Home theater receivers are becoming increasingly complicated as new audio and video standards are constantly cropping up. Sorting out what you need and what you don't can be difficult, and getting back to basics can not only save you money but counter some of the hand-wringing that complexity can bring. The Yamaha RX-V379 may have a couple of concessions to modern features, but largely they're features you might actually use.
When you consider what the Yamaha RX-V379 offers in terms of features, ease of use and performance for the money, you might conclude there's no reason to spend more for an AV receiver in 2015. Models that sold for double or triple the price five years ago lacked RX-V379's Bluetooth wireless and 4K pass-through connectivity. Of course, those more expensive and powerful units may still sound better and play louder than the RX-V379, but taken on its own merits, this receiver offers tremendous value for your dollar, which in the US would be $299.95 retail.
In the UK it sells for £299.95 and in Australia for AU$599, which is an impressive price for the amount of functionality packed in.
Partner the RX-V379 with any decent speaker/subwoofer system, and the sound of your movies, TV and music won't disappoint, and it will certainly trump even the best sound bar or sound base systems on the planet.
There's nothing about the RX-V379's design that overtly reveals its budget price; we think it's rather handsome and it feels solidly built. The front panel might look a little more complicated than many at this level, but its direct input buttons are so much more usable than the dials on most receivers. Want to switch to cable TV? Press a button, rather than spin an imprecise dial. The LED display is large and easy to read from across the room.
The no-frills remote that ships with the Yamaha has fewer buttons and controls than higher-end receivers' remotes, but we like that.
The RX-V379's menu system covers speakers, HDMI, Sound, Eco, Function and Language; there are no fancy visuals, just a straightforward graphic menu design.
The RX-V379 is a 5.1-channel receiver, but if you have a large room and need the two extra rear surround channels to accommodate a 7.1-channel system, consider stepping up to Yamaha's RX-V579 model. That said, for most rooms five speakers -- front-left and -right, center and two surround speakers, plus a subwoofer -- will produce excellent results.
The RX-V379's power is rated at 100 watts per channel, double what you get from the. Of course, it comes with Dolby TrueHD and DTS Master Audio decoding.