Best A/V Receivers

Filed Under: Audio, Home Theater Reviews

The HTguys give us their picks for best A/V Receivers in four (USD) price ranges:

– less than $500
– from $500 to $1000
– from $1000 to $2000
– and greater than $2000

And we’re off…
Less than $500

Pioneer VSX-1015TX
7.1 Channel A/V Receiver with THX Select 2 Certification ($370 to $499)
7 channel x 120 watts
THX Select 2 Certified
DTS-ES Discrete, DTS 96/24, Dolby Digital EX, and Dolby Pro Logic II x

Video Conversion up-converts S-Video and composite video into component video
Good priced entry level unit. Has support for WMA9 audio decoding. No multi zone support. Decent set of features for the price.

Harman Kardon AVR-240
7.1 Channel A/V Receiver with Logic 7 Processing ($350 to $599)
7 channel x 50 watts (high-current amplification)
Logic 7 processing

192kHz/24-bit digital converters
EzSet+ to automatically set system speaker levels
Sleek styling
This is an entry model from a very high quality company. They measure 50 watts per channel with all channels driven at full power.

$500 to $1000

Yamaha HTR-5890
7.1 Channel Home Theater A/V Surround Receiver ($450 to $800)
7.1 Receiver (140W per channel)
Dolby Digital (5.1), Dolby Digital EX (6.1), Dolby Pro-Logic, Dolby Pro-Logic II, Dolby Pro-Logic IIx, DTS Neo:6, THX Select (5.1,6.1 or 7.1), THX Surround EX (6.1 or 7.1)
YPAO Automatic Audio Optimization
Component Video Up Conversion
HDTV (720p/1080i) Compatibility
The receiver has multiple digital input sources. It is a multizone receiver with support for up to three zones. Even though there aren’t many 7.1 DVDs out it will simulate 7.1 with current Dolby Digital source material.

$1000 to $2000

Denon AVR-3806
7.1 Channel Home Theater A/V Surround Receiver ($985 – $1300)
7 channel x 120 watts
HDMI switching
Denon Link III Digital
Multi-source/multi-zone capabilities
This receiver has more inputs than you can shake a stick at. HDMI switching but not upconverting. HDMI 1.1 compliant. Multi track audio and video over one cable. Built-in XM-satellite radio capability. Audyssey MultEQxt Room EQ to calibrate sound. The unit includes microphone required for the auto calibration.

Marantz SR8500
7.1 Channel THX Select Surround Receiver ($1350 to $1599)

Full discrete wide range current feedback amplifiers delivering 7 x 110W
THX Select certified
32 bit DSP with THX Surround EX, Dolby Digital EX, Pro Logic IIx and DTS 96/24
Dolby Headphone
Marantz is a boutique company know for very high quality gear. This unit has DVI switching capabilities and includes a three year waranty. Marantz Room Acoustic Calibration (MRAC) uses an internal signal generator/analyzer to bring you the best audible performance in any room.

Over $2000

Sunfire Ultimate Receiver II
7.1/9.1 Channel Home Theater Receiver (~$3700)

200W rms per channel from 20Hz to 20kHz with < 0.5% THD Auto signal sensing input switching automatically turns the unit on, selects your source and surround mode 7.1 Channel Dolby Pro Logic IIx, Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital EX, DTS, DTS-ES and DTS Neo:6 decoding, plus Sunfire's exclusive Side-Axis outputs for 9.1 channels total playback! (An additional stereo power amplifier is required for all 9.1 channels) Three 100MHz+ HDTV compatible wide-bandwidth component video inputs and two outputs Format conversion between S-VHS, component and composite video The ultimate home theater recevier designed by audio legend Bob Carver. It really is the best of the best in single unit home theater gear.


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