Yamaha unveiled a slew of new products in April, all of which featured MusicCast Surround, an even more flexible take on the MusicCast technology the company debuted in 2016. It turns out Yamaha was just getting started, as it has now announced the new Aventage RX-A 80 series of A/V receivers, all of which use the new technology. Three of these models also share another new surround sound feature that we can’t wait to try out in person, Surround:AI.
As the name implies, Surround:AI is an artificial intelligence-driven feature that aims to give home theater enthusiasts the perfect audio experience by adjusting audio levels on the fly. The feature will adjust levels on a per-scene basis, matching scenes against a reference database of movie scenes, so it should be able to balance bombastic action sequences and quietly spoken dialogue equally well. Yamaha says the feature can make dialogue in scenes with plenty of background noise easier to hear, as well as add body to over-the-top scenes.
All six of the new receivers feature MusicCast Surround, meaning you can easily set up a 5.1-channel surround sound system using wireless speakers. The Aventage RX-A 80 series also features support for Wi-Fi, AirPlay, and Bluetooth, as well as built-in support for Spotify, Pandora, Deezer, Tidal, Napster, and SiriusXM Satellite Radio.
The receivers also support pass-through of the latest and greatest audio technologies like 4K and high dynamic range, with support for HDR10, Dolby Vision, and Hybrid Log Gamma. The receivers also support both Dolby Atmos and DTS:X object-based surround sound, adding height channels information to a standard surround setup for a more immersive experience.
The three new models that boast Surround:AI are the 9.2-channel RX-A3080 and RX-A2080, as well as the 7.2-channel RX-A10180, all of which feature ESS SABRE 32-bit DACs and offer 150, 140, and 110 watts of power per channel, respectively. All of these models will begin shipping in July. The RX-A3080 will retail for $2,200, while the RX-A2080 will sell for $1,700, and the RX-A1080 will be priced at $1,300.
If you’re not looking for Surround:AI, the remaining models still have plenty to offer, including 7.2-channel audio, and are priced lower. The RX-A880 will ship in June for $1,000, while the RX-A780 and RX-A680 are shipping in May for $700 and $600, respectively. For more information, see the Yamaha website, and take a look at our A/V receiver buying guide to make sure you buy the perfect receiver for you.