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Yamaha vs Rotel – Detailed Comparison

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Yamaha and Rotel are two renowned and well respected brands in the audio industry that produces high quality speakers, headphones, soundbars,  subwoofers and amplifiers. 

In this article, we will cover a general overview of both brands, looking specifically at sound quality, durability, price and so on. Of course, each brand has different devices at different price points, however, we will compare them as closely as we can.

Quick History

Yamaha Quick History

Yamaha is a Japanese brand that was established by Torakusu Yamaha in the year 1887. It produced the first Yamaha piano in the 1900s, which eventually laid a solid foundation for the many products that followed.

Yamaha is one of the largest audio product manufacturers with a reputation that sees their products used in international competitions and by renowned musical maestros. The Yamaha brand has a wide range of products that cut across professional audio equipment, digital and acoustic musical instruments, home audio products, and many others.

Rotel Quick History

A family-owned Japanese manufacturer, Rotel, was founded in 1957 by Tomoki Tachikawa in Tokyo, Japan. The company joined the Bowers & Wilkins (B&W) group to form a strategic alliance in the early 1980s.

The B&W group established exclusive distribution networks in North America and several European markets. It then established Rotel Europe in the UK in 2000 to consolidate all Rotel sales outside North America. The company is currently run by Peter Kao, nephew to Tomoki.

Sound Quality

Yamaha Sound Quality

Yamaha audio equipment is known for producing clear and rich bass delivery and overall exceptional quality sound.

Yamaha speakers have multiple sound modes with an incredible ability to deliver soft but loud sound delivery. This is because of their high dynamic range, which includes a great deep bass and an extended high.

Rotel Sound Quality

Rotel uses a Symmetrical Signal Trace design to keep the signal path of every channel identical to preserve the imaging and soundstage. The design also utilizes electrical superior “star” grounding techniques to reduce noise or hum.  

Features

Yamaha Features

Yamaha has one of the most diverse selections of audio products with diverse features, which might make the feature hard to generalize. However, here are some across their audio devices.

  • Wireless connectivity including Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and Music Cast (for multi-room connection).
  • Voice command features such as Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa
  • HDR10+, HDMI, 8K/60Hz, and 4K120Hz
  • Online streaming support for Spotify, Apple AirPlay, etc
  • Virtual surround

Rotel Features

Here are the main features of Rotel:

  • Symmetrical Signal Trace technology
  • Signal Sense configured through the front display setup menu or on-screen display
  • Auto Power Off powers off Rotel devices if there are no changes to volume, source or input within a selected period

Build Quality

Yamaha Build Quality

Yamaha products use modern groundbreaking technology to deliver high-end audio products. Their products are known for delivering premium performance and last a pretty long time.

Yamaha home theater system

Yamaha products come with an impressive aesthetic delivery and long-lasting function. This is because they pay attention to the use of high-quality material in the production of their devices.

Rotel Build Quality

The build quality of Rotel devices can generally be said to be average.

rotel speakers center floorstanding and subwoofer

The company is very selective about its choice of raw components and ensures the circuit design is meticulous making it one of the best performance manufacturers.

Ease of Use

Yamaha Ease Of Use

Yamaha offers an array of easy-to-use audio equipment. This includes wireless-enabled streaming speakers such as the Yamaha MusicCast WX-030. Yamaha products include devices with buttons that are easy to operate and remote control for use across the room.

Rotel Ease Of Use

Rotel amplifiers and speakers are generally easy to use, especially if you utilize simple features such as the simple inputs options.

On the other hand, the replacement remote control systems can be very complex to use as they utilize complex programming features.

The connection and placement process is easy, though.

Cost

Yamaha Cost

Yamaha has an array of products that are more affordable than most other brands. For example, the Yamaha R-S202BL Stereo receiver is a high-quality receiver that costs around $200 to $300 but offers more features than other products in the price range.

The price tag you will get for most Yamaha products is listed below.

  • High-quality receivers from $200 to $1500

Speakers:

  • Centre channel speakers –  $70 and upwards
  • Indoor/outdoor speaker – $100 and upwards
  • Ceiling speakers start at $130, and
  • Bookshelf speakers from $120

Rotel Cost

Here’s a range of prices for Rotel amps and speakers:

Amplifiers: $500 – $6000

Speakers: $50 – $200

Space Requirements

Yamaha Space Requirements

Most Yamaha products, particularly the soundbars and Bluetooth speakers, are a great fit for ‌any room. The portable size and sleek design of most of these devices make them fit easily into small spaces without demanding too much space.

Rotel Space Requirements

Rotel amplifiers are built to maximize space utilization with compact design and shallow depth. You can, therefore, easily place them near your TV without compromising your view of the TV.

The speakers, on the other hand, can be so demanding in terms of space despite Rotel making some average compact ones too.

Remote Controls

Yamaha Remote Controls

Most Yamaha audio devices come with a handheld remote control for simple control of the device. But, beyond the physical remotes, Yamaha designed a virtual remote for almost all the audio products from the brand. This includes headphone control, multimedia music control, MusicCast Controller, and AV Controller.

This virtual remote can be downloaded from the app store for Android, iPhone/iPad, and PC use.

Rotel Remote Controls

Rotel remote controls come with specific buttons for all the features. The remote is built as sturdy as the amp is.

Rotel also works with many different types of remotes and control systems such as Universal Remote, RTI, Logitech, Crestron, and many others. This gives you additional flexibility as you can still control your Rotel products even when your factory remote control is damaged.

You can, however, replace your original Rotel remote with a genuine OEM replacement remote control similar to the original one from Remotes.com. You can also access the full ROTEL Remote Control Codes to help you understand the functionality of your ROTEL remote control.  

Connectivity Options

Yamaha Connectivity Options

Here are the main connectivity options compatible with most Yamaha speakers:

  • Bluetooth
  • Wi-Fi
  • RCA
  • HDMI

Rotel Connectivity Options

    • USB
    • XLR inputs
    • RCA analog inputs
    • Optical digital 1, 2 and 3
    • Coaxial digital 1, 2 and 3
    • Bluetooth aptX dongle
    • MM Phono
    • AUX
    • Line level inputs
    • Video 1-8
  • Phono input

Power Range

Yamaha Power Range

The power range for an average floor-standing Yamaha speaker is around 100 watts to 200 watts. However, a Yamaha bookshelf speaker has a power range of 200-600 watts.

Rotel Power Range

Speakers: 100W to 300 watts

Receivers: 60W to 100W

Amps: 100W to 500 watts per channel

Frequency Response

Yamaha Frequency Response

Yamaha audio equipment have a general frequency range of about 28 Hz-25kHz.

Rotel Frequency Response

20 Hz to 20 kHz.

Conclusion

Yamaha is one of the oldest audio companies in the world today, but they have only grown better over the years. They have a range of diversified products, including musical instruments and professional and personal audio products. On the other hand, Rotel gives you value for money with great sound and longevity.  Although the build quality is average, there’s a product for every budget with versatile features that fit everyone’s needs. Rotel is also futuristic with many options to connect across devices.

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