The RX-V385 is the least expensive of the RX-Vxxx lineup. The series was released in 2018 but continues to get updated firmware and other such support. Despite being an entry-level product the RX-V385 offers a lot of features including 4k compatibility, Bluetooth, and Yamaha’s patented “YPAO” device (seen on the left), which detects the connected system and the acoustics of the room then optimizes the receiver’s settings. Pretty neat.
The front panel has the more classic piano black up top, but it looks nice, and the interface layout is nice too. Four pre-sets to choose from, and a usb slot is a nice addition.
The back-panel is solid, nicely laid out and easy to understand. All the input types the vast majority of users will ever need are there. Worth mentioning is the dedicated pre amp subwoofer terminal and the option to bi-amp the main L/R speakers if you’re not using them for surround speakers. Each speaker terminal is a five way binding post, which isn’t always the case with entry-level 5.1 receivers. No having to deal with annoying spring clips.
Each channel is rated at 100 W / 8 ohms with a total harmonic distortion rating of 0.9% at 1kHz, which is fine for most speakers. You might be able to get a noticeably better sounding signal with bi-wiring, and you might as well do that if you’re not using surround speakers, but realistically most people won’t hear a difference. 6 ohm speakers can work with the V385, just make sure they’ll get the minimum recommended power. The V385 is not rated for 4 ohm speakers and we wouldn’t recommend using it to power them. See the full spec sheet here.
Yamaha audio products generally run big and bulky, and even the entry-level V385 is pretty big, almost 7 inches tall, so we’d say this needs at least a foot of upper space for the vents to breathe and disperse heat properly.
Overall Take, As Compared to the Competition
The prices of older generation receivers in particular can fluctuate a lot and seem arbitrary, but, we’ve seen the RX-V385 go for under $300, which is pretty much as inexpensive as we’ve seen for what you get and makes it a very solid choice. You might be able to get a better value with a few other products like the similarly popular Sony STRDH590 (reviewed here), but that doesn’t have quite all the features that the V385 has. The only arguable downside of the V385 is that it’s on the bulky side and will need more space to fit and breathe.