What’s up with Yamaha’s engineers lately? Not only did they develop and release an updated Aventage RX 60 series in 2016, they turned right around and added more features to the same units for release in late May and June 2017! The Yamaha RX-A770 was intriguing to open and review. I could hardly wait to try out the exciting upgrades from the company recognized for providing impressive audio/visual home entertainment.
It’s disappointing that the most exciting features, Dolby Vision and HLG, won’t be available until the firmware update is released in Fall 2017. On the plus side the third part of the high dynamic range trio, HDR10, is part of the AVR right out of the box. What’s not to like about 4K Ultra HD video support and audio support from high-performance DSPs, including codecs like DTS-X and Dolby Atmos?
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About the Product
The reflected sound control (RSC) created with YPAO fulfills two important criteria I expect in products from Yamaha. The first is the ability to support wireless multiroom audio. The second is easy setup that delivers optimum sound. The convenient addition of audio to as many as nine extra rooms is simple to do with MusicCast devices and/or wireless speakers. Forget about drilling holes through walls and running speaker wire from the base unit. A seamless method to send my favorite music to selected rooms inspired me to try out vinyl playback with the phono input and experiment with the flexibility of sound using the RX-A770’s Zone 2 Volume Equalizer and Extra Bass.
Below is the back panel layout. Click on image to enlarge for a clearer view.
A home theater system ought to deliver an unbelievable theater experience. It starts with audio that creates the ambiance for the movie to be shown and continues to add the ideal emphasis to the theme and diversity of the action. The idea of Dolby Vision and HLG pending imminent release via a firmware update will deliver an impressive audio/visual experience of a Blu-Ray 3D disc of Transformers: The Last Knight when it becomes available.
Since the goal was to get an idea of the sound quality, I watched Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy. The surround sound and Virtual Presence Speaker mode made me feel as if I were on the set with the actors and action. It caught the nuances of anything adding to the audio portion of the movie. Yamaha’s Cinema DSP adds to sound depth with the Virtual Surround Back Speakers.
Comparison with the Previous Model
One of my biggest concerns was that Yamaha would cut back on some of the features introduced in last year’s model, the AVENTAGE RX-A760. What a pleasant surprise to discover the techs added rather than took away from the Yamaha RX-A770!
I’m a big fan of MusicCast and the array of listening pleasure it brought when introduced to Yamaha’s RX- A 60 series last year. Both models sport the proprietary high-resolution wireless multi-room audio playback system. Use the easily-accessible built-in Bluetooth connection for tablets, computers and Smartphones, and AirPlay to retrieve content from Apple devices.
Both the Yamaha Aventage RX-A760 and RX-A770 enjoy the immersive surround formats of DTS:X and Dolby Atmos. Another shared feature is the Anti-Resonance Technology (ART) Wedge, designed to reduce vibration and enhance audio performance. The 770 introduces HLG, HDR10, and Dolby Vision to make the AV receiver an impressive high-performance unit capable of running 3D TV and discs with theatre quality display and sound. HDR10 is included in the AVR A firmware update for HLG and Dolby Vision is in transition. Ultra HD Blu-ray Disc and 4K streaming video services will be supported by Dolby Vision and HLG, maximizing a wide display of color and contrast.
- Pre-loaded accessories include Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and Spotify Connect.
- YPAO room acoustics optimization is simple to set up.
- Surround sound emphasizes sound effects to increase the feeling of being within the action instead of watching from afar.
- Dolby Vision and HLG are not available until firmware upgrade is released
Yamaha continues to surprise the industry and the public with frequent upgrades and additions to its line of AVRs. The audio quality of 2017’s Aventage RX-A770 reflects the company’s standard of purity in sound. YPAO increases sound quality with a balanced layout for sound, while the ART Wedge reduces vibrations that interfere with delivery. It’s exciting to watch a 3D movie in Dolby Vision with enhanced Dolby Atmos surround sound technology at the theater. For less than a thousand dollars, the same experience is available at home for as many movies as you wish to see. High Dynamic Range (HDR) and 4K Ultra HD pop when combined with HDMI technology. Bolder colors make scenery and action more vivid, and it’s that visual appeal that validates the experience. The short time between purchase of a Yamaha RX-A770 and the estimated availability of the firmware update provides the time to get familiar with the unit. Set up wireless speakers throughout the home and choose favorite types of music to stream or access from SIRIUS, Pandora and other popular stations. I believe this is among the best AVRs released to date and definitely worth setting up at home.