Best AV Receiver for Audiophiles in 2022

Best AV Receiver for Audiophiles

If you are shopping for a home theater receiver and aren’t sure which one to get, we have compiled a list of the top five av receivers that you can buy today that will fill all of your surround sound and maybe even your hi-fi needs.

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 So let’s jump into it. Before we start, the receivers on this list had to meet three criteria.

  • They had to sound great for both music and movies.
  • They must have support for the latest video formats and tech because if we’re going to be spending money, we want to be as future-proof as possible.
  •  Finally, they had to be receivers connecting to your home’s wi-fi or allowing you to stream directly to them with Bluetooth, airplay, and the like.

Onkyo 5100

Onkyo 5100

Description

Now on with the list. This av receiver truly has it all, no firmware updates required, and while it’s not quite as powerful as some of the other receivers on this list, the 5180 watts per channel is still good enough to drive most mass-market speakers from the likes of Klipsch, Polk Audio, and JBL to cinema-like levels.

But don’t think that sound quality is just loud with no finesse; it’s not. The 5100 is pretty refined when paired with speakers with a sensitivity of 89 dB or higher, with an impedance that doesn’t dip below 6 ohms. It even sounds incredible for 2-channel listening. Warning; this receiver does not have a built-in phono preamp. If you want to enjoy the occasional record and your turntable does not already have a built-in phono preamp, this is not for you.

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The good news is the 5100 supports 8k 60 and 4k 120 out of the box, so those of you with next-gen gaming consoles like the ps5 or Xbox series x can enjoy gaming at higher resolutions and frame rates from day one. The biggest drawback to the nr5100, at least for me, is its build quality which isn’t quite as good as Denon Marantz Yamaha or other Onkyo receivers.

The other good news is the 5100s build quality doesn’t affect its performance, so if you can overlook its small push-pin style binding posts and thinner aluminum used throughout the chassis, you will have a capable receiver with arguably more features than a lot of other receivers on the market right now but for less money. 

Specs

  • HDMI 2.1 enhancement
  • 4K/120Hz HDR
  • Variable Refresh Rate
  • Auto Low Latency Mode
  • Quick Frame Transport
  • Enhanced Audio Return Channel
  • Operates with Sonos 1
  • Chromecast built-in
  • AirPlay 2
  • DTS Play-Fi
  • Spotify
  • Pandora
  • Voice Control
  • TIDAL
  • Deezer
  • Amazon Music
  • TuneIn 

Pros

  • crisp and razor-sharp experience
  • immersive listening experience
  • virtual surround effect
  • height effect
  • multiple built-in streaming services
  • flawless Chromecast
  • high-resolution audio
  • ultimate 4k gaming entertainment

Cons

  • Bluetooth is subject to interference.

Marantz NR1711

Marantz NR1711

Description

The NR1711 doesn’t look like an av receiver, and it is not just another large black box with a bunch of nondescript buttons. The NR1711 is a lot like a Marantz integrated receiver meaning you can hide it in plain sight, and because of its size, you also don’t need specialty AV furniture to house it. Aside from its form factor, the NR1711 has a rich, full-bodied sound, indicative of the Marantz brand. It is terrific in stereo, making this one of the better hi-fi and home theater receivers on the market, especially if you have a budget vinyl rig, as the built-in phono preamp is pretty good. The NR1711 is somewhat limited concerning power, rated at only 50 watts per channel in stereo, with its multi-channel power rating likely falling well below 50 watts. Still, you wouldn’t necessarily know it when listening. If you are looking for a capable receiver with some support for next-gen video features, then 1711 is definitely worth your consideration. 

Specs

  • HEOS
  • HDMI
  • Vera
  • Amazon Alexa
  • Speaker plus Television compatibility
  • DTS
  • 7.2 Channel
  • 7.87 x 2.16 x 3.35 inches
  • 0.33 Pounds
  • Seven channels
  • Auto eco mode
  • 8K HDMI upscaling
  • HDR10
  • HDR10 plus
  • Dynamic HDR
  • Quick Media Switching (QMS)
  • ALLM
  • Dolby Atmos
  • Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization
  • DTS:X & DTS Virtual:X
  • 2.1, 5.1, or 7.1 speaker setup
  • 6 HDMI In / 1 output
  • built-in HEOS Wireless Multi-room Technology 

Pros

  • reduced power consumption
  • comprehensive surround system
  • lag-free experience
  • no video delay 

Cons

  • does not play satisfactorily with Directv (with HDMI-CEC) 

Denon X3700H 

Denon X3700H 

Description

The x-3700h from Denon borders on is perfect for me. This 9.2-channel av receiver has the requisite power to drive most any lounge speaker on the market but if it’s 105 watts isn’t enough. It has preamp outputs for 11.2 channels meaning you can add third-party amplifiers to the 3700h for more power and flexibility. Those of you with difficult-to-drive speakers, like, say magnepans that want to expand into a home theater, should potentially consider the 3700h, but on its own, it sounds fantastic, especially when watching Dolby atmos encoded films.

And the odyssey room correction does a great job in tailoring your speaker’s sound to fit your room, providing a clear and dynamic presentation, and like the Marantz nr1711, the 3700h is ready for next-gen video format though it is limited to just one HDMI input. That said, unlike other receivers on this list, if you have older video formats or players still hanging around your home, the 3700h will work with them and even upscale their video quality. Those of you who like vintage console gaming need to take note.

Specs

  • Bluetooth
  • wi-fi
  • USB
  • HDMI
  • Google Assistant
  • Control4
  • Amazon Alexa
  • Speaker
  • Television
  • 10 HDMI Ports
  • Stereo
  • 9.2 Channel
  • 11.2 Channel
  • 17.1 x 14.9 x 6.6 inches
  • 27.6 Pounds
  • Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization
  • DTS Virtual:X
  • 8K/60Hz
  • 4K/120Hz pass-through
  • 3D audio
  • 8K
  • Variable Refresh Rate
  • Auto Low Latency Mode
  • Dynamic HDR
  • HDR10 plus
  • HDCP 2.3 processing
  • Digital In
  • Phono input
  • Support of Network
  • Airplay 2
  • Bluetooth
  • Quick Frame Transport
  • HEOS multi-room wireless speakers
  • Denon Home series
  • Pandora
  • Spotify
  • TuneIn

Pros

  • crisp and clear picture
  • reduced lag
  • decreased frame tearing
  • most advanced video technology
  • Ps5 ready
  • 11.2 processing
  • Nine amps
  • 8k ready 

Cons

  • The build quality is not top-notch.

Pioneer Elite LX305

Pioneer Elite LX305

Description

The pioneer is somewhat a baby Onkyo rz50 though it lacks the Onkyo and the Denon’s expandability concerning preamp outputs. So if you are looking for an av receiver that will allow you to grow your setup by adding third-party amplifiers or more channels beyond the 9.2 the elite offers, the pioneer may not be for you. The pioneer has Dirac live built-in, which is insane considering its asking price. It sounds fantastic for music and movies, especially at most setups utilizing upward-firing atmos speakers. Like the Onkyo 5100 and rz50, the pioneer is next-gen video capable though not all of its HDMI inputs are created equal. The first three will allow 40 gigabits per second connection, whereas the others are limited to 24. But this isn’t a deal breaker, for the pioneer still allows for more connection options than the Marantz and the costlier denon. 

Specs

  • Live Room Correction (Dirac)
  • HDMI 2.1
  • Ultimate 4K Gaming Entertainment
  • Discrete HDMI Zone 2
  • 100 Watts per channel
  • Subwoofer 2
  • Bluetooth
  • aptX HD
  • music streaming
  • Spotify
  • Sonos Certified
  • 8K60
  • 4K120
  • 60Hz refresh rate
  • IMAX enhanced mode
  • Streaming Music Services
  • Wi-fi
  • Bi-directional Bluetooth wireless
  • Roon-Tested
  • multi-zone streaming
  • voice control
  • Works with Sonos
  • MCACC Auto Room Tuning
  • Auto Phase Control Plus 

Pros

  • The streamer function works well.
  • AM/FM performance is flawless.
  • The remote has most operations on it.
  • When DIRAC is set up, the sound is exceptional.
  • MCACC setup
  • DIRAC is on another level.
  • ability to use Zone 2 as a pre-out to another amplifier
  • Volume control and other features available on Zone 2 

Cons

  • Bluetooth does not seem to work with every device.

Onkyo RZ50

Onkyo RZ50

Description

The RZ50 is arguably the best receiver on the market, considering price and performance. There is little this receiver can’t do. It is a 9.2 channel receiver with preamp outputs for 11.2 channels meaning you can expand its capability and power over time if the internal 120 watts per channel amps aren’t enough. Its Dolby Atmos performance is fantastic and among the best regardless of the price. The rz50 comes with Dirac live built-in, the best room correction software in the game.

The rz50 is fully ak-60 4k 120 ready out of the box with all of its HDMI inputs and outputs supporting some form of next-gen capability; if you own more than one console and wish to have them connected or want a game at the highest level possible, the rz50 is for you. It also means that as more devices aside from gaming consoles come to market, you will also be able to connect them.

Specs

  • USB
  • HDMI
  • Speaker
  • 8 HDMI Ports
  • 9.2 Channel
  • 11.2 Channel
  • 17.13 x 7.93 x 15.67 inches
  • 16990 Grams
  • Nine channels
  • Pandora
  • Amazon Music
  • TuneIn
  • Deezer
  • TIDAL
  • Spotify
  • Dirac live room correction
  • Imax enhanced mode
  • ultimate 4k gaming entertainment
  • Klipsch optimize mode
  • THX certified
  • HDMI 2.1
  • 8k
  • bi-directional Bluetooth wireless
  • DTS play-fi
  • multi-zone streaming
  • voice control
  • Sonos certified
  • discrete zone 2 HDMI switching

Pros

  • up to 8K60 resolution
  • wide multi-room ecosystem
  • immersive viewing experience

Cons

  • requires an amp

And there you have it; the top 5 best AV receivers for audiophiles.

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