The Best AV Receiver for 2023

Create the ideal audio ambiance for every of your home theater needs.

Nothing beats unwinding at the end of the day with a breathtaking movie experience from the comfort of your couch. The truth is that even though the top 4K TVs and projectors may provide the most cutting-edge contemporary picture quality, they typically fall short when it comes to audio. Here, a solid AV receiver is important because it is the foundation for any enjoyable home theater experience. They serve as the all-encompassing conductor, controlling with exquisite accuracy how and when to deliver audio while also providing amplification for your speaker system. In this guide, we provide many recommendations for various situations in your home as some AV receivers offer considerably more functionality for a fee and to satisfy various needs.

How We Picked

  • Audio Quality and Controls

    We examined the speaker-to-speaker transitions of sound effects, the overall power, timbre, and tone of the sound, as well as the general soundstage quality, to test the sound quality and controls.

  • Input and Output Ports

    We considered the advantage of having a receiver that has as many of these HDMI input ports and outputs as possible since most TVs and set-top boxes support HDMI.

  • Power

    We made sure to review AV receivers that can decode Dolby Atmos and DTS:X (newer sound formats) and can power more speakers so you can experience the full range of these sound formats.

  • Cost-Effectiveness

    Notwithstanding your desire to cut costs, a good rule of thumb is to budget for an amplifier that costs around half as much as your speaker set to get decent quality.

Our Top Picks

Best Pick

Denon AVR-X2700H

This lies afloat of the heap when it comes to the best quality.

The Denon AVR-X2700H provides the finest value in AV receivers. It offers excellent value and a low-cost starting point for the company's 2021 X-series AV receivers. Although the price tag suggests low-cost components, it defies expectations in a small viewing space and works quite well with loud soundtracks. This AV receiver is also subtle enough to convey a relaxing atmosphere.

Buy Now for $799.00

This feature-rich device outperforms itself in comparison to its pricing, which would seem to indicate otherwise, thanks to an unmatched combination of features and capabilities.

Runner Up

Marantz SR8015

This may cost more than other options, but it is entirely worth it.

The Marantz SR8015 is the top dog among home theater receivers. This AV receiver supports AirPlay 2, a wide range of online streaming apps, voice assistants, and complete Bluetooth and Wi-Fi functionality. As the focal point of your home theater, this high-performance, value-packed receiver is a fantastic option. If you're prepared to spend in your home theater, you'll be rewarded with an unrivaled combination of features and capability, although it's not the cheapest option on the market.

Buy Now for $3,999.00

Supporting a wide range of online streaming apps, voice assistants, and complete Bluetooth/Wi-Fi functionality, this is a wise investment for people willing to spend the extra money.

Most cost-effective

Sony STR DH590

Want to experience something breathtaking on a sizable budget? This is it!

The Sony STR-DH590 satisfies all the requirements for assembling a functional theater setup for less than $300. Five speakers and two subwoofers can be easily accommodated on its five independent channels. This AV receiver provides several inputs and is equipped with everything you need to experience surround sound at theater quality. If you enjoy music, you'll appreciate its built-in Bluetooth, which enables you to conveniently play all of your favorite tunes from your device.

Buy Now for $298.00

For a practical theater setup within a reasonable budget, this high-performing Sony device hits the target in every area of visual and auditory entertainment.

Almost made the cut

Onkyo TX-NR6100

This checked many boxes, making it a good option to consider.

Home theater receivers from Onkyo are renowned for their great quality and performance. The TX-NR6100 is a feature-rich device that includes THX certification, cutting-edge gaming processing technology, and some unique music-listening features. By using Bluetooth, Apple AirPlay 2, or a built-in Chromecast, you can stream music from any device. Additionally, BlueTooth transmission to wireless headphones is offered, allowing you to watch TV or listen to music without making any noise.

Buy Now for $599.00

This value-packed gadget, well known for its excellent quality and performance, offers a lot to enhance your home theater experience.

Everything We Recommend

Best Pick

Denon AVR-X2700H

This lies afloat of the heap when it comes to the best quality.

$799.00

Buy Now

Runner Up

Marantz SR8015

This may cost more than other options, but it is entirely worth it.

$3,999.00

Buy Now

Most cost-effective

Sony STR DH590

Want to experience something breathtaking on a sizable budget? This is it!

$298.00

Buy Now

Almost made the cut

Onkyo TX-NR6100

This checked many boxes, making it a good option to consider.

$599.00

Buy Now

Who This Is For

The products reviewed here are for people looking to improve their home cinema experience — who have many sources to connect, and who desire more versatility in their speaker selection and layout.
What is an AV receiver and how does it work?
Essentially serving as the hub of your home theater, an AV (audio/visual) receiver is both an amplifier and an audio/video switching device. The most crucial aspects of your home theater are controlled by AVRs: what you see and hear. Consider your typical home theater. It could have speakers, a Blu-ray player, an Apple TV hub, a DVD or Blu-ray player, and definitely, a TV. Any one of these devices can be connected to an AVR, which will then receive the different signals they produce. The AVR then synchronizes these signals and transmits them to the appropriate output points.

Think about your standard DVD player as an illustration of how an AVR operates. The AVR receives signals from the DVD player and sends the audio and video signals to the television and speakers, respectively.
Is it worth buying an AV receiver?
The heart of most home theater systems is an AV receiver. In a single device, it combines source switching, audio/video processing, speaker amplification, and volume control. Many of them can connect to your home network and transmit audio across the building using services like AirPlay 2 and Chromecast, meaning they may also act as a music hub for your house.

AV receivers of today handle much more than just audio signals. The central processing unit or brain of a home theater system can be compared to the AV receiver in many respects. Without it, the entertainment options available to you in your home theater setup would be fairly constrained. The experience of watching movies in your house would be dull and lackluster without an AV receiver. It enhances movies and makes it simple for you to control your priceless AV components.
Does price or wattage affect audio quality in an AV receiver?
Understanding power ratings and how they apply to your device will help you focus your search for a new amplifier, receiver, or powered speaker. It is assumed that a device will generate a better, louder sound the more watts it can output. While to some extent accurate, power ratings do not always show a clear connection between power and sound quality.

Higher power settings do make speakers play louder and clearer (watts). Small changes in power, however, don’t cause audible differences in the sound. To be noticeable, a 3dB difference would need a power increase of two. Accordingly, a receiver with 50 watts per channel would need to be increased to 100 watts per channel before you could tell a difference.

In other instances, you can have two receivers or amps with comparable power ratings, yet discover that one plays louder and sounds richer than the other. The manufacturer testing is what led to this difference in quality between what would otherwise appear to be comparable items. Some manufacturers measure just one working channel at a time as opposed to all channels being driven concurrently, which more accurately simulates actual living room use. Power ratings may not correctly reflect acoustic merit in an at-home environment because conventional amplifier testing cannot replicate the same electrical conditions or quality of sound through a loudspeaker. Additionally, more expensive AV receivers typically have better parts and construction, which results in great sound quality. To fully enjoy the benefits, you will also need premium speakers, high-quality source material, and a proper installation using high-quality interconnects.

Why You Should Trust Us

Working with reputable independent contractors with years of expertise writing about lifestyle topics and product reviews is something National Today takes great pleasure in. We studied many customer evaluations and conducted extensive research on the best AV receiver options available in the market and online to create this post.

How We Picked

Power: Even if you don’t have access to a dedicated theater room, a model with significant amplification makes sense as power isn’t just about the high volume. A high power output allows an AVR to pressurize a space and deliver dynamic transients without skipping or distortion.
Audio Quality: Even on inexpensive receivers, room calibration is a smart function that you’ll regularly find. This feature measures the reflections in your room using an external microphone, which is typically provided with the receiver and then modifies the receiver’s sound to compensate. It’s a very practical feature, especially if your space is shaped awkwardly or differently than usual. Receivers with this feature are always recommended.
Audio Controls: Your A/V receiver is connected to all audio sources in your home theater, including CD players, turntables, and digital audio players. You can quickly switch or select amongst the linked audio sources you want to listen to using the AV receiver’s preamplifier section. AV receivers eliminate the need to manually connect and disconnect wires because everything can be switched on and off by simply pressing a few buttons.
Display: All video source equipment is usually connected to the A/V receiver, which is then connected to your display equipment, such as the projector or television. This setup makes accessing video sources much easier, and you can typically choose what you wish to view using the AV receiver’s remote control. You can save the effort of manually adjusting or connecting cords between the various sources and the linked display.
Interface: A simple user interface on an AV receiver makes it easy to connect, configure, and optimize home theater systems. The remote control for the receiver, the display on the receiver’s front panel, and an on-screen display on your television are the interface choices.
Input and Output Types: There are numerous connectors for audio and video components on the rear panel of every AV receiver. HDMI cables, which transmit both audio and video information, will be used by the majority of your equipment to connect to your receiver.
Number of Input Ports: Find a receiver with enough audio channels to effectively accommodate all of your speakers, whether you have stereo speakers or a full surround sound system. Additionally, if you have the resources, it never hurts to have a few extra channels available in case you decide to expand later on.
Price vs Quality: An AV receiver’s sound quality will most likely improve as the price increases. Even though it’s not a universal truth, this is still a good generalization. In general, cheaper receivers are more likely to employ store-bought parts, whereas more expensive ones frequently use higher-quality parts. Better audio will be produced by these components in turn.

Our Picks For You

Best Pick - Denon AVR-X2700H

Best Pick

Denon AVR-X2700H

This lies afloat of the heap when it comes to the best quality.

The Denon AVR-X2700H provides the finest value in AV receivers. It offers excellent value and a low-cost starting point for the company's 2021 X-series AV receivers. Although the price tag suggests low-cost components, it defies expectations in a small viewing space and works quite well with loud soundtracks. This AV receiver is also subtle enough to convey a relaxing atmosphere.

Buy Now for $799.00

Who it is for

With integrated Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, the AVR-X2700 has you covered in spades if you enjoy wireless streaming. You become the lord of your audio/video kingdom thanks to Denon's HEOS multi-room streaming, Apple AirPlay 2, and the receiver's compatibility with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa.

Why it is great

In terms of what it provides for the money, Denon's AVR-X2700H is what we consider to be the best overall AV receiver. It offers a cost-effective starting point for the company's 2021 X-series AV receivers. Although the price tag suggests budget-friendly elements, it defies expectations by making use of discrete, high-current power transistors in a high-performance Class AB amplifier. This translates to the amplifier reproducing audio with a huge dynamic range and clarity in the real world.

Potential flaws

The only con to this already-perfect receiver is that it comes with only one HDMI 2.1 input.

Other features

This 7.2-channel masterpiece features 95 watts per channel (8 ohms, driven by two channels), complete Dolby Atmos and DTS:X support, and the ability to simulate height channels using Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization and DTS Virtual: X. Furthermore, Denon is well known for its discrete amplification, which is capable of driving low-impedance speakers without risk.

No less amazing are the video capabilities of the AVR-X2700. The receiver can also upscale lesser resolutions to 8K via one of the HDMI inputs, which can accept video up to 8K/60 Hz and feed it through to the HDMI outputs. All HDR formats, including HDR10, HDR10+, Dolby Vision, and HLG, are also supported. And with Variable Refresh Rate (VRR), Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM), and Quick Frame Transport (QFT), the gaming experience is substantially enhanced.

You will be able to stream music in multi-room groups if you already have HEOS-compatible speakers in your house, such as the Denon Home 150. Numerous streaming services are supported, including Spotify, Amazon Music HD, and TIDAL. Bluetooth and Apple AirPlay 2 are also supported, allowing you to stream Apple Music. For hands-free control, it also functions with Siri, Google Assistant, and Amazon Alexa. According to Denon, Google Assistant and Siri can only be used to manage the volume and music playback while Amazon Alexa can be used for a variety of tasks, including switching inputs for different media devices.

Runner Up - Marantz SR8015

Runner Up

Marantz SR8015

This may cost more than other options, but it is entirely worth it.

The Marantz SR8015 is the top dog among home theater receivers. This AV receiver supports AirPlay 2, a wide range of online streaming apps, voice assistants, and complete Bluetooth and Wi-Fi functionality. As the focal point of your home theater, this high-performance, value-packed receiver is a fantastic option. If you're prepared to spend in your home theater, you'll be rewarded with an unrivaled combination of features and capability, although it's not the cheapest option on the market.

Buy Now for $3,999.00

Who it is for

This gadget is for people who want to ensure that music sounds as nice as any movie or television program.

Why it is great

To produce immersive Dolby Atmos audio, this powerhouse has the power to drive a horde of surround sound speakers, replete with front and rear overhead channels. Although it has many features for home theater, its acoustic qualities are an even stronger argument in favor of buying it. The Marantz SR8015 is the next best AV receiver option available if you can afford it.

Potential flaws

For those looking for something simpler, it may be too much due to its deep complexity, which warrants the price.

Other features

It has Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, DTS:X Pro, IMAX Enhanced, and Auro 3D, as well as the ability to connect a turntable for some vinyl playback and stream music from services like Spotify, Tidal, Pandora, and AirPlay 2 devices, among others. Let's start with audio. Additionally, you have access to Alexa, Google Assistant, Siri, and HEOS, which enables multi-room configurations.

You can stream high-resolution audio files from a USB or network storage drive to the receiver in lossless formats up to 24-bit/192 kHz. When all the channels are being used, the 11.2 channel system can operate in 7.2.4 or 9.2.2 configurations. The Audyssey MultEQ XT32 support only helps the cause further with its room-correction technology to account for internal acoustics. There are 140 watts of output per channel.

Along with 4K/120Hz, HDR (HDR10, HDR10+, HLG, Dynamic HDR, Dolby Vision), and HDMI-eARC, which enables you to send full-resolution surround sound from your TV through to the receiver, the SR8015 supports 8K video at 60Hz (including upscaling). To satisfy gamers who require them, there are eight HDMI inputs and three outputs, as well as practical add-ons such as Variable Refresh Rate (VRR) and Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM).

Most cost-effective - Sony STR DH590

Most cost-effective

Sony STR DH590

Want to experience something breathtaking on a sizable budget? This is it!

The Sony STR-DH590 satisfies all the requirements for assembling a functional theater setup for less than $300. Five speakers and two subwoofers can be easily accommodated on its five independent channels. This AV receiver provides several inputs and is equipped with everything you need to experience surround sound at theater quality. If you enjoy music, you'll appreciate its built-in Bluetooth, which enables you to conveniently play all of your favorite tunes from your device.

Buy Now for $298.00

Who it is for

Those who desire a sophisticated home theater system without paying thousands of dollars.

Why it is great

This device has every component needed to assemble a 5.1 theater setup. The STR-DH590 also offers several inputs, 4K HDR passthrough, and Dolby Vision support, giving you everything you need to experience surround sound with theater-level quality. It is easily affordable for the majority of consumers while still offering almost all of the features available on receivers that cost significantly more money.

Potential flaws

The only con with this receiver is its limited number of HDMI ports.

Other features

On a tight budget, the Sony STR-DH590 manages to give all of the functions that are generally included in AV receivers. It does so in a fantastic way by supporting all of the most recent audio and video formats, such as 4K and HDR (HDR10, HLG, and Dolby Vision). Additionally, it has a built-in acoustic calibration circuitry that eliminates guesswork when adjusting the volume of your speakers. With two subwoofers and five separate channels, it can easily fit five speakers (left, right, center, and two rear).

The DH590 features Sony's Pure Direct mode for the purest sound the receiver is capable of producing for maximum audio quality. It accomplishes this by turning off the front display panel of the DH590, preventing extraneous component noise from leaking into the mix of whatever content you're viewing. Remember that switching to Pure Direct disengages a number of the receiver's internal equalizers. It's a fantastic function for listening to music through analog sources, but if you enjoy loud movie theater sound, you probably wouldn't use it when viewing a movie.

Almost made the cut - Onkyo TX-NR6100

Almost made the cut

Onkyo TX-NR6100

This checked many boxes, making it a good option to consider.

Home theater receivers from Onkyo are renowned for their great quality and performance. The TX-NR6100 is a feature-rich device that includes THX certification, cutting-edge gaming processing technology, and some unique music-listening features. By using Bluetooth, Apple AirPlay 2, or a built-in Chromecast, you can stream music from any device. Additionally, BlueTooth transmission to wireless headphones is offered, allowing you to watch TV or listen to music without making any noise.

Buy Now for $599.00

Who it is for

This receiver is especially suited to Android users. It's also suitable for people who have used the Onkyo TX-NR696 and crave better-enhanced video compatibility.

Why it is great

This home theater receiver has a ton of fantastic features. These include a THX certification, which is uncommon in receivers in this price range and provides you with convenient presets for different listening modes like watching movies, listening to music, and playing video games. Additionally, Onkyo gave streaming options a lot of care. You can enjoy your collection of high-resolution digital music files via your home's Wi-Fi network, Bluetooth streaming from a tablet or smartphone, Apple AirPlay 2, or Chromecast.

Potential flaws

Apart from easy accessibility, the remote of this receiver could definitely be better. Also, it’s not as dynamic with music.

Other features

There are numerous connections available with the Onkyo TX-NR6100. With the most recent HDMI 2.1 standard, you have three inputs, allowing you to use 4K/120Hz and 8K TVs. With VRR and ALLM support, gaming graphics should also improve. There is even a Zone 2 HDMI output in addition to HDR10 and Dolby Vision support on the other three HDMI inputs. You can choose between a 5.2.2 arrangement with Dolby Atmos or DTS:X or a 7.2-channel setup with support for surround sound. Streaming services with built-in functionality, such as Spotify, Deezer, Pandora, and Google Chromecast, make it simple to enjoy your favorite music or TV shows. Even more, smart home ecosystems can be used with the receiver.

You receive your regular audio output, plus a phono input is ideal for your turntable. Bi-Directional Bluetooth is another feature you get, allowing you to stream music from your device to the receiver or send audio from the AVR to headphones.

Care and maintenance

How to set up
Nowadays, almost all models come with a microphone and have an auto-setup process. To do this, you must connect the microphone to the amplifier, start the setup process, and wait for the microphone to pick up the tone signals. This communicates to the amplifier the relative positions and sizes of each speaker. Advanced systems are used in better-equipped models that also account for the room’s acoustics and audio reflections from the walls, floors, and ceilings.

While auto-setups often produce positive results, faults can occasionally occur, and every AV system could use a little fine-tuning. You can control the loudness of each channel by going through the manual setup process using an SPL (Sound Pressure Level) meter. We have discovered that in many situations, double-checking the receiver-set channel levels yourself will produce a more precise balance between the speakers and also give the chance to change levels to fit a listening preference, such as cranking up the center speaker to emphasize speech. Online, an SPL meter can be purchased for a reasonable price. Considering the price of an AVR, we think this is a wise investment.
Connecting to other devices
Consider the inputs and outputs of the external devices you will need to purchase to connect your receiver. You’ll be sending video to a TV or comparable display and audio to speakers for outputs. In terms of inputs, a lot relies on what you have and what you want. A receiver can be connected to consoles, Blu-ray players, laptops or PCs, set-top boxes, and a range of other gadgets. Be vigilant about the ports on your devices, and confirm that your receiver supports the best AV data reception method, such as eARC. There is more to say about the many setups an AV receiver may accommodate, but this will get you started.
Preventing port damage/Electronic safety
Make sure all the wires are securely connected to prevent a receiver from experiencing a blown channel. This issue is prevalent and is simple to resolve. Also, employ speaker wires of superior quality. Low-quality wires may overheat and blow the channel.

Keeping the receiver away from heat and moisture is another approach to avoid this. The receiver should not be placed close to any heat sources and should have good airflow all around it.

Avoid connecting too many speakers to the receiver to avoid overloading it. This can distort the sound. Additionally, avoid playing audio at loud volumes for prolonged periods as this could cause the amplifier to get overworked.