And some receivers, like the cheaper Denon above, also allow you to expand your channel quota by adding more amps into the mix. We are always very careful about recommending receivers under $300, as they can be hit and miss. We won’t go into how to do that here – the methods differ between manufacturers – but the upshot of it is that you need your receiver and your smart speaker to be on the same Wi-Fi network. Still, the receiver sounds sensational, with precise imaging that really makes the most of Dolby Atmos encoding. The likes of Yamaha, Sony, and Marantz are regarded as some of the best AV receiver manufactures. Try one of our best soundbars on for size. This is one of the best AV Receiver for gaming enthusiasts or professionals, but it is not budget-friendly. The AVR connects via Ethernet or Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth with NFC for quick pairing, plus Airplay. A lot of the picks on this list don't actually look like much. When you’ve got a system with this many wires and settings, it’s surprisingly easy for things to go wrong. Channels: 5.1Dolby Atmos: NoDTS:X: NoWattage Per Channel: 145/6Ω, Two-Channels DrivenWhat We Like: Offers a lot for the price, with good sound and features.What We Don't: Not really suited to floorstanding speakers. That’s why we think the Marantz SR6014 is the best option if you demand the ultimate in surround sound. You've probably noticed the numbers 5.1, 7.1, and 9.2 floating around this article. These include the ability to add speakers in an additional zone, meaning this could easily power the audio in an entire house. And compared to other budget receivers, here, the AVR-S540BT loses out big time. It’s crisp and exciting, particularly when there’s plenty going on around the soundstage (try it with Edge of Tomorrow Blu-ray, then duck as the DTS HD Master Audio soundtrack unloads chaos in every corner). Atmos-enabled speakers can come with such drivers already built-in, and you can buy Atmos-modules that will work with your existing speakers. A 5.1.2 Atmos set-up would be like a traditional 5.1 surround system (in other words, five speakers and a subwoofer) but with an added pair of ceiling speakers (or Atmos modules): the '2' in 5.1.2. The receiver with the best room calibration on our list is the Denon AVR-X8500H, which has astounding intelligence. This isn’t a particularly musical AVR though. The system’s menu also allows user-definable level adjustment, and can even boost hard-to-hear dialogue above the other sounds. The feature set is just unbelievable. While other receivers like the $279 Denon AVR-S540BT have a little more sonic weight to them, the STR-DH590 delivers great precision and detail. Let's say you have a source that only offers 2.1, 5.1, or 7.1 audio – in other words, audio that has been mixed for speakers at ear-level. The answer? Case in point: smart control. Channels: 9.2Dolby Atmos: YesDTS:X: YesWattage Per Channel: 90/8Ω, Two-Channels DrivenWhat We Like: Clean Sonos integration makes wireless speaker audio a breeze.What We Don't: We think it’s overpriced right now. Home theater can be crazy confusing, especially if you’re just starting out. It smokes any other receiver here, even beating out competitors like the $1,499 Marantz SR6015, our pick for surround sound. It’s more important to match speakers well, and you can do that by looking at output specs. What we wouldn't give for some original receiver names…See the Sony STR-DN1080. We’d much rather steer you in the direction of the less-expensive, just-as-good X3600H. It’s an exciting time for HDMI at the moment - as much as you can ascribe excitement to a cable connection. There’s no front panel display. The Pioneer SC-LX904 may have a higher price than some are willing to spend, but it delivers absolutely epic sound. Thank you for signing up to TechRadar. We need to point out that an Auro-3D installation (or an upgrade from a regular surround system) can be a bit tricky due to the very specific positions, heights and angles of the additional Auro-3D overhead layers and wall speakers. It's in direct competition with DTS-HD Master Audio. Essentially, if you see either of these, it means that your receiver will still be able to take a Dolby Atmos or DTS:X mix and do something with it, even if it is incapable of those high-end surround sound programs. But hiding them away causes more problems than it solves, as it also means you may not be able to use your remote. There are a huge number of connections on the back of any given receiver unit, both analog and digital, and we could spend quite a while going into great detail of which ones you’ll need. In order to get the high-end sound to make the most of your 4K TV, you'll need to buy an AV receiver as well. All of these things affect the sound. But really, that’s one of the few downsides. Dirac tuning is not carried out by the receiver with a microphone, but via a laptop. Yamaha recently refreshed their entry-level line of receivers, of which the 7.2-channel RX-V6A is one. However, it’s out of reach for most people, which makes it hard to recommend that everybody buy it. It’s a very good option, and felt like it was versatile enough to work in both big and small rooms, but it didn’t do anything we hadn’t already seen before. It’s the latest version of Anthem’s ARC software, and includes some significant improvements. If you have to put it in a cabinet, make sure it at least has enough space. 5.1-channel surround audio has been around for two decades now, and it’s become the benchmark for home theater sound, offering a far more immersive audio perception than regular two-channel stereo... We get it. As and when 8K content becomes a big deal, we’ll reevaluate this. We got those figures by chatting to our contacts at home theater companies. The receiver relies heavily on its UI, which is pretty but sometimes a little frustrating. This is what you'll be using if your system doesn't have height speakers, but you still wish to use a Dolby audio mix. When we say HDMI I/O, we mean HDMI Inputs/Outputs. It’s a crucial part of the whole home theater experience, and will help you get the best out of your receiver, and indeed your whole system. The market is a crowded one, so we’ve picked out some of the best A/V receivers for this year for you to choose from - whatever your budget, or room size. Therefore, Yamaha RX-V681BL AV Receiver is one of the best AV receivers that … However, right now, it’s only worth considering if you’re a gamer and want to get the absolute best out of your XBox or PS5. There’s 8K compatibility (although there’s scant content right now that can take advantage of it), HDMI 2.1, and crucially, Variable Refresh Rate. Channels: 9.1.6Dolby Atmos: YesDTS:X: YesWattage Per Channel: 110/8Ω, Two-Channels DrivenWhat We Like: Unbelievable sound quality and power.What We Don’t: Staggering price tag, no Auro-3D. New York, Channels: 7.2Dolby Atmos: YesDTS:X: YesWattage Per Channel: 100/8Ω, Two-Channels DrivenWhat We Like: Great range of features for the price.What We Don't: Sound quality isn't super-exciting. As good a receiver as it is, it’s a real puzzle that it doesn’t have Google ChromeCast, which most other receivers above it in this list have. When given the option, you can be as detailed as you want with your calibration. NY 10036. 1. Right now, however, only a few receiver models have this functionality, although you can expect many more to include it in the coming months. It tips the scales at a reassuringly heavy 16kg. Why not? You can add wireless speakers via Denon’s HEOS functionality (although the less-expensive Yamaha RX-V685 is a better option for this) and there are clever features like Apple AirPlay 2 and smart assistants included. That makes it fiddly and irritating to setup. Sonos speakers a hugely popular, and with good reason: when it comes to wireless audio, they are among the easiest and best sounding options available. So, the best way to make your own home theater is by buying an AV receiver. And to complete your speaker setup, see our article on the Best Home Theater Systems. We also have to give it a black mark for the on-screen interface, which is hugely clunky and outdated. Of the receiver models I've reviewed, the 2019 Onkyo TX-NR696 is still my favorite pick for best AV receiver for a home theater system. However, there’s no escaping the fact that the majority of the cost goes towards the advanced music features of this model. If your source is Atmos-capable – like, for example, a Blu-ray disc – but your receiver isn't, the mix will be output as Dolby TrueHD. The product is pretty expensive, but this should not come as … The problem is that the sound quality isn't nearly as meaty as the Denon AVR-S-750H, which actually costs much less It's still very good – you certainly won't feel shortchanged. Best for Custom Installs: Sony STRZA5000ES 9.2-Channel AV Receiver Buy on Amazon Buy on EBay Buy on Sony.com You’ve put a lot of time into building your personal home theater system, so you need an equally customizable AV receiver to complete the set. There's a preamplifier and an amplifier, for handling audio signals, a set of video inputs to work out where to send the visuals, and a decoder to separate the two. In addition, there may be a separate surround sound decoder, which splices the audio into its different channels and makes sure they get to the correct speaker. Bear in mind that this is our take on it, and should be used more as a guideline than anything else. It’s an excellent receiver, with a huge range of features and warm, engaging sound quality. But it makes up for it with solid sound quality that has real punch and pizzazz. Even if you are not a fan of Spotify, Pandora, Deezer, or similar services, you will sooner or later need some of them. There are four HDMI inputs, and a single output, all with HDCP 2.2 support. But most of all, the best AV receivers deliver brilliant, room-filling sound. But... what is an AV receiver, you ask? The design is understated, with a nice matte cabinet finish and big central volume knob. We’ll admit: in the past, we haven’t always been clear about what this means. It sounds tricky, but all this number describes is a picture size: 3,840 by 2,160 pixels, to be precise. Connect your TV to the receiver’s HDMI Out port, using a standard HDMI cable. 1. Channels: 11.2Dolby Atmos: YesDTS:X: YesWattage Per Channel: 140/8Ω, Two-Channels DrivenWhat We Like: Incredible sound and power at a surprisingly affordable price point.What We Don't: Only worth the cost if you plan to use advanced music features. There are several receivers on our list which do include smart speaker control, usually using Amazon’s Alexa software. When making this list, we chose to only include receivers that have the ability to power speakers. 5 Best AV Receiver In India 2020 – Price & Review. With a DTS:X-enabled receiver connected, the rest of the setup is straightforward, really - the auto-calibration system optimizes all dialogue and sound effects feeds for you. The sound quality – especially the low-end – has excellent weight and presence to it. One of the most common questions we get via email is what we mean when we refer to big, medium, and small rooms. This is the amount of power that the amp will push through to your speakers, and it can be as low as 30 watts (W) and as high as 500 watts. It's an incredibly confusing time to be shopping for a new AV receiver. There are also two HDMI outputs, for combi TV and projector use. But if you want to do this, you need a receiver that treats music just as well as it treats movies, and in all our testing, the Denon AVR-S960H did the best job here. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. There are a few key components inside each box. The biggest investment, though, would be for the additional elevated speakers - even for a minimal Dolby Atmos setup, you would need at least two ceiling speakers on top of a regular surround set, if not four. (However, that said, you may not need Dolby Atmos at all, in which case a standard 5.1 sound system will fill your surround sound needs nicely.). It truly is one of the finest receivers we’ve ever tested, impressing us with hard-hitting, muscular sound. AV receivers have added capabilities that speakers don’t have. We've asked Denon for an answer, and will update when they reply.See the Denon AVR-X8500H. While the volume of your room does have an impact on the sound, we think that, as long as your ceilings are at least eight feet high, you’ll be fine. They also give you extra video input options as well. For example, you may struggle to issue voice commands while a movie or a series is playing at top volume. Put simply, it's the standard non-Atmos Dolby software, and will give you surround sound without the height elements. The receiver … There's only really one exception, which is Amazon Alexa functionality. As you can imagine, this does much the same thing, but for sources decoded with the DTS:X format. Channels: 7.2Dolby Atmos: YesDTS:X: YesWattage Per Channel: 90/8Ω, Two-Channels DrivenWhat We Like: Great sound quality, and useful features that work really well with music.What We Don't: Lacks a few key features that we would have liked to see at this price. A hair under $800 feels like a lot, especially when you take into account the sound quality, which is good rather than great. And if you can imagine a type of surround sound program or a receiver technology, it's here. Best AV receiver under £300. But without this box, your home theater setup is going nowhere. And we highly recommend doing so, if you can. Don’t blame us; blame the industry. For example, it’s pretty clear that our the $1,499 Marantz SR6014 will be best suited for rooms above 250 square feet, thanks to its large power output. Channels: 9.2Dolby Atmos: YesDTS:X: YesWattage Per Channel: 125/8Ω, Two-Channels DrivenWhat We Like: Unreal sound quality, virtually perfect design, enhanced power supplies.What We Don't: Not ideal for smaller rooms.