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CNET First Look
Yamaha RX-V671There's no built-in AirPlay support. Also, the similar Onkyo TX-NR609 costs about $100 less, although it doesn't sound quite as good. No Wi-Fi dongle is available, either, although there are plenty of solid workarounds.
-Hey. I'm Matthew Moscoviak at CNET.com and this is the Yamaha RXV671. This is a midrange AV receiver with built-in networking features and is currently selling for 550 dollars. Like almost every AV receiver, the Yamaha's design is a bulky black box. The top half has a glossy finish while the bottom half has matte and the real smart design move here is it there is a front panel HDMI input which is convenient if you wanna quickly connect a laptop, a digital camera, or a camcorder. There's also a USB port on the front and it's iPod and iPhone compatible. So all you need is an iPod cable and you can listen to music directly on the receiver. What the RXV671 doesn't have is built-in airplay support which is available on the competing Denon AVR 1912 and the Pioneer VSX1021K. Airplay lets you wirelessly stream music from any app on an iOS device which is an iPhone, iPod touch or iPad and we think it's one of the few networking features actually worth paying for. So if you do have an iOS device, you definitely want to consider the competition. The Yamaha does have built-in support for many streaming music services including Pandora, Rhapsody, and Napster. You can navigate these using a remote and the onscreen display which can be a little tedious especially if you're searching for an artist or song. Alternatively, you can use Yamaha's iPhone app. There's not an Android app yet and the app makes it much easier to input text, but if you already have an iPhone, you may wanna get a receiver with airplay in the first place. Also note that Yamaha does not offer a WiFi dongle, so you'll need to make an Ethernet connection to use the networking features or use a WiFi alternative like powerline adaptors. We were impressed by Yamaha's user interface which looks a little bit more modern and colorful than you'll find on other AV receivers. Although if you compare it to something like an Apple TV or a Blu-ray player, it still looks a little outdated. Connectivity is excellent on the Yamaha. If you look around back, you'll see there is 6 total HDMI inputs including the front panel input plus there are plenty of Legacy AV connections for older gear. The Yamaha sound quality was excellent overall. On movies the Yamaha had no problem delivering a loud powerful home theatre sound and it is a solid drive with music too. We put it head-to-head with the Denon AVR 1912 and although we thought the Denon sounded better, it was really close and the Yamaha was definitely a step above the Onkyo TX-NR609. Altogether, the Yamaha RXV671 handles all the AV receiver basics well with tons of HDMI connectivity and excellent sound quality. But it's not quite as strong with its networking features because it lacks airplay support or an Android app. I'm Matthew Moskoviak and this is the Yamaha RXV671.