Yamaha is one of our favorite Audio companies because they produce decently quality products at some of the most competitive prices on the market. This is all the more attractive to non-audiophile laypeople (the vast majority) who simply don’t need endless bells and whistles or deafening volume – there’s no point in paying for power or features that you’re never going to use.
This is exactly why we really like the R-S202 Stereo Receiver and wanted to distinguish it with a review: It’s a competitively priced two-channel receiver that’s perfect for powering a pair of outdoor speakers, only focusing on what’s truly needed:
Released in 2016, this unit is the newer generation of the good but now discontinued R-S201 Receiver. The main new feature is Bluetooth compatibility which comes as an addition to the included remote control. Wireless control is a particularly important feature for receivers that are going to be powering outdoor speakers, obviously because any person doesn’t want to have to keep going inside to change the music, volume, or whatever. The New 202 now allows you to stream music directly from your phone app of choice to your speakers.
A common point of adversity when thinking about building an outdoor sound system is additional complexity which of course comes at, yes, additional cost – once someone gets over the fact that a decent set of outdoor loudspeakers might set them back a few benjamins, they then realize, most likely, that they’ll need a receiver to power said speakers, some of which easily crack into four figures!
When it comes to outdoor sound systems, the pertinent issue with most a/v (or even plain stereo) receivers is that they bring way more than is actually needed for most peoples’ setups, which is mostly likely going to be a simple pair of loudspeakers. Even a simpler 2.1 receiver is probably going to be overkill since a subwoofer is usually unnecessary or simply unfeasible with outdoor setups.
Really there are only two ultimately important things with receivers: One, that it has the features you want, namely wireless capabilities. And two, the receiver/amplifier needs to be able to provide enough power to the speakers you want to use. The latter is where the R-S202 really shines: It has two 100 W channels, which will sufficiently power just about any pair of outdoor speakers we’ve reviewed on this site, and you’d be currently hard pressed to find a better deal on a 2 channel receiver that has the same features as the R-S202
The fact that this product is commonly sold as a bundle with Yamaha’s NS-AW150 outdoor speakers is definitely a testament to the fact that this product was intended to be a great cost-efficient option for outdoor sound systems.