Which high-end receivers to upgrade your av setup are best? 

With the high volume of TV and film content constantly growing on streaming platforms, more people are skipping the movie theater in favor of enjoying their favorite content in the comfort of their own homes. To improve your home viewing experience, consider upgrading your home theater system to a higher quality AV receiver setup. An AV receiver with dedicated speakers offers a superior experience and a greater degree of customization. Whether you want to make a modest upgrade or splurge on top of the line products, there are plenty of high-end AV receivers available to fulfill your needs. 

What to look for in a high-end AV receiver

If you’re not intimately familiar with consumer AV products, choosing the right high-end model can be intimidating. With so many features and capabilities available, it’s important to familiarize yourself with some essential considerations to ensure you make the most of your home theater system.

Compatibility

The first factor to take into consideration is the compatibility with your AV devices. The more inputs and outputs your receiver, the greater the number of components it can support simultaneously. DVD and Blu-ray players, video gaming systems and streaming devices are all examples of modern equipment your receiver should support, and for old-school music lovers, you may need an analog input for your turntable. 

Digital connections are essential for ensuring the highest audio output and are typically included in the best AV receivers. Multiple HDMI inputs allow you to incorporate more of your favorite high-quality devices. Many models are compatible with Alexa, Siri and Google Assistant. Make sure your receiver can support the input/outputs of your preferred speakers as well.

Features

In order to maximize the value of your purchase, it’s a great idea to look for a receiver with plenty of features. Dolby Atmos is a state-of-the-art surround-sound technology that brings the immersive experience of the movie theater to your living room. 4K is the current best-possible, highest resolution video format, so your receiver should support it.

Amazon Fire Stick

Some devices, like the Amazon Fire Stick, are made specifically to support 4K, so make sure your components can handle the newest features. Bluetooth capability, built-in Wi-Fi and other modern features will keep your home theater up to date as well.

Speakers

When you invest in a high-end receiver, you will probably also need to upgrade your speaker setup. Unlike a soundbar system, a top-notch AV receiver doesn’t come with the speakers included.

speaker set

Make sure any speaker set you purchase matches the number of output channels in your receiver—a 5.1 surround sound speaker system comprises six speakers, so you don’t want to get caught with more speakers than output channels. If you want to take full advantage of your receiver’s capabilities, a 7.1 or 9.1 surround sound speaker set will provide the ultimate home theater audio.

Best high-end AV receivers

Denon AVR-X8500HA Receiver

Denon AVR-X8500HA Receiver

For the ultimate home theater system, the X8500HA delivers the kind of results you’d hope to see for a high price tag. It features full 4K capability with a dedicated 8K input for potential video upscaling, as well as video inputs that support everything from Dolby Vision to IMAX. On the audio end, it supports a massive 13.2 speaker setup for the most advanced surround sound experience. It also comes complete with Wi-Fi, Airplay 2 and Bluetooth capabilities.

Sold by: Amazon

Denon AVR-X3700H Receiver

Denon AVR-X3700H Receiver

Denon boasts 100 years of experience in electronics, and this model is one of its top performers. Featuring 9.2-channel speaker support, 3D sound, ultra HD video and Alexa built-in, the X3700H packs quite the punch. Unfortunately, it does not support pass-through from some 4K/120Hz gaming sources, but the company offers a free adapter for any customer with a warranty. For the relatively low price, this receiver offers the best bang for your buck.

Sold by: Amazon

Marantz SR7013 AV Receiver

Marantz SR7013 AV Receiver

This state-of-the-art receiver delivers exceptional video and audio performance thanks to Dolby Vision, eARC tech, Ultra HD upscaling and up to 9.2-channel speaker support. It also supports Zone 2 and Zone 3 wireless capabilities for extending your sound quality to other rooms, and 125-watt outputs make for powerful all-over audio.

Sold by: Amazon

Onkyo TX-NR797 Smart AV Receiver

Onkyo TX-NR797 Smart AV Receiver

This 9.2-ch Smart receiver gives you access to streaming content from Amazon Music, Pandora, Spotify and more with Bluetooth, Chromecast and Google Assistant capabilities. Throw in DTS:X and Dolby Atmos technology that syncs on-screen action with high-fidelity surround sound, and you have an IMAX-quality home theater system.

Sold by: Amazon 

Sony STR-DN1080 AV Receiver

Sony STR-DN1080 AV Receiver

This receiver boasts 7.2-channel surround sound with 4K HDR, Dolby Atmos, Bluetooth, WiFi and Google Chromecast capabilities—plus guaranteed smooth 4K pass-through switching. If you only have a 5-speaker surround system, this receiver offers a “phantom surround” feature that adds extra depth to movies and video games.

Sold by: Amazon 

Marantz SR5015 AV Receiver

Marantz SR5015 AV Receiver

Another top-tier offering from Marantz, this receiver offers USB connectivity in addition to Bluetooth, WiFi and AirPlay 2 capabilities. It combines multi-dimensional audio and heightened realism with Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization, creating a 3D-audio soundscape. It’s also optimized for gaming with 4K/120Hz pass-through and multiple latency features to keep your games running smoothly.

Sold by: Amazon

Pioneer Elite SC-LX704 AV Receiver

Pioneer Elite SC-LX704 AV Receiver

Pioneer’s stunning MCACC Pro auto room tuning technology powers this 7.2-channel, Dolby Atmos surround sound machine. It supports video pass-through for HDR10, HLG (Hybrid Log-Gamma) and Dolby Vision signals, and DTS Neural:X brings IMAX-quality surround sound.

Sold by: Amazon  

Onkyo TX-NR595 Smart AV Receiver

Onkyo TX-NR595 Smart AV Receiver

This slightly less-powerful alternative to the NR797 offers almost all of the same features in a 5.2-channel package. Although it comes with an old-school remote, you can control the entire system through Siri or the Onkyo or Sonos apps. It features enhanced power amplification designed for phase-accuracy, wide-spectrum signal reproduction and other flourishes that audiophiles love.

Sold by: Amazon  

Pioneer Elite SC-LX904 AV Receiver

Pioneer Elite SC-LX904 AV Receiver

Like its lower-priced alternative, the LX904 offers state-of-the-art room tuning and IMAX-enhanced sound—but with a massive 11.2-channel output. With IMAX enabled and Dolby Atmos technology powering 13 speakers, you could create the ultimate 3D sound experience at home. Also, in addition to wireless options, this model has an Ethernet port for advanced connectivity.

Sold by: Amazon

 

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Matt Fleming writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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