The 7 Best Mid-range Stereo Receivers

Complete your home audio and video system with these top stereo receivers

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The Rundown
Best Audio Support:
Yamaha R-S500BL at EBay
"A high-fidelity stereo sound that comes across as pure, natural, and unencumbered by post-processing."
Best Stereo iOS Support:
Onkyo TX-RZ710 at Amazon
"This is a well-rounded receiver that plays well with just about any technology or service you pair with it."

Best Audio Support: Yamaha R-S500BL Natural Sound Stereo Receiver


The R-S500BL unit is named the Natural Sound stereo receiver for a reason—Yamaha’s goal with this unit was to produce a high-fidelity stereo sound that comes across as pure, natural, and unencumbered by post-processing. The unit is equipped with a ton of audio-centric features including what Yamaha is calling Pure Direct circuit technology that passes the audio signals along the shortest possible route for the purest sound. There’s also built-in iPod and iPhone dock connectivity for simple, automatic pass-through even including an iPod video out to pass more than just audio on. There’s SiriusXM radio connectivity right out of the box, and a variable loudness control that makes sure no audio file is too loud or too soft (even if the file itself came in that way). The whole system offers 75W of output for each of the two main stereo out channels allowing plenty of headroom and fullness. It wraps up with a wordily named Total Performance Anti-Resonance Technology that makes sure there are no artificial effects from the unit’s physical vibration or enclosures.

Best Stereo iOS Support: Onkyo TX-RZ710 7.2-Channel Network A/V Receiver

Onkyo TX-RZ710 7.2-Channel Network A/V Receiver

When you’re looking for compatibility with your Apple devices in a powerful stereo receiver, you likely won’t do better than the Onkyo TX-RZ710. This is a well-rounded receiver that plays well with just about any technology or service you pair with it, including Apple Airplay, Bluetooth, Chromecast, Tune In Radio, Pandora, Spotify, Tidal and Deezer. No matter what type of phone or tablet you use or what music service you prefer, this receiver just works.

On top of broad compatibility, the Onkyo TX-RZ710 does everything a good modern receiver should. It supports the latest audio and video standards, including High Dynamic Range (HDR), UltraHD, 4K and it even has THX certification, so you can match the quality of a movie theater with your home speaker set up. As for ports, this receiver has eight HDMI inputs, two HDMI outputs, analog audio input, phono input, coax input and more.

One final note: If you do purchase this model, you do need to download the latest software update to get full compatibility with all listed music services. For example, one reviewer was unhappy that Tidal did not work initially, but Onkyo added support for it via the latest firmware update. Once that is set up, everything works as promised.

What to Look for in a Mid-range Stereo Receiver

Sound quality - Intuitively, if you want to have the best home audio setup, you’ll want a stereo receiver with the best audio quality, right? Well, yes. But truth be told, the audio quality likely won’t differ too much in this price range. Instead, you’re better off spending a little extra on high-quality speakers, where you’ll really notice the difference.

Connectivity - To future-proof your system, buy a stereo receiver with built-in Wi-Fi, preferably with dual bands. This will make it easy to stream all your favorite tracks directly from Spotify or Soundcloud. 

Design - Stereo receivers can be pretty clunky and some look like they are straight out of the 1980s. So if the device is sitting somewhere visible, it’s understandable if a sleek design is atop your list of priorities. Consider the footprint of the device, and also look at the layout of the remote control. Simpler is often better.

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