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The 6 best AV receivers for most home theater setups 2024

If you want to create an immersive, cinematic experience at home, you need an AV receiver that can enhance the qualities of your speakers and blend their sound into a cohesive soundstage.

In this article, I’ll offer a list of what I believe are the best AV receivers across different price ranges, focusing on gear that’s performing and versatile regardless of the surround system they need to manage.

About the author

I’m a musician and audiophile obsessed with the intricacies of the aural experience and a trained ear that scrutinizes every sonic layer. Having been immersed in music my entire life, my mission is to inform you about the beauty and complexity of sounds through articles that highlight products and techniques to enjoy every medium with audio fully.

testing Denon home theater receiver
Image: Denon

How I chose the AVRs for this list?

As always, I focused on sound quality as the main factor. A top-notch digital-to-analog converter (DAC) is crucial for a crisp, clear audio experience, and strong amplification ensures that music and movies sound their best.

I also looked for support for high-end surround sound formats like Dolby Atmos and DTS:X for that immersive audio experience we all love.

While bells and whistles like multiple HDMI ports and streaming capabilities are fundamental and definitely taken into account in this article, my main objective was to find receivers that truly excel in delivering fantastic sound.

testing Sony AVR in home theater setup
Image: Sony

Whichever room or sound system you have, these high-quality AV receivers deliver an excellent performance that’ll bring to life a realistic and enveloping experience.

These are the best AV receivers for most home theater systems:

  1. Denon AVR-X2800H
  2. Marantz Cinema 70s
  3. NAD T 778
  4. Yamaha RX-V4A
  5. Sony STR-AN1000
  6. Onkyo TX-SR393

Denon AVR-X2800H 4.5

  • Channels: 7.2
  • Power output: 95 W at 8 ohms
  • Dolby: Atmos, Atmos Height Virtualization, Surround, TrueHD
  • DTS: Neural:X, Virtual:X, DTS-HD Master Audio, DTS:X
  • Video: 8K/60 Hz, 4K/120 Hz
  • HDR: HDR10, HDR10+, Dolby Vision, HLG
  • Streaming: AirPlay 2, HEOS, Roon Ready, Spotify Connect
  • Phono: Yes (MM)
Denon AVR-X2800H 7.2-channel AV receiver
Image: Denon

The Denon AVR-X2800H offers a great blend of features and a sonic performance that’s hard to beat. With 7.2 channels, an expansive soundstage, and a wide array of connectivity options, this unit is a powerhouse capable of delivering a truly immersive, multi-dimensional sound experience.

The AVR-X2800H comes with the Audyssey MultEQ XT calibration technology, an advanced room calibration system that automatically adjusts various audio parameters to optimize the receiver’s performance based on the unique acoustics of your listening environment.

This technology is particularly useful for users who don’t have an ideally shaped or sized room for their home theater, as it tailors the sound to the specific challenges and characteristics of your space.

Denon AVR-X2800H rear panel
Image: Denon

Audio-wise, the sound delivered by the AVR-X2800H is lush, balanced, and articulate, capturing everything from the subtlest musical detail to the most explosive cinematic moments with finesse.

A user-friendly interface and a build quality made to last are the final touches to a unit that performs admirably and works well for all purposes.

What I like

  • Excellent sonic performance.
  • Wide soundstage.
  • User-friendly interface.

What I don’t like

  • Not the cheapest unit.
Buy Denon AVR-X2800H at: AmazonCrutchfield

Marantz Cinema 70s 4.5

  • Channels: 7.2
  • Power output: 50 W at 8 ohms
  • Dolby: Atmos, Atmos Height Virtualization, Surround, TrueHD
  • DTS: Neural:X, Virtual:X, DTS-HD Master Audio, DTS:X
  • Video: 8K/60 Hz, 4K/120 Hz, Upscaling
  • HDR: HDR10, HDR10+, Dolby Vision, HLG
  • Streaming: AirPlay 2, HEOS, Roon Ready, Spotify Connect
  • Phono: Yes (MM)
Marantz Cinema 70s 7.2-channel AV receiver
Image: Marantz

The Cinema 70s is a space-saving, feature-rich AV receiver that doesn’t compromise on sound quality or versatility. It offers the flexibility to power a 5.1.2 Dolby Atmos system, a standard 5.1 setup with extra speakers in another room, or even to bi-amp your front stage for enhanced power.

The performing and gamer-friendly 8K support offers 8K/60Hz capabilities on three of its six HDMI inputs.

Thanks to the HEOS Built-in technology, the Cinema 70s can turn into a multi-room audio hub, allowing you to control playback and music source selection directly from the HEOS app.

Finally, the Audyssey MultEQ technology makes room calibration a breeze, adjusting your system’s output to match your room’s unique acoustic properties, ensuring clear, smooth, and dynamic sound with tight bass.

Marantz Cinema 70s rear panel
Image: Marantz

The detailed representation of the Cinema 70s is stunning, providing a realistic sense of spatiality and an articulated sound texture that can upgrade a home theater or even an audiophile’s listening room.

When it comes to power, the Cinema 70s receiver punches above its weight class thanks to high-current, discrete power amplifiers for each channel.

What I like

  • Exquisite and space-saving design.
  • Advanced room calibration.
  • High-quality sound.

What I don’t like

  • 50 watts per channel might be insufficient for larger rooms or more demanding speakers.
Buy Marantz Cinema 70s at: AmazonCrutchfield

NAD T 778 5.0

  • Channels: 9.2
  • Power output: 85 W at 8 ohms
  • Dolby: Atmos, Digital, Surround, TrueHD
  • DTS: Neural:X, DTS:X
  • Video: 4K/60 Hz
  • HDR: HDR10, Dolby Vision
  • Streaming: AirPlay 2, Roon Ready, Tidal Connect, Spotify Connect
  • Phono: Yes
NAD T 778 9.2-channel home theater receiver
Image: NAD

The NAD T 778 is on the expensive side but delivers a top-notch sound that will leave you breathless.

Featuring a touchscreen interface, 9.2 channels, and support for advanced audio formats, this unit is meant for serious music and movie enthusiasts with medium/large rooms they want to fill with sound.

The built-in Dirac Live room correction system will provide you with precise calibration options to fine-tune your listening experience.

NAD T 778 rear panel
Image: NAD

Needless to say, the audio coming out of the NAD T 778 is spacious and incredibly detailed, offering a truly high-fidelity experience.

What I like

  • Outstanding sound.
  • Versatile input capabilities.
  • Dirac Live calibration.

What I don’t like

  • Cost.
Buy NAD T 778 at: CrutchfieldB&H

Yamaha RX-V4A 4.0

  • Channels: 5.2
  • Power output: 80 W at 6 ohms
  • Dolby: Digital Plus, TrueHD
  • DTS: DTS-HD Master Audio
  • Video: 8K/60 Hz, 4K/120 Hz, Upscaling
  • HDR: HDR10
  • Streaming: AirPlay 2, MusicCast, Spotify Connect
  • Phono: No
Yamaha RX-V4A 5.2-channel AV receiver
Image: Yamaha

The RX-V4A is a flexible and versatile budget option with exceptional wireless connectivity, offering seamless Bluetooth and Wi-Fi options that work exceptionally well for streaming from various platforms like Spotify, AirPlay, and MusicCast.

While not compatible with Dolby Atmos, this 5.2-channel AV receiver offers a solid performance at a reasonable price.

Yamaha RX-V4A rear panel
Image: Yamaha

The RX-V4A delivers a sound that could easily be mistaken for a more expensive unit. The sonic performance is clean, balanced, and remarkably detailed, making it an excellent choice for those who prioritize great audio but are constrained by budget, space, or simply hate cables.

What I like

  • Plenty of streaming options.
  • Solid wireless connectivity.
  • Affordable.

What I don’t like

  • No Dolby Atmos or DTS:X compatibility.
Buy Yamaha RX-V4A at: AmazonCrutchfield

Sony STR-AN1000 4.5

  • Channels: 7.2
  • Power output: 100 W at 6 ohms
  • Dolby: Atmos, Digital Plus, Dual Mono, TrueHD
  • DTS: DTS-ES, DTS-HD High Resolution, Master Audio, DTS:X
  • Video: 8K/60 Hz, 4K/120 Hz
  • HDR: HDR10, Dolby Vision, HLG
  • Streaming: Chromecast, Spotify Connect, Apple AirPlay 2
  • Phono: No
Sony STR-AN1000 7.2-channel surround sound AV receiver
Image: Sony

The Sony STR-AN1000 delivers exceptional performance in both power and features, making it a standout choice for home theater aficionados of all levels. With a 7-channel amplifier providing 100 watts per channel, this unit fills your room with crisp and dynamic audio.

The STR-AN1000 supports both Dolby Atmos and DTS:X, bringing to life a dynamic soundstage further enhanced by Sony’s Digital Cinema Auto Calibration IX and 360 Spatial Sound Mapping. These technologies can fine-tune the audio in your room, resulting in a truly immersive experience.

Sony STR-AN1000 rear panel
Image: Sony

The receiver offers six HDMI inputs with support for 8K/60 Hz and 4K/120 Hz video, while gamers will appreciate the variable refresh rate (VRR) and auto low latency mode (ALLM), ensuring smooth gameplay.

When it comes to sound, the STR-AN1000 offers a three-dimensional soundstage that envelops you, making movies and music more immersive than ever, thanks to a detailed and energetic performance across the frequency spectrum.

What I like

  • Powerful.
  • It comes with calibration technology and multi-room support.
  • Gaming-optimized.

What I don’t like

  • No phono input.
Buy Sony STR-AN1000 at: AmazonCrutchfield

Onkyo TX-SR393 4.0

  • Channels: 5.2
  • Power output: 80 W at 8 ohms
  • Dolby: Atmos, Atmos Height Virtualization, Surround, TrueHD
  • DTS: Neural:X, Virtual:X, DTS-HD Master Audio, DTS:X
  • Video: 4K/60 Hz, Upscaling
  • HDR: HDR10, HLG, Dolby Vision
  • Phono: No
Onkyo TX-SR393 5.2-channel AV receiver
Image: Onkyo

The Onkyo TX-SR393 is another budget-friendly option that delivers more than you’d expect at this price range. Fairly basic in features, the TX-SR393 offers 5.2 channels but doesn’t come with streaming options or a phono input, which might be a dealbreaker for some.

On the other hand, it’s compatible with Dolby Atmos systems, making it one of the best budget-friendly options for immersive home entertainment.

Onkyo TX-SR393 rear panel
Image: Onkyo

What the TX-SR393 lacks in features, it more than makes up for in audio performance. Its AccuEQ room calibration feature, together with the three equalizers for treble and bass, exceeds expectations when it comes to crafting the perfect soundstage for small/medium-sized rooms.

Offering a dynamic, clear, and surprisingly nuanced sound, the TX-SR393 is a fantastic choice for those looking to maximize sound quality without breaking the bank.

What I like

  • Compatible with Dolby Atmos.
  • AccuEQ room calibration.
  • Affordable.

What I don’t like

  • No streaming options or a phono input.
Buy Onkyo TX-SR393 at: AmazonB&H

Final thoughts

I hope this guide will help you choose the best AV receiver for your home theater setup, and let me know in the comments below if there are other units worth testing out!

Whether you’re looking for cutting-edge technology or focused exclusively on sound quality, all the receivers on this list can deliver an exceptional performance for their price.

All you have to do is define your needs and budget and start creating your high-quality surround sound system.

Have fun!