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Best AV Receivers for 2023

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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 massive display. Happily, with an AV receiver, you possibly can convey a little bit of the movie show expertise proper to your lounge. The most effective fashions provide 8K videoDolby Atmos and Wi-Fi music streaming, however with detailed specs and {hardware}, looking for one could be a bit intimidating. CNET is right here to assist, and we have rounded up one of the best AV receivers you should purchase proper now. 

Should you divide your time between watching TV and listening to music, there are a number of fashions which may do each nicely, together with two glorious Onkyo receivers within the TX-NR6100 and TX-RZ50. The just lately reviewed Sony STR-AN1000 can also be a robust competitor underneath $1,000, although it prices barely greater than the remaining.

So how have you learnt which is one of the best AV receiver for you? I’ve examined the preferred fashions between $500 and $2,000 that will help you discover one of the best AV receivers 2023 has to supply. 

black receiver on a wood table

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 affords nice sound and a wealth of connectivity (together with 4K/120Hz assist for gaming consoles). Streaming choices together with Chromecast inbuilt, 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 one of the best receiver worth underneath $1,000.

Sony STR-AN1000 receiver with popcorn

Ty Pendlebury/CNET

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

onkyo-tx-rz50

Ty Pendlebury/CNET

Onkyo’s TX-RZ50 is an ideal step-up mannequin for these trying to improve their techniques 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 Reside, in addition to one of the best streaming suite supplied in an AV receiver. On that time, with the ability to request songs immediately from Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa is an actual boon.

yamaha-receiver

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 affords even higher construct high quality and an enormous cinematic sound.

Which receiver ought to I purchase?

Should you’re spending underneath $1,000, there are 4 primary receivers to select from — the Sony STR-AN1000, the Yamaha RX-V6A, the Onkyo TX-NR6100 and the Denon AVR-960H. All provide glorious efficiency, so the brief reply about which to purchase is whichever is on the market for the bottom value. In the intervening time, that’s both the Denon or the Onkyo, that are each on sale for underneath $600 as I kind this. I particularly advocate the Onkyo TX-NR6100 for its mixture of fantastic efficiency and connectivity. The Onkyo affords straightforward setup, glorious usability, stable seems and helpful options, together with one of the best streaming suite alongside Sony. As an added plus, the Onkyo was by no means liable to the 4K difficulty that plagued early variations of the Yamaha RX-V6A.

In the meantime, the step-up Onkyo TX-RZ50 is a wonderful receiver should you’re searching for the subsequent degree of options and a efficiency bump over sub-$1,000 fashions. It affords a superb, if barely scary, calibration routine from Dirac Reside and one of the best variety of streaming options in the marketplace. It sounds nice with music and films alike. 

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

How CNET assessments

At CNET I check audio tools from compact soundbars although to encompass sound techniques, however whatever the gadget my methodology is basically the identical. I all the time evaluate merchandise in opposition to a number of reference units that supply one of the best efficiency at an analogous value. 

On the subject of receivers I need to see how nicely a system performs with music and films, as most individuals will need to do each. I watch some check scenes from 4K Blu-ray or streamed from a 4K streaming service (Vudu, for instance) and consider features comparable to Dolby Atmos encompass efficiency and dialog readability. I additionally use a number of check music tracks and consider streaming options comparable to Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. Techniques that may carry out nicely with each sorts of leisure inevitably rating the best.

Take a look at CNET’s receiver shopping for information for extra concerning the options and issues it is best to contemplate when searching for 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 affords glorious sound high quality. The receiver is laid-back, blends nicely with forward-sounding audio system and replays music fantastically. It isn’t 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 superb worth. Learn CNET’s Denon AVR-S960H assessment.
  • Yamaha RX-V6A ($599, save $150): This Yamaha RX-V6A affords a recent take a look at AV receiver design, with its futuristic edges and easy controls, whereas maximizing sound high quality. The Yamaha may even make you overlook about visiting a cinema ever once more, and it is no slouch with music, both. It affords 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 similar — it is an unique mannequin for some retailers — and yow will discover it for $550 here at Amazon. Discover out extra in CNET’s Yamaha RX-V6A assessment. 
  • Marantz SR6015 ($1,599, save $600): The Marantz SR6015 does every part you’d count on — Dolby Atmos, music streaming, 4K/120Hz throughput — and with a great deal of aplomb. It sounds nice, nevertheless it’s not as versatile as one of the best receivers right here — as an example, you possibly can’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 tune on it. The Marantz SR6015 has been changed by the Cinema 500 however as it’s promoting out for its unique value it is a whole lot.

The Denon AVR-S960H receiver

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 nicely. Nevertheless, in order for you, you should utilize an AV receiver merely as a stereo amp, or you possibly can add as many audio system as you will have — they’re fairly versatile.

Ought to I purchase an 8K receiver?

Requirements change on a regular basis, however the naked minimal proper now’s assist for HDR and Dolby Imaginative and prescient, and at the least HDMI model 2.0 or higher. All of those fashions assist not solely 4K and HDR video however 8K assist as nicely, even when 8K content material is tough to search out.

How do I join my TV to my AV receiver?

When you’ve got a comparatively new TV it is best to 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 possibly can 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.

Is 4K/120Hz assist an enormous deal?

The brief reply is: Provided that you personal an Xbox Sequence X, and a brand-new TV. As I write this, there’s a growing number of Xbox Series X games that assist this elective 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 it’s your decision a receiver that is totally appropriate.

The rear panel of the TX-NR6100 receiver

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

Ty Pendlebury/CNET

Different options to search for in an AV receiver

AV receivers are notoriously advanced, with reams of options and complicated technical specs. (For instance, what’s 4K/120Hz anyway?) But, what are the issues that actually 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 can purchase a receiver that has as many of those HDMI enter ports and outputs as doable. 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 provide a second HDMI output. You also needs to make sure you will have an additional HDMI cable or two readily available — this stuff are just like the second sock of a pair in you can 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 house theater movie-watching may be refined, or in most motion pictures, nonexistent. In different phrases, don’t be concerned about lacking out on these codecs should you do not set up an additional peak 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 providers, however probably the most common are Spotify Join, Apple AirPlay 1 and a couple of and Google Chromecast inbuilt. Should you’re trying to construct a multiroom system with a wide range of AV techniques 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 normal info on what you have to be searching for, try this AV receiver shopping for information.

Extra for these looking for nice house theater



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