4 SCENE buttons on the front of the device allow you to easily operate the receiver and provide great comfort in accessing your favorite songs and features. The sound quality doesn't change depending on a room thanks to the YPAO Sound Optimization system.
The model is somewhat prone to overheating.
The Yamaha RX-V383BL is one of the best and most accessible options on the market if you're looking for the sound quality that can rival the experience of listening to your favorite artists live.
4 x HDMI, 2 x Antenna jacks (FM/AM), 3 x Composite Video, 2 x Coaxial Audio, 1 x Optical Audio, 2 x Analog Stereo (L/R), 1 x Aux, 1 x USB, 1 x YPAO Mic jack
1 x HDMI, 1 x Monitor, 1 x Subwoofer Pre Out, 5 x Stereo Speakers Terminals
20 - 20000Hz
The number of inputs and outputs gives you the ability to connect this model to a multitude of devices. You can put it anywhere you want thanks to its compact design and lightweight structure.
2.0 channel system may seem limited to some customers.
Sherwood RX4508 is a device that will provide you with an incredible amount of power and the sound quality that you normally wouldn't expect from a model in this kind of price range.
1 x Audio Stereo (CD), 1 x AUX Stereo, 1 x Phono (L/R)
1 x Audio Stereo (CD), 1 x AUX Stereo, 4 x Speakers Stereo Terminals
10 - 95000Hz
What Is a Stereo Receiver?
You will be hard-pressed to find anybody that could honestly say that he doesn't enjoy listening to music. And there is quite a variety of different devices that allow you to do that. 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 a maximum enjoyable experience.
What Features to Compare
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.
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.
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.
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.
Onkyo TX-NR656 Network A/V Receiver
Listen to Your Favorite Genre
As much as virtually everybody can attest to enjoying music, the difference in musical genres is one of the most divisive topics in our society with some people straight-up hating others who enjoy the kind of music that they consider to be distasteful and unacceptable. Some people consider themselves to be fans of classical music that is characterized by the use of music notations, the performance of complex forms of solo instrumental works and an accompaniment of a symphonic ensemble. Others prefer rock, which is a song-based music usually consisting of 4/4 time signature and a verse-chorus form that originated as "rock and roll" in the United States in the early 1950s and is generally centered on the electric guitar, usually as part of a rock group with electric bass and drums and one or more singers. Last but not least, there are people that tend to gravitate towards the electronic music that employs electronic musical instruments, digital instruments and circuitry-based music technology.
Naturally, there is a plethora of other genres that are characterized by different features and techniques and you can argue over which one of them is better or you can get the Onkyo TX-NR656 Network A/V Receiver and instead spend your time listening to your favorite pieces from your most beloved artists.
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. The receiver comes with 384 kHz/32-bit Hi-Grade DAC meaning no matter what you're listening to, it will sound powerfully full, clean and clear. A premium-quality AK4458 digital-to-analog converter from Asahi Kasei implements unique low-distortion filtering technologies for clear sound and unlocks the full potential of any audio format. Furthermore, the device supports Dolby Atmos up to 5.1.2 channels and DTS:X which is an object-based surround sound technology that includes height channels for a fully-immersive listening experience.
Play Music the Way You Want To
A quick automated calibration ensured by AccuEQ and AccuReflex technologies is one of the more remarkable features of the device. Just connect the microphone to the special port and it'll adjust 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 and Google Cast provide the easiest way to get rid of wires. All in all, the Onkyo TX-NR656 offers a huge variety of advantageous features that will be able to satisfy any customer regardless of his preferences.
Denon AVR-S720W Full 4K Ultra HD AV Receiver
Enjoy Your Peace Without Quiet
There's no denying that music is one of the very few art forms that everybody seems to enjoy to a bigger or lesser degree. But unlike some of the other art forms, you can consume this type of media in a variety of different ways. The first method that comes to mind would obviously be listening to your favorite band or an orchestra performing their piece live in front of an audience with you being a part of it. The kind of sound quality and atmosphere you can encounter at these kinds of concerts can be simply breathtaking and incomparable to virtually any other experience of your life.
Of course, this type of arrangement has its drawbacks. First of all, there's the price of the ticket, which can more often than not be much more expensive than that band's entire discography. Then there's the issue of the geographical location where the previously mentioned concert ought to take place, which can sometimes be happening thousands of miles away from you. And last but not least, as much as some people enjoy the kind of atmosphere that a huge crowd often provides at a concert, not everybody is a huge fan of spending his time being smothered by a ridiculous number of people all standing in an overly close proximity to each other. So as great as a live performance can be, sometimes you just want to sit in the comforts of your own home and listen to your favorite music in peace. So if that's what you're looking for, the Denon AVR-S720W Full 4K Ultra HD AV Receiver is exactly the type of device you need.
Easy to Operate
The Denon AVR-S720W features a user-friendly graphical on-screen display and a convenient Quick Start Guide that will grant you the ability to promptly and simply set up the receiver to accurately match your source components and speaker system arrangement. You will find 4 Quick Select buttons on the front of the device and a remote control that will help you choose your favorite sources in a matter of seconds and the AVR-S720W saves your preferred sound mode settings for each one of them. You will also have the ability to operate the model with their Denon 2016 AVR Remote app, which is available for iOS and Android devices as well as the Kindle Fire and when you connect it to the Denon HEOS Link you can also control it via the HEOS app.
Equipped with an advanced quad-core 32-bit DSP processor, the Denon AVR-S720W boasts really incredible performance. The chip of this device is capable of processing 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 your 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 have to spend your time on configuring settings, the system will do it automatically. So if you're looking for a device that will give you the ability to listen to some quality sound instead of wasting your time on setting it up, the Denon AVR-S720W is definitely a good place to start.
Sony STRDH550 4K AV Receiver
Feel the Music
It's no secret that everyone enjoys different music of different musical genres mostly due to the amount of different approaches and techniques used in creating and performing the said genres. But what a lot of people often fail to recognize is that the driving force behind different tastes in music is often not just the technique involved in the song nor the structure of it.
No, one of the main reasons people listen to various types of music isn't any of that, but the fact that different musical pieces induce and bring about different feelings in us when we spend time truly listening to them. And some people may think it's about the genre with a stereotypical take on what that genre's music is supposed to sound like. These are the people that often think that metal music makes people evil and enraged while classical music is always bringing out the most peaceful and sophisticated nature in people. But the truth is that the structure and the genre of any type of song is often not the driving force behind the reason people tend to feel a certain way after listening to any song. It is an art form after all, and some people may have different experiences after listening to the same song, let alone any song of any vast genre of music. Some people want to listen to the Beatles when they want to feel sad while others rely on Metallica to always cheer up their spirits. Whatever your reasons are for listening to the kind of music you listen to, you still need a device in order to play it. Luckily, the Sony STRDH550 4K AV Receiver doesn't discriminate and will allow you to listen to any kind of music you prefer with great convenience and an exceptional sound quality.
New technologies significantly contribute to advanced capabilities of modern stereo receivers. The 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 ambience 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.
A Compact Solution
Naturally, with any kind of device, there's always a question of how easy it is to set the whole thing up and how much space it's going to take. Some people may have enough of it in order not to care too much about the size and the weight of the model while others may have a limited amount of available space and the overall dimensions of the device are one of the more important priorities to them. Well, with the Sony STRDH550 they don't have much to worry about when it comes to that. The model weighs less than 20 pounds and with the overall dimensions of 15.69 inches in length, 19.5 lbs in width and 9.25 inches in height, this device is not going to take much of your space. You can also optimize your home theater settings for your space using their Digital Cinema Auto Calibration system. So if you're in need of a device that will provide you with a great sound quality while also being compact and easy to operate, the Sony STRDH550 might be exactly what you are looking for.
Yamaha Never Dissapoints
People have been composing, performing and listening to music for about as long as we have been living on this beautiful planet we call Earth. But although musical instruments have existed for tens of thousands of years, the first device that would allow you to pre-record music in order to listen to it later without a musician performing it live was introduced less than 150 years ago in 1877 by Thomas Edison. Of course, since the invention of a phonograph in that year we have seen plenty of superior devices with a much better sound quality and the ability to record more than one play. From graphophones and gramophones made out of the glass to plastic vinyl records, magnetic cassette tapes, and compact disks. And just as technologies were changing and evolving, so were the companies that were developing, manufacturing and distributing these devices. A lot of the companies became known for their specialization in certain areas of the music industry while others tried to dabble in every part of the field. But very ever managed to rival the notoriety and reputation of Yamaha. Established over 130 years ago in 1887, Yamana Corporation remains the world's largest manufacturer of musical instruments, as well as a leading manufacturer of semiconductors and audio/visual devices. Not much has changed since then in a sense that if you want a quality device that would allow you to listen to music, you don't think twice about which company to put your trust in. So if you're looking for a stereo receiver, the Yamaha RX-V383BL is the most logical conclusion to arrive at.
At the Push of a Button
Choosing the right stereo receiver is an idea comprised of a few different aspects, but the one that comes to mind first when we talk about any device, let alone the ones that give you to the ability to listen to your favorite artists, is how easy it is to control and operate the said piece of technology. Unless you're performing the music yourself, you want this process to be as simple as possible. The Yamaha RX-V383BL gives you the ability to do just that with a set of SCENE buttons. Pressing one of these buttons turns on the AV receiver and allows you to choose the input source and a DSP mode. These buttons come with a set of sources, but you have the ability to re-set them for different sources by selecting a source or a DSP mode and pressing a SCENE button for more than three seconds. This stereo receiver also comes with a Bluetooth component that allows you to enjoy accessible wireless music playback from your smartphone or any other device.
The Sound That Rivals Them All
Naturally, since the device in question is an A/V receiver, the quality of sound is the foremost element to consider when looking for the aforementioned device. But since the model in question is a Yamaha, you wouldn't have to worry much about that. The Yamaha RX-V383BL comes equipped with a discrete 5.1-channel amplifier solution and companies' very own YPAO Sound Optimization feature. Since every room isn't necessarily similar to another one, this technology evaluates the room acoustics and adjusts different audio options in order to achieve optimal sound quality in a matter of minutes. Thanks to the exclusive Yamaha Cinema DSP technology that gives you the ability to playback HD Audio formats like Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD Master Audio, and others, you'll be able to experience natural and expansive sound quality not dissimilar to the one you would hear at one of the world's greatest venues. So if you'd prefer a stereo receiver that could rival the sound of a band performing next to you live, the Yamaha RX-V383BL is the way to go.
Listen to Some Music, Will You?
If you were tasked to describe to a person that somehow has no earthly idea about what music is, would you be able to do it justice? Sure, you can go with the technical definition and say that it is an art form and a cultural activity whose medium is sound organized in time. You can talk about the common elements of that include but are not limited to pitch that regulates melody and harmony, a rhythm that involves tempo and articulation, and the sonic qualities of timbre and texture. You can try to divide it into a large array of genres that may or may not emphasize, de-emphasize or omit some of these elements. You can talk about a ridiculous number of musical instruments and vocal techniques involved in the creation of music. But would any of it make any sense? Would you be capable of doing the subject of your description justice? Will you be able to even grasp the bottom of what is it about music that makes it seemingly have an unlimited amount of space for progress and development but also manages to speak to us on a very simplistic and primal level? Would any of part of your description explain how your favorite music makes you feel, let alone compel someone to listen to that artist of any of his pieces? Maybe some of the more eloquent folks could honestly give a positive answer to most of these questions, but the rest of us are certainly better off listening to music instead of talking about it. And if you're currently in need of a quality piece of technology that would give you the ability to do that, the Sherwood RX4508 Stereo Receiver is a good place to start.
Sherwood Design Identity
The Sherwood RX4508 200W AM/FM Stereo Receiver features a stylish matte black that will prove more than a fitting addition to any room regardless of the interior. On top of that, the model won't take up much space with 17.13 x 14.76 x 5.55 inches in overall dimensions and transporting it is never going to be a problem thanks to the item's weight of just slightly above 16 pounds. The device's interface features 3 Audio Inputs, 2 Audio Outputs, and a Phono Input. The aptX audio codec is accessible for consumer and automotive wireless audio purposes. Of course, we are all living in the 21st century that is sometimes referred to as the age of wireless technology, so satisfying a customer with a variety of inputs and outputs could easily prove to be a problem. The developers of this product are aware of that which is why this model comes with a Bluetooth technology compatible with just about any mobile device on the market.
Best Bang for Your Buck
Since the object in question is a stereo receiver, naturally we can't get away without talking about the sound quality of this device. Luckily for the potential customers, despite the ever-so-modest price tag of this model, the Sherwood RX4508 presents a more than fitting sound quality. The high-power amplifier that works through an analog discrete 2 channel power output, each one featuring a respectable output wattage of 100 watts, is capable of producing the kind of sound quality that would dazzle and impress anyone expecting a certain lack of the aforementioned quality generally presented in the models occupying this kind of price range. The device also features a Quartz PLL synthesized digital tuning giving you the ability to auto scan, preset scan for brief searching, and comes equipped with thirty station presets. Of course, a 2.0 channel system may disappoint those that are used to the surround sound technology, but given the price tag, the Sherwood RX4508 is the best bang for your buck on the market.
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