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Lifewire / James Huenink
Immersive surround sound
Lots of connection options
Capable of wireless multi-room sound
Powerful mobile app
Too many buttons on the receiver
Even though the Yamaha RX-V483 has complicated options and lacks support for the latest formats, the mix of quality sound for the price makes it a good choice.
As our home theater options get better and better, people are demanding more from their sound. We took a look at the Yamaha RX-V483 to see if it can produce the kind of home theater audio to match UltraHD visuals.
Read about what you need to know about home theater receivers before you buy.
The Yamaha RX-V483 Home Theater Receiver looks like you’d expect any piece of AV equipment to look, black metal with a plastic face. It has a ton of buttons, twenty in all, which makes the unit look crowded, and there were too many to know which were most important. We were also disappointed at how close we had to get to read the button labels and how useless that made them. The screw-on speaker terminals made it easy to wire the speakers into place, and it would have been even easier if we had used banana clips.
The audio inputs aren’t labeled very clearly. We had to fuss around with the inputs menu to figure out which menu button worked with the CD player. It’s great to have lots of options and flexibility, but that also made it more complicated to use. That said, the menu looked really good and was easy to navigate while watching TV or listening to music.
To test the sound quality on the Yamaha RX-V483, we used it with a variety of media, music, video games, streaming TV, and movies on a set of Monoprice 5.1 speakers. Before we get into specifics, we have some general impressions. The sound processing adjusted well whenever we changed from TV to music to Blu-Ray. We were, however, disappointed that it doesn’t support the newest surround sound formats, DTS:X and Dolby Atmos, features we’d expect at this price point.
With Deadpool, the Yamaha RX-V483 really shined in the low-end. We heard, almost felt, every punch, and the high ring of shell casings scattering across the pavement was clear and clean. We also enjoyed the subtle ambient sound from the surround sound speakers.
We heard, almost felt, every punch, and the high ring of shell casings scattering across the pavement was clear and clean.
After watching Deadpool with all that thudding bass, we expected Taylor Swift’s bass-heavy song “...Ready For it?” to rattle our teeth out of our mouths, but we got a much more balanced sound than we expected. We liked how crisp the closed hi-hat was in the background, quiet but clear.
When we tested the RX-V483 with XCOM 2, we loved how the sound effects shifted quickly around the room, and the strong treble sound also accentuated the alien voices. The strong presence of ambient sound helped set the mood without being too forward.
The Yamaha RX-V483 has most of the standard set of features for a home theater receiver. There are audio modes for different situations, like action movies or RPG’s, but those are basically useless except when playing music.
Some of the advanced features are very complicated. The “network” menu, for example, has all sorts of technical information and options that weren’t useful to us. The lip sync feature is designed to help sync up the audio and video when sound processing slows down the audio, but it never quite aligned for us.
The RX-V483 also works with multiple rooms and multiple zones of audio. We were disappointed that we couldn’t wire zone B speakers without losing surround sound. On the other hand, we liked that the receiver uses MusicCast to play music wirelessly in other rooms. We also tested out the silent cinema feature, which they claim can create surround sound in headphones. While the effect was better than nothing, it wasn’t the revelation that Yamaha claims.
The remote is just as complicated and customizable as the rest of the system. We had to go through a relatively steep learning curve to figure it out. The worst part was that there wasn’t a button to get us to our CD player, so we had to scroll through all the inputs to find it. We did like that we could assign different functions to the four color-coded buttons.
Though Yamaha has an app that guided us through the setup process, navigating all the cords necessary cords was something of a nightmare. After we plugged in all the inputs and wired all the speakers, it was much easier.
The second step was configuring the automatic surround sound feature, which they call YPAO. We plugged in the setup mic, and the receiver automatically detected it and asked if we wanted to start the setup process. We ran through the system, but it didn’t work very well. It set the subwoofer at 27 feet away, making it really loud, which is an impressive feat in a 650 sq ft apartment. We had to adjust the settings manually to get it to work.
Once we got past the initial setup, it got much more complicated and required a lot of reading to get right.
The RX-V483 comes festooned with connection options. There are the standard HDMI, 4K compatible, and analog options that most receivers tout. We were most excited about the many wireless options. Wi-Fi connections make it possible to stream music through the receiver and to update firmware. Bluetooth pairing was more difficult to set up than other systems we’ve tested. Most systems pair automatically when we first selected the Bluetooth input. With the The Yamaha RX-V483, we had to scroll through the menus to get there.
The RX-V483 comes festooned with connection options.
We really liked that the receiver also broadcasts in Bluetooth, which we used to watch TV late at night without disturbing people in adjacent rooms. The Bluetooth headphones had a lot of latency, though, so we had to struggle through the lip sync function. Silent cinema with bluetooth headphones was great.
Yamaha also has two apps to control the system, one for MusicCast and one for the receiver itself. The MusicCast app works with audio streaming services like Pandora, and it’s really easy to use. The Yamaha controller app makes the other redundant, since it controls not just the receiver, but can also handle MusicCast controls, too.
The Yamaha RX-V483’s MSRP is $450, significantly higher than most low cost home theater receivers. If budget is your chief concern, this isn’t the best option for you, but if you’re willing to spend a little bit more, the difference in the quality of sound is worth it.
Onkyo TX-NR575: Onkyo TX-NR575 costs just a little less than the Yamaha RX-V483, and we love that it has 7.2 channel sound with the option to Bi-amp speakers or have a wired zone A/zone B setup. The quality of the sound isn’t as good, though, and the zone controls are so awkward that they are almost unusable.
Pioneer VSX-532: The Pioneer VSX-532, with an MSRP of $279, is a lower cost option for the budget conscious. It has 5.1 channel sound and Bluetooth, but lacks the many other options that the Yamaha RX-V483 does.
Quality sound and connection options make it worth the extra price.
The complicated options make it flexible and powerful, but it might be too much for someone just looking for a simple receiver. Its main flaw is the lack of support for Dolby Atmos and DTS:X, something to be conscious of if that’s a dealbreaker.