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Yamaha RX V381 Review – Knowing What Top Features Actually Mean

by Robert
Yamaha RX V381 Review

Yamaha RX V381 may not look like such a big difference from the previously released models. It has similar buttons on the front, yet it is a bit more compact and smaller – just enough to get a good accommodation under the TV stand or anywhere in the area.

The receiver is rated to be an entry-level model. It does not overflow with bells and whistles – after all, who needs all those random features that only add to the price? Instead, it is a focused performer coming with just the right capabilities.

My Yamaha RX V381 review will help you determine whether or not this receiver is what your home cinema system needs. It is suitable for a series of other uses as well. So, what should you know about it before spending your money?

What makes Yamaha RX V381 a sound performer

The overall performance recommends this receiver for most home applications. The sound is articulate and quick. With certain movies or games, it will make everything feel like you are right there in the middle of action.

It truly impressed me during dialogues. Voices are quite expressive and you can sense tones in a completely new way.

On another note, while this is not my first receiver, I found it very easy to set up. Everything is straightforward and simple – no need for previous experience.

Yamaha RX V381

Who Yamaha RX V381 is for

I find the RX V381 model suitable for two categories.

First, you got those who want quality. We all know how poorly designed TV speakers are – the issue is just part of the thin design style. After all, where are you going to fit some decent speakers? It makes no difference if you are after quality games or you have a small home cinema in a room. If you want quality sound, this receiver can make it happen.

Second, you have those who want value for money. The AV receiver features just what you need. It is priced accordingly – no bells and whistles. Who needs them anyway?

However, if the budget is not an issue for you and you want the latest technologies, this AV receiver may not be the best option for you. It can get the job done, but you want bells and whistles – not going to find them here.

Technical features

Now, what should you know about its features and specifications?

Sound quality

I have tried this receiver with everything. I tried it with both action and horror movies. The fact that it impresses in sound should not be a surprise – after all, Yamaha’s latest releases have dominated the market.

Whether it comes to punches, shots, ghostly whispers or dialogues, close your eyes and you can feel the action around you.

So, what will actually impress you? The detail. You will never read a negative Yamaha RX V381 review about small details. Every detail is detected and successfully represented throughout your speakers.


Yamaha has kept in simple in terms of connectivity. Think about it – what else do you need apart from USB and Bluetooth connectivity? You can hook pretty much any device through a classic USB connection. If you want to go wirelessly, you can also use the Bluetooth connectivity.

I found it surprising that even if you hook in some lower quality files, the Compressed Music Enhancer will still get as much as possible out of them and provide rich sounds in a smooth ambiance. A remote controller is included in the package for more convenience.

Numbers and specs

The AV receiver is a 5.1 surround sound unit. Each channel features 100 watts. It is compatible with HDMI 2.0 and HDCP 2.2 technologies, but it will also handle 4K signals with no issues at all. It is HDR compatible too.

While the sound quality is quite good out of the box, you have an automatic setup calibration. The on screen GUI will make it easier for you. Everything is intuitive, so you do not have too much hassle.


Yamaha RX V381 is not entirely free of bells and whistles. The YPAO speaker setup will measure the room and set the unit accordingly. You also have a free application to help using the menu, not to mention connectivity.

Final words​​

As a short final conclusion, Yamaha has created yet another successful product that will most likely dominate the market for a while. The RX V381 unit comes to continue the tradition of some flawless AV receivers released over the past years.

My Yamaha RX V381 review is straight to the point. You will get more than what you pay for. You have a leading product from a reputable manufacturer. You get all the features needed to enhance your experience, but no random stuff that will only boost the price.

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