The Good: The Yamaha RX-V477 is a great sounding receiver. Its built-in ethernet connection gives you access to internet music streaming options such as Pandora, Spotify and Apple AirPlay. The Virtual Cinema Front feature gives you added  speaker placement options in tight spaces.

 

The Bad: The Yamaha 477 lacks built-in WiFi and Bluetooth. Also, the 477 doesn’t include the latest HDMI 2.0 standard.

 

Summary: For a little over $400 you get a sterling sounding receiver that also has pretty good networking capabilities. It would be nice if it had built-in WiFi and Bluetooth, but for those features you’ll need to upgrade to the Yamaha 577 or 677.

 

 

Yamaha RX-V477 Review

The 5.1 Channel Yamaha RX-V477 is the red-headed step child of Yamaha’s RX line. It’s sandwiched between the entry-level Yamaha 377 and it’s bigger siblings the Yamaha 577 and 677. Because of this it sometimes gets lost in the shuffle. However, the 477 strikes a good balance between sound quality and features that shouldn’t be overlooked.

Yamaha RX-V477 Review

 

Appearance

The Yamaha 477 looks pretty much identical to the Yamaha 377. As you’d expect, the Yamaha RX-V477 has the same boxy exterior as every other AV receiver on the market. The front panel of the 477 is bisected with the top half having a high-gloss appearance and the bottom half a brushed aluminum finish. The remote of the 477 is much improved over last year’s 475. The remote of the RX-V475 was overloaded with buttons making it difficult and confusing to use. The 477 uses a much simpler button configuration making it more user-friendly.

 

Peek around the back of the Yamaha RX-V477 and you’ll see what really gives it an edge over its little brother. The 477 includes 6 HDMI inputs and allows for 4K Ultra HD and 3D Video pass through. The one caveat with this is that the HDMI inputs on the 477 aren’t the latest HDMI 2.0 version. They’re only 1.4. What this means is that the receiver will pass through 4K video signals, however it’s limited to 24 frames per second. Whereas HDMI 2.0 allows 50 or 60 frames per second. HDMI 2.0 also has more bandwidth than 1.4 which allows for it to transmit more color depth. Although 4K TV’s are becoming more prevalent, it will most likely be a few years before there’s enough 4K content on the market for this to really matter.

 

Yamaha RX-V477 Inputs

Besides the HDMI inputs, the 477 also incorporates several analog and component inputs, as well as one digital optical and two coaxials. So if you have older equipment you should be able to run it thru this receiver without too much of an issue. Perhaps the biggest edge the Yamaha 477 has over the 377 is its addition of an ethernet port. This enables you to easily get the AV receiver on your network. And since it’s DLNA compatible you’ll be able to stream media from other DLNA compatible devices  (like your PC). Even though the 477 lacks WiFi and Bluetooth, Yamaha does offer WiFi and Bluetooth dongles that you can buy to add these two features.

 

Setup

Yamaha’s setup process for all of their receivers is pretty simple. Setting up the 477 takes only a few minutes and is easy enough that anyone can do it. Using the included calibration microphone and it’s YPAO calibration system, the receiver is able to calculate the proper crossovers, distances and speaker levels appropriate for your listening environment.  As with most calibration systems it’s not perfect, so once the calibration is complete you would be wise to take a look at the settings the receiver has chosen for your speakers. In our case, the receiver set our front right and left speakers to large (full range). Knowing for a fact that this wasn’t the case, we changed our fronts to small and our crossover to a THX recommended 80Hz.

 

Features

The 477 only supports a 5.1 configuration (5 speakers + 1 subwoofer), which for most people works just fine. However, positioning your speakers in the proper configuration for optimal sound quality can be challenging. To help alleviate this issue, the Yamaha 477 uses a feature that Yamaha calls Virtual Cinema Front. I have to say I was pretty impressed with the results. For instance, placing all your speakers in the front of the listening area, the Virtual Cinema Front effect approximates the presence of surround channels by reflecting sound off your walls. In our listening test, this feature didn’t quite work as advertised all the time. On occasion my ears were tricked into thinking that there were surround channels behind me, but more often than not, the virtual cinema front simply created a very wide and spacious listening area.

 

In an age where everything we have is networked, it makes sense that AV receivers should also include network features. The Yamaha RX-V477, thanks to its wired ethernet connection, gives you access to a variety of internet streaming music options including vTuner, Pandora and Spotify. More expensive receivers usually give you more choices for internet streaming, but all-in-all this list is pretty good. The 477 is also AirPlay compatible so you have the ability to easily push music from your favorite Apple device to the receiver with little or no hassle. We had no problem using AirPlay on the receiver and if you have a premium Spotify account, it also works well.

 

Yamaha has a control app that’s compatible with iOS and Android devices which is pretty slick. Most AV receiver manufacturers have a control app nowadays. However, I’ve found most of these control apps lacking and generally unnecessary. Yamaha’s is better than most. In fact, there were several occasions where I opted to use the control app over the remote.

 

Performance

For movies, the 477 is a solid performer. It’s rated at about 115 watts per channel, although its real world output will be a good bit lower. Even so, it had enough juice to engulf our listening room in sound. Watching Fast and Furious 5 and Dracula: Untold on blu-ray, the Yamaha RX-V477 created a lively sound stage. With Fast and Furious 5, the receiver had no problems replicating the screeching on-screen action. Every crunch of metal and crackle of glass was crystal clear. The 477 really delivered in the bass department, as every crash pounded our listening area. Dracula: Untold proved that the 477 could really deliver in the surround channel department with the sound of vampire bats whirling around our sound stage.

 

For music, the 477 was nearly as good. Listening to the Jackson Five’s greatest hits showed that the Yamaha RX-V477 was more than capable of keeping up with their lively and groovy beats. With Ed Sheeran’s “I See Fire” track the Yamaha 477 reproduced his vocals with clarity and precision. Moving on to M.I.A.’s “Bad Girls” and Kendrick Lamar’s “Swimming Pools” tunes , the little receiver proved itself agile enough to handle big bass without breaking a sweat. Be forewarned though, if you crank the volume too high on the 477 you will hear some distortion.

 

Conclusion.

If you have a budget of about $400 for a receiver, you really can’t go wrong with the Yamaha RX-V477.  It has great sound quality and a good balance of features. WiFi and Bluetooth would have been good additions to have in the 477 however, you can either add those features courtesy of Yamaha’s dongles, or you can spend a little more and get the Yamaha 577 or 677. If sound quality is more important to you than wireless features, then the Yamaha RX-V477 should be on your short list of receivers in this price range.

 

 

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