DownHomeDigital AV receivers Comparison Denon vs Yamaha Receivers

Comparison Denon vs Yamaha Receivers

The question of choosing the most suitable receiver arises for everyone who already has or wants to create a home theater. Therefore, I made a Denon vs Yamaha comparison by selecting the most interesting models from each manufacturer. Why these particular brands? Because they are recognized market leaders that please thousands of customers worldwide every year with their innovations in the world of advanced sound quality.

For testing, I selected models comparable in technical characteristics and main functions so that the results would be as honest and unbiased as possible. I pursued the goal to identify the strengths and weaknesses of models from entry-level to premium to determine which provides better performance.

Denon company history and overview

The Denon company 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’s name changed to Japan Columbia Recorders. Eighteen years passed, and the company reorganized to Nippon Columbia. But in a year, a merger between Nippon Columbia and Denki Onkyo gave rise to DENON.

Since that time, Denon has specialized in domestic and pro audio and video devices and has earned numerous fans’ recognition for its products’ quality. Among Denon products, you can find receivers and electronic pianos, phono cartridges, amplifiers, tuners, speakers, turntables, professional CD players, and much more. Many audio enthusiasts know that Denon is always a great option!

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 expanded and grew in quality. Initially, the company depended on the production and sale of pianos, but already at the beginning of the twentieth century, they tried pianos and organs.

By the 21st century, Yamaha began to produce 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 is the largest manufacturer of musical instruments and equipment globally, with a brand that is the epitome of quality to fans. The same goes for the receivers. Yamaha is trying to surprise its fans and introduce something new and innovative.

Yamaha receiver

How I tested receivers by Denon and Yamaha

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

For the comparison of Denon vs Yamaha sound quality, I chose the movie “Gravity.” It’s a great combination of special effects and dialogue. The perfect assistant for my analysis! And to test the musical side, I picked up a whole list of various artists and their hits:

  • 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:

Mid-price Denon and Yamaha Receivers Comparison

Denon AVR-X4700H vs Yamaha RX-A6A

Denon AVR-X4700H vs Yamaha RX-A6A comparison

Let’s dive into comparing two receiver models that have become a high-favored choice among many enthusiasts of hi-fi sound and quality videos. You’ll learn the difference between these two devices so you can decide which will fit your home theater system better.

So, both Denon AVR-X4700H and Yamaha RX-A6A are 9.2 channel receivers. They have internal amplifiers, which make it possible to convert them into 7.1.2 or 5.1.4 systems. What may immediately rivet your attention is the audio capabilities of these channels. Denon AVR-X4700H generates 125W of power at 8 Ohm, while its rival puts out 150W at the same impedance. So, for a larger room or when you want to extract more power, Yamaha is your option to go.

Denon AVR-X4700H photo

Denon AVR-X4700H and Yamaha RX-A6A have seven HDMI inputs (plus Denon has one dedicated 8K input) and three outputs; one input is located at the front panel. Also, there are analog outputs, a phono jack, analog multi-room outputs, USB audio ports, and more. They also have Ethernet ports, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth. Both receivers support major streaming platforms like Spotify and Pandora. In addition, you can use AirPlay2 to stream audio or video, but keep in mind that only Yamaha has an in-built Chromecast.

The latest surround formats are available in both models. Either you opt for Denon AVR-X4700H or Yamaha RX-A6A, you will be able to immerse yourself in the atmosphere of the movie due to Dolby Atmos, Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization Technology, DTS:X, DTS Virtual: XTM compatibility. The Denon has the IMAX Enhanced feature, making it slightly different from its rival.

Yamaha’s sound is crisp and clear, without distortions at any listening volume – from quiet to extremely loud. Denon AVR-X4700H is equally great at controlling the sound output, delivering decent stability and balance. However, the sound is warm and somewhat laid-back. So, it’s just a matter of your taste and preference for which model will better meet your audio quality expectations.

Yamaha RX-A6A photo

With Dolby Vision, HDR 10, HDR 10+, Dolby Vision, and other video standards, you will enjoy the realistic image on the screen with both Yamaha RX-A6A and Denon AVR-X4700H. These devices support video conversion from analog to HDMI, with 480i/576i up to 8K 60/50 at the Denon receiver. The HDMI to HDMI scaling goes up to 8K 60/50 in the AVR-X4700H model. The pass-through capability of the video signal in Denon and Yamaha is 4K 120Hz and 8K 60Hz. You may need to use an upgraded cable to get 8K at 60 Hz resolution with Yamaha. As far as video upscaling is concerned, these devices come with the ability to upscale to 8K UHD.

Whichever receiver you choose, Denon AVR-X4700H or Yamaha RX-A6A, you will get great performance. With nearly the same characteristics, these models of the two popular brands will become the heartbeat of your home theater. My verdict – a fighting draw!

Key specs Denon AVR-X4700H Yamaha RX-A6A
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, 4K/120Hz, and 8K/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, HDR 10+, Dolby Vision
Streaming services AirPlay2, Spotify, Pandora, Tidal AirPlay2, Spotify, Pandora, Tidal
Surround sound DTS-HD Master, Dolby TrueHD, DTS:X, Dolby Surround, Dolby Atmos, Auro 3D DTS-HD Master, Dolby TrueHD, DTS:X, Dolby Surround, Dolby Atmos, Auro 3D

Denon AVR-X4700H pros and cons

Pros
  • Audyssey MultEQ XT32 room calibration technology.
  • IMAX Enhanced and Auro-3D.
Cons
  • No backlight on the remote control.
  • No built-in tuner.

Yamaha RX-A6A pros and cons

Pros
  • Surround:AI automatically optimizes the effect of surround sound in real time.
  • Dolby Atmos and DTS:X with CINEMA DSP HD3 technology.
  • YPAO sound optimization system.
Cons
  • Sound quality doesn’t differ much from the previous models.

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.

Explore other our AV receivers comparisons and ratings

Related articles

If you click a link on this page and make a purchase, we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.

About Frederick Douglass
Want to read more like this?