Best Home Theater Amplifier: A Buyer’s Guide

Enhance your experience of watching movies or listening to music with the best home theater amplifier.

I am an audiophile. I love to savor every note and every frequency of the music I play. So when I invested in a home theater a few years ago, I was dead set on finding the best music system money can buy.

Of course, the best speaker system is useless without the right amplifier to magnify the sound waves’ power. That is why I spent a considerable amount of time selecting the best home theater amplifier for myself. Below I am sharing the products that I shortlisted for myself. 

If you are looking for my top recommendation, you should try Yamaha RX-V385 Amplifier. It has a rated capacity of 70W with a THD below 0.09% and supports 4K UHD along with other latest video standards like Dolby vision. It can deliver 4k/60fps and has High Dynamic Range (HDR) for gamers. 

#1 Yamaha RX-V385 Amplifier: Best For High-Quality Output

The amplifier design is compatible with new technologies, and you connect to this Yamaha amplifier easily using your wifi or Bluetooth.

Features and Benefits

  • Rated output power: The Yamaha RX-V385 is rated to give a power output of close to 70W with a Total Harmonic Distortion (THD) of less than 0.09%.
  • 5.1 Channel: The amplifier can support 5.1ch surround sound with auto-calibration capability. The amplifier can play high-definition sound.
  • Video Capability: The amplifier supports high-quality video with the latest video standards, including 4K HDR, and supports the latest drivers, including Dolby Vision and HDR10. 
  • Virtual Cinema: The AVR supports virtual surround sound, even if there is no space to place your physical speakers behind your seating position.
  • Rich Bass: The amplifier offers rich bass with balance and localization, even if front speakers are smaller.
  • Low interference: The amplifier support bi-amplification. You can separately amplify bass and treble while also reducing interference between your left and right speakers.

Why should you buy it?

This amplifier has something for every class of user. The audiophile has low THD, high power output, bi-amp, and virtual surround sound. For the movie buff, it is compatible with the latest video drivers and technologies. For gamers, it supports 4k/60fps performance. This one is overall the best home theater amplifier on our list.

Yamaha RX-V385 Amplifier
High quality audio with bi-amp and virtual surround, 4K UHD compliant and can process display at 4k/60fps.

#2 Denon AVR-S540BT Receiver: Best For Using Headphones

Denon is one of the most renowned brands in the world of music. The AVR-S540BT is a high-quality offering that lets you set up your home theater system with up to a 5.1 configuration giving you great audio and video quality.

Features and Benefits

  • Multi channels: The amplifier has multi-channels. You can set up your home theater with 2.1, 3.1, or 5.1 configurations using this AVR.
  • Sound Quality: The AVR is compatible with Dolby TrueHD and gives you true lossless surround sound with its DTS HD Master Audio technology.
  • Video Output: Compatible with 4K UHD, HDR, and Dolby Vision, this AVR will create the perfect theater-like visuals for your movie-watching experience. With its five HDMI inputs, it is even compatible with most gaming systems.
  • Device connectivity: The device is Bluetooth compatible and lets your stream popular music services such as Pandora and Spotify directly to your music system
  • Calibration: The device is intelligent enough to calibrate its audio settings as per the size of the audio system’s room and location concerning its surroundings. The easy setup assistant lets you configure most options right on your screen; you don’t have to fiddle around with instruction manuals.

Why should you buy it?

 Denon AVR-S540BT is one of the best audio and video experiences in the world of AVR’s. The Denon AVR-S540BT smartly calibrates sound to your room and lets you set up all configuration options from the ease of your TV screen.

Denon AVR-S540BT Receiver
Great audio and video quality, auto calibration and easy set up.

#3 Pioneer Elite Amplifier-Best For A Customized Experience

You can use the preset button available and easily save the latest mode with your volume and listening mode choice. You can easily play your mode without having to set it again.

Features and Benefits

  • Compatibility: The amplifier is compatible with the 5.2.2 ch configuration of the theatre sound platform. The amplifier reproduces the sound in a curving and smooth movements to give out a smooth finish to the audio. You can easily listen to DTS X without having to get a new speaker layout. It will automatically adapt to any of these channels and gives you a rich audio feel.
  • Technology use: By downloading their SONO app, you can easily play music. You can also connect to any other SONO devices or use the amplifier independently without any app connection. 
  • Video: The device is future-ready for video quality. It is compatible with standards like HDR10, Dolby Vision, and HDL10.
  • Auto room tuning: If you have many speakers of multiple sizes situated at multiple points across the room, the AVR will be able to compensate for the variety and still give you excellent sound quality with its MCACC auto-tuning technology.
  • Customized feel: With the help of a Multi-Channel Acoustic Calibration System, you can experience a recording studio feel. Be it a large or small speaker, near or far, everything will fit perfectly. The option of preset will help you save your latest choices and quickly opt for the same when you use it next time. 
  • Multi-room experience: The amplifier has a unique output terminal that will help you listen to the music through your headphones even though you are playing your music in the next room. You need not buy a separate amplifier for another room as this amplifier itself drives speakers in the next room using its Zone 2 option.

Why should you buy it?

Customization based on necessity serves you the best as it fits you in different situations, and you need not get a new one to suit your choices all the time.

Pioneer Elite Amplifier
With the help of a Multi-Channel Acoustic Calibration System, you can experience a recording studio feel.

#4 Marantz AV Amplifier: Best For Multiple Streams

The best part is it gives you an option to stream with the latest options in the market. It has multiple channels that will help you get your choice of audio experience.

Features and Benefits

  • Small Package: Big things come in small packages, or that’s true for this amplifier. At a mere four inches tall, the Marantz amplifier is power-packed with the best sound and video quality technologies, including 4K UHDR, wireless streaming, USB plug and play, 6HDMI inputs, and hands-free voice-operated options with Alexa.
  • Multiple channels: The amplifier comes with five channels that share equal power. With the help of these powered channels, you can hear music with elevated sound and enjoy your movie or music choice.
  • Connectivity: The amplifier firstly streams any of the latest services like Spotify, Pandora, etc., by connecting it to airplay, Bluetooth, or their app. Using the HDMI inputs, which will help transfer high definition of audio and video signals, you can connect your smart tv with an HDMI cable and play something. The inputs will change their name based on the source connected to them automatically.
  • Multi-room experience: Using wireless connectivity, you can listen to music in the whole house. You can either play a different song in another room or play the same song in all the rooms in the house.

Why should you buy it?

The amplifier works as a great receiver and gives out the best audio when you play some movie or music using this.

Marantz AV Amplifier
The amplifier firstly streams any of the latest services like Spotify, and Pandora by connecting it to airplay, Bluetooth, or their app

#5 Onkyo Amplifier: Best For Movie Lovers

The amplifier comes with an HRX certificate which promises us high-quality audio. You can also connect the amplifier to different devices.

Features and Benefits

  • High-quality Video: The amplifier provides the best video playback with 4k/60fps and support for HDR and Dolby Vision.
  • Design: The Dolby Atmos principle in the amplifier will give you an enhanced audio experience when you play some music or watch the movie using it. You have an option to choose IMAX mode that will give out enhanced audio content as we experience in IMAX theatres.
  • Certification: The amplifier’s THX certification is globally recognized, which provides after examining specific audio standards. In this amplifier, the THX guarantees a volume level equal to that of theatres. 
  • Compatibility: The amplifier is compatible with the latest apps like Pandora, Spotify, or amazon music. The amplifier provides a multi-room experience for you, and to give you that, it is compatible with the Sono app, Chromecast, and airplay.

Why should you buy it?

The compatibility of the amplifier with multiple devices makes it an apt choice for you to buy.

Onkyo Amplifier
The amplifier is compatible with the latest apps like Pandora, Spotify, or amazon music and provides a multi-room experience for you

#6 Denon Flagship Amplifier: Best For Home Video Experience

If you search for an in-home video experience and get 3 D effects, you can get this amplifier. It is an award-winning setup assistant that is famous for giving the best output when you use it.

Features and Benefits

  • High-quality audio: The Equalization calibration system will help the amplifier get room measurement, and it balances audio frequencies and optimizes the speakers to suit your listening choice. The system will help you to get clear and smooth audio whenever you use the amplifier. The built-in DTS neural will give a realistic feel whenever you watch a movie, listen to music or play a game using this amplifier.
  • Compatibility: The amplifier is compatible with the latest applications like pandora, Spotify, and Alexa. To stream using these, you can use your wifi, Bluetooth, or Airplay option on your mobile.

Why should you buy it?

The equalization system will give out balanced frequencies and gives you the best audio experience.

Denon Flagship Amplifier
The amplifier is compatible with the latest applications like pandora, Spotify, and also with Alexa and can easily connect to the home theater system

#7 Integra Channel Network Amplifier- Best For Distortion-Free Audio

The amplifier has a globally recognized certificate that guarantees high-quality audio signals. The Dolby Atmos principle used to design the amplifier will enhance the audio experience for you.

Features and Benefits

  • High-quality audio: This amplifier comes with signal processing that combines accurate and noise-free signals with high current power to give you dynamic speaker control.
  • Design: Your amplifier’s design is based on Dolby Atmos’s principle, which works to give you a surround and height effect to enhance your listening experience. The vector linear shaping circuity will remove pulse noise generated in converting digital signal to analog signal. 
  • Certification: This amplifier has a THX certification. The certificate is globally recognized and guarantees the quality, performance, and consistency of the audio system. The THX has a set of standards to certify audio signals. This amplifier of yours has this certificate guaranteeing you the best audio output.

Why should you buy it?

The amplifier gives out noise-free signals, and the certification proves that the audio signals have high standards.

Buyer’s Guide: Best Home Theater Amplifier

Number of channels

The channels provide the user to connect speakers to it. So, there are varieties available in the market among which you can select the best option suitable for you.

2-channel: This gives two points to connect speakers to it.

2.1 channels: The amplifier gives an option to connect a subwoofer. “2” stands for two front speakers, and “1” stands for subwoofer connection.

3.1 channels: It adds the center channel speaker so that the dialogue comes directly from the center of the screen.

5.1 channels: The home theater amplifier 5.1 gives you a feeling of theatre. It adds two more speakers in the back of the room, and you get an effective and powerful sound to enjoy the movie session. 

7.1 channels: For a larger area, you need a home theater amplifier 7.1. It adds rear surround speakers.

9.1 channels: This is the latest technology. It adds two more speakers that can be placed in some heights or attached to the ceiling. It gives a feeling of 3D sound effect and lets the user enjoy the movie at home like a theatre. 

Connectivity

HDMI ports

The amplifier should have multiple numbers of connectivity options. It should have a minimum of four HDMI inputs to connect various devices like DVD player, cable box, etc. It gives you the option to enjoy multiple devices. 

4K & 4K 

The 4K is the highest resolution video format to enjoy in the home. The picture is so detailed and clear that the user enjoys the best quality of sound and video. So, you need a home theatre amplifier that will switch 4k signals. The amplifier will send both sound and pictures from all your video sources through the sound system, increasing the sound and picture quality.

Wifi

These days everyone needs a smart connection for everything. Wifi allows the user to watch different and new releases on the television. It also users to play different apps on TV. Many amplifiers come with built-in wifi so that users can stream without connecting the phone physically.

Frequently asked questions: Best Home Theater Amplifier.

How many speakers are required for Dolby Atmos?

The Dolby Atmos gives us 9.1 channels to connect the speakers and enjoy the 3d sound quality. You should ideally install four Dolby Atmos-enabled speakers. The four speakers will be placed overhead attached to the ceiling, and it will give a sound just like theatres. The sound will be more accurate, precise, and will be more realistic like live music. 

How to make sure that the amplifiers are compatible with the speaker I have?

Normally, all home theatre amplifiers work fine with any speakers. You need to check for the connectivity and the switch type of channel wire. You should also check the amplifier and speakers’ input and output power, and these should be compatible to get distortion-free music. Otherwise, it works well with all types of speakers.

What is second zone audio?

There are multi-zone capable amplifiers that allow playing multiple video sources like cable box, apple tv, DVD player, etc. It can send signals to two different television sets in two separate rooms. So, you can watch two live shows simultaneously with one multi-zone amplifier in two different areas.

Conclusion

The home theatre amplifiers coordinate different media channels like cable boxes, DVD players, gaming consoles, sound systems, etc. It improves the quality of sound and video and gives a beautiful experience to you. 

In our opinion, the Yamaha RX-V385 amplifier is the best choice among the multiple options that we have considered because the home theatre amplifier uses low range enhancement technology that will give you the feel of bass and give an apt sound balance. The amplifier comes with a setup guide, and you can also set it up using the app. It is compatible with HDMI standards and HDR videos also.

The Denon AVR-S540BT Receiver is our next best choice because it has a Bluetooth connection that easily connects to the amplifier. It has multiple channel connections where you can play multiple speakers at a time. You can attach to external devices like speakers, microphones, and radios. The amplifier is compatible with a USB flash drive to the amplifier. You also have an option to use your SD memory card.

Suppose you are looking for a value for money option. In that case, you can also consider the 180W Wireless Bluetooth Stereo Amplifier, which offers great value and features at a very reasonable price point. 

Last update on 2021-07-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API