Best Stereo Receivers

Review & Comparison, Last Update August 21, 2017
Are you a screen fan and appreciate high-quality HD video? Maybe you are a music lover and value rich and deep sound as well? If so, go through Stereo Receivers review and find out the best model that will give you powerful emotions and unforgettable experience! ...Read more ...Read less
BEST 2017
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
SOUND SPEAKER SYSTEM
INPUTS
OUTPUTS
POWER OUTPUT (PER CHANNEL)
BANDWIDTH
SIGNAL/NOISE RATIO
TOTAL HARMONIC DISTORTION
WARRANTY
 
PROS
An advanced AccuReflex phase calibration ensures crystal-clear audio. Google Cast™ and AirPlay offer wireless streaming of your music from a smartphone, tablet, or PC. FireConnect™ transfers audio from any source to the receiver.
CONS
It's necessary to update the system software to use FireConnect.
OUR VERDICT
The receiver boasts a really huge power output per channel. It'll work ideally with powerful speakers and stereo systems getting the maximum from their capabilities.
detailed parameters
SOUND SPEAKER SYSTEM
7.2
INPUTS
8 х HDMI, 2 х composite video inputs, 2 x component inputs, 1 х coaxial input, 2 х optical inputs, 1 х USB, 1 х Ethernet (RJ -45), 1 х microphone input (3.5mm), 7 х RCA, 2 х antenna inputs
OUTPUTS
2 x HDMI, 1 x headphones output (6.3 mm), 1 x RCA, 8 x speaker output terminals, 2 x preamp subwoofer outputs
POWER OUTPUT (PER CHANNEL)
160W
BANDWIDTH
10 - 100000Hz
SIGNAL/NOISE RATIO
106dB
TOTAL HARMONIC DISTORTION
0.08%
WARRANTY
2 years
PROS
The Quad-Core 32-bit DSP Processor easily handles such important tasks as Dolby Atmos and DTS:X decoding, Audyssey room acoustic correction, bass management, and DSP surround simulation. Dolby Atmos enables a remarkable 3D surround sound.
CONS
Relatively low power output.
OUR VERDICT
This is a powerful and high-performance AV receiver that delivers a high-quality sound even in the rear of the room. Thanks to the front USB port, you'll be able to quickly charge your gadgets.
detailed parameters
SOUND SPEAKER SYSTEM
7.2
INPUTS
6 х HDMI (1 front), 2 х composite video inputs, 2 x stereo RCA, 1 х digital coaxial input, 2 х optical Toslink inputs, 1 х USB (front) with iPod digital direct, 1 х AM antenna, 1 x FM antenna
OUTPUTS
1 x HDMI, 1 x composite video output, 2 x subwoofer preout, 1 x setup mic
POWER OUTPUT (PER CHANNEL)
75W
BANDWIDTH
10 - 100000Hz
SIGNAL/NOISE RATIO
98dB
TOTAL HARMONIC DISTORTION
0.08%
WARRANTY
2 years
PROS
Auto Format Direct (AFD) mode enables selecting the decoding mode for listening to 2-channel stereo or mono sound as multi-channel sound. Pure Direct suppresses noise guaranteeing high-fidelity sound.
CONS
The receiver features a small display.
OUR VERDICT
The new innovative HD Digital Cinema Sound technology using the latest acoustic and digital signal processing technologies provides high-quality sound you could only dream of.
detailed parameters
SOUND SPEAKER SYSTEM
5.2
INPUTS
4 х HDMI, 2 х composite video inputs, 1 х digital coaxial input, 2 х digital optical inputs, 1 х USB, 4 х stereo RCA, 1 х AM antenna, 1 x FM antenna
OUTPUTS
1 x HDMI, 1 x composite video output, 1 x headphones output, 2 x preamp subwoofer outputs, 1 x calibration microphone
POWER OUTPUT (PER CHANNEL)
90W
BANDWIDTH
10 - 100000Hz
SIGNAL/NOISE RATIO
105dB
TOTAL HARMONIC DISTORTION
0.09%
WARRANTY
2 years
PROS
Within minutes, YPAO optimizer is capable of analysing acoustics of a room and configuring settings for the best sound quality. The receiver is compatible with high-resolution audio codecs such as DSD / AIFF / FLAC / WAV / Apple Lossless.
CONS
You may have difficulties with wireless streaming with AirPlay®.
OUR VERDICT
The AV-receiver can be used with two audio sources at a time. For example, you'll be able to hook up outdoors speakers and home stereo system simultaneously!
detailed parameters
SOUND SPEAKER SYSTEM
7.2
INPUTS
6 х HDMI, 2 x component inputs, 2 х coaxial digital inputs, 2 х optical digital inputs, 4 x analogue audio inputs, 4 x composite video, 1 х USB, 1 х Ethernet (RJ -45), 1 х microphone input (3.5mm), 1 х AM antenna, 1 х FM antenna
OUTPUTS
1 x HDMI, 2 x subwoofer preout, 1 x composite video output, 1 x component video output, 1 x headphones output
POWER OUTPUT (PER CHANNEL)
90W
BANDWIDTH
10 - 100000Hz
SIGNAL/NOISE RATIO
110dB
TOTAL HARMONIC DISTORTION
0.06%
WARRANTY
2 years
PROS
Bluetooth with aptX® music audio codec is able to transfer high-quality stereo sound without any distortion and loss of detail. An energy-saving ECO Mode adjusts power consumption in real time.
CONS
It's possible to connect only one sub.
OUR VERDICT
A wide frequency range of the device is able to unleash the full potential of your stereo system. Advanced Sound Retriever restores the output integrity of compressed audio formats!
detailed parameters
SOUND SPEAKER SYSTEM
5.1
INPUTS
4 x HDMI, 2 x composite video inputs, 2 x stereo RCA, 1 x digital optical input, 1 x digital coaxial input, 1 x USB, 1 x AM antenna, 1 x FM antenna
OUTPUTS
1 x RCA composite video inputs, 1 x subwoofer preout, 5 x speaker out, 1 x 1/4" (0.6cm) headphone out, 1 x HDMI with ARC
POWER OUTPUT (PER CHANNEL)
80W
BANDWIDTH
5 - 100000Hz
SIGNAL/NOISE RATIO
98dB
TOTAL HARMONIC DISTORTION
0.08%
WARRANTY
1 year

What is a Stereo Receiver

An AV receiver is the heart of any modern home theater. Let's briefly make plain its principle of operation. Having got input audio and video signals, the receiver processes them via built-in decoders, amplifies and then sends these modified signals further to output devices - TV set and speakers. In a nutshell, the main purpose of the receiver is to pick up the input signal and then distribute it to connected speakers. So, one may say that the stereo receiver is a key part in producing powerful and high-quality sound of your home theater system.

We'd also like to draw your attention to our other review on 3D TVs & smart TVs that can be used in combination with stereo receivers for maximum enjoyable experience.

What Features to Compare

Features

The first point we'd like to draw your attention to when choosing a stereo receiver is its sound system performance. Let's get started with the number of channels as it will define what type of sound speaker system to use and how many speakers and subwoofers you are allowed to connect. Let's say, you have chosen 7.2 sound speaker system. It means that you are allowed to connect 7 speakers and 2 subwoofers.

Another important parameter is the AV receiver power. Understandably, larger rooms require a higher power of the sound system, so keep it in mind before splash out. The next point to pay attention to is your speaker's compatibility to the power of your stereo receiver. Otherwise, you are more than likely to screw up your audio equipment.

Connectivity

Audio/video connections aren't less important as each of receivers has a big variety of different inputs and outputs. You should know that almost all standards are naturally getting outdated and therefore, become useless. Today, some of the connectors are known to be crucial for all types of receivers. Here they are: 

  • HDMI - for transferring audio and video data. The most important and popular interface at the moment.
  • USB - for video and audio playback from flash drives.
  • RCA - for carrying video and audio signals.
  • Ethernet (RJ-45) - for connecting the receiver to the Internet.
  • output for a record player.
  • subwoofer outputs.

Extra Features

Pay attention to additional features that are also essential as they contribute to ease of use:

  • Some models have a function of the upscaling video to 4K format what allows utilizing high-resolution displays without such content.
  • Internet radio support will be a great bonus for those who enjoy listening to the music from the Internet.
  • If your receiver is DLNA-compatible, you will be able to share media content with other devices that also support this standard. 
  • Wi-Fi support will provide you a fast and convenient wireless connectivity.
  • Bluetooth will be a great feature for remote control and audio playback.
  • If you listen to music via iTunes, you will probably want to take advantage of AirPlay technology compatible with Apple products.

Control

Similarly to other essential features, consider ways you are able to operate the AV receiver. For example, some models include plenty of different adjustments and dials for making settings easy. Other models own special buttons for a fast switching between different modes. There is also a function of adjusting the tonal quality which is to improve the sound at the maximum volume. Finally, it's worth mentioning that a display and a remote control are vital parts of modern receivers that facilitate acomfortable and pleasant operation.

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Onkyo TX-NR656 Network A/V Receiver

Power With Extreme Clarity

To buy powerful speakers is only half the battle if you want to achieve really exciting sound quality. A receiver is an equally important thing required to reveal all the potential of a stereo system. Onkyo introduced an updated version of its giant TX-NR656. This device will definitely improve sound quality and please you with a clear and crisp high-definition video. A quick automated calibration ensured by AccuEQ and AccuReflex technologies is one more remarkable feature of the device. Just connect the microphone to the special port and it'll make all settings automatically without your help. Additionally, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth technologies allow streaming music from any gadget. Tune the radio to any FM wave and enjoy your music with the superior sound quality! A wireless connection and such services as AirPlay и Google Cast provide the easiest way to get rid of wires. In sum, Onkyo TX-NR656 offers a huge number of advantageous features you'll definitely get benefit from! If you value high-quality sound, you may be interested in speaker wires!
Review of Onkyo TX-NR656 Network A/V Receiver

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


Onkyo TX-NR656 Network A/V Receiver
Onkyo TX-NR656 Network A/V Receiver
 

Denon AVR-S720W Full 4K Ultra HD AV Receiver

Ultimate Performance

Equipped with an advanced quad-core 32-bit DSP processor, Denon AVR-S720W boasts really incredible performance. The chip can process more than 1 billion computations per second! The AV receiver allows listening to audio tracks in the highest quality including AIFF, ALAC, FLAC and WAV lossless file types at up to 24-bit/192-kHz resolution while Dolby Atmos delivers the superb 3D sound space. If you have many exciting tracks on your smartphone, you'll be able to play back them as well as charge your gadget with the only cable! The receiver can work with two subwoofers simultaneously adding a solid and pure bass to your stereo system. Not bad, isn't it!? The device will let you create own cinema right at your home! Using Audyssey MultEQ microphone, AVR-S720W AV Receiver optimizes the entire speaker system and the room's acoustics. Therefore, you won't spend your time for configuring settings, the system will do it automatically. Without any doubt, this is a great AV-receiver to make up your mind!
Review of Denon AVR-S720W Full 4K Ultra HD AV Receiver

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


Denon AVR-S720W Full 4K Ultra HD AV Receiver
Denon AVR-S720W Full 4K Ultra HD AV Receiver
 

Sony STRDH550 4K AV Receiver

Advanced Capabilities

New technologies significantly contribute to advanced capabilities of modern stereo receivers. Sony STRDH550 4K AV Receiver, for example, features several pre-programmed sound modes. They can deliver an exciting and powerful sound of movie theaters just into your home. HD Digital Cinema Sound ensures the best sound ambiance achieved during the mastering process in the recording studios while PLII Movie seems to be ideal for movies encoded in Dolby Surround. Additionally, PLIIx Movie setting expands Dolby Pro Logic II Movie or Dolby Digital 5.1 to 7.1 discrete movie channels. Besides, the model boasts several HDMI inputs capable of transferring video in 4K with the speed of 60 fps. A rear panel of the device has an HDMI-connector marked as MHL. It means that the device is fully compatible with Android smartphones and allows watching videos with a resolution of 1080p. Enhanced capabilities of the device will allow using it with different audio and video output devices.
Review of Sony STRDH550 4K AV Receiver

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


Sony STRDH550 4K AV Receiver
Sony STRDH550 4K AV Receiver
 

Yamaha RX-V679BL MusicCast AV Receiver with Bluetooth

Intelligent Device

It's safe to say that Yamaha RX-V679BL is a high-quality sound producer. 192 kHz/24-bit digital-to-analogue converters provide maximal sound quality per each channel. You'll be able to connect up to 9 speakers including 2 subwoofers for getting really exciting bass. You will definitely get a stereo system that reproduces loud and low sound! Awesome! Zone 2 Audio with Party ModeZone 2 audio enables using the receiver to send 2-channel stereo to a second room. Thus, the AV-receiver can be used with two audio sources at a time! A great option if you own a big house! YPAO™ Automatic System Calibration analyses acoustics of a room and measures various speaker features then calibrates audio parameters to achieve optimal sound. YPAO will automatically adjust the sound of any stereo system depending on its arrangement in the room. All you have to do is to enjoy the remarkable sound quality and advanced technologies this device is equipped with. Therefore, if you are dreaming of modern and high-quality stereo receiver, opt for Yamaha RX-V679BL!
Review of Yamaha RX-V679BL MusicCast AV Receiver with Bluetooth

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


Yamaha RX-V679BL MusicCast AV Receiver with Bluetooth
Yamaha RX-V679BL MusicCast AV Receiver with Bluetooth
 

Pioneer VSX-530-K AV Receiver

Wireless Stereo

Wireless technologies are evolving quickly making our lives more functional and interesting. It’s really difficult to believe that today we can listen to music wirelessly from your mobile phone or tablet. With Pioneer VSX-530-K, you'll be able to enjoy favorite tracks played back through Bluetooth with aptX. Besides, the AV receiver boasts Advanced Sound Retriever, the technology that restores the output integrity of compressed audio formats such as MP3, WMA, MPEG-4 AAC. Just imagine, using this superior device you will be able to improve the quality of audio recordings! It's also worth mentioning that this energy efficient model consumes only 0.1W in a standby mode. The receiver analyzes all connected devices in real time to optimize the power consumption. Manage the device with ease taking advantage of a large display and user-friendly remote. Just amazing! Note that the usage of the speakers built in the wall is very handy if your space is limited!
Review of Pioneer VSX-530-K AV Receiver

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


Pioneer VSX-530-K AV Receiver
Pioneer VSX-530-K AV Receiver
 

Sources:

1. Matthew Moskovciak, Ty Pendlebury AV Receiver Buying GuideCNET. February 4, 2016.

2. Caleb Denison How to Buy a Receiver, Digital Trends. September 4, 2011.

3. James Bruce How To Pick The Right Receiver For Your Home Theater Needs, MakeUseOf. October 9, 2013.

4. Deia Z. Home Theater Receivers Buying GuideCrutchfield.

5. Howdini How to Choose the Best AV Receiver for You, ScienceDaily. October 6, 2013.

6. Rob Sabin How to Buy an AV Receiver, Sound&Vision. September 9, 2015.

7. Alex Leopold How To Buy The Best Home Theater Receiver, Klipsch. June 11, 2015.

8. Chris Opher 5 Things to Look for When Buying an AV Receiver, HowStuffWorks.

9. Faisal Mohammed Naim How to Choose the Right AV ReceiverTimes of Man. July 24, 2016.

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