- Manufacturer & Model
- Yamaha AVENTAGE RX-A3070 AV Receiver
Flagship immersive sound performance at a competitive price, high-end audio processing for crystal clear sound, robust amp section, wide range of connectivity including eight HDMI and stereo XLR inputs, fully compatible with current 4K HDR video demands, wireless performance includes Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and Yamaha’s MusicCast, capable of being a hub of a whole home music system.
The RX-A3070 is Yamaha’s newest consumer oriented flagship AVR and is capable of running a stunning high-end 7.1.4 audio experience. The receiver is compliant with modern 4K video technologies, making it possible to integrate with all 4K televisions and video sources. Yamaha’s easy-to-use on-screen menu interface and smartphone apps deliver a smooth user experience, allowing easy access and management of a multitude of sources. Onboard wireless functionality (including Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and MusicCast) and the addition of TIDAL and Deezer make audio streaming a snap. Performance wise, the RX-A3070 can power an amazing immersive audio home theater experience.
It’s always fun to unwrap a new flagship receiver, especially when it’s stamped with a Yamaha badge. Three years ago, I had the privilege of taking the company’s revolutionary RX-A3050 AVR for an Atmos test drive and it literally blew the doors off my reference home theater. Much has transpired in the tech realm since the A3050’s launch, but the importance of that particular model won’t soon be forgotten. It single handedly pierced a rather stagnant receiver market, introducing reasonably future proof 4K video capabilities while offering full 11-channel Atmos processing (a pairing not available in the sub-$2,500 category until its release).
Over the last three years, new HDR technologies have arrived, DTS:X was officially born, and wireless media has become a strong consumer preference. And while older generations of HDMI 2.0 capable gear have been kept fresh through firmware updates, this year’s class of receivers are the most advanced we’ve ever seen (particularly on the video side of the equation).
Yamaha’s New Statement Piece
True to its reputation, Yamaha’s 2017 AVENTAGE lineup is loaded with cutting-edge performance at extremely competitive price points. In fact, the line’s entry level AVR hit store shelves with a $600 price tag, which is $50 less than its 2016 predecessor. The RX-A3070 (subject of this review) is priced at $2,200 MSRP ($1,999 street) and now serves as Yamaha’s flagship consumer-oriented AVR. It sports nine onboard amps, 11.2-channels of audio processing, multitudes of connectivity, and is the only AVENTAGE receiver capable of orchestrating DTS:X and Dolby Atmos performances with a full 7.2.4 speaker arrangement (note: Yamaha's CX-A1500 and MX-A5000 preamp/amp models offer this kind of performance, but are designed and marketed to professional installers). Much like the previous two AVENTAGE flagship models, the A3070 requires a two-channel outboard amp to push that kind of audio show, but owners short on rack space can connect 11 speakers to the RX-A3070 (the receiver’s onboard control switches power between surround back and rear presence speakers depending on the demands of an input signal).
If true 11-channel processing is less of a desire, enthusiasts strictly interested in a nine-channel (7.1.2) system can save roughly $500 and reach for Yamaha’s RX-A2070. However, the A2070 delivers slightly less power and is outfitted with step-down audio conversion chips.
The RX-A3070’s amp section is rated at a healthy 150 Watts per channel (8 ohms, two channels driven). While that kind of output might not match more robust performance numbers claimed by pricier competing models, the A3070 is confidently capable of driving full complements of reasonably demanding speakers to clean sounding reference levels.
Yamaha’s quest for great sound begins with carefully crafted physical design elements, such as an aluminum front panel to shield the A3070’s innards from exterior noise contaminants. The company has also incorporated newly designed feet to eliminate intrusive vibrations, a rock-solid double-bottom chassis, and an AVENTAGE staple: the signature “fifth foot.” For those unfamiliar, the foot is a centrally mounted underbelly wedge that dampens vibrations emanating from internal componentry and external sources.
The receiver’s robust physical foundation plays host to a veritable plethora of advanced AV tech. Owners will appreciate the A3070’s eight HDMI inputs (two outputs), all of which accommodate HDCP 2.2, HDR10, Dolby Vision, HLG, and wide color gamut 4K video (Dolby Vision and HLG support require a firmware update expected to drop later this year). Other notable forms of connectivity include USB, phono, and a host of analog and digital inputs. Yamaha has also included RCA multi-channel outputs and balanced XLR stereo inputs. Of course, those looking to avoid wires will like the inclusion of Wi-Fi, AirPlay, and Bluetooth connectivity.
The front side of the receiver doesn’t deviate from the last two RX-A flagship receivers. It features an easy-to-ready dimmable LCD display, large source selection and volume knobs, and an attractive flip down cover that conceals various controls. Those controls include multi-zone, radio preset and tuning, and various menu navigation buttons (among others). You’ll also find handy auxiliary RCA and HDMI inputs.
Internally, Yamaha has packed the RX-A3070 with a robust power supply system that’s symmetrically aligned for exacting isolation. And the receiver’s multi-channel digital to analog conversion is handled by one of two ESS Technology chips (ES9026PRO SABRE or ES9006 ULTRA DAC) mated to Yamaha’s proprietary DAC on Pure Ground technology for reduced ground noise and enhanced audio reproduction.
As mentioned, the RX-A3070 is fully capable of handling all current 4K UHD video demands (with the notable additions of Dolby Vision and HLG High Dynamic Range coming via a firmware update by the end of 2017). It also ships with both DTS:X and Dolby Atmos audio decoding onboard and ready for use, in addition to a host of proprietary DSP audio modes (addressed later).
Picky audio fans will enjoy access to their favorite Hi-Res audio tracks. Yamaha has made the A3070 fully functional with most common Hi-Res audio file types, including DSD (2.8 MHz/5.6 MHz) and FLAC, WAV, AIFF (up to 192 kHz/24-bit), and Apple Lossless (96 kHz/24-bit). And for those looking to introduce a bump in quality to lower resolution tracks, the included “Compressed Music Enhancer” is designed to add depth and breadth to sound.
Not surprisingly, streaming audio is prominently featured on the A3070, and the receiver delivers easy-to-use wireless performance like a champ. It features onboard access to Pandora, Spotify, Napster, and SiriusXM, along with TIDAL and Deezer. Of course, a host of wireless options are available for those interested in sending audio direct from a networked computer or mobile device. And wireless audio, including music stored on a USB stick, is easily accessed and controlled through Yamaha’s stellar MusicCast app.
Speaking of MusicCast, Yamaha’s slick wireless solution can be used to create a seamless network of multi-room whole home audio. All you need is a MusicCast enabled receiver and MusicCast capable wireless speakers. This isn’t a feature we tested during this review, but I’ve experienced demonstrations of the technology and its absolutely brilliant.
Out Of The Box
The RX-A3070, much like other models in the AVENTAGE line, is boxed and shipped in high quality commercial grade packaging. And while the unboxing experience isn’t earthshattering, the receiver and its included accessories are all delivered as you’d expect from a world-class company. Despite offering a superior remote app, Yamaha still ships its receivers with a handy physical remote control, in addition to an external AM/FM antenna and various printed materials.
Physically, the A3070 has quite a presence when picked up and moved about. Its 40-pound weight feels confident and sturdy in the hands – overall build quality is excellent. Visually speaking, the A3070 carries a quiet confidence with a superior finished appearance. And Yamaha doesn’t skimp on items such as speaker posts and knobs. In fact, the A3070’s volume knob turns like pure gold, with a pleasing amount of resistance that makes it feel substantial and relevant (notably different from the 2015 model iteration).
Click on the video below to watch an unboxing of the A3070. The video includes up-close images of the receiver and its included accessories (definitely worth a watch).
The A3070’s rear panel presents a forest of connectivity options that, at first glance, looks cramped and intimidating. Hook up, however, proved to be relatively simple due to the panel’s logical layout and easy to read input/output labels. For this particular review, installation included running HDMI, speaker, and RCA cables for single zone multi-channel playback. As previously noted, the A3070 has native 11.2-channel surround processing but only houses 9 amp sections. To accommodate my 7.2.4 Atmos layout, I paired the receiver with my trusty Emotiva XPA-5 standalone amplifier (which fed the system’s rear presence channels).
Once again, Yamaha has opted to nix the inclusion of multi-channel inputs, making it impossible to run outboard multi-channel signal processing or analog feeds from an external source. Yamaha, however, has designed the A3070 to decode multi-channel DSD via an HDMI connection to a Blu-ray player. In addition, the included SABRE DAC is a member of ESS Technology’s top tier of conversion chips (so you’re guaranteed incredibly accurate onboard digital to analog conversion). While uber-picky audiophiles may consider this a downgrade, the vast majority of buyers will find the A3070’s multi-channel processing capabilities to exceed that of other gear they own. And it’s important to reiterate that analog inputs are available for two-channel listening.
Post hook up, I placed the included calibration microphone and stand at my primary listening position and ran Yamaha’s top-end YPAO-R.S.C. room correction package. The provided onscreen set-up instructions were easy to follow, guiding me through measurements of distance, angle, and height (for better Atmos performance), in addition to room acoustics. Post calibration, I checked the system’s channel levels with a handheld SPL meter and found that all 11 channels had been set within one dB of reference – applause for Yamaha! My only gripe with the process was YPAO’s inability to keep speaker settings intact during the calibration process (YPAO set the vast majority of speakers to “Large,” requiring me to re-enter the settings menu and reset each speaker to “Small” with an 80Hz crossover). With that outstanding, the room calibration process was relatively painless.
My theater room is well treated by mixture of absorption and diffusion, so the groundwork for great sound is already in place. As you’ll note, the pre- and post-calibration measurement graph doesn’t appear to indicate that a YPAO had tremendous amount of impact on smoothing my system’s frequency response. Keep in mind, this is only one measurement from one specific setting; YPAO may result in a significantly measurable effect in another type of room. I will comment, however, that my system’s audio sounded more sharp and cohesive post-calibration, most likely do YPAO’s calculation of speaker distances and angles, in addition to leveling each channel to 75 dB (as heard at the primary listening position).
Pre (Red) and Post (Purple) YPAO Room Correction frequency response measurements
The final install step involved linking the RX-A3070 to my home Wi-Fi network. The process was super simple, made easy by sharing network settings via my iPhone. Once aligned, the receiver quickly reported that a firmware update was available for download. Executing that update involved a few clicks on the remote, and ten minutes later the A3070 was ready to play.
The RX-A3070 was integrated with the same SVS Ultra Atmos system recently featured in a separate AV NIRVANA review. That system utilizes Ultra Towers and an Ultra Center on the front end, rear and side channels comprised of Ultra Bookshelf and Ultra Surrounds, four ceiling mounted Prime Elevation height channels, and Dual SB16 subs. An OPPO UDP-205 was used as a primary source for music and movie disc playback, and a JVC RS520 4K e-Shift projector handled the display side of the equation.
(Tom Petty / Reprise Records)
If your attention span is generally short, then you’ll appreciate what I’m about to tell you: the RX-A3070 is, without exception, an excellent high-class two-channel and multi-channel performer. Throughout this review’s demo sessions, I engaged and disengaged the crutch of my system’s active SB16 subwoofers, and the A3070’s amp section had zero issues delivering exacting audio at reference levels. That includes both two-channel music and extreme multi-channel driven Atmos presentations. Demo sessions used a mixture of discs, USB media, Bluetooth, and streaming music sources. All of them were easy to access and performed as expected.
Total class, total confidence, and absolutely ridiculous fun.
A rugged stereo recording such as Rage Against the Machine’s 1992 self-titled sonic attack (CD) gracefully growled from the SVS Ultra Towers with power and punch, all the while retaining a sharpness and zing. Even when the subs were introduced to the equation, the A3070 kept the sound balanced and perfectly timed. Then there was the multi-channel extravaganza issued by Meat Beat Manifesto’s punishing In Dub (DVD, 5.1), which encased my theater room in a dome of pulsating electronica. The album’s potent bass pounded with near limitless depth and Jack Danger’s bizarre world of drum rhythms and funky samples were punctuated by energetic clarity. And to top things off, I was pleased to find that the RX-A3070 identified my music disc source as an OPPO UDP-205, displaying the player’s name on the receiver’s front mounted display!
As stereo listening sessions progressed, I channeled my inner millennial and launched the Yamaha MusicCast app. After entering some quick information, TIDAL Hi-Fi was accessible and ready to be played. The app’s interface provided instant browsing of my favorite artist, song, and album lists, in addition to all of the search features needed to find new music. I quickly kicked-off a musical tour of Tom Petty’s magical catalog of American rock. Sound quality was discernably near-CD in its presentation, loaded with the shimmering sounds of Petty’s guitar in “Free Fallin” and his seductively wobbly voice on “Wildflowers.” Shifting gears, I called upon the Bleachers’ distinctive 80s vibe and filled my room with anthem and rhythm from the likes of “Don’t Take The Money,” and “Rollercoaster.”
As mentioned, Yamaha’s onboard DSP processing offers quite a few sound altering options that can be applied to your favorite media. These include modes that mimic everything from the small sound of an underground nightclub to the cavernous echoes of a large cathedral setting. You can also ask the A3070 to up-mix standard two-channel audio into various multi-channel arrangements. I had quite a bit of fun hearing favorite tracks wrap themselves around my listening position by recruiting side and rear channels. If anything, it added a level of newness that gave old favorites a kick of life.
Overall, the A3070’s musical presentation was to perfection, powering SVS’s Ultras to a land of sonic bliss. In many ways, my music-driven demo sessions were an appetizer that prepped my ears for the main course: immersive sound. It wasn’t long before I hand selected a stack of favorites from my collection of Blu-ray and 4K movies. To be truthful, that stack included both DTS:X and Dolby Atmos demo discs, because, after all, it’s hard not to jump right into the fray when you have a wicked Atmos system at your disposal.
A quick tour of well-known immersive sound movie scenes set my theater room ablaze with smile inducing sound and confirmed the validity of my two-channel impressions. The A3070 knows how to manage an entertainment show. Even when my system’s full speaker array was taken to near-reference levels, the receiver never flinched and quality of sound held steady. From the richly textured beats of the DTS:X “Cymatics” demo to the rush of dynamic sounds issued by the Unbroken bomber scene, the A3070 performed exactly as expected.
(Walt Disney Studios)
Eager to dig a bit deeper, I settled on three feature films: Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Blu-ray, 7.1 DTS-HD MA), Everest (Blu-ray, Dolby Atmos), and Passengers (4K UHD Blu-ray, Dolby Atmos).
The Force Awakens was first on the docket.
JJ Abrams’ reboot of Hollywood’s most storied franchise has nearly every audio element necessary for an exciting and enveloping experience. Incredible score? Check. Rich dialog? Check. Spectacular special effects? Double check. What’s missing is an Atmos encode. The disc does carry a stellar 7.1 DTS-HD MA multi-channel presentation, however, which gave me a perfect opportunity to engage the A3070’s Surround Decoder. The decoder, when set on auto, will engage either DTS Neural:X or Dolby Surround to create an immersive sound presentation.
The A3070’s management of The Force Awakens was nothing short of spectacular. John Williams’s timeless music dazzled my ears with detail dripping from every note. And action scenes were filled with pinpoint directionality and movement, whether it was a TIE fighter screaming overhead or the crackling rumble of the Millennium Falcon as it powered through hyper-space. Even the most minute of audio effects – such as beeps emanating from a control panel – were delivered with precision. It was a very natural sounding viewing, with overhead effects that appeared just as one would expect. Truthfully, the lack of a true Atmos encode was a total non-issue, thanks to the A3070’s advanced processing capabilities.
Next up, I tapped Everest. The A3070 instantly recognized Everest’s Atmos sound package and I was off and running to the frigid terrain of the Himalayas. The film’s audio intensity is a slow burn that eventually turns into a four-alarm fire. The A3070 managed the entire experience without incident, driving my theater room to extraordinary heights. Subtleties, such as gentle wind and footsteps on crushed stone had a life-like appearance. And the storm – oh that magnificent storm – sent the system into overdrive, with every speaker hammering away with ferocity. This was a perfect opportunity to take the A3070 to ear-shredding reference levels, and it obliged with thunderous bass and crystal-clear atmospherics; a perfect dome of immersive sound.
For the final act, I doubled-down and stuck with Passengers. The introduction of a 4K disc led to a slightly longer HDMI handshake period, but the gear chain eventually worked itself out and both picture and sound popped to life. The A3070’s pass-through of the film’s 4K HDR image was pure and devoid of any noticeable issues; color and clarity was reference. The audio (another Atmos track) was scintillating, loaded with thunderous bass and plenty of sounds swirling around the room. The height channels had several moments where voices poured through their drivers, particularly as the distressed ship warned of an eminent reactor disaster. Much like the previous two films, the A3070’s management of speakers and sound was utterly fantastic.
Yamaha’s AVENTAGE series is a frequent recipient of high praise, and the company has hit another homerun with its latest flagship design. From build quality to high-tech features – not to mention price – the RX-A3070 is one of the industry’s top sub-$2,500 AV receivers. While I’d like to see Yamaha add two additional amp channels to make the A3070 a true standalone 11-channel model, the need for an external amp is a small complaint. If anything, it opens a door to flagship performance with the ability to budget for expansion in the future.
The A3070 receives high marks for usability – including praise for its remote and MusicCast apps, and the assortment of ways to access and distribute audio and video content. It can easily serve as a media hub for the home. On the performance front, the receiver’s native power is clean and robust, and the ability to play nicely with both HLG and Dolby Vision HDR are major bonuses.
The bottom line? This is a receiver that I’d happily welcome into my home. If you’re in the market or considering an upgrade, the RX-A3070 should be on your shortlist of shopping options. Highly Recommended.
- Number Of Channels: 9
- Stereo RMS Power (watts): 150
- THD in Stereo: 0.06 %
- Frequency Bandwidth (stereo): 20-20k Hz
- Minimum Impedance L/R: 4 ohms
- Minimum Impedance Center: 6 ohms
- Minimum Impedance Surround: 6 ohms
- Internet-ready: Yes
- Bluetooth: Built-in
- Apple AirPlay: Built in
- App Remote Control: Yes
- USB port for iPod/iPhone: No
- HD Radio Tuner: No
- On-Screen Display: Thru HDMI
- Auto Speaker Calibration: YPAO-RSC 3D Multi
- HDCP 2.2 for 4K Video: Yes
- HDR-compatible: HDR10, Dolby Vision (FW), HLG (FW)
- HDMI Standby Pass-through: Yes
- Composite Video Conversion: From Composite to HDMI
- Component Video Conversion: From Component Video to HDMI
- HDMI to HDMI Upconversion: Yes
- DLNA Certified
- MHL-compatible: No
- Multibrand Remote Control: No
- Learning Remote: No
- Width (inches): 17-1/8
- Height (inches): 7-1/2
- Depth (inches): 19-5/16
- Weight (pounds): 39.9
- Parts Warranty: 3 Years
- Labor Warranty: 3 Years
- Powered Multi-room Audio Output: Yes
- Preamp Multi-room Audio Output: Yes
- Multi-room Video: Yes
- Multi-room HDMI Output: Yes
- Dolby Digital DD, TrueHD, DD+, EX, Dolby Atmos: Yes
- DTS DTS, HD, HDMA, ES, 96/24, DTS:X: Yes
- Phono Input: 1
- Audio-Video Inputs: 8
- Audio-only Inputs: 4
- Component Video Inputs: 2
- Component Video Monitor Outputs: None
- Optical Digital Inputs: 3
- Coaxial Digital Inputs: 3
- Optical Digital Outputs: None
- Coaxial Digital Outputs: None
- HDMI Inputs: 8
- HDMI Monitor Outputs: 2
- Subwoofer Outputs: 2
- Multi-Channel Analog Input: No
- Multi-channel Preamp Output: Yes
- Main Speaker Output Pairs: 1
- Main Speaker Terminals Posts
- Ethernet Port: 1
- USB Connections: 1 Front
- Removable Power Cord: IEC 2-prong