The 6 Best Budget-Friendly Stereo Receivers of 2023

Fill your space with all the sound you can handle

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There is something to be said about the simple separation of left- and right-channel audio output. It's just about the music; some audiophiles say it's all you ever need.

If that's what you're after, and your budget is modest, these are the budget receivers we like best.

Best Overall

Sony STR-DH190 Stereo Receiver

Sony STRDH190 2-ch Home Stereo Receiver


What We Like
  • Excellent value

  • Great performance

  • Clean design

What We Don't Like
  • Limited connectivity

It’s hard to do much better than Sony’s STRDH190 Stereo Receiver. It lacks frills such as Wi-Fi and Ethernet connectivity or any voice assistant integration, but it nails the basics and does so at a stellar price. It has plentiful ports and Bluetooth for wirelessly streaming music from a smartphone or computer.

We like that the ultra-minimal design somehow makes it look more expensive than it is. The 100W per channel stereo sound is excellent. This is not something for the more technical A/V fans out there, but this feels like a steal for the rest of us.

Wattage: 200W (100W x 2) | Inputs: Stereo RCA (4), 3.5mm Headphone Jack | Outputs: Stereo RCA (1), Speaker Wire (4) | Dimensions: 11 x 17 x 5.2 inches

Sony STR-DH190

Lifewire / Jonno Hill

Best Compact

Fosi Audio BT10A

Fosi Audio BT10A Bluetooth 5.0 Stereo Audio Amplifier Receiver 2 Channel Class D Mini Hi-Fi Integrated Amp for Home Passive Speakers 50W x 2 TPA3116


What We Like
  • Palm sized

  • Very affordable

  • Bluetooth capable

What We Don't Like
  • Low power output

If you want to take audio from your computer, tablet, or phone and get it to bigger, better speakers, the Fosi Audio BT10A is an ideal choice. It has Bluetooth connectivity with a range of 50 feet, so you can wirelessly stream music from your device. There’s also an AUX input if you want a wired connection.

This is a simple unit with a few dials on the front to control the volume, bass, and treble. Its output is 50W per channel.

Wattage: 300W | Inputs: Stereo RCA (2) | Outputs: Stereo RCA (2), Speaker Wire (4) | Dimensions: 16.9 x 12.2 x 4.7 inches

Best for a Home Theater

Sony STRDH590 5.2 Multi-Channel 4K Receiver

Sony STRDH590 5.2 Channel Surround Sound Home Theater Receiver: 4K HDR AV Receiver with Bluetooth,Black


What We Like
  • 5.2 multi-channel surround

  • 4K HDR passthrough

  • Bluetooth audio playback

What We Don't Like
  • Can’t connect speakers via Bluetooth

The Sony STRDH590 5.2 Multi-Channel 4K Receiver delivers a stellar sound and loads of additional features and is ideal for a home theater setup. It has 5.2 multi-channel surround sound with a booming 145W per channel output, along with Dolby TrueHD and DTS HD audio that's better than the price tag suggests.

Meanwhile, 4K and HDR (high dynamic range) passthrough compatibility means your TV can depict the vibrant images that come through the receiver without degradation. It also offers built-in Bluetooth wireless compatibility for playing music from your phone or other wireless devices, plus there's FM radio support with up to 30 station presets. The minimal black box design should fit well with any home entertainment system.

Wattage: 725W (145W x 5) | Inputs: HDMI (4), Stereo RCA (4), Optical (1) | Outputs: HDMI (1), Subwoofer (1), Speaker Wire (5) | Dimensions: 11.75" x 17" x 5.25"

Most Popular

Yamaha R-S202BL Stereo Receiver

YAMAHA R-S202BL Stereo Receiver


What We Like
  • Excellent stereo sound

  • Bluetooth connectivity

  • Lots of helpful features

What We Don't Like
  • Runs warm

As the Sony listed above, the Yamaha R-S202BL is affordable, has decent connectivity, and looks pretty slick.

Coming in at 17 ⅛ x 5 ½ inches and a pretty light 14.8 pounds, the R-S202BL receiver has an energy conservation mode that automatically kicks into standby mode, which uses up just 0.5W of power when power isn't needed.

The R-S202BL has FM/AM preset tuning for up to 40 stations and outputs 100W output per channel. If desired, you can connect this receiver to two separate sets of speakers and easily switch between the outputs or use both simultaneously.

Wattage: 200W (100W x 2) | Inputs: Stereo RCA (4) | Outputs: Stereo RCA (1), Speaker Wire (4) | Dimensions: 12.63 x 17.13 x 5.5 inches

Best Value

Pyle PT390BTU Bluetooth Amplifier System

Pyle Wireless Bluetooth Power Amplifier System 300W 4 Channel Home Theater Audio Stereo Sound Receiver Box Entertainment w/ USB, RCA, 3.5mm AUX, LED, Remote...


What We Like
  • Bluetooth compatibility

  • Very affordable

  • USB + SD support

What We Don't Like
  • Not a very attractive design

The Pyle PT390BTU Bluetooth Amplifier System is aimed at someone different. If you don't need high-end output or a sophisticated design, then it's time to check out the PT390BTU.

While many receivers opt for a minimal, boxy design, the Pyle resembles a super-sized, standalone car stereo with a bright, glowing screen. Still, it's a versatile device with Bluetooth wireless connectivity for your smartphone or tablet, along with support for SD cards and USB sticks, and offers up to 300W of output.

Wattage: 300W | Inputs: Stereo RCA (2) | Outputs: Stereo RCA (2), Speaker Wire (4) | Dimensions: 16.9 x 12.2 x 4.7 inches

Best Budget

Moukey MAMP1 Bluetooth 5.0 Power Home Audio Amplifier

Moukey Home Audio Amplifier Stereo Receivers with Bluetooth 5.0, 220W 2 Channel Power Amplifier Stereo System, w/USB, SD, AUX, MIC in w/Echo, LED for Home...


What We Like
  • Bluetooth compatiblity

  • Extremely affordable

  • Compact size

What We Don't Like
  • Busy design

A dual-channel amplifier with 220W of peak power, the Moukey Bluetooth Amplifier offers Bluetooth streaming from a device that’s only 10 inches wide, 4 inches tall, and 8 inches deep. The compact device has several ports, including two RCA inputs, two 2.5-inch microphone inputs, a headphone jack, a USB port, an SD card slot, a 3.5mm AUX-IN port, and an FM radio antenna. 

On the front of the Moukey Amp, there are dials for adjusting the microphone volume and the echo, treble, bass, and balance, making this an ideal device for karaoke. Although this is a budget unit, you can use it for various purposes, from music to desktop audio.

Wattage: 220W | Inputs: Stereo RCA (2) | Outputs: Stereo RCA (1), Speaker Wire (4) | Dimensions: 10 x 8 x 4 inches

Sony STR-DH190

Lifewire / Jonno Hill

What to Look For in a Budget-Friendly Stereo Receiver


How are you going to get your music into the stereo receiver? These days, many people opt for Bluetooth pairing with a smartphone, tablet, or laptop for convenient access to streaming services, although some receivers have Wi-Fi support to cut out the middleman. If there’s no wireless connectivity, check that the receiver has the ports you need for your audio equipment.

Sound Quality

Why even buy a stereo receiver if you’ll settle for so-so sound? While finding a stereo that delivers stellar sound (no matter your budget) is important, note that you’ll probably see more quality variance in your speaker selection—so splurge there if you can.


Most stereo receivers are hulking black boxes, but even then, there are differences. Some are ultra-minimal while others are busier-looking, and then some go in other directions—like slim units ideal for rack setups. Consider the space you have.

  • What’s the difference between a stereo receiver and a home theater receiver?

    Stereo receivers are designed for music and audio, while home theater receivers are designed to serve as a hub for all of your A/V equipment (including your video equipment). A home theater receiver will often have more channels to support surround sound, it will typically have HDMI inputs and at least one HDMI output, and it’ll be optimized with both audio and video features like 4K passthrough and Dolby audio. We go into more detail In our Home Theater Receiver vs. Stereo Receiver article.

  • How can you add Bluetooth to a stereo receiver?

    Some budget receivers don't come with native Bluetooth connectivity, but luckily, adding it is fairly simple. It just involves purchasing a wireless Bluetooth adapter, like the Harmon Kardon BTA-10 (view at Amazon). Plug it into your receiver and you'll instantly be able to stream audio from any Bluetooth-enabled device.

  • What's the best way to clean a stereo receiver?

    Like a lot of audio equipment, receivers can be sensitive to harsh chemicals and can get damaged when cleaned improperly. The best way to tidy up your receiver is using a can of compressed air to dispel dust on the surface and in the cavities, which can especially be useful if you open up the chassis. It's also advisable to occasionally remove the knobs, faceplate, or switches, and clean any point of contact with contact cleaner, which is specially designed for cleaning electronics.

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