The new models include: We hope to bring in at least the STR-AN1000 and STR-AZ3000ES for our next round of testing. The more height speakers you add, the more convincing the effectbut that requires more amp channels, which necessitates a more expensive AV receiver. It also offers better multiroom audio and video support than the AVR-X1700H. $499.95. This process gives the system a more complete snapshot of your rooms acoustics. Its also an affordable choice for anyone who already has a 5.1 system in place but needs to upgrade their receiver because it doesnt support 4K, HDR, or features of the new HDMI 2.1 spec designed for modern gaming consoles. In most cases, you would probably use the built-in Class G channels to run your basic 5.1/7.1 speaker layout then add external amplifiers to add the extra height channels to a maximum of 8 more speakers. If you need a new home theater receiver, check out these top-rated 5 best high-end AV receivers. The other spec to be aware of is the rated total harmonic distortion of 0.01%. Expensive. As we were wrapping up testing for this update, Sony announced a new commitment to AV receivers with the introduction of several new modelsall of which feature support for 8K video and 4K at 120 Hz, along with Sonys proprietary 360 Spatial Sound Mapping. It also represents a modest but appreciable improvement over our previous upgrade pick, the now-discontinued AVR-X3700H. And if you prefer a more traditional approach, some receivers allow you to distribute audio sources (and sometimes video, too) to a second zone via wired connections. One significant new feature in the latest AVENTAGE receivers is support for 8K/60 Hz video or 4K at 120 Hz. An AV receiver can also serve as a music hub for your home, since many of them can connect to a home network and stream audio around the house via platforms such as Apples AirPlay 2, Googles Chromecast, or proprietary systems like Denons Heos and Yamahas MusicCast, which are designed to compete with the likes of Sonos. AV receiver is a multi-channel device with digital audio stream decoders, tuner, and switcher for audio and video signals for use in home theater systems. For most users, 7.1 capacity is more than enough, and that's what we . This means you can install a complete object-based surround sound speaker layout of 7.2.4 without adding any further amplification or 9.2.2 if you wish. *At the time of publishing, the price was $599. Marantz SR8015 is one of the latest, most advanced, and most expensive AV receivers from Marantz. The general consensus is that ARC is on par with the highly respected Dirac Live system that Arcam uses (amongst others). The best all-purpose AV receiver The AVR-X1700H is a great-sounding, easy-to-use, 7.1-channel receiver that has all the needed features to satisfy movie fans, music lovers, and gamers alike.. I have always found the Audyssey system does a great job of correcting and balancing your rooms sound, and this unit comes with the top-end Audyssey MultEQ XT32 version. The Denon AVR-X3700H has just about every feature in a receiver, including seven HDMI inputs and three outputs and a dedicated port that supports 8K/60Hz and 4K/120Hz video pass-through and upscaling. One of the main new features in this years release is support for 8K video. It does come at a hefty price, but if you want a receiver with the lot, this beauty could be the one for you. In our voice-intelligibility stress testthe Mines of Moria sequences from The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring on UHD Blu-raythe AVR-X3800H provided a big leap in clarity over the AVR-X1700H. Instead of reaching for one remote to turn on your TV . Look for full HDMI 2.1 compatibility. If youre willing to add an outboard stereo amp, the AVR-X3800H has preamp outputs that allow you to expand the total speaker count to 11. The receiver has Bluetooth support for streaming audio, as well as a handy setup wizard that walks you through the process of setting up a complete surround-sound system. The AVR-X3800Hs remote looks similar to the one that comes with the AVR-X1700H, but we didnt have the same IR issues with this one. Denon AVR-S960H ($499) Channels: 7.2 They all offer the highest engineering standards and will provide outstanding sound for movies and music. Marantz is a manufacturer with a rich history of hi-fi products, so you can be sure their AV receivers will receive the same attention to detail. The sound quality of this machine is right up there with the best. Our only minor qualms with the AVR-X1700H are that the remote controls infrared signal can be finicky and the receiver can run a bit warm when youre pushing your speaker system to high volumes. The MRX series has three models in the range and was updated in 2020 and refreshed in 2022 with 8K support. Another noteworthy feature that we wouldnt have necessarily expected from a receiver at this price is Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization, which mimics the effect of overhead speakers surprisingly well even if all the speakers are at ear level. 2023 Wirecutter, Inc., A New York Times Company. If you want to get into wireless audio around your home, youre also in luck. Talking of HDMI, there are 7 HDMI connections on the rear and 3 outputs. The popular voice-control technologies of Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and Apple Siri are also supported. Lastly, because the AVR-X1700H relies on less-efficient Class AB amplifier technology (which is typical of AV receivers), it can run quite warm during extended use, especially at higher listening levels, so make sure to give it plenty of room to breathe. In my opinion, one of the best benefits of a Denon receiver is the Audyssey automatic room acoustic correction technology. Because the AVR-S570BT doesnt have a lot of features, its particularly easy to set up, even if you dont have much experience; on-screen prompts and a well-labeled back panel help you get everything running correctly even if youre a rookie. HDMI 2.1 support is slowly appearing in new AV receivers. This unit has dual 32-bit ESS SABRE ES9026PRO DACS for delivering high-quality sound that should satisfy all but the most demanding audiophile. The Cinema 50, on the other hand, is a really close match for the AVR-X3800H but costs $800 more. Was $599.95. There are 7 HDMI inputs and 3 outputs, which should be plenty for most setups. The main output supports the newer Enhanced Audio Return Channel (eARC) which can help send high-resolution 3D audio from your TV apps to the receiver. With support for Yamahas MusicCast system, you can use the app to stream music wirelessly around your home and you can have MusicCast speakers in up to 9 rooms around the house. Are you a hardcore gamer who wants support for the newest gaming features? Denon AVR-S660H. Correcting the imperfections in sound caused by your room is underrated by many and will allow you to get the best from your hardware. Price? I have been reviewing AV equipment for two decades, for publications from Robb Report Home Entertainment to Home Theater magazine to to SoundStage. In Standard mode, all of your subwoofers are monophonic and receive the same low-frequency information, even if theyre configured differently in terms of level, delay, and the like. If you want an AV receiver that works for movies and music, then an Arcam receiver should be on your radar. Onkyo TX-SR393. If you run Audyssey through the receivers interface and decide afterward that you want to upgrade to use the app, you have to reconnect the mic and place it at all eight measurement positions and listen to the test tones again. Thats because our hands-on testing has shown that the brands lineup consistently offers the best bang for the buck in performance and features, and that it does a better job of simplifying the potentially complicated process of setting up a home theater system. However, recently they have introduced the HDA series of amplifiers and players, which are now considered their top-performing products. Anthem doesnt have a long list of AV receivers to choose from. Our biggest beef: Though the remote control is well designed (with neither too many buttons nor too few, and some nice use of tactile contrast to guide you toward the controls you need the most), we often found that we had to aim it right at the front of the receiver for it to register commands, even from as close as 6 feet away. And the new MRX 1140 also adds DTS:X Pro support, allowing upmixing for speaker layouts over 11.2 channels. This 5.1-channel AV receiver supports high-quality Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio soundtracks (but not the overhead speakers of Dolby Atmos and DTS:X), and it offers four HDMI 2.1compliant inputs that support 8K video at 60Hz and 4K video at 120 Hz, along with auto low-latency mode, variable refresh rate, and quick frame transport, but not quick media switching. Moving up to a 7.1-channel receiver gives you the option to add an extra pair of surround speakers in the rear of the room, to power a second audio zone, or to build a basic Dolby Atmos/DTS:X system with two overhead speakersprovided that the receiver has Dolby Atmos and DTS:X decoding (most newer 7.1-channel models do). With full support for Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, Dolby Surround and DTS Neural:X this unit can fully use your complete speaker system. Or, you can watch videos in zone 2 or 4 while enjoying something else in the main room. Indeed, in most cases, an AV Receiver is significantly cheaper than a more specialized AV Processor. For the movie lover who wants to add more speakers, The Best Surround-Sound Systems Under $2,500, How to Connect Your New Turntable to Any Audio System, How Automatic Room Correction Can Help (and Hurt) Your Sound System, The Best AV Gear for Console and PC Gamers, Get Better TV Sound (Without a Lot of Wires), The Best Gear for Building Your Home Theater. It has six HDMI inputs, three of which are HDMI 2.1 compatible and support the advanced gaming features found on the Microsoft Xbox Series X and Sony PlayStation 5 consoles. This inexpensive model features 2 channels and 220-watt power for superior audio. HDMI 2.1 is the newest version of the digital connection that all modern video-based components use. Take your time to consider what you need in a new AV receiver, and you will find the right model that ticks all the boxes. If you have a turntable that lacks a phono preamp, you may want a receiver with a phono input. (We recommend banana plugs for ease of setup, but theyre not necessary). There is also another stereo pair of XLR audio outputs. But it will do a fantastic job of balancing the sound in your room. This unit also has built-in HEOS wireless multi-room audio support. The contestants were systems composed mostly of recent Wirecutter picks: the Vizio SB46514-F6 from our best soundbar guide versus a full 5.1.4-channel system comprising the ELAC Debut 2.0 B6.2, B5 . But for the best future-proofing, you would probably be wise to purchase the latest version although it is slightly more expensive. However, expect stocks of the AVR30 to run out as they are replaced by the AVR31, so they may be hard to find. HDMI 2.1 support means this receiver will pass through 8K/60Hz and 4K/120Hz video if you have a device with this technology. Denons sibling company Marantz also has its own line of AV receivers, and were constantly getting questions from readers asking whether they should get a Denon or Marantz receiver. Heres how. Plug your source componentsyour media streamer, gaming console, cable or satellite receiver, or disc playerinto its inputs and then connect its outputs to your display and speakers, and the AV receiver will direct all of the AV signals to the right places and in the right formats. The Marantz Hyper-Dynamic Amplifier Modules have been developed over many years in their hi-fi products. In our testing, MultEQ XT32 proved to be a significant upgrade over the MultEQ XT room correction in our top pick, the AVR-X1700H, producing even more controlled bass, less seat-to-seat variation in the sound, and decidedly improved dialogue clarity. So, you get 8 HDMI inputs (1 at the front) and 3 outputs. This receiver is also one of the first models to support IMAX Enhanced. If you dont want to install height speakers in your room. It . If you have a good AV store near you, see if you can listen to these models in their listening room, and try to get it hooked up to similar speakers to your own. The downside of the Arcam is it is costly, and you will only get an incremental sound improvement over some of the cheaper receivers for all that extra money. Of course, if you only want to use the built-in class G channels without buying more power amplifiers then you can set up a very nice 5.2.2 Dolby Atmos or DTS:X system. Other factors that can make an expensive receiver value for money include: Appearance Strange as it may sound, some AV receivers cost a bit more due to their appearance. Five HDMI ports is probably the right number for most people, as it gives you inputs for every source youre likely to use in your home theater, with the option to add one or two more. You can stream music to it wirelessly via Bluetooth and Apple AirPlay 2, as well as the Heos wireless streaming platform (a competitor to the Sonos platform). As a result, you have to use Bluetooth to stream music, so you must keep your phone or other source device close to the receiveror you can add an inexpensive Wi-Fi streaming device. The Sony STR-DH790 offers excellent value for the price. The best universal remotes can help clean up the clutter on your coffee table. Sony STR-DH590. You might, for example, see designations like 5.1.2 or 5.2.4. The first numeral here refers to the number of conventional ear-level speakers that need to be amplified, the second refers to the number of subwoofer outputs, and the third number refers to the number of overhead channels. But when you invest in a more advanced room-correction technology such as Audyssey MultEQ XT32 or Dirac (both of which are available on AV receivers of various brands), you get the ability to customize the type of corrections and account for multiple subwoofers, and these systems do a better job of tuning the sound without making it seem overly processed. Then, in 2021, Denon released an updated version the AVR-X8500HA. If you need it, this receiver has plenty of power, and the 150 watts per channel (8 ohms, 20 Hz 20 kHz, 0.06% THD, 2ch driven) should be more than enough to fill even the largest room. The more expensive offerings from both brands offer Dirac room correction, which we really like, but those receivers fall short in other regards when compared with competitive models from Denon. FAQ. It has a depth of 482mm and weighs in at just over 51 lbs, so its not for the faint-hearted. It retails for $3800. Denon AVR-X6700H. Nothing in terms of features and performance but only suitable for those with a big budget. If you really want to take advantage of Dolby Atmos and DTS:X, you can have a 7.2.6 or 9.2.4 surround sound speaker system. However, all Arcam products should be considered for sound quality first and fancy features second. Alternatively, you could reserve two of those channels for a separate stereo audio zone in another room. Our focus here is on receivers that strike a good balance of performance, features, and value, so all of our picks are priced around $1,700 and below. Buying guide FAQ. The Yamaha RX-A8A is an 11.2-channel receiver with full support for Dolby Atmos and DTS:X. Todays soundbars offer a level of audio performance that would have been unimaginable 10 years ago, but they still have limitations in performance and flexibility: The speaker drivers have to be relatively small to fit inside a soundbar, youre usually limited to one subwoofer, and soundbars typically offer only a couple of connection options, to name a few. Your receiver needs to be able to connect all the HDMI source devices you have, which could include, for instance, a media streaming device, a cable or satellite box, a disc player, and a gaming console. Denon has removed the composite analog video inputs and outputs, but youre highly unlikely to need those at this point. Admittedly, eliminating the surround speakers during our head-to-head testing may have given a slightly unfair advantage to receivers with weaker power supplies that might struggle to drive multiple speakers simultaneously, but it made direct comparisons more manageable and allowed us to focus more on pure sound quality, as well as on the quantifiable and repeatable benefits of one room-correction system over another. You also get a front-panel USB port, plus three digital audio inputs and a pair of analog inputs around back. He has been a sound, lighting and audio-visual engineer for around 20 years. See all Receivers. Copyright 2009-2023 Home Cinema Guide | All Rights Reserved. The 5 in this case indicates the number of amplified channels: two front left and right speakers, one center speaker for dialogue and on-screen sound effects, and two surround-sound speakers located behind or to the side of the main listening position. The AVR-X1700H is also a great choice for gamers who want their system to have full compatibility with all the latest advanced gaming features found on the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 game consoles, including the ability to pass through a 4K 120 Hz signal. You can also find AVRs with seven channels of amplification, microphone-based auto calibration, adjustable crossover frequencies and even HDMI switching for well under $1,000. Budget-friendly. They are essentially the same, and most features are found in both models. In fact, the MRX 1140 also has processing for 15.2 channels, whereas the 1120 only had 11.2 pre-outs so it provides a significant upgrade over the older model. Be aware that there is just a single 8K HDMI input. Over the years, I have auditioned more receivers, preamps, and amplifiers than I care to count, and in recent years I have devoted an inordinate amount of time to learning about and testing room-correction systems of all varieties. This means that this receiver will pass through 8K/60p and 4K/120p video to your TV. We also like that the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth antennas for the AVR-X1700H have little plastic clips at the top of the chassis that keep them locked in place and out of the way. As you would expect, there is a host of other input types from component and composite video to optical and coaxial digital audio. In our testing, Standard mode delivered better performance with more consistent bass response from seat to seat, which is the main reason you would want so many subwoofers to begin with. Denon is always a brand you should consider when looking for a new AV receiver. The upmixing modes of Dolby Surround and DTS Neural:X are particularly effective in extending standard 5.1 soundtracks into your height speakers. Many receivers include built-in support for music streaming services such as Sirius XM, Spotify Connect, and Tidal, along with the ability to connect directly to internet radio stations and local DLNA media servers. Best 11.2 Receiver Reviews Marantz SR8015 - best 11-channel receiver Let's begin the best High-End receivers review with the Marantz SR8015. For example, a scene with loud sound effects and music will be optimized differently from one with quiet dialogue and ambient sound meaning the surround effect will change depending on what you are watching. Many current AV receivers and TVs support eARC, most support automatic low-latency mode, and even at the $600 level many models support variable refresh rate. Although they also have the AV41, a preamplifier/processor, meaning it doesnt have any built-in amplification for powering speakers, which you can pair with a separate power amplifier like their PA720. If youre still unsure and are looking for a particular sound, the only way is to hear them perform yourself. If you want to get as close as possible to the movie-theater experience at home and want the most flexibility in speaker selection and setup, you need an AV receiver at the heart of your AV system. Automatic room correction is handled by the excellent Audyssey MultEQ XT32 system, which will give fantastic results for cleaning up and balancing the sound in your room. *At the time of publishing, the price was $1,499. Also, we wish Denon did a better job of alerting buyers to the fact that the Audyssey room-correction system can incorporate the optional $20 MultEQ Editor mobile app, but that if you want to use it, you need to have the app running before you begin the room-correction measurement process. Plus, it has an RS-232C serial port for connecting to various alternative control systems, like Crestron, AMX and Savant. In addition, its loaded with all the music streaming platforms and services youre likely to subscribe to, and it sounds very good thanks to its Audyssey MultEQ XT room correction. We saw no option to skip this screen, so we had to exit the wizard altogether and start over from scratch. Check Price. It has enough inputs for all of your source devicesfrom your 4K Blu-ray player to your streaming media device to your turntableand its much easier to install and operate than similarly priced competitors. Denon AVR-X8500H. The connected speakers and how they interact with the room are the most significant impact on the sound that you hear. One of the biggest disappointments is that, even at the $1,500-and-above level, Onkyo and Pioneer receivers felt cheaply constructed when we perused them at retail (primarily Best Buy and Cohens) to decide what to bring in for in-depth hands-on testing, prompting concerns about their durability. The Cinema 60, for example, is comparable in many respects to the Denon AVR-X1700H on paperat least in terms of channel count, room-correction capabilities, HDMI inputs, and the likeyet it sells for the same price as the AVR-X3800H. Check Price. But if you watch movies with large groups of people, this is a pretty meaningful feature that we dont see on cheaper AV receivers. Anthem MRX 1140 8K 11.2-Ch AV Receiver, Top 5 High-End AV Receivers Comparison Table, Denon Home 150 Compact Wireless Smart Speaker, Sony AV Receivers Comparison: ES, AN, DN & DH Series, Zone 2 (HDMI & 2-ch audio - powered or line out), Dirac Live (Ready for Dirac Live Bass Control), 8K/60p & 4K/120p, HDCP2.3 / HDR10+, HDR10, Dolby Vision, HLG, Ethernet, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth aptXHD, AirPlay 2, Chromecast, Spotify Connect, Tidal Connect, Dolby Digital, DD+, Dolby TrueHD, Dolby Atmos, DTS, DTS-ES, DTS 96/24, DTS Express, DTS-HD HR Audio, DTS-HD Master Audio, DTS:X, Dolby Surround, Dolby Virtual Height, DTS Neural:X, DTS Virtual:X, IMAX Enhanced, 17-1/16 x 6-3/4 x 16-3/4 in | 433 x 171 x 425 mm, 4x Composite, 3x Component / 2x Composite, 1x Component, 7.1-Ch RCA, 6x Stereo RCA, 2x Optical, 2x Coaxial, 1x Phono, Zone 2 (HDMI & 2-ch audio - powered or line out) / Zone 3 (2-ch audio - powered or line out), Ethernet, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, AirPlay 2, HEOS, Spotify Connect, Alexa, Google Assistant, Siri (via Airplay 2),, DTS, DTS-ES (Matrix6.1 & Discrete6.1), DTS 96/24, DTS Express, DTS-HD HR Audio, DTS-HD Master Audio, DTS:X, DSD (2-ch - 5.1-ch, 2.8 MHz), LPCM (Up to 192/24 7.1ch), Auro-3D, Dolby Surround, Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization Technology, DTS:X Pro, DTS Neural:X, DTS Virtual:X, IMAX Enhanced, 17.3 x 7.3 x 18.1 in | 440 x 185 x 460 mm (w/o antenna), 6x Stereo RCA, 2x Optical, 2x Coaxial, 1x Phono, Zone 2 (HDMI + Component + Composite & 2-ch audio - powered or line out) / Zone 3 (Component + Composite & 2-ch audio - powered or line out), Ethernet, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth (Send & Receive), AirPlay 2, HEOS, 17.1 x 7.7 x 19 in | 434 x 195 x 482 mm (w/o antenna), 1x Stereo XLR, 5x Stereo RCA, 3x Optical, 2x Coaxial, 1x Phono, 11.2-Ch / Front L+R (XLR), Zone 2 & Zone 3 (2-Ch), Zone 2 (HDMI & 2-ch audio - powered or line out) / Zone 3 (2-ch audio - powered or line out) / Zone 4 (HDMI), YPAO Multipoint (with Reflected Sound Control), 3D, 64-bit High Precision EQ Calculation, Low Frequency mode and Angle Measurement, 8K/60p & 4K/120p, HDCP 2.3 / HDR10+, HDR10, Dolby Vision, HLG, Ethernet, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth (Transmit & Receive), MusicCast Surround + Multi-Room, AirPlay 2, Spotify Connect, Alexa, Google Assistant, Siri (via Airplay 2), DTS, DTS-ES (Matrix6.1 & Discrete6.1), DTS 96/24, DTS-HD HR Audio, DTS-HD Master Audio, DTS:X, DSD 2-ch to 6-ch (2.8 MHz), LPCM 2-ch to 8-ch (Max. A Class G amplifier is much more complex and expensive to produce. These receivers offer some of the best engineering, features and performance that money can buy. The best AV receivers tested for power, sound and connectivity these amps deliver on movie night Comments (4) Included in this guide: 1 Denon AVR-X4700H Check Price 2 Denon AVR-X2700H Check. Only you know that. Not quite as good as the real thing, but worth trying out if you dont want to install extra speakers. Surround sound with anywhere between 70-90 watts of continuous power per channel with approximately 145 watts in bursts. Anything that might compromise this is not present. With each receiver, we spent at least a day on testing with and without room correction and enjoying a variety of content, including movies, TV shows, and YouTube videos, as well as some action-oriented video games, at volume levels ranging from casual to extreme.