This week we’re reviewing the Yamaha CRX-N470D network stereo receiver, which is equipped with a CD player, dual FM/DAB tuner, USB port and, above all, is compatible with absolutely all the leading music streaming services (Deezer, Qobuz, Spotify, Tidal), in addition to offering multiroom functionality.
Yamaha MusicCast CRX-N470D: digital amplification
As is often the case with network stereo receivers, this ultra-compact model (10⅝” wide) houses a digital amplifier with a switched-mode power supply. Incoming analog signals are converted into digital signals and amplified by frequency modulation before being converted by the filters in the receiver’s output stages. Although only a moderate amount of power is delivered (2×10 W with minimal distortion), the restitution is very precise. The Yamaha CRX-N470D receiver’s high output power stages consume up to 25 W, which is to say not very much at all. When in network standby mode, the receiver only consumes 1.9 W. In sum, the CRX-N470D is an ecologically friendly model.
What type of content can the Yamaha CRX-N470D network stereo receiver play?
CD-Audio discs: these may be inserted into the integrated CD player, which also is also compatible with MP3 and WMA files.
Audio files: audio files can be read via the USB port on the receiver’s front panel, to which a flash drive may be connected, or else over the home network. A set-top box, computer sharing files, NAS, smartphone or tablet may thus be used to transmit audio files to the Yamaha CRX-N470D receiver. This calls for the Yamaha MusicCast app for iOS and Android. FLAC, AIFF, ALAC, MP3, M4A, WMA and CD or HD quality WAV files are handled. Moreover, since the CRX-N470D receiver is compatible with AirPlay, any files which can be read by an iPhone or iPad can be streamed directly to the amplifier.
Music streaming services: the Yamaha MusicCast mobile app is compatible with the leading music streaming services, including Deezer, Spotify, Tidal and Qobuz.
External sources: the Yamaha receiver is equipped with two line-level stereo inputs, which may be connected to a portable audio player, for example. We recommend using the compact FiiO Taishan D03K external DAC to handle the digital-to-analog conversion from an HD TV, since the receiver doesn’t have a digital input.
FM and digital radio stations: the Yamaha CRX-N470D receiver is equipped with a dual FM/DAB tuner. A wired antenna is included.
What speakers are a good match for the Yamaha CRX-N470D?
Since its power output is on the moderate side, this receiver is a good match for compact speakers or compact floorstanding speakers with a sensitivity rating of at least 90 db/W/m, as long as the volume is kept to reasonable levels. The receiver’s subwoofer output (with a fixed frequency low-pass filter) offers a solution to give more depth to the sound produced by even the most compact speakers.
Yamaha MusicCast CRX-N470D: listening with wired or wireless headphones
The Yamaha CRX-N470D is equipped with a headphone output, and its Bluetooth receiver can be used as a Bluetooth transmitter for a pair of Bluetooth headphones or even a Bluetooth speaker. The Yamaha MusicCast app may be used to activate Bluetooth transmission. All of the sources handled by the receiver can be played via Bluetooth. It is important to note, however, that since the SBC codec is used (the quality is very good nonetheless), there will be a slight delay between the sound produced by the Bluetooth speakers and the Bluetooth headphones paired with the receiver.
The Yamaha MusicCast app
In its current 2.40 version for Android, the Yamaha MusicCast is truly a joy to use. A succession of updates have improved the app and optimized its interface. The app may be used to power the Yamaha CRX-N470D on and off, select an input, and access settings in order to adjust the tonal balance, for example. As previously mentioned, the app may also be used to pair the receiver with Bluetooth headphones or a Bluetooth speaker. The list of compatible music streaming services is long: Deezer, Spotify, Qobuz, Tidal, Napster… The app also offers some invaluable functions, including displaying a list of recently played tracks (from all sources) and allowing the user to create playlists (several sources possible, including music streaming services).
Yamaha MusicCast CRX-N470D: Multiroom
The Yamaha MusicCast app may be used to configure several compatible Yamaha devices in a multiroom system: additional Yamaha CRX-N470D receivers, multichannel receivers, other network stereo receivers, connected compact systems or soundbars, for example. The Yamaha MusicCast app controls each device/room and can also group rooms together for simultaneous playback.
Something more to appreciate, the app proposes some useful tips to guide you in setting up rooms and sources, or using the playback interface and the playlist feature, for example.
Yamaha MusicCast CRX-N470D: accessories
An aluminum remote control and a small wired radio antenna are included.
We used NorStone W250 wires to connect the Yamaha CRX-N470D receiver to a pair of Elipson Prestige Facet 8B compact speakers. The Focal Cub Evo subwoofer was also part of our set-up. We installed the Yamaha MusicCast app on an Android smartphone (Honor Note 8), and we listened to Internet radio stations, music streamed from Deezer and FLAC audio files. Once powered up, the receiver notified us that a firmware update was available. The file was quick to download, and the update took about 10 minutes to install. As soon as the Yamaha CRX-N470D receiver was connected to our network via an Ethernet cable, configuration was instantaneous. The Yamaha MusicCast app immediately detected the receiver and the device was quickly functional.
Yamaha MusicCast CRX-N470D: user experience
The Yamaha CRX-N470D is an easy-going receiver: no complicated connections, a brief configuration process carried out with any smartphone, and that’s all. The remote control is not the most user-friendly model – too many buttons! – yet the device was designed to be controlled with a smartphone in hand, via the Yamaha MusicCast app. iPhone owners can choose to use AirPlay, while Android users can opt for a DLNA control app such as BubbleUPnP. However, Yamaha MusicCast is not the sort of app that should be avoided; quite the opposite.
Yamaha MusicCast CRX-N470D: listening impressions
The Yamaha CRX-N470D receiver brought out the best in the Elipson Prestige Facet 8 speakers, notably showcasing the clarity of their tweeters as well as their wide soundstage. The listener’s attention is immediately drawn to this aspect of the restitution, along with the solid midbass register and truly smooth mids. Let’s not beat around the bush, this is an excellent little receiver, more controlled and refined than the champions in its category, such as the Denon RCD-N9 and the Marantz MCR-611. We didn’t hesitate to turn up the volume on the Yamaha CRX-N470D. This receiver is all about dynamics and smoothness, just like the Japanese manufacturer’s multichannel receivers. The subwoofer output should be used without hesitation to support a pair of bookshelf speakers with a compact subwoofer: the CRX-N470 will thus benefit from enhanced performance from the upper bass register to the highs.
Yamaha has produced a heavy-hitter with the CRX-N470D compact network receiver, capable of skilfully handling the most complex tracks while offering a consistently clear and enjoyable restitution.
Yamaha MusicCast CRX-N470D: compared to…
The Marantz M-CR611/610: the Yamaha is more precise, with a more defined restitution on compact speakers. The Marantz is more comfortable with compact floorstanding speakers, yet doesn’t offer as much precision as the Yamaha in the mids and highs. The Yamaha has a considerable edge over the Marantz thanks to its control app and better compatibility with streaming services.
The Denon RCD-N9: the Yamaha is less generous than the Denon in the lows, but more thorough and smoother in the rest of the audio spectrum. Here again, the Yamaha MusicCast app is a clear winner.
Yamaha MusicCast CRX-N470D: conclusion
What we liked
- The clear, robust sound.
- The wide selection of compatible sources.
- The compatibility with Deezer, Spotify, Qobuz, and Tidal.
- The well-designed app.
What we would have liked
- An optical input
Apart from the absence of an optical input (a DAC such as the FiiO Taishan D03K can be used to compensate), it’s a perfect game for the Yamaha CRX-N470D receiver. The sound is clear and robust, the spatialization is very good, the two-way Bluetooth is very practical and, above all, the Yamaha MusicCast control app has come into its own. A superb compact receiver, ideally paired with a pair of bookshelf speakers such as the Elipson Prestige Facet 8B, the Focal Chorus 605, the Klipsch RB-81 MKII, the Tannoy Revolution XT Mini or the Sonus Faber Principia 1.French