Top 10 Home Theater AV Receivers
There are now hundreds of home theater receivers in the market with different features and price levels. To help narrow your search, we have compiled a list of top AV receivers that offer not only good performance but also value for your money. Feel free to use this as a starting point in your search for the AV receiver that caters best to your budget and needs.
April 2013 Update :
Onkyo receivers continue to dominate the top 10 list. The new flagship receiver Onkyo TX-NR5010 easily takes the top spot with its pristine picture and audiophile sound quality. Compared to the TX-NR5009, it has more finesse, smoothness and spaciousness. It comes with important upgrades and an incredible range of features and connectivity options. If you are looking for a receiver with “the works”, this is it.
In second place is the highly popular Onkyo TX-NR818. Onkyo upped the ante even further with improved picture and sound quality over the previous model. In 3rd spot is the new Onkyo TX-NR3010 which offers the same cutting edge features and superb video quality as the TX-NR5010 for $700 less.
The TX-NR5010 is Onkyo’s flagship model that showcases the company’s heritage at its finest. Built like a tank with thick anti-resonant exterior panels it comes with immense power. A massive toroidal transformer powers the Three-Stage Inverted Darlington Circuitry, supported by two discrete transformers dedicated to audio and video processing. Crucial components includes premium 192 kHz/32-bit DACs, gold-plated speaker posts and terminals, and differential DAC mode as well as the Audyssey MultEQ® XT32 and DTS Neo:X™ processing systems. Video processing is incomparably powerful, with technology from HQV®, Qdeo™, and ISF upscaling video sources to 4K. It is networked and can be controlled via Onkyo’s remote app. It is also DLNA Certified for local streaming and pre-configured for many of the main streaming services such as Spotify.
List Price: $2999.00
Onkyo made real improvements in video and audio qualities with the new TX-NR818. It delivers power effortlessly through three-stage inverted Darlington circuitry and 192 kHz/24-bit DACs. This 7.2 channel powerhouse comes with a huge set of useful features. Audio performance is unmatched at this price point, so is its video performance utilizing the HQV® Vida™ VHD1900 processor that upscales content to 1080p, with Qdeo™ technology taking full HD out to an eye-popping 4K. Being network capable allows you to stream content from the internet and home PC. Advanced audio options include bi-amping, 7.2 multichannel pre-outs, and distributed multi-zone audio. A massive transformer, symmetrical L/R channels, separate power and pre-amp blocks, and a highly rigid chassis provide excellent channel separation with fine details and impressive richness in sound.
The Onkyo TX-NR3010 costs $700 less than the flagship 5010 but you get the same video performance with a slightly lower resolution in audio quality. The TX-NR3010 can drive audio in three rooms, output high–resolution video on two displays, and stream audio via DLNA –all controlled by your iPhone or Android-powered phone. You get 11 HDMI ports and 11.4–channel pre–outs, Audyssey MultEQ XT32 room correction and three incredible sound expansion systems –DTS Neo:X, Audyssey DSX, and Dolby Pro Logic IIz– while a combination of Qdeo, HQV, and ISF technology upscales and calibrates video sources to 4K resolution. Audiophiles will be delighted to know that the TX–NR3010 features a massive main transformer, with additional transformers for audio and video processing, and separated pre–amp and power amp blocks. Audio signals are jitter–cleaned and converted to analog by 192 kHz/24-bit DACs and VLSC™ circuits before passing through the Three–Stage Inverted Darlington Circuitry. The resulting sound quality is awe–inspiring, and with differential DAC mode and digital crossover processing, bi–amping your front monitors results in even higher performance. Easily set up and controlled using the HDMI–enabled user interface, this THX Ultra2 Plus–certified receiver will satisfy even the most discerning home theater enthusiast.
Onkyo has long been known for having the most features for the money in their receiver offerings and the TX-NR717 is no different. It is THX certified with the power to fill large rooms, it also allows you access music on PC, streamfrom MP3tunes and Spotify, explore online radio, or connect your iPod/iPhone to one of two USB ports. You can distribute any of these sources to other rooms for house-wide entertainment. With a total of 10 HDMI connections, this receiver converges HD content from all your components-even your smart phone media via a frontside MHL/HDMI-and provides easy input selection with InstaPrevue technology. HDMI also enables intuitive GUI with overlaid Quick Set-Up menu. Visually managing settings and playback-even across multiple zones-is easy with the Onkyo Remote App for iPhone and Android phones. Video upscaling to 4K,Audyssey DSX seven-channel sound expansion, and Audyssey 2EQ room correction are all included. Sound quality is quite simply the best in its class, with powerful WRAT amplifier, three-stage inverted Darlington circuitry, and discrete output stage components delivering an otherworldly entertainment experience.
The VSX-1123 is a true multi-zone audio video power house with 165 Watts (1 kHz 1 % THD @ 6 Ohms 1ch Driven) or 90 Watts of clean audio reproduction and advanced new technologies such as 4K Ultra-High Definition Up-scaling, True Multi-Zone Audio Video, an energy-saving ECO Mode, and a whole host of networked entertainment options the new VSX-1123 helps you get the most out of your home entertainment experience. The VSX-1123 features the latest Made for iPhone and iPad certification, which includes the iPhone 5 and the iPad Mini. Since this receiver is networked, it also supports Apple’s AirPlay wireless music streaming technology allowing you to wirelessly stream music from your iPhone, iPod or iTunes-running Mac or PC directly to the receiver.
List Price: $599.00
The Denon AVR-2113CI offers an affordable entry point to the world of high quality home theater. With its vast array of inputs and network functions, the 7.1-Channel Networked receiver sets a new standard in 3D, Blu-ray, game console, and other entertainment device integration. It also delivers impressive picture quality with 3D and 4K pass-through and upscaling technologies. It features 95-watts per channel of power and multiple high-resolution audio formats. Sound quality, a trademark of Denon’s AV products shines through even for its mid priced offerings. It is one of the least expensive receiver to offer Audyssey MultiEQ XT. Enhanced by digital network audio/photo streaming capabilities, including support for AirPlay, mp3/WMA/WAV and FLAC HD audio, the AVR-2113CI is a solid foundation for your networked home entertainment system.
Following on from its award-winning predecessor, the Yamaha RX-V673 is better equipped than ever to deliver top class home theater entertainment. Going one stage further than conventional 1080p upscaling, this processor has the power to upscale to twice that level. It features a discrete amplifier and Pure Direct for higher quality audio. The 7.2 amplifier also delivers 90 watts per channel which is ample for all but the most demanding of rooms and also features Yamaha’s famous DSP Surround programs. Built-in Apple AirPlay means that you can stream music from your Apple iPod Touch, iPhone, iPad or other compatible Apple device, wirelessly. With a DLNA certified LAN connection, it’s easy to hook up to your home network hub too.
The Onkyo TX-NR414 is one of Onkyo’s 2012 offerings in the budget category of AV receivers. Although the external design remains the same, Onkyo added several key improvements like InstaPrevue technology which is a new picture-in-picture HDMI input source preview system that greatly simplifies the selection of input sources. Also new is MHL technology that allows you to stream HD video from your mobile devices. Picture and sound quality is way ahead of its class.
List Price: $499.00
Denon’s mid-range 7.1 channel AVR-1913 has a lot going for it. It supports 3D video and is equipped with network functions that let you enjoy a wide variety of online digital content or your favorite genres of music at any time. It also supports AirPlay so that you can stream music from your iPad, iPhone or iPod touch, or from the iTunes music library. With the Denon Remote App installed on your iPad, iPhone or iPod touch, you can also perform basic operations such as turn the AVR-1913’s power on or off, adjust the volume, and switch sources. Plus there’s Internet radio and streaming services.
10. Denon AVR-E300
The new Denon AVR-E300 features network connectivity that lets you enjoy music from sources such as Pandora, SiriusXM, and Spotify and view your favorite photos via Flickr. The AVR-E300 also features AirPlay for streaming from your favorite iOS device, such as an iPod touch, iPhone, or iPad. For easy, fast, and accurate system setup, the AVR-E300 features our acclaimed Setup Assistant with simple on-screen setup instructions. Audio playback is exemplary and video reproduction is top notch for a receiver in the budget category.