AV Receiver Buying Guide and AV Receiver Comparisons

In this article, we will discuss the AV receiver buying guide and AV receiver comparisons. If you are in a hurry, the table below gives a quick snapshot of your best options.

Do you ever wish to upgrade your home entertainment system?

Well, you don’t have to pull yourself back anymore now. And you don’t have to cobble multiple audio components just for a movie night anymore. You can now count on AV receivers for your home theater investments. 

AV receivers are nothing but a central switching hub for flexible connectivity with your audio and video gear. 

A great AV receiver will always enhance your audio and video experiences. Within no time, you will be astounded by the cinema-like sound surround and fantastic picture quality. You will be able to feel the reel characters come to life in your 3D space. 

Hopefully, this content will clear all your confusion regarding AV receivers.

AV Receiver Buying Guide and AV Receiver Comparisons

Connecting a DVD player with streaming devices and speakers has always been an option. But have you ever thought about an interactive audio/video environment?

If yes, then AV receivers are made just for you. Also, for people who are not hardcore home theater enthusiasts, AVR is still worth giving a shot. 

Now you must be wondering, “How to buy an AV receiver”? Or “What to look for in an AV receiver”?

Well, for starters, analyze your home entertainment setting where you are planning to add the AVR. Now, look for the AVR which fits into your entertainment unit the best. 

Have a look at our buyer’s guide. It will clear some of your dilemmas.

Object-Based Surround

While looking for an AV receiver, your prime focus should be on object-based surround sound. Object-based surround sound is a new way to encode sound that throws sound at you in your horizontal plane and the vertical plane (from above and below). Codecs such as Dolby Atmos and Dolby Vision give you object-based surround sound

An AVR which supports different surround formats, including Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, Auro-3D, etc., would give you the best 3-D sound.

Channels

Channels are nothing but the number of speakers in your home theater setup. 5.1 means five speakers, 7.1 means seven, and so on. Generally, the more the speakers, the better is the range of frequencies that your sound system can capture, and better is the surround sound effect

Equalization

Sound equalization is a very important aspect of quality music. Equalization helps create a sound mask that amplifies certain frequencies while reducing others. In simple terms, if you like bass, it lets you increase the bass frequencies. If you love listening to higher frequency sounds, it lets you do that as well.

Most AVR’s come with preset equalization filters, which help you adjust the sound to maximize the output of whatever you want to listen to. You can have modes like dialogue, music, movies, news, etc. Each mode lets you amplify the right frequencies to optimize the kind of content you are listening to.

Video Drivers

Video codecs are as important as audio ones. Since AVR’s today complement high-tech TV configurations such as 4K, Ultra HD, QLED, and OLED, they need to have the right drivers to give you the best quality video output from your configuration.

The AV receiver should be easy to understand and user-friendly. It should have an advanced UI, but at the same time, it should be easy to configure as well.

Future Ready

Audio and video technology is ever-changing. New drivers, codecs, and technologies come out every year to give better visual and sound effects. Always buy AVR’s with the latest technology so that you are at least ready for the next few years. You might get a slightly older version for cheap, but it will quickly get outdated. 

For example, many AVR’s today are compatible with AI-based tools such as Alexa and Google voice. Some of them are Chromecast ready, giving you the ease of operation your phone apps’ experience. 

Connectivity

Gone are the days when all elements of your home theater were wired. Today most AVR’s and surround sound systems are equipped with Bluetooth and Wi-fi capability.

Gaming

Gaming requires high-frequency video input such as 4K/60Hz video. You need to have multiple HDMI ports in your AVR to accommodate this kind of video input. You also need to have an AVR that can work with high refresh rates and low latency.

As you scroll down, you will also find a detailed comparison of different AV receivers, which will help you get one for yourself.

Frequently Asked Questions 

What is an AV receiver used for?

Well, an AV receiver has two prime purposes of serving. It works as an amplifier so that you get to enjoy your favorite shows and music with significant sound effects. Also, it acts as a controller to cater to your video and audio needs.

Do AV receivers improve picture quality?

AV receivers come with the latest HDR and HD features to improve the picture quality. You can watch things on the TV coming to life. Also, they upscale the lower quality signals for a better visual environment.

Do more expensive receivers sound better?

Expensive receivers might get you a better sound quality as they utilize a higher range of watts. Some of these costly receivers use better quality parts that contribute to the whole system’s longevity. But sometimes, you can get a reasonably good AV receiver at a nominal price.

Who makes the most reliable AV receivers?

These days the market has excellent options when it comes to AV receivers. However, some of AV receivers’ top brands include Sony, Yamaha, Denon, and Onkyo. All these brands ensure that you get an upgraded video and audio experience.


Best AV Receivers: AV Receiver Buying Guide’s Top Picks

Without further ado, here are our top picks and recommendations for AV Receivers.


#1 Sony STRDH590 AV Receiver

Sony STRDH590 AV Receiver Check Latest Price
  • Clear Display: Sony STRDH590 will complete your cinematic home setup with its HDR pass. You can watch the things in the reel coming to life. The contrast, brightness, and shadow details are just unimaginable. It supports all the latest HDR standards, including HDR10, HLG, and Dolby Vision. 
  • 5.1 ch Real Surround: Sony STRDH590 will never fail to amaze you with its excellent sonic fidelity. The 5.2 sound surround system will give you a heart-pounding theatre-like sound effect even at your home. The virtual front surround will seamlessly deliver virtual surround sound with just two speakers. 
  • Easy Connectivity: You no longer have to run to the TV for minor adjustments every time. With Sony STRDH590, you can quickly start and adjust your favorite playlist with just a tap on your cellphone or tablet. It exhibits smart connectivity by pairing it with Bluetooth standby. 
  • Clean Design: The overall receiver unit possesses a minimalistic design for easy operation. The front end comprises a Pure Direct button which can directly feed the sound to the amplifier.
Sony STRDH590 AV Receiver
Its excellent HDR quality and 5.2 ch sound surround will create a whole new world for you. Also, the easy Bluetooth connectivity is a bonus.

#2 Yamaha RX-V385 AV Receiver

Yamaha RX-V385 AV Receiver Check Latest Price
  • Ultra HDR Support: Yamaha RX-V385 promises to deliver transmission of 4k video at 60 frames/ second pass-through. The resulting high-definition quality is beyond one’s imagination. The clear contrasts and highlighted minute details can never go unnoticed on such incredible HDR support.
  • 5.1 Channel Surround Sound: Yamaha RX-V385 will never fail to provide you with an amazingly realistic and vivid experience in terms of sound quality. The 5.1 channel surround sound aims to deliver enhanced rich bass for a cinematic feel.
  • Easy Sound Optimization: YPAO aims to adjust various sound parameters to suit your room’s acoustic settings. The auto-calibration technology will help you experience ideal and optimized sound effects. 
  • Bluetooth Connectivity: This AV receiver comes with a built-in Bluetooth technology for the sake of convenience. The user can now enjoy his/her favorite playback wirelessly by pairing headsets with the concerned device. The compressed music enhancer will make sure you get dynamic sound quality.
Yamaha RX-V385 AV Receiver
The incredible HDR quality and 5.1 channel sound will make you forget the outside world. The YPAO will provide auto-calibration for optimized sound quality.

#3 Denon AVR-X4700H AV Receiver

Denon AVR-X4700H AV Receiver Check Latest Price
  • 9.2 Channel Surround System: With Denon AVR-X4700H, you can experience an immersive home theater environment. You will no longer face the problem of video delays as you can enjoy realistic sound effects with ease. You can now enjoy your movie nights and have a lag-free gaming experience with a 9.2 channel sound surround and ultra HDR support.
  • 3D Audio: The effect of such a high-power-based 3D audio is just unmatchable. It features all the latest 3D audio formats, including Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, Auro-3D, etc. 
  • 8K HDMI: From enjoying NEXT-GEN Gaming to watching your favorite movies on weekends, you can have it all. This AV receiver features advanced 8K HDMI and several other HDR formats to provide the user with an unparalleled experience. You can enjoy exceptional picture quality, clarity, and vividness with Denon AVR-X4700H. 
  • Supports Voice Services: Denon AVR-X4700H is compatible with almost all popular voice control services. Some of these include Apple Siri, Amazon Alexa, and Google-Assistant. Thus, you can have a wireless hands-free entertainment experience.
Denon AVR-X4700H AV Receiver
It offers advanced features including 8K HDMI, 9.2 channel sound, and 3D audio effects for an unmatchable entertainment experience

#4 Pioneer Elite VSX-LX104 AV Receiver

Pioneer Elite VSX-LX104 AV Receiver Check Latest Price
  • 5.2 ch Surround Sound: You can now immerse yourself in a quality audio environment with Pioneer Elite VSX-LX104. It utilizes object-based audio to create an interactive audio experience. No specific speaker layout is needed as DTS:X can adapt itself to various audio channels. 
  • Auto Room Tuning: Movies and music become more fun when your ears get an equalized sound response. With MCACC auto room tuning, you can now enjoy the sound effects which blend into your acoustic settings. Also, the system will compensate for variation in speaker sizes.
  • Easy Connectivity: Drive your favorite speakers and equip your headphones to enjoy the music of your choice. Pioneer Elite VSX-LX104 promises hassle-free connectivity with all your devices. It features two different output zones for easy pairing up. This AV receiver also supports Sonos connect and devices.
  • Convenient Preset Modes: The front panel of Pioneer Elite VSX-LX104 contains a personal preset button. You can have a hassle-free adjustment of your current settings such as volume and mode by pressing it for three seconds. You can register up to three preset modes for easy control.
Pioneer Elite VSX-LX104 AV Receiver
You can have an interactive audio experience with 5.2 ch surround sound and incredible picture quality with its ultra HD feature

#5 Marantz AV Receiver SR8012 AV Receiver

Marantz AV Receiver SR8012 AV Receiver Check Latest Price
  • 11.2 Channel Amplifier: You can now stream music and enjoy your favorite movie with the ultimate cinematic audio experience. Marantz AV Receiver SR8012 features the latest audio formats, including Auro 3D, IMAX Enhanced, and Dolby Atmos. You can choose from various zonal arrangements to enjoy the heightened realism effect. 
  • Ultra HD Visual Quality: The Marantz AV receiver brings you an ultra HD quality with exceptional visual clarity to complement its high-performance cinematic audio. The upscaled full-rate pass-through will provide you with a spectacular visual experience. 
  • User-friendly Setup: This AV receiver features an advanced GUI, which helps in easy control and navigation. The entire system as a unit is quite user-friendly with an easy-to-understand operation.
  • Supports Voice Services: What can be better than you being able to play, pause, and stop your shows and music with just a word? Marantz AV Receiver SR8012 supports various voice services, including Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple Siri. You can have an effortless entertainment experience.
Marantz AV Receiver SR8012 AV Receiver
It's high performance features include 11.2 channel amplifier, ultra HD visual clarity, and user-friendly setup assistant

#6 Sony STRZA5005ES AV Receiver

Sony STRZA5005ES AV Receiver Check Latest Price
  • Object-based surround: Sony STRZA5005 features a nine-channel object-based surround. You can now have relaxing weekends with crystal clear music with cinematic audio effects. You can feel every bit of these sound effects in your three-dimensional space and enjoy the immersive audio environment.
  • Flexible HD Connectivity: You can have a theater-like experience not just with the quality audio but with amazing high-definition videos too. This AV receiver is synchronized to deliver consistent HD connectivity and maximum visual clarity. 
  • Custom Home Integration: Complete your smart home automated setup with Sony STRZA5005. This user-friendly unit exhibits flexible connectivity and high-performance power.
  • Robust Configurability: This AV receiver features 6-in/2-out HDMI connectivity and quite rudimentary internal circuitry. You can have easy installations and pair-ups. 
Sony STRZA5005ES AV Receiver
Sony STRZA5005 AV Receiver supports object-based audio surround to make you feel inside the action of any movie or show

AV Receiver Buying Guide Conclusions

AV receivers can be regarded as the long-promised upgrade your home entertainment system needs. Although the options can be overwhelming, you can enjoy your Saturday movie nights with significant sound effects by selecting the suitable AV receiver. Also, one must ensure the sound effects should effectively blend into one’s acoustic settings.

This article has taken the best AV Receiver based on their display quality, surround sound, design, and compatibility.

In our opinion, the Sony STRDH590 5.2-ch Surround Sound Home Theater Receiver: 4K HDR AV Receiver with Bluetooth,Black is the best choice for an AV receiver because you no longer have to run to the TV for small adjustments every time. With Sony STRDH590, you can easily start and adjust your favorite playlist with just a tap on your cellphone or tablet. It exhibits smart connectivity by pairing it with Bluetooth standby.

The YAMAHA RX-V385 5.1-Channel 4K Ultra HD AV Receiver with Bluetooth is another great choice because this AV receiver aims at delivering true sound reproduction of your favorite movies and playlists. The incredible HDR quality and 5.1 channel sound will make you forget the outside world.

Suppose you are looking for a value for money option. In that case, you can also consider the Denon AVR-X4700H 8K Ultra HD 9.2 Channel (125 Watt X 9) AV Receiver 2020 Model - 3D Audio & Video with IMAX Enhanced, Built for Gaming, Music Streaming, Alexa + HEOS, which offers great value and features at a very reasonable price point.

Thanks for reading our AV Receiver Buying Guide! Please reach out with any comments or questions.

Last update on 2021-09-07 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API