We have tested the Yamaha RX-V581 av-receiver!


The Yamaha RX series V581 model has 2 pairs of speaker outputs compared to its predecessor, otherwise the number of analog and digital outputs and inputs is the same as the previous type, except for the subwoofer connectors, of which there are 2 parallel amplifiers on this receiver. so the RX-V581 handles the two plug-in subwoofers in sync with each other, similar to other manufacturers’ 7.2 receivers. HDMI connectors are 4K compatible, 3D, CEC, HDR, HDCP 2.2, 3D, CEC, BT.2020 colour space, 21: 9 picture format, ARC support. For a 7.2 channel home theater amplifier, the 4 inputs are not too many.


With the help of MusicCast, the av-receiver can be connected to a home network together with other Yamaha devices, so music can be streamed in all rooms of the apartment. This requires downloading the MusicCast app and will already be controllable using a mobile phone, mobile device. There is another application that can be downloaded to a mobile phone, this is the AV Controller, which replaces the remote control. The amplifier also has WiFi, AirPlay, Bluetooth connections. With Bluetooth bi-directional data transfer, you can also stream from a mobile device and pair headphones with the amplifier. From your home network, you can access shared music on your PC or NAS, and you can also access online services from the Internet, such as: vTuner Net Radio, Spotify, Pandora.


For the RX-V581 av-receiver, audio decoding is performed by Burr-Brown DACs with a resolution of 192 kHz / 24 bits per channel. It can decode all audio tracks of music (CD, SACD) and video (DVD, Blu-ray) media, and also supports playback of various file formats. Lossless (MP3, WMA, etc.) and lossless (FLAC, AIFF, ALAC) formats are not a problem for the amplifier either. Yamaha receiver has 17 sound enhancement DSP programs, lossy compression music is enhanced by Compressed Music Enhancer, Virtual Cinema DSP and Virtual Cinema Front settings simulate the rear speakers, which is very beneficial if there is not enough space in the room to place the speakers behind the listening position. In this case, the amplifier tries to adjust the surround sound with the front speakers.



The construction of the device is solid and reveals high quality. The device has a nice, elegant design. The digital and analog circuits are provided with an independent power supply, which is important so that the digital signals do not interfere with the analog stages. The power amplifiers have a restrained design, and thanks to Anti Vibration Technology, the heat sinks have vibration damping. When driven by two channels simultaneously at a load of 6 ohms, the amplifier is capable of 80 watts of power, which is absolutely ideal for use in a medium-sized room.

Dolby Atmos and DTS: X formats are also supported. So far, almost all the amplifiers tested have required a firmware update to make the device DTS: X compatible, this receiver has this capability by default.

Room acoustic correction is performed by the YPAO measuring microphone calibration program. When adjusting the speakers, only one “overhead” option can be selected, which means that this setting only applies to the area above the listening position. However, the devices of other brands offer several adjustment options, such as the “top front”, “top middle” or “top rear” positions, which significantly facilitates the placement and integration of the speakers.

Sound of the Yamaha RX-V581

While listening to MP3 music, we weren’t completely satisfied, somehow not the real thing the RX-V581 produced in this area. Aside from that, however, the Yamaha receiver delivers dynamic, well-distinguished performance with adequate power, both in music and while watching movies. The bass and sound effects sound very compelling, which is an important consideration for home theater owners. Of course, the sound of music and movies can only be optimal with proper acoustics! When designing home theater rooms, be sure to pay due attention to the acoustics of the room as well! The testing took place in a larger basement cinema room with sound-absorbing panels printed on the walls and diffuser front panels. Acoustic carpets have been placed on the stone floor, which, due to their high density and thickness, significantly contribute to the ideal acoustics of the room. We paired the Yamaha receiver with a pair of Definitive Technology D15 speakers and a JTR Captivator RS1 subwoofer.

rx-v581-back panel

The disadvantages are the few HDMI inputs (Denon and Pioneer offer seven to eight HDMI inputs and at least two outputs as standard at this price), the overly simple graphics menu and the poor quality media player program, and the fact that the Integrating Dolby Atmos speakers is not flexible at all.

If we were to compare it to a product from another brand, we would cite the Denon AVR-X2300W as an example. The Yamaha RX-V581 is not as accurate as the Denon AVR-X2300W.

For the Yamaha, the mid-range is not fine and firm enough compared to the Denon. Denon’s dynamics and soaring in the field of music certainly surpasses Yamaha.

On the plus side, all HDMI connections are Ultra HD 4K / 60p and HDR compatible. They are also HDCP 2.2 certified, which means that 4K Blu-ray discs and sources can be played without any problems.

The RX-V581’s remote is very responsive, responsive, but the Yamaha AV Controller app — free to download — makes it much easier to make settings.


Its sophisticated appearance and stylish design will be liked by many. The dynamics, detail, and bass and sound effects are extremely compelling. The av-receiver is DTS: X compatible, which is a major advantage over its competitors, as is its affordable price. The number of inputs was found to be slightly small, the setup of the Dolby Atmos ceiling speakers is not flexible enough.

Written by Róbert Polgár