Best 2 channel stereo receiver

Votes 11 11
Rating 3.2 3.2
Overall Amplifier Audio features Connectivity Streaming services Extensive connection Multi-room Additional features Video features Multichannel surround
Integra DTM-7 7.1 7 7 8 8 6 7 8 6 inapt See price
Denon DRA-800H 7 7 6 8 9 6 4 10 6 inapt See price
Yamaha R-N803BL 6.7 7 7 8 8 6 4 7 inapt inapt See price
Onkyo TX-8140 6.5 8 7 9 5 6 4 7 inapt inapt See price
Integra DTM-6 6.5 6 7 8 8 5 0 5 inapt inapt See price
Marantz NR1200 6.4 6 6 8 9 6 0 10 6 inapt See price
Onkyo TX-8270 6.2 7 8 8 7 5 5 5 5 inapt See price
Onkyo TX-8260 6 7 7 7 7 5 5 4 inapt inapt See price
Yamaha R-N303BL 6 7 6 7 8 4 0 6 inapt inapt See price
Yamaha R-N602BL 5.8 7 6 8 7 5 0 6 inapt inapt See price

It is a paradox, but today it is easier to access the advanced image and sound processing technologies by choosing an AV receiver from the budget segment and therefore there is the difficulty of choosing the best stereo receiver for music. The advantages of a choice can be argued for a long time, but there are situations in which the receiver is a conscious need.

A modern AV receiver is a device that can "service" multi-channel speakers, receiving signals from a variety of devices: from the latest iPhone or optical input to an archaic vinyl turntable, picking up audio from a home theater HDMI channel, decoding and processing many digital formats spatial sound. The "heart" of such devices is a powerful DSP (signal processor), which processes the incoming digital signal (including received from the internal ADC on analog inputs) and transmits it to the bundle "DAC-terminal amplifier". And if you have a task choosing the audio device from world famous brand for your budget, then finding a balance between the features you need and the unnecessary tricks of marketers can be a daunting task.

Any user not demanding the highest sound quality of a two-channel AV receiver will be more than sufficient, and the widest tuning capabilities will definitely not be superfluous. In our ranking, only the best AV receivers in this category are ranked, and we have compiled this comparison to help determine the choice of the good device for simple home audio system in the price-quality ratio.

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Sony STR-DH190 - best overall

Sony STR DH 190

This Sony STRDH190 is a reliable receiver with many features. This model has a compact low-profile design, which makes it so practical that the receiver fits easily on small shelves. The whole case is made in a matte black finish. The design of the case has small features such as radiators that are rigidly fixed to damp vibrations from the sound pressure of the speakers.

STRDH190 combines a reasonable price and a high output power - 100 watts per channel with an impedance of 8 ohms. It will be a perfect device for a simple home audio system and people who like to spend time listening to music via headphones or via speakers which, makes it the best 2 channel receiver for home listening. The sound path is based on discrete power amplifiers and a large-capacity power transformer that provides sufficient power with 1% distortion and provides clear sound to up to four speakers. It is worth noting that the transformer is isolated from other components. In addition, the receiver has a rigid chassis design with a frame and beam that reduces vibration to help and maintain signal accuracy for a more accurate, focused and powerful sound. This device is also suitable for music lovers on vinyl records. Thanks to the built-in phono preamplifier, any vinyl player with an MM cartridge (with a movable magnet) can be connected to it. To minimize interference and improve the detail of the music, the phono preamplifier is isolated from the main power transformer.

Sony STR DH 190

Another important function of the receiver is the ability to play streaming music from your smartphone or tablet. You just need to establish a connection via Bluetooth and enjoy your stored music and your favorite streaming services such as Spotify and Deezer. Another useful feature is the ability to control the basic functions of the receiver from your smartphone, for this, you only need to install the appropriate application.

It is also worth highlighting the ability of the receiver to work with two sets of speakers and freely switch between them for playback in two separate rooms or at the same time use them all in one room to get a more realistic and high-quality sound.

Speaking of sound quality, you can enjoy the finest nuances of studio-quality sound with sound quality higher than CD quality with higher sound resolution. The receiver produces a truly natural sound, the sound quality is close to such a level that it seems that the artist is playing right in front of you, he gives a truly natural sound.

Pros

  • Implemented voice control with Amazon Alexa
  • The phono input gas own equaliser for better sound of the turntable

Cons

  • Not included in the remote control
  • Radio memory is limited

Yamaha R-N303

Yamaha R-N303

Yamaha R-N303 belongs to the budget line, but this does not stop him from «fighting» for the title of the best stereo receiver.

The device has a classic retro design and ample connectivity. Four stereo-analog inputs include a dedicated background input, and one of the line inputs provides a line output for the recorder. The Ethernet port allows you to connect the R-N303 to your home network, or you can do it via Wi-Fi. Other wireless options include Bluetooth, AirPlay, and Yamaha's multi-channel MusicCast audio stream system, which allows you to send audio to nine MusicCast devices in other rooms. You can control the R-N303 using the Yamaha MusicCast app from your iOS or Android mobile device. The receiver can be connected to the popular streaming services Spotify, Pandora, Deezer, and Tidal, as well as Internet radio stations. The power of the R-N303 is 100 watts per channel at 8 ohms. The R-N303 feature is particularly impressive, allowing you to control speaker loads up to 2 ohms. The low-impedance design makes it possible to organize the shortest path of the audio signal. And the power source, located next to the amplification cascade, eliminates energy loss, providing high power and wide dynamics for optimal sound reproduction when connecting any type of speaker system.

Yamaha R-N303

The Burr-Brown 24/192 DAC demonstrates sound balance, and the Yamaha Original Network module increases S/N speed when playing compressed audio files over a network or Bluetooth. Also, the receiver can communicate with digital file storage in the home network via DLNA. 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).

Setting up the device is simple and obvious, the main condition is the availability of an Internet connection. 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). The setting is possible both directly, through the receiver, and through the MusicCast proprietary application when connected via Wi-Fi.

The manufacturer provides the MusicCast CONTROLLER receiver remote control application. The application has a simple and intuitive gesture control. Intuitive finger movements on the screen allow you to control the R-N303 receiver, as well as all MusicCast-compatible devices.

Yamaha R-N303 has smooth sound at all volume levels. The device delivers music openly, reliably and realistically. The sound stage is quite deep. The sound remains detailed and clear even when playing complex classical pieces.

Pros

  • It is possible to control the basic functions of the receiver using voice thanks to Amazon Alexa support
  • Yamaha R-N303 provides sufficient density and hardness of the brass section to make the sound seem fundamental

Cons

  • No auto-tuning and room calibration
  • Equalization of sound is also absent; there is only balance adjustment
  • No dedicated subwoofer output

Yamaha R-S202

Yamaha R-S202

The Yamaha R-S202 receiver was created based on years of experience creating Yamaha audio equipment. This model is an entry-level device for those who are just starting to plunge into the world of Hi-Res audio. There is nothing superfluous in it - Only two channels. Only stereo.

The front panel is simple and concise. It has only a few buttons and a large knob. Large buttons control the timbre of the unit and inputs. The small buttons switch the channels of the radio stations, tune them, and choose the acoustics that is currently working. The front panel, black, is made of aluminum.

Yamaha R-S202

The R-S202 has an output power of 100 watts on each of the two channels at 8 ohms. The model also has a high-quality housing design that minimizes the signal path length and optimizes the layout of the circuit, which distinguishes it from the best stereo receiver for music. The location of the power transformer next to the amplifier circuit reduces power loss, improving peak power and providing high output power. The result is a clear sound without noise and other signals.

Setting up the R-S202 is very simple and takes only a few minutes. It consists of connecting speakers and connecting the device via Bluetooth.The ease of setup and reliability of the components makes this device a fair participant in the best 2 channel stereo receiver review.

Pros

  • The presence of Bluetooth with the ability to stream music from the phone
  • It is possible to play sound in two zones (A B) or switch between them (A or B)

Cons

  • When working with Amazon Echo devices after some time the receiver loses the signal
  • The device heats up significantly when working at a volume above 45

Pioneer SX-10AE

Pioneer SX-10AE

Sometimes users do not need an endless list of functions, but just a good stereo amplifier with several controls, but enough connections. Pioneer SX-10AE model is made in a classic case. It has a discreet design and will not stand out in any interior. The receiver is built on the basis of a high-tech compact circuit with short signal paths and the highest possible protection against extraneous sounds, which gives it an especially fast response speed and a clear stereo with clear sound and makes this unit the best high-end stereo receiver.

Pioneer SX-10AE

Pioneer SX-10AE received a powerful Direct Energy amplification path on-field transistors MOSFET. The circuits involved exclusively high-quality components, which allowed to achieve the absence of distortion and achieve an output power of 100 watts per channel with an impedance of 6 Ohms, the same as most models presented in this the best home stereo receiver comparison.

The Pioneer SX-10AE has four analog RCA inputs, a preamplifier output, and line output (RCA). Additional versatility is provided by A / B speakers switching, whereby two independent pairs of speakers are connected to reliable threaded clamps, between which you can freely switch. There is also an additional output to the subwoofer. To connect to external devices, the receiver has a Bluetooth protocol.

Pros

  • Bluetooth allows users to stream music with support for SBC / AAC codecs
  • The receiver has a customizable “Ultra Heavy Bass” feature to enhance low frequencies

Cons

  • The sound lacks clarity, its depth is not felt
  • The receiver cannot play audio from radio stations that operate in the DAB range

Sherwood RX-4508

Sherwood RX-4508

The design of the model is based on a powerful stereo amplifier made using Discrete Amplifier Stage (DAS) proprietary technology, a powerful power supply, and branded transistors in the output stages. The digital parts btw are nicely separated from the analog section by means of a large heatsink that spans the entire unit’s width. This combination provides 100 W per channel with an 8-ohm load in a wide frequency band (20 ~ 20 kHz) and with minimal distortion (not more than 0.08%). There is a built-in AM / FM radio with RDS and has a memory for 30 settings. This best 2 channel receiver is equipped with a full set of standard inputs, and also has an MM-type Phono corrector on board, which allows you to directly connect a turntable.

Sherwood RX-4508

The device is equipped with the Bluetooth protocol of the third version. Bluetooth connection is very simple: there is a button on the front panel or on the remote control to turn on Bluetooth. After connecting, the signal becomes extremely stable, and during testing, there has never been a failure. The display on the front panel shows the current song and it is possible to switch tracks from the remote control or using the buttons on the receiver itself.

Pros

  • Bluetooth works well with Hi-Res codecs (A2DP, AVRCP / aptX)
  • The distortion is less than 1%

Cons

  • Heats up quickly at maximum volume
  • There is background noise in the sound of the device
  • The top cover is made of thin metal and it is better not to put anything heavy on top

Onkyo TX-8220

Onkyo TX-8220

The TX-8220 has a power of 100 watts per channel at 6 ohms and is equipped with two digital audio inputs, five-line inputs, and a subwoofer pre-output. This device is the single device in our review, which is equipped with a built-in DAC based on the PCM1754 chip with 24-bit / 192 kHz parameters. Such a processor significantly affects the sound quality of the device and makes it one of the best 2 channel stereo receiver. Onkyo TX-8220 power amplifiers are made using WRAT technology, which provides a wide range of operating frequencies and minimal sound distortion at any volume level. The output stages are built on discrete transistors. Also, an active subwoofer can be connected to the stereo receiver, which will give pressure to the sound when building an audio system in a large room.

Onkyo TX-8220

The model includes Bluetooth wireless audio streaming technology with Auto Connect for preconfigured devices. The stable, low-latency transmission allows streaming music from virtually any application to sound crisp and detailed.

The TX-8220 also has the analog gain capability for vinyl players with MM phono equalizer integration. As a center of active home entertainment, it also features built-in FM or RDS and a DAB tuner for digital radio. There is also the ability to work with two sets of speakers in A B or A/B modes.

Pros

  • The stereo receiver uses the proprietary Optimum Gain Volume Circuitry volume control scheme, which does not introduce noise and distortion into the signal and provides a smooth change in signal level
  • The Onkyo TX-8220 power unit is based on a massive custom shielded transformer and high-capacity filter capacitors

Cons

  • There is a slight delay on the commands from the remote control
  • No connection to an external equalizer
  • The UI of application is complicated

Sherwood RX-4208

Sherwood RX-4208

Sherwood RX-4208 is a rare example of the classic receiver, which was especially popular in the "golden age of stereo" and can become a competitor to the leader in this best cheap stereo receiver comparison. The model is also distinguished by its classic design and minimalistic features. It is possible to note a strong perforated casing, a full-fledged stamped chassis, two sets of terminals for columns A and B. It is equipped with an AB class high-end integrated amplifier with Discrete Amplifier Stage technology, which has super-powerful output stages with 100 watts per channel at an impedance of 8 ohms.

Sherwood RX-4208

The device has a built-in AM / FM tuner for 30 stations, analog RCA inputs for CD and AUX, as well as two audio outputs for transmitting sound to other devices and outputs for connecting speakers (A and B). The audio device can function in tandem with a vinyl MM-player, and also store about three dozen presets.

Pros

  • The amplifier operates in the range of 40-20000 Hz with distortion less than 0.08%
  • Onboard there is a Bluetooth protocol with memory for connected devices and instant connection

Cons

  • The receiver has a significant background noise during playback
  • The case is poorly assembled, huge gaps are visible between the components
  • At a volume level of 65-80, the sound loses detail

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