If you want to equip your home cinema completely, a good AV receiver should not be missing. The rather inconspicuous, surprisingly compact device takes on an important function as a switching point of your personal home entertainment centre. With a high-quality AV , you can enjoy your movies and series in an impressive picture and sound quality. Whether Blu-ray DVD player or other devices, they are all connected to the receiver.
Thanks to the AV receiver, you no longer need an extra amplifier in the future. Everything is integrated here and the threads come together in one place.
Best AV receivers in the UK
If you want to know which models are recommended and what distinguishes them in detail, you should go through our comparison carefully. However, we don’t only present individual models but also explain which aspects are important in the purchase and what the devices generally can do.
1. AV Receiver Denon AVR-X540BT
With the Denon AVR-X540BT 5.2- Full 4K Ultra HD AV you decide on a model that brings a more than decent package at a comparably affordable price. The functionality is exemplary and also in terms of workmanship you get good quality here. This AV receiver offers 130 watts per channel and is compatible with the Denon music streaming system HEOS.
Premium sound is provided by Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD master audio. A 4K / 50Hz full-rate passthrough is also one of the product features of the device as well as a Bluetooth function for streaming music. Practical is the automatic calibration of the built-in speakers, which is done via the included measuring micro. The AV receiver has five HDMI inputs, three of which feature full HDCP 2.2 support.
You can play with the device a variety of file formats, from MP3 to MPEG4 to WMA and AAC. You are welcome to use the USB input on the front panel to play files directly from there. If you want, you can easily control the AV receiver from your smartphone – the Denon 500 series Bluetooth Remote app makes it possible.
Both the environment and your power consumption are protected by the eco mode of the device. The package includes not only the Denon AVR-X540BT 5.2-channel Full 4K Ultra HD AV Receiver itself, but you also get the microphone for sound calibration, remote control with batteries and a power cord included. There is also an in-room FM antenna, AM loop antenna and a user manual.
2. Yamaha RX-V485
- 5.1 Surround Sound AV Receiver
- 100 watt per Channel
- HDCP 2.2 and HDMI 2.0 compatible - handles latest 4K signals
For a humane price, you get the Yamaha RX-V485 AV receiver. Without having to dig deep into your pocket, you will receive a model that convinced experts and existing customers alike. Which product features are the main features of this receiver? We have created an overview for you:
- Rich 5-channel surround sound
- Output power 100 watts
- 4K Ultra HD support including HDR
- Dolby Vision and BT.2020 color space transmission
- Four HDMI inputs and one HDMI output
This AV receiver was equipped with Bluetooth, so you do not necessarily need a cable to play something about it. For example, connects your smartphone to the receiver simply and wirelessly. The Yamaha Compressed Music Enhancer, specially optimized for audio transmission via Bluetooth, ensures a lively sound. The Yamaha receiver is characterized by a discrete amplifier design for best sound quality and an AV setup guide for quick setup.
Even more powerful bass is provided by the manufacturer’s exclusive bass extension technology. The subwoofer trim control, on the other hand, improves the low frequencies. So that the Yamaha RX-V485 AV receiver does not consume too much power, it was equipped with an ECO mode. This helps you reduce power consumption by up to 20 percent. In addition, the so-called Auto Power Down function, which ensures an automatic shutdown of the device – optionally after 20 minutes, 2, 4, 8 or 12 hours.
In addition to your Yamaha AV receiver, the set includes a remote control, batteries, FM / AM antenna, YPAO microphone, user guide, and quick start guide.
3. Pioneer 5.1 Channel AV Receiver
The Pioneer VSX-330-K 5.1 channel AV receiver is in the mid-range price range. This device is well-suited if you not only value a high degree of user-friendliness, but also a multifaceted set of functions. You can combine the receiver with the Pioneer BDP-X300 Blu-ray player. A total of six channels offer you each 80 watts of power – in addition, the flat AV receiver has a large variety of connections.
You can connect your Pioneer AV receiver not only via USB but you also have four HDMI inputs, an HDMI output, a phono connection and an Ethernet port to choose from. With WLAN and Bluetooth, the relevant wireless connection technologies are also available for you. The MCACC automatic calibration system ensures a high level of comfort and perfect settings. The unit has an FM tuner and you do not have to do without Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD. In addition, you may be happy about a sleep timer and an automatic shutdown.
If you love music, you might be amazed that various music sources such as Apple AirPlay, Spotify, Tidal or Deezer have already been integrated. Whether streaming in the best quality or Internet radio – you have the choice. Thus millions of titles are available to you quite simply. Your Pioneer VSX-330-K 5.1 Channel AV Receiver comes complete with remote control, matching batteries, a speaker microphone, an FM wire antenna, a power cord, and the owner’s manual.
4. Pioneer VSX-531-B
If you choose the Pioneer VSX-531-B 5.1 AV receiver, you’ll get a mid-range device that stands out from the competition with a variety of highlights. The receiver is versatile, which shows various uses. For example, the following application options are available:
- As a control centre for a pure gaming sound
- As a powerful AV amplifier for your DJ equipment
- To guarantee the finest surround sound in your home cinema
This 5.1 receiver gives you a maximum output power of five times 100 watts, decoding of Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD master audio is guaranteed. The Phase Control feature effectively eliminates delays between the five channels. This optimizes the multi-channel sound.
The VSX-531-B is 3D-capable, so you can enjoy your favourite movies in your home environment with all your senses. Four HDMI inputs provide flexible connection options. If you are a friend of Apple devices, you should be especially happy that you can connect your iPod, iPhone or iPad directly to the receiver.
The USB port on the front makes it possible. Thanks to 4K Ultra HD , the device is ready for movie enjoyment in pin-sharp picture quality. The ECO mode, on the other hand, helps you to save energy effectively. The energy requirement is analyzed in real-time and adapted accordingly. Of you can also make manual settings.
The Pioneer HTP-074-B 5.1 AV Receiver comes complete with control, batteries, power cord, FM wire antenna, and AM loop antenna.
5. AV receiver Onkyo Txsr252
The Onkyo TX-SR252 (B) Home cinema is available for purchase at an affordable price. Customer reviews and expert opinions have a clear tendency: This device is recommended and not only looks elegant but offers you a lot of power as well as versatile functions.
The model is characterized by the fact that it is a 5.1-channel AV receiver with five power amplifiers. Each of these power amps brings 100 watts of power. Thus, you can look forward to a picture and sound experience as in the cinema. This is also ensured by the support of Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD. Use the Onkyo Receiver as a 4K-capable control centre of your home cinema and connect it, for example, with your Blu-ray player or your game console.
The Onkyo Txsr252 has four HDMI inputs, which have copy protection HDCP 2.2 and 4: 4: 4 colour space, and output for Ultra HD. The convenient USB port on the front panel of the device allows you to easily playback MP3s, WMA or AAC files directly from the drive.
So that there are no complications during installation, the connections for loudspeakers and external devices on the back of the receiver were clearly marked and labelled. You are welcome to configure the AV receiver so that you can switch it on and off with your conventional TV remote control. The Onkyo TX-SR252 (B) comes bundled with remote control, two AA batteries, an FM wire antenna, AM loop antenna, and user manual.
6. Sony STRDH790.CEK 7.2 Channel AV Receiver
A little more money you have to take in hand if you want to have the Sony STRDH790.CEK 7.2 channel 4K UHD AV receiver in your living room. This device is perfect for those who demand high sound quality. Thanks to the high-resolution audio technology, you can feel the finest sound nuances and enjoy your music in studio quality.
Dolby Atmos creates an impressive surround sound in your home. DTS-X does the job of adapting the sound in real-time to the configuration of your speakers. In no time you will find the optimal position of the speakers for a perfect sound experience. But not only in terms of but also in terms of image quality, this AV receiver has a lot to offer.
Enjoy your movies and TV shows in excellent 4K resolution. High Dynamic Range optimizes image contrast and brightness. Use your Spotify app as a remote control, transfer your music throughout the apartment with SongPal Link, or play songs directly from your Apple AirPlay-compatible devices.
NFC One-Touch supports you in the rapid connection via Bluetooth. This Sony AV receiver has Chromecast already on board. Regarding connections was also not bothered. So there are a total of six HDMI inputs and two HDMI outputs. A special HDMI output for ancillary rooms is also included. You can also use the USB port. The Sony STRDH790.CEK 7.2-channel 4K UHD AV receiver in timeless black does not just make a visual impact – above all, it’s a highly recommended model if you value the top sound in your home cinema.
7. Yamaha RX-S601D AV Receiver
The Yamaha RX-S601DTI slimline AV receiver with DAB is a high-priced device in a noble titanium look. However, this device does not only look good in your living room but also convinces in technical terms. The slim and compact receiver brings as a highlight an integrated DAB / DAB + digital radio. For easy connection, WLAN and Bluetooth are on board. In addition, high-resolution audio, HDCP 2.2 and 4K Ultra HD pass-through are among the features of the stylish device. Furthermore, the receiver is capable of processing 3D signals.
The Yamaha AV Receiver provides you with MusicCast a new, innovative system in terms of network audio. So you can use a wireless network to connect various components such as your soundbar, network speakers and more. Stream your favourite songs from your smartphone or computer to other MusicCast components. Even from your Blu-ray player or TV you can play in this way very comfortable music send your sound to your Bluetooth speakers or Bluetooth headphones. The Yamaha Music Enhancer delivers superb sound even when wirelessly transmitted.
Whether Juke or Spotify, music streaming is also a pleasure with this receiver. The Spotify Connect feature allows you, for example, at home the same music that you’ve just heard on your smartphone to continue to run without delay on the domestic system. Apple AirPlay is also supported by this device. For a particularly easy operation, you can use the Yamaha AV controller app. In addition to the Yamaha RX-S601DTI slimline AV receiver, the package includes a remote control with matching batteries, an antenna, a YPAO microphone and the operating instructions in the form of a CD-ROM.
8. Denon AVR-X1400H
A mid-range device is the Denon AVRX1400H 7.2-channel AV receiver. He looks fancy and brings some performance at a comparatively humane price. To get a full picture of this model, we’ve put together some of the most important features:
- Powerful 3D surround sound
- 145 watts per channel
- 4K full-rate passthrough
- Dolby Atmos, DTS Virtual: X, DTS: X and Dolby Vision Compatible
- Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
- Six HDMI inputs with HDCP 2.2 support
Wi-Fi and Bluetooth ensure that you can wirelessly connect your AV receiver to music sources of all kinds at any time. Listen to internet radio, for example, access Apple AirPlay or choose your favourite streaming services like Amazon Music, Spotify, Deezer or Juke. As a music fan, you will also enjoy the fact that the receiver is compatible with every HEOS speaker. The so-called multiroom audio technology allows you to listen completely wirelessly in different rooms of your favourite sounds.
The Denon AVRX1400H was equipped with an Eco mode, which automatically adjusts the power consumption – depending on the current volume. A handy thing is the setup wizard, which helps you set up the receiver. Even if you are not so versed in technique, this leads you to the optimal picture and sound settings.
9. Onkyo 5.1 Channel AV Receiver
In the upper-middle price the Onkyo TX-NR474-B 5.1 channel AV receiver is to be classified. The network receiver is based on a high-current amplifier system and is suitable for anyone who wants to enjoy films and music in the highest quality at home. The innovative Chromecast technology for uncomplicated music enjoyment is already integrated with this receiver.
The 5.1 receiver from Onkyo supports 4K / 60 Hertz, so you can look forward to razor-sharp moving images. 135 watts per channel provide the necessary power for your home cinema evenings, music sessions or football afternoons. Excellent sound is provided by 3.1.2 channel Dolby Atmos and DTS: X.
To enable a wireless playback of various devices, this receiver has been equipped with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. Use Apple AirPlay to find your favourite songs or connect to Spotify to access your playlists. The Advanced Music Optimizer improves sound quality when playing compressed audio files via the receiver.
FlareConnect ensures that you can play audio content wirelessly even in different rooms. Whether CDs, MP3s or music streaming services, enjoy your favourite sounds throughout your home. Together with your Onkyo TX-NR474-B, you will also get an remote control.
10. Pioneer VSX-933 Wifi, Bluetooth, Streaming
If you do not want to compromise on equipping your home , buying a seven-channel receiver makes sense. A comparatively inexpensive entry-level device in this class is the Pioneer VSX-933-S. This model is easily capable of driving a complete Dolby Atmos speaker set.
We have packed the main advantages and functions of the model into a compact overview:
- Seven channels each with 130 watts of power
- Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
- Chromecast technology integrated for convenient music streaming
- Support for Dolby Atmos and DTS: X
- Automatic calibration system MCACC for the best possible sound
This Pioneer AV receiver is also equipped with the innovative “Direct Energy” technology, which not only minimizes the power consumption of the device but also the waste heat. If you want, you can turn the receiver into a multiroom system with the help of suitable Wi-Fi multiroom speakers in no time – that means wireless music enjoyment throughout the house. Of course, there are connections such as HDMI, USB, Phono or Ethernet.
Controls the functions of the Pioneer VSX-933-S conveniently using the supplied remote control. The multiroom world is always under control with the help of the free Pioneer Remote app.
What is an AV receiver?
Do you still have a classic stereo in your living room? Then you actually belong to a minority. The AV receiver has been enjoying unrestrained popularity for several years now. As the centre of every well-equipped home cinema, it fulfils various functions. But what exactly is this device?
You’ll need to think of a multi-channel hi-fi amplifier that coordinates the playback of a wide variety of video and audio formats from multiple sources. In your AV receiver run in a sense “the threads together”. Sound or music is supplied by your Blu-ray player, DVD player or MP3 player and distributed from the receiver via the existing outputs to devices such as TVs or speakers. You can also connect the amplifier output stages. The modern models, even allow the wireless playback of desired content – thanks to Bluetooth and WLAN connection.
It starts with simple 5.1 receivers, which have five audio channels and a subwoofer channel, and goes through seven-channel devices to models with eleven audio channels and two subwoofer channel. If you want to watch movies in Full HD, your AV receiver should be compatible.
You do not have to resort to an expensive high-end device. As you can see in our comparison here on this page, there are a lot of recommended mid-range models. The deciding factor is how high your personal claims are and which functions are really important to you. In the following, we will discuss in more detail which aspects you should consider when choosing your future AV receiver and what are the advantages and 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 “. 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 one, you transform your home four walls into a home cinema and you can enjoy impressively sharp moving pictures and a rich surround sound. Feel free to use the device to listen to your favourite music streaming services. Such services may include:
- Amazon Music
Even the direct reception of internet radio stations is possible on some models. A good model dominates all popular formats, whether Dolby TrueHD or DTS-HD. Depending on the model, you can also use this type of device to play content in Ultra HD or 3D. If the device of your choice is equipped with WLAN and Bluetooth, playback can even be wireless.
To easily connect your external devices such as Blu-ray players or TVs, the AV receiver should have the widest possible variety of connections. HDMI inputs and outputs are more or less a requirement these days, but a USB connection is always a practical matter. So you can even play content directly from the disk.
What are the advantages and disadvantages
An AV receiver naturally brings not only benefits. These functional devices also have their downsides. So that you can get a holistic picture and especially know what things to pay attention to when buying.
At least you can avoid high purchase prices by making a careful price comparison. For example, if you’re lucky, you’ll find high-end models at special asking prices online. In any case, you should look that your future AV receiver can play all sound formats that you would like to play.
Types of AV receivers
Not all AV receivers are the same. The differences are not only in terms of prices to bear, but of course, the individual devices are technically different in terms of their range of functions and developed differently. The following types are usually available on the market:
- 5.1 receivers – this form is still the most widespread. The system, which works with the receiver itself, consists of a central centre box, two surround speakers, two side speakers and the subwoofer.
- 7.1 Receiver – in this variant, two more speakers are added compared to the former model, so that the surround sound is improved a little.
- 9.1. and 11.1 receivers – you want 3D sound? Then you should opt for these premium variants.
It is clear that the more modern the equipment is, the more money you have to spend on such a device. In that sense, you should consider what your aspirations are and how you can best balance them with the budget available to you.
When looking for the right AV receiver, it can also be a strategy to look for specific brands. Maybe you have already had good experiences with this or that manufacturer with other electronic devices? Sometimes devices from the same manufacturer are also optimally compatible with each other. To give you the full selection, we present here an overview of the most important manufacturers:
- Harman Kardon
We have already considered some models of the listed companies in our comparison. If necessary, you will also discover devices of completely different makes. Even no-name receivers from the offer brochure of the supermarket do not necessarily have to be of inferior quality. It is crucial that they bring everything that you hope for in terms of functional diversity.
How many watts should an AV receiver be?
The main question when buying AV receivers will not least be the performance. How much power should the device bring with it so that you can sound your living room properly? You’re probably going to be amazed now, but in the watt count does not matter so much. A few watts of difference hardly noticeable.
Somewhat noticeable in terms of volume, it is only when one device, for example, brings 100 watts and the other 200 watts. Much more important than the power in watts, for example, is the desired application. Do you want to have bombastic surround sound like in the cinema or should it rather be a decent sound in your home? It is worth thinking about such points much earlier.
Streaming – what should be considered?
Whether Spotify, Tidal or Juke – streaming services are in full swing. While hardly anyone buys classical CDs and the purchase of MP3 files seems outdated, streaming music over the Internet is experiencing a boom. If you are one of the friends of such offers, then you should also look at the Receiverkauf that this offers you a good performance in this regard.
A connection to the online services can usually be established either via Bluetooth or WLAN very easily. Above all, not even annoying cables are needed that do not look pretty in the living room. Whether from your smartphone or your tablet – effortlessly send your favourite tracks and listen to them in the finest sound quality through your high-quality speakers. An AirPlay interface is a must for fans of Apple devices like the iPhone.
What is the automatic calibration function?
Maybe you already noticed some product descriptions here on this page. Some AV receivers bring as a special feature with a so-called automatic calibration. That sounds great at first, but what exactly does that mean, and in what ways can this feature prove useful to you?
The fact is: So that you can enjoy the best possible surround sound in your living room, the AV receiver as the of your home cinema and the speakers positioned in the room must be in perfect harmony with each other. For this, it is important that everything is in the right place and coordinated. For a this is not so easy to accomplish.
The automatic calibration function helps you to solve this problem, as the integrated measuring microphone automatically find out which settings are ideal in terms of volume. So you do not even have to try it yourself or even get an expert for expensive money.