Yamaha RX-V681BL Receiver Review

Yamaha has created an amazing piece of audio electronics with the Yamaha RX-V681BL receiver. Whether you are watching a blue-ray of a Hollywood blockbuster, or listening to a surround-sound mix of a classic album, this unit delivers. Whatever device you may have, the RX-V681BL can handle it. Streaming music over bluetooth or WiFi and network streaming services are possible, as well as providing a phono input for your favorite record player. This is where analog meets hi-tech, as your records will never have sounded better thanks to the YPAO sound optimization, which customized the sound to your own living space.

Surround Sound: Bigger is Better

With HD video making the move up to 4K (and the amazing fidelity that comes with it), you will need a unit that sounds as good as the image. The RX-V681BL has you covered with 7.2-channel surround-sound, which puts it in the same ball park as your local cinema. Also, delivering over 100W of power to those speakers, it will really get your rec room or man cave shaking.

Wireless Audio Sources

The RX-V681BL receiver has an insane number of ways connect audio: this unit’s incredible flexibility allows you to play music from all sorts of online sources, including all the standard network streaming services. Bluetooth is also covered, allowing you to stream music from your tablet or smartphone. This is great when you have your chill on, and don’t really want to get up, nor search for the remote. (A sweet remote control does come with the unit.)

Inputs Galore

There is not a device in modern-day use that you cannot connect to this Yamaha AV receiver: Ethernet, USB, 5 HDMI inputs, RCA inputs, optical input, as well as a special, grounded phono input. You’re old disco and psychedelic LPs will take on a new crispness and clarity, instruments will pop out, and the separation of each part will ring out crystal clear. With LPs making such a huge comeback, and newly-remastered records coming out every week, this unit will deliver on your analog needs as well.

YPAO Sound Optimization(Yamaha Parametric Room Acoustic Optimizer)

This system determines speaker size, sets speaker and subwoofer volume levels, as well as the speaker-subwoofer crossover point. Not only that, it measures the distance from the listeners to the speaker, maximizing fidelity. To accomplish this, test tones are sent through the subwoofer and speakers, using a microphone to capture the sounds of the speakers. The result is a sound calibrated and optimized for whatever room you are in, guaranteeing amazing sound no matter what your setup at home may be.


  • Ideal option for audio purists
  • 2-Channel surround sound
  • Has the ability to analyze room acoustics and measure various speaker characteristics thanks to the YPAO – Reflected Sound Control
  • Features Music Cast wireless
  • Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connection
  • Equipped with Phono input to connect to a turntable
  • High dynamic range (HDR) compatibility


  • This may not be the cheapest audio receiver on the market

The Bottom Line

Yamaha has created a truly lovely unit. Not only is it feature-rich, but it’s solidly built, and looks amazing as part of your setup. It’s sleek black look and large LCD display makes reading it from across the room easy on the eyes. I personally love the fact that I can control this Yamaha receiver, as well as stream, over my tablet. All you have to do is download the App, available for both Android and Apple phones and tablets. This freedom allows you to more smoothly integrate your music into your day. I can wholeheartedly recommend the Yamaha RX-V681BL Receiver if you, as I do, take your home audio seriously.