Stereocheck Reviews:

Yamaha R-N303: A classic, powerful stereo receiver

The Yamaha R-N303 stereo receiver features the classic, recognizable design of the Japanese company; on board there is an AM/FM radio receiver and a powerful streamer module. It goes without saying...

Yamaha R-N303
Yamaha R-N303

The Yamaha R-N303 stereo receiver features the classic, recognizable design of the Japanese company; on board there is an AM/FM radio receiver and a powerful streamer module. It goes without saying that the Yamaha R-N303 has a good built-in DAC: the chips are the famous Burr-Brown, and the decoding capabilities extend to Hi-Res PCM (24/192 – MP3, WMA, MPEG4 AAC, WAV, FLAC, AIFF, ALAC ) and DSD128. The device can work via UPnP (DLNA), taking content via Ethernet/Wi-Fi from servers and storage on your home network.

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You can also connect to streaming services: Spotify, Pandora, Deezer, Napster, SiriusXM, Tida. This is especially nice since Tidal guarantees Hi-Res streaming in the “top” version of its subscription. The set of inputs on the Yamaha R-N303 is impressive: three linear, Ethernet and headphone output, as well as digital – coaxial and optical. Wi-Fi, Wireless Direct, Bluetooth and AirPlay modules are not forgotten either. The output power is quite high, 100 watts per channel, but what is more interesting is that it is achieved with a distortion level not exceeding 0.2%. And this with a signal-to-noise ratio of 100 dB!

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With the proprietary MusicCast protocol, you can connect up to forty compatible devices to the Yamaha R-N303 (via Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or AirPlay – your choice: MusicCast technology allows you to broadcast music in different rooms of your home, playing from any source connected, for example, to Yamaha R-N303, even if the source itself does not support MusicCast technology). And if you have Amazon Echo or EchoDot smart speakers, all the delights of voice control of the device using the Amazon Alexa assistant will become available. Inside the Yamaha R-N303 stereo receiver, all components are organized according to the low-impedance design principle: minimizing the audio signal path, positioning the power transformer as close as possible to the amplifier block (to minimize losses). In general, after removing the top cover (see photo) of the Yamaha RN 303, we were perplexed: what we saw was clearly from a higher price category.

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The Yamaha R-N303 will not cause any problems during installation. Setting up the device is simple and obvious; the main thing here is to remember to connect the receiver to your router or switch via Ethernet. Terminals for speaker systems – two pairs (A or B with a resistance of 8 Ohms or both pairs – only if their resistance is 16 Ohms; there is also a bi-wiring connection option). If a wired connection is unavailable for some reason, you can activate Wi-Fi and the Yamaha R-N303 will start working wirelessly. The setup, in this case, is possible through the proprietary MusicCast application, sharing Wi-Fi settings (iOS device) or using the WPS button.

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The remote control and a small information display on the front panel of the device allow you to find the music you need on your home UPnP server, but, of course, this approach already looks archaic. Through the MusicCast Controller application, the ergonomics of working with the device reaches a completely different level. Music at your fingertips, intuitive controls – everything is in the spirit of the 21st century. It is worth noting that the Yamaha R-N303 does not have auto-tuning and room calibration, but, in fact, in this price category (and for a stereo receiver) this would be overkill; there is only balance and tone control.

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The sound of the Yamaha R-N303 can be described as confident. The device does not try to touch your soul with excessive emotionality: it presents music openly, authentically and honestly. Sometimes even too honest – with coolness and detachment. The stage is quite wide – both in width and in depth. The limitations, which are inevitable for this class of technology, apply only to complex classical works: for example, the finale of Dvorak’s “Ninth Symphony” forces the receiver to tense up. But, even in this case, the YamahaR-N303 does not dump the musical canvas into mush, like many of its rivals in the group: we have a clear and structural picture.

Characteristics of Yamaha R-N303

Number of channels 2
Output power minimum (RMS): 2 x 100 W (8 Ohm, 40 Hz – 20 kHz, THD: 0.2%), maximum: 2 x 115 W (4 Ohm, 1 kHz, THD: 0.7%), maximum effective: 2 x 140 W (8 ohms, 1 kHz, THD: 10%)
Dynamic power/channel 125 W (8 ohms), 150 W (6 ohms), 165 W (4 ohms) ), 180 W (2 ohms)
Damping factor more than 120
Frequency range 20 Hz – 20 kHz (± 0.5 dB), 10 Hz – 100 kHz (± 3 dB)
Harmonic distortion less than 0.2% (50 W/8 Ohms, from “CD” input to speaker output, 20 Hz – 20 kHz)
Signal-to-noise ratio over 100 dB (CD, 500 mV)
Input sensitivity/impedance 500 mV/47 kOhm (line input)
Maximum input voltage 2.2 V (1 kHz, THD: 0.5%)
Output voltage/impedance 500 mV/2.2 kOhm (line output), 470 mV/470 Ohm (headphone output)
Burr-Brown DAC
AM/FM tuner yes
Number of presets tuner memory 40
Supports DLNA protocol version 1.5
Supported streaming audio file formats over local network MP3, WMA, MPEG4 AAC, WAV (24 bit/192 kHz), FLAC (24 bit/192 kHz), AIFF (24 bit/192 kHz) , ALAC (24 bit/96 kHz), DSD (2.8 MHz/5.6 MHz)
Supports control via the MusicCast CONTROLLER app for iOS and Android yes
Supported online services Deezer, TIDAL, Napster, Juke, Qobuz, Sirius XM and etc.
Wi-Fi IEEE 802.11 b/g/n
Wireless Direct function supported
Bluetooth version 2.1 + EDR, codecs: SBC/AAC
AirPlay support yes
Inputs 4 linear RCA, coaxial (24 bit/192 kHz), optical (24 bit/192 kHz), Network port (LAN)
6.3 mm headphone outputs, linear RCA
Other switching jack for AM/FM antennas, jack for Wi-Fi/Bluetooth antenna
Output terminals for speakers 4 pairs of screw terminals
Power supply high-current transformer with W-shaped
core Remote control available
Eco mode supported
Network Standby mode is a type of standby mode that allows you to automatically activate the stereo receiver using commands from other network devices
Power consumption 200 W; in standby mode: 0.1 W; in Network Standby mode when connected to a local network: 1.8 W (wired connection), 1.9 W (Wi-Fi/Wireless Direct/Bluetooth)
Dimensions (WxHxD) 435x141x340 mm, 435x202x340 mm (with Wi-Fi/ Bluetooth antennas)
Weight 7.2 kg