Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.
Best Overall: The Yamaha AVENTAGE RX-A1070 at Amazon
"Can serve your home theater receiver needs for a long time."
Best Style and Connectivity: The Marantz SR5012 at Amazon
"Provides up to a seven-channel speaker configuration."
Best For Auro 3D Audio: Denon 9.2 Channel Receiver at Amazon
"Provides a lot of speaker setup flexibility."
THX Certified: The Onkyo TX-NR777 at Amazon
"Best suited for rooms where the seating distance from the TV or video projection screen is 10 to 12-feet."
Best Bang For The Buck: Yamaha RX-V683BL at Amazon
"Has a powerful 7 channel amplifier and a preamp output for connection of a powered subwoofer."
Best Bang For The Buck - Runner-Up: The Onkyo TX-NR676 at Amazon
"Expands the home theater listening experience in full 3 Dimensional, immersive surround sound."
Take Command: Denon AVR-X2400H at Amazon
"A flexible mid-range home theater that provides solid audio performance."
Best For Amazon Alexa Users: Denon AVR-X3400H at Amazon
"Provides both network and internet streaming access."
Best Speaker Setup System: Pioneer Elite VSX-LX102 at Amazon
"Provides great sound for a small or medium-size room."
Good Value: Sony STR-DN1080 Network Receiver at Amazon
"Affordable home theater receiver with connection/content access flexibility."
If you are looking for a home theater receiver that bridges the gap between mid-range and high-end, consider the Yamaha AVENTAGE RX-A1070.
With great performance and an abundance of features, the RX-A1070 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 (including a dedicated phono/turntable input), as well as two subwoofer outputs. Also, both powered speaker outputs or preamp outputs provided for an additional wired Zone. The RX-A1070 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-A1070 has eight 3D, 4K, HDR-compatible (HDR10, Dolby Vision, and Hybrid Log Gamma) HDMI inputs, two independently configurable HDMI outputs, along with 3D, 1080p, and 4K support.
The RX-A1070 also allows wired or wireless (via Ethernet or built-in Wi-Fi) audio streaming from other devices, such as a PC or media servers connected to a home network.
Extra bonuses include Wi-Fi 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-A1070 does come with its own remote control, it can also be controlled conveniently by an iOS, Android, or Kindle Fire device.
Before you buy a home theater receiver, you may want to familiarize yourself with its basic features and the difference between a home theater receiver and a stereo receiver.
The Marantz SR5012 Network Home Theater Receiver might be a great choice for your home theater setup. First off, it has unusual front panel styling. However, behind that stylish front, 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 SR5012 provides 8 HDMI inputs (7 rear and 1 front) and 2 HDMI outputs that support 3D, 4K, HDR (HDR10, Dolby Vision, Hybrid Log Gamma), 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 rarer 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 solid core audio and video features and performance, the SR5012 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.
However, another big bonus is the incorporation of the Denon/Marantz HEOS multi-room audio system platform, which allows you to stream music content from the receiver to compatible HEOS-branded wireless speakers that you can place around the house.
The above summary is just the tip of the iceberg. The Marantz SR5012 is probably most flexible home theater receiver available that is priced less than $1,000 - definitely worth checking out.
If you are looking for a home theater receiver that can accommodate all the newer immersive surround sound formats in use, and a lot more, then check out the Denon AVR-X4300H.
To start off, the AVR-X4300H has 9 amplified channels built-in (with expansion to 11 channels via additional external amps). This provides a lot of speaker setup flexibility. Add 2 subwoofer outputs, and the latest surround sound decoding technology, including Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, and Auro 3D Audio (via paid firmware update), makes this receiver very tempting.
The AVR-X4300H is rated to deliver 125 watts-per-channel (measured from 20Hz-20kHz, 0.05% THD, at 8 ohms with 2-channels driven). What this means is that the AVR-X4300H has plenty of power for medium and large rooms with very low distortion levels.
Of course, setting up 9 or 11 channels worth of speakers can be quite intimidating, but the built-in Audyssey MultEQ XT32 automatic speaker setup system makes this task a lot easier by fine-tuning the response of your speakers in relation to room acoustics and seating position.
For video, the AVR-X4300H is fully compatible with 3D, HDR, wide color gamut, HDCP 2.2, 4K UltraHD video signals, supported by 8 HDMI inputs and 3 outputs (one of which can be assigned to Zone 2). Both 1080p and 4K upscaling are provided if you need it.
Audio and video are certainly not the whole story. The AVR-X4300H also provides extensive networking capabilities, which allows music streaming from compatible network-connected devices, such as PCs and media servers. In addition, built-in ethernet and Wi-Fi connectivity also provides access to internet-based streaming services, such as Pandora, Spotify, and vTuner. Even Apple AirPlay compatibility is provided, so you can stream music from your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch as well as from iTunes libraries.
Of course, you can always opt to stream music directly to the AVR-X4300H via most smartphones using Bluetooth. To top it all off, this receiver also incorporates both Zone 2 and 3 preamp outputs, and Denon's HEOS wireless multiroom audio platform. This allows wireless streaming to HEOS-branded speakers in other locations around the house (or even outside) as long they are within range. All you need to do is download the HEOS app onto a compatible smartphone and tablet (and purchase one or more HEOS wireless speakers), and you are set to go.
The Onkyo TX-NR777 is a home theater receiver definitely worth checking out. First, up, the NR777 is THX-Select certified, which means that is best suited for rooms where the seating distance from the TV or video projection 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 for both Dolby Atmos and DTS:X audio decoding is provided, which expands the home theater listening experience to full 3 Dimensional, immersive surround sound. A 5.1.2 channel speaker setup option can be used for Dolby Atmos/DTS:X and up to a 7.2 channel speaker setup is provided for other surround sound formats.
The TX-NR777 also includes features the Dolby Surround Upmixer and DTS Neural:X processing which allows non-encoded Atmos and DTS:X audio content (such as current DVD and Blu-ray content), to be "upmixed" to the Dolby Atmos and DTS:X environments.
However, don't worry if you don't want to partake in the Dolby Atmos or DTS:X, there is still a lot to take advantage of that makes TX-NR777 worth the price.
For video, 1080p, 3D, 4K, and HDR (HDR10, Dolby Vision, Hybrid Log Gamma) pass-through compatibility is provided, as well as the ability to perform analog-to-HDMI video conversion.
The TX-NR777 also provides direct connection for iPods and iPhones, as well as built-in support for Apple Airplay and Google Chromecast for audio. The TX-NR77 also provides support for the FireConnect and DTS Play-Fi wireless multi-room audio platforms (FireConnect and DTS Play-Fi added by firmware updates).
Access to content stored on locally connected PCs and several online music content services is prvoided via Ethernet or Wi-Fi. Bluetooth is also provided, making it easy to stream audio content from compatible portable devices.
There is even good ol' fashioned phono input for listening to vinyl records (turntable required).
The Yamaha RX-V683 is an example of how much a home theater receiver can offer without digging too deep into your wallet.
This receiver has a powerful 7 channel amplifier (90WPC - measured with 2 channels driven) and a preamp output for connection of a powered subwoofer. Most Dolby and DTS surround sound formats are supported, including Dolby Atmos and DTS:X. In addition, AirSurround Xtreme-based Virtual Cinema Front audio processing is included for those that would rather place all their speakers in the front of the room. This provides a speaker setup option for smaller spaces.
The RX-V683 includes Yamaha's YPAO automatic speaker setup system, as well as excellent onscreen diagrams and easily understood setting options if you would rather do your speaker setup manually.
Just as with other Yamaha home theater receivers, Silent Cinema is included. With Silent Cinema, any set of headphones or earphones can be used for listening to movies or music in surround sound without disturbing others. Perfect for late night private listening!
The RX-V683 can also access iTunes and additional music streaming from an iPod Touch, iPhone, or iPad via Apple AirPlay. The receiver can also play music stored on USB flash drives, as well as PCs connected to a compatible home network. The RX-V683 provides both Ethernet and Wi-Fi.
HDMI Audio Return Channel is provided, as well as 3D, 4K, Wide Color Gamut, and HDR (including HDR10, Dolby Vision, and Hybrid Log Gamma) pass-through, and 1080p to 4K upscaling. There are a total of 6 HDMI inputs and 1 output.
In addition to the provided wireless remote, you can also download Yamaha's AV controller app to a compatible smartphone and control the receiver's setup, operation, and content access from there.
Another outstanding feature is the inclusion of Yamaha's MusicCast. Working in conjunction with the free MusicCast App, you can not only stream music from the receiver's built-in AM/FM tuner and streaming services, such as Pandora, Spotify, Deezer, TIDAL, Sirius/XM, but you can also stream any connected audio source (CD player, turntable, DVD, Blu-ray, USB flash drive, etc...) to any compatible Yamaha MusicCast-enabled wireless speakers, such as their WX-010 and WX-030. MusicCast can stream music to up to 9 compact wireless speakers. However, keep in mind that the system currently does not provide wireless support for surround sound.
The Onkyo TX-NR676 is a home theater receiver definitely worth checking out.
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 (such as most DVD, Blu-ray, and streaming), the TX-NR676 features the Dolby Surround Upmixer and DTS Neural:X processing that simulates the Dolby Atmos and DTS:X listening experience.
However, don't worry 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-R676 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. The 7 HDMI inputs and 2 outputs provide support for HDR (HDR10 and Dolby Vision) encoded video content, from Ultra HD Blu-ray Discs and select streaming sources.
The TX-N676 also provides Apple Airplay out-of-the-box and is also compatible FireConnect By BlackFire Research, DTS Play-Fi, and Google Chromecast for Audio via firmware updates.
The TX-NR676 is also DLNA certified. This means that in addition to Apple Airplay and Internet streaming, the receiver can also access audio content located on other compatible devices connected to a home network, such as PCs and media servers.
Speaking of internet streaming, you can use the 676 to access Spotify, TIDAL, Pandora, and more...
For added audio content access, Bluetooth is also provided making it easy to stream audio content directly from compatible portable devices.
For ease of setup, the TX-NR676 not only provides Onkyo's AccuEQ automatic speaker setup system, but speaker placement and connection diagrams are also etched into the rear panel - this is a great convenience when plugging everything in.
For more decently priced options, check out our picks for the best mid-range home theater receivers.
The AVR-X2400H 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-X2400H 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-X2400H to a two-channel Zone 2 system, with the use of an external amplifier.
The AVR-X2400H 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 both HDR10 and Dolby Vision 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-X2400H also includes both network and internet streaming access (including (vTuner, Pandora, Sirius XM, and Spotify), via either Ethernet connection or built-in Wi-Fi. In addition, built-in wireless Bluetooth and Apple AirPlay are included, as well as built-in support for the HEOS wireless multi-room audio platform.
The AVR-X2400H is definitely a flexible mid-range home theater that provides solid audio performance, up-to-date video connectivity, and the expandability for both 2nd Zone and wireless multi-room audio applications.
For your main setup, the AVR-X3400H provides up to a 7.2 channel speaker configuration supported by decoding for most Dolby and DTS surround sound audio formats, both Dolby Atmos (5.1.2 speaker configuration) and DTS:X.
You can also send select audio sources connected to the AVR-X3400H to a two-channel Zone 2 system, with the use of an external amplifier.
The AVR-X3400H is rated at 105wpc (.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 both HDR10 and Dolby Vision high dynamic range pass through, as well as 1080p and 4K upscaling. Also, there 3 HDMI outputs. Two outputs can display the same image on two displays, while the third output can display a separate HDMI source on another display.
The AVR-X3400H provides both network and internet streaming access (vTuner, Pandora, Sirius XM, and Spotify), via either Ethernet connection or Wi-Fi. Wireless Bluetooth and Apple AirPlay are also supported as well as built-in support for Denon's HEOS wireless multiroom audio speaker products.
However, the big bonus is that the AVR-X3400H also supports integration with Amazon's Alexa Voice Control platform, which will be available beginning in late September 2017. This means if you enable Alexa's home entertainment skill on your smartphone, Echo, or Echo Show device, you can use Alexa voice commands to control volume, mute, input switching, as well as playback controls for streaming content. More sophisticated control capabilities will be added at a later date.
The Pioneer Elite VSX-LX102 offers up solid audio and video features for the price, as well as incorporating cutting edge functions for today's digital content sources.
On the audio side, the LX102 provides comprehensive support for most surround sound formats, most notably, Dolby TrueHD/DTS-HD Master Audio, Dolby Atmos (5.1.2 channel configuration), and DTS:X.
In addition to home theater surround decoding and processing, the VSX102 also provides Hi-Res audio playback via your 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, speaker height (when using a Dolby Atmos setup), 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 (not all at the same time, of course).
Bluetooth is also included for for direct music streaming from compatible smartphones and tablets, and Apple AirPlay support is also provided. Support for Chromecast, DTS Play-Fi, and FireConnect By BlackFire Research is also included. FireConnect and DTS PlayFi allows the receiver to stream audio directly to compatible Pioneer (and Onkyo) wireless speakers placed in other locations throughout the home.
DTS Chromecast, FireConnect, and DTS Play-Fi each require firmware update.
Whether you access video content from a cable/satellite box, DVD, Blu-ray, Ultra HD Blu-ray, or external media streamer, the VSX-102 incorporates HDMI (4-in/1-Out) connection compatibility for 3D, HDR (HDR10/Dolby Vision), and 4K pass-through.
If you are looking for home theater receiver that provides great sound for a small or medium-size room, flexible speaker setup options, wireless multi-room audio support, and video connectivity, the Pioneer Elite VSX-LX102 is definitely and affordable choice.
If you are looking for an affordable Home Theater Receiver that has surprisingly good audio performance, consider the Sony STR-DN1080.
The STR-DN1080 has flexible surround setup options, providing both a 7.2 channel speaker configuration or a 5.1.2 channel Dolby Atmos or DTS:X setup that includes vertically height or overhead speakers. Also, for those with limited space, there are additional options. With Phantom Suround back, you can experience a 7 channel surround effect with only 5 speakers, and S-Force Virtual Surround provides a limited surround effect with only 2 front speakers.
You can also send audio-only to a Zone 2 system either using a direct connection supported the 1080's own amplifiers, or analog two-channel audio preamp output (additional external amplifier required this option). Also, in addition to its surround sound capabilities for movie viewing, the STR-DN1080 also incorporates Hi-Res two-channel audio listening from local network and USB connected sources.
For video, the 1080 provides 6 3D, 4K, and HDR compatible HDMI inputs, and two HDMI outputs - all compatible with today's 4K video sources, external media streamers that provide access to 4K streaming content from services, such as Netflix.
It is important to note for those that have older video gear, that while the STR-DN1080 does provide 2 composite video inputs, it does not include any component video inputs.
In addition to core audio and video features, the STR-DN1080 includes both network and internet streaming access (Google Chromecast for Audio built-in - also works with Google Home) via either Ethernet connection or built-in Wi-Fi, and also provides Bluetooth (with additional one-touch NFC support) for direct streaming from compatible portable devices.
Another added bonus is that with Sony's SongPal app, you can incorporate the receiver into a wireless multi-room audio system by combining it with other compatible Sony wireless audio products.
If you looking an affordable home theater receiver with connection/content access flexibility for a variety of setups and needs, as well as good sound quality, definitely consider the STR-DN1080.
While most home theater receivers are still large boxes that seem to provide everything but the kitchen sink, some receivers take a different approach that places more emphasis on slim profile design, streamline connectivity, and big emphasis on wireless multi-room audio. One example is the Denon HEOS AVR. HEOS stands for "Home Entertainment Operating System".
On the traditional side, the HEOS AVR incorporates a 5.1 channel configuration, as well as Dolby TrueHD/DTS-HD Master Audio decoding and additional surround sound processing, as well as 4K HDMI pass-through connectivity.
However, there is a twist. For the surround channels, users have the option to run wire to speakers in the back of the room, or, you have the option to use select HEOS wireless speakers for the surround channels instead. This is definitely convenient - and we will probably see this option added to other receivers.
The HEOS AVR has a modest output of 50 wpc when using all of its internal amps, but when using the wireless surround speakers, the rear surround power output will be less.
In addition to wireless surround, the HEOS system can also send music around the house to additional compatible wireless speakers.
Additional audio features include music playback via USB (which includes Hi-Res Audio), and direct streaming from compatible smartphones via Bluetooth. Also, both ethernet and Wi-Fi are included for access to several online music streaming services.
All control functions have to performed either via the provided remote control or on a smartphone via Denon's remote control app - The only onboard control on the receiver is the master volume control.
If you are looking for an easy-to-set-up and use home theater receiver that has a stylish look, and cuts out the fat, the Denon HEOS AVR is definitely one option to consider - especially if you have a small or medium-size room.
If you go through our home theater receiver product listings, you notice that they all seem to be big and bulky. Although that type of form factor is 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 NR1608.
The NR1608 is only 4.1-inches high - not counting the Bluetooth/Wi-Fi antennas, which are movable, 14.8-inches deep, and 17.3-inches wide). However, despite its space-saving design, the NR1608 still offers up a lot of practical features that help to provide good performance and connect access flexibility.
The NR1608 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. Also, DTS Virtual:X audio processing can be added via firmware update. DTS Virtual:X creates an overhead Dolby Atmos/DTS: X-like sound-field without the need for physical vertically firing or ceiling mounted speakers.
The NR1608 also includes the Audyssey MultEQ automatic speaker setup and room correction system (includes access to a special smartphone settings editor app), as well as an on-screen "Setup Assistant" menu that can guide you through the rest of what you might need to get up and running.
There are 8 HDMI inputs (7 rear/1 front), and one HDMI output, which are 3D, 4K, and HDR (HDR10 and Dolby Vision built-in - Hybrid Log Gamma compatibility via firmware update) and Wide Color Gamut compatible. The NR1608 includes analog to HDMI video conversion and both 1080p and 4K upscaling.
The NR-1608 also provides access to audio files stored on a network-connected PC or Media Server (including Hi-Res audio files), 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 NR1608 includes both wired Zone 2 operation and integration support for the HEOS wireless multiroom audio platform (wireless HEOS-branded satellite speakers required).
You can control the NR1608 using the provided remote, or download the free Marantz remote control app for Android or iOS devices.
Power output - The more wattage, the better, right? Not necessarily. Different manufacturers base their advertised power outputs on different specifications, so you should be careful when comparing them. You must also consider the size of your room, as well as the power requirements of your speakers.
Surround sound formats - Over the years, surround sound technology has evolved massively, resulting in a variety of formats. If you have a 5.1-channel setup, look for formats like Dolby Digital, DTS, or Dolby Pro Logic II. If you have a 7.1-channel setup, which adds two additional speakers, then look for a format like Dolby TrueHD, Dolby Digital Plus or DTS-HD.
Connectivity - In all receivers, you’ll have speaker connections, plus connections for subwoofers and other components. However, the increasing use of HDMI has resulted in many manufacturers dropping some of these additional component connections. Look for HDMI connections that support the most recent standards (HDMI 2.0/2.0a or HDMI-MHL).