Best AV Receivers of 2023

If you are a film lover, however desire to take pleasure in blockbusters from the consolation of your personal house, you might wish to put money into an AV receiver. An AV receiver is without doubt one of the best methods to carry the movie show expertise proper to your front room, and superior fashions provide innovative options together with 8K videoDolby Atmos and Wi-Fi music streaming. However, specs on these units can get fairly difficult, which may make discovering the proper one to your house a little bit of a problem. Fortunately, CNET is right here to assist, and we have rounded up the very best AV receivers you should purchase proper now. 

If you divide your time between TV watching and listening to music there are a variety of fashions which may do each properly, together with the superb Yamaha RX-V6A and Onkyo TX-RZ50. Another model which tends to carry out properly on this space is Denon, and I stay up for testing the brand new AVR-X3800H very shortly. 

So how have you learnt which is the very best AV receiver for you? I’ve examined the preferred fashions between $500 and $2,000 that can assist you discover the very best AV receivers 2022 has to supply. One factor it is best to take into account, although, is that a few of these merchandise could possibly be on backorder, so examine again periodically.

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Onkyo’s TX-RZ50 is an ideal step-up mannequin for these trying 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 known as Dirac Live, 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.

What enhancements does the $1,600 TX-RZ50 provide over the $800 TX-NR6100? Firstly, it provides double the variety of 8K appropriate inputs (six versus three) plus it boasts extra energy (120 watts versus 80 watts). It additionally has two-way Bluetooth for streaming in addition to listening on wi-fi headphones.

Performance was wonderful whether or not listening to streamed music, or watching a film: I hadn’t heard Dolby Atmos sound this convincing in a very long time. The addition of Dirac Live provides its personal complexities in setup — please, solely use the Onkyo Controller cell app together with the provided microphone — however doing so rewards with a highly-involving efficiency.

Be conscious the Onkyo could also be out of inventory at current, however as a substitute the Yamaha RX-A4 is even higher with films.

Read extra in regards to the Onkyo TX-RZ50.


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I’m a giant fan of the Yamaha RX-V6A, so I used to be curious to see what the step-up RX-A4A brings to the desk. As it seems, this Yamaha provides even higher construct high quality and an enormous cinematic sound.

Look by the flamboyant prime grille and you may see neatly packed parts and a distinguished, stamped transformer. The system is able to a beefy 110 watts per channel (stereo) and has seven HDMI ports to your connectivity wants.

I examined the Yamaha A4A in opposition to the Onkyo RZ50 and the Denon X3700. The Yamaha’s sound high quality tended towards the cinematic reasonably than the musical and provided a giant, roomy sound good for blockbusters or moody conspiracy thrillers. What was stunning is that the onboard phono preamp was even higher than the one on the rival Onkyo RZ50, so I can suggest it for individuals who do not need a separate preamp for his or her turntable.

The Yamaha is nice with films however does not sound pretty much as good with music streaming. Still, because the Onkyo provides balanced efficiency throughout each, it is my present favourite.

Read extra in regards to the Yamaha RX-A4A.


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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 provides nice sound and a wealth of connectivity, which now contains help for 4K/120Hz from gaming consoles. It additionally boasts the very best choice of streaming codecs, together with Chromecast in-built, DTS Play-Fi, Spotify Connect, AirPlay and Bluetooth. However, the NR6100 shouldn’t be fairly pretty much as good a deal as its predecessor as a result of it now prices $150 extra, and the Yamaha RX-V6A provides marginally higher sonic efficiency for across the identical cash. 

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This Yamaha RX-V6A provides a contemporary have a look at AV receiver design, with its futuristic edges and easy controls, whereas additionally maximizing sound high quality. The Yamaha may even make you neglect about visiting a cinema ever once more, and it is no slouch with music, both. It provides loads of connectivity with Wi-Fi bringing AirPlay 2, Spotify Connect, Bluetooth and Yamaha’s MusicCast system for streaming out of your units. However it does include a small caveat: Early 2021 fashions should not appropriate with 4K/120Hz video, and must be returned to the producer to carry out a 8K board improve.

Read our Yamaha RX-V6A evaluation.


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Which receiver ought to I purchase?

If you are spending below $1,000, there’s three primary receivers to select from — the Yamaha RX-V6A, the Onkyo TX-NR6100 and the Denon AVR-960H. All provide wonderful efficiency and the quick reply about which to purchase is whichever is out there for the most cost effective worth. At the second that mannequin is the Denon because it’s at the moment on sale for $599, however that stated I really desire the Yamaha RX-V6A. The Yamaha provides hanging seems to be and has the efficiency chops to match. It additionally has loads of connectivity choices together with a wealth of HDMI 2.1 ports for connecting the Xbox Series X and extra. 

If the Yamaha is out of inventory, which it usually is, the Onkyo TX-NR6100 is a good selection. The Onkyo is a wonderful performer and provides simple setup, wonderful usability, stable seems to be and helpful options, together with the very best streaming suite. It was by no means susceptible to the 4K situation that plagued early variations of the Yamaha RX-V6A.

Meanwhile, the Onkyo TX-RZ50 is a wonderful receiver for those who’re on the lookout for the subsequent stage of options and a efficiency bump over sub-$1,000 fashions. It provides a superb, if barely scary, calibration routine from Dirac Live and the very 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 provides crisp, dynamic sound and improbable construct high quality for $1,650.

How CNET exams

At CNET I check audio gear from compact soundbars although to encompass sound programs, however whatever the gadget my methodology is essentially the identical. I at all times evaluate merchandise in opposition to a number of reference units which supply the very best efficiency at the same worth. 

When it involves receivers I wish to see how properly a system performs with music in addition to with films, as most individuals will wish to do each. I watch a handful of check scenes from 4K Blu-ray or streamed from a 4K streaming service (Vudu, for instance) and consider features corresponding to Dolby Atmos encompass efficiency and dialog readability. I additionally use a variety of check music tracks and consider any streaming options corresponding to Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. It’s programs that may carry out properly with each varieties of leisure which inevitably rating the very best.

Check out CNET’s receiver shopping for information for extra in regards to the options and issues it is best to contemplate when on the lookout for a brand new system. 

Other AV receivers I’ve examined

  • Denon AVR-S960H ($599): The Denon is probably not as glittering and glossy because the Yamaha RX-V6A, nevertheless it nonetheless provides wonderful sound high quality. The receiver is laid-back, blends properly with forward-sounding audio system and replays music superbly. It’s not fairly pretty much as good as both 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’s at the moment accessible for $599 (save $250), nonetheless, which makes it a superb deal. Read CNET’s Denon AVR-S960H evaluation.
  • Marantz SR6015 ($2,179): The Marantz SR6015 does the whole lot 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 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 music on it. Add to {that a} latest $500 worth hike and this receiver has sadly been pushed out of competition.
The Denon AVR-S960H receiverThe Denon AVR-S960H receiver

The Denon AVR-S960H

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AV receiver FAQs

What is 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 known as an built-in amp. An AV receiver is often a encompass sound amplifier that permits HDMI switching and playback of audio and video. Most additionally embody tuners onboard as properly. However, if you need, you need to use an AV receiver merely as a stereo amp, or you possibly can add as many audio system as you may have — they’re fairly versatile.

Should I purchase an 8K receiver?

Standards change on a regular basis, however the naked minimal proper now could be help for HDR and Dolby Vision, and not less than HDMI model 2.0 or higher. All of those fashions help not solely 4K and HDR video however 8K help as properly, even when 8K content material is tough to search out. 

Be conscious that each one 2020 8K-compatible receivers have been susceptible to a bug stopping them from displaying variable refresh fee video, and from the Xbox Series X specifically. Denon, Marantz and Yamaha introduced fixes for current fashions, whereas compliant fashions from Yamaha RX-V6A started delivery in summer time 2021 and Denon and Marantz receivers offered after April 2021 must be 4K/120Hz appropriate. Yamaha customers can examine for 4K compatibility right here whereas Denon and Marantz customers ought to examine with their vendor.

The $600 TX-NR6100 is the primary receiver I examined that I discovered to each go 4K/120Hz and which I’d additionally suggest to new consumers.

How do I join my TV to my AV receiver?

If you may have a comparatively new TV it is best to have the ability to use a single cable — an HDMI cable, to be precise — to attach your receiver to your tv. If you may have 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 while you set the receiver on the “TV” enter, whereas additionally enabling video to be transmitted out of your different AV sources.

If you may have an older TV with out an ARC-compliant port you have to to attach each an HDMI cable and an optical cable to the again of your TV. However, when you’ve got a CRT or rear-projection TV with composite or element inputs you may want a $1,000-plus receiver just like the Marantz SR6015 or Onkyo TX-RZ50. Many receivers now not provide switching for these legacy connections.

Is 4K/120Hz help a giant deal?

The quick reply is: Only for those who personal an Xbox Series X, and a brand-new TV. As I write this, there’s a rising variety of Xbox Series X video games that help 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 might make the variations clearer, and that is why you might have considered trying a receiver that is totally appropriate.

If you do purchase an older receiver, you do not care in regards to the Xbox Series X, or do not wish to ship your 8K mannequin to the store, you possibly can at all times hook a flowery new console on to the TV, then use eARC to get audio to the receiver. However, regardless of the mess that AV receiver producers have discovered themselves in during the last 12 months, there may be one factor the aforementioned fashions have in widespread: nice efficiency.

The rear panel of the TX-NR6100 receiverThe rear panel of the TX-NR6100 receiver

The rear panel of the TX-NR6100 provides 6 HDMI inputs and a pair of outputs

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Other 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 “Ultra HD” anyway?) Yet, what are the issues that basically matter when shopping for a brand new mannequin? I’m going to sum up an important ones proper right here.

  • HDMI inputs: With most TVs and set-top containers supporting HDMI, you should purchase a receiver that has as many of those HDMI enter ports and outputs as attainable. Front-mounted HDMI ports are form 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 essential. (How else are you going to attach your Roku, Blu-ray participant, Nintendo Switch 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 totally different shows — a TV and a projector, for instance — all however the Yamaha provide a second HDMI output. You must also be certain you may have an additional HDMI cable or two readily available — these items are just like the second sock of a pair in that you may by no means discover them while you want them.
  • Dolby Atmos functionality: Most receivers within the $500-and-above worth vary embody Dolby Atmos functionality and DTS:X, however the impact they’ve on your private home theater movie-watching may be delicate, or in most films, nonexistent. In different phrases, don’t be concerned 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 by your speaker system. There are loads of requirements for wi-fi streaming providers, however essentially the most common are Spotify Connect, Apple AirPlay 1 and a pair of and Google Chromecast in-built. If you are trying 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 goal for. Onkyo is the one gadget that helps 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. Meanwhile, Yamaha has its personal MusicCast system.

For extra normal info on what you need to be on the lookout for, take a look at this AV receiver shopping for information.

More for these looking for nice sound high quality

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