AVC receivers act as the brain of your home theater system. It allows you to connect all your audio and display devices to a single system. And if you’re looking for a trusty AV receiver that won’t break the bank, our money is on the Yamaha RX V385.
In this post, we will discuss a short Yamaha RX V385 review to help you decide whether it’s the best choice for your home.
An audio/video (AV) receiver is an indispensable electronic component for home theater enthusiasts. You simply have to connect all your home theater devices to the receiver and push buttons to select which ones you want to use.
This way, you no longer have to plug and unplug each one whenever you have to use a specific device.
For example, if you have a DVD player connected to the receiver, the device will send the audio signals to the speaker system and the video signal to your connected display. It can also decode surround-sound formats for a more immersive experience.
Aside from connecting audio and video devices, AV receivers like the Yamaha RX V385 can also perform radio tuning and amplify audio signals to power up multiple speakers.
Read on below and see if this Yamaha model can live up to all these expectations:
Yamaha RX V385 Review
The Yamaha RX V385 was first released in 2018, and we can say that it’s been a big hit for home theater lovers. After all, it’s made by one of the most reputable audio brands, not to mention that it has a reasonable price.
It’s one of the entry-level offers in Yamaha’s massive arsenal of audio products. But despite being one of the cheapest units from the brand, the RX V385 packs a lot of features that can give expensive counterparts a run for their money.
This receiver works with 70 watts per channel, which is already juicy enough for small to medium-sized home theaters. The audio quality may not blow the minds of meticulous audiophiles, but it’s more than enjoyable for most users.
Aside from that, the Yamaha RX V385 is designed with a technology called Cinema DSP. This is a proprietary technology of Yamaha, which can also be found on other units. This specific technology uses advanced algorithms to simulate different environments.
This makes the viewing experience more immersive since the receiver can somehow make you feel that you’re inside an arena or a concert hall.
Moreover, this AV receiver is also equipped with the DTS Neo:6 and Dolby Pro Logic II. We will be honest that it’s a bummer that this receiver doesn’t use Dolby Atmos. But nevertheless, the surround-sound experience for this receiver is still at par with our above-minimum expectations.
When it comes to watching movies, this receiver keeps a stable audio quality, even as the volume goes up. However, there would be a noticeable decline in audio composure when you use very high volume levels. Nevertheless, it’s unlikely that you’ll ramp up your volume that much, anyway.
We also want to add that the RX V385 comes with Adaptive Dynamic Range Control (DRC). This feature balances the volume level, so you can hear vocals and dialogs at comfortable volumes.
It will also reduce the volume of very loud commercials and can be adjusted for low-volume listening.
If you’re using this to stream music, you should know that it doesn’t come with FLAC support. Still, it produces top-notch sound quality, which is what most users would want from an affordable receiver.
Design and setup
When it comes to the design aspect of this Yamaha RX V385 review, the unit is both functional and typical. It shares a similar build to the V383, its predecessor unit.
Overall, this AV receiver has a glossy top while its bottom part has a brush aluminum coating. This gives the receiver a premium look but the glossy upper half can be prone to fingerprints and scratches if not handled well.
On the upper half, you’ll see the main display. It’s a small screen dotted with control buttons at the bottom.
In the lower half, there’s the large volume knob and more buttons for ‘Scene’ controls. There are also slots for audio aux and USB.
There are a lot of buttons here, though we doubt that you may actually need or use all of them frequently. Nevertheless, it’s always good to have all those features at your disposal.
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When it comes to size, the RX V385 is compact. This is not surprising considering that it’s affordable and meant for small to medium-sized home theaters only.
The small size is also a big advantage since this AV receiver can easily fit inside your shelf or cabinet. It’s also considerably light at around 17 lbs. It’s easy to set up transfer without the extra pair of hands.
The receiver is paired with a remote controller. There’s nothing special about this remote controller. It can serve all the needed functions, though some buttons are too small and can be confusing the first time you use them.
The ports of the RX V385 are almost the same as with any other Yamaha receiver model. So if you have purchased one of Yamaha receivers before, there’s nothing very new to expect.
In front, there’s a mic port, a 3.5 mm analog aux, and a USB port. This allows for easy connectivity in case you want to play music from your phone, laptop, and other external devices aside from your home theater components.
At the back, you’ll find Yamaha’s standard 5 speaker terminals. It’s paired with one HDMI output and 4 HDMI inputs. You’ll also get to tinker with 2 analog stereo inputs, 3 composite video inputs, 1 composite video output, 2 coaxial digital audio inputs, and one optical coaxial output.
On top of all that, you’ll get a subwoofer output, an indispensable slot for home theater setups. It’s also equipped with the standard AM and FM antenna connectors, so you can use this receiver as a radio.
All the speaker terminals on the RX V385 use binding posts and not spring clips that you can find on cheap models. This is a big plus, especially if we are going to talk about longevity and reliability.
However, you should know that the only wireless connection on this receiver is Bluetooth. It doesn’t have Wi-Fi abilities, which can be a deal-breaker for some.
Overall, there’s nothing new or special with the ports and connectivity of the Yamaha RX V385. It uses tried and tested ports, which you can find on most AV receivers in the market.
Controls and calibration
Another awesome aspect that we like about this Yamaha RX V385 review is it comes with a calibration system. It’s called the Yamaha Parametric Room Acoustic Optimizer (YPAO), a proprietary technology of the brand.
With YPAO, the system can detect the distance of the speakers from your position and adjust the settings automatically. Make sure that you use this right after connecting your speakers and TV to the YPAO microphone within your ear’s height.
Once the YPAO connects, a prompt will appear on your TV screen. Press ‘Enter’ on your Yamaha remote to start the measurement. It will take around 10 seconds for YPAO to detect speaker distance.
After that, you can use the cursor keys of your remote to save the measurement results. Lastly, you can now disconnect the YPAO microphone since your speakers have already been configured based on your preferred listening position and distance.
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Once you saved the YPAO measurements, you don’t have to do it repeatedly. This is unless you accidentally erased the data on your TV or your replaced the unit.
Overall, this is a nifty feature, but it’s not an audio equalizer of sorts. However, we also wish that there are digital calibration options built inside the AV receiver. But for this price tag, I think that’s another tradeoff we have to forgive.
Although there are other features we wish have been added to RX V385, we can say that this receiver is already worth the purchase. It’s a Yamaha, after all.
AV receivers are indispensable and the RX V385 proves itself to be worthy of your purchase. It has an aesthetic build, reasonable port options, and well-engineered functionality that’s worth more than its price.
While it’s a bit light on features, we can still say that this receiver meets our expectations. It’s compact without being limiting when it comes to functions. Overall, its major features trump the minor niggles that we observed.
What is your take on this Yamaha RX V385 review? Have you used this receiver before? Share your experience with us!
Yamaha RX V385
- Excellent sound even for an affordable receiver
- Bluetooth connectivity is available
- Build quality is impressive
- Equipped with an analog tuner
- It’s not Wi-Fi enabled
- HDMI inputs and outputs are too few