Excellent, budget-friendly AV Receiver Yamaha RX-V385

Yamaha RX-V385

The Yamaha RX-V385 is a feature-packed and budget-friendly 5.1-channel home theater receiver that promises to deliver solid surround sound performance without breaking the bank. Whether you’re setting up a home theater in a small apartment or a spacious living room, this receiver has the power and processing capabilities to suit your needs.

Power and Processing: With a 5-channel amplifier capable of delivering 70 watts per channel into 8 ohms, the RX-V385 provides ample power to drive your speakers with clarity and precision. The low total harmonic distortion (THD) at 0.09% ensures that the audio reproduction remains faithful to the original source, even at higher volumes. Dolby and DTS surround sound decoding further enhances the audio experience, making movies and music come to life.

The receiver also features the YPAO (Yamaha Parametric Room Acoustic Optimizer) function, which is a valuable addition for those seeking optimized surround sound. The YPAO microphone included with the receiver automatically calibrates the speaker settings, ensuring a more precise and immersive audio performance in your specific room environment.

Yamaha RX-V385
Yamaha RX-V385

Upscaling HD video signals to 4K Ultra HD is a convenient feature that ensures your entertainment looks stunning on compatible 4K TVs. The inclusion of Cinema DSP modes adds richness and depth to both music and movie soundtracks, further enhancing your listening experience.

Digital Music Options: The built-in Bluetooth functionality allows for wireless music streaming, enabling you to play your favorite tunes from your mobile device directly to the receiver. This is a convenient feature that enhances the versatility of the RX-V385, making it suitable for various entertainment needs.

Audio Performance: Three 32-bit/384kHz Burr-Brown digital-to-analog converters guarantee high-quality audio reproduction, ensuring that your digital music files sound their best. The Extra Bass feature enhances the low-frequency response, even with small speakers, for a more impactful and immersive audio experience.

Virtual Cinema Front is a notable feature that simulates surround sound effects when all five connected speakers are placed in the front of the room. This is a great option for setups where placing speakers around the room might not be practical or desired.

Ultra Low Jitter PLL circuitry is another commendable inclusion, reducing timing jitter from digital sources and thereby improving overall sound quality and imaging. Compressed Music Enhancer further ensures that even digital music files like MP3s sound clearer and more enjoyable.

Connections: The RX-V385 offers a variety of connection options to suit different setups. With 4 HDMI inputs and 1 HDMI output supporting HDCP 2.3 technology, the receiver is compatible with 4K Ultra HD sources and TVs. Additionally, it supports HDR 10, Dolby Vision, and HLG, ensuring you can enjoy extended picture contrast and brightness with compatible 4K content.

Other connection options include 3 composite video inputs, 1 optical and 2 coaxial digital audio inputs, 2 pairs of stereo RCA inputs, a front-panel USB port for audio playback from USB flash drives, and a front-panel minijack for connecting mobile devices or music players. It also has a preamp output for a powered subwoofer and a 1/4″ headphone jack.

Yamaha RX-V385
Yamaha RX-V385

The RX-V385 comes with four SCENE presets, enabling one-touch power-up, source selection, and DSP recall, simplifying the receiver’s operation for different entertainment scenarios.

The inclusion of Audio Return Channel (ARC) functionality allows the receiver to receive digital audio signals from a compatible HDTV’s tuner or “smart” content via HDMI, streamlining the audio setup.

The AM/FM tuner, along with the included remote control, adds convenience and versatility to the overall user experience.

The Yamaha RX-V385 is an excellent choice for those seeking an affordable ($349.95) and versatile home theater setup. Its powerful 5-channel amplifier, support for 4K Ultra HD video, and a wide array of connection options make it future-proof for various entertainment needs. The inclusion of Bluetooth streaming adds a modern touch, making it easier to enjoy music from compatible devices wirelessly.

The YPAO function is a standout feature, ensuring that your surround sound setup is optimized for your specific room, regardless of its size or shape. Whether you’re a movie enthusiast or a music lover, the specialized DSP modes allow you to tailor the sound to your liking, regardless of your speaker setup.

While the Yamaha RX-V385 is a feature-packed and budget-friendly home theater receiver, it is essential to acknowledge some of its drawbacks:

Limited Power Output: While the 70 watts per channel output is suitable for small to medium-sized rooms, it may not be sufficient for larger spaces or for powering demanding speakers. Audiophiles or those seeking a more powerful and dynamic sound may find the power output to be limiting.

No Network Connectivity: The RX-V385 lacks built-in Wi-Fi or Ethernet connectivity, which means it cannot directly access streaming services or firmware updates. While it offers Bluetooth for music streaming from mobile devices, the absence of network connectivity may be a drawback for those who prefer to access online music platforms or firmware updates easily.

Limited HDMI Inputs: With only four HDMI inputs, the receiver might fall short for users with multiple HDMI devices like gaming consoles, streaming boxes, Blu-ray players, etc. This limitation could necessitate additional switching devices or force users to frequently switch HDMI cables.

Yamaha RX-V385
Yamaha RX-V385 – images: Yamaha

No Phono Input: The absence of a phono input means that users looking to connect a turntable directly to the receiver will need to purchase an external phono preamp. This could be an inconvenience for vinyl enthusiasts who want a more straightforward setup.

Basic Display: The Yamaha RX-V385 features a basic front panel display, which might not provide detailed information about the input source, audio format, or other settings. A more informative and user-friendly display could enhance the overall user experience.

Lack of Advanced Audio Decoding: While the receiver supports popular surround sound formats like Dolby and DTS, it may lack support for some advanced audio formats like Dolby Atmos or DTS:X. Audiophiles seeking a more immersive and cutting-edge audio experience might find this limitation disappointing.

No Multi-Zone Capability: The RX-V385 is designed as a 5.1-channel receiver, meaning it does not have built-in multi-zone support for powering additional speakers in different rooms. Users interested in a multi-room audio setup would need to look for more advanced models.

Limited DSP Customization: While the receiver offers specialized DSP modes for different setups, some users might find the customization options limited or may prefer more manual control over audio settings.

Older Technology: As newer models are released, the RX-V385 might lack some of the latest cutting-edge features and technologies, which could make it less future-proof for users who desire the latest advancements in home theater technology.

Despite these drawbacks, the Yamaha RX-V385 still provides excellent value for those seeking an affordable and functional home theater receiver with reliable surround sound performance. Users should consider their specific needs and preferences before making a purchasing decision.

For those looking to create a comprehensive home theater system, the Yamaha RX-V385 provides a solid foundation that allows you to expand and customize your setup over time. All in all, the RX-V385 is a commendable option for those seeking a budget-friendly home theater receiver without compromising on performance and features.


Amplifier Section Channels 5.1
Rated Output Power (1kHz, 1ch driven) 100 W (8 ohms, 0.9% THD)
Rated Output Power (20Hz-20kHz, 2ch driven) 70 W (8 ohms, 0.09% THD)
Maximum Effective Output Power (1kHz, 1ch driven) (JEITA) 145 W (6 ohms, 10% THD)
Dynamic Power / Ch (Front L/R, 8/6/4/2 ohms) 110 / 130 / 160 / 180 W
Surround Sound Processing Cinema DSP Yes
DSP Programs 17
Dialog Level Adjustment Yes
SILENT Cinema / Virtual Cinema DSP Yes (Virtual CINEMA FRONT)
Dolby TrueHD Yes
Dolby Digital Plus Yes
DTS-HD Master Audio Yes
Audio Features File Format MP3 / WMA / MPEG-4 AAC / WAV: up to 48 kHz / 16-bit
Compressed Music Enhancer Yes (incl. enhancer for Bluetooth®)
YPAO Sound Optimization Yes
Adaptive DRC (Dynamic Range Control) Yes
Initial Volume and Maximum Volume Setting Yes
Audio Delay Yes (0-500 ms)
DA Converter Burr-Brown 384 kHz / 32-bit DAC x 3
Video Features 4K Ultra HD Pass-through and Upscaling Yes (4K / 60p, 4:4:4)
HDMI 3D Pass-through Yes
HDMI eARC Yes (via firmware update)
HDMI Audio Return Channel Yes
HDMI Upscaling Yes (HDMI® to HDMI)
Deep Color / x.v.Color / 24Hz Refresh Rate / Auto Lip-Sync Yes
Extensive Connection HDMI Input/Output 4 / 1 (HDCP 2.3, HDR10 / Dolby Vision / HLG and BT.2020 compatible)
USB Input USB memory
Front AV Input USB / mini jack
Digital Audio Input / Output: Optical 1 / 0
Digital Audio Input / Output: Coaxial 2 / 0
Analog Audio Input / Output 3 (front 1) / 0
Composite Video Input / Output 3 / 1
Preout Subwoofer
Headphone Output 1
Connectivity Bluetooth Yes (SBC, in and out)
Tuner Section FM / AM Tuner Yes
User Interface On-Screen Display Yes (color OSD)
SCENE SCENE (4 sets)
Remote Control Unit Yes
General Standby Power Consumption (IR only) ≤ 0.2 W
Auto Power Standby Yes
ECO Mode Yes
Dimensions (W x H x D) 17-1/8″ x 6-3/8″ x 12-3/8″
Weight 17.0 lbs.

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