Yamaha RX-A2060 Review
THE VERDICT:
The Yamaha RX-A2060 is one of the best AV receivers currently available. Period.

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Design9
Features9.5
Value9.5
Sound Quality10
The Good
  • The feature rich Yamaha RX-A2060 sounds fantastic. MusicCast implementation means you can stream audio from any device connected to the amp to MusicCast speakers
The Bad
  • The remote needs to drop a few buttons to make it more user friendly. MusicCast, while great, is just shy of perfection.
9.5Overall Score

Over the past few years I’ve noticed a growing trend in home theater. We’re starting to see more and more 7-channel and 9-channel amps hitting the market. In fact, this trend could continue with the advent of new audio formats such as Dolby Atmos and DTS:X which titillate our ears with “3D-like” audio performances. This is where amps like the Yamaha Aventage RX-A2060 come into play. This 9.2 Channel receiver supports both Dolby Atmos and DTS:X. With it’s 9 channels of amplification it gives you more flexibility with the type of speaker arrangements you can explore. Besides these two audio formats, the Yamaha RX-A2060 has solid networking features with Bluetooth, WiFi and AirPlay support. Throw in MusicCast and you could have a full fledged whole house music system with the 2060 at its heart.

 

Yamaha RX-A2060 Design & Appearance

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The Yamaha 2060 has a heavy duty tank-like construction. From its H-Frame body to the thick aluminum front panel, the case of the 2060 is designed to block anything that may interfere with the audio performance of the receiver. The interior of the 2060 also makes do with impressive construction. The left and right channels of the amp are electrically and physically isolated. This design’s intended purpose is to improve the amps signal to noise ratio and help create an open sound stage. Along with its sturdy construction, a high performance ESS Technology 192 kHz / 24- bit ES9006A DAC provides a solid foundation for both music and movies.


RELATED: Yamaha Aventage RX-A1060 Review


 

The aforementioned front panel hides all of the button clutter you would normally find on the face of an AV receiver. Of the buttons hidden under the face plate, the “connect” button is probably the only one you’ll need to use. To setup MusicCast, you’re required to press and hold this button for 5 seconds.

 

The remote that you get with the 2060 is adequate, but I think its time for a re-design.  It’s a bit over complicated for my taste and the buttons too small. In fact, I found myself using the Yamaha AV controller app that’s available for Android and iOS devices instead. The app gives you access to most if not all of the features of the receiver, but its logical and intuitive layout make it easier to use than the bundled remote.

 

That being said, I’m about to contradict myself because there is one button I wish was on the remote. The MusicCast “connect” button is only located on the front of the receiver. It seems that it would be more user friendly if it was located on the remote. A minor quibble, but it’s something I think would aid the amps overall usability.

 

Connections

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The Yamaha RX-A2060 has no shortage of connection options. From analog inputs, to component and digital inputs, the 2060 has more than enough hook-ups for the typical home theater. For home automation purposes the amp includes a 12V trigger as well as an RS-232 input and IR input.

 

Lets be honest though, HDMI is the star of the show. The Yamaha 2060 has a total of 8 HDMI inputs and 2 outputs. Seven of its HDMIs support HDCP 2.2,  4K video at 60 frames, HDR and BT.2020. The AV receiver can also upscale standard HD content to near 4K quality. The bottom line is that the 2060 is in good shape to handle that new 4K TV if you ever get one.

 

Audiophiles can throw a variety of hi-resolution audio files at the Yamaha RX-A2060 since it can decode DSD, AIFF, FLAC, WAV and Apple Lossless files.

 

Wireless Modes

Bluetooth and WiFi are common place on modern AV receivers and both are included. Apple AirPlay is also on board.  Wireless streaming to the Yamaha RX-A2060 is about as painless as you’d expect once you pair your device to the receiver. I consistently got a strong connection to the amp. A handful of music streaming services are supported by the amp including Pandora, Spotify, Rhapsody, Sirius XM, and vTuner.

 

Bluetooth audio streamed thru the receiver suffered from the normal compression symptoms which are indicative of the format. Yamaha’s compressed music enhancer helped slightly but it’s no miracle worker, so audiophile sound quality you won’t get. However, all things considered the 2060 performed better than most receivers I’ve listened to.

 

MusicCast

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The one wireless feature that gives the Yamaha RX-A2060 an edge over its competition is MusicCast. When Yamaha sent the AV receiver to us to demo they also shipped a pair of their WX-030 Wireless MusicCast speakers. Once you install the MusicCast app you can wirelessly stream music from a variety of sources. Within the app you can re-name and assign each speaker to different rooms within your home. For instance, I designated one WX-030 speaker for the family room and the other for the upstairs living room.

 

I was able to stream audio from a blu-ray player connected to the 2060 to the living room speaker. You can also “link” two speakers within the app together to create a stereo sound field. MusicCast doesn’t only stream compressed audio.  Apple Lossless (ALAC) up to 96 kHz / 24 bit, WAV, FLAC, and AIFF up to 192 kHz / 24 bit are also supported by MusicCast. The biggest drawback I discovered with MusicCast was that there’s no way to stream audio from multiple externally connected devices simultaneously to multiple speakers. For example, in order to stream audio from a USB drive plugged into the 2060 to one of the WX-030 speakers I had to link it to the 2060 receiver meaning both played the same content. Not a huge problem, but the av receiver would feel more like an audio hub if you could send audio from multiple connected devices simultaneously. Who knows, maybe Yamaha will implement this in a future update. Despite this, MusicCast is still pretty darn amazing. All I have to say is Sonos….watch out!

 

Dolby Atmos & DTS:X

The Yamaha RX-A2060 supports both Atmos and DTS:X. With its 9 channels you get a little more flexibility with your speaker layout than you would with a 7 channel receiver. For instance, you could setup a 5.1.4 speaker arrangement which would allow you to allocate 4 speakers to the Atmos and DTS:X sound tracks. Believe me, 2 is good, 4 is even better when it comes to these object based formats.

 

Setup

Yamaha uses their usual YPAO calibration system. Setting up the 2060 can be as simple or as intricate as you like. YPAO will dial in your speakers, but the Yamaha RX-A2060 has tons of features that you can go in and tweak. When watching content, the 2060 has pre-set DSP listening settings which are fun to play around with. For instance, when listening to music, the amp can approximate the acoustics of being in a Munich or Vienna Music Hall. I ended up gravitating towards straight decoding which pushes through an unprocessed signal. Of course, this is just personal preference so you’ll probably need to play around with it to see what sounds better to your ear.

 

For AV rookies, Yamaha supplies an AV setup app which is compatible with most tablets. Type in the model of the AV receiver and the app will pull up the manual as well as walk you through the setup process. It’s intuitive and works well. My only issue with the setup app is that it can only be used on screens larger than 7″ which means its more or less relegated to use on a tablet. Being able to use it on a smartphone with a smaller screen size would make it more accessible.

 

Sound Quality

The Yamaha RX-A2060 is listed  below Yamaha’s flagship 3060 model, however after spending a few weeks with it, the 2060 could easily be mistaken for their top-of-the-line model.  To begin with, the amp has sensational spacial performance with an open and wide sound stage that’s on par with what I experienced with Marantz’s top-of-the-line SR7010.

 

Star Wars the Force Awakens, sounded spectacular on the Yamaha 2060. The sound of blasters bounced effortlessly from the surround channels. Even better were the audio transitions from my front mains to the rear surrounds. During one of the movies many chase scenes, the sound of Tie Fighters engines swept convincingly from the back of my listening room to the front.

 

The 2060’s ability to create an enveloping sound field with Atmos and DTS:X was equally impressive. Transformers: Age of Extinction’s Atmos sound track is almost brutal with its delivery. No other sound track I’ve listened to will throw you in the middle of a battle like this one. Explosions were appropriately thunderous and yet, the Yamaha RX-A2060 was nimble enough to re-produce every clank and whir of all the onscreen gizmos.

 

I decided to give DTS:X a go with Vin Diesel’s The Witch Hunter. Surprisingly, the implementation of DTS:X in the Witch Hunter is slightly subdued, however some scenes were notable. When Diesel’s character manages to take-down the bony sentinel, the magical creatures exploding bones seemingly rained down from the ceiling. Ex Machina was another DTS:X flick I had on hand. While it doesn’t blow you away with crazy sound effects, the movie uses DTS:X to project a tall and wide atmospheric sound field. All of which the 2060 had no problem re-producing.

 

With music, I was equally impressed with the 2060. The amp comes with a few preset EQ settings. After extensive listening, “Flat” seemed to give me the best results across most genres of music. However, the amp gives you the option to adjust the EQ settings to your personal liking. Kicking back with an arsenal of music at my disposal, I walked away thoroughly impressed with the Yamaha RX-A2060’s musical chops. The amp produced clean and detailed sound. Vocals sounded remarkably natural and lifelike. Instruments always kept their distinct unique sonic character. The 2060 overall delivers an effortless musical performance that rivals dedicated 2-channel amps.

 

The Verdict

The Yamaha RX-A2060, to put it bluntly, is one of the best receivers of 2016. The sound quality is second to none and the amp is filled with an impressive amalgam of features. A couple small things hold the receiver back from perfection. The remote is long over due for an overhaul and is cumbersome to use. MusicCast, while it’s pretty fantastic, could be implemented a little better on the receiver. After all, if I have a blu-ray player and USB drive connected to the amp, why can’t I send audio from these two sources to two separate MusicCast speakers?  Neither of these are major issues in the long run. MusicCast is great overall and you can always toss out the remote and use the Yamaha control app for the receiver. The bottom line is that you’re going to have a tough time finding another receiver at this price point better than the Yamaha 2060.


Where to Buy:

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