1. Most Popular - Pioneer VSX-1131
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Why we chose this Stereo Receiver:
The Pioneer VSX-1131 is an excellent stereo receiver for serious audio files. With 7 amplifier channels, the Pioneer VSX-1131 is a much bigger and more capable beast than its smaller counterparts in the same line. This receiver also has as more than enough connections to be useful in any home setup, regardless of whether you are listening to music or kicking back with a good movie.
One of the things we like most about the Pioneer VSX-1131 is that it comes with native support for Spotify, Deezer, and TIDAL. These are the three largest music streaming services in the world, making this an ideal amplifier for those who mostly stream their music. In addition to this, the receiver also has a built-in Chromecast enabling the user to stream music, podcast or radio from their mobile device.
Product Dimensions: 14.5 x 17 x 6.8 inches
Boxed-product Weight: 25 lbs
In-built Bluetooth for connecting to other devices such as a smartphone or tablet
2. Best Overall - Denon Design Series DRA-100
- BRING HOME A PREMIUM CINEMATIC EXPERIENCE with this 9.2 channel stereo receiver (125W/channel) featuring the LATEST IN-HOME VIDEO with IMAX Enhanced & 3D videos, and three-dimensional sound formats - Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, Auro-3D
- GET THE BEST PICTURE QUALITY ON YOUR 4K HD TV with HDR10, HLG, BT.2020, 4:4:4 pure color sub-sampling, eARC and more. Use our AWARD-WINNING on-screen setup assistant to connect your TV and home theater
- EXPERIENCE SMOOTH, SOOTHING & CLEAR SOUND EVERY TIME with Audyssey MultEQ XT32, the most advanced EQ calibration & room measurement system that dynamically optimizes all speakers to your listening levels. Say goodbye to sudden blasts or muffled dialogues
- Stream unlimited music through Pandora, Spotify, TuneIn and more, via WiFi, Airplay or Bluetooth with HEOS WIRELESS SPEAKERS & HEOS MULTI-ROOM DIGITAL STREAMING and enjoy Hi-Fi surround sound, plus FULL VOICE CONTROL COMPATIBILITY WITH AMAZON ALEXA
- INTEGRATES WITH MAJOR HOME AUTOMATION SYSTEMS and other major third-party control devices. Quick, reliable troubleshooting through IP Control Remote Monitoring is now possible. YOUR HOME WILL BE AT YOUR FINGERTIPS
Amazon collected a total of with an average rating of ()
Price:Price not available
Why we chose this Stereo Receiver:
The Denon DRA-100 is one of the sleekest looking stereo receivers that we have ever seen. The front of the unit contains an invisible screen, leaving a perfect pitch-black facade when the display is turned off. The unit is also impressively compact, especially when you consider the big open sound it provides. In addition to acting as one of the best stereo receivers we've ever used, the Denon is much more than this. It is also an amplifier, DAC, and a Bluetooth receiver.
The sleek black metal design of the DRA-100 ensures that it's lots easily into any living room. The minimalist approach to the front panel only adds to the aesthetic appeal, with many of the traditional buttons found on a stereo receiver outsourced to the remote control and smartphone app.While the DRA-100 is one of the more expensive stereo receivers on this list, it makes up for it by being so much more than that. The myriad features onboard the receiver, along with the array of digital and analog connections ensures that this unit will be a welcome addition to any home sound system.
Product Dimensions: 4 x 12.6 x 11 inches
Boxed-product Weight: 14.5 lbs
Bluetooth and Wi-Fi antennae included
Can be networked
3. Best Value Receiver - Yamaha R-N303BL
- Works with Alexa for voice control (Alexa device sold separately)
- Simple and sophisticated design with two channels of 100 W high-power output. Minimum RMS Output Power: 100W plus 100W (8ohms, 40Hz-20kHz, 0.2 percentage THD)
- Phono input terminals for turn tables voice control using your Alexa device like echo or echo dot. FM 50dB Quieting Sensitivity (IHF, 1kHz, 100% Mod., Mono) - 3 µV (20.8 dBf). FM Signal-to-Noise Ratio (Mono/Stereo) - 65dB / 64dB
- Optical and coaxial Audio inputs for TV. Frequency Response-0 ± 0.5dB / 0 ± 3.0dB. FM Signal-to-Noise Ratio (Mono/Stereo)-65dB / 64dB
- Access to your music library, Pandora, Spotify, SiriusXM internet radio, Tidal and Deezer. Standby Power Consumption-0.1W (Network standby on / Wi-Fi connection, 1.8W)
Amazon collected a total of with an average rating of ()
Why we chose this Stereo Receiver:
The Yamaha R-N303BL is an interesting amplifier. It is nominally a budget component, and yet it's punching above its weight in terms of both build quality and features. To hold the Yamaha R-N303BL in your hand, you would think that you were holding a much more upmarket stereo receiver. The feeling of quality comes from both the weight and sturdiness of the build, this feels like a unit that is able to withstand some serious punishment.
One of the main reasons that we love this amplifier is because it features the excellent sound quality that we have come to expect from Yamaha, despite being a part of their budget range. The sound output is full-bodied and bold. In fact, we would go as far as to say that it is indistinguishable from at least a couple of Yamaha's more expensive options.
Naturally, a budget component like the Yamaha is going to fall short of its bigger brothers in some respects. It's not the best sounding amp in the world, nor is it the most feature-rich. However, when you consider its price point, both the sound and range of features become pretty darn impressive.
Product Dimensions: 13.1 x 17.1 x 5.6 inches
Boxed-product Weight: 8.1 Kg
Batteries 2 AA batteries required (included)
4. Best For Home Cinema- Sony STR-DH790
- CINEMATIC SOUND AT HOME: Enjoy your favorite movies, TV shows and more with theater like sound in the comfort of your home
- BREATHTAKING AUDIO: Dolby Atmos and DTS:X deliver multi-dimensional and object-based surround sound
- STUNNING 4K QUALITY: 4K HDR pass through with support for Dolby Vision, HDR10, and Hybrid Log Gamma provides greater and clearer color, contrast, and brightness
- GET CONNECTED: 4 in/1 out HDMI each and 1 optical / 1 coaxial digital and analog audio connections
- AUTO CALIBRATION: Advanced D.C.A.C. analyzes and adjusts the audio for optimal sound in every room
Amazon collected a total of with an average rating of ()
Why we chose this Stereo Receiver:
The Sony STR-DH790 is one of the most attractive stereo receivers we have ever seen. It's unique and eye-catching design enables a relatively large and bulky unit to fit into any room without spoiling the aesthetic. The front of the unit is dominated by two large control knobs, one for volume and one for input selection. Aside from this, there is only a power button and a long, thin display situated above the row of small and discreet function buttons.
With support for 3D 4K sound, this powerful 7.2 surround sound receiver delivers an unparalleled home cinema experience. The unit can be controlled via Bluetooth using the accompanying smartphone app. This is a common feature, but what sets the STR-DH790 apart from others is that you can turn it on and off via the app.
Product Dimensions: 11.7 x 17 x 5.23 inches
Boxed-product Weight: 8.7 Kg
Power supply for USB devices
Best selling stereo receivers right now:
- Amplify and enjoy your home audio experience in the comfort of your home
- 100 watts x 2 (8 ohms, 1 Kilo Hertz). Speaker impedance - 6–16 ohms
- Phono input, 4 stereo RCA audio inputs, 3.5 millimeter input, stereo RCA output
- Built in Bluetooth lets you wirelessly stream your favorite music service, podcasts, and more from other Bluetooth devices.
- Connect up to 4 speakers; A/B switching to play all at once, or in separate zones
- MULTI-ROOM AUDIO. The TX-8220 features two sets of speaker posts. The receiver drives either a single pair of speakers (4–16 Ohms) or two pairs of speakers (8–16 Ohms) to enjoy the same audio source in two rooms, or switch between two sets of speakers.
- BLUETOOTH COMPATIBLE. Seamlessly connect your phone, tablet or PC and stream to the receiver with Bluetooth Wireless Technology. This smart receiver remembers your device and starts playback whenever it detects an incoming Bluetooth audio stream.
- MULTIPLE CONNECTIONS. For music and film lovers that want to add great sound to any source, this receiver comes extensively equipped with a quality MM phono stage for your turntable, digital inputs to route audio from TV and four analog line inputs.
- HI-CURRENT AMP SYSTEM. Onkyo’s high-current low-impedance Wide Range Amplification Technology (WRAT) design uses a massive EI transformer to drive your speakers accurately, even under heavy loads, so sound quality doesn't suffer.
- FEATURES. 45 W/Ch stereo power (8 ohms, 20 Hz-20 kHz, 0.08%, 2 channels Driven, FTC); 100 W/Ch (6 ohms, 1 kHz, 10% THD, 2 channels Driven) , AM - 530 kHz–1,710 kilo Hertz
- Advanced circuitry design
- Bluetooth to your favorite streaming music services
- 40 station FM/AM preset tuning; Frequency Response: 10Hz – 100kHz (0 plus/ minus 0.5 dB / 0 plus/ minus 3.0 dB)
- Brushed aluminum finish and simplistic design
- Speaker selector for 2 systems. Input Sensitivity (CD): 500 MV/47k ohms
- 300W POWER OUTPUT: With a maximum output of 300 watts, the PT270AIU has the power to fill your room with sound. This amplifier also has the brilliant digital fluorescent display comes in clear and shows vivid information
- AM/FM MODE: This amplifier has AM & FM antenna for the signal. It also has auto station seek helps you to enjoy listening to your favorite stations with capable of storing up to 50 radio station presets & quartz tuner to enjoy listening
- MP3 PLAYER PLUG-IN: With this amplifier, you can enjoy listening to your favorite music. It has an iPod docking station, suitable for all iPod & iPhone models. With this docking station, you can connect your iPod while listening to different music
- 4 STEREO RCA INPUTS: 3 Stereo RCA inputs along with 1 RCA stereo input for play media. SD memory & USB ports will also let you play your favorite media. It also has 2 1/4 inch mic inputs & mic volume, tone & echo controls for voice effects
- A/B SPEAKER OUT SWITCH: This amplifier includes banana-plug speaker terminals, plus two mono RCA outputs which made for the subwoofer output, with its own separate gain control. It controls multiple sets of speakers with the A/B speaker out switch
- Cinematic Sound at Home: Enjoy your favorite movies, TV shows and more with theater like sound in the comfort of your home
- Virtual Front Surround: S Force PRO delivers virtual surround sound with only a 2 speaker setup
- Smart Connectivity: Stream music and use Bluetooth Standby turn on the receiver from your phone
- Multi Function System: Enjoy a Multi Channel Stereo Setup, FM Radio Tuner and 1/4 Inches Headphone Jack
- Dynamic Setup: 4 Stereo Rca Audio Inputs and 2 Digital Audio Outputs (1 Optical and 1 Coaxial)
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Best Stereo Receivers over $500
- HIGH-PERFORMANCE DISCRETE 2-CHANNEL AMP – Feel the power & hear every audio detail with this ultra-stylish & powerful receiver (100W per channel at 8 ohms) that offers greater stability with a wide range of speakers & delivers balanced sound each time.
- EXPERT SOUND ENGINEERING – Denon’s experience in designing award-winning amplifiers and their use of Hi-Fi parts, custom resistors, audio grade capacitors, a double differential DAC circuit and analog preamp circuits deliver a superior sound experience
- ADVANCED HDMI VIDEO SECTION FOR A STUNNING CINEMATIC EXPERIENCE – Features full 4K Ultra HD 60Hz video, 4:4:4 Pure Color sub sampling, HDR10, HLG, and BT.2020 pass-through. Watch your favorite movies & shows with exceptional color, clarity and contrast.
- ENJOY MULTI-ROOM STREAMING – Built-in HEOS technology allows you to playback music through any popular streaming service such as Pandora, Spotify, Amazon Prime Music and others via Bluetooth, Wi-Fi or AirPlay 2 in one room and more simultaneously
- VOICE CONTROL COMPATIBILITY WITH ALL MAJOR VOICE AGENTS – Change audio tracks, control volume, switch inputs, and play & pause music with your voice. Just command Alexa, Siri, and other leading voice agents or any smart home automation systems
- ✓ MOST POWERFUL AMP IN THE AX SERIES - 100 Watts per channel, FM/AM tuner with 30 presets, headphone out to listen in privacy, and remote control so you can sit back and enjoy your music.
- ✓ EASILY CONNECT ALL OF YOUR EQUIPMENT - The AXR100 has four analogue inputs for connecting all your music, AV and audio sources. Additionally, the built-in phono stage connects directly to your turntable for amazing vinyl sound quality.
- ✓ BUILT IN BLUETOOTH - With the built-in Bluetooth receiver on the AXR100, you can wirelessly stream your favorite music from smartphone, tablet or PC with ease.
- ✓ EXPERIENCE HI-FI LIKE NEVER BEFORE - Connect your stereo system to upgrade everyday entertainment such as movies, tv, vinyl, and sports events to an incredible sound experience.
- ✓ TECH SPECS - POWER OUTPUT 100 watts (into 8ohms), FREQUENCY RESPONSE (-1DB) 5Hz - 50kHz, S/N RATIO (REF 1W) >82dB (unweighted), INPUT IMPEDANCES 47k ohms, MAX POWER CONSUMPTION 550W, SUBWOOFER OUTPUT 200Hz 2nd order L+R Level follows volume setting
- UNPRECEDENTED REALISM AND NEW FEATURES – eARC and heightened sound effects with Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization Technology. Be it the sound of a helicopter or torrential rains, it’ll sound so real, you'll think it's happening right above you
- MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR NEW 4K ULTRA HD TV with this 7.2 Ch stereo receiver. Featuring HLG, HDR10, BT.2020, Wide Color Gamut & 4:4:4 Pure Color sub-sampling, it DELIVERS EXCEPTIONAL BRIGHTNESS, CONTRAST and COLOR enriching your movie and gaming experience
- EXTEND THE REACH OF YOUR MUSIC to any room in the house via Wi-Fi, Airplay or Bluetooth with HEOS MULTI-ROOM WIRELESS SPEAKERS. No Command Center or extra hardware required. Get Hi-Fi sound around your home with Pandora, Spotify, TuneIn, Deezer and more
- FULL VOICE CONTROL COMPATIBILITY WITH AMAZON ALEXA lets you sit back and enjoy music without having to reach out for the remote. Adjust the volume, change the track or switch the inputs absolutely hands-free
- AWARD-WINNING ON-SCREEN SETUP ASSISTANT walks you through clear simple instructions to connect your TV, specific EQ settings and helps you optimize your surround sound. Denon's legacy and Japanese precision technology makes it a must-have for your home
- At 4-inches tall, this 5.2 channel stereo receiver is A COMPLETE HOME ENTERTAINMENT BOX LOADED WITH FEATURES. Connect all your audio sources, enjoy wireless streaming, plug your USB drives or play vinyls using the MM phono preamp – it’s got it all
- FULL COMPATIBILITY WITH 4K ULTRA HD TV – Featuring 60Hz full-rate content, pure color sub-sampling, BT.2020, HDR, HLG, eARC & Dolby Vision, enjoy an IMPACTFUL HOME THEATER EXPERIENCE with EXCEPTIONAL PICTURE QUALITY & A THRILLING SURROUND SOUND
- This 5 CHANNEL DISCRETE POWER AMPLIFIER (50W per channel) boasts 6 HDMI inputs and 1 output, full HDCP 2.2 support for copy protection - a must-buy for your home entertainment and speaker system
- HANDS-FREE OPERATIONS – Command your favorite voice control agent - Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant or Apple Siri - to STREAM UNLIMITED MUSIC using popular services like Spotify, TuneIn, Netflix and more via Built-in HEOS, Bluetooth or Wi-Fi
- EASY-TO-UNDERSTAND & USER-FRIENDLY SETUP ASSISTANT comes with an ADVANCED GRAPHICAL USER INTERFACE that guides you through the step-by-step process and connects all your audio sources to the stereo amplifier receiver
- UNMATCHED 3D REALISM FOR YOUR HOME THEATER SYSTEM – Enjoy Immersive surround sound with Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization & DTS Virtual:X and crisp, clean picture with advanced video processing, 8K/60Hz, and 4K/120Hz pass-through
- GET THE MOST OUT OF YOUR 4K TV - Enjoy the highest quality 3D audio and video knowing that the AVR-S960H is 8K READY WHEN YOU ARE. This high-power amplifier meets the most demanding entertainment needs with the latest technology available
- NEXT GEN GAMING - Enjoy a smooth, lag-free gaming experience with spectacular imaging, reduced lag & frame tearing with 4K/120Hz pass-through, Variable Refresh Rate (VRR), Quick Frame Transport (QFT), and Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM)
- ENJOY THE MOST ADVANCED VIDEO TECHNOLOGY AVAILABLE with Dynamic HDR and HDR10+. This 7.2 channel receiver delivers clarity, contrast & color, & Quick Media Switching eliminates video delay
- CONNECT WITH ANY HD/ULTRA HD TV, SUBWOOFER, BLU-RAY PLAYER & TURNTABLE FOR INCREDIBLE STEREO SOUND - USB, 8 HDMI ports (6 In/ 2 Out) with HDCP 2.3 processing, Digital In, Phono input & Network support with a range of wireless connections
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Stereo receivers are an essential core that connects all the elements of your home entertainment system, facilitating the components to work together like a well-oiled machine. With a good quality AV receiver, you can power up your surround sound speakers and easily switch signals between your Hi-Fi and TV to deliver an immersive entertainment experience of sound and hi-tech visual effects.
While stereo receivers serve a simple function, consumers are spoilt for choice with the availability of a wide variety of receivers. In this article, we provide you with a comprehensive guide on what you should specifically look for when shopping for a new receiver. We also review some of the most popular receivers out on the market right now. If you're looking for an AV receiver check out our page here.
This fully kitted out receiver from Denon has all the features that a receiver needs to become a conductor in the great orchestra of an all-encompassing home theatre entertainment system. It comes with in-built WiFi and Bluetooth, which allows you to wirelessly connect it to mobile devices to stream and enjoy high-res music and videos from online sources like Spotify and Pandora. It also enables you to enjoy lifelike visuals and vivid color through the 4K, Ultra HD and 3D passthrough features. You can also switch between different picture modes and tweak the sound compression to either Home Theatre quality, or lower it a bit to enjoy an average movie viewing experience.
Although it features 9.2 channels, this receiver has HEOS technology, which allows it to process up to 11.2 channels. Each channel has the capacity to deliver up to 125 watts worth of sound power. In addition to increasing sound output capacity, you can use the HEOS technology feature to create a multi-room network through which to enjoy music streaming from anywhere in your home. HEOS technology, when coupled with AirPlay, allows you to access and stream music directly from your PC or Mac throughout your home network. And just by downloading the Denon AVR Remote App, you can simply control the receiver’s functions from the connected mobile device of your choice, whether it’s a tablet or a smartphone.
The sound delivered through this receiver is pure and crisp, thanks to features like low impedance drive, which gives it the capacity to clearly process sound from 4 ohm speakers. Additionally, each of the 9 amplifier channels feature sound processing proficiencies such as 20Hz~20kHz and .05%THD. As if that weren’t impressive enough, this receiver also features a whopping total of 8 HDMI inputs and outputs, which are all compatible with HDCP 2.2 and HDMI 2.0a. Environmentally conscious consumers will like the Eco Mode section of the receiver. The feature automatically alters or reduces the unit’s power output depending on the signal level displayed on the unit. The interactive interface allows you to view the transition so that you get an idea of how much power the receiver is using at any given time.
Lastly, audio-video device novices will be happy to know that this receiver comes with a Quick Guide, which allows them to easily set up the receiver upon arrival. In fact, the setup on this is so easy that anyone can do it, and it enables them to instantly enjoy all the amazing entertainment value provided by the receiver. In addition, the speaker terminals are color-coded with accompanying speaker labels to ensure accurate placement. The multi-way connectors make it even easier to connect and start using this system.
- This receiver can process 4K, Ultra HD and 3D passthrough, which allows you to enjoy an unequalled experience of intensely clear and lifelike detail in your movies and videos.
- The dual-band WiFi and Bluetooth come with dual-diversity antennas. This means that the sound coming from your music streaming will always be of a high and unrivalled quality, even if you’re in an RF congested location. It also comes with built-in HEOS technology, which allows you to wirelessly stream music content from streaming sites and apps, and establish a multi-room network so that you can conveniently operate the receiver from any room in your house. Another neat trick from HEOS technology is AirPlay, through which you can access and play content from your PC, Mac and/or iOS device throughout your home network. And with the Denon AVR Remote App, you can conveniently operate your receiver’s settings from a smartphone or tablet device that’s been connected to the established integrated network.
- The receiver delivers crystal clear sound with little to no distortion, thanks to the 125-watt sound power capacity of the 9 speaker channels. The channels also feature a low impedance amplifier, which ensures the delivery of powerful sound with absolute lucidity and offers a completely immersive surround sound home theatre experience.
- The setup on this is remarkably easy and quick. All you have to do is use the Quick Guide to walk you through the simple process of plugging in the receiver, connecting an HDMI that transmits to your TV, and then connecting your wireless home network from there. While doing this, your receiver will also be calibrating and seamlessly blending the speakers to ensure that they deliver scrumptious sound that reaches every nook and cranny within your home theatre space.
- The receiver also comes with the ability to avoid wire cables and connect wireless speakers instead. You can then place and operate the speakers from anywhere, even single speakers in a particular space, and then operate it using the ‘separate zones’ feature.
- One issue of this receiver is the fact that sometimes when you turn it on, it can struggle to process sound even though the video content is already showing. You can rectify this by turning it off and on again, but then that compromises the quality of the unit over time.
- On certain occasions, the receiver will process only the video content for the first few seconds, with the sound only kicking in shortly after. This might interrupt the content and prohibit the viewer from enjoying a seamless viewing experience.
- The Bluetooth and HEOS technology often struggles to connect with mobile devices, and requires the user to switch off and reconnect the devices in order for it to work at all.
Another quality offering from Denon, this 7.2 channel receiver boasts a maximum of 150-watt sound power capacity. It has wireless HEOS multi-room connectivity technology and a full-rate passthrough that includes 4: 4: 4 power resolution, 4K visual processing and Dolby Vision and Atmos. Bluetooth and WiFi connectivity allows you to wirelessly operate the settings on the receiver from any location in your house. It’s also compatible with Apple Airplay to connect with and play content from mobile devices like iPhones and iPads. From here, you can stream music content from streaming sites and apps like SoundCloud, Tidal, Napster and Deezer, as well as from online radio streaming sites and apps.
Other features include 8 HDMI dual inputs and outputs, HDCP 2.2 support and High Dynamic Range compatibility. All these features enable you to enjoy a private home theatre-quality film-watching experience in the comfort of your living room.
This receiver is also quick and easy to setup and can be effortlessly operated, even by the most inexperienced user. The Auto Eco feature on this alerts you to the power level, which is automatically altered according to the volume level as well as the power consumption. But rest assured, this won’t affect the viewing quality. You can also use the Audyssey MultEQ XT room acoustic measurement system feature to determine the volume output and clarity of each speaker and tweak it to achieve seamless integration and balanced sound.
- This receiver comes with Bluetooth and WiFi connectivity to establish multi-room home network and enable full control of the receiver from anywhere in your house. Plus you can use the same feature to listen to online radio and stream your favorite content directly from your mobile device of choice.
- It delivers rich and crystal-clear sound from the base to the dialogue, thanks to the 7.2 channels and their 150-watt sound-processing ability.
- With this receiver, you can easily enjoy high-quality 4K visuals from any source, including analogue and digital SD content. This is complemented by futuristic High Dynamic Range technology and Dolby Atmos compatibility, which invokes a surround sound home viewing experience.
- All 8 HDMI inputs and outputs are optimized for compatibility with future innovations in 4K, HD and other audio/video technology.
- Save energy with the AutoEco feature. This automatically alters the energy consumption of your receiver based on the volume levels and power usage.
- The menu interface could use some improvement, particularly in increasing the resolution quality and clarity of the icons.
- The sound quality could also use some improvement.
Audiophiles probably know that Onkyo is one of the most prestigious names in audio equipment manufacturing. With this receiver, the company has managed to reinvent itself to meet modern technology standards. It sports a unit that features improvements like better 4K and Ultra HD compatibility, wireless streaming through Bluetooth and WiFi and built-in Chromecast. It also features AirPlay to directly stream audio and video content from your Apple mobile device through iTunes.
Apart from these bells and whistles, this unit delivers some pretty solid features, including 8 HDMI input and 2 HDMI output capacities, with channels that can handle powerful sound for up to 200 watts. Other features are Dolby Atmos, Dolby TrueHD, LipSync, Multichannel PCM and Deep Color TM for improved color quality and vibrancy. There is also the AccuEQ feature, which you can use to balance the sound and properly calibrate the speakers, while the Multi-Zone feature enables you to distribute the speakers throughout your home while seamlessly operating them wirelessly. The built-in Multi-Room Wireless technology setup is a convenient way to remotely control your system using your mobile device, and takes away the need to use the device’s actual remote, which may not be on hand with you everywhere. Plus, with the Whole House Mode, you can choose to play music in all areas of the house to create a seamless ambience that permeates throughout your home.
High Dynamic Range and HDCP 2.2 provides a next-level viewing experience next to no other. Meanwhile, THX certification conveys high-quality audio with low impedance, low distortion and sparkling clarity. This feature also boosts the range, precision and detail to deliver a truly dynamic sound and a stimulating viewing experience. When paired with DTS:X, the Dolby Atmos feature is able to clearly convey the tiniest detail in sound from the silent purr of a flowing stream to a high-pitched bird call. It’s a totally realistic experience.
- It comes with a 3 year warranty that covers parts and labor.
- It’s easy to set up, and quietly hums while operating so that it doesn’t make any disturbing sounds that can overpower the audio that you’re playing.
- The Dolby Atmos and DTS:X feature provides remarkably detailed sound with surround sound accuracy and vividness. Accompanied by the 4K and Ultra HD visual capacity, this receiver delivers a viewing experience that makes you feel like you’re watching the film or video in a commercial theatre.
- The interface is super interactive and easy to use. It also responds pretty quickly and is a very intuitive piece of A.I.
- It’s also lightweight and easy to carry.
- The channels can power up to 200 watts of smooth but electric sound power.
- Unfortunately, this receiver is unable to equalize sound during variations in volume levels. The sound remains louder during commercials and super loud movie soundtrack intervals.
This is the ideal receiver for sophisticated users and an excellent example of a product built with the utmost attention to detail. Some of the most notable features include the 6.1 channels that have 200 watt sound power-processing capacity through 8-ohm speakers. It also comes with Dolby Atmos and is DTS:X enabled to deliver surround sound-quality audio to accompany the Ultra HD passthrough, which includes 4K, 4:4:4, Dolby Vision and 24bit compatibility with HDCP 2.2 support.
To synchronize the sound in multiple speakers across different rooms, you can use the MCACC Auto room tuning with phase control, which also creates awesome recording studio-quality acoustics experience in your living room. The Bluetooth and WiFi allows you to wirelessly stream audio and video files from mobile devices like smartphones, tablets and laptops, regardless of whether it is offline or online. Online streaming includes radio tuning and access to streaming services like Tidal, Spotify and Deezer. Chromecast and AutoConnect are also great features to centrally operate the settings on the receiver to manipulate different speakers in multiple locations across the house.
Another nifty feature is the Reflex Optimizer, which navigates the sound emanating from the speakers according to the direction, leading to a more comfortable sounding audio. Lastly, the Phase Control further synchronizes the sound to better manage the bass and control the sound as it travels between speakers. This leads to a well-composed and seamless sound quality.
- Super easy to understand, with minor tech capabilities required to assemble
- The surround sound quality on this receiver is absolutely divine. The MCACC feature really works overtime to deliver seamless and crisp sound through fine-tuning phase control, which instantly applies to balance all the speakers regardless of their location in the house.
- You can operate the receiver remotely using the Multi-Room Fire Connect features, while Chromecast and AutoConnect enable you to remotely access the streaming capability of the receiver to operate the speakers in any location.
- It delivers surround sound quality audio accompanied by high-quality visuals through 4K, 4:4:4 and Dolby Visual compatibility. When combined, these features make for a one-of-a-kind viewing experience.
- Fine-tune the sound coming from the speakers using the Reflex Optimizer, which guides the sound according to the direction and acoustics of the room in order to deliver a more accurate and noninvasive sound to your ears
- Enjoy internet and online radio as well as online music streaming with built-in dual-band WiFi.
- Setting up this receiver is not as quick and easy as one would expect; however, the user’s manual does ease the pressure for novice users.
- It only offers connectivity for 6.1 channels, a capacity that limits the ability of the receiver to connect with more devices that might become part of your home entertainment system in the future.
This Yamaha receiver delivers epic surround sound quality through features like Dolby Atmos and DTS:X. It’s fully compatible with 4K and Ultra HD passthrough so that you can enjoy the best that these technologies can offer. You can play music on your favorite streaming services, like Tidal and Spotify, through WiFi, or opt for offline mobile streaming through Bluetooth, AirPlay and the AV Controller App. If you’re concerned about quality and clarity, then you’ll be glad to know that it also comes fully equipped with sound-balancing features like Volume Equalizer, hi-res audio support and Compressed Music Enhancer for that pleasant studio quality sound.
Not only does it feature 7.1 channels, but it also offers the option to spread the sound and distribute it across multiple speakers in different rooms. To control audio in the consecutive rooms, there’s a dedicated Zone 2 Audio feature which comes with extra bass, volume equalizer and main zone sync, which you can use to coordinate the sound from the main receiver to the speakers peppered around the house.
It also comes with 6 HDMI inputs and one output, which come with HDR video, BT.2020, and HDCP 2.2 support. There’s even a Phono input that you can use to connect a turntable to play your vinyls, and a Party Mode setting which has been configured to deliver sound that really brings the house down (in a good way, of course).
- This receiver is so versatile and cool that you can even connect it to a turntable! Imagine all the fun you could have with a turntable, super bass and surround sound sensation. Epic!
- Enjoy immersive studio quality sound in up to 9 additional rooms by activating MusicCast, a feature that allows you to enjoy evenly distributed sound across different speakers in several rooms.
- The sound quality on this is truly on point, featuring surround sound made possible by Dolby Amos and DTS:X. Using extraordinary attention to detail, this sound technology delivers an extraordinarily dynamic and multi-dimensional sound.
- It also offers full 4K and Ultra HD passthrough via HDCP 2.2 and BT.2020 support, delivering realistic visuals, vivid color and amazing contrasts.
- Streaming is made easy through built-in WiFi. But if you’re not able to connect to the internet, you can use Wireless Direct to play audio through your mobile devices using AirPlay and the AV Controller App.
- It delivers distortion-free sound with absolute clarity.
- You can select Eco Mode or Standby to reduce energy consumption by 20%.
- This receiver doesn’t contain a switched outlet on the back, which is otherwise a common feature for equipment of this nature and allows you to better control the subwoofer. With this setup, you pretty much have to make do with having your subwoofer on at all times
- The owner’s manual come in DVD format only and there’s no printed version available, which can be a peeve for those who prefer reading hard-copy documents. Plus, it’s more convenient and accessible to have the owner’s manual in paperback.
This Yamaha receiver sounds great with any speaker combination, and comes with digital inputs that are able to process and deliver an immaculate and dynamic sound. It comes with an MM phono cartridge that allows you to connect a turntable and enjoy both analogue and digital vinyl, and a USB connector on the front panel to connect mobile devices and USB thumb drives.
The digital inputs are compatible for both Blu-ray and TV outputs, while the solid quality promised by this receiver is backed up by technology features like 5.6 MHz DSD, AIFF and hi-res audio processing through Burr-Brown 192 kHz / 24-bit DAC. You can spread out the music audio experience throughout your house using the MusicCast feature and a few extra speakers or sound bars.
Other awesome features on this receiver include unlimited streaming through WiFi, Bluetooth and Wireless Direct, 80 watt by 80 watt sound power capacity with low distortion, low impedance (ToP-ART), and the capacity to handle 8ohms speakers. This review would be amiss if we didn’t’ mention the stunning design of this spectacular machine, with its super interactive interface, silver hairline textured surface and smooth control knobs with a sleek finish.
- Super easy to understand, with minor tech capabilities required to assemble
- Linking this to WiFi, Bluetooth and AirPlay is an effortless exercise, and this feature performs flawlessly to stream music and internet radio from some of the best online platforms available.
- Setup is quick and easy.
- The receiver can handle 8 ohm-speakers and has 80 watt sound power capacity.
- It comes with several inputs to help you enjoy a wide variety of entertainment, including an MM phono cartridge, front panel USB connector, and digital inputs with TV and Blu-ray compatibility.
- MusicCast feature allows you to enjoy high-quality sound from anywhere in your house.
- Unfortunately, this receiver cannot handle being turned up to an extremely loud volume, and automatically shuts itself off when the load gets too much. It also heats up from regular use, which then affects the quality of the sound and overall performance.
- It doesn’t work well for large spaces and is best suited to a more compact environment.
- The MusicCast app capability could use some improvement, as it tends to be problematic and is not intuitive enough.
With 5 channels processing 50 watts of power each, it’s safe to say that this is a rather modest unit. But it packs a punch when it comes to the quality as it delivers a low-impedance sound with 4-ohm speakers. For example, it has full-rate 4K/ 60 Hz passthrough, super clear and vibrant 4:4:4 color resolution, and HDR and BT.2020 support.
Apart from the mentioned inputs, it also comes with 6 HDMI inputs, with one being placed on the front, and Dolby TrueHD for an unmatched cinematic experience. There’s also built-in WiFi and Bluetooth, as well as HEOS integration to calibrate the sound and create a synchronized and seamless audio and video viewing opportunity.
You can also stream music from your private library using Bluetooth and AirPlay. Other features include high-resolution surround sound, DTS-HD Master Audio and the Marantz 2016 AVR Remote app, which you can download and use to remotely control the receiver’s settings from anywhere in your house using your mobile device.
- Despite its compact size, this device proves that dynamite comes in small packages, as it delivers surround sound quality in multiple rooms through HEOS technology.
- It has a sleek, attractive and innovative design.
- It features 6 HDMI ports alongside 5 channels with 50-watt sound power-processing capacity.
- It has 4K passthrough with HDR and BT. 2022 support.
- Airplay and Bluetooth allows you to play music from your own mobile playlist wirelessly, while WiFi connectivity enables music streaming through online streaming services like Tidal and Spotify.
- The sound quality is superb, very clear and genuine-sounding.
- The setup to use the HEOS technology speakers can involve an intricate and difficult process.
- The 5.1 sound is definitely not recommended for bigger spaces.
With only two 100-watt channels, this powerful receiver from Yamaha comes with subwoofer support and Yamaha’s signature design. This includes super low distortion and automatic frequency level adjustment to balance out the sound throughout different volume levels. Hook-up conduits include a phono input, 6 RCA inputs and a CD player to enjoy a variety of audio entertainment.
You can expand the sound onto a second room using the Dual-zone support feature, which is great for when you’re having friends over for a get-together and you want everyone to enjoy the same music quality throughout the house.
Setup is super simple thanks to gold plated jacks, and it also comes with Sirius XM radio built-in and with over 40 stations to choose from.
- Heart-thumping bass is at your fingertips with this receiver, which features specialized subwoofer support alongside two 100-watt channels.
- Enjoy detailed and distortion-free sound with automatic frequency control, which balances the sound across all volume levels.
- Experience the same music quality in more than one area of your house with Dual-zone support.
- It has built-in Sirius XM radio for your entertainment pleasure, with over 40 stations to choose from.
- It features 6 RCA inputs, a CD player as well as a phono input for your vinyl collection.
- It doesn’t have any built-in network capability such as WiFi and AirPlay, and Bluetooth has to be connected through a wire.
- It as requires a radio tuning kit in order to enjoy the built-in Sirius XM radio feature.
- There’s no USB port or even MP3 support.
Things to consider when buying a receiver
Home Stereo receivers are fairly simple devices that serve a straightforward purpose, but they’re available in such a wide variety that it can be hard to distinguish the best ones from the multifarious options. Luckily, there are a few key features that come with each receiver, the availability of which you can use to distinguish between the best receivers and the average ones. Some of the main features that you should look for include:
Surround Sound Capacity
Having a home entertainment system that incorporates surround sound is an ideal way to enjoy realistic sound and movie-theatre like experience from the comfort of your home. Surround sound systems offer a wide range of sound possibilities which you can choose according to your preferences.
There’s your average 5.1 and 6.1 speaker arrangement, which is what most living room setups opt for. Then there are more elaborate arrangements from 7.1 up to a whopping 11.1 speaker system. These would probably fit perfectly with a ‘fully-equipped’ home movie theatre room and certain Blu-ray movies that are pre-programmed to optimally operate on a 7.1 and higher setup.
In case you’re wondering, the .1 reflected in the description of these speaker systems refers to the subwoofer which usually comes with the speakers. The number of speakers themselves is provided as the value before the .1, i.e. 5.1 mean 5 speakers and 1 subwoofer, and so on. Although one subwoofer is sufficient to provide a decent heart-thumping bass, some sophisticated arrangements come with two subwoofers, and are a favorite among serious audiophiles.
To realize true surround sound potential and get the most out your favorite movie sound tracks, opt for a receiver that comes pre-programmed with Dolby Digital and DTS sound-processing capacity. To ensure that you get the benefit of all these surround sound features while eliminating the need to find a matching sound system, try and find a receiver that comes with its own set of speakers.
Another good tip is to purchase a surround sound system whose power complements the size of your room, keeping in mind that a powerful surround sound works well in a spacious area, while a modest system with moderate power is enough to cater to the average living room.
The number of inputs you need your receiver to have depends on what you’ll be using it for. The more varied your entertainment needs are, the more inputs you’ll require. Since technology is always evolving, a general rule of thumb is to purchase a receiver with more inputs than you require in order to make room for the future expansion of your entertainment system.
The simplest way to figure out how many inputs you require is to list all the equipment that you’ll be connecting to the receiver, taking into consideration the fact that some of your equipment may require older inputs in order to operate. Some of the most common inputs include:
5 RCA plugs (for component audio and video)
3 RCA plugs in white, yellow and red (for composite audio and video)
2 RCA plugs (to process stereo audio)
TOSLINK optical audio
HDMI is an all-inclusive cable that is able to transfer audio and video signals from several devices such as computers and gaming consoles. It is often the only additional output you’ll need apart from the ones you’ll be using immediately. Some models even come with more than one HDMI output to enable easy adjustment between TV and projector. If being able to enjoy 3D entertainment is a priority for you, then be sure to buy a receiver with 3D signal processing capability.
4K Ultra HD and Upscaling
4K quality is the new trend when it comes to visual technology, and it’s not hard to see why, as it delivers high-definition visuals with lifelike detail. To ensure that your receiver is compatible with 4K technology, look out for the ‘4K passthrough’ output, which comes as a standard built-in feature for modern-day receivers. This matches with the 4K TV cable that comes with 4K TVs.
On the other hand, a receiver with upscaling makes it possible to upgrade video with lower resolution to high quality 4K or 1080p.
Extra Attachments and Features
Modern-day receivers allow you to connect mobile devices, computers and more. To ensure that your receiver caters to these extra connections, look out for the distinguishing keywords:
AirPlay - To transport audio and video signal from iPad and iPhone devices
Wireless or Ethernet connectivity - To wirelessly connect mobile devices in order to transfer and view video, music and visual content
Internet Radio - To stream music on services such as Spotify and Tidal
DNLA (Digital Living Network Alliance) - To stream content like photos, videos and music from the relevant sources
Smartphone control - This feature allows you to control your receiver from a smartphone using a compatible Android or iOS app
These features are nice add-ons, but there’s really no need to pay extra just to have them, as they’ll probably get passed out by more sophisticated technology in a few years. Additionally, HDMI is the only extra feature you really need in order to adapt to the changing requirements of future entertainment systems.
What to Look Out For When Purchasing The Best Receiver
A good-quality receiver acts as the primary center of the entire home theatre system. It connects speakers to video and audio components while delivering surround sound quality and tuning radio stations. With a superior receiver, you can enjoy all the features that come with that Ultra-HD TV, super speakers and other awesome devices and equipment that you have.
Although they possess similar features, receivers differ when it comes to quality, and some definitely offer more than others. Consider the following features before purchasing a receiver and you should be able to select the right one for your particular system and its needs:
The power capacity of a receiver determines its ability to deliver voluminous sound with clarity and little or no distortion. A receiver with a high wattage rating will typically offer powerful sound that remains balanced across low, medium and maximum notes.
Ensure that the receiver you purchase is able to handle not only the powerful sound capacity of the speakers but can also clearly convey the sound throughout the room in which it is housed. Generally, large spaces require a more powerful receiver to deliver a more powerful sound.
The receiver should have several inputs and outputs to accommodate a variety of equipment and devices. It should allow you to connect to several components at once, from TVs to speakers, mobile devices and gaming systems. There should also be extra inputs and outputs just in case you choose to add more devices to your system later.
Also ensure that you get a receiver with the right type of inputs for the equipment that you currently have in your home entertainment system. There’s no use getting a high-end receiver if it doesn’t connect all your devices. Another important point to note is that a receiver with digital connections is more able to deliver quality audio and video than the legacy analogue versions. Again, an HDMI connection is a must-have if you really want to reap the benefits of all your high-end HD and 4K enabled technology.
Having a user-friendly interface is one of the most important elements of a well-made receiver. The setup and operation of the receiver should be simple and straightforward, with easy to understand and clearly defined controls, and a visible display that you can easily navigate. A graphical interface is great, but what’s even better is a receiver that comes pre-programmed with different display options for information like music playlist, movie information and album art to name but a few.
As mentioned, Airplay compatibility allows the receiver to wirelessly process content from apps and services that are accessed through mobile devices. This means you can choose between streaming music from your iPad or directly from streaming apps like Spotify and Pandora. Therefore, the Airplay feature is a must-have for music aficionados who enjoy storing and playing music from these digital platforms.
A good-quality receiver is relatively easy to setup, even for the most inexperienced user. Some models come with automatic speaker calibration, which is the ability to instantly fine-tune and balance the sound once speakers have been connected. By examining the spatial relationship of the speakers to the surrounding environment, the receiver self-corrects to eliminate any kinks in performance. This ensures that all the connected devices are operating to their ultimate potential. If any of the components are not connected, you’ll be able to tell, as the receiver will either eliminate its participation or alert you. This makes for incredible ease of use, and works equally well for modern surround sound systems as well as more antiquated home entertainment systems.
Well, there you have it, a comprehensive guide to the best stereo receivers on the market. While the list has captured mostly innovative and high-tech equipment, we’ve also made sure to cater to old-school audiophiles with phono-compatible receivers with MP3 and CD player capability. Remember to keep in mind the size of your space as well as your specific needs when purchasing a receiver and you’ll be sure to find one that’ll last you for years to come. What is a stereo receiver? click here