Yamaha Canada Music Ltd. has announced three new AV receivers in its premium Aventage series. The signature feature of the RX-A1080, RX-A2080 and RX-A3080 is Surround:AI, which automatically adjusts audio levels on the fly to match program content. All three models ship in August.
In real time and on a scene-by-scene basis, Surround:AI analyzes a scene's audio characteristics, including dialog, sound effects and channel balance. The receiver then compares the scene's audio characteristics to a reference database of movie scenes and automatically processes the scene's soundfield to enhance the audio experience. As Yamaha explains, Surround:AI makes dialog more intelligible in scenes with lots of background noise; delivers massive, full-bodied sound for scenes with big sound effects; and ensures that viewers can hear softly spoken dialog and faint background sounds.
Another new feature is MusicCast Surround, which allows Yamaha's new MusicCast 20 and MusicCast 50 wireless speakers (also shipping in August) to be used for the left and right surround channels, each synchronized with wired front speakers. MusicCast Surround builds on Yamaha's MusicCast wireless multi-room platform, which streams music from almost any audio source over a home's Wi-Fi network to multiple MusicCast audio products throughout the house.
All three models have seven HDMI inputs and three HDMI outputs, with support for 4K 60fps video, with HDCP 2.2 copy protection, and compatibility with HDR10, Dolby Vision and Hybrid-Log Gamma. They also feature Yamaha's Cinema DSP HD3 technology, which expands the 3D soundfield of Dolby Atmos and DTS:X soundtracks.
Priced in Canada at $1,699.95 MSRP, the 7.2-channel RX-A1080 can be configured for 5.2.2 immersive audio, in a system consisting of five front and surround speakers, up to two powered subwoofers, and two height speakers. Rated power is 7x110 watts (8Ω, 20Hz-20kHz, 0.06% THD, two channels driven).
The RX-A2080 ($2,199.95 MSRP) is a 9.2-channel receiver that can power 5.2.4 and 7.2.2 Dolby Atmos and DTS:X configurations, or a traditional 5.2-channel configuration with powered Zone 2 and Zone 3 capability. Rated power is 9x140 watts (8Ω, 20Hz-20kHz, 0.06% THD, two channels driven).
The top-of-the-line 9.2-channel RX-A3080 ($2,699.95, shown at top of story) can be used with an external two-channel amplifier for 11.2-channel immersive audio, in a 7.2.4 configuration. Rated power is 9x150 watts (8Ω, 20Hz-20kHz, 0.06% THD, two channels driven).
Other refinements include electronic components that suppress digital noise and vibrations that reduce audio quality; a sturdy frame-and-beam chassis with a fifth foot to dampen sound-degrading resonances; and an aluminum front panel that shields sensitive internal circuitry from electronic noise generated by dimmer switches and other home electronics. The RX-A1080, RX-A2080, RX-A3080 come with a Canadian-exclusive four-year parts-and-labour warranty.