Back in the day, the Yamaha RX V481 is one of the top entry-level AV receiver choices and the sound quality still holds up to this day. It may not have all the latest features of the recent AVR models, but it is still good enough for an exciting movie night. If you are planning to get new speakers to pair up with your Yamaha RX V481 then look no further, as we are planning to share with you a list of the best matching speakers to go for.
But before we can find the right speakers, we will need to have more knowledge about the Yamaha RX V481. By understanding more about its sonic characteristics and limitations (if any), we will be able to know which speakers are best suited for your Yamaha RX V481 AV receiver.
Sonic Characteristics and Important Specifications of Yamaha RX V481
The Yamaha RX V481 is able to process 4K UHD video signals with HDCP 2.2 support which is already quite impressive for an entry-level AV receiver at this price point. The HDCP 2.2 ensures compatibility with 4K UHD sources and 4K UHD televisions. It is a 5.1 channel AV receiver with power outputs of 80 Watts into 8 Ohms with 2 channels driven and a frequency response of 20Hz to 20kHz. To handle peaks, the Yamaha RX V481 can go up to 145 Watts into 6 Ohms with 1 channel driven. You can connect an active subwoofer which is recommended to do so as the sub can help ease the load off from the AV receiver by taking over the bass reproduction. Since you can only integrate one active subwoofer, it is wise to get a high-quality and powerful sub especially if your HT room is medium to large-sized.
Based on the specs, we will suggest sticking with bookshelf speakers as they are easier to drive than most floor-standing speakers. The Yamaha RX V481 is also loaded with a plethora of features that make it value for money. Here are some of the notable features such as a built-in Burr-Brown DAC with up to 24-bit/192kHz resolution, Bluetooth connectivity (SBC / AAC), Apply AirPlay, WiFi (with Wireless Direct), and more. The MusicCast is another amazing and noteworthy feature which you will find very convenient to have as well.
The level of details that the Yamaha RX V481 can unravel is astonishing and certainly not expected from an AVR at this price point. The projected sound field is filled with rich details and effects either providing us with a whimsical presence in a fantasy world or the dreaded feeling you’ll get when watching a horror movie. The bass performance of the Yamaha RX V481 is powerful and has lots of weight which helps to build up the tensions really well. The hefty low rumbling of the deep bass and the impacts it can deliver is really impressive.
The overall sound reproduction is cleanly delivered and the highs are crisp, the Yamaha RX V481 is also capable of delivering crystal clear dialogues which helps a lot with the immersion as you don’t need to strain your ears to hear what the performers are talking. When it comes to music playbacks, the transparency and accuracy of this Yamaha AVR are even more apparent. The clarity of the Yamaha RX V481 is astonishing, intricate details can be heard clearly and the vocals are highly defined. The bass reproduction is punchy and agile, but if you find the low-end performance too overwhelming, you can always lower down the bass gains of your AVR or powered subwoofer.
When it comes to home theater performances, the Yamaha RX V481 is more than ready to entertain its listeners with a very detailed and powerful sonic presentation. One of the key factors to ensure an exciting home cinematic experience is to find an equally impressive active subwoofer with enough amplifier power to accommodate the bass control and delivery of the RX V481. The treble can be quite bright at times but doesn’t sound harsh or hard. With these data in our hands, we can finally start listing out the best matching speakers to partner with the Yamaha RX V481 AV receiver. The prices of these speakers will be considered as well so as to fit the price range of the RX V481.
Yamaha RX V481 Specifications
- Power Outputs: 80 Watts per channel into 8 Ohms with 2 channels driven, 145 Watts into 6 Ohms with 1 channel driven
- Frequency Response: 20Hz-20kHz
- DAC: Burr-Brown
- Wireless: Apple AirPlay, WiFi (with Wireless Direct), Bluetooth (SBC / AAC)
- Inputs: 4 HDMI inputs, 1 USB input, 4 Analog inputs, 1 Optical input, 2 Coaxial inputs
- Outputs: Headphone output, 1 Subwoofer output, 1 HDMI ARC
- Dimensions (W x H x D): 435mm x 161mm x 327mm (17.1″ × 6.3″ × 12.9″)
- Weight: 8.1kg (17.9lbs)
Best Speakers to pair with Yamaha RX V481
The Wharfedale Diamond 220 stand-mounters are a terrific match with the Yamaha RX V481. The low-end performance of these speakers is truly impressive for their size and punches above their weight. The smooth and warm-sounding nature of the Diamond 220 is a suitable match as well as the speaker eases the harshness and provides more warmth into the overall sound reproduction. The Wharfedale Diamond 220 should be used as the front mains and surround speakers, for the center channel, the matching Diamond 220c will be one of the ideal choices. For the subwoofer section, you can go with either the Wharfedale Diamond SW150 subwoofer or SVS subwoofer.
If your budget is tight, the Jamo Studio Series S 803 home cinema system will be an ideal choice. The front main left and right speakers will be the highly-rated Jamo S 803 stand-mounters which have quite similar sonic characteristics with the Yamaha RX V481. The treble has high clarity and can be bright-sounding at times, with ample bass reproduction. The surround speakers role will be played by the smaller Jamo S 801 and the Jamo S 81 CEN will be taking over the center channel role. You will need to get an active subwoofer to complete this home cinema system. We will recommend having a listen to see if the overall sound reproduction is not overly bright for you.
The Klipsch R-41M is another entry-level speaker with high clarity and bright sounding characteristic. The speaker sensitivity is extraordinary at this price point, allowing your Yamaha RX V481 to drive the R-41M to high volumes with ease. Klipsch speakers are very efficient and affordable, you can also go for their floor-standing speakers Klipsch R-610F. With a speaker sensitivity of 94dB and a nominal impedance of 8 Ohms, your Yamaha RX V481 is powerful enough to drive the R-610F. You will still need to integrate an active subwoofer as the mentioned Klipsch speakers do not have sufficient bass performance to provide a satisfying home cinematic experience. As mentioned, they are bright-sounding speakers and you might want to hear them out before deciding.
Q Acoustics 3020i will be on the higher side of the price spectrum when compared to the listed speakers here but it is still affordable. The sonic personality of the Q Acoustics 3020i is warm and pleasing to the ears which makes them a suitable match with the Yamaha RX V481. The 3020i will make fine front main channel speakers and for the surround channels, you should definitely go with the multi-award-winning Q Acoustics 3010i. For a matching center channel speaker, you should go with the Q Acoustics 3090ci. They will be amazing for multi-channel music as well. You will need to add an active subwoofer into the mix to complete the HT pack though.
When it comes to high-quality subwoofers, SVS is one of the best brands to go for. They are famous for designing affordable subwoofers which are solid performers and have plenty of muscles to fill the room with deep rumbling bass. The SVS Prime Satellite 5.1 is a home cinema package that is just right for your Yamaha RX V481 AVR. The SVS Prime Satellites are efficient when it comes to reproducing details with clarity and the entry-level SVS SB-1000 active subwoofer is able to handle most bass demands with agility. With 700 Watts of peak power, the SB-1000 is more than capable of delivering powerful and articulate bass.
As mentioned before, the connected subwoofer is one of the key contributing factors to having an exhilarating home cinematic experience, and since the Yamaha RX V481 can only connect to 1 powered subwoofer, it will be wise to get a powerful one. The SVS SB-1000 is certainly enough for a small-sized HT room but for medium-sized and larger rooms, you will need SVS SB-2000 Pro as it has a higher amplifier power (1,500 Watts peak power) than the SB-1000. If you are only planning to watch movies using RX V481, then you might want to just go with a ported cabinet subwoofer. Ported subwoofers have higher bass output and max SPL but lack articulation and agility when compared to sealed subwoofers. This is also why audiophiles who are critical of music, will only go for high-quality sealed cabinet subwoofers.
To Sum It Up
The Yamaha RX V481 is a talented AV receiver and we wish it was a 7.1 channel instead of 5.1 but still, at this price range, we shouldn’t be asking for more. The listed speakers here are some of the best to match with the RX V481 and you should shortlist a few of them. Once you have shortlisted the potential speakers, you should hear them out first and see if you like the sound quality. The subwoofer which you will be getting or already owned should be included in the auditions too. If possible, you might want to arrange the audition at your own home theater room so to get a more accurate result.