A good AV receiver is essential for any home cinema set up. The rather inconspicuous, surprisingly compact device takes a vital role as a switching point for your personal home entertainment system. With a high-end AV receiver, you can watch your favourite movies and TV shows in a clear picture and best sound quality. Whatever device you use to play Blu-ray discs, DVDs, or any other type of media, they’re all connected to the receiver via HDMI cables.
With the AV receiver, you don’t need an extra amplifier anymore. All the different parts are integrated into one place so you don’t need to go back and forth between them.
Best AV receivers
To learn more about which models are recommended and which ones differ from each other in detail, you should read our comparison carefully. We don’t just present individual models but also describe which aspects are important in purchasing them and what they generally can do.
What is an AV receiver?
If you still have a classic radio in your living room, then you actually belong to a small minority. The AV receiver has been enjoying unrestricted popularity for several years now, and fulfills various functions. But what exactly is this device, and why is it so popular?
You’ll need to consider a multi-channel high-fidelity amplifier that coordinates the playback of various video and audio formats from multiple sources. In your AV receiver, run in a sense “threads together”. Sound or music is supplied by your Blu-ray player or DVD player, and then distributed from the receiver via its existing outputs to devices such a TV or speakers. You can also connect the amplifier’s output stages. Modern models, even allow the playback of desired content – through Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connections.
It starts with simple five-channel receivers, which have five stereo channels and a subwoofers channel, and goes through ten-channel devices to models with twelve channels and two subwoofers channels. If you want to watch movies at full HD resolution, your AV receiver should support that.
You don’t need to go for a high-end AV receiver. As you can see from our comparison here on this webpage, there are lots of recommended mid-range receivers. The deciding factor is how high you want your personal claims to be and which functions are really essential to you. In the next section, we will discuss in greater detail which aspects you should take into account when choosing your future AV Receiver and what are the advantages as well as disadvantages of these devices.
What is an AV receiver for?
It is no coincidence that the AV receiver is repeatedly referred to as the “home cinema control centre”. Because this initially quite unimpressive acting box takes over the same functions of several devices. Without the receiver, you would need in your living room space for a pre-amp, a power amplifier, a surround decoder, a radio tuner and a network player. It replaces up to five different devices.
With a modern device, you can transform your home into a home cinema and watch movies and listen to music through a high quality screen and speakers. You can also stream content from online streaming services such as Netflix, Spotify, Amazon Prime Video, etc.
- Amazon Music
Even if the direct reception of internet radios is possible on some models, the best models dominate all popular formats, whether they are Dolby TrueHD or Dolby Digital Plus. Depending on the model, you may be able to use this type of device for playing content in Ultra HD or 3-D. If the device of your choice has Wi-Fi and Bluetooth capabilities, you can even play content wirelessly.
With HDMI inputs and outputs, you can play content directly from the disc.USB ports are useful for connecting peripherals like speakers and headphones.
What are the advantages and disadvantages
A good AV receiver naturally brings both benefits and drawbacks. They have both upsides and downsides. So that you can see the big picture and understand what to look for when buying.
You can at least avoid high purchase prices by comparing prices carefully. For example, if your luck is good, you’ll find high end models at special prices online. Regardless of whether you choose an AV receiver that plays all sound formats you want to play, you should ensure that it can play them.
Types of AV receivers
Some AV receivers aren’t the same. The differences between the two models are not just in terms of price to pay, but also in terms of the individual devices’ functions and development. There are three main types of products available on the market:
- 5.1 receivers – this form is still the best. The system, which works with your receiver, consists of a central control box, two surround speakers (left and right), two side speakers and the woofer.
- 7.1 Speaker System: In this variant, two more speaker units are added compared to the previous model, so that the sound quality is slightly improved.
- 9.1. and 11.1 receivers – If you want 3D sound, then you should consider buying these premium variants.
Clearly, the more modern the equipment, the more money you need to spend on such a system. You should consider what your goals are and how you can most effectively balance them with the resources available to you.
It can be a good idea when buying an AV receiver to look for specific brands rather than just choosing the first one you see at the store. If you’ve had positive experiences with one or more manufacturer’s products before, then maybe they could be worth trying again. If you’re using multiple devices from the same manufacturer then they may be optimally compatible with each other. We’ve selected the best manufacturers for you so you get the full range of their products.
- Harman Kardon
We have already compared some models of the listed company. You may even discover devices from completely different manufacturers. Even if they’re not name brand receivers from the supermarket, they don’t necessarily have to be of lower quality. It is important that they bring everything that they hope for in terms of functionality.
How many watts should an AV receiver be?
The main question when purchasing an AV receiver will not least be the quality. How much power should the device provide so that you can hear your living room properly? You might be surprised by this, but actually, the wattage doesn’t really matter that much. A small difference in power isn’t noticeable at all.
When it comes to volume, it is only noticeable when one device, for instance, brings 100 watts and another brings 200 watts. More important than the power in Watts, for example, is what kind of application you want to run at home. Do you want to experience bombastic surround sound like at the cinema or would a decent sound system in your home suffice? It is important to think about such points much earlier than later.
Streaming – what should be considered?
Streaming music services are becoming increasingly popular. Streaming music over the internet is experiencing a boom. However, buying classical CDs is still popular. If you’re one of the friends of these offers, you should also take a look at the Receiverkäufe they offer you a good performance in that regard.
Usually, you can establish a connection to an online service either via Bluetooth or WIFI very easily. Above all, no cables are needed that don’t look good in the living room. Whether from your smartphone, tablet, or computer – easily send your favourite music and listen to it in the best sound quality through your high quality speakers. An AirPlay interface makes sense for people who own an iPhone.
What is the automatic calibration function?
You may already notice some product descriptions here on the page. With some AV receivers, they come with a special feature called an automatic calibration. That sounds great at the start, but what exactly does it mean, and how could it be useful for you?
The fact is: To get the best possible surround sound experience in your living room, you need an AV receiver as the centrepiece of your home cinema system and the speakers positioned in your room to be perfectly harmonious with each other. For a non-expert, this is not so simple to accomplish.
The integrated measuring microphone automatically finds out which settings are best in terms of volume. So you don’t even have to try it by yourself or even pay someone else for expensive money.