10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Gem of a Receiver,
This review is from: Yamaha RX-V371BL 5.1- Channel A/V Receiver (Discontinued by Manufacturer) (Electronics)
I tend to do reviews well after I have purchased a product and not in the honeymoon phase. I have owned this receiver for almost a year now. I primarily got this receiver for two reasons. First was to get a surround sound setup for my living room. I actually got this in a package and it came with 5 yamaha speakers and a sub-woofer. Second was so that I could get a handle on all the different input devices I was using. At the time I got this, I had a PS3, Xbox 360, Google TV and cable television box. My TV only supported 3 HDMI inputs, so I had to unplug one if I wanted to plug in another. This receiver has 4 HDMI inputs and one HDMI out. Mostly though, I wanted 5.1 surround sound while playing video games. And this did not disappoint. It absolutely blew away my mind first time I played Call of Duty: Black Ops using this. It adds a whole new dimension to gaming. I would say adds a good 20-25% to your gaming experience if you have been playing just using the TV speakers.
Moving on to movies. I have a big collection of HD movies and have been playing them mostly using the PS3. Video wise, I didn't notice any difference playing directly from PS3 or playing using this receiver. Sound however was absolutely fantastic. Again, it adds new level of immersion to your media and everything just sounds better. I found the speakers that came with the home theater package to be of decent quality and I could hear every bit of detail in the movies. In fact sometimes, I find watching movie better at home than in theaters. That never happened before I got this system. It really reproduces every sound detail very well and dialogues are crisp and clear. I also didn't find the sound to be overwhelming in any way. It doesn't color the sound or add bass or treble to the source. You can also tweak a lot of sound settings in the menus. So you can adjust equalizer to fit your hearing taste.
Music. I find everything quite pleasing for my ears. The default Yamaha speakers that came with mine are by no means high quality speakers but the sound is better than what I get out of my computer using higher quality speakers. Yamaha is a premium sound company, has been for years, and they really know their stuff. The least you have to worry about is the sound being bad. It may not be of the highest quality in the market but for this price I doubt you can get anything better than this.
Other features: Plenty of inputs, front RCA inputs are helpful to plug in your iPod. The remote has nice feel to buttons and is very responsive. It's better than the remote for my HDTV. The receiver looks good and doesn't look cheap at all. It's really easy to switch between inputs and also easy to apply different Cinema DSPs (sound settings) with touch of a button on the remote. It Has quite a few sound presets for movies and music as well as different surround sound options. I don't have one favourite and use whatever seems to suit for a particular movie/song. For headphones, I found 2Ch stereo to produce the best sound.
Downsides: Menus. It can be little challenging to navigate through all the settings on the small size screen. However, I only had to fiddle with it a few times before getting it how I wanted and I don't really have to go to the menu for anything anymore. They do have newer versions and more expensive models that have a visual interface through output. And it may be worth it for some people, definitely easier to go through menus. But if you are a student or on tight budget, I would skip that. Like I said, you only use it till you get it right and then don't necessarily have to touch it.
Overall, after owning this receiver for almost a year, I will say that it is one of the best purchases I've ever made along with PS3. It has definitely made my gaming, watching movies and listening to music more enjoyable and for this price, there's really nothing more I ask of it.