you're watching which no other receiver does at this price. The menus are really responsive to remote commands and logical to navigate making it really easy to set up the Yamaha. Around back, you'll notice that the back panel is packed with functionality. There are six total HDMI inputs including the front panel input as well as two component video inputs which means you can connect eight HD devices at once and that's the most that we've seen at this price. Yamaha also includes some niche audio features that competitors have left out this year, including 7.1 analog audio input and pre-outs. If those features are important to you, you'll pretty much have to go with the Yamaha at this price level. Now, the big missing feature on the Yamaha is out of the box iPod and iPhone connectivity. While Pioneer, Denon, and Marantz all offer iPod connectivity via USB, Yamaha requires you to buy a separate dock which has a list price of $100. Since the Yamaha is already an inexpensive receiver, the lack of iPod connectivity really feels stingy. In terms of sound quality, the Yamaha was excellent and a big step up over last year's disappointing RX-V665. We put it head to head with our favorite choice for sound quality this year, the Denon AVR-1911 and although the Denon was a little better, the Yamaha was only slightly behind. It handled both music and movies well and it's a solid choice for all but the pickiest audiophiles. Overall, the Yamaha is the highest rated midrange receiver we've tested this year with its extensive connectivity, excellent sound quality, and best-in-class user interface. However, because of its relatively high price and lack of out-of-the-box iPod connectivity, it's not our top pick for value which we give to the cheaper Pioneer VSX-1020-K. I'm Matthew Moskovciak from CNET.com and this is the Yamaha RX-V667.

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