Downhomedigital Receivers Comparison Denon vs Yamaha Receivers

The question of choosing the best receiver arises for everyone who has or wants to create a home theater. Therefore, I made a Denon vs Yamaha comparison by selecting the best models from each manufacturer. I pursued the goal to identify the strengths and weaknesses of models from entry-level to premium and choose the best ones.

Denon company history and overview

Initially, the Denon firm was established at the beginning of the 20th century by Frederick Whitney Horn under Nippon “Denki Onkyo Kabushikigaisha.” In 1912, the Denon was purchased by Japan Recorders Corporation, a manufacturer of vinyl records and gramophones.

Almost two decades later, in 1928, the “Columbia” brand was added, and the company name changed to Japan Columbia Recorders. Eighteen years passed, and the company changed to Nippon Columbia. However, this appointment did not last long. A year later, there was a merger between Nippon Columbia and Denki Onkyo”, giving rise to DENON.

From that time, Denon has specialized in domestic and pro audio and video devices, which has earned the recognition of worldwide admirers for its quality. Among Denon products, you can see receivers and electronic pianos, phono cartridges, amplifiers, tuners, speakers, turntables, professional CD players, and much more.

Yamaha company history and overview

It was founded in 1887 as a piano and harmonium factory of Torakusu Yamaha as the Nippon Gakki Company, Limited in Hamamatsu. Over time, the production of musical instruments expands and grows in quality. Initially, in 1877, the company depended on the production and sale of pianos, but already at the beginning of the twentieth century, he tried pianos and organs.

By the 21st century, Yamaha has gained a wide range of products, including pianos, drums, guitars, wind and brass instruments, symphonic percussion, violins, violas, cellos, and synthesizers, and has also become a leader in the production of semiconductors and related products.

Now Yamaha has become the largest manufacturer of musical instruments and equipment globally with a brand that is the epitome of quality to fans.

Yamaha receiver

How I tested receivers by Denon and Yamaha

Without comprehensive testing, it would be impossible to make the av receiver comparisons. My test included both the surround audio testing and the receivers` musical side.

As for the home cinema testing, I used the movie Gravity. However, for the musical side testing, I picked up a whole list of diverse music:

  • Led Zeppelin – Ramble On – SoundCloud
  • Anne Sofie von Otter – Baby Plays Around – Deezer
  • Steely Dan – Jack Of Speed – Spotify
  • The Weeknd – The Hills (CD player)
  • Winterplay – Billie Jean (CD player)
  • Max Roach – Lonesome Lover (CD player)
  • Daft Punk – Get Lucky (CD player)

And I conducted testing using the following devices:

  • CD player SACD 30n
  • Blu-ray player Sony UBP-X700
  • Speaker wire – AudioQuest Type-9
  • Speakers for movie – Klipsch RP-8060FA
  • Stereo speakers:
    • Klipsch RP-8060FA
    • KEF Q350
    • DALI OBERON 5

Mid-price Denon and Yamaha Receivers Comparison

Denon AVR-X4700H vs Yamaha RX-A3080

Denon AVR-X4700H vs Yamaha RX-A3080 comparison

For the very beginning of my examination, I’d want to go over the Denon AVR-X4700H vs Yamaha RX-A3080.

These are 9.2-channel units with different but significant power, as for mid-price devices. As an illustration, the AVR-X4700H has a more powerful amplifier that develops 125 W/8 Ohm or 165 W/6 Ohm per channel, and the rival develops only 150 W in the 8 Ohm mode. And with such performance, an entire list of DSP decoders is required (DTS and Dolby). Moreover, Yamaha`s unit has a great option for home cinema sound. This is a SurroundAI. It analyzes a film scene and then produces a superior home cinema sound effect for maximum listening pleasure. I could find nothing similar in the X4700H.

Denon AVR-X4700H photo

Alternatively, the AVR-X4700H has advantages in the visual section. It is based on the 8K video path, with complete analog to HDMI conversion and upscaling to 8K. Moreover, the HDCP 2.3 protection works on each of the HDMI ports. The rival, the RX-A3080, works only with 4K signals, of course with upscaling. Moreover, this video path has Deep Colour and Cinema DSP technologies for the real cinema experience.

I started the comparison of Denon vs Yamaha sound quality with the Gravity, and I’m drawn to the RX-A3080`s sound right away. Dialogues were apparent and accurate, ambient noises were more audible and detailed, sound effects were played more dramatically and impressively, and background music was more expressive and complex.

Yamaha RX-A3080 photo

Whether with virtual high-pitched sound or confirmed Atmos speakers, the Denon AVC-X4700H perfectly reproduces the various stages of discussion acoustically. In doing so, the X4700H never loses the sound space. Even in the most fantastic scenes, components and dialogues remain located and audible. However, the Denon AVC-X4700H had to prove itself in my music test. The Yamaha also retained its calmness and better performance and delivered a carefree, powerful and assured tone.

Consequently, I can state that both receivers perform admirably on the responsibilities entrusted to them. However, in terms of surround sound reproduction, I preferred the Yamaha RX-A3080. Furthermore, the Denon receiver did not perform terribly in terms of music reproduction.

Key specs Denon AVR-X4700H Yamaha RX-A3080
Channels 9.2 9.2
Power output 125 W/8 Ohm, 165 W/6 Ohm 150 W/8 Ohm
HDMI inputs/outputs 8/3 (8K/60Hz and 4K/120Hz pass-through) 7/3 (4K/60Hz pass-through)
Bluetooth/Wi-Fi yes/yes yes/yes
Video functions video conversion analog to HDMI, analog to HDMI scaling, HDMI to HDMI scaling analog to HDMI scaling, HDMI to HDMI scaling
Supports HDMI ARC, HDMI eARC, HDMI CEC, HDCP2.3, HDR10, HDR10+, Dolby Vision HDMI ARC, HDMI eARC, HDMI CEC, HDCP2.3, HDR10, Dolby Vision
Streaming services AirPlay2, Spotify, Pandora, Tidal AirPlay2, Spotify, Pandora, Tidal
Surround sound DTS:X, Dolby Atmos DTS:X, Dolby Atmos

Denon AVR-X4700H pros and cons

Pros
  • 8K video capabilities
  • Next-generation gaming experience
Cons
  • Denon AVR remote app is not one of the best

Yamaha RX-A3080 pros and cons

Pros
  • Advanced sound quality from all sources
  • Great immersion effect
Cons
  • YPAO cannot replace the modern automatic EQ system

Denon AVR-X3700H vs Yamaha RX-A1080

Denon AVR-X3700H vs Yamaha RX-A1080 comparison

And another comparison in the mid-price section. This time it is the Denon AVR-X3700H vs Yamaha RX-A1080.

The Yamaha RX-A1080 is a 7.2 channel unit that offers 150 W/8 Ohm superior to the competition. The AVC-X3700H operates with nine power amplifiers, delivering 180 watts per channel. Moreover, the A1080 has Dolby Surround and DTS Neural: X technologies on board. Unfortunately, Yamaha is still missing Auro 3D sound, and DTS Virtual: X is also losing.

Denon AVR-X3700H photo

Denon’s HDMI circuit is the crucial advance about durability: one HDMI of the seven inputs and two of the three outputs are 2.1 version, with compatibility for 8K at 60Hz and HDMI upscaling up to 8K. In addition, all HDMI interfaces are compatible with HDR10+, Dynamic HDR, and Quick Media Switching. Furthermore, the RX-A1080`s HDMI video circuit works with 4K resolution with 60 fps transmissions and HDCP 2.2 copy protection with HDR10 and Dolby Vision.

In the Denon or Yamaha receiver testing, the X3700H’s aggressiveness piqued my interest during the test. The sounds were “elastic,” with decent detail accuracy. Furthermore, unique dynamic expressions that emphasize every on-screen action provide an even more immersive on-screen action.

Yamaha RX-A1080 photo

Yamaha also showed a high class in the home cinema test. As I expected, the sound was dynamic and precisely matched what was happening on the screen. Sound objects moved very realistically from speaker to speaker. On the music test, I had a similar result. The sculpted, booming bass also astonished me. Yamaha isolated the individual instruments and orchestras from the vocalists and choruses, resulting in a clean, undisturbed sound stage that was incredibly expressive for instrumental music.

To summarize, if you enjoy music and have a speaker set, the Yamaha RX-A1080 is ideal for this purpose. However, if you’re more interested in a home theater setup and your speakers match the AVR X3700H’s performance, Denon is your better choice.

Key specs Denon AVR-X3700H Yamaha RX-A1080
Channels 9.2 7.2
Power output 105 W/8 Ohm, 135 W/6 Ohm 110 W/8 Ohm
HDMI inputs/outputs 8/3 (8K/60Hz and 4K/120Hz pass-through) 7/3 (4K/60Hz pass-through)
Bluetooth/Wi-Fi yes/yes yes/yes
Video functions HDMI to HDMI scaling analog to HDMI scaling, HDMI to HDMI scaling
Supports HDMI ARC, HDMI eARC, HDMI CEC, HDCP2.3, HDR10, HDR10+, Dolby Vision HDMI ARC, HDMI eARC, HDMI CEC, HDCP2.3, HDR10, Dolby Vision
Streaming services AirPlay2, Spotify, Pandora, Tidal AirPlay2, Spotify, Pandora, Tidal
Surround sound DTS:X, Dolby Atmos DTS:X, Dolby Atmos

Denon AVR-X3700H pros and cons

Pros
  • Dynamic and immersive movie playback
  • HDMI 2.1 and 8K
Cons
  • No front Wide Channel support

Yamaha RX-A1080 pros and cons

Pros
  • Passionate, powerful, and subtle sound
  • Many DSP programs, including SurroundAI
Cons
  • No decoder for Auro 3D sound

Premium Denon and Yamaha Receivers

Yamaha CX-A5200 vs Denon AVR-X6700H

Yamaha CX-A5200 vs Denon AVR-X6700H comparison

Well, I can’t do without comparing premium models – Yamaha CX-A5200 vs Denon AVR-X6700H.

The CX-A5200 provides up to 13 amplification channels of Dolby Atmos and DTS: X decoding. And this is backed up by good performance – 170 W in the 6 Ohm mode. The CX-A5200’s AI intelligently optimizes home theater system sound in every scene of a movie or other entertainment.

Yamaha CX-A5200 photo

In contrast, The AVC-X6700H was outfitted with an amplifier module with 11.2-channels. As a result, the power was 140 W/8 Ohm or 175 W in the 6 Ohm mode. As a result, the unit can work with Dolby Atmos, DTS: X, Auro-3D, and even with DTS: X Pro.

The Denon AVR-X6700H`s HDMI section is built on a new circuit: one of the eight inputs and two of the three outputs of the AVC-X6700H are the modern generation’s HDMI, therefore fully supporting 8K at 60Hz.

Denon AVR-X6700H photo

Alternatively, the HDMI interface in Yamaha ports version 2.0a processes high-definition video in all current formats, including 4K with a refresh rate of 60 Hz. In addition, all these interfaces operate under the HDCP 2.3 data protection protocol.

In my Denon vs Yamaha receiver tests, I was satisfied with the models` sound. Everything is excellent in the device from Denon in this regard, but I want to note that the balance is shifted towards the lower case. As a result, the sound is perceived as controlled and mature. In addition, the extra bass volume provides full and realistic reproduction of voices and effects and, if necessary, can shake the room with its power. However, the essential character of the Yamaha sound seems a little more neutral and restrained than the Denon AVR-X6700H with its understated timbres, but the sound seemed more balanced to me.

Key specs Denon AVR-X6700H Yamaha CX-A5200
Channels 11.2 11.2
Power output 140 W/8 Ohm, 175 W/6 Ohm N/A
HDMI inputs/outputs 8/3 (8K/60Hz and 4K/120Hz pass-through) 7/3 (4K/60Hz pass-through)
Bluetooth/Wi-Fi yes/yes yes/yes
Video functions video conversion analog to HDMI, analog to HDMI scaling, HDMI to HDMI scaling analog to HDMI scaling, HDMI to HDMI scaling
Supports HDMI ARC, HDMI eARC, HDMI CEC, HDCP2.3, HDR10, HDR10+, Dolby Vision HDMI ARC, HDMI eARC, HDMI CEC, HDCP2.3, HDR10, Dolby Vision
Streaming services AirPlay2, Spotify, Pandora, Tidal AirPlay2, Spotify, Pandora, Tidal
Surround sound DTS:X, Dolby Atmos DTS:X, Dolby Atmos

Yamaha CX-A5200 pros and cons

Pros
  • Nicely balanced sound
  • Integration with Yamaha MusicCast
Cons
  • Not a real music up-mixer

Denon AVR-X6700H pros and cons

Pros
  • Excellent scope and persuasive soundstage
  • 8K support
Cons
  • Too powerful and dynamic bass

Budget Denon and Yamaha Receivers

Yamaha RX-V4A vs Denon AVR-S650H

Yamaha RX-V4A vs Denon AVR-S650H comparison

Let’s move on to a more budget level and compare receivers here. The Yamaha RX-V4A works in the 5.1 mode with a power of 80 W at 6 Ohm per channel. Enhanced immersion and realism are achieved with support for most surround sound formats like Dolby and DTS. Furthermore, it is simple to incorporate into the MusicCast system. The rival is also a 5.2-channel device with 75 W/8 Ohm or 100 W/6 Ohm per channel. Again, the S650H has powerful DSPs, which support the more advanced Dolby and DTS formats in addition to basic multichannel formats. Concurrently, it provides pretty wide settings for filters and equalizers.

Yamaha RX-V4A photo

In addition to the specs mentioned above, the RX-V4A works with 4K resolution with 120Hz or even 8K with 60Hz. Alternatively, for example, the S650H’s HDMI switcher designed for five sources meets all modern 4K/3D/HDR/Dolby Vision standards and, importantly, is suitable for the most current video games. The latter means that it is made according to the latest HDMI 2.1 specifications and, possibly, passes 8K.

During testing, I fully understood how each of the receivers sounds. The Denon AVR-S650H had natural, clear dialogue and sound effects that felt real and spatial in the film. I did not experience any significant problems even at higher volumes. I could hear a balanced and rich sound. All the same, it has a specific deficit of fast dynamics and firmness in the bass band. But the RX-V4A, with a similar sound, has good dynamics and a more balanced bass.

Denon AVR-S650H photo

In music testing, I felt that the Denon AVR-S650’s sound field was ahead. Instruments and voices stood out very well. However, the bass seems a little weaker than in the movies. The dynamics were not impressive either.

Testing has shown that even budget receivers can provide sufficient sound performance to create a home theater. However, if you want to have a reserve for the future and have all the advantages of modern gaming, it is better to pay attention to the Yamaha RX-V4A.

Key specs Denon AVR-S650H Yamaha RX-V4A
Channels 5.2 5.2
Power output 75 W/8 Ohm, 100 W/6 Ohm 80 W/6 Ohm
HDMI inputs/outputs 5/1 (4K/60Hz pass-through) 4/1 (8K/60Hz and 4K/120Hz pass-through
Bluetooth/Wi-Fi yes/yes yes/yes
Video functions 4K/60Hz pass-through 4K/60Hz pass-through, HDMI upscaling (up to 4K)
Supports HDMI ARC, HDMI eARC, HDMI CEC, HDCP2.3, HDR10, Dolby Vision HDMI ARC, HDMI eARC, HDMI CEC, HDCP2.3, HDR10, Dolby Vision
Streaming services AirPlay2, Spotify, Pandora, Tidal AirPlay2, Spotify, Pandora, Tidal
Surround sound DTS HD Master, Dolby TrueHD DTS HD Master, Dolby TrueHD

Yamaha RX-V4A pros and cons

Pros
  • 8K and 4K/120Hz on all HDMI sockets
  • Encompassing ambiance feeling
Cons
  • Surround effects too glued to the speakers
  • No Dolby or DTS information

Denon AVR-S650H pros and cons

Pros
  • Outstanding amplifier performance
  • Easy to use
Cons
  • Unstable data transfer behavior
  • Slow Bluetooth response time

Stereo Denon and Yamaha Receivers Comparison

Denon DRA-800H vs Yamaha R-N602

Denon DRA-800H vs Yamaha R-N602 comparison

And finally, let’s take a look at two stereo receivers – Denon DRA-800H vs Yamaha R-N602.

Each of these two receivers has just two channels, but of course, they offer network functions and even voice control. Denon DRA-800H has 100 W/8 Ohm or 120 W/6 Ohm power per channel. However, Yamaha R-N602 loses in some moments and operates only 80 W/8 Ohm and 120 W/6 Ohm per channel.

Denon DRA-800H photo

Yamaha has endowed the R-N602 with Top Art architecture. This symmetrical channel design contributes to excellent and accurate reproduction. Denon engineers have also placed great emphasis on the best possible sound and have endowed the DRA-800H with all the standard Denon technologies and sonic characteristics. And on top of that, Denon has two preamps for the second zone and two subwoofers.

Moving on to online features, the Denon DRA-800H’s streaming features are based on the patented HEOS platform, which guarantees access to countless Internet radio stations as well as popular streaming services such as Spotify, Amazon Music, Deezer, and Tidal.

Yamaha R-N602 photo

Its competitor, the Yamaha R-N602, has enormous networking capabilities, thanks in part to its MusicCast system, and there are so many ways to listen to music from the network.

When I started the Yamaha vs Denon testing, the Denon sounded fresh, dynamic, and determined, a little harsh in the mids and relatively soft in the lows, with open, expressive highs. The timbre here is not too rich and saturated, but thanks to this, the sound is distinguished by a great variety – it is easier to catch a change in timbre or intonation.

The sound of the Yamaha R-N602 is open and transparent but without dynamics and charge in any range. However, the three registers are well integrated, and my listening to music was satisfactory. I also found the R-N602 to be versatile and great for watching movies and TV shows.

As a result, I confidently can say that these receivers are on the threshold between entry and intermediate levels in sound quality. As a home theater and amplifier, they will deliver sound from your TV, console, turntable, and more in stereo to your living room.

Key specs Denon DRA-800H Yamaha R-N602
Channels 2.0 2.0
Power output 100 W/8 Ohm, 120 W/6 Ohm 80 W/8 Ohm, 160 W/6 Ohm
HDMI inputs/outputs 5/1 0/0
Phono Input yes yes
Bluetooth/Wi-Fi yes/yes yes/yes
Streaming services AirPlay2, Spotify, Pandora AirPlay2, Spotify, Pandora

Denon DRA-800H pros and cons

Pros
  • The sound is more communicative than musical, which may not suit everyone.
  • Good wireless connectivity
  • Compatible with HEOS home network
Cons
  • Not suitable for surround systems

Yamaha R-N602 pros and cons

Pros
  • Phono input for connecting a player with an MM cartridge
  • The output stages of the receiver are made on pairs of transistors Sanken A1695 / C4468
Cons
  • No way to play DSD files

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