THE GOOD: The Yamaha RX-V479 is an impressive amp with great features and better sound quality

 

THE BAD: The 479 has done away with the majority of its analog inputs. If you need a healthy supply of legacy inputs, you may be out of luck.

 

SUMMARY: The Yamaha 479 is a great AV receiver. We liked last year’s 477 a lot, but we like the 479 even more. It matches the sound quality of last years model, plus it adds HDCP 2.2 copy protection for 4K video, bluetooth and WiFi. At $450, the 479 is probably one of the top 5 channel amps this year.

Yamaha RX-V479BL 5.1-Channel MusicCast AV Receiver with Bluetooth

Price: $698.00

4.1 out of 5 stars (103 customer reviews)

2 used & new available from $450.00

 

 

Yamaha RX-V479 Review

Yamaha 479 Review

Not a lot has changed between 2014’s V477 and this year’s RX-V479. However, if you take a quick gander at the back of the Yamaha RX-V479 you’ll probably notice a couple significant changes. Analog connections are starting to wither away as HDMI begins to assert itself as the dominant connection format. The 479 gives you about 3 analog inputs and 3 digital inputs. S-Video has become virtually extinct on amps with only the most expensive receivers offering it. Dotting the top of the receiver are 6 HDMI inputs and 1 output. The 6th input supports HDCP 2.2 copy protection which means the 479 is pretty well equipped to handle 4K video if you decide to upgrade you TV.

 

With it’s 80 watts per channel, the 5.1 channel Yamaha RX-V479 won’t blow the roof off your house, however it does have enough juice to power a decent set of speakers in a small or medium size room. In the past, learning string theory was easier than trying to figure out one of Yamaha’s complicated remotes. This year Yamaha’s given their remotes a substantial overall. The end result is a remote that’s simpler to use than prior models.

Yamaha RX-V479 Remote

Left: RX-V477 Remote, Right: RX-V479 Remote

 

Because of our app driven society it’s no surprise that Yamaha has an app for iOS and Android devices that allows you to control the 479. Yamaha’s AV Controller is surprisingly good. It gives you far more control over the amp settings than you’d expect. The  AV Controller works fairly good, but it’s not as intuitive as Denon’s or Onkyo’s.

 

Yamaha 479 Improved Wireless Connectivity

Yamaha RX-V479 Connectivity

WiFi and Bluetooth are baked into the Yamaha RX-V479 this year. Unlike past “4-series” models, there’s no need to purchase separate add-on devices to get these features. Bluetooth isn’t known for audio fidelity, but it’s well on the way to becoming the dominant wireless format. With that in mind manufacturers have been hard at work trying to find ways to bump up the performance level of the format. Yamaha’s compressed music enhancer is designed to boost the sound quality of Bluetooth transmissions. In my very subjective tests the music enhancer does offer a mild improvement in Bluetooth audio, but it’s not night and day. Still, some improvement is better than no improvement.

 

The 479 has a pretty good arsenal of internet streaming options with vTuner, AirPlay, Pandora, and Spotify all included. The Yamaha RX-V479 is also compatible with MusicCast. MusicCast is Yamaha’s new multi-room wireless streaming system which allows you to stream audio to other wireless devices on your WiFi network. Since the 479 has MusicCast built-in you can stream audio from nearly any connected device, such as a blu-ray player, and broadcast the audio to another MusicCast piece of equipment. Yamaha has a steady stream of sound bars, av receivers and speakers it plans on releasing that are MusicCast compatible. This feature has the potential to change the “multi-room audio” landscape if Yamaha can pull it off.

 

Speaking of audio, the Yamaha 479 handles the standard HD home theater formats such as Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio. With only 5 channels of amplification, the Yamaha RX-V479 won’t support Dolby Atmos or DTS:X object based audio formats. DSD 2.8 MHz / 5.6 MHz, FLAC, WAV, AIFF 192 kHz / 24-bit, and Apple® Lossless 96 kHz / 24-bit are hi-resolution music formats which are supported by the 479. You can stream these files over your network or, if you have a USB drive, you can plug it into the input on the front and pull your files from that.

 

Setup & Calibration

Getting the Yamaha RX-V479 on your WiFi network is a painless process. If you have an iOS device, you can copy your WiFi settings from it to the receiver, so there’s no to need manually setup your WiFi connection (a great feature by the way).

 

Yamaha also offers an AV setup app for iOS and Android devices that’s designed to help assist with the setup process. However, the app is pretty finicky and I experienced some device compatibility issues with both my Android and iOS devices. Yamaha has the right idea with the app, but they need to work on these issues for it to really be helpful.

 

For calibration, the 479 uses Yamaha’s tried and true YPAO calibration system. Plug in the included calibration mic and the receiver sends out a series of test tones which it uses to calibrate your system. In a few minutes your new amp is pretty much ready to go.

 

Sound Quality

Jurassic World on Blu-Ray gave the Yamaha RX-V479 on opportunity to flex its muscles. The 479 took me racing through the forest with the sharp clawed raptors. Rustling foliage rushed past my head thanks to the amps capable surround reproduction. When Indominus Rex first appeared onscreen it’s monstrous footsteps pounded the ground with serious authority. Overall, the Yamaha 479 produced an exhilarating performance with the latest Jurassic epic.

 

The post apocalyptic movie Mad Max: Fury Road continued the sonic barrage as the Wild Boys chased Charlize Theron through the desolate desert landscape. The sound of revving engines growled and snarled furiously bouncing from speaker to speaker.

 

Switching over to The Hobbit: The Battle of The Five Armies the Yamaha RX-V479 showed it was also capable of producing extreme detail and clarity. Dialogue was crisp and clear. As the movie progressed to it’s climactic final battle every sword clang and crunch of metal was dynamic and visceral.

 

The 479 is also no slouch in the music department. Lana Del Rey’s breathy vocals on Summertime Sadness had both depth and detail. Plopping in AC/DC’s Live at Donington blu-ray the 479 provided a dynamic and energetic performance.

 

Conclusion

The Yamaha RX-V479 is an impressive receiver with great sound quality and features. Every year that goes by it seems that there are fewer and fewer 5 channel amps on the market. With that in mind, if you’re in the market for a 5 channel receiver I wouldn’t hesitate to pick this one up.

 


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