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
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 You should know that almost all standards are naturally getting outdated and therefore, become useless.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
Power With Extreme Clarity
Denon AVR-S720W Full 4K Ultra HD AV Receiver
Sony STRDH550 4K AV Receiver
Yamaha RX-V679BL MusicCast AV Receiver with Bluetooth
Pioneer VSX-530-K AV Receiver
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