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Yamaha R-N500 Network Stereo Receiver Preview

Yamaha R-N500 Network Stereo Receiver

Yamaha R-N500 Network Stereo Receiver


  • Product Name: R-N500
  • Manufacturer: Yamaha
  • Review Date: October 21, 2013 08:00
  • MSRP: $599.95
  • First Impression: Gotta Have It!

Receiver / Integrated Amplifier

  • DLNA: Version 1.5
  • File Format: MP3, WMA, MPEG4, AAC, WAV, FLAC
  • AirPlay: Yes


  • Minimum RMS Output Power (8 ohms, 20 Hz-20 kHz): 80 W + 80 W (0.04% THD)
  • Maximum Power (4 ohms, 1kHz, 0.7% THD, for Europe): 105 W + 105 W

Receiver / Integrated Amplifier

  • Maximum Power(8 ohms, 1 kHz, 10% THD): 115 W + 115 W
  • High Dynamic Power/Channel (8/6/4/2 ohms): 105 / 125 / 150 / 178 W


  • Frequency Response: 0 ± 0.5 dB / 0 ± 1.0 dB
  • Total Harmonic Distortion (CD to Sp Out, 20 Hz-20 kHz): 0.015% (40 W / 8 ohms)
  • Signal-to-Noise Ratio (CD): 100 dB (CD Direct on, 200 mV)
  • Audio In / Out: 10 / 2

Receiver / Integrated Amplifier

  • USB Input: Yes


  • Subwoofer Out: Yes
  • Remote In / Out: Yes
  • FM 50dB Quieting Sensitivity (IHF, 1 kHz, 100% Mod., Mono): 3 µV (20.8 dBf)
  • FM Signal-to-Noise Ratio (Mono/Stereo): 71 dB / 69 dB


  • ToP-ART Technology: Yes


  • Standby Power Consumption: 0.1 W
  • Dimensions (W x H x D): 17-1/8” x 6” x 15-1/4”
  • Weight: 21.6 lbs.

What's the hardest thing to find in the world of AV? Take a guess. An audiophile that will consider a graph of a frequency response as "evidence" of actual performance? An objectivist that will admit that a person might actually like a non-linear speaker? A person with cable risers that doesn't have some sort of inoperable brain tumor?

Nope, none of these.

The hardest thing to find is a device that can actually straddle the line between audiophile design and actually having features developed in the last decade or two. Audiophile devices should have a power button and maybe a knob. Anything else and you risk the internal electronics "infecting" the audio signal like a kid with no arms and a cough at a daycare. More recent features, however, take electronics and controls. When you try to put both in the same box, you end up with the audiohphile eschewing the device and the general consumer throwing their hands up in frustration because the box is either hamstringed by the audiophile (who isn't buying it anyway) or is prohibitively expensive.

We've seen more and more manufacturers trying to be the Switzerland of audio by releasing devices that might appeal to both. Yamaha has thrown their hat in the ring with their new R-N500 Network Stereo Receiver. While those looking for surround sound will have to look elsewhere, the focus on two-channel is sure to please audio purists and those that don't want or need surround. There are plenty of people out there that would pay to have a better two-channel experience rather than paying for features they'll never use. 

Building on their long heritage of cutting-edge receivers and the new AVENTAGE separates, Yamaha's R-N500 ticks all the right boxes. For those that can't live without their phones, the R-N500 is Apple AirPlay compatible. Through its wired Ethernet connection, it can access your content via DLNA ver. 1.5. It can accept MP3, WMA, MPEG4, AAC, WAV, FLAC. It can also stream music from Pandora and Spotify as well as Internet radio stations. For local content, there is a USB port on the front. 


Glancing at the back, you find the minimalist layout that audiophiles love with way more connections than they are used to seeing. While HDMI is nowhere to be seen, there are digital connections (two coaxial and two optical) for your digital devices. Not only that, the R-N500 keeps the content in the digital domain until the last minute for the best possible digital music reproductions. For those worried about bit-rate, the R-N500 can accept FLAC/WAV 192 kHz / 24-bit encoded music.

There are a slew of analogue inputs including a phono input with a ground screw. There is a remote in and out for integration in home control systems. The outputs include a subwoofer preout and speaker terminals. The Yamaha R-N500 sports two pairs of terminals for both A and B speakers. Of particular importance, the R-N500 has a Pure Direct mode that bypasses all but the most basic (we're guessing bass management for the sub) processing. There is a USB port on the back as well but it looks like it is just for charging.

On the front are a few controls we haven't seen in a while including dials for Bass, Treble, Balance, and Loudness. The Loudness control, in particular, is a bit unique. It seems to operate more like Dolby Volume where it keeps the volume consistent over time. There are buttons for speaker selection, pure direct, and power but dials for volume, menu control, and input. Rounding out the features is a headphone output. The Yamaha R-N500 is rated 80 watts into 8 ohms (full range) and 105 watts into 4 ohms (at 1kHz). The R-N500 weighs in a 21.6 pounds and is 17.13" by 6" by 15.25".


Yamaha is really trying to woo not only the budding audiophile but those two-channel fanatics that would usually buy a surround sound receiver. The R-N500 ticks all the right boxes. It is compatible with FLAC/WAV 192 kHz / 24-bit encoded music, can stream from Pandora, Spotify, local sources, and even USB, and has plenty of power. Yamaha has included a phono input for those that are long time lovers or just experimenting with vinyl. It has minimal processing and a pure direct mode that bypasses just about all of that. Digital signals stay in the digital domain and the purity of the analogue signal is maintained as much as possible. While you could get a more powerful receiver for the same money, you'd be paying for a lot of features you'd never use in your two-channel setup. Yamaha is betting you wont' want to do that. We're betting they are right.

For more information, please visit www.yamaha.com.

Unless otherwise indicated, this is a preview article for the featured product. A formal review may or may not follow in the future.

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As Associate Editor at Audioholics, Tom promises to the best of his ability to give each review the same amount of attention, consideration, and thoughtfulness as possible and keep his writings free from undue bias and preconceptions. Any indication, either internally or from another, that bias has entered into his review will be immediately investigated. Substantiation of mistakes or bias will be immediately corrected regardless of personal stake, feelings, or ego.

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