The Best Two-Channel Stereo Receivers of 2023

Up your home audio game while staying stylish

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The best two-channel stereo receivers deliver excellent sound across the audio spectrum (thumping lows, crystal clear mids and highs) and a bevy of inputs and outputs to let you get music in and out with minimal fuss. Modern receivers feature Bluetooth connectivity, so pairing your phone or tablet requires pressing a few buttons. Then all your favorite music is pouring effortlessly from every corner of your room or home.

Best Overall

Cambridge Audio AXR85 Stereo Receiver

Cambridge Audio AXR85 85 Watt Stereo Receiver


A superb, attractive receiver that delivers a clear, incredibly accurate sound and features many inputs, the AXR85 claims our top spot for its ability to appeal to everyone from dedicated audiophiles to audio neophytes. This sleek, brushed aluminum unit boasts 85 watts of power, a built-in phono stage for connecting record players, and a 3.5mm input for iPod/MP3/external music players.

It also comes with built-in FM/AM radio reception with RDS, with up to 30 presets channels. There are four analog inputs and a built-in Bluetooth receiver for streaming from your smartphone, tablet, or PC. Cambridge Audio is renowned for building thoughtfully designed products that deliver best-in-class sound, and the AXR85 is another winner from the British manufacturer.

Best Value

Amazon Echo Link Amp

Echo Link Amp - Stream and amplify hi-fi music to your speakers


The Amazon Echo Link Amp lurks in the middle ground of price, quality, and power: small enough to put on a bookshelf and negates the need for a bulkier receiver. As a budget-friendly option, its sound might not reach the standards offered by more expensive models — and it lacks certain conveniences, like TV and video connections — but it's a solid introduction to amplifiers for those not wanting to spend a large amount of money. 

The built-in 60W x 2-channel amp boosts your existing speakers, whether tower or in-wall, and lets you create voice-controlled music groups to stream music throughout your home. Its various digital and analog inputs and outputs promise compatibility with most of your equipment. On the go? The Echo Link Amp boosts the music played through your headphones. The device is compatible with Amazon Music, Apple Music, Spotify, iHeart Radio, and Tidal services.

Most Flexible With Subwoofers

Sony STR-DH190 Stereo Receiver

Sony STRDH190 2-ch Home Stereo Receiver


The Sony STRDH190 is a complete two-channel stereo receiver package with a potent mix of features and sound quality. The NAD-integrated amp sounds fantastic for audio listeners who want today’s sound; pumping out 112 watts per channel, the Sony has enough power to push any subwoofer to its loudest volume. Digital connections on the rear of the receiver will help it connect quickly to an external subwoofer. Four analog inputs and one output are connected to a CD player or other recording device. All totaled, the Sony can power up to two pairs of speakers.

The input can also connect to a turntable. Once you set up your records, the sound is as clear as ever. Fortunately, Phono input isn’t the only option, as Bluetooth connectivity adds many options. Connect to a smartphone and play directly from the device or utilize Bluetooth standby. With the latter option, the receiver turns on from the paired device and starts playing.

"One handy feature that the receiver has is the ability to turn on from a paired Bluetooth device, like your phone, even if the receiver is in standby mode." — Jonno Hill, Product Tester

Sony STR-DH190

Lifewire / Jonno Hill

Sony STR-DH190

Lifewire / Jonno Hill

What to Look For in a Two-Channel Stereo Receiver


When purchasing your new receiver, check the supported wattage per channel on the device. This number will let you know what speakers are supported. When selecting your speakers, ensure their wattage is compatible with your receiver’s.


If you plan on playing your music through your new receiver, consider how you will get your tunes from your smartphone or tablet to your speakers. Purchasing a receiver with built-in Bluetooth or other streaming technologies makes it a more straightforward endeavor.


Will you use your receiver just for music or your television setup? If you plan on watching movies with your speakers, ensuring that your receiver features HDMI pass-through ports will simplify the experience and allow you to switch between different TV devices.

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