We have reached a point where the once high-end stereo receivers are nowadays considered old-school by young music enthusiasts everywhere. Despite these appearances, we assure you that some of the best stereo receivers on the market today are just as technologically advanced as any other modern devices, along with boasting some truly impressive features that modern speaker systems simply do not have.
In general, stereo receivers are affordable and boast a galaxy of innovative features and connectivity options. With this in mind, let us find out what are the ten best stereo receivers money can buy.
Best Stereo Receivers – Reviews
10Pyle Home PT270AIU 300-Watt Stereo Receiver AM/FM Tuner
The Pyle Home PT270AIU 300-Watt Stereo Receiver AM/FM Tuner is a great product to have at home. Firstly, it comes with an iPod docking station that is compatible with all iPod and iPhone models. There are controls for tone, microphone volume, echo, and more to get the best customization.
There is also an AM/FM tuner with 50 different station memory and USB and SD card port for unlimited music options. The speaker output comes with a digital output display meter. A separate gain for the subwoofer is also available should you need one.
9Onkyo TX-NR626 7.2 Channel Network Audio/Video Receiver
Standing out as one of the best available stereo receivers online, the Onkyo TX-NR626 7.2 Channel Network Audio/Video Receiver is a powerful beast. With 95 Watts per channel and 115 Watts per channel, this system gives users options in terms of sound.
There is a total of 6 HDMI inputs along with 2 outputs for Audio Return Channel. The stand out feature is the built-in Wi-Fi Certified Wireless LAN capability. There is also an onboard Bluetooth Audio Streaming Technology which allows users to connect wirelessly to their mobile devices.
8Sony STR-DH740 7.2 Channel 4K A/V Receiver
The Sony STR-DH740 7.2 Channel 4K A/V Receiver is one of the most purchased and popular stereo receivers available online. It supports iPod and iPhone audio and video playback without any hassles. Just connect and play. Thanks to the 4 HDMI ports, users can get the best HD quality content whenever they want.
7Yamaha RX-V675 7.2 Channel Network A/V Receiver with AirPlay
Yamaha’s dominance in the audio-video world has shown itself over the years and now, the RX-V675 7.2 Channel Network A/V Receiver with AirPlay only builds on that dominance. It supports 4K video viewing at 60p. For wireless viewing, the device supports AirPlay and HTC Connect for unmatched streaming from smartphones.
It can also stream internet radio through Spotify, Pandora, Rhapsody, vTuner, and SiriusXM Internet Radio. The HDMI port is located on the front for easy access. Furthermore, this receiver weighs in at 22.1 pounds and is made from high-quality materials which make it extremely durable.
6Yamaha RX-V377 5.1-Channel A/V Home Theatre Receiver
When you buy the Yamaha RX-V377 5.1-Channel A/V Home Theatre Receiver, you get nothing but the best in home entertainment. It comes with 100W x 5 channel for the absolute best in surround sound pleasure. There is also HDMI with 4K pass through for Ultra HD quality images.
On the front panel, there is a digital USB connectivity option for iPhone and iPod. YPAO sound optimization allows users to truly get the best listening experience available. Extra Bass features allow superb bass quality while Cinema Front gives users that true cinema experience at home. Furthermore, its multi colored OSD lets users easily control the receiver with ease.
5Sherwood RX-4109 200-Watt Stereo Receiver
When it comes to multitasking, the Sherwood RX-4109 200-Watt Stereo Receiver stands out for good reason. This product comes with a built-in preamp for Phono Section. The Total Discrete Amplifier stage is great for a number of channels. It allows easy switching to two speakers for maximum sound.
There is a total of 5 audio inputs including the tuner. A quartz digital tuner helps increase customization options. The receiver is used by a number of musicians around the world and has already been considered as one of the best on the market right now.
4Sony STRDH550 Stereo Receiver
Sony is a name that is trusted worldwide when it comes to electronics and their STRDH550 stereo receiver stands out as one of the very best. This 5.2 Ch 725W A/V receiver is a powerful machine and has an On Screen Display that allows users to truly get an enhanced experience every time it comes on.
The streamlined remote makes control absolutely easy. It also supports High-Resolution file playback through a USB which gives people more freedom and a lot more options to choose their favorite content. With 4 inputs and 1 output HDMI connectivity becomes a breeze.
3Yamaha R-S201BL Natural-Sound Stereo Receiver
When we think of quality sound equipment, Yamaha is often the number one choice. Their R-S201BL Natural-Sound Stereo Receiver is stylish looking and a powerful performer as well.
It is made from high-quality materials for both the outer shell as well as the interior components. It is made extremely durable and the sound quality is exceptional. The 100W + 100W stereo receiver pushes out natural sound with crisp and clear quality.
2Sony STRDH130 2 Channel Stereo Receiver
Another one of Sony’s powerful products is the STRDH130 2 Channel Stereo Receiver. This receiver pushes out 100W + 100W from its speakers which give exquisite sound in every room. There are 5 analog audio inputs for you to use, which make is great for surround sound and home theater systems.
A built-in AM/FM tuner gives users unlimited listening options in terms of music and entertainment. It weighs just 14 pounds which are great for portability. The receiver comes with an audio jack for easy connections to smartphones and other wireless devices. The remote is simple to understand which makes operating easy.
1HomeSpot NFC-Enabled, Bluetooth Audio Receiver for Sound System
If space is an issue for you, the HomeSpot NFC-Enabled Bluetooth Audio Receiver is the perfect solution. It is small, compact, and works well with virtually any sound system out there. Thanks to its Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity, users can store up to 8 different paired devices.
The wireless performance is absolutely brilliant as it can transmit from up to 66 feet away with a clear line of sight. Thanks to the NFC addition, a simple tap-and-pair or tap-and-connect is easily done. Interestingly enough, this receiver is compatible with Android, Windows, and Nokia devices alike. It is also quite easy to connect – just plug, pair, and play – either through the 3.5mm jack or the standard RCA.
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Stereo Receivers Buying Guide
Although it does seem like soundbars are all the rage nowadays, the value of stereo receivers shouldn’t be discounted. In fact, I would argue that while soundbars are cool tools, they aren’t going to provide the level of sound reproduction that a stereo receiver and a pair of good speakers is capable of providing. If you’re serious about building a true entertainment center for your favorite music or movies, then you are going to need to buy a high-quality receiver. There’s just no way around it.
Of course, I do understand why some people migrate toward sound bars and away from quality receivers. They do “appear” to be simpler devices. All you have to do is buy it and plug it in. But that’s operating on the assumption that buying, installing and operating a stereo receiver is complicated, when in fact, it really isn’t.
More than likely, if you examine the above list, then you are probably going to find the receiver that’s the best fit for your home and lifestyle. And if that’s the case, then congratulations, you don’t need to read any further. However, if you’re looking for something a little different and want a few good tips on buying a great receiver than read the following article because that’s what I’m going to provide you with right now.
How to Buy the Best Stereo Receiver
Stereo or A/V Receivers
Some people simply don’t know the difference between a stereo receiver and an A/V receiver. If that’s you, then don’t worry, it’s not complicated to tell the difference between these two units. A stereo receiver is designed to deliver high-quality sound to a pair of speakers. An A/V receiver is designed to be the central piece of electronics designed to be at the center of a home theater center.
As such, A/V models have surround sound, digital video switching and digital audio processing capabilities. They also provide video and audio support through a network. If you’re trying to just listen to music, then a stereo unit will do just fine. if you need to integrate your home theater setup together, then you need an A/V unit.
Number of HDMI Outputs
One of the first things that should be considered when purchasing a receiver is how many HDMI inputs it has. The number you need it to have depended on what you plan on plugging into it, so there’s really not a concrete number of how many HDMI inputs a unit should have.
To decide how many you need, calculate what you currently need to plug into an HDMI input, what you plan on adding later, and then add 30% to that number for expansion purposes. That probably gives you a pretty good idea of at least the minimum number of HDMI inputs your receiver should contain.
4K Upscaling Capabilities
It may also be a good idea to buy a receiver with 4K upscaling capabilities. After all, nothing drags down the quality of a 4K movie more than a sound profile that’s flat. If you’re watching ultra-HD content, then you will probably want the depth and high quality cinema sound.
Other Connection Options
Sure, you can hook televisions, monitors, Blue Tooth DVD players and game systems to the receiver using RCA jacks, coaxial, and digital sound jacks, but wouldn’t you also like to connect to it wirelessly. There are a variety of different options available for wirelessly connecting to your receiver and include not only the ability to connect using Wi-Fi but also through Bluetooth, too.
More than likely, you are also going to want to buy a receiver that accepts a 1/4-inch stereo headphone jack. There’s sure to be times when you want the privacy and the relative solitude of slipping on your favorite headphones and listening to some great music. Don’t deny yourself this opportunity, buy yourself a receiver with a stereo jack.
Stereo Power Level
Power is another important consideration to keep in mind. While most people only think of a unit’s power as to how high they can crank the volume, the truth of the matter is that your receiver needs enough power to drive sound through whatever speakers you’re using. Units that have a higher-wattage level can produce better sound quality than lower powered units.
That means that even if the volume is at the mid-point or lower, a higher-wattage system will still produce better sound quality than a lower-wattage system. It’s also important to keep in mind the size of the room the speakers are located. After all, a larger room needs a more powerful receiver to supply it with the necessary sound volume and quality.
Automatic Sound Configuration
An extremely useful feature for any receiver to have is automatic sound configuration. This feature allows the unit to analyze the audio source and automatically adjust the sound quality according to the audio device connected to it.
This lets the receiver determine the size of the speaker it’s currently pushing sound into, how far the speakers are from each other and allows the device to check the connection quality all at the same time. It does this by sending special test tones to the components and using a microphone to analyze the data. A unit with this feature is a lot easier to set up than a unit that doesn’t contain this feature.
One Final Thought
Now that we’ve gone over some of the features found in modern receivers, it’s important to note that just because a receiver has all of the features or none of them doesn’t mean that it’s the best or the worst receiver. That’s because you shouldn’t base your buying decisions on what unit has the most features but how you intend on using it.
It’s also important that you buy a unit that’s easy for you to set up. All of us have different capabilities when it comes to setting up and operating electronic equipment, so you should choose a model that interfaces well with your particular skill set. If you do that, then you’ll end up with a unit that will give you years of pleasure.