The snow may have melted, but 'tis the season for receiver announcements. Tralalalala lalalala. Yamaha is the latest company with good tidings for its upcoming refresh: the RX-Vx81 series.
To push the metaphor to its breaking point, the RX-V381 is the first sled in the sky and also happens to be the company's entry-level model. It takes over from last year's very respectable RX-V379. OK, so they skipped some numbers...
Like the existing model the RX-V381 is a 5x70W (20-20kHz 8ohm) receiver which offers niceties like Bluetooth support and 4K compatibility.
One of the "biggest" differences between new model and the RX-V379 is that the RX-V381 includes support for HDCP 2.2 on all of four of the HDMI inputs. While not many people will have four 4K sources requiring HDCP handshakes, it does mean the receiver has a small degree of future-proofing for upcoming devices. In conjunction Yamaha has also spelled out that it will pass-through wide color gamuts in the form of BT.2020.
Though details are yet to be announced, including UK and Australian pricing and availability, the RX-V481 may be the one to wait for because -- if it's a straight upgrade from the x79 -- it will include a host of extra streaming features, more power and more HDMI inputs.
But, like the RX-V379 before it, if your needs are modest then the RX-V381 will likely drive most domestic speakers and offer the sound quality most people are looking for.