Yamaha RX-Z11 A/V Receiver User Interface
When you buy an AVR in the price range—and nearly the weight range—of a subcompact car, you probably expect the supplied remote to be something that rivals the aftermarket remotes from Universal Remote Control, Logitech Harmony, or Philips. Unfortunately, the remotes included with the Z11 pale in comparison to these choices.
The main-zone remote has a decent feel in the hand, and it's backlit, but those are the only positives that come to mind. You turn on the backlight by pressing a button on the side, but the remote that came with my review unit lit up on its own, leading me to think it might be possessed. This was a real battery killer—I was already on my second set of AAAs after less than a month of use.
In addition, I found the system to be unresponsive at times, requiring multiple pressings of the same button to get the job done. When I programmed the main functions into my MX-700 remote, I didn't experience these issues. Maybe Yamaha figures that most people who buy an AVR in this price class will have some type of control system or universal remote.
Also provided is a second "simplified" remote that performs very basic functions. It is not backlit, but it can adjust the volume and cycle through inputs.
The GUI (graphical user interface) isn't the most intuitive I've seen, but I was familiar with the layout after reviewing the Yamaha RX-V3800 late last year. First-time users should definitely have the manual available for the myriad of setup options. The GUI isn't best in class, but it is serviceable.
The front-panel display is informative, but I found the text to be on the small side, making it difficult to read from eight feet away. The biggest text indicates the current audio codec or DSP mode, but when you change the volume, you can't see the numerical value unless you are standing right in front of the unit. Also, there is no OSD (onscreen display) of volume level, input, or source information via HDMI.