The Best AV Receiver

Votes 18 18
Rating 4.3 4.3

The idea of ​​combining all home multimedia devices under common control is not new, but it was with the improvement of digital technology that it got its full realization. A modern AV receiver is a device that can “serve” multi-channel acoustics, receiving signals from a variety of devices: from the last iPhone or optical input to an archaic vinyl turntable, pick up sound from the HDMI channel of a home theater, decoding and processing many digital formats spatial sound. The "heart" of the best av receiver is a powerful DSP (signal processor) that processes the incoming digital signal (including that received from the internal ADC at the analog inputs) and transfers it to the "DAC-terminal amplifier" bundle.

Of course, the self-awareness of the presence of digital circuits in the device will irritate ideological audiophiles, but the sound quality of the best home theater receiver will be more than enough for any other user who does not require a half-center of radio tubes and transformers, and the broadest tuning options will definitely not be superfluous.

Concerning this rating for your convenience, we divided all the av receiver reviews into groups depending on the cost of a particular category, and also separately allocated stereo receivers.

The preference was given to new models, but if the older one is still relevant and deserves attention, then it is presented as well.

We took the best models of each of the brands for each category, provided that the brand has such models, but at the same time highlighted the best models in our opinion in each category.

A great job with home theater receiver reviews done, isn’t it? Eager to see the list yourself? Why not do it right now?

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Budget

Best budget AV receivers

Onkyo TX-SR494 - best budget

Our rating
5.5/10

Onkyo TX-SR494

Here the best budget receiver is presented. The Onkyo TX-SR494 AV receiver is the perfect base for a modern home cinema. This device is offered at an affordable price, but it has many features that were recently characteristic of more expensive models.

Unlike the younger model, Onkyo TX-SR393, the 494th receiver works with nine audio channels, seven of which are equipped, according to the manufacturer, with discrete amplifiers with large output currents, output 160 watts per channel, which is 5 watts more than the younger model. The receiver can form a stereo power output to zone B or connect the front speakers by bi-amping while supporting a 5.2-channel system in the main room. Of the important differences, it is worth noting that Wi-Fi is also added to the Onkyo TX-SR494 wireless option for receiving a signal via Bluetooth.

Onkyo TX-SR494 has a seven-channel configuration, while all of its power amplifiers are made on discrete elements and are capable of developing a significant output current. Proprietary circuitry provides low impedance amplifiers, which ensures stable operation with acoustics with a resistance of 4 ohms. The power supply system of the AV receiver uses a custom transformer with a low level of external interference. Onkyo TX-SR494

Onkyo TX-SR494 is equipped with decoders of all popular surround sound formats, including Dolby Atmos and DTS:X. Thanks to seven built-in amplifiers based on this model, you can create systems in the 5.2.2 configuration, which in most cases, is quite enough for the full-fledged sounding of the living room in the apartment or house. In addition, the Onkyo TX-SR494 provides Dolby Atmos Height Virtualizer and DTS Virtual:X modes that simulate the operation of ceiling speakers.

For automatic surround sound tuning, the Onkyo TX-SR494 features AccuEQ technology with extensions for the subwoofer channel, as well as 3D formats. The AV receiver uses high-quality DACs with 32-bit / 384 kHz parameters from AKM. You can use the Direct mode to turn off all additional audio processing.

Onkyo TX-SR494 is equipped with four HDMI inputs with support for 4K video, Dolby Vision, and HDR10. When applying a signal with 1080p parameters to the HDMI input, it can be upscaled to 4K. The device also has a good set of digital and analog inputs for connecting various signal sources. Also, in this model provides Bluetooth with support for High-Quality Audio.

Onkyo TX-SR494 has an output for voicing an additional zone. Thanks to the informative display, thoughtful placement of controls on the front panel and remote control, as well as convenient on-screen graphics, the AV receiver is very easy to configure and use.

Key specs

Pros

  • Once you get the Atmos or DTS-HDMA going, the sound quality from this unit is perfect
  • The HDMI ARC works perfectly, and if your TV can pass HD sound, you will actually be able to hook 5, 6 or 7 devices to this, depending on your TV’s inputs

Cons

  • The only drawback is the Bluetooth audio is a bit lacking in sound quality

Yamaha RX-V385

Our rating
5/10

Yamaha RX-V385

The Yamaha RX-V385 AV receiver is an entry-level model equipped with everything you need to create a modern home theater. This AV receiver for music has a classic 5.1 configuration, which provides convincing sound in ordinary rooms of ordinary city apartments. Yamaha RX-V385 has a well-thought-out set of functions that will fully satisfy the needs of many home theater enthusiasts, but at the same time makes using the AV receiver simple and straightforward.

The device has a reliable design, which guarantees its stable operation for a long time. The output amplifiers of all channels of the Yamaha RX-V385 are made on discrete elements and develop significant current for full-fledged operation with various acoustics.

Yamaha RX-V385 supports HD surround sound formats and is equipped with the proprietary Cinema DSP processor to create compelling acoustic space in a variety of rooms. In addition, this model provides a patented system for automatic calibration of surround sound YPAO using a measuring microphone. The budget stereo receiver has four HDMI inputs and outputs with support for 4K Ultra HD, Dolby Vision, and HGL. It is possible to convert lower-resolution signals arriving at the HDMI input to Ultra HD. Yamaha RX-V385

The AV receiver is equipped with Bluetooth for easy connection of various mobile devices. Thus, music from various online services can be directly broadcast to the acoustics of the AV system. Yamaha RX-V385 incorporates compressed audio enhancement technology to achieve the best possible sound. The device also has a USB input for portable drives with music files.

Using the 17-mode DSP, you can personalize the sound of various content, such as sports events or movies.

The Yamaha RX-V385 developers also took into account the interests of the most demanding music lovers. The rear channel amplifiers of the AV receiver can be reconfigured to connect stereo speakers using the Bi-Amping scheme, which allows you to get the best music sound.

Key specs

Pros

  • Setup with the included mic was so cool
  • It outputs slightly amplified sound through speakers as it should

Cons

  • The concern I have is the bottom of the unit gets extremely hot during use (or even just when turned on)
  • Bunch of useless presets lacking any real options for fine-tuning

Under $500

Best AV receivers under $500

Onkyo TX-NR585 - best under 500

Our rating
7.4/10

Onkyo TX-NR585

Do you have a vinyl player? Connect it directly to the receiver and get rich and dynamic playback of your collection of vinyl records. The TX-NR585 has a discrete low-noise phono preamplifier that is compatible with moving magnet cartridges (MM).

Built-in dual-band Wi-Fi 5 GHz / 2.4 GHz provides network stability for streaming Onkyo Controller applications and multi-room audio. Bluetooth wireless technology is also available for connecting to a mobile or laptop. The Onkyo Controller app collects available streaming services and music storage connected to your home network into one easy-to-use interface. Select sources, control playback, explore content, and easily distribute sound throughout your home.

DTS Play-Fi technology enables you to enjoy high-quality music from connected online services, a media server, and a library of mobile devices to any number of compatible goods using the Onkyo Music Control App for Android smartphones/tablets and iPad, iPhone. DTS Play-Fi technology can sync music in each room, and family members can use their device to listen in a room. The structure of an integrated multi-room ecosystem to meet almost any need.

Music lovers have comfortable access and control of their whole iTunes music library through the receiver. Find and stream music from your iPad, iPhone, Mac, and PC through the Apple AirPlay wireless platform. Onkyo TX-NR585

The best av receiver under 500 has six HDMI inputs and one ARC-enabled output stream 4K HDR video in HDR10, Dolby Vision, and HLG formats through compatible displays. Full support for BT.2020 4K video standard, 4K / 60 Hz playback, and HDCP 2.2.

Connect speakers to the Zone 2 speaker output to listen to the audio sources available to the receiver. They are analog, AM / FM tuner, NET, USB, and Bluetooth audio in another room. Play the source in Zone 1 (Primary) or Zone 2, synchronize playback in both rooms, or play with another source in each zone at the same time, while maintaining a 5.2-channel home theater scheme. The Zone 2 line-level output distributes these sources to Hi-Fi if you want the 5.2.2 channel surround sound system in your media room.

The high power of the amplifier is approved by the ability to use four-ohm speakers. High current means better control, expressiveness of the sound, and dynamics. The phase-free analog circuitry affords a clear and cohesive sound image. The VLSC eliminates high-frequency noise from digital audio sources for natural and clean reproduction. A / B class amplifier produces 170 watts per 6-ohm channel when one channel is working and 80 watts each in stereo mode.

AccuEQ ensures that your receiver and speakers are calibrated for the best performance. The system calculates the distance to the speaker from the listening position, adjusts the sound pressure level of the speakers, and sets the crossover position. Meanwhile, AccuReflex technology optimizes the performance of your speakers with Dolby Atmos support for clear sound in the listening position. The phase of directional and diffused sounds is aligned for a seamless presentation of object-based soundtracks.

Key specs

  • Channels: 7.2
  • Stereo power (RMS), W/Ohm: 80/8, 170/6
  • Full specs

Pros

  • Onkyo TX-NR585 has a wide range of wireless interfaces and inputs
  • The UI is user-friendly and intuitive

Cons

  • FlareConnect mirror function not compatible with Play-Fi

Yamaha RX-V585

Our rating
7.3/10

Yamaha RX-V585

Yamaha RX-V585 is a 7.2-channel AV receiver with support for Dolby Atmos or DTS:X surround formats, the essence of which is that there are no soundtracks in the film and the entire multi-channel sound is “collected” directly in the receiver itself. But, as already mentioned, there is practically no content in these formats yet, and this feature is likely to be useful for the future. More common formats are also supported: Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD Master Audio, The receiver is equipped with a full package of modern functions and capabilities, such as the MusicCast system for listening to music in any room, support for various music streaming services AirPlay, Napster, Spotify. As with previous models, all network functions are supported, which makes it possible to play content from external USB and NAS network storage.

Externally, the Yamaha RX-V585 AV receiver is practically no different from its predecessors, and for example, if you take the last year’s model of the Yamaha RX-V583 receiver, they generally look like two drops of water. It is traditionally made in two colors: black and silver metallic. The location of the buttons on the receiver is convenient, it’s not difficult to figure out their purpose, but as a rule, the buttons on the receiver are usually used little. Basically, all the steps for setting up and controlling are performed using the remote control. It also has not practically changed, and in principle, this is good since, in this form, it remains as convenient and familiar as possible for use. Yamaha RX-V585

The rear panel of the Yamaha RX-V585 receiver has a sufficient package of various switching for connections: 4 inputs and 1 HDMI output (HDCP2.2, HDR10 / Dolby Vision / HLG and BT.2020 compatible). Three composite video inputs and one output, two coaxial digital inputs, and one optical. Also available are three analog stereo inputs on RCA connectors, and output to an active subwoofer, and an Ethernet RJ45 network port.

The claimed list of supported formats is also quite wide and traditional: FLAC, WAV, and AIFF with parameters up to 24 bit / 192 kHz, Apple Lossless 96 kHz / 24-bit, as well as DSD 2.8 MHz and 5.6 MHz. Plus, music can be played from streaming Internet services Deezer, Pandora, Spotify, and TIDAL. The Yamaha RX-V585 AV receiver is also equipped with the proprietary YPAO R.S.C. sound calibration system adjusting the speakers to the characteristics of the room.

Key specs

Pros

  • It doesn’t sound good at all - but much better than its predecessor
  • A good set of streaming functions and the ability to easily connect wireless rear speakers are additional advantages of this model

Cons

  • I wish output power could be bigger
  • The AV receiver has only four HDMI inputs and is not compatible with Google Chromecast and Dolby Atmos

Sony STR-DH790

Our rating
5.3/10

Sony STR-DH790

The Sony STR-DH790 fits perfectly into your home entertainment system. Thanks to the thin body, it fits any interior, and various inputs and outputs make it easy to connect it and create the atmosphere of a real cinema at home. Connect the Sony STR-DH790 7.2-channel AV receiver to your home entertainment system, and movies will sound even more realistic. With support for DTS:X technologies and Dolby Atmos, it presents comprehensive surround sound like in a movie theater. Plus, with support for 4K HDR, you get unrivaled picture quality.

With support for DTS:X technologies and Dolby Atmos, you can enjoy rich, and natural surround sounds like in a movie theater. Dolby Atmos technology delivers immersive, realistic surround sound coming from all directions, even from above. As a result, a high-quality rich sound fills the entire room, and you feel at the epicenter of events. DTS:X creates a multi-dimensional surround sound that real-time adapts to the position of the speakers. Thanks to object-oriented decoding, the viewer can hear sounds around and on top of himself. It doesn’t matter in which room and with what equipment the Sony STR-DH790 is used: the receiver works with speakers without any problems and gives the impression of surround sound. Experience the incredible presence effect with a 5.1.2-channel surround sound system that delivers realistic sound from all sides, even from above. Sony STR-DH790

Great sound with improved DCAC technology: if different speakers are used in the system, they will all sound the same quality thanks to our automatic calibration technology. Automatic phase matching synchronizes the phase properties of the speakers in the front left and right channels. Thus all channels are perfectly combined with each other and create high-quality surround sound.

Clear picture with extended dynamic range. With support for video transmission with a high dynamic range (HDR), you can get much more contrast and bright image with a more detailed study of dark and light areas, which adds realism when viewing. The latest HDR standards are supported, such as HDR 10, HLG (Hybrid Log-Gamma), and Dolby Vision. With support for end-to-end 4K signal transmission, data from the source can be transmitted to the screen through the receiver without compromising image quality. The HDCP 2.2 standard is also supported. Now you can not only play your favorite songs with Sony STR-DH790 via Bluetooth but also turn on the receiver from a connected smartphone or tablet using Bluetooth Standby mode.

Key specs

Pros

  • Possibility of two-zone signal distribution
  • Support for multidimensional sound formats
  • Possibility of individual sound calibration

Cons

  • There is no support for HDMI CEC. This might not mean to most people, but it should be mentioned anyway
  • The calibration process is awful. I've tried many times with the mic in different places, but every time I calibrate it, it sounds terrible

Denon AVR-S750H

Our rating
7/10

Denon AVR-S750H

Create a truly immersive home cinema experience with the Denon AVR-S750H surround sound receiver. Feel in action with Dolby Atmos, Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization, DTS:X, and DTS Virtual:X. The AVR-S750H has an expanded HDMI section (6 inputs / 1 output) and supports the most advanced video technologies, including HDR10, HLG, Dolby Vision, and eARC. It plays MP3, ALAC, WAV, FLAC, and DSD files (2.8 / 5.6 MHz) via the USB port on the front panel. It also streams music from Spotify, Deezer, Tidal, etc. using HEOS multi-room technology. The unit works with Apple AirPlay 2, Google Assistant, and Amazon

Alexa for easy voice control. You can set up everything in minutes with the award-winning Denon Setup Assistant.

Immerse yourself in multi-dimensional sound with Dolby Atmos. Install Dolby Atmos with 5.1.2 surround sound speakers using the Dolby Atmos surround speakers or dedicated ceiling speakers for the ultimate home theater experience. Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization delivers immersive audio without special surround speakers, creating virtual pitch effects in 5.1, 7.1, or 2.1 system configurations.

For wireless streaming via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, the Denon AVR-S750H is equipped with an advanced two-antenna transceiver system for reliable streaming even in busy urban environments. Appreciate listening to your favorite audio content wirelessly from your smart devices. Denon AVR-S750H

Thanks to the built-in HEOS technology, play the same song in all rooms or choose different songs for each connected room. The choice is yours. HEOS works with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa for easy voice control. HEOS supports the free and premium packages of Spotify, Deezer, Amazon Music, TuneIn, Tidal, Soundcloud, etc.

HDCP 2.3 processing is accessible on all HDMI ports, and with a single HDMI output, it is easy to connect a TV or projector. Support for Advanced Audio Return Channel (eARC) allows you to transfer 3D audio directly from your TV to your AV receiver using an attached HDMI cable.

Discover the incredible fidelity of reproducing high-resolution audio tracks with the ability to decode lossless file formats ALAC, FLAC and WAV up to 24 bit / 192 kHz, as well as DSD tracks 2.8 MHz and 5.6 MHz (audiophile SACD format) via a USB port on the front panel and network sources. You may also listen to other popular file types such as MP3 and MPEG-H. Whether you want to listen to your downloaded songs or immerse yourself in the audiophile quality of FLAC recordings, you have quick access to your favorite songs.

Key specs

Pros

  • Denon AVR-S750H works great in home theater and has a modern set of functions
  • It supports many wireless technologies, including Bluetooth, Apple AirPlay 2 and the proprietary HEOS which significantly ease the way you use it

Cons

  • No Chromecast support
  • Black and white screen graphics are not as attractive as competing models have

Under $1000

Best AV receivers under $1000

Denon AVR-X2600H - best under 1000

Our rating
8.1/10

Denon AVR-X2600H

The Denon AVR-X2600H AV receiver provides high power at 150 watts per channel (6 ohms). Low impedance drivers ensure the stability of a wide range of speakers for balanced tonal sound. The AVR-X2600H supports 3D audio formats Dolby Atmos, Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization, DTS:X, and DTS Virtual:X, as well as an HDMI section with HDCP 2.3 support and enhanced 4K video processing for HDMI sources what makes it the best av receiver under 1000.

The Denon AVR-X2600H includes an advanced DSP (Digital Sound Processor) chip for tremendous energy processing. With four 300 MHz DSP cores capable of processing more than one billion calculations per second, the AVR-X2600H supports the latest video, audio, and processing requirements.

The receiver also has decoders for all multi-channel audio recording formats. This includes Dolby Atmos and DTS:X, as well as DTS Virtual:X for generating 3D sound in 5.1 systems. The receiver has an Audyssey MultEQ surround sound auto-calibration system, which allows you to fine-tune the surrounding sound space exactly at the listening point using the included measuring microphone. To achieve the greatest sound quality in all Denon AVR-X2600H channels, the AK4490 EQ DACs are used. Denon AVR-X2600H

Thanks to end-to-end eARC support, two outputs with full HDCP 2.3 support on all ports and 8 HDMI inputs, you can seamlessly combine them with Blu-ray players, the latest HD, and Ultra HD televisions and game consoles.

USB on the front panel provides comfortable audio playback in MP3 and Hi-Res formats (WAV, ALAC, FLAC, and DSD files 2.8 / 5.6 MHz). Streaming popular music services such as Spotify, Deezer, Tidal, etc., via Bluetooth, Apple AirPlay 2, and Wi-Fi with integrated HEOS. Denon AVR-X2600H also works with Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, and Apple Siri for easy voice control.

Having visually walked you through all the steps of the installation process, the award-winning Denon Installation Assistant ensures that you set up the system correctly the first time. Every home cinema is different from the others - that’s why Denon uses Audyssey’s premium room calibration technology that automatically measures and optimizes your AV receiver to deliver a truly immersive 3D sound that is tailored to your unique listening environment.

Control the Denon AVR-X2600H using the TV remote using the HDMI CEC function associated with your TV. The Smart Menu main screen provides quick access to sources and surround modes, the AV receiver's setup menu, and four quick-select features.

The AV receiver delivers the ability to play audio files over the network (via Ethernet and Wi-Fi) and from USB, with support for PCM 24 bit / 192 kHz and DSD 2.8 / 5.6 MHz. There is also access to popular online services and Internet radio. What's more, there is the possibility of inclusion in the proprietary multi-room system HEOS. As additional signal supply capabilities to the AV receiver, the built-in Bluetooth module can be noted, as well as support for the modern generation of AirPlay 2 wireless technology. You can control the AV receiver using the remote control and on-screen graphics, or through a convenient branded mobile application.

Key specs

Pros

  • Of fundamentally important, this is a new board for HDMI switching and video processing. It meets the latest standards
  • "Weighty" and expressive sound

Cons

  • It is hard to be optimized on a high-end system

Marantz SR6012

Our rating
8.6/10

Marantz SR6012

The Marantz SR6012 is a 9.2 model capable of delivering up to 110 watts of power in Hi-Fi environments.

The Marantz SR6012 is equipped with Hyper Dynamic Amplifier Module (HDAM) power modules. These modules, already present on previous generations, provide higher electrical voltage, they contribute to the musicality of this amplifier due to better coordination of the sound stage. The kit develops very convenient power up to a maximum of 9x185 watts. This is enough to comfortably power most home theater speakers.

The Marantz SR6012 digital-to-analog conversion is provided by the Asahi Kasei AKM4458 DAC for each channel. This high-performance chip, chosen by the manufacturer after many hours of listening, promotes clear and understandable sound reproduction with a high signal-to-noise ratio and very low distortion speed. Also, note that this amplifier has hybrid PLL technology to reduce jitter. Thanks to high-resolution audio streams, the AKM4458 can support up to 24 bit / 192 kHz (WAV / FLAC) and DSD (2.8 and 5.6 MHz) in PCM. Marantz SR6012

Audyssey MultEQ XT32 auto-calibration technology is also supported by this Marantz SR6012 home theater receiver. It differs from Audyssey MultEQ XT technology in a higher number of measurements and, therefore, a more accurate result. Ease of use; Audyssey ACM1HB microphone connection required. After connecting to the amplifier (front recording) and placed in the middle of the listening area, start the calibration procedure from the Marantz SR6012 OSD menu. The procedure begins; the speakers will make a sound; the amplifier then uses the feedback through the microphone and adjusts the signal equalization for each channel of the speaker. Thus, sound reproduction is optimized for listening.

The Marantz SR6012 also uses modern video and audio standards. Compatible with Dolby Atmos and DTS:X multi-channel audio formats, it allows you to install home theater systems 5.2.4 or 5.2.4 and 7.2.2 and 7.2.4 by connecting one or more power amplifiers to the outputs. These two audio formats enhance the immersion of the viewer through the concept of a sound object and the addition of vertical sound size in films.

There is Dolby Vision Video, UHD-4K 60 Hz video streams, compatible with 4: 4: 4 and BT.2020. High Dynamic Range (HDR) support is efficient with Dolby Vision and Hybrid Log-Gamma (HLG) technology. Both technologies allow the use of the extended dynamic range.

Key specs

Pros

  • Setting it up was easy, but at first, I didn't realize you are supposed to do all of the setups on the TV
  • The heat issues reported in the reviews don’t seem excessive and would only come to play of placing the unit in a cabinet
  • HEOS makes it easy to control the receiver for stream sources

Cons

  • Requires a lot of tweaking to be optimized on a high-end system

Yamaha RX-A880

Our rating
8.3/10

Yamaha RX-A880

Overall, the Yamaha RX-A880 isn't a bad-looking device. But it’s also not all that unprecedented. The truth is that the broad majority of AV receivers these days look like basic black cases on your TV stand, and this one is no exception to that rule. That doesn’t mean it’s unpleasant. In fact, on the opposite, it looks absolutely fine.

The object comes in at 17.2-inches wide, 15-inches deep, and 6.7-inches tall. On the front, you’ll find a pretty conventional setup. There is an input knob on the left, volume knob on the right, and a row of buttons at the head to select between pieces like the AM and FM radio, change presets, and so on. There’s additionally a hatch on the bottom that opens up to show a headphone jack, aux port, USB port, and a few other pieces.

We like that those ports and innovations are a little hidden. Why? It gives for a sleeker look at the front when you may not be using those features much anyway. Yamaha RX-A880

Maybe more remarkable than the front, nevertheless, is what you’ll find on the back. As stated, the RX-A880 boasts a mountainous seven input HDMI ports, meaning that no matter how many sources you have. Still, you should be able to connect them.

All of the HDMI ports support HDCP 2.2 as well. This solves one of the biggest problems with the receiver’s predecessor, the Yamaha RX-A860. There are also a few other analog input ports, so even more classical sources will work.

Talking about outputs, you’ll find two HDMI-outs, and enough speaker outputs for a 7.2-channel surround setup plus a pair of speaker outputs for a second zone.

The receiver is able to output audio at 110W per channel at 8 ohms, which is plenty of volume for those that need a powerful and loud overall sound. Even in larger places, this receiver should have no difficulty filling the room with powerful audio, as far as you have a decent set of speakers too.

In addition, don't forget the RX-A880 holds Dolby Atmos. Whether you have enough speakers to set up the full arrangement, you’ll find that you’re intensely involved in whatever you’re watching thanks to the Dolby characteristics. But, to tell the truth, even when we had just a 5.1-channel system, we felt like we never needed to go to the cinema again.

Frequency response was full and detailed with plenty of transparency to make even avid audiophiles happy - though if you’re buying a receiver this valuable, your speakers will probably have a bigger impact on frequency response than anything else.

Key specs

Pros

  • The phone app is very handy and makes set up easier
  • It creates sound fields like actual movie theaters

Cons

  • I wish it let you define meaningful descriptions for the inputs which are displayed on-screen while switching sources

Onkyo TX-NR696

Our rating
7.6/10

Onkyo TX-NR696

Onkyo TX-NR696 has a seven-channel configuration. Its output stages are built on discrete elements. They are able to provide significant current to the load. This makes the unit compatible with acoustics, whose impedance is 4 ohms. Special technology with zero phase shift provides transparent sound and a natural soundstage.

To achieve the power of built-in amplifiers of 175 W per channel, a custom power transformer with a low noise level is installed in the system. High capacity capacitors are also, according to the manufacturer, custom-made.

The system uses a phase-free topology with a discrete output two-transistor cascade for the left, right, and central channels, these amplifiers are able to instantly double the output current to improve dynamics and scale bass reproduction. The model received an expanded set of network functions, starting with dedicated electronics, based on which Built-in Chromecast algorithms are implemented. Onkyo TX-NR696

Also declared compatibility with Sonos, AirPlay 2, and DTS Play-Fi. Audio streaming services are supported (Flare Connect 2, Spotify, Amazon Music, Tidal, Deezer, TuneIn). In the wireless version, these functions are served by the Wi-Fi 802.11ac module (2x2 MIMO). As for surround sound systems, the TX-NR696 is provided with support for Dolby Atmos and DTS:X, and it is argued that in the absence of “top” speakers, that is ., if 5.2.2 configuration is not possible, Dolby Atmos Height Virtualizer and DTS Virtual:X technologies will be able to create a three-dimensional sound field from horizontal speaker layouts. As before, the stereo output of the amplifier to the second room is possible.

The same thing can be done with video: the HDMI Sub / Zone 2 output allows you to transfer multimedia to a second display or projector. Onboard HDMI supports 4K / 60p, 4K HDR, 4: 4: 4/24 bit, BT.2020, HDCP 2.2.

And now - switching: the device received seven HDMI inputs (one front), two outputs (main - ARC and sub/zone 2), two digital audio inputs (optical and assignable coaxial), four analog RCA inputs (assigned), 3.5 -mm mini stereo analog input (front), one audio input with built-in MM-equalizer for the player, 3.5 mm microphone input for AccuEQ (front), 6.35 mm headphone jack (front), two signal outputs for subwoofer, zone 2 / line output of zone B / front output (analog RCA), seven screw terminals of the speaker cable, those Ethernet terminal for connecting to a network and controlling IP; and finally, a USB input (5 V, 1 A) for sound reproduction (located at the rear).

Key specs

Pros

  • At the touch of a button, the Stereo Assign mode switches playback from the front speakers to the side, or rear or top speaker pairs
  • Zone B is ideal for connecting a compatible transmitter, so you can listen to any source

Cons

  • It's not the most refined-sounding with music and the bloated remote lacks polish

Under $2000

Best AV receivers under $2000

Denon AVR-X4500H - best under 2000

Our rating
9.4/10

Denon AVR-X4500H

As far as this is the best av receiver under 2000, it is equipped with a sophisticated power amplifier section with all nine channels tuned identically and using separate high-power transistors. Each channel has a power rating of 125 W (8 Ohms), and all channels are able to safely control low impedance speakers (up to 4 Ohms). In addition, the amplifier part can switch to Auto Eco mode, which adjusts the maximum power depending on the volume level, and the on-screen "Eco meter" allows you to monitor the reduction in energy consumption in real-time.

All eight HDMI inputs (including one located on the front panel) and three HDMI outputs support HDCP 2.2 compatibility, as well as the latest HDMI specifications, including 4K Ultra HD 60 Hz video, 4: 4: 4 Pure Color color sub-sampling, high dynamic range (HDR) and video format 21: 9, 3D and BT.2020. The AVR-X4500H even has an Enhanced Audio Return Channel (eARC) for playing 3D sound through Smart TV applications. Denon AVR-X4500H has the ability to play Dolby Vision and HLG (Hybrid Log-Gamma). Dolby Vision literally transforms your viewing experience with amazing brightness, contrast, and color, and HLG offers HDR technology when playing broadcast content. Denon AVR-X4500H

In addition to a full range of analog and digital inputs (including the input for connecting a vinyl player), the Denon AVR-X4500H has Bluetooth, as well as network functionality with support for Ethernet and Wi-Fi. Supported playback of files with parameters up to 24 bit / 192 kHz (PCM) and DSD 2.8 / 5.6 MHz.

To build a multi-room system on the basis of Denon AVR-X4500H, you can use special outputs, go turn on the device in the proprietary HEOS system. To control the Denon AVR-X4500H, it is convenient to use an intuitive mobile application.

The X4500H differs from the younger model in the architecture of the digital part. It is based on the same advanced platform, D.D.S.C. HD Digital includes the AL32 Processing Multichannel audio processing and contains a jitter suppression circuitry, which repeats the ideology of the flagship receiver, second only to the class of output converters (Asahi Kasei AK4458VN are used). Otherwise, the power unit is arranged. Instead of one wide vertical board of the terminal sections, the X4500H has two separate ones. One serves four channels, the second - five. Since this set is much more powerful and generates more heat, the developers had to put two miniature low-noise coolers inside.

Key specs

Pros

  • Almost everything is customizable by hand, from crossover frequencies for outputting bass to a sub, to various delays depending on the distance of the speakers for the listener
  • It looks more stylish than 4400
  • There is no noise in the speakers when the sound is turned off

Cons

  • I liked auto settings via the microphone neither for cinema nor even for music

Marantz SR6014

Our rating
9.2/10

Marantz SR6014

Marantz SR6014 is a 9.2-channel AV receiver that develops 185 W per channel at 6 Ohm load and provides object-oriented 3D sound thanks to supporting for Dolby Atmos and DTS:X formats (7.1.2 or 5.1.4). When you connect an additional power amplifier to the Marantz SR6014 receiver, you can build a 7.1.4-channel system, and when organizing a simpler surround sound system, you can connect speakers in an additional zone to two free amplifier channels. The device works with Ultra HD resolution and can scale the video to 4K.

The Marantz SR6014 AV receiver has features similar to the low-end model in this series but is equipped with nine channels of sound amplification. Thus, on the basis of the Marantz SR6014, you can create home theaters in large rooms, where an increased number of channels will allow you to create a uniform sound space. In addition, the Marantz SR6014 complies with the IMAX Enhanced standard, which guarantees excellent image and sound quality when viewing the corresponding content. Marantz SR6014

Marantz SR6014 is equipped with all the new technologies that are in demand in a modern home theater. There are Dolby Atmos and DTS:X decoders, as well as processors for generating surround sound in the absence of ceiling speakers. If the system needs to use a larger number of channels, then you can connect external amplifiers to the Marantz SR6014 through an 11.2-channel output from the processor. The AV receiver circuit uses HDAM amplifier modules, as well as select components in the sound circuit. For digital-to-analog signal conversion, it uses 32-bit AKM AK4458 DACs. The output stages in the apparatus are made on discrete elements, due to which the load provides a high output current necessary for working with complex acoustics.

The Marantz SR6014 is equipped with eight HDMI inputs (one located on the front panel) and three outputs, supporting 4K / HDR10 / Dolby Vision video and HDCP 2.3. The AV receiver also has a full range of digital and analog connections, including for a turntable. Also, in the Marantz SR6014, there is a full range of streaming services, and the network connection is made to Ethernet or Wi-Fi. This model also provides a direct connection of wireless devices via AirPlay 2 or Bluetooth.

Marantz SR6014 has the support of popular voice control systems Alexa, Siri, and Google Assistant, which allow you to search for the necessary information and content. The AV receiver can also be controlled using a proprietary application that provides the ability to fine-tune all its parameters. You can use HEOS proprietary technology to integrate the Marantz SR6014 into a multiroom.

Key specs

Pros

  • The sound is phenomenal for both music and video sources
  • Built-in HEOS technology allows you to receive music from a wide variety of services

Cons

  • The "porthole" design in this unit is next to useless

Hi-End

Denon AVR-X8500H

Our rating
9.5/10

Denon AVR-X8500H

Denon AVR-X8500H is an example of the most technologically advanced AV receivers ever introduced. The 13.2-channel receiver has specially designed DHCT (Denon High Current Transistors) 150-watt monolithic disk amplifiers per channel (8 Ohms), allowing you to use high-quality surround sound-oriented to formats such as DTS:X or Dolby Atmos, without any external gain. The device also supports Auro 3D surround decoding by upgrading the firmware to the Auro 13.1 channel. It includes the upper and vertical center channels. Moreover, the receiver is assembled by hand in Japan.

The AVR-X8500H is located in the center of a wireless network with full Wi-Fi and Bluetooth wireless connectivity and streaming capabilities using Apple AirPlay and wireless multi-room audio technology. Consumers can explore, browse, and play music in every room from various sources, including high-resolution DSD files (2.8 and 5.6 MHz), FLAC, ALAC, and WAV.

Consumers can send voice commands to a connected Amazon Alexa device to control various functions. This includes power on / off, volume, mute / unmute, music play/pause, external input switching, and playback of supported streaming services. Denon AVR-X8500H

The high end av receiver is part of the AV-X8500H's IN-Command range, compatible with individual integration, and features a number of features that provide advanced management capabilities and compatibility with third-party and custom integration solutions. It has IP management capabilities for integration with major third-party control devices and the Control4 SDDP (Simple Device Detection Protocol) certificate. The RS-232C serial port is available for direct connection to external home automation and control equipment, and the IR remote input on the rear panel provides remote control compatibility with other components of your home theater system.

Like its predecessors, the AVR-X8500H supports all surround sound formats, 4K Ultra HD with HDR, and Dolby Vision has 13 channels of built-in amplification to provide excellent surround sound without the need for external amplification.

Denon AVR-X8500H adds custom installation suggestions to the legendary line of AV receivers of this brand and recognizes the emergence and rapid development of smart homes. Today's Amazon Alexa's Smart Home Skill home theater is used for entertainment with Apple AirPlay devices and wireless home music compatibility.

The digital path has no analogs in the past. The basis of the proprietary topology of the new generation DDSC-HD 32 Bit is not four separate silicon chips, but two of the most modern dual-core DSP Griffin Line on a similar SHARC architecture, working with high-speed four-channel DDR3 memory. This gave the processor part a powerful performance boost and enabled the implementation of 15-channel signal processing. Thanks to it, we see before us the world's first AV device capable of decomposing an object-oriented Atmos stream according to configuration 7.2.6 (that is, six ceiling speakers) or 9.2.4 (with those assigned to the front line and raised doubles of the front channels). Of course, the “brain” of the receiver can provide the full layout of Auro-3D in 13.1 or 13.2, but this function will be turned on a bit later.

Key specs

Pros

  • Support for the latest movie audio formats
  • Denon AVC-X8500H gives audio lovers musicality, drive and beautiful details without any “digital aftertaste”
  • There are settings for listening to music, where all unnecessary processing and “improvers” are turned off

Cons

  • No built-in radio tuner. But, there is a separate socket for connecting an external one

Stereo

Best 2-channel stereo receivers

Yamaha R-N303 - best stereo

Our rating
6/10

Yamaha R-N303

The Yamaha R-N303 stereo receiver belongs to the budget line; the price of the device is pretty low. It is distinguished by a classic, recognizable retro design, “on board" AM / FM radio, and a powerful streamer module. The proprietary MusicCast, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and Airplay multiroom are also all about our subject. Built-in protocols Spotify, Pandora, Deezer, Napster, SiriusXM, Tidal, it is possible to work with Amazon Alexa, 2 x 100 W output power per load of 8 Ohms (music power 2 x 140 W, peak - 2 x 180 W). And of course, this is the best stereo receiver on the market.

Needless to say, the Yamaha RN 303 has a good built-in DAC. This is the well-known Burr-Brown. It works as chips and decoding options extend to Hi-Res PCM (24/192 - MP3, WMA, MPEG 4 AAC, FLAC, WAV, AIFF, ALAC) and DSD128.

The device can operate on UPnP (DLNA), taking content via Ethernet / Wi-Fi from storage on your home network and servers.

You can connect to streaming services, for example, to the Tidal. This is especially nice since Tidal in the "upper" version of its subscription guarantees Hi-Res-streaming. The set of inputs at the Yamaha R-N303 is impressive: three linear, dedicated input for the phono stage (MM), 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 large, at 100 watts per channel, but it is more interesting that it is achieved with a distortion level not exceeding 0.2%. Yamaha R-N303

With the proprietary MusicCast protocol, up to nine compatible devices can be connected to the Yamaha R-N303 (via Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or AirPlay - you can choose from MusicCast technology allows you to stream 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 smart speakers Amazon Echo or EchoDot - all the delights of voice control of the device with the help of Amazon Alexa will be available. Inside the Yamaha R-N303, all components are organized according to the principle of low-impedance design: minimizing the path of the audio signal, the location of the power transformer is as close as possible to the amplifier unit (to minimize losses). In general, after removing the top cover (see photo) of the Yamaha R-N 303, we were perplexed: what we saw was clearly from a higher price category.

Installing a Yamaha R-N303 will not cause any problems. The setup of 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 speakers - 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 any reason, you can activate Wi-Fi, and the Yamaha R-N303 will work wirelessly.

Key specs

Pros

  • Audio is very clear and decent(worthy of 5 stars). In other words, just what you would expect and demand from Yamaha
  • Setting up the remote speaker links are equally futz-full

Cons

  • The R-N303 panel display is minimal, both in content, size, and brightness
  • Front panel controls are also minimal. The remote has 37 small buttons, non-numeric, all marked with even smaller print

Sony STR-DH190

Our rating
5/10

Sony STR-DH190

The model has only functionality targeted at music content. The built-in amplifier delivers up to 100W per channel at 8 Ohms. The Sony STR-DH190 has wide playback capabilities due to the simultaneous connection of two sets of speakers. Bluetooth is used to communicate with external devices to wirelessly stream music. Also, the receiver has the FM tuner to stream free over-the-air content. The STR-DH190's A B function enables you to connect two sets of front speakers. You can easily manage between A or B or use both together in order to run outdoor speakers. You can also set them up in a different room from the same amp.

Try the subtlest nuances of studio-quality sound in higher than CD quality with High-Resolution Audio. Passion for music gathers every component from signal to speaker. Thus it feels like the artist is performing right in front of you.

The body of the receiver is constructed to transmitted vibration from speaker sound pressure for better sound. The radiator is rigidly attached to the body, which also helps reduce vibration. The transformer and phono amplifier are positioned optimally to minimize interference from the magnetic field. Sony STR-DH190

The STR-DH190 has one output and four analog audio inputs, so you can easily connect your traditional audio components like a CD player or turntable, and recording devices.

The Bluetooth features (control, pairing, and sound quality) are first-rate. You can power on the receiver using your compatible mobile device if you wish that feature to be activated, which keeps the receiver in standby mode. And you can enhance the sound quality (think of it as HD Bluetooth audio) by allowing AAC (Advanced Audio Coding) if your paired device transmits using that codec; it's well worth it if so.

Also, the phono preamplifier is very good compared to separates, which I have compared it to. A big plus for the phono input is the fact you can increase the gain to match the other line-level inputs. Lastly, the FM tuner is very good in that it pulls in many area stations without crosstalk and too much interference. It is not an afterthought by Sony. It is a quality tuner, though FM only and not AM. All in all, this modest receiver surprised me in many ways.

Key specs

Pros

  • The phono doesn't produce any buzz once the grounding wire is tightened well
  • A nice feature is Bluetooth. I easily paired it with my laptop and played my iTunes library without any breakup

Cons

  • The tuner has FM only and no AM. Those stations are available online or my home clock/radio, so not a big deal to me
  • Also, the tuner scans very slowly to find stations. But if it's not that important to you, this makes for a very solid home receiver and very reasonably priced

Yamaha R-S202

Our rating
4.8/10

Yamaha R-S202

The R-S202 model, with a power of 2 x 100 W, exceeds the indicator characteristic for devices of this class. It has a carefully thought-out design with the shortest signal paths and optimized circuitry. Placing a power transformer next to the terminal stage circuit reduces power loss and increases the peak power of the power supply, which gives an additional increase in volume. Grounding the signal circuit and the power supply at one point in order to eliminate mutual interference and achieve the optimal signal to noise ratio. As a result, the clarity and openness of the sound increases.

The R-S202 offers Bluetooth functionality, enabling wireless music playback from smartphones and other devices. Select a song from the library on your phone’s display and enable high-quality, full-blown playback through your audio system.

You can save the settings for 40 FM and AM stations in the memory, and then recall them by pressing the buttons on the front panel of the receiver or on the remote control. Auto Preset allows you to automatically find and store FM stations received in your area. The tuning frequency is shown on display, and if desired, you can easily tune in to a new station. Yamaha R-S202

The R-S202 receiver has inherited the sophisticated and sleek design that is typical of Yamaha audio technology. Its elegant polished panel blends harmoniously with the look of other devices. Front-panel controls confirm our commitment to simplicity and ease of use. Acoustic terminals and selector for two speaker pairs The receiver is equipped with two sets of connectors for connecting two pairs of speakers. A special selector allows you to switch from one speaker pair to another (A or B) or listen to the sound of two pairs of speakers (A B) at once. If no operations are performed with the receiver for a certain time, a special function automatically turns off the power, putting the unit into standby mode. To trigger this function, you can set the interval at 2, 4, 8, or 12 hours, or completely disable it. Standby power consumption is only 0.5 watts, providing an efficient saving mode.

Key specs

Pros

  • The low-frequency spectrum to the needed degree gives the audio picture solidity - the bass in the performance of this unit is not tectonic, but elastic and fast
  • Decent housing for this price tag

Cons

  • The budget class of the device is issued by acoustic terminals - there are four pairs for connecting two pairs of speakers, but all of them, unfortunately, are spring-loaded

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