Yamaha R-N500 Network receiver

Despite having its finger in lots of home entertainment pies, the reality that Yamaha continues to plough significant R&D into committed two channel sound reveals how much purist hifi. This network player also indicates a move into newer land as its first all in one streamer.

The R-N500 remains within the more affordable amplifier range of Yamaha beginning using the GBP200 A-S201 incorporated through to the GBP340 A-S500. At the same time as being awash with analogue and digital input signals, it supports network streaming to internet radio streaming.

Analogue lovers are well served with 40 preset memory using FM/AM radio and a turntable input signal.

If you would like to stream via Ethernet rather than to the R-N500, you will want to fork out an additional GBP90 for Yamaha's YWA-10 wifi adapter, which plugs in to the USB outlet that is back. Bluetooth streaming will even set you back an additional GBP50 for Yamaha's YBA-11 BT adapter, the R-N500 supports this right from the carton and although for Apple devices, streaming is at least as simple.

500's other user attributes are nearly infinite, with various display choices, five screen brightness settings and quantity restricting, illustrating just how much Yamaha has packaged in underneath the lid. There is even an 'Eco' mode setting voltage.

Compared the finest all in one streamers, the Yamaha requires slightly more attempt to get going with.

From the carton our demo unit connects via a wired Ethernet connection mechanically to my home network. And also to examine the box's complete streaming capabilities, although using this might not be as clear-cut as the guide suggests I set the optional wifi adapter. If this virtual pairing isn't unsuccessful (it isn't in my situation), you must configure the wifi adapter by using the manual to direct you through an on-line Setup Wizard and connecting it to a computer. All of which looks a bit overly labour intensive in comparison to other streamers, which normally only need the wireless key of your router.

When joined, the program is intuitive and fast as well as the virtual volume knob that is popup is outstanding.

Sound quality

To reach the core of the sonic attractions of the Yamaha, it is placed into service with 'pure direct' loudspeaker and activated settings for driving my Q Acoustics 2020i bookshelf speakers fixed.

It is a relaxed performer that does not feel the necessity to press the borders to get your focus and looks comfortable in its skin. Knopfler's trademark lead guitar settles within the center of the soundstage and does not go from the loudspeaker plane fairly as far as I'd expect, making it seem convincingly realistic, but not as panoramic as it can be rendered by some amplifiers.

Examining the tempo of the Yamaha using a 16-bit/44kHz FLAC gets my foot tapping in the word go. This track will often catch an amp that is lethargic leaving the beat being chased by it as opposed to driving it. The beat is balanced, seeming progressive enough to help keep my loudspeakers without becoming competitive, giving the music an exciting and well judged, yet mellow rate.

Upping the ante using a no nonsense 16/44 rip of the Rest rock track of The Temper Trap discloses more of the natural inclination of the Yamaha. The rhythm section of the group picks up where Four Tet left off and motors throughout the tune with vigour that is remarkable, but the sedate features of the Yamaha take a few of the energy from the midrange, which seems somewhat shut in with this somewhat harder-edged stuff.

Partnering the Yamaha Audiovector floorstanders lets the R-N500 actually give its all. Possibly because of their asserted 91dB sensitivity, the R-N500 seems more competent driving these loudspeakers in 8ohm way.

Judged against the very best integrated amps only at that cost, the midrange of the Yamaha can sound a bit level with a few content. Sticking using the Tom Petty track, vocals and his rhythm guitar sound much less full bodied and somewhat veiled as I understand the speakers to be, thus I must work somewhat more difficult to completely appreciate their attempts. Also with other and this rock stuff, drums sound adequately sharp and enjoyably articulate, but the Yamaha does not recreate the speakers with enough power to actually bring them to life.

Shifting equipment using a 24-bit/96kHz FLAC sets the Yahama securely back and vocal harmonies are laced with subtle delicacies which make this a delight to hear and get lost in. The sound is free from edges that are tough along with the soundstage has enough depth to give a palpable amount of separation, using the baritones placed deeper in the tenors as well as the mixture coming to the fore.

Investing by Avison Ensemble in a hires FLAC performance garners rewarding yields, as the violins spring to flower and life inside the piece. The feeling of the scale of the orchestra can also be more noticeable with this piece when compared with the earlier test tracks, emphasizing another essential characteristic of the Yamaha. With this kind of music it excels in the place of an adrenaline junky appearing to outdo itself and looks much more at home.

Lower bass is nicely controlled for an amplifier but appears to roll off before it begins worrying my loudspeakers' bass interfaces. Some may welcome a little more grunt, although everything 's in check and there is no inclination to boom.


Characteristics wise, the Yamaha is completely loaded, making it superb worth in the cost. Sound wise it makes for a positive performer that is never tiresome, but treads too carefully for a few music genres. It is a safe set of hands which will appeal mainly to lovers that are ancient, but people who enjoy their music with a lot of dynamism should attempt prior to purchasing.

Yamaha R-N500 Network receiver photo