What Receiver Should I Use for an Atmos 7.1.4 System?

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Q What receivers can power a Dolby Atmos 7.1.4 home theater? I plan to pair the receiver with a tower-based Definitive Technology BP9000 series speaker system and use that company’s A90 Atmos Enabled speaker modules for overhead effects. —Waymon French 

A Denon, Marantz, Onkyo, and Anthem all make 11.2-channel receivers capable of fully powering a 7.1.4 Dolby Atmos speaker configuration. The cost for those receivers ranges from around $1500 for the Denon AVR-X6300H to $3500 for the Anthem MRX 1120 .

Certain 9.2-channel receivers offer another option. While some 9.2 channel models are only capable of handling a 5.1.4 Dolby Atmos configuration, other models like Yamaha’s RX-A3070 provide 11.2 processing. That feature allows you to connect a separate stereo amp to the receiver’s preamp output, and then use the amp to power a second set of overhead speakers — or Atmos Enabled speaker modules — in a 7.1.4 Atmos setup.

How will you hook things up for Atmos? Definitive Technology’s A90 Atmos Enabled speaker modules are designed for seamless integration with the company’s BP9060, BP9040, and BP9020 tower speakers. The company’s cable management solution for the BP9000 series provides a socket on the tower’s top surface that you plug the speaker module into. When speaker wire is run from the receiver to a secondary pair of binding posts on the tower, an electrical connection is made to the top-mounted module. It’s a clever design — one that will ease you into Atmos with minimal pain.