THE GOOD:
The 5.1 Channel Yamaha RX-V379  has the same great sound quality as last year’s 377. Plus, the 379 throws in HDCP 2.2 copy protection and built-in bluetooth.

 

THE BAD: Yamaha dropped all component connections and USB ports. Small spring clip openings make it difficult to connect thicker gauge speaker wire.

 

SUMMARY: The Yamaha 379 delivers excellent sound quality for an entry-level receiver. It’s inclusion of bluetooth makes the omission of a USB port forgivable.

 

Yamaha RX-V379 Review

Last year’s Yamaha 377 was one of my favorite entry-level receivers. On the surface the new Yamaha RX-V379 looks the same as last years model. However, the 379 has expanded 4K video support and throws in built-in bluetooth. With these additions I was left wondering if this would affect the 379’s sound quality. The short answer is no.

 

Yamaha RX-V379 Appearance & Design

Yamaha 379 Review

The Yamaha RX-V379’s boxy aluminum chassis is nearly identical to last year’s 377. The top half of the front panel is dedicated to the front display and the bottom half has the normal array of buttons for input select, sound effects etc.

 

Yamaha RX-V379 Remote

The remote for the Yamaha RX-V379 is even more simplified this year. I’ve given Yamaha a hard time in the past for their over complicated remotes, but they may have gone a tad too far this year. While I really like this remote, my only gripe is with the input selection. This year on the remote they’ve added input toggle buttons so that you have to cycle thru the various inputs to make a selection. I would have preferred to have separate buttons for each input to make the selection process quicker. The one work around for this is to use the scene buttons across the top of the remote. Once you program these buttons, pressing one will automatically select the correct input and DSP setting.

 

The on-screen display is your standard affair. At this price you don’t expect a whole lot. With the 379 you get a standard text on-screen display. Although its nothing to write home about, it certainly gets the job done.

 

Connectivity

Connectivity is where you’ll see the biggest change between this year’s RX-V379 and last year’s 377. This year A/V manufacturers are finally going all-in on 4K support. The 379 has a total of four HDMI inputs with one being HDCP 2.2 copy protection compliant along with the one HDMI output. Receivers that are not HDCP compliant won’t be able to pass through 4K video which uses this new 2.2 copy protection standard. With the 379, you’ll be able to enjoy 4K video content now and into the future.

 

The Yamaha RX-V379 does not include an ethernet port or WiFi, so you won’t have access to internet radio or network streaming. However, this year Yamaha has decided to add bluetooth to its entry-level RX receiver which is a bit of surprise. Of course, adding bluetooth has resulted in a few sacrifices.

Yamaha RX-V379 Rear Panel

 

The Yamaha 379 gives component inputs and outputs the boot this year. You also won’t find a USB input. You do, however, get 2 analog audio inputs and 3 digital inputs. The missing component inputs/outputs probably won’t be a big deal for most since the majority of modern A/V components have made the switch to either digital or HDMI. However, if you have a lot of analog audio equipment you may want to verify that the 379 has enough inputs to suit your needs. The 379 does have an auxiliary input, so it’s possible to connect an audio device via this if desired.

 

On the back you’ll find a mixture of spring clips and binding posts. Last year’s 377 used the same speaker connection arrangement and I found it a little odd. I did come across one little problem when using the spring clips. The opening Yamaha uses for the spring clips is small, to say the least. Heavy gauge speaker wire is tough to squeeze into the little opening they provide. However, after some gentle maneuvering I was able to get my rear speakers connected.

 

 

Features

Being an entry level receiver, the Yamaha RX-V379 doesn’t have a lot of bells and whistles to speak of. Like every model in the RX line-up, the 379 utilizes Yamaha’s YPAO room calibration system. Calibrating the Yamaha 379 takes only a few minutes and for the most part it was pretty accurate. We do recommend taking a peek at your settings after the calibration as there’s usually some items that will need tweaked.

 

The 379 also makes use of Yamaha’s Virtual Cinema Front feature. This feature is great if you don’t have adequate room for a proper 5.1 speaker arrangement. By placing your speakers in the front of your listening area Yamaha states that it can approximate a virtual surround experience. With past Yamaha receivers I liked this feature a lot as it widened the sound stage a good bit. It doesn’t quite deliver on providing a surround experience, but if you’re struggling with speaker placement you’ll like this feature.

 

Performance

I’ve been impressed with Yamaha AV receiver offerings the past few years and the 379 doesn’t disappoint. The 5.1 channel receiver is rated at about 70 watts per channel which may not sound like much, but don’t let the numbers deceive you. The Yamaha 379 is capable of playing loud, very loud. In fact, it’s loud of enough to push a good set of speakers in a small or medium-sized room easily.

 

Edge of Tomorrow is my go to torture test for both subwoofers and AV receivers. The opening intro has a brutal low-frequency torture test. The 379 didn’t flinch or crack under the strain managing to vibrate my listening chair. The little receiver isn’t all about brute force either. It also displayed nuanced subtlety with clear dialogue reproduction and precisely located sound effects. When the drop ship in Edge of Tomorrow is ripped apart the sound of screeching metal was palpable.

 

Music playback was pretty good, but not great. For Mp3 playback I do recommend Yamaha’s music enhancer which did make a noticeable improvement in sound quality with compressed Mp3’s.

 

Conclusion

The Yamaha RX-V379 is a great value. Yamaha’s made some notable improvements this year with HDCP 2.2 copy protection support and built-in bluetooth. The sound quality is also on par with last year’s excellent sounding 377. The one thing that could cause an issue for some is its reduction of analog inputs. If you have a lot of older components you could quickly run out of inputs, so you may want to take a look at its input options to make sure it will suit your needs. Other than that, the Yamaha 379 is an excellent entry-level receiver.

 


Where to Buy:

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