The Good: The Yamaha RX-V679 is loaded with good features such as built-in WiFi and Bluetooth. It’s also easy to setup and use on your network. Overall sound quality is very good.

 

The Bad: The 679 does not include Dolby Atmos or DTS:X on its list of substantial features.

 

Summary: The Yamaha 679 is near the top of the list of AV amps in this price range. However, other AV manufacturers such as Onkyo and Pioneer offer receivers with similar features that include Dolby Atmos and cost less. With that in mind the 679 will face stiff competition this year.

 

Yamaha RX-V679BL 7.2-Channel MusicCast AV Receiver with Bluetooth

Price: $349.95

4.4 out of 5 stars (367 customer reviews)

30 used & new available from $279.96

 

 

Yamaha RX-V679 Review

Yamaha RX-V679 ReviewAppearance & Design

The Yamaha 679 looks nearly identical to last year’s 677. The rectangular black box features an aluminum front panel. Your standard input, volume and scene selection buttons etc. are all present on the front, although you’ll rarely have any need to use them. The remote that comes included with the Yamaha RX-V679 is the standard button cluttered affair. The 679’s remote is tied with the Onkyo 646’s for the most complicated. Increasing the size of the buttons and taking a few off would greatly improve its overall usability.

 

The on-screen graphical menus I found to be intuitive and easy to use on the 679. Many AV’s are still using simple text interfaces so it’s good to see an AV manufacturer put a little effort into making an interface that has a little more flare to it.

 

Connectivity

Yamaha RX-V679 Rear Inputs

Most AV manufacturers are starting to slowly eliminate analog connections. It’s refreshing to see an amp that still offers a good supply of legacy hook-ups. The Yamaha RX-V679 offers-up four stereo RCA inputs (one output), along with dual coaxial and optical inputs. The 679 also has two component inputs (one output), one ethernet port, two subwoofer pre-outs, one USB input (front), a 12V trigger and an IR input. Second zone stereo audio is also available with the 679.

 

Yamaha RX-V679 HDMI Inputs

The highlight of the show of course are the HDMI inputs. The Yamaha 679 comes equipped with six total HDMI inputs including one in the front. While all the inputs/outputs are HDMI 2.0 and support 4K video, only the first three and the output are HDCP 2.2 copy protection compliant. HDCP 2.2 compatibility will be pretty important when 4K video media providers begin using the encryption technology in the future. The 679 is capable of 4K pass through as well as upscaling standard HD content up to 4K.

 

Plentiful Wireless Solutions

The Yamaha RX-V679  includes built-in Bluetooth and WiFi. Internet streaming options are bountiful with the 679 thanks to streaming services such as Pandora, Spotify, Rhapsody, SiriusXM and vTuner. Apple’s Airplay is also present and accounted for on the Yamaha 679. For Bluetooth playback, Yamaha’s compressed music enhancer, which they’ve used in the past to improve the sound quality of compressed audio files, is now optimized for Bluetooth audio as well.

 

Making its debut this year is Yamaha’s new MusicCast service. MusicCast is essentially a multi-room audio platform. The system allows you to broadcast audio to other wireless MusicCast devices throughout your house. The system not only works with Yamaha’s MusicCast products, but will also play well with other Bluetooth products from other manufacturers so you don’t have to fill your home with only Yamaha products (although I’m sure Yamaha would prefer you did).

 

Setup

Setting up the Yamaha RX-V679 is a painless process. Yamaha’s YPAO calibration system only requires you to place the setup microphone in one location in your room. The system does the rest by sending out a series of audio tones to each of your speakers. The whole process only takes a couple of minutes. The results were good overall. However, my fronts and rears were mislabeled as large which I went in and corrected.

 

Setting up Bluetooth and WiFi was also a cinch. WiFi can either be setup manually, or the settings can be copied over from an iOS device to the amp. I loved the ability to do this since I’ve always found the need to input my long WiFi password to be royal pain. In a matter of minutes I had both WiFi and Bluetooth setup and ready to go.

 

Plopping in a USB stick on the front of the Yamaha RX-V679 allowed me to stream hi-res audio files to the amp. Thankfully the 679 can handle most formats including; DSD 2.8 MHz / 5.6 MHz, FLAC, WAV, AIFF 192 kHz / 24-bit and Apple® Lossless 96 kHz / 24-bit.

 

Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master audio are among the 679’s supported home theater formats. However, two formats you won’t see on the 679 are Dolby Atmos or DTS:X. This is a little unfortunate since some of it’s less expensive competitors offer both.

 

Yamaha RX-V679 Controller App

Yamaha Controller App

Yamaha’s control app is a free download on the App and Google Play stores. Once on your device it lets you control many of the functions of the receiver rather easily. It also lets you go in and customize your listening experience by adjusting the DSP settings of the receiver to your liking. The app is rather intuitive and easy to use. In fact, after using it for a while I found that I preferred using the app over the cluttered remote.

 

Performance

Star Trek into Darkness sounded wide and spacious on the Yamaha 679. Dialogue was detailed and crisp. When Khan and Kirk space jump from the Enterprise to the U.S.S. Vengeance, the mangled wreckage and space debris wrapped around the listening area. Later when Spock and Khan duke it out on a small transportation vessel every punch and kick landed with painful authority.

 

Transformers: Age of Extinction on Blu-ray put the surround channels to the test. For the most part the 679 was impressive. Sounds convincingly swept from right to left creating an enveloping sound field. The action packed movie has no shortage of explosions so the Yamaha 679 had plenty of opportunities to display its low-end heft. It didn’t disappoint with explosions displaying considerable punch. However, it wasn’t all roses in the surround department. When I had the chance to listen to the Onkyo TX-NR646 a few months ago its ability to transition audio from the front of the room to the rear was uncanny and probably the best I’ve heard on an amp this year. The Yamaha RX-V679 didn’t display the same smooth transition from front to rear. On the other hand, its detailed sound made it possible to hear every click-clank and whir produced by the jumbo bots.

 

The Yamaha RX-V679 was equally adept in the music department. Treble was crisp and clear without being overly sharp. The 679 also displayed a meaty low-end. All told the amp is a lively musical performer. If it has any weakness it lies in its mid-range which I found to be not as authoritative as I would have liked.

 

Conclusion

The past few years the Yamaha RX-V600 series of receivers have hit a sweet spot in the AV receiver category. Starting with the Yamaha 673 a few year’s ago these receivers’ have consistently struck a balance between features and great audio quality. This year’s latest entry, the Yamaha RX-V679, again hits nearly all the right notes except for a couple notable omissions. Unlike some of its competitors, the Yamaha 679 does not include support for Dolby Atmos or DTS:X. While it’s hard to say whether or not Atmos will live up to the hype at this point, Onkyo’s TX-NR646 and Pioneer’s VSX-1130 are at the same price point as the Yamaha 679 and both include Atmos. With the competition offering more features at roughly the same price, the competitive landscape for the 679 is tougher this year.

 


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