HolidayBuyer's Guide

Yamaha's 2012 midrange receivers boast AirPlay, 4K support

The RX-V573 and RX-V473 will be the first Yamaha AV receivers to feature AirPlay.

Yamaha RX-V573
Yamaha RX-V573Photo by Yamaha

Onkyo and Pioneer have already spilled the details on their 2012 midrange AV receivers, and now Yamaha has released two new models to its RX-V line.

The RX-V573 ($550) and RX-V473 ($450) are available immediately, and both feature built-in AirPlay, 4K video pass-through, 3D support, and four HDMI inputs. AirPlay is a new feature for Yamaha's receivers, as it was a noticeable omission from last year's models, while competing Pioneer and Denon models offered it. The RX-V573 and RX-V473 are both also DLNA-compliant.

The new models will continue to use Yamaha's color graphical user interface, and Yamaha's AV Controller app has been updated for both iOS and Android devices, including tablets. The major difference between the models is that RX-V573 is a 7.1 channel receiver, while the RX-V473 has 5.1 channels.

Yamaha also announced that it will be releasing more models in the RX-V line later this month. Here's a breakdown of the key features of models announced today:

Yamaha RX-V473

Yamaha RX-V473
Yamaha RX-V473Photo by Yamaha

Key features of the Yamaha RX-V473:

  • 5.1-channel AV receiver, 115 watts per channel
  • Four HDMI inputs
  • Supports 3D video, standby pass-through, audio return channel (ARC)
  • Built-in AirPlay
  • Four digital inputs (two optical, two coaxial)
  • Front-panel USB input, iPhone/iPod compatible
  • Controllable via AV Controller app (for iOS/Android/Kindle Fire)
  • $450 list price; available now

Yamaha RX-V573

Yamaha RX-V573
Yamaha RX-V573Photo by Yamaha

Key step-up features of the Yamaha RX-V473:

  • 7.1-channel AV receiver, 115 watts per channel
  • Dolby Pro Logic IIx
  • $550 list price; available now

Strictly from the spec sheets, these receivers seem a step behind the new offerings from Pioneer and Onkyo. Pioneer's competing VSX-822-K 5.1 AV receiver also offers AirPlay, but has six HDMI inputs, built-in streaming support for Pandora and Internet radio, plus its list price is $380. (Note that the RX-V473 and RX-V573 don't have any built-in streaming-media services, so if you're not using AirPlay, you'll need to use an external streaming-media box.) And while Onkyo's TX-NR515 may lack AirPlay, it has a whopping eight HDMI inputs for its $600 list price, and its street price is likely to be a lot lower.

Four total HDMI inputs may be the sticking point for many, as home theater enthusiasts can end up using all four pretty quickly: DVR, PS3, Xbox 360, and Roku LT. And while I'm assuming that one of the new RX-V models Yamaha will announce will have more HDMI inputs, it will likely have a list price over $600.

That being said, Yamaha's receivers have has consistently excellent sound quality over the years, so it's possible these new models will prove their worth with their sonics.