I've reviewed a bunch of midpriced receivers over the past few months, and came away impressed by the quality of all of them. Pioneer's VSX-1020 was an immediate front-runner, and I love the Marantz NR1601's rich sound. Yamaha's RX-V667 was no slouch, but Sony's STR-DN1010 didn't thrill me as much as the others. The receivers all carry MSRPs between $500 and $600; street prices are $100 or so less.
In recent years, Yamaha's AV receivers have disappointed us, with fewer features than competitors and some confusing design choices. The Yamaha RX-V667 is a return to form for the company.
There can be no complaints about HDMI connectivity, with the RX-V667 packing six ports, including a front-panel input. The Yamaha also comes packed with all kinds of niche audio connectivity features that others have left out, including pre-outs and 7.1 analog audio inputs.
We were also really impressed with the new graphical user interface, which has leapfrogged the competition and is the best we've seen so far. … Read more
For some home theater enthusiasts, AV receivers have lost their way. What used to be a relatively simple device with a focus on sound quality is now the complicated hub of your home theater, handling audio, video, and sometimes even online streaming services.
Among such multifaceted receivers, however, the Denon AVR-1911 is something of a throwback. Its connectivity is modern, but sparse, with four HDMI 1.4 inputs where others offer six. There's also only a single-component video input and two digital audio inputs. The Denon has an onscreen display, but it uses blocky, white text, compared with the … Read more
Let me say this upfront: I haven't tried them myself. But the digital media servers from San Francisco-based Olive seem aimed at a weird niche between audiophile and technophobe.
A lot of home audio devices let you stream digital music from your computer to your stereo over a home network. Olive's digital servers also connect to your stereo, but let you rip CDs to digital formats right on the device--no computer required. (Or, if you're you're lazy and rich, the company will do the dirty work for you.) Then you can play the resulting digital files … Read more
The classic trackball is admittedly a niche device amid the Magic Trackpad and Arc Touch mice, but Logitech's latest Wireless Trackball M570 has something alittle extra to compete. It adds its Unifying Receiver, which lets you connect it to all the other devices under the Logitech Unifying umbrella using a single USB port, including keyboards and other mice products.
The receiver is also capable of sending a signal from up to 30 feet away from the host computer, a 20-plus-foot improvement from the previous mode.l
And whereas people who use traditional mice worry about the negative effects of … Read more