The Best Mid-Range Home Theater Receivers

The home theater receiver (also referred to as an AV or surround sound receiver) not only provides power to the speakers, but serves as an integrated control center for all of your components, often times providing both audio and video switching. In addition, even moderately priced home theater receivers provide features and quality that just a couple of years ago would have commanded sky high prices. Below is a list of my favorite midrange home theater receivers ($400- $1,299).

For additional Home Theater Receiver suggestions, also check out my listings of Home Theater Receivers - $399 or Less and Home Theater Receivers - $1,300 and Up.

Also, check out my Guide to Home Theater Receivers for everything you need to know before purchasing one.

NOTE: For more details on what any stated power ratings that may be included in this article mean with respect to real-world conditions, refer to my article: Understanding Amplifier Power Output Specifications.

Best Overall: The Yamaha AVENTAGE RX-A1060

Yamaha AVENTAGE RX-A1060 Home Theater Receiver
Yamaha AVENTAGE RX-A1060 Home Theater Receiver. Image provided by Yamaha Corporation of America

If you are looking for a home theater receiver that bridges the gap between midrange and high-end, consider the Yamaha AVENTAGE RX-A1060.

With great performance, and an abundance of features,  the RX-A1060 can serve your home theater receiver needs for a long time.

This receiver incorporates 7 channels of built-in amplification, is rated to deliver 110wpc, and features extensive standard and high-definition Dolby and DTS audio decoding and processing options, including Dolby Atmos (5.1.2 channel configuration) and DTS:X, as well as Yamaha's own audio processing enhancements. Audio processing is also further supported by the inclusion of ESS Technology SABRE Digital-to-Analog Audio Converters.

Audio connectivity, in addition to HDMI, includes both digital optical/coaxial, and analog input options, as well as two subwoofer outputs, and both powered speaker outputs or preamp outputs for an additional Zone. The RX-A1060 even provides 7.1 channel analog preamp outputs so that you can connect it to several combinations of external amplifiers.

To make speaker setup easy, the receiver has a built-in test tone generator that works in conjunction with a provided microphone and internal firmware (YPAO) that determines the size, distance, and frequency profile for each speaker and determines optimum output levels for your room.

For video support, the RX-A1060 has eight 3D, 4K, HDR-compatible  HDMI inputs, two independently configurable HDMI outputs, along with 3D, 1080p,  and 4K support.

The RX-A1060  also allows wired or wireless (via ethernet or built-in Wifi) audio streaming from other devices, such as a PC or media servers connected in a home network.

Extra bonuses include Wifi Direct/Miracast, iPod/iPhone connection via USB, along with Apple AirPlay, Internet Radio (including Pandora, Rhapsody, Spotify, and Sirius/XM), Wireless Bluetooth (Which allows direct streaming from compatible portable devices), and MusicCast compatibility.

Also, although the RX-A1060 does come with its own remote control, it can also be controlled conveniently by an iOS, Android, or Kindle Fire device.

THX Certified: The Onkyo TX-NR757

Onkyo TX-NR757 Home Theater Receiver
Onkyo TX-NR757 Home Theater Receiver. Image provided by Onkyo USA

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The Onkyo TX-NR757 is a home theater receiver definitely worth checking out. First, up, the NR757 is THX-Select 2 Plus Certified, which means that is best suited for rooms where the seating distance from the screen is 10 to 12-feet. Of course, this only a guideline, as there are also a lot of other factors to take into consideration, such as total room size and room acoustics.

Audio support includes both Dolby Atmos and DTS:X audio decoding capability which expands the home theater listening experience in full 3 Dimensional, immersive surround sound.

In addition, for content that is not Dolby Atmos and DTS:X encoded, the TX-NR757 features the Dolby Surround Upmixer and DTS Neural:X processing that allows non-encoded audio content (such as current DVD and Blu-ray content), to be "upmixed" to the Dolby Atmos and DTS:X environments.

However, if you don't want to partake in the Dolby Atmos or DTS:X experience, there is still a lot to take advantage of that make TX-R757 worth the price.

For video, 3D and 4K pass-through compatibility is provided, as well as incorporate analog-to-HDMI video conversion, and 1080p to 4K video upscaling. HDMI 2.0 compatibility is also included which provides support for HDR-encoded content, such as the Ultra HD Blu-ray Disc format.

The TX-NR757 also provides iPod/iPhone and Apple AirPlay, GoogleCast, FireConnect By BlackFire Research, DLNA certification, and internet access to several online music content services. Network and internet connection access can be done via standard Ethernet or WiFi. Built-in wireless Bluetooth capability is also provided making it easy to stream audio content from compatible portable devices.

Note For Vinyl Fans: There is even good ol' fashioned phono input for listening to vinyl records (turntable required).

Take Command: The Denon AVR-X2300W

Denon AVR-X2300W Home Theater Receiver - Front and Rear Views
Denon AVR-X2300W Home Theater Receiver - Front and Rear Views. Images Provided by D&M Holdings

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The AVR-X2300W InCommand home theater receiver combines very good audio and video performance with an abundance of up-to-date features, and the price isn't bad either.

On the audio side the AVR-X2300W provides up to a 7.2 channel speaker configuration supported by Dolby TrueHD/DTS-HD Master Audio decoding, with the added bonus of including both Dolby Atmos and DTS:X  Decoding capability.

You can also send select audio sources connected to the AVR-X2300W to a two-channel Zone 2 system, with the use of an external amplifier.

The AVR-X2300W is rated at 95wpc (.08% THD - measured at 20Hz to 20kHz with 2 channels driven with an 8 ohm load).

For video, this receiver provides 8 (7 rear and one front) HDMI inputs, with 3D, 4K (up to 60Hz), expanded Color Gamut and HDR (High Dynamic Range) pass through, as well as 1080p and 4K upscaling. .Also, two parallel HDMI outputs are provided that allow you to display the same images on two displays (or a display and a video projector) at the same time.

The AVR-X2300W also includes both network and internet streaming access (including (vTuner, Pandora, Sirius XM, and Spotify), via either Ethernet connection or built-in WiFi. In addition, built-in wireless Bluetooth and Apple AirPlay are included.

Best Style and Connectivity: The Marantz SR5011

Marantz SR5011 7.2 Channel Home Theater Receiver
Marantz SR5011 7.2 Channel Home Theater Receiver. Images provided by D&M Holdings

Marantz SR5011 Network Home Theater Receiver might be a great choice for your home theater setup. First off, besides the unusual front panel styling, this receiver provides up to a seven channel speaker configuration, including the ability to connect two subwoofers via preamp outputs, Dolby Atmos (5.1.2 channel configuration) and DTS:X decoding capability for a fully immersive surround sound experience.

For video, the SR5011 provides 8 HDMI inputs (7 rear/1 front) and 2 HDMI outputs that support 3D, 4K, HDR, and Wide Color Gamut pass-through, as well as analog to HDMI video conversion, and both 1080p and 4K upscaling.

Another feature worth noting is the inclusion of both 5.1/7.1 channel analog audio inputs and preamp outputs, which is becoming more rare these days, even on some higher-end receivers. Also, for added connection convenience, the speaker terminals are color coded by channel and widely spaced across the bottom of the rear panel.

Besides audio and video, the SR5011 also provides media player and networking functions with USB ports, DLNA certification, and internet access to music streaming services, such as Pandora, Sirius/XM, and Spotify. Apple AirPlay compatibility is also provided, so you can stream music from your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch as well as from iTunes libraries. Also, wireless Bluetooth capability is included for direct streaming from compatible portable devices.

The above description is just the tip of the iceberg, the Marantz SR5011 is probably most flexible home theater receiver priced less than $1,000 - definitely worth checking out.

Best Speaker Setup System: The Pioneer Elite VSX-LX101 and VSX-LX301

Pioneer Elite VSX-LX101 and VSX-LX301 Home Theater Receivers
Pioneer Elite VSX-LX101 and VSX-LX301 Home Theater Receivers. Images provided by Pioneer Electronics

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The VSX-LX101 and VSX-LX301 Home Theater Receivers are two entries in Pioneer's Elite line that are very affordable.

Both receivers share a solid audio and video features, as well as incorporating cutting edge functions for today's digital content sources.

On the audio side, the LX101 and LX301 provide Dolby TrueHD/DTS-HD Master Audio, Dolby Atmos decoding (5.1.2 channel configuration), and DTS:X can be added via free firmware update.

In addition to home theater surround decoding and processing, both also provide Hi-Res audio playback via ​the home network, smartphone/tablet, or direct USB connection. Compatible Hi-Res audio files include Apple Lossless (ALAC), WAV, FLAC, AIFF, and DSD (2.8 MHz).

For ease of setup, Pioneer includes its MCACC system for calibration of speaker levels, speaker distances, and both speaker and subwoofer EQ, using a supplied microphone and built-in test tone generator.

Several speaker setup options are possible, from a traditional 5.1, 7.1, or 7.2 channel speaker configuration, to a Bi-amp setup where four channels can be devoted to compatible front speakers, and a 5.1.2 channel speaker Dolby Atmos setup option can be accommodated.

For video, both receivers incorporate HDMI 2.0a/HDCP 2.2 connections. HDMI capabilities include 3D, HDR, and 4K pass-through. Both receivers also include Blutooth (for direct streaming from compatible smartphones and tablets), Apple AirPLay, GoogleCast (via firmware update) , and FireConnect By BlackFire Research. FireConnect allows the receivers to stream audio directly to compatible Pioneer (and possibly Onkyo) wireless speakers  placed in other locations throughout the home (specific products to be announced later in 2016).

Although both receivers share a lot in common, the VSX-LX301 adds some interesting perks, such as a higher power output 80 watts vs 100 watts), one additional HDMI input, analog-to-HDMI video conversion, Zone 2 operation, and custom control features accessible via 12 volt triggers and an RS232C port.

Best Bang For The Buck: The Onkyo TX-NR555 Home Theater Receiver

Onkyo TX-NR555 Home Theater Receiver
Onkyo TX-NR555 Home Theater Receiver. Image provided by Onkyo USA

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If you are looking for a home theater receiver that is affordable, packs in a lot great features, and delivers good sound, check out the Onkyo TX-NR555.

First up, the NR555 is Onkyo's least expensive 7.2 channel receiver that provides both Dolby Atmos and DTS:X audio decoding, which provides an immersive surround experience. For non-Dolby Atmos and DTS:X encoded content, the NR555 also includes the Dolby Surround Upmixer and DTS Neural:X audio processing which enhances standard 2, 5.1, or 7.1 channel sources.

For video, the NR555 can pass thorough 3D and 4K video signals, as well as providing analog-to-HDMI video conversion, and 1080p to 4K video upscaling. The NR555 is also compatible with HDR encoded video content, which can be accessed via the Ultra HD Blu-ray Disc format, or via a 4K/HDR compatible media streamer (accessing 4K/HDR encoded content).

The TX-NR555 can also stream media content via the internet, Apple Airplay, DLNA, and Bluetooth. Both Ethernet and WiFi are provided for network and internet access.

Good Value: The Sony STR-DN1070

Sony STR-DN1070 Home Theater Receiver
Sony STR-DN1070 Network Home Theater Receiver. Images provided by Sony Electronics

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If you are looking for an affordable Home Theater Receiver that has surprisingly good audio performance, then consider the Sony STR-DN1070.

The STR-DN1070 provides traditional home theater audio and video features, such as up to a 7.2 channel configuration with Dolby TrueHD/DTS-HD decoding support, as well as, 6 4K, and HDR compatible HDMI inputs (along with 2 HDMI outputs), with support for analog to HDMI video conversion, as well as 1080p and 4K video upscaling

The STR-DN1070 also provides two-channel Hi-Res audio playback which can be accessed via HDMI, USB, or download to a compatible media server/storage device and then connected or streamed via a local network.

Files that can be accessed include ALAC, FLAC, AIFF, WAV, DSD.

Additional connections and features on the STR-DN1070 include a front mounted USB port for access to audio and video content from USB flash drives is also included, as well as the option of either built-in wired (ethernet) or wireless (WiFi) network connectivity, which provides access to DLNA functions and Internet Radio.

For additional content access, the STR-DN1070 also incorporates Airplay (for iOS devices), Google Cast Music Service (for iPhone and Android devices), and Bluetooth (including NFC). The Bluetooth feature is also bi-directional - You can stream content directly to the receiver from a compatible Bluetooth-enabled Source, or you can stream content from the receiver to a compatible Bluetooth headset.

To more easily manage your audio content, as well as control, Sony provides a free downloadable SongPal app for iOS or Android.

Best For Custom Installations: The Integra DRX-2 and DRX-3

Integra DRX-3 Home Theater Receiver With Custom Control
Integra DRX-3 Home Theater Receiver With Custom Control. Images provided by Integra Home Theater

The Integra DRX-2 and DRX-3 are two Home Theater Receiver entries from Integra, which is the custom install product division of Onkyo.

The custom control features available on these receivers include: Bi-Directional RS232 control ports, Bi-Directional control via Ethernet, IR sensor input/output, RIHD (Remote control via HDMI), and three 12-volt triggers.

What all this means is that the DRX-2 and DRX-3 can be used to control video projection screens, lighting, and other components in a home theater setup, as well as being able to be integrated into a system that includes control via PCs and related devices.

In terms of audio and video, both receivers provide up to a 7.2 channel configuration, with 5.1.2 channel support for Dolby Atmos and DTS:X, as well as full pass-through capability for 3D, 4K, HDR, and Wide Color gamut video signals, and 1080p to 4K upscaling. Both receivers also feature wired and wireless network connectivity for access audio files from local devices as well as internet radio and several streaming music services.

Where the two receivers differ is that the DRX-2 has a stated power output of 80 wpc (2 channels driven, 8 ohms, 20-20kHZ, 0.08% THD), while the DRX-3 takes that up to 100 wpc using the same measuring standard. Also, the DRX-2 provides 6 HDMI inputs, while the DRX-2 adds two more inputs (includes one front-mounted input), for a total of 8. Also, for added connection flexibility, the DRX-3 provides a set of 7-channel analog preamp outputs.

Of course, there is more that these receivers offer - See Below:

Integra DRX-2 - Official Product Page

Integra DRX-3 - Official Product Page

Integra Home Theater Products are only available from distributors, and/or installers/dealers that specialize in home theater installation - Check out the Integra Home Theater Product Dealer Search Page:

Best For Small Spaces: The Marantz NR1607 Ultra-Slim Home Theater Receiver

Marantz NR1607 Slim-Profile Home Theater Receiver
Marantz NR1607 Slim-Profile Home Theater Receiver. Images Provided by D&M Holdings

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If you go through my home theater receiver product listings, you notice that they all seem to be big and bulky? Although that type of form factor is the commonly available, there are some home theater receivers that buck that trend. One example of a more compact, slim-design home theater receiver is the Marantz NR1607.

The NR1607 is only 4.1-inches high - not counting the Bluetooth/WiFi antennas, which are movable, 14.8-inches deep, and 17.3-inches wide). However, despite its space-saving design, the NR1607 still offers up​ a lot of practical features that help to provide good performance and connect access flexibility.

The NR1607 provides up to a 7.2 configuration with a stated 50 wpc power output. Although that is not as much power output as its "big brothers", for a smaller (or even some medium size) room that is more than enough.

Audio decoding/processing of most Dolby and DTS surround sound formats is provided, including Dolby Atmos (5.1.2 channel configuration) and DTS:X

The NR1607 also includes Audyssey MultEQ automatic speaker setup and room correction system, as well as an onscreen "Setup Assistant" menu interface guides you the rest of what you might need to get up and running.

There are 8 HDMI inputs (6 rear/1 front), and one HDMI output, which are 3D, 4K, and HDR and Wide Color Gamut compatible. The NR1607 includes analog to HDMI video conversion and both 1080p and 4K upscaling.

The NR-1607 also provides access to audio files stored on a network-connected PC or Media Server, and as well as access to several online content services, such as Spotify, Pandora, and Sirius/XM.

Additional streaming capabilities include Bluetooth and Apple AirPlay.

The NR1607 even includes Zone 2 operation capability.

You can control the NR1607 using the provided remote, or download the free Marantz remote control app for Android or iOS devices.

Onkyo TX-RZ900 Network Home Theater Receiver

Onkyo TX-RZ900 Home Theater Receiver
Onkyo TX-RZ900 Home Theater Receiver. Image of Onkyo TX-RZ900 provided by Onkyo USA.

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To start, the Onkyo TX-RZ900 THX Select2 Plus certified,

Core audio features include built-in 7.2 channel configuration, with Dolby Atmos and DTS:X audio decoding capability (DTS:X is added added via free firmware update).

In terms of connectivity, the TX-RZ900 supports both HDMI 2.o specification, which provides HDR High Dynamic Range video  pass-through and HDCP 2.2 copy-protection. HDCP 2.2 provides secure access for 4K streaming and other applicable content passing  through 5 of each receiver's 8 HDMI inputs).

In addition, two parallel HDMI outputs are provided. However, one important thing to note is that although the TX-RZ900 provides 1080p, 4K, and 3D pass-through, as well as analog-to-HDMI video conversion, it does not support video upscaling capability.

The TX-RZ900 also provides network connectivity (via Ethernet or WiFi), and both local and internet streaming options via Bluetooth, AirPlay, and internet access from services, such as Aupeo!, Pandora, Spotify, and more.

Also, the RZ900 also provides multi-zone functionality, such as powered and line outputs for a Zone 2 configuration, as well as preamp line output for a Zone 3 option (the preamp output options required external amplifiers).


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