Seemingly since the dawn of AV receivers, two brands have stood out from the others in customer's minds: Denon and Yamaha. Both have enviable reputations for great sound, and are consistently able to offer the newest, "must-have" features.
The Yamaha RX-V483 is a fine example of the manufacturer's art, boasting a useful amount of options in addition to excellent sound quality. It offers a decent amount of future-proofing with support for music.video and multiroom
On the other hand, it doesn't really improve much on last year's model, while its competitor, the Denon AVR-S730H has made some important gains -- namely support. However, Atmos is hardly a must-have in our book. It requires extra "height" speakers and, more importantly, isn't nearly as common as Dolby's other formats on today's movies and TV shows.
Choosing between them can be difficult as both have significant benefits. But in the end, it boils down to this: if you're willing to pay more for Dolby Atmos and better connectivity, get the Denon. But if you want slightly better sound quality and a cheaper price and can skip those extras, the Yamaha has the edge.
The Yamaha RX-V483 is available now for $450, £429 or AU$800.
There are two camps when it comes to designing the facade of modern receivers -- lots of buttons, and no buttons. Yamaha has traditionally pitched its tent in the "give them all the buttons!" camp, and the RX-483 makes its home here, too.
For whatever reason, many budget receivers have resisted going full color and 1080p with their on-screen displays. Manufacturers may argue it's a cost-cutting exercise, but look to aand its HD interface and we'll tell you that's a poor excuse. The V483 is somewhere between the blocky menus of old and the HD gloriousness of the competitive Sony receivers. It's functional, but we preferred the Denon AVR's full-screen art when playing back streaming tracks, which the Yamaha didn't do.
The remote control is compact, friendly and relatively easy to use though -- everything we like!
The V483 is also a 5.1-channel receiver capable of 80 watts per channel in stereo. The rear channels can be used as a Zone B if you wish, or to bi-amp your fronts. As a five-channel model, it does miss out on enhanced surround or Atmos capabilities.
The RX-V483 brings Wi-Fi music in the form of Yamaha's MusicCast which is a proprietary multiroom system. It offers streaming from a number of services including Pandora, Spotify, Tidal and Deezer. The receiver also includes AirPlay and Bluetooth in and out (primarily for listening with headphones).
Connectivity includes a frankly stingy four HDMI inputs (plus one out), but at least they include compatibility with 4K pass-through and HDR Video (Dolby Vision, HDR10 and Hybrid Log-Gamma). Again, the Denon offers two more HDMI inputs. In addition to HDMI, the Yamaha includes two digital coaxial inputs and a single optical port.