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Outlaw Audio RR2150 Suggestions For Improvement & Conclusion

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We don’t have much to say in way of improvements for the RR2150. Its operation, sound quality, and measurements were all splendid. However, if we must nit-pick, there are three areas we would comment on. First, as previously mentioned, the remote doesn’t fit with the rest of the unit. We would like to see a remote with a more high-end feel and a button layout focused on 2ch. stereo systems, not video related equipment. Second, the inclusion of digital coax and digital optical inputs would be a bonus. Since the RR2150 relies on the DAC inside the source equipment (other than for the USB input), consumers need to invest in a good transport. If the RR2150 had digital inputs, then consumers wouldn’t have to worry as much about having a nice transport. Finally, crosstalk measurements were good, but not as stellar as we’ve seen in comparable products. The Harman Kardon 3490 we reviewed ($499) measured considerably lower here.  However the RR2150 amp section is more meaty than the HK 3490.  In fact it has one of the best amp sections we’ve seen in a two-channel receiver.

Conclusion

Outlaw RR-2150 Hero 2

In a marketplace full of “modern” black receivers with flimsy faceplates and minimalist designs, the RR2150 is a breath of fresh air. It doesn’t look “old” or “cutting-edge”. Rather, it strikes a nice balance between retro and modern. That theme of blending past and present weaves its way into the feature set as well, with the presence of USB and Subwoofer connections. At the same time, the RR2150 remains a classic stereo receiver with tons of power and enough analog inputs and control knobs to make vintage gear blush. In fact, it's the most powerful two channel receiver we have ever measured! Great looks, features, build quality and power at an affordable price, we're not sure what else you could ask for. Whether your speakers are just released limited edition or were made before Jimmy Hendrix picked up a guitar, the RR2150 would make a great piece of gear in any stereo system.

 

 

The Score Card

The scoring below is based on each piece of equipment doing the duty it is designed for. The numbers are weighed heavily with respect to the individual cost of each unit, thus giving a rating roughly equal to:

Performance × Price Factor/Value = Rating

Audioholics.com note: The ratings indicated below are based on subjective listening and objective testing of the product in question. The rating scale is based on performance/value ratio. If you notice better performing products in future reviews that have lower numbers in certain areas, be aware that the value factor is most likely the culprit. Other Audioholics reviewers may rate products solely based on performance, and each reviewer has his/her own system for ratings.

Audioholics Rating Scale

  • StarStarStarStarStar — Excellent
  • StarStarStarStar — Very Good
  • StarStarStar — Good
  • StarStar — Fair
  • Star — Poor
MetricRating
Frequency Response LinearityStarStarStarStarStar
SNRStarStarStar
Measured Power (8-ohms)StarStarStarStarStar
Measured Power (4-ohms)StarStarStarStarStar
Two-channel Audio PerformanceStarStarStarStarStar
Bass ManagementStarStarStarStarStar
Build QualityStarStarStarStarStar
Fit and FinishStarStarStarStarStar
Ergonomics & UsabilityStarStarStarStar
Remote ControlStarStarStar
PerformanceStarStarStarStarhalf-star
ValueStarStarStarStarhalf-star
About the author:
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Cliff, like many of us, has always loved home theater equipment. In high school he landed a job at Best Buy that started his path towards actual high quality audio. His first surround sound was a Klipsch 5.1 system. After that he was hooked, moving from Klipsch to Polk to Definitive Technology, and so on. Eventually, Cliff ended up doing custom installation work for Best Buy and then for a "Ma & Pa" shop in Mankato, MN.

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Recent Forum Posts:

PENG posts on January 07, 2018 10:30
Robertotron, post: 1227607, member: 84553
I'm leaning heavily toward buying this model. Pretty excited about learning about it , as it's the only receiver I can made tolerate looking at or operating in about 25 years.
I favor it over the 2160 because of the knobs.
I'll be using it 80% to play music off my PC and 20% from Phono. (With a pair of 6ohm Polk RT7s if possible)
Can someone please comment more about using the USB-in to play Spotify & Music Files off my PC?
I've never heard of doing this and wonder if it's reliable..
Someone above mentioned a $200 upgrade to add another digital input.
Can I have a link to info on this Please?

If you buying it for the look that's a good reason but may be the only reason. Otherwise, you are much better off getting an AVR-X3300W that often goes on sale for $599 brand new. The output power rating and bench test results (also by Audioholics) are similar between the two. Even if you strictly use the unit for two channel, the AVR still has the edge because of the much richer feature set, and the build in excellent bass management, REQ etc.

The RR2160's USB is limited to 16GB thumb drive, the USB-b can be used with your PC but it appears to play PCM only. The Denon AVR can play DSD up to 5.6 MHz. I have no idea what the $200 to add another digital output is about, why kind of digital input are they referring to?
Robertotron posts on January 06, 2018 15:11
I'm leaning heavily toward buying this model. Pretty excited about learning about it , as it's the only receiver I can made tolerate looking at or operating in about 25 years.
I favor it over the 2160 because of the knobs.
I'll be using it 80% to play music off my PC and 20% from Phono. (With a pair of 6ohm Polk RT7s if possible)
Can someone please comment more about using the USB-in to play Spotify & Music Files off my PC?
I've never heard of doing this and wonder if it's reliable..
Someone above mentioned a $200 upgrade to add another digital input.
Can I have a link to info on this Please?
slipperybidness posts on March 20, 2015 08:48
HK990vxi, post: 1076127, member: 72533
I just purchased the Outlaw 2150 and am disappointed! I have a Harman Kardon 990vxi that I absolutely loved (started having trouble with the right channel cutting out and decided to give the Outlaw a try rather than going through another round of repairs). I have a pair of Dahlquist DQ-12s that provide sound quality that places any instrument right there in the room with you. The HK has a fullness and punch through these speakers that the Outlaw doesn't seem to have. Is there much of a difference after the break-in period? How long?
Why don't you call up Outlaw directly and discuss it with them?
HK990vxi posts on March 19, 2015 22:14
I just purchased the Outlaw 2150 and am disappointed! I have a Harman Kardon 990vxi that I absolutely loved (started having trouble with the right channel cutting out and decided to give the Outlaw a try rather than going through another round of repairs). I have a pair of Dahlquist DQ-12s that provide sound quality that places any instrument right there in the room with you. The HK has a fullness and punch through these speakers that the Outlaw doesn't seem to have. Is there much of a difference after the break-in period? How long?
gfmucci posts on December 18, 2014 21:41
I have a dilemma. I am torn between this amp for $699, versus the new Yamaha A-S801 for $899. This amp has a basic DAC with USB in. The Yamaha has a more sophisticated DAC with all three types of digital ins. For me it boils down to the difference in quality of the audio output. If I needed to upgrade the DAC capability, I could always spend the $200 difference on that upgrade for the Outlaw. My primary sources will be from my desktop computer with its generic sound card and Kindles. The desktop will send via USB cable. The Kindle via Bluetooth. I will be driving a pair of Definitive 8040s that run on 6 ohms.
Your thoughts, please.
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