Yamaha Aventage RX-A4A Home Theatre Receiver
About Yamaha Aventage RX-A4A Home Theatre Receiver
The Yamaha RX-A4A is the entry into Yamaha’s upper tier of Aventage home theatre receivers and, believe us, it is no slouch. It has many of the bells and whistles of the upper level models but at its price it is exceptional value for money. It has a dynamic 110 Watt amplifier with 7 channels of amplification and support, either inbuilt or coming soon, for all the latest audio, video & gaming technologies. Those who are lusting after a flagship Yamaha home theatre receiver but who need to be realistic regarding their expenditure should be taking a very close look at the Yamaha Aventage RX-A4A.
The Yamaha Aventage RX-A4A is the latest in a series of highly successful models going back over several years. Last year we wondered whether there could be anything else added to this truly impressive line-up. And there is. For the first time Yamaha are offering support for 4K/120 & 8K/60 resolution playback with HDMI upscaling to 8K. The physical construction has also seen improvements with a new H-frame and more solid mechanical structure and greater transformer separation for reduced noise and improved performance.
As always, the main thrust of Yamaha's Aventage RX-A4A receiver is still to offer the most flexible home theatre and multi-room options, in addition to the most immersive surround sound formats to the consumer. With full support for cutting-edge 8K and HDR+ (High Dynamic Range) video technology, this powerful receiver works beautifully with the latest Ultra HD TVs and Blu-ray players, although their days seem to be numbered with online streaming now a reality. Stream music from a variety of sources and enjoy high-resolution audio, in your living room, or in any room in your house with MusicCast wireless multi-room audio playback.
Amplifier Power & Features
Power Output: The Aventage line of Yamaha AV receivers is based on the audio design concept of providing a massive, full-bodied sound for movie sound effects and the accurate reproduction of music sources. By expertly harmonising traditional and advanced technologies, every factor that affects sound quality, from materials & parts construction to circuitry layout, vibration damping, and "fine-tuning" the sound, is handled with no other thought than to achieve the best possible audio quality. A fully discrete power amplifier helps maximise sound and minimise distortion of the receiver. The Yamaha RX-A4A AV Receiver is equipped with a 7 channel amplifier rated at 110 watts (into 8 Ohms, driving 2 channels) which provides high dynamic power with low-impedance drive capability.
High Slew Rate Amplifiers: This Aventage model now features high slew rate amplifiers. The slew rate of an amplifier has a direct correlation with the dynamics of the final sound as the slew rate indicates how quickly the amplifier can respond to a rapid change in the input signal. The faster the slew rate, the more accurately it can reproduce and keep up with the original source with the result being a sound that’s more dynamic and explosive as it’s capturing more of the original source detail. For context, the slew rate on this Aventage AVR model has been doubled compared to that of the previous generation and is now the same as the MX-A5200 power amplifier.
Symmetrical Power Amplifier Layout: The interior of the unit has been precisely planned, circuit-routed and built so that the left & right channels are physically and electrically isolated which naturally maximises channel separation and improves signal to noise ratio. The benefit? This helps to achieve a wide, open sound stage.
Ultra-High Performance 32-Bit DACs: The Yamaha RX-A4A uses the latest high performance SABRE PRO Premier ES9007 DAC for all channels. With ESS patented Hyperstream DAC architecture and Time Domain Jitter Eliminator, the ES9007 DAC delivers spectacular movie and music soundtracks with an unsurpassed sound stage free from clock jitter common in digital audio systems. This AV receiver's sound reproduction is for the most discriminating of listeners.
Easy Setup & Control: Yamaha's free AV Setup Guide app for iOS and Android tablets takes you step-by-step through the connection process. The simple yet sophisticated YPAO calibration system uses an included setup microphone to analyse your speakers and your room's acoustics to optimise your system's sound. The comprehensive, customisable AV Controller app turns your compatible mobile device into an ultra-convenient Wi-Fi remote.
More Music Choices: The RX-A4A has Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and Apple AirPlay 2 all built in, so you have loads of options for wireless music streaming. And with Yamaha’s embedded MusicCast system the depth of music listening opportunities is wonderfully expanded. There's built-in support for Spotify Connect, so you can play and control your custom content directly through the receiver. There is also support for other streaming services such as Deezer, Tidal & Amazon Music. And let’s not forget about the thousands of radios stations available through internet radio which can open you to a whole other world of music you may never have encountered before. You can also stream audio via Bluetooth to a compatible pair of Bluetooth headphones — great for late-night TV viewing — or to a compatible wireless speaker. And switching from digital to analogue, the built-in phono preamp lets you plug in a turntable and get back in the vinyl groove.
Music & Video In Up To Four Rooms: The RX-A4A lets you expand music and video playback to different rooms. Play music in an additional room, and you can still enjoy surround sound in your home theatre. If you have more speakers connected in your living room, Yamaha's Intelligent Amp Assign feature automatically powers up to seven speakers when the second zone isn’t in use. A second HDMI output lets you select an independent source for playback on a TV in an additional room, making it easy to put on a movie for the kids in one room while you catch up on your TV shows in the other.
MusicCast Wireless Freedom: MusicCast makes it easy to build a whole-home wireless audio system with compatible Yamaha wireless speakers and sound bars. You'll have plenty of sources to choose from, including your personal digital music library, Internet radio, and popular streaming services. You can also play Bluetooth sources, like your phone or tablet, sound from your TV, and even CDs and vinyl. MusicCast also supports high-resolution audio formats.
Advanced Features & Surround Sound Formats
The Yamaha RX-A4A AV receiver goes beyond regular surround with the latest immersive surround sound formats, including Dolby Atmos & DTS:X.
Dolby Atmos: This Yamaha AV receiver will enhance properly designed systems with Dolby Atmos where sound comes alive from all directions, including overhead, to fill your home theatre with astonishing clarity, power, detail and depth. The RX-A4A has the processing power to run a more enveloping 7ch Dolby Atmos layout using 5.2.2 configurations utilising ceiling mounted, or Dolby Atmos-enabled speakers (sold separately).
DTS:X: This is the next generation object-based, multi-dimensional audio technology from DTS. Unbound from channels, DTS:X conveys the fluid movement of sound to create an incredibly rich, realistic and immersive soundscape - in front of, behind, beside and above the audience - more accurately than ever before. DTS:X offers the ability to automatically adapt the audio to the speaker layout that best fits your space.
Dolby Surround: Enhance your 2 channel and multichannel movie soundtracks using your existing 5 channel, 7 channel or Dolby Atmos speaker setup. Dolby Surround enhances audio definition by improving the spatial dimension and overall audio definition of movie soundtracks. It does this by using four distinct surround zones that provide greater control over the exact placement of each detail in a movie sound track, so audio can be matched more accurately to the video on screen; this means more depth and greater realism for your movies.
Surround:AI: The AI technology built into the DSP analyses the scene of the entertainment content and then creates the optimal surround effect to reproduce it with the greatest effect. This AI instantaneously analyses scenes by focusing on distinct sound elements such as dialogue, background music, ambient sounds and sound effects, and automatically optimises the surround effect in real time, just as if a Yamaha sound engineer tunes the best sound specifically for you. This creates a compelling sense of realism with expressive power beyond conventional sound field effects, giving you the most profound entertainment experience possible.
Dolby Atmos and DTS-X Playback with CINEMA DSP HD3: This AV receiver supports Dolby Atmos and DTS-X playback with CINEMA DSP HD3, taking the surround sound experience to new heights. The revamped CINEMA DSP HD3 features new signal processing algorithms and three sets of high performance processors. This maximises theatre sound effects, accurately reproducing a new dimension of realism for a sound field with a rich sense of presence and no feeling of boundaries. You will experience a realistic cinema sound field with the sense of truly being immersed in the movie scene.
Gaming Dedicated Functions: Enhanced gaming and media features ensure an added level of smooth and seamless motion and transitions for gaming, movies and video. They include: Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM) which enables the ideal latency setting to automatically be applied, allowing for smooth, lag-free and uninterrupted viewing and interactivity. Variable Refresh Rate (VRR) reduces or eliminates lag, stutter and frame tearing for more fluid and detailed gameplay. Quick Media Switching (QMS) for movies and video eliminates the delay that can result in blank frames before content is displayed. Quick Frame Transport (QFT) reduces latency for smoother no-lag gaming, and real-time interactive virtual reality.
Please Note: These features will be unlocked via future software updates.
Wireless Surround Speakers with MusicCast Surround: Combine this AV receiver with the MusicCast 50 or MusicCast 20 wireless streaming speaker and enjoy the amazing convenience of creating a home theatre with wireless rear speakers. What's more, you get stunningly realistic sound with a clean, clutter-free setup. Easily turn your current living room into a special entertainment environment where you can fully enjoy movies and music.
Three HDMI Outputs: Since the RX-A4A has three HDMI output terminals, simultaneous connection to the TV, LCD projector and other devices, is possible. Which means, for example, that you can use your TV as usual but use the projector for your favourite movies and special programming, or have the same main room content shown in other rooms as well — easily and without having to change any connections. Naturally, the built-in HDMI functionality is of the very latest technology including HDR+ (Dolby Vision Compatible, Hybrid Log-Gamma), 8K 60Hz / 4K 120Hz passthrough & 8K upscaling.
Please Note: Some features will be unlocked via future software updates.
Amazon Alexa & Google Assistant on MusicCast: Alexa, ask MusicCast to play Favourite 1 in the Kitchen. With Alexa or Google voice control integration, all you have to do is ask. The RX-A4A offers full compatibility with Amazon & Google's range of voice control devices. Welcome to the smart home.
The Aventage Difference
Yamaha uses custom-designed parts with anti-resonance technology to reduce distortion caused by vibration. A rigid H-shaped frame adds stability to cut out chassis vibration almost completely. A specially designed fifth foot at the centre of the receiver's base dampens internal and external vibrations, and a specially designed front panel further reduces resonance to maximise sound quality. The RX-A4A's meticulous construction, combined with its symmetrical amplifier layout and low-jitter PLL circuitry, results in accurate playback, precise stereo imaging, and a wide, natural soundstage.
F.P.G.A: The home entertainment industry is constantly evolving and adapting to exciting new trends. This often results in even the most premium of products becoming obsolete in a matter of a few years. To ensure lasting value for years to come the Aventage RX-A4A, RX-A6A and RX-A8A have all been updated with a Field Programmable Gate Array (F.P.G.A) which means that functionality can be changed and updated via software instead of requiring new hardware - making it possible to evolve with new advancements in technology easier than ever before.
Qualcomm QCS407 System On A Chip: New to the AVENTAGE range, the RX-A4A, RX-A6A and RX-A8A feature a Qualcomm QCS407 SoC (System on a Chip) that has been specifically designed as a high-performance audio DSP. The QCS407 is a quad-core processor that possesses almost 7 x the processing power of those used in previous models and replaces the 3 x TI Chips previously used with a single high-power chip.
Rigid Mechanical Structure: Due to the size and power of its transformer, AV receivers are constantly vibrating. This vibration can have a significant negative effect on the sound performance. Specifically, it can ruin the dynamics of the sound and make it impossible to achieve silence with low distortion. To further minimise the susceptibility of vibrations over previous generations Yamaha have made some significant changes to the housing design of the RX-A4A, RX- A6A and RX-A8A.
Specifically, the RX-A4A, RX-A6A and RX-A8A have had their transformer housing upgraded with a new transformer support to maximise the absorption of vibration in addition to the construction used on previous models.
A key engineering feat Yamaha have been using on their premium AVRs for some time is the deployment of the H-Frame to reinforce the superstructure and increase the strength of the chassis as a whole. For the RX-A4A, RX-A6A and RX-A8A the strength of the new H-Frame has been effectively doubled from previous generations by increasing the contact points to the chassis. And, through the use of a new perforated metal cover providing additional cross bracing and support to the chassis, the structural rigidity has been doubled over that of the previous X80 series.
A.R.T Wedge: Anyone who has seen an upper tier Yamaha home theatre receiver recently will know they all come with a fifth leg which is mainly to support the transformer. Well, it’s been moved because the transformer has been moved from its traditional centre-middle to a position more towards the front of the chassis to get it further away from sensitive electronic circuits.
The result of moving to a centre-front positioning has also resulted in a significant increase in the amount of vibration being effectively dissipated across the whole chassis by the cannily positioned A.R.T Wedge.
YPAO Sound Field Correction
The ‘Yamaha Parametric Acoustic Optimizer’ is Yamaha’s own developed sound field correction technology built from their extensive experience in the global sound industry. Yamaha are the only manufacturer to develop their own technology for sound field correction and as a result can implement a calibration process that works in absolute harmony with the rest of the AV Receivers hardware systems and has a completely minimal effect on the sound itself.
It’s also important to remember that YPAO sound Field Correction is just that. Its primary goal is to only make corrections to the way the sound behaves in your room, with a focus on keeping the original source as pure as possible. It ensures that regardless of your room type, size, seating position, reflective surfaces and speaker placement and toe-in the sound field and any subsequent sound reflections and standing waves are optimized for those specific conditions allowing for peak sound performance and most of all an accurate sound image.
YPAO Low Frequency Mode: A new addition to Yamaha’s sound field correction toolbox is a long requested feature - Low Frequency Mode. Due to the length of their waveform low frequency sounds can remain in a room as ‘standing waves’ that interfere with the rest of the sound field and impede the accuracy of the sounds imaging.
In the previous generations of Aventage, YPAO could only optimise down to around 32Hz. With Low Frequency Mode it is now possible to optimise down to 15Hz and up to 200Hz. It will only make adjustments between this range ensuring those frequencies that pose a more detrimental effect on the overall sound imaging are treated, while leaving the rest of the frequency spectrum alone.
5 Year Warranty: The Aventage RX-A4A comes with a 5 year warranty. Yes 5 years, but only if you register your product online after purchase. It comes standard with a 4 year warranty and Yamaha kick in an extra year when it’s registered. Now that sounds like a great deal. The RX-A4A also comes with a 1 Year DOA replacement. So, if your RX-A4A dies of natural causes within the first year it will be replaced free of charge.
Firmware Release Dates (Tentative Only)
- 8K60A, 4K120A, HDR10+: September 2021
- VRR, ALLM, QFT, QMS: To Be Determined
- 8K60B, 4K120B (DSC Compression): To Be Determined
- Cross Up-mixer (DTS Neural:X, Dolby Surround): September 2021
- Support For Key HDMI 2.1 features: Late 2021
Our Take On The Yamaha RX-A4A Home Theatre Receiver
The Yamaha Aventage RX-A4A may just be the sweet spot in this home theatre receiver range. It has almost all the facilities any performance minded buyer could want but it comes in at a price that the majority of us can afford. How good is that? It has a 7 channel amplifier which means you can easily take advantage of Dolby Atmos in a 5.2.2 home theatre setup. And it has 8K capabilities, improved construction, better resonance control, upgraded HDMI connections, improved YPAO sound field correction and a bold new look. All these things plus Yamaha’s legendary reliability are great reasons to put the RX-A4A home theatre receiver way up the top of your short list.
Main Features & Specifications
- Design: 7.2 Channel Home Theatre Receiver
- Power Output: 110 Watts per channel into 8 Ohms (20-20,000 Hz) at 0.06% THD, with 2 channels driven
- MusicCast Surround: Ability to add wireless surround speakers such as Yamaha MusicCast 20 or MusicCast 50
- Surround Sound Formats: Dolby and DTS surround sound decoding
- Dolby Atmos and DTS:X for more enveloping home theatre sound
- Supports up to a 5.2.2 Atmos setup with multiple placement patterns for height channels
- HDMI Passthrough: 8K/60Hz & 4K/120Hz (via future update)
- HDMI Upscaling: Up to 8K (via firmware update)
- Dolby Vision: Supported
- HDR 10+: Supported via firmware update
- VRR/ALLM/QMS/QFT: Supported via firmware update
- Room Correction: YPAO (Yamaha Parametric Room Acoustic Optimizer) multi point measurement with R.S.C. (Reflected Sound Control), 3D, 64-Bit High Precision EQ calculation measurement to deliver more accurate surround sound across different listening levels (microphone included)
- Cinema DSP Modes: Add richness and depth to music and movie soundtracks
- Adaptive Dynamic Range Control: Limits the volume level on sound effects and commercials for more discreet late-night listening
- Dialogue Lift and Level Adjustment: Enjoy clearer, louder dialogue while watching movies and shows
Digital & Streaming Music Options
- Wi-Fi: 2.4 & 5 GHz built-in Wi-Fi for listening to music from a networked PC, free Internet radio, and music services
- Streaming Support: Includes Deezer, Spotify Connect, Tidal & Amazon Music (subscription required for some services)
- Spotify Connect: This feature lets you play Spotify's streaming music library through the receiver, controlled by your smartphone or tablet (requires Spotify app and a premium subscription)
- Bluetooth: Built-in Bluetooth for wireless music streaming from a compatible phone, tablet, or computer
- Apple AirPlay 2: Stream your favourite music from an iPhone, iPad, iPod touch or computer running iTunes
- MusicCast: Wirelessly connects compatible Yamaha components for whole-home audio
- USB: Front-panel USB input for connecting a flash drive or portable music player
- DSD: Plays high-resolution digital music files via USB storage device or a networked computer (PCM up to 32-bit/384kHz resolution; DSD up to 11.2 MHz)
- Dual-room/dual-source output
- Amp assign function lets you use the surround back speaker outputs in different configurations like bi-amping the front speakers, or for use in Zone 2
- Using powered 2nd-room output allows 5.2-channel sound in main room
- Cannot select different USB/Bluetooth/network sources for each zone
- Zone 2 stereo preamp outputs for use with an optional external amplifier Audio Performance Features
- DAC: Audiophile-Grade ESS Sabre PRO ES9007 DAC for all channels.
- Symmetrical Power Amp Layout: Electrically isolates left and right channel circuitry for high signal-to-noise ratio and wider soundstage
- Ultra Low Jitter PLL Circuitry: This feature reduces timing jitter from digital sources, for improved sound quality
- Surround Back Speaker Channels: These are re-assignable for bi-amping compatible front left and right speakers
- Pure Direct Mode: Switches off front-panel display, tone controls and DSP circuitry for cleaner sound with analogue audio sources
- Compressed Music Enhancer: This improves sound quality of Bluetooth streams, MP3s and other digital music files
- Reinforced Double-Bottom Chassis: This minimises distortion even during high-volume output
- HDMI 2.1 Audio/Video Switching: 7 inputs, 3 outputs
- All HDMI connections support 4K/60Hz video
- 3 inputs and 1 output will support 8K/60Hz and 4K/120Hz video with free future firmware update
- HDCP 2.3 technology ensures compatibility with Ultra HD sources and TVs
- HDR-compatible for extended picture contrast and brightness with compatible TVs and HDR-encoded content
- Supports HDR10, HDR10+, Dolby Vision™, and HLG (Hybrid Log Gamma). HDR10+ enabled via free future firmware update Dolby Vision compatible
- Gaming-optimized video processing technologies for a smooth, lag-free gaming experience
- Variable Refresh Rate (VRR), Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM), Quick Media Switching (QMS), and Quick Frame Transport (QFT) reduce or eliminate lag and frame tearing
- VRR, ALLM, QMS, and QFT enabled via free future firmware update
- Supports ARC (Audio Return Channel) and eARC (Enhanced Audio Return Channel)
- eARC receives uncompressed surround sound signals including Dolby Atmos and DTS:X via the HDMI connection with your compatible TV
- Digital Audio Inputs: 2 Optical and 1 Coaxial
- Analogue Line Level Inputs: 3 stereo audio inputs
- Phono Input: Connect a turntable with a MM cartridge
- Preamp Outputs: 7.2-channel preamp outputs for connection to an external power amp and powered subwoofers
- Ethernet Port: For hard-wired network connection
- USB: Front-panel USB port
- Speaker Outputs: Outputs for 9 speakers (Front L/R, Centre, Surround L/R, Surround Back L/R, Front Presence L/R)
- Note: Receiver can power a maximum of 7 channels at once
- Full-sized front-panel headphone jack
- External Controllers: Remote (IR), and 12 volt-trigger connections for use with external controllers
- Free Yamaha AV Controller app: Lets you use your Apple or Android device as a Wi-Fi remote
- Scene Presets: 8 Scene presets for one-touch power-up, source selection and DSP recall
- eARC Audio Return Channel: This function receives digital audio signals from a compatible HDTV via HDMI
- OSD: Full-colour on-screen display
- HDMI Standby Pass-Through: This feature allows source switching without powering up the receiver
- Remote Control: System type
- Detachable Power Cord: Allows easy upgrade to an IsoTek power cable for better performance
- Dimensions (WxHxD): 435 x 191 x 442mm (with antenna up: 435 x 270 x 442mm)
- Weight: 16.2kg
- Manufacturer's Warranty: 4 Years standard, plus an extra 1 Year with online registration. 1 Year DOA replacement.
Note: Features & Specifications Subject To Change Without Notice. E&OE
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