Best 2-channel receivers under $200 in 2020

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Modern AV receivers (also known as audio/video receivers or home theater receivers) are the most technological/multifunctional devices. That’s why every novice audiophile wants to purchase one. However, it’s wise not to waste money on an expensive high-end unit and buy the best stereo receiver under 200 as your first one.

This is the initial level of devices because of the cost, so the functions and characteristics are appropriate. But we chose the best of them - so those who have a limited budget or not have big requirements can safely buy one.

Best stereo receiver reviews

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Sony STR-DH190

Sony STR-DH190

The model has only functionality aimed at music content. The built-in amplifier produces up to 100W per channel at 8 Ohms. The reinforced rigid frame and beam chassis design reduce the sound pressure and vibration of the external speaker, helping to maintain signal accuracy for a more focused, powerful sound. Rigid parts hold the radiator in place. This cause reducing the transmitted vibration from the sound pressure of the speaker.

The phono amplifier and transformer are optimally positioned to minimize interference from the magnetic field. One of the best budget stereo receiver - STR-DH190 has four analog audio inputs and one output, so you can easily connect other audio equipment and recording devices. Function A B present in STR-DH190 allows you to connect two pairs of speakers. You can apply them all at the same time or easily switch between A or B. Sony STR-DH190

You can not only stream music wirelessly from other Bluetooth devices but with Bluetooth standby mode, you can remotely turn on the audio receiver and even play and control your music using smart voice assistant speakers such as Amazon Alexa.

The STR-DH190’s Bluetooth function gives a couple of superior perks. It involves AAC capability, which implies it can get somewhat better sound quality when used with Apple iPhones and iPads using the Apple Music service (or any other streaming service that uses AAC). Apart from that, the receiver will automatically power up when you select it from your Bluetooth source’s menu.

The remote control allows you to rename the inputs to name what goes in where. Speaker wires meet easily into the clamps on the rear.


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


  • The tuner has FM only, no AM but those stations are available online or my home clock/radio, 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

Yamaha R-S202

The output power of this cheap stereo receiver is 100 W per channel at a load of 8 ohms, which exceeds the indicator characteristic for devices of this class.

The model 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 Yamaha R-S202 receiver offers a very comfortable interpretation of musical material with a slight emphasis on the middle part of the sound range. The music scene is quite well-layered - vocals and solo parts of instruments are brought to the fore. Yamaha R-S202

Both female and male voices are transmitted quite naturally, with the careful study of the smallest overtones. You can only visit for a small loss of resolution in the upper region of the operating range. The low-frequency spectrum to the necessary degree gives the sound picture solidity - the bass in the performance of this apparatus is not tectonic, but elastic and fast. Good microdynamics capabilities of the receiver will allow you to relax in the evening, listening to acoustic folk, jazz with little composition, light symphonic music, or meditative electronics.

If you try to blame the 2 channel stereo receiver for something, forgetting about the price tag for a while, then there is only a somewhat excessive brightness of the feed-in complex classical works, where a very large number of tools are involved. But this does not mean at all that such a presentation can cause any discomfort.


  • The receiver is easy to set up, with great functionality
  • At 120 feet away from the Bluetooth (streaming Pandora) and remote both work


  • The volume knob had to be turned really far to get a good sound level

Sherwood RX-4508

Sherwood RX-4508

The power supply and selected transistors in the output stages perfectly provide 2x100 W at an 8-ohm load in a wide frequency band.

Although the front panel of the inexpensive receiver is molded from plastic, the blocky minimalist design is so successful that the device looks like a very serious and expensive device. The RX-4508 has a full stamped chassis, a durable perforated casing, on the rear panel there are two sets of terminals for speakers A and B. The input path is fully analog, without an ADC, as in most AV receivers. Sherwood RX-4508

True, in the RX-4508, there are also “features” that modern music lovers will surely appreciate. Along with an AM / FM tuner with memory for 30 stations, it has a built-in radio module that allows you to connect any more or less advanced gadget via Bluetooth - a smartphone, tablet, or laptop - as an additional (and for some people the main) music source. This is done quite simply - the pairing of devices needs to be done only once, and after that, it is enough to switch the receiver with the remote control to the Bluetooth input and wait for the connection to be established. The quality of the connection also promises to be high, since the wireless module supports both lossless data transmission profiles and the advanced AptX protocol.


  • Ability to connect via Bluetooth
  • Excellent dynamic performance, good acoustics control, and impressive low-definition clarity


  • The sound path when using Bluetooth is not well protected from digital interference

Pioneer SX-10AE

Pioneer SX-10AE

Pioneer SX-10AE Black stereo receiver boasts 4 line inputs, cassette, and subwoofer outputs, A / B speaker, 2x100W at 8 Ohms, UHF radio, and Bluetooth.

Notwithstanding the Spartan functionality, the SX-10AE looks almost indistinguishable from multichannel counterparts with sophisticated decoders on board. The housing, standard for high-end parts, strikes a height of almost 15 cm. Pioneer SX-10AE

The entire upper cover of the case is littered with many ventilation openings, and if you look closely, you can notice inside a very impressive mains transformer wound on a W-shaped core.

Additional versatility is provided by switching the A / B speakers. Whereby two autonomous pairs of speakers, which can be selected, with a headphone jack and even an output to the subwoofer, are attached to reliable threaded clamps. If there is no subwoofer, that delicious quality of the SX-10AE will provide using its customizable "Ultra Heavy Bass" function. But also in the normal mode with direct switching of the source and two powerful 100-watt output stages of the amplifier, the remote control model SX-10AE with the help of two high-quality speakers will give you real pleasure.


  • The sound is amazingly sharp, and the connect was effortless
  • The Bluetooth feature is excellent, works great with any device


  • No aptx support via bluetooth
  • You need to turn up the volume quite a bit to get sound. And once I did, I found the quality from this receiver a bit lacking. It sounds flat. Bass is non-existent, and it just doesn't have the crispness or the punch of my old stereo

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