Top Picks AV Receivers


Denon AVR-X3800H AV Receiver: $1,700
Denon’s AVR-X3800H combines nine channels of power with all of the features you’ll need to assemble a kick-ass home theater at a price that is unexpectedly reasonable. The list includes three flavors of immersive surround-sound processing — Dolby Atmos, DTS:X (with an IMAX Enhanced mode), and Auro-3D — multiroom wireless streaming via Denon’s Heos platform, HDMI 2.1 on all inputs and outputs, 8K video capability with upscaling, Dolby Vision and HDR10+ high dynamic range (HDR) processing, top-level Audyssey room-acoustics processing, and plenty more. But for serious system builders, what really stands out is the inclusion of four independent sub outputs to support setups that have two or more subwoofers and the ability to direct some (or all) of the receiver’s nine amplifier channels to preamp outputs to accommodate more advanced AV setups. (August/September 2023, Read Full Review)

Marantz Cinema 50 AV Receiver: $2,500
Behind the Cinema 50’s stylish faceplate is a bustling control center with nine 100-watt channels of class AB power — enough to drive a 5.1.4 setup with no need for additional amplifiers — processing for up to 11.4 channels, Audyssey’s effective MultEQ XT32 acoustic room correction with the option to add Dirac Live, and four (!) independent subwoofer outputs. Immersive surround processing extends beyond the usual Dolby Atmos to include DTS:X, Auro 3D, and IMAX Enhanced and you can enjoy whole-house wireless streaming using the excellent Heos platform. Listening to a smattering of music and movie selections, reviewer Daniel Kumin’s found the Cinema 50 capable of delivering the goods without a hint of strain at “mid-hall concert levels.” (February/March 2023, Read Full Review)

Onkyo TX-RZ70 AV Receiver: $2,800
Onkyo is one of a few brands that over the years has become synonymous with “receivers” — of both the stereo and AV varieties. Adorned with 11 channels of credible power and just about every feature you could possibly want or need — including THX Reference certification — the TX-RZ70 is a serious flagship AVR that easily lives up to Onkyo’s decades-long reputation for delivering top performing audio gear. It’s got all the bells and whistles you would expect to find in the centerpiece of a modern home theater setup, including proven Dirac Live room correction with optional bass control and three flavors of immersive surround-sound processing: Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, and Auro-3D. And fear not, Roon-aholics: Roon Ready status is on the way via a firmware update. If you crave top performance at price that is less than tippity-top, the TX-RZ70 deserves to be on your upgrade list. (October/November 2023, Read Full Review)


Onkyo TX-NR7100 9.2-Channel Atmos A/V Receiver: $1,099
The TX-NR7100 marks the arrival of a midline receiver that promises solid audio performance with its nine amplifier channels, the latest in video connectivity standards, support for all of the major high dynamic range (HDR) formats, and onboard streaming via Chromecast and AirPlay 2 plus direct access to Tidal, Spotify, Pandora, and other popular services. Thanks to those nine active channels, the NR7100 can power a full 5.1.4 Dolby Atmos or DTS:X setup or a theater setup with fewer channels plus one or two remote listening zones. The NR7100 is a highly capable receiver in terms of both functionality and performance that does much of what your typical flagship AVR can do but at a fraction of the cost. (April/May 2022, Read Full Review)

Pioneer VSX-LX505 Elite 9.2-Channel A/V Receiver: $1,499
The Pioneer VSX-LX505 provides a lot of bang for your buck, including nine channels for powering a full Dolby Atmos or DTS:X setup, 8K-ready HDMI inputs with variable refresh, and two excellent auto-EQ options — Dirac Live and Pioneer's proprietary MCACC (Multi-Channel Acoustic Calibration) system. (October/November 2022, Read Full Review)

Yamaha RX-A6A 9.2-Channel Atmos A/V Receiver: $2,200
The Aventage RX-A6A will enchant you with pristine, all-encompassing sound whether you’re listening to music or watching a first-run movie in the comfort of your home (at least we can thank COVID for something). Sitting one model down from Yamaha’s flagship AVR, the A6A costs $800 less yet boasts 11 channels (nine powered) and is packed with every AVR feature you can imagine, all hidden behind a refreshingly simple front panel. You get seven HDMI inputs, a selection of legacy analog inputs, a remote with set-and-forget Scene buttons for storing up to eight input/setting combinations, 8K upscaling, and Dolby Vision high dynamic range (HDR) capability. The list continues with Dolby Atmos and DTS: X surround processing plus Yamaha’s famous DSP music modes — and we’re just scratching the surface. (December/January 2022, Read Full Review)

A/V Receiver Archives
< $999
Pioneer VSX-832: $479
Enthusiasts on a tight budget will love all the VSX-832 has to offer for less than 500 bucks. You get five channels of solid power plus 4K/HDR passthrough, DTS Play-Fi for wireless multiroom audio, a nice selection of streaming options, and a simplified 3.1.2 version of Dolby Atmos with phantom rear channels. Reviewer Dan Kumin summed it up this way: “I applaud this receiver’s affordability, its wide and up-to-date video- and audio-mode compatibility, and very solid sonics.” (November 2017, Read Full Review)
Denon DRA-800H Stereo Network Receiver: $499
If you have yet to bring a beloved two-channel setup into the modern age or are looking to assemble a second hi-fi system with a spare set of speakers, Denon’s DRA-800H combines the best of the old and the new in an excellent sounding stereo receiver that puts out 100 watts/channel. Besides an AM/FM tuner and a host of familiar analog and digital audio inputs, it supports HDMI video switching, hi-res audio playback up to 32 bits/192 kHz, wireless connectivity (including AirPlay 2 and Bluetooth), and provides direct access to Tidal, Pandora, Amazon Music, and several other online music services through the app-based HEOS multiroom streaming platform. Reviewer Rob Sabin called the DRA-800H “highly capable with music” and a “kick-ass AV platform for music and movies.” (February/March 2020, Read Full Review)
Yamaha RX-V685: $599
With more than a dozen AV receivers to choose from in the highly competitive $550-to-$700 range, the V685 grabs the spotlight with its unique and adjustable DSP-surround technology, which lets the listener dial in effects to suit speakers, room, and taste. Add to that a solid performing amplifier plus a generous helping of useful features and you have an impressive receiver that can be had for a price that’s more than reasonable. (Posted 8/29/18, Read Full Review)
Yamaha RX-V6A 7.2-Channel Atmos A/V Receiver: $600
Yamaha’s RX-V6A delivers cutting-edge features at an unprecedented price. Out of the box, it conveys impressive sound quality with movies and music and supports streaming through Yamaha’s MusicCast platform and Apple AirPlay2, 4K at 60 fps, 4:4:4 chroma subsampling at 18Gbps, and Dolby Vision HDR. Firmware updates will add HDMI 2.1 compatibility, support for HDR10+, and Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization. With 7 x 100 watts of power, you can drive a traditional 7.1 surround system or a 5.1.2 Dolby Atmos setup. Of course, to reach this level of technical prowess in a $600 receiver, there is a tradeoff: Except for its phono inputs, all connections are digital. (February/March 2021, Read Full Review)
Sony STR-DN1080: $600
Hi-res audio capability with excellent audio performance to support it and a full suite of Android- and Apple-ready wireless capabilities just scratch the surface of what this multi-talented 7.1 receiver has to offer. For the modest price of $600, you also get six HDMI inputs, Dolby Atmos and DTS:X surround processing, and accurate auto calibration. If you’re in the market for an AVR and have limited funds, the STR-DN1080 deserves serious consideration. Its chops will surprise you. (July/August 2017, Read Full Review)
Yamaha RX-S600: $650
Not all AV receivers are space hogs. Take the super svelte RX-S600. It stands less than 4.5 inches tall yet delivers enough clean power to drive a set of reasonably efficient home theater speakers and packs a number of useful features, including AirPlay and six HDMI inputs. Best of all, it performs well with music and movie soundtracks and boasts independent analog and digital power supplies and an aluminum front panel, signaling a level of build quality you don’t expect at this price. Reviewer Mark Fleischmann called it “one of the best budget models I’ve heard.” (, Read Full Review)
Onkyo TX-NR787: $699
Onkyo has outdone itself with a versatile nine-channel AVR that delivers an impressive blend of performance and features at a price that all but assured its status as a Sound & Vision Top Value Pick. With ample processing power to accommodate a DTS:X or Dolby Atmos 7.1.2 setup, the TX-NR787 is capable of delivering impressively rich, powerful sound in rooms as big as 2,000 square feet as confirmed by its THX Select certification. (February/March 2019, Read Full Review)
Outlaw RR2160 Stereo Receiver: $799
An update of the Outlaw’s venerable RR2150, the RR2160 is one of the best receivers you can buy if tried-and-true stereo is your priority. Reviewer Mark Fleischmann called it a “stupendously great-sounding stereo receiver…that supports a lot of little contingencies, including HD Radio and options for moving-magnet and moving-coil phono cartridges.” While it doesn’t directly support wireless connectivity — you can add Bluetooth via an accessory — it does include a set of old-school tone controls. (November 2017, Read Full Review)
Onkyo TX-RZ610: $799
Onkyo has lived up to its reputation for delivering superb value by packing the latest features into AVRs that sell for less than a grand. In this case, you get sensible ergonomics, power and processing for a 5.1.2 Dolby Atmos or DTS:X surround setup, and all forms of wireless connectivity. Veteran reviewer Mark Fleischmann observed: “The Onkyo TX-RZ610 is an excellent-sounding receiver with a well-executed version of the brand’s usual crisp voicing. The Onkyo people know what they’re doing.” (November 2016, Read Full Review)
Pioneer VSX-LX504: $999
With nine channels of onboard power, the VSX-LX504 accommodates 5.1.4 or 7.1.2 speaker layouts and supports a roster of must-have features, including IMAX Enhanced certification for unlocking cinematic mixes created by IMAX. As reviewer Michael Trei put it, the LX504 “delivers many of the features you'd expect from a top-of-the-line model, but at a mid-level price.” Add to that powerful and detailed sound and you have a forward-thinking AV hub. (August/September 2019, Read Full Review)
Denon AVR-X3400H: $999
The AVR-X3400H has a lot to offer for a thousand bucks, starting with full 4K/HDR-readiness, solid ergonomics, and a robust seven-channel amp that will have no trouble powering all but the largest home theater setups. Onboard power limits Dolby Atmos configurations to 5.1.2 channels but that’s par for the course in this price range and a layout that even reviewer/audio guru Daniel Kumin is coming around to “especially with dipole surrounds on the sides.” (April 2018, Read Full Review)
Denon HEOS AVR: $999
Denon has reimagined the component that has been the cornerstone of home theater for decades. The result is a super streamlined, app-driven control center built around the company’s HEOS wireless platform, featuring hi-res audio support and 18 music streaming options but lacking many “standard” features. You won’t find AM/FM or legacy video jacks and the architecture supports systems with up to 5.1 channels. No 7.1 and no Dolby Atmos or DTS:X. Reviewer Mark Fleischmann’s take: “Denon’s HEOS AVR is a largely successful effort to transform the AV receiver from a cumbersome Swiss Army knife to a sleek app-driven entertainer.” (October 2017, Read Full Review)
NAD T758 V3: $1,300
NAD has honored its rich audio legacy with a thoroughly modern update of the award winning T758 it introduced back in 2011. This V3 edition boasts an anti-obsolescence modular design and cutting-edge room correction from Sweden’s Dirac. “Putting aside challenges with learning to use Dirac, it's an empowering tool for the questing audio tweaker who wants the flexibility to experiment with room correction parameters,” wrote reviewer Mark Fleischmann. “Coupled here with this fine-sounding receiver, the audible results are beautiful.” (May 2018, Read Full Review)
Marantz SR6014 9.2-Channel: $1,499
At about half the price of many flagship AVRs, the SR6014 proves that it’s possible to deliver topnotch music performance at an affordable price without sacrificing key home theater and streaming features. You get eight HDMI inputs and a phono input, instant access to popular music streaming services, wireless multiroom capability via the Heos platform plus the wherewithal to drive a 7.2 surround configuration or a 5.2.4 Dolby Atmos or DTS:X setup with height speakers (7.2.4 with an external two-channel amp). It even provides Imax Enhanced processing. (December 2019/January 2020, Read Full Review)
Denon AVR-X4200W: $1,499
If you’re looking for a solid performing receiver that can be had for well under two grand, Denon’s new upper-echelon AVR deserves a look. It does all of the most current modes, sources, and processing very competently, with ample audio power and fully up-to-date video abilities. Getting right to the heart of the matter, reviewer Mark Fleischmann wrote: “The AVR-X4200W boasts unimpeachable audio quality and full 4K video capabilities, combined with a deep feature set and a host of multiroom and automation options, all at a fair (though not inconsiderable) price.” (November 2016, Read Full Review)
Onkyo TX-RZ900: $1,599
Ready for Dolby Atmos 7.2.2 action and primed for DTS:X, the RZ900 is a flagship-class receiver that can be had for considerably less than flagship prices. It delivers more clean dynamic power than most of us will need and is loaded with useful features including compatibility with high dynamic range content and THX Select2 Plus certification. Summing up, reviewer Mark Fleischmann wrote: “It does all the basics we require from an AV receiver very, very well, abetted by the full complement of up-to-the-minute technologies and features...that should satisfy the most demanding among us.” (April 2016, Read Full Review)
Yamaha Aventage RX-A2070: $1,600
The 9.2-channel RX-A2070 delivers the up-to-date features and unadulterated sound you expect from an audio stalwart but includes at least one added attraction you won’t find in other brand AVRs: Yamaha’s masterful music listening modes. “Yamaha provides considerable fine-tuning control over DSP effect levels and delays,” observed veteran reviewer Daniel Kumin. “Though, even at its defaults, the Chamber mode — applied to a DSD of contemporary-classical brass-quintet and piano music — was altogether hair-raising.” (February/march 2018, Read Full Review)
Yamaha Aventage RX-A2050: $1,600
Sitting squarely in the AVR sweet spot, the RX-A2050 has a lot to offer for the price, including nine robust amplifier channels that can be configured for 5.1.4 Dolby Atmos or DTS:X surround-sound action. Further sweetening the deal is Yamaha’s app-based MusicCast system, which makes it easy to spread music around the house without having to worry about running wires. As Mark Fleischmann put it, “This receiver does nearly everything amazingly well.” (May 2016, Read Full Review)
Sony STR-ZA3000ES: $1,700
The lack of Dolby Atmos and DTS:X encoding and features like AirPlay and Internet radio is easy to overlook in the ZA3000ES, a seven-channel receiver that delivers excellent sound quality and terrific value. (September 2015, Read Full Review)
$2,000 >
Onkyo TX-RZ1100: $2,199
Today’s AV receivers do a lot more than we should reasonably expect from one component. But when you get down to it, the ability to deliver clean, dynamic power is what matters most—and precisely what this 2016 Top Pick of the Year receiver offers in spades. Calling the sound “faultless,” Daniel Kumin offered this assessment of the RZ1100 as it powered Star Trek: Beyond: “There were almost too many sonic highlights to pick just one, but it would be hard to outdo the long battle sequence in chapter 10, which…the TX-RZ1100 aced…without any evident stress.” (February/March 2017, Read Full Review)
Marantz SR7011: $2,199
The Marantz SR7011 is a super smart 9.1-channel receiver offering a comprehensive set of AV features plus excellent room correction, fine overall sound, the potential for multiroom extension, and just about everything else you could want in an AVR—even Auro-3D (via an optional $199 firmware update). Reveling in the SR7011’s movie prowess, Mark Fleischmann wrote: “The bubble-shaped soundfield of Dolby Atmos was well illuminated but without hardening textures. The top end was sweet and musical, dialogue well delivered, and bass par for the price point. A reasonable definition of a great-sounding receiver.” (May 2017, Read Full Review)
Marantz SR7010 Atmos-Enabled: $2,199
With nine amp channels, Dolby Atmos decoding, DTS:X and Auro-3D upgradability, and Audyssey MultEQ XT32 room correction, the SR7010 is as future-proof as a receiver can currently be. As reviewer Mark Fleischmann put it: “If the distinction between Dolby Atmos 5.1.4 and 5.1.2 is as big a deal as I think it is, this receiver will soon have competition, and much of it at lower prices. I’m giving the Marantz a value rating of five stars because it was surprisingly versatile and always satisfying. But I expect it to be joined, and possibly surpassed, by other nine-channel receivers.” (February/March 2016, Read Full Review)
Yamaha Aventage RX-A3060: $2,200
The flagship RX-A3060 delivers stellar audio performance with enough channels to run all but the most elaborate Dolby Atmos and DTS:X configurations and provides a versatile set of wireless features, including multiroom capability via Yamaha's MusicCast system. Reviewer Mark Fleischmann was thoroughly impressed with its DTS:X prowess: “A recurring nightclub scene [in Whiskey Tango Foxtrot] showed off the receiver’s extraordinary aptitude for envelopment.” (January 2017, Read Full Review)
Denon AVR-X6700H 11.2-Channel Atmos A/V Receiver: $2,499
At a time when seemingly everything is made in China, Denon’s X6700H is actually made in Japan, harkening back to an era when most top-brand receivers were designed and assembled there. The X-Series flagship is a forward looking AVR featuring pass-through support for 8K and all high dynamic range (HDR) formats (including Dolby Vision and HDR10+), HDMI 2.1 connectivity, and support for the super high-end immersive audio format DTS:X Pro in addition to Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, Auro-3D, and IMAX Enhanced. And with 11 channels of power onboard (140 watts into 8 ohms with two channels driven), the X6700H is flexible enough to accommodate speaker configurations up to 7.2.4 or 5.2.6. Guaranteed to delight enthusiasts, the X6700H also boasts eight HDMI inputs, two preamp outs for extending its processing power to 13 channels (with an outboard amp), two subwoofer outputs, and support for hi-res audio playback. (December/January 2021, Read Full Review)
Sony STR-ZA5000 ES: $2,800
The new flagship in Sony’s venerable ES line, the STR-ZA5000ES is not your everyday top-line receiver. You might even call it a specialty AVR with impeccable build quality, a hard-kicking nine-channel amp, and both Dolby Atmos and DTS:X surround processing. But the ZA5000ES is special for what it lacks. It skips de rigueur wireless features such as Bluetooth and Wi-Fi to focus on features that provide maximum flexibility in a custom installation setting. Among them is an easy-to-configure eight-port Ethernet hub for interfacing with networked devices such as control systems, computers, and media players. (October 2016, Read Full Review)
NAD T 778: $2,999
Canada’s NAD offers a refreshing take on the AV receiver with an 11-channel flagship built to deliver superb sound with movies and music while avoiding obsolescence through a clever modular architecture that allows new features and technologies to be added via plug-in cards. The T 778 supports full-bore 7.1.4 Atmos/DTS:X speaker layouts and provides automated Dirac Live room correction, while embracing high-resolution music streaming through the compelling BluOS platform. Reviewer John Sciacca was impressed with the T 778’s organic sound and ability to “place sounds accurately.” If you’re looking for an AVR with a twist, this is it. (Summer 2020, Read Full Review)
Denon AVR-X7200W: $2,999
The AVR-X7200W is made for those who simply must have it all: 9 x 150 watts of hulking power, state-of-the-art room correction courtesy of Audyssey MultEQ XT32, Dolby Atmos and DTS:X surround sound with 11.2 channels of object-based potential and the option of upgrading to Auro-3D, HDMI 2.0a connectivity with Ultra HD passthrough, and the ability to play Hi-Res Audio files—and vinyl (yes, it has a phono input). “To call the Denon a top-of-the-line receiver with all the goodies would belabor the obvious,” concluded reviewer Mark Fleischmann. “It’s also a musically reliable amp with the best possible room correction—the kind that’s suitable for most music and pretty much all movie and TV content.” (June 2016, Read Full Review)
Anthem MRX 1120: $3,499
Anthem’s new flagship receiver is formidable. Whereas most flagships top out at nine channels of amplification, the MRX 1120 has eleven plus both flavors of object-based surround processing and the company’s outstanding room-correction software. In other words: everything you need (except the speakers!) to set up and tweak a full-bore 7.1.4 Dolby Atmos (and soon, DTS:X) system. Reviewer David Vaughn concluded: “You’d be hard-pressed to find a better-sounding solution short of going with separates.” (November 2016, Read Full Review)
Denon AVR-X8500H: $3,999
Denon’s latest flagship receiver checks off every box on the Enthusiast Must-Have List, including all three immersive-surround formats — Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, and Auro-3D — and it provides 13 (yes, 13) 150-watt channels of brute power to back up its considerable brains. “If you want bang-up-to-date technology that works brilliantly, it’s hard to go wrong with this receiver,” wrote reviewer Michael Trei. Superstitious? Just make sure you don’t take delivery of it on Friday the 13th, especially if you happen to live on the 13th floor. (Posted 8/8/18, Read Full Review)
Arcam AVR850: $6,000
U.K.’s Arcam makes a bold statement with its reference-caliber AV receiver—one that combines a seven-channel amplifier with state-of-the-art surround sound and Dirac Live room-correction processing in an impeccably-built component. Breaking rank with today’s typical AVR, the AVR850 is surprisingly simple to set up and eschews wireless connectivity (imagine that), focusing instead on performance in the form of an unusual Class G amplifier that sounds clean, dynamic, and musical on everything from hi-res stereo to Dolby Atmos soundtracks. (November 2016, Read Full Review)