Review of Yamaha RX-V681BL A/V Receiver

john January 3, 2018 No Comments

Yamaha RX-V681BL A/V Receiver

AV receivers are no less popular than HDTVs in home entertainment segment and with time, technology used in these devices keep getting better. Yamaha is known for making some of the most well performing and feature rich AV receivers. The Yamaha RX-V681 is one such model that offers a good blend of features and performance. This can be a worthy alternative to the models from stables of Sony and Marantz, for sure.

Yamaha RX-V681BL AV Receiver

Yamaha RX-V681BL AV Receiver – View in Amazon

Design: Classy & Elegant

The 7.2 channel AV receiver is not very different looking from most competing models in the market, and the design is classy yet understated. The top of the front fascia is covered by a display panel and it is sleek. Below the display panel there is a large volume knob at right side. There are a few buttons and a USB port at the front as well. The back side is replete with all type of ports and inputs but you can find them easily for color coding and clear labeling. You may need some time getting used to the bundled remote controller. It looks identical to the RX-V683, as it is.

Features: Everything is There- Almost!

Yamaha has crammed the RXV681 with almost all types of features buyers can ask for. This 7.2 channel AV receiver is an audiophile’s dream- as far as features are concerned. The surround sound lovers will rejoice to know that it comes with support for formats like Dolby Atmos and DTS:X.  Right now availability of compatible media is limited but with time that is set to change.

Nowadays, most AV receiver buyers look for support for web streaming services. In this department, the Yamaha RXV681 scores very well and stumps most of its category rivals. The well known MusicCast system is present in this model. It can be used to stream services like Pandora and Spotify along with Rhapsody. Besides, it supports Apple AirPlay. So, you can stream music wirelessly from Macbook or iPod easily. Bluetooth works both ways and so you can use the device to stream audio to Bluetooth based headphones.

If using the bundled remote controller is something you do not like, do not fret. The Yamaha AV Controller App is your alternative. Download the app on your tablet and Smartphone and use the device as a touch based remote unit.

The Yamaha RXV681 can play back most popular audio formats without any issues. You can play back files in formats like MP3, WMA, WAV, FLAC etc. The front USB port can be used to play back content from USB drives.

Yamaha use a number of technologies and features in this AV receiver to improve media playback quality and most of them are meant to improve sound outputs. The good thing is that most of them actually produce desired result. The Compressed Music Enhancer for example does a nice job of making low bit rate MP3s sound better.

The receiver comes with support for Gapless Playback. This is nice when you want to play back live and classical albums with zero gap between two tracks. This is compatible with file formats like WAV, FLAC and WAV. Yamaha also offers support for Virtual Surround Sound. This way you can enjoy immersive surround sound even without installing speakers at back side.

You may not buy AV receivers with intention to save energy. But Yamaha packs in an Eco mode that as per the claims of the company consumes up to 20 percent less power than normal mode. The Auto Power Standby can be used to make the device off after a certain time.

It offers two zone content playback and streaming. However, unlike pricier sibling RX V 683 there is no party mode. You can use 5.1-channel setup in zone 1 while zone 2 can play back two speakers.

Connectivity: Most Boxes Ticked

Wireless connectivity is gaining popularity in home entertainment and most AV receivers feature one or more wireless connectivity features. In this model, you get embedded Bluetooth and wifi. The good thing is that it has WiFi Direct feature so you can do without a wifi router. The only omission is support for Chrome cast.  However, support for DLNA is there.

As for regular connectivity, the Yamaha RXV681 fares pretty well. There are 6 HDMI ports and they all comply with HDMI 2.0 and HDCP 2.2 standards. So, you can be assured about enjoying 4K HDR content on your HDTV.  There are enough analog and digital ports at the back side of the device.

Setup & Performance

Setting up the AV receiver is not tedious at all. You can use the included user annual but it is also easy to set up the device without the manual. It is recommended you use the AV SETUP GUIDE app to setup the receiver. Yamaha uses its proprietary calibration system YPAO and running it is not tough. You need to make use of the bundled microphone. The UI is not exactly the best but there is support for 8 languages which is commendable.

There is no denying the Yamaha RX-V681 performs exceptionally well in music department and video output is also very good. The Dolby sound effects work as desired as long as you setup the speakers well and calibrate in proper way. Even at high volumes, vocals do not sound unnatural or distorted and bass sounds thumping. Enjoying blu ray discs is not a problem as well.

Yamaha RX-V681BLSpecifications

Yamaha RX-V681BLAmplifier Output Details
105 Watt - 8 Ohm - at 1 kHz - THD 0.9% 2 Channels
90 Watt - 8 Ohm - 20 - 20000 Hz - THD 0.06% 2 Channels
150 Watt - 8 Ohm - at 1 kHz - THD 10%1 Channel
Yamaha RX-V681BLAudio System
TypeA/V Network Receiver
SubcategoryA/V Components
FunctionsAV Network Receiver, Digital Player, Internet Radio
3D TechnologyYes
Media Content SourceBluetooth, Network, USB-host
Supported Digital Audio StandardsAAC, AIFF, ALAC, DSD, FLAC, MP3, PCM, WAV, WMA
Sound Output ModeSorround Sound
Audio D/A Converter24bit / 192kHz
Built-in DecodersDSD decoder, DTS 96/24, DTS-HD Master Audio, DTS:X, Dolby Atmos, Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby Pro Logic IIx, Dolby Surround, Dolby TrueHD, SBC decoder, DTS Digital Surround, DTS Express, DTS Neo:6, DTS decoder, DTS-ES Discrete 6.1, DTS-ES Matrix 6.1, DTS-ES decoder, DTS-HD High Resolution
Surround Sound EffectsCINEMA DSP 3D, SILENT CINEMA DSP, Virtual CINEMA DSP, Virtual CINEMA FRONT, Virtual Presence Speaker, Virtual Surround Back Speaker
Sound EffectsExtra Bass
Surround System Class7.2 Channel
Digital Sound Processor (DSP)Yes
DSP Preset Qty17
Additional FeaturesApple AirPlay Support, Audio Return Channel (ARC), Dual-zone capability, iPod/iPhone/iPad Ready, Smartphone Remote Controlled, x.v.Color, Bi-Amplifying, Bluetooth Audio Streaming, Deep Color, MusicCast System, Pure Direct mode, YPAO Volume, YPAO with R.S.C. (Reflected Sound Control), Compressed Music Enhancer
Bass ControlYes
Treble ControlYes
Built-in ClockSleep Timer
Yamaha RX-V681BLPower Device
Nominal Voltage120 Volt AC
Frequency Required60 Hertz
Power Consumption Stand by0.1 Watt


Yamaha RX-V681BL RECEIVER Review

Yamaha RX-V681BL Receiver – View in Amazon

Yamaha RX-V681BLAmplifier
Input Impedance47 Ohm
Input Sensitivity200 mV
Yamaha RX-V681BLAmplifier Output Details
Output Power / Channel105 Watt, 150 Watt, 90 Watt
Output Impedance / Channel8 Ohm
Frequency Response20 - 20000 Hz, at 1 kHz
Total Harmonic Distortion (THD)0.06 %, 0.9 %, 10 %
Channel Qty1,2
Yamaha RX-V681BLRadio
Tuner TypeDigital
Tuner BandsAM/FM
Tuning DisplayFluorescent Display
Preset Station Quantity40
Yamaha RX-V681BLNetwork & Internet Multimedia
FunctionalityInternet Radio Playback, Digital Audio Playback
Connectivity InterfacesBluetooth 2.1 EDR, IEEE 802.11b/g/n, IEEE 802.3 (Ethernet), IEEE 802.3u (Fast Ethernet)
Internet Streaming ServicesPandora, Rhapsody, SiriusXM internet radio, Spotify
Yamaha RX-V681BL Signal Processing Features
HDMI Pass-ThroughUp to 4K
Video Conversion/ScalingHDMI to HDMI scaling, Analog to HDMI up conversion
3D Pass ThroughYes
Upscaling via HDMIUp to 4K
Yamaha RX-V681BLConnections
TypeHDMI input, digital audio input (coaxial), digital audio input (optical), headphones, monitor output,
TypeHDMI output, trigger, LAN, USB, audio line-in, audio line-out (multi zone), component video input
TypePhono input, Remote control input, Remote control output, Speakers output, Subwoofer output, Component video output, Composite video input
Connector Type19 pin HDMI Type A, RCA x 2, RCA x 3, RJ-45, TOSLINK, Banana/spade x 2
Connector TypeClick-fit x 2, phone stereo 6.3 mm, 4 pin USB Type A, RCA
Connector LocationFront, Rear
Yamaha RX-V681BLService & Support Details
TypeLimited Warranty
Service IncludedParts & Labor
Full Contract Period2 Years
Yamaha RX-V681BLDimensions & Weight
Width17.1 in
Depth14.9 in
Height6.7 in
Weight22.05 lbs
Yamaha RX-V681BLSignal Processing Features
Upscaling via HDMIUp to 4K
HDMI Pass-ThroughUp to 4K
Video Conversion/ScalingAnalog to HDMI up conversion, HDMI to HDMI scaling


Summing it All Up

Overall, the Yamaha RX-V681 comes across as a competent network AV receiver that has plenty of features and performs admirably on all fronts. The connectivity features are good and sound enhancement features all work well- they are not gimmicky. However, the lack of support for Chromecast is somewhat disheartening. The remote is not user friendly but you can use the app which is intuitive. The OSD is also sleek and setting up the device is simple. If you want a 7.2 ch receiver with most popular features and good overall performance, this is a good choice.

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