Best Buy Receiver Deals [UPD]
So how do you know which is the best AV receiver for you? I've tested the most popular models between $500 and $2,000 to help you find the best AV receivers 2023 has to offer. One thing you should consider, though, is that some of these products could be on backorder, so check back periodically.
best buy receiver deals
The TX-NR6100 is the follow-up to my favorite receiver of the past few years, the Onkyo TX-NR696. Like its predecessor, the NR6100 offers great sound and a wealth of connectivity (including 4K/120Hz support for gaming consoles). Streaming options including Chromecast built in, DTS Play-Fi, Spotify Connect, Sonos, AirPlay and Bluetooth. With a bit more power than the Sony STR-AN1000 and a keener price than any competitor, the Onkyo TX-NR6100 is the best receiver value under $1,000.
Onkyo's TX-RZ50 is a perfect step-up model for those looking to upgrade their systems for a set of better-quality speakers or to add a turntable. Like its budget-oriented label mate, the TX-NR6100, it's stacked with features including the audiophile-level calibration called Dirac Live, as well as the best streaming suite offered in an AV receiver. On that point, being able to request songs directly from Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa is a real boon.
If you're spending under $1,000, there are four main receivers to choose from -- the Sony STR-AN1000, the Yamaha RX-V6A, the Onkyo TX-NR6100 and the Denon AVR-960H. All offer excellent performance, so the short answer about which to buy is whichever is available for the lowest price. At the moment, that is either the Denon or the Onkyo, which are both on sale for $599 right now. I especially recommend the Onkyo TX-NR6100 for its combination of excellent performance and connectivity. The Onkyo offers easy setup, excellent usability, solid looks and useful features, including the best streaming suite alongside Sony. On the plus side, the Onkyo was never prone to the 4K issue that plagued early versions of the Yamaha RX-V6A.
Meanwhile, the Onkyo TX-RZ50 is an excellent receiver if you're looking for the next level of features and a performance bump over sub-$1,000 models. It offers an excellent, if slightly scary, calibration routine from Dirac Live and the best number of streaming features on the market. It sounds great with music and movies alike.
At CNET I test audio equipment from compact soundbars though to surround sound systems, but regardless of the device my methodology is essentially the same. I always compare products against one or more reference devices that offer the best performance at a similar price.
When it comes to receivers I want to see how well a system performs with music and movies, as most people will want to do both. I watch some test scenes from 4K Blu-ray or streamed from a 4K streaming service (Vudu, for example) and evaluate aspects such as Dolby Atmos surround performance and dialog clarity. I also use several test music tracks and evaluate streaming features such as Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. Systems that can perform well with both types of entertainment inevitably score the highest.
A stereo receiver is an audio-only, two-channel amplifier that includes source switching and an AM/FM tuner -- if it lacks a tuner it's called an integrated amp. An AV receiver is typically a surround sound amplifier that enables HDMI switching and playback of audio and video. Most also include tuners onboard as well. However, if you want, you can use an AV receiver simply as a stereo amp, or you can add as many speakers as you have -- they're pretty flexible.
Be aware that all 2020 8K-compatible receivers were prone to a bug preventing them from displaying variable refresh rate video, and from the Xbox Series X in particular. Denon, Marantz and Yamaha announced fixes for existing models, while compliant models from Yamaha RX-V6A began shipping in summer 2021 and Denon and Marantz receivers sold after April 2021 should be 4K/120Hz compatible. Yamaha users can check for 4K compatibility here while Denon and Marantz users should check with their dealer.
If you have a relatively new TV you should be able to use a single cable -- an HDMI cable, to be exact -- to connect your receiver to your television. If you have an HDMI port labeled ARC/eARC on the TV you can connect that to the main HDMI ARC output of the receiver. Doing so enables you to hear onboard Netflix from your TV when you set the receiver on the "TV" input, while also enabling video to be transmitted from your other AV sources.
If you have an older TV without an ARC-compliant port you will need to connect both an HDMI cable and an optical cable to the back of your TV. However, if you have a CRT or rear-projection TV with composite or component inputs you'll need a $1,000-plus receiver like the Marantz SR6015 or Onkyo TX-RZ50. Many receivers no longer offer switching for these legacy connections.
The short answer is: Only if you own an Xbox Series X, and a brand-new TV. As I write this, there is a growing number of Xbox Series X games that support this optional mode -- Halo Infinite and Fortnite, to name a couple -- but the advantages of 4K/120Hz over 60Hz are minimal as far as I've seen at this point. Future games and even video sources may make the differences clearer, and that's why you may want a receiver that's fully compatible.
If you do buy an older receiver, you don't care about the Xbox Series X, or don't want to send your early-8K model to the shop, you can always hook a fancy new console directly to the TV, then use eARC to get audio to the receiver.
AV receivers are notoriously complex, with reams of features and confusing technical specifications. (For example, what's 4K/120Hz anyway?) Yet, what are the things that really matter when buying a new model? I'm going to sum up the most important ones right here.
If you're looking for the very best home cinema sound, an AV receiver can help you achieve the ultimate home theater experience. When partnered to a multi-channel speaker package, a dedicated AV receiver can get up to 9 discrete channels of sound and achieve the most tangible and immersive effect from the latest surround sound formats like Dolby Atmos and DTS: X.
Although we've not covered AV receivers as standalone reviews, they've all been tested by our home theater expert in a domestic situation with a big-screen TV just as you would experience them in your own home. Each AV receiver has been given a multi-channel workout with high-octane movies, as well as being assessed for music performance.
Best overall: Denon AVR-X47000HThe Denon sits at the top of our best receivers list for several reasons. For starters, the elite construction and support for nearly every audio format imaginable. It comes with an audio calibration system, and this 9-channel amp produces rich, layered sound that immerses you into any soundtrack.
Best for smaller spaces: Marantz NR1711A 7-channel Dolby Atmos receiver that's ideal for smaller spaces, the Marantz can fill up rooms with spacious, dynamic audio. Listeners can connect to almost any type of audio source; it even comes with Bluetooth headphone support for private listening. We also love the slimline chassis that gives the receiver a luxe look.
A sonic tour de force, the X4700H is a jaw-dropping AV receiver with a class leading specification for movies and gaming. HDMI provision covers eight inputs, one of which is designated 8K. Generously, there are three outputs, with eARC support.
Something to know right out of the gate is that most seven-channel AV receivers support a speaker configuration of 5.1.2, which is the standard 5.1 surround layout with two additional height/up-firing speakers. Models that feature nine channels of amplification can be used for either 5.1 with four Dolby height speakers (5.1.4) or 7.1 surround with two height channels (7.1.2). Speaker models such as those in the new Klipsch Reference series could make a great partnership for a home cinema setup, and has several upward-firing height speakers to meet Dolby Amos requirements.
If you're considering an AV receiver as a connectivity hub for a music system as well as movies, then be sure to check out our guide to the best turntables for any budget. Many of the receivers available today come with a built-in moving-magnet phono stage to enable vinyl playback from any of the record decks we've tested.
This has left the likes of Denon, Marantz and Yamaha scrambling to find a solution. Consequently, Denon is supplying buyers of affected Denon and Marantz AV receivers an HDMI adapter box free of charge. The SPK618 sits between your console and AV receiver, and corrects the HDMI data allowing it to pass. Inelegant perhaps, but effective.
As a former editor of the U.K.'s Hi-Fi Choice magazine, Lee is passionate about all kinds of audio tech and has been providing sound advice to enable consumers to make informed buying decisions since he joined Which? magazine as a product tester in the 1990s. Lee covers all things audio for Tom's Guide, including headphones, wireless speakers and soundbars and loves to connect and share the mindfulness benefits that listening to music in the very best quality can bring."}; var triggerHydrate = function() window.sliceComponents.authorBio.hydrate(data, componentContainer); var triggerScriptLoadThenHydrate = function() if (window.sliceComponents.authorBio === undefined) var script = document.createElement('script'); script.src = ' -9-5/authorBio.js'; script.async = true; script.id = 'vanilla-slice-authorBio-component-script'; script.onload = () => window.sliceComponents.authorBio = authorBio; triggerHydrate(); ; document.head.append(script); else triggerHydrate(); if (window.lazyObserveElement) window.lazyObserveElement(componentContainer, triggerScriptLoadThenHydrate, 1500); else console.log('Could not lazy load slice JS for authorBio') } }).catch(err => console.log('Hydration Script has failed for authorBio Slice', err)); }).catch(err => console.log('Externals script failed to load', err));Lee DunkleySocial Links NavigationAudio EditorAs a former editor of the U.K.'s Hi-Fi Choice magazine, Lee is passionate about all kinds of audio tech and has been providing sound advice to enable consumers to make informed buying decisions since he joined Which? magazine as a product tester in the 1990s. Lee covers all things audio for Tom's Guide, including headphones, wireless speakers and soundbars and loves to connect and share the mindfulness benefits that listening to music in the very best quality can bring. 041b061a72