Wed. Sep 27th, 2023

Nothing beats a movie show for its beautiful image and immersive sound, nevertheless it is not all the time handy to catch the newest blockbusters on the large display screen. Fortuitously, with an AV receiver, you’ll be able to convey a little bit of the movie show expertise proper to your front room. The most effective fashions supply 8K video, Dolby Atmos and Wi-Fi music streaming, however with detailed specs and {hardware}, purchasing for one is usually a bit intimidating. CNET is right here to assist, and we have rounded up the very best AV receivers you should purchase proper now. 

For those who divide your time between watching TV and listening to music, there are a number of fashions which may do each properly, together with two wonderful Onkyo receivers within the TX-NR6100 and TX-RZ50. The lately reviewed Sony STR-AN1000 can be a powerful competitor below $1,000, although it prices barely greater than the remaining.

So how are you aware which is the very best AV receiver for you? I’ve examined the most well-liked fashions between $500 and $2,000 that can assist you discover the very best AV receivers 2023 has to supply. 

Ty Pendlebury/CNET

The TX-NR6100 is the follow-up to my favourite receiver of the previous few years, the Onkyo TX-NR696. Like its predecessor, the NR6100 gives nice sound and a wealth of connectivity (together with 4K/120Hz assist for gaming consoles). Streaming choices together with Chromecast in-built, DTS Play-Fi, Spotify Join, Sonos, AirPlay and Bluetooth. With a bit extra energy than the Sony STR-AN1000 and a keener value than any competitor, the Onkyo TX-NR6100 is the very best receiver worth below $1,000.

Ty Pendlebury/CNET

Sony went away for a few years, however got here again higher than ever with the STR-AN1000. This mannequin gives the entire newest options together with HDMI 2.1 (4K/120Hz) assist. It contains “works with Sonos” certification, however the purpose to purchase it’s that it is a stable performer. It additionally has one of the subtle setup routines but, so dialing in nice sound is even simpler.

Ty Pendlebury/CNET

Onkyo’s TX-RZ50 is an ideal step-up mannequin for these seeking to improve their programs for a set of better-quality audio system or so as to add a turntable. Like its budget-oriented label mate, the TX-NR6100, it is stacked with options together with the audiophile-level calibration referred to as Dirac Stay, in addition to the very best streaming suite provided in an AV receiver. On that time, having the ability to request songs straight from Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa is an actual boon.

Learn extra Ty Pendlebury/CNET

I am an enormous fan of the Yamaha RX-V6A, so I used to be curious to see what the step-up RX-A4A brings to the desk. Because it seems, this Yamaha gives even higher construct high quality and an enormous cinematic sound.

Learn extra

Which receiver ought to I purchase?

For those who’re spending below $1,000, there are 4 major receivers to select from — the Sony STR-AN1000, the Yamaha RX-V6A, the Onkyo TX-NR6100 and the Denon AVR-960H. All supply wonderful efficiency, so the quick reply about which to purchase is whichever is on the market for the bottom value. For the time being, that’s both the Denon or the Onkyo, that are each on sale for below $600 as I kind this. I particularly advocate the Onkyo TX-NR6100 for its mixture of wonderful efficiency and connectivity. The Onkyo gives straightforward setup, wonderful usability, stable seems and helpful options, together with the very best streaming suite alongside Sony. As an added plus, the Onkyo was by no means vulnerable to the 4K subject that plagued early variations of the Yamaha RX-V6A.

In the meantime, the step-up Onkyo TX-RZ50 is a wonderful receiver for those who’re in search of the subsequent degree of options and a efficiency bump over sub-$1,000 fashions. It gives a wonderful, if barely scary, calibration routine from Dirac Stay and the very best variety of streaming options available on the market. It sounds nice with music and flicks alike. 

Lastly, if it is house theater thrills you are after, the Yamaha RX-A4A gives crisp, dynamic sound and improbable construct high quality for $1,300.

How CNET exams

At CNET I check audio gear from compact soundbars although to encompass sound programs, however whatever the gadget my methodology is basically the identical. I all the time examine merchandise towards a number of reference units that supply the very best efficiency at an analogous value. 

In relation to receivers I wish to see how properly a system performs with music and flicks, as most individuals will wish to do each. I watch some check scenes from 4K Blu-ray or streamed from a 4K streaming service (Vudu, for instance) and consider facets akin to Dolby Atmos encompass efficiency and dialog readability. I additionally use a number of check music tracks and consider streaming options akin to Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. Programs that may carry out properly with each kinds of leisure inevitably rating the best.

Take a look at CNET’s receiver shopping for information for extra in regards to the options and issues you must take into account when in search of a brand new system. 

Different AV receivers I’ve examined

Denon AVR-S960H ($499, save $350): The Denon might not be as glittering and glossy because the Yamaha RX-V6A, nevertheless it nonetheless gives wonderful sound high quality. The receiver is laid-back, blends properly with forward-sounding audio system and replays music superbly. It is not fairly nearly as good because the Yamaha RX-V6A or the Onkyo TX-NR6100 because it has neither the previous’s house theater chops nor the latter’s streaming choices. It is at the moment on sale, although, which does make it a wonderful worth. Learn CNET’s Denon AVR-S960H overview.Yamaha RX-V6A ($599, save $150): This Yamaha RX-V6A gives a contemporary take a look at AV receiver design, with its futuristic edges and easy controls, whereas maximizing sound high quality. The Yamaha would possibly even make you neglect about visiting a cinema ever once more, and it is no slouch with music, both. It gives loads of connectivity with Wi-Fi bringing AirPlay 2, Spotify Join, Bluetooth and Yamaha’s MusicCast system for streaming out of your units. Notably, the TSR-700 is an identical — it is an unique mannequin for some shops — and you’ll find it for $550 right here at Amazon. Discover out extra in CNET’s Yamaha RX-V6A overview. 
Marantz SR6015 ($1,599, save $600): The Marantz SR6015 does every little thing you’d anticipate — Dolby Atmos, music streaming, 4K/120Hz throughput — and with a great deal of aplomb. It sounds nice, nevertheless it’s not as versatile as the very best receivers right here — for example, you’ll be able to’t watch a video supply whereas listening to music, just like the Onkyos can, and neither are you able to ask a Google Nest to play a music on it. The Marantz SR6015 has been changed by the Cinema 500 however as it’s promoting out for its authentic value it is a whole lot.

The Denon AVR-S960H

Ty Pendlebury/CNET

AV receiver FAQs

What’s the distinction between a stereo receiver and an AV receiver?

A stereo receiver is an audio-only, two-channel amplifier that features supply switching and an AM/FM tuner — if it lacks a tuner it is referred to as an built-in amp. An AV receiver is usually a encompass sound amplifier that allows HDMI switching and playback of audio and video. Most additionally embody tuners onboard as properly. Nonetheless, if you need, you should utilize an AV receiver merely as a stereo amp, or you’ll be able to add as many audio system as you may have — they’re fairly versatile.

Ought to I purchase an 8K receiver?

Requirements change on a regular basis, however the naked minimal proper now could be assist for HDR and Dolby Imaginative and prescient, and no less than HDMI model 2.0 or higher. All of those fashions assist not solely 4K and HDR video however 8K assist as properly, even when 8K content material is tough to seek out.

Learn extra

How do I join my TV to my AV receiver?

When you’ve got a comparatively new TV you must be capable to use a single cable — an HDMI cable, to be actual — to attach your receiver to your tv. When you’ve got an HDMI port labeled ARC/eARC on the TV you’ll be able to join that to the principle HDMI ARC output of the receiver. Doing so allows you to hear onboard Netflix out of your TV whenever you set the receiver on the “TV” enter, whereas additionally enabling video to be transmitted out of your different AV sources.

Learn extra

Is 4K/120Hz assist an enormous deal?

The quick reply is: Provided that you personal an Xbox Sequence X, and a brand-new TV. As I write this, there’s a rising variety of Xbox Sequence X video games that assist this non-obligatory mode — Halo Infinite and Fortnite, to call a pair — however some great benefits of 4K/120Hz over 60Hz are minimal so far as I’ve seen at this level. Future video games and even video sources could make the variations clearer, and that is why you might have considered trying a receiver that is absolutely appropriate.

Learn extra

The rear panel of the TX-NR6100 gives 6 HDMI inputs and a couple of outputs

Ty Pendlebury/CNET

Different options to search for in an AV receiver

AV receivers are notoriously complicated, with reams of options and complicated technical specs. (For instance, what’s 4K/120Hz anyway?) But, what are the issues that basically matter when shopping for a brand new mannequin? I will sum up an important ones proper right here.

HDMI inputs: With most TVs and set-top bins supporting HDMI, you should purchase a receiver that has as many of those HDMI enter ports and outputs as potential. Entrance-mounted HDMI ports are type of like an appendix — unneeded, as a result of most customers do not hot-plug HDMI units — making the variety of rear inputs what’s most necessary. (How else are you going to attach your Roku, Blu-ray participant, Nintendo Swap and all of your different units?) The Onkyo TX-NR6100 has six rear-mounted HDMI inputs, whereas the Denon AVR-S960H and Yamaha RX-V6A go one higher with seven. If you wish to join two completely different shows — a TV and a projector, for instance — all however the Yamaha supply a second HDMI output. You also needs to ensure you may have an additional HDMI cable or two available — these items are just like the second sock of a pair in that you would be able to by no means discover them whenever you want them.Dolby Atmos functionality: Most receivers within the $500-and-above value vary embody Dolby Atmos functionality and DTS:X, however the impact they’ve on your private home theater movie-watching could be refined, or in most motion pictures, nonexistent. In different phrases, don’t fret about lacking out on these codecs for those who do not set up an additional top speaker or two. Mounting your rear encompass audio system excessive on the wall will get you midway there by way of high quality, immersive sound.Wi-Fi music streaming: Most midrange receivers have onboard Wi-Fi community connectivity for wi-fi music streaming via your speaker system. There are many requirements for wi-fi streaming companies, however essentially the most common are Spotify Join, Apple AirPlay 1 and a couple of and Google Chromecast in-built. For those who’re seeking to construct a multiroom system with quite a lot of AV programs and audio system with wi-fi connectivity, these are the three flavors to purpose for. Onkyo and Sony are the one units to assist all three. The Denon receiver mannequin lacks wi-fi streaming by way of Chromecast, however ups the ante to AirPlay 2 and the proprietary HEOS system. In the meantime, Yamaha has its personal MusicCast system.

For extra common data on what try to be in search of, try this AV receiver shopping for information.

Extra for these searching for nice house theater

Avatar photo

By Admin

Leave a Reply