In recent years, Yamaha's AV receivers have disappointed us, with fewer features than competitors and some confusing design choices. The Yamaha RX-V667 is a return to form for the company. There can be no complaints about HDMI connectivity, with the RX-V667 packing six ports, including a front-panel input. The Yamaha also comes packed with all kinds of niche audio connectivity features that others have left out, including pre-outs and 7.1 analog audio inputs.
We were also really impressed with the new graphical user interface, which has leapfrogged the competition and is the best we've seen so far. And unlike the disappointing sound of last year's RX-V665BL, the RX-V667 is the upper tier of sound quality in the midrange price level, although keen ears will note that it's still a step behind the Denon AVR-1911.
The lack of out-of-the-box iPod/iPhone connectivity and its relative high price keep the Yamaha from being our top value pick this year--that honor goes to the Pioneer VSX-1020-K ($450 street price)--but the RX-V667 is an excellent choice if you need all the niche functionality it offers.
Yamaha's Parametric Room Acoustic Optimizer (YPAO) automatic speaker calibration system determines speaker sizes and volume levels, measures the distances from the speakers to the listener, sets the ideal subwoofer to speaker crossover point, and confirms that all of the speaker cables are correctly hooked up.
That's pretty standard stuff for receivers, but we think Yamaha's YPAO is one of the easiest auto setups to use. Plug in the (supplied) Optimizer microphone and make your way through the RX-V667's great-looking and nicely organized GUI menus. Once you're on the Auto Setup menu, just press the "Start" button and the YPAO will send a short series of test tones to all the speakers and subwoofer.