Yamaha's R-N602 and R-N402 Stereo Receivers with MusicCast

No surround sound, but a host of other advanced features

Yamaha's R-N602 Stereo Receiver
Yamaha Electronics Coporation

Although home theater receivers are used for both movie and music listening in most homes, there are a lot of consumers that prefer a dedicated two-channel stereo receiver for serious music listening.

Catering to that need, the Yamaha R-N602 and R-N402 are two-channel stereo receivers that provide all of the traditional features you would expect, but they also add cutting-edge technology for access to today's digital and streaming music sources.

The R-N602 - Core Features

  • Power and Amplification: First off, the Yamaha R-N602 is rated at 80 watts-per-channel into 2 channels with a .04 THD (measured from 40 Hz to 20kHz). What this means is that the R-N602 provides more than enough power output to fill a small or medium-sized room. Refer to our companion article: Understanding Amplifier Power Specifications for more details.
  • Audio Inputs: The R-N602 provides three sets of analog stereo inputs and two sets of line outputs (which can be used for audio recording), The R-N602 also includes a dedicated phono input for connecting a vinyl record turntable.
  • Digital Audio Inputs: added audio inputs include two digital optical and two digital coaxial audio inputs. The digital optical/coaxial inputs only accept two-channel PCM — they are not Dolby Digital or DTS Digital Surround enabled.
  • Speaker Connections: For speakers, the R-N602 provides two sets of left and right speaker terminals that allow for an A/B speaker configuration, as well as a preamp output for connection of a powered subwoofer. For private listening, a front panel headphone jack is provided.
  • Continuously Variable Loudness Control: This control is different than the Volume, Bass, and Treble controls, as its function is to compensate for the loss of bass and high-frequency response when the lowering the volume control in a more precise way than fiddling with the other controls. In other words, you can get better bass and high-frequency response when listening to lower volume levels, and the fact that it is continuously adjustable (rather than a simple on/off switch that included on many stereo receivers) enables it to be more precise with the listener's needs. The Loudness control is also useful in bringing more out bass response, in relation to the mid-range and highs, when using small speakers.

The R-N602 - Advanced Features

As is traditional with both stereo and home theater receivers, the R-N602 also includes a standard AM/FM tuner. However, in the digital age, this receiver provides some advanced features that support expanded music listening options beyond familiar sources.

  • USB: A front-mounted USB port for direct connection of compatible USB devices (such as flash drives) is included.
  • Network/Internet Connectivity: An Ethernet port and built-in WiFi is also provided for access to internet radio (Pandora, Rhapsody, Sirius/XM, Spotify, Tidal) as well as audio content from DLNA compatible devices.
  • Bluetooth: For even more content access flexibility, the R-N602 also includes built-in bi-directional Bluetooth. This means that the R-N602 can wirelessly receive and playback content from Bluetooth-enabled source devices (smartphones, tablets), as well as transmit physically connected audio sources to Bluetooth-enabled wireless speakers and headsets. The R-N602 can also playback content via Apple Airplay.
  • Hi-Res Audio: The R-N602 is also compatible with Hi-Res audio files (audio files with higher audio resolution than MP3 or CD) if the files are downloaded to, and stored on, a compatible USB or Network-connected device (not streamable in real time via the internet). Compatible file formats for playback include DSD (2.8 MHz/5.6 MHz), FLAC, WAV, AIFF (192 kHz/24-bit), and Apple® Lossless (96 kHz/24-bit).
  • MusicCast: In addition to Networking and Bluetooth features, the R-N602 also features Yamaha's MusicCast multi-room audio system platform, which enables the receiver to send, receive, and share music content from/to/between a variety of compatible Yamaha components. in addition to the R-N602, this includes select Yamaha home theater receivers, wireless speakers, soundbars, and powered wireless speakers. This makes the R-N602 not only a flexible receiver for serious two-channel stereo music listening but also serve as the core for a multi-room audio system.
  • Alexa Support: As part of MusicCast, Alexa Voice Control is supported through two Alexa Skills: The MusicCast Skill and MusicCast Smart Home Skill. You also need an Echo device (such as a Dot). The MusicCast Skill provides control of specific MusicCast features such as managing playlists, favorites, linking to other MusicCast products located through the house. The MusicCast Smart Home Skill provides voice commands for control functions, such as receiver power on/off, volume, and playback (play/pause/skip) control of content.

The R-N402

The R-N402 is also a Network stereo receiver that has a lot in common with the R-N602 discussed above, but there are some key differences, which are listed below.

Yamaha R-N402 Network Stereo Receiver
  • More Stated Power Output: 100 wpc using the same measurement standards as the R-N602.
  • Fewer Audio input options: 1 digital optical, 1 digital coaxial, 4 analog stereo input pairs.
  • No dedicated phono/turntable input.
  • No subwoofer output.
  • No continuously variable loudness control.
  • USB input is only compatible with USB flash drives (no USB connection support for iPod/iPhone/iPad).

Although you can plug in the audio outputs from video devices, such as TVs, Blu-ray Disc/DVD players, and cable/satellite boxes to either receiver, the R-N602 and R-N402 do not provide any video input/output connections. These receivers are designed for audio-only listening in a two-channel environment.

The Bottom Line

If you have an old, outdated, stereo receiver, or are tired of listening to poor quality audio on your smartphone, and don't need the surround sound audio and video processing capabilities offered by home theater receivers, Yamaha's R-N602 and R-N402 network stereo receivers are two options to consider.

These two receivers provide the connectivity and audio quality you need for serious music listening from traditional analog audio sources, as well as expanding music listening options into the digital domain, with the added bonus of streaming and wireless multi-room audio capabilities.

Yamaha has officially discontinued the R-N402, but it may still be available on clearance or used via third parties. Yamaha has replaced the R-N402 with the R-N303.