The Best Home Theater Receivers

This year’s list of best home theater receivers spans a large price range. We had a lot of fun picking what we felt were the best in many categories. From entry level, to the best we have heard, there is sure to be a model that is best for your home theater needs. To make the list, the model needed to be pretty simple to set up, have good audio performance for its price range, and be built to last. We hope you enjoy going through our picks.

If you are in the market for a new home theater, you will also find our Best Home Theater Systems and Best Home Theater Speakers articles to also be very helpful.

Best Home Theater Receivers under $300

Onkyo TX-SR-383-$299

  • Channels 7.2
  • Dolby Atmos-No
  • Watts Per Channel 80/2 channels driven
  • App Control- No
  • Bluetooth- Yes
  • Music Streaming- No
  • Room Eq- AccuEQ
  • Phono Section- No

The Onkyo TX-SR-383 is your pretty basic home theater receiver, but it does give you plenty of options for an entry level system. With 4 HDMI input connections, you should be covered for most sources, and while it does not have Dolby Atmos, it does have 7 powered channels on board. The thing that puts the Onkyo on our list is the amplifier section. In the world of amps, specs don’t tell the whole story. Many receivers in this price range will have inexpensive amp sections that just frankly don’t sound as good. The Onkyo uses all discrete components in its amplifier and has a high current power supply for demanding action scenes. We also like the fact that it gives you the option of doing a 5 channel surround system and using the remaining two channels to power another room.

Having some sort of room correction for under $300 is also a pretty cool factor. Onkyo’s AccuEQ has been around for awhile and keeps getting better as the engineers refine the software. We firmly believe in room EQ to help out with those nasty peaks and valleys in the sonic response every room has.

While it does not have any streaming on board, the fact that it is Bluetooth aptX does allow you to send any service from your phone to the unit. Plus, it has a USB connection in the front to play back files from a USB stick or drive. The folders will even show up using the units on screen display!

All and all, the TX-SR-383 is our winner for under $300.

High Notes

  • Discrete Amps with Lots of High Current Available
  • Bluetooth aptX
  • AccuEQ to help with every room’s acoustic issues

Best Home Theater Receivers Under $500

Denon AVR 740H- $479

  • Channels 7.2
  • Dolby Atmos-Yes
  • Watts Per Channel 75/2 channels driven
  • App Control- Yes
  • Bluetooth- Yes
  • Music Streaming- Yes
  • Room Eq- Audyssey MultEQ
  • Phono Section- Yes, MM

If you had to put together a long list of all the features one might want on a decent surround sound receiver, the Denon AVR 740H would pretty much check off all your boxes. You name it, it has it, including Dolby Vision support. It even has voice control from Siri, Alexa, and Google! With 5 HDMI connections on the rear and one of the front, you should be well covered there. You’ll even be able to get into Dolby Atmos by assigning the rear surround pair of amp channels to a pair of Atmos speakers. You can use WiFi or a hard wired connection to bring it online which opens up app control and music streaming through Denon’s Heos technology or Spotify Connect or Airplay. If you do not have network access nearby, you can still stream music to it using Bluetooth.

We were also impressed by the fact Denon included a front panel USB jack where you can connect up a stick or drive and it will decode up to 24-bit/192-kHz ALAC, FLAC and WAV lossless files as well as DSD 2.8MHz and 5.6MHz tracks. Pretty impressive for a somewhat basic receiver.

Audyssey MultEQ is a very good room EQ and setup system that is included with the AVR740H. Just connect up the mic and off it goes. We do suggest you check what it comes up with for distances and levels, but it does a great job on room EQ.

To get all of these features under $500 with Dolby Atmos is pretty amazing, making it our choice in the sub $500 range.

High Notes

  • Features Galore
  • Supports Streaming, HiRes Audio, and vinyl
  • Easy Audyssey set up

Best Home Theater Receivers For Small Spaces

Integra DSX3- $599

  • Channels 5.1
  • Dolby Atmos-No
  • Watts Per Channel 80/2 channels driven
  • App Control- Yes
  • Bluetooth- Yes
  • Music Streaming- Yes
  • Room Eq- AccuEQ
  • Phono Section- Yes, MM

We included this little Integra receiver on our list simply because it can solve a space problem for a lot of people who are limited on the room in a cabinet they can dedicate to a surround sound receiver. When you want good sound in a small package, this is a great solution. It stands less than 3” tall and is less than 13” deep, so it can fit just about anywhere. The sound of Integra products has always been very warm and pure due to their high current amp designs, which holds true for the DSX-3. With Chromecast, Airplay, and Bluetooth built in, there are a variety of ways to get streaming music, plus it also has Spotify, Deezer, Tidal, Pandora, and TuneIn built in.

For the music lover with a big library of digital music, the DSX-3 can even act has a Hi Res Audio player streaming from your network, computer, or a USB stick. With support for almost all Hi Res formats, you’ll get great audio performance.

You do give up some future upgrade options with the DSX-3 as it only has five channels but it is a fantastic sounding 5.1 receiver, especially if you take a few extra minutes and use Integra’s AccuEQ system to have it calibrate your speakers for your listening environment.  The 4 HDMI connections should be plenty for most small systems, and they all support the latest in HDR, even upscaling 1080p signals to 4K.

The Integra DSX-3 is our best space saving receiver.

High Notes

  • Compact Yet Powerful
  • Tons of Streaming Options
  • Hi Res Audio Capable

Best Home Theater Receivers Under $750

STRDN1080- $598

  • Channels 7.2
  • Dolby Atmos-Yes
  • Watts Per Channel 100/2 channels driven
  • App Control- No
  • Bluetooth- Yes
  • Music Streaming- Yes
  • Room Eq- DCAC EX
  • Phono Section- No

The Sony STRDN1080 made our list for lots of reasons, but the main one being sound quality. We’ve done testing on this unit compared to much more expensive surround sound receivers and it has proven to have a great, full sound that is never harsh. Sony does put a lot of emphasis in their better receivers by using higher quality parts and circuit design, which is fully apparent in the 1080. The heat sinks for the amp section is what you would expect to see in a much more expensive unit, but it needs to be there for the big output transistors Sony uses in their bigger models. Also, if you are using in ceiling speakers for your front left, center, and right, Sony’s in-ceiling mode does an incredible job at making the soundfield seem like it is coming from in front of you rather than above.

Connection wise, STRDN1080 gives you 6 HDMI rear inputs and two outputs; one for another room. That other room can even be powered off in the second zone amp included in the receiver. This makes it one of the best values on the market for a two zone system.

From the latest tech standpoint, you’ll find Dolby Atmos support (for one pair of Atmos), Dolby Vision, and Hi Res Audio capability. Music streaming is very simple with Chromecast, Airplay, Spotify Connect, or Bluetooth.

Sony’s DCAC EX room set up system is one of the most accurate we have seen for getting distances and levels correct. You should still check the subwoofer distance, but in our tests it gets the others really close. Plus, like most good room EQ systems, it does a good job of fixing room issues, giving you a cleaner sound.

Our verdict, if you want the best sound under $700, give the STRDN1080 a very close look.

High Notes

  • Great Sound
  • Flexible Speaker Placement Options
  • Zone 2 Support

Best Home Theater Receivers - Value Dolby Atmos

Marantz SR 5013 -$999

  • Channels 7.2
  • Dolby Atmos-Yes
  • Watts Per Channel 100/2 channels driven
  • App Control- Yes
  • Bluetooth- Yes
  • Music Streaming- Yes
  • Room Eq- Audyssey MultEQ XT
  • Phono Section- Yes, MM

When we move into this next level of home theater receivers starting at $1000 and up, we get into models that have seriously good amplifiers inside! You’ll notice when you study the specs, most of these quote the watts per channel at a very low distortion across the entire audio band of 20hz to 20kHz. This is the case with the SR5013 because of its great amplifier section. The amp channels can also be configured about any way imaginable including a second room. HDMI connections cover 8 between the front and back panel, plus if you are an SACD lover, you’ll find 7.1 analog inputs for your SACD player. Another great audio feature is the fact all 7 channels have pre-amp outs to allow you to add bigger amps later should you wish to grow your system.

From a streaming and app control, just about everything is included with Airplay2, Bluetooth, Heos for music services, and you’ll have all the major voice control options from Apple, Google, or Amazon. HDR and Dolby Vision are also supported. For the vinyl lover, there is a pretty decent moving magnet phono section included too.

The big reason though to move up to the Marantz is its great audio quality, which you will be able to get the most out of with its super easy set up system. It literally walks you through every step, making it almost impossible to miss anything. Once you’ve done that, run the Audyssey system and it will optimize your speakers to your room. Another great feature for late night listening is Dynamic Volume, which will reduce the loud explosions you might hear in an action movie.

We care about audio, which is why the SR5013 is our best receiver at $1000.

High Notes

  • Great Marantz Audio Performance
  • Expandable with PreAmp Outs
  • Super Simple Set Up

Best Home Theater Receivers - Best Upgrade-able Value

Marantz SR 6013- $1499

  • Channels 9.2
  • Dolby Atmos-Yes
  • Watts Per Channel 110/2 channels driven
  • App Control- Yes
  • Bluetooth- Yes
  • Music Streaming- Yes
  • Room Eq- Audyssey MultEQ XT32
  • Phono Section- Yes, MM

Our next step up in our recommended receivers is the Marantz SR6013. From a feature standpoint it is pretty similar to the SR5013 as you’ll get all of its great control and streaming features. However, what you do get when you move up to the SR6013 is a much better amplifier section and far greater ability to expand and grow your system.

Even though the SR6013 is only rated at 10 more watts per channel, it uses a much bigger power supply and output devices that can deliver more current to your speakers. Think of it as a bigger engine for your speakers. It also moves up to 9 powered channels on board for lots of Dolby Atmos options, but more importantly has preamp outputs for 11. This means if down the road you want to go full scale Dolby Atmos, you can just add a small power amp and be done, or in what is a super cool feature, you can add a bigger amp for your main speakers and re-route those channels to your new Atmos channels.

The Audyssey room EQ gives you some more advanced features as well. Audyssey LFC is pretty cool. If you live in a space with shared walls, it can reduce the exact bass frequencies that tend to disturb your neighbors, allowing you to crank up those action movies!  The XT32 version of Audyssey is also more precise in fine tuning out those acoustic issues every room has. Finally, and very importantly, the DACs (digital to analog convertor) that all of your signals pass through are upgraded to AKM AK4458 32-bit models, which give it a warmer and more accurate sound than the SR5013.

For people who want to stay under $1500 and have lots of future upgrade options, we love the SR6013

High Notes

  • Fully Expandable
  • Audiophile DACs and improved power supply for much better sound
  • Great Audyssey Room Correction Features

The Best Home Theater Receivers - Best Sound For The Money

Anthem MRX 720 $2499

  • Channels 7.2
  • Dolby Atmos-Yes
  • Watts Per Channel 140/2 channels driven
  • App Control- Yes
  • Bluetooth- No
  • Music Streaming- Yes
  • Room Eq- Anthem ARC
  • Phono Section- No

When we move into the $2500 range and up, the flavor of things changes. Cool high tech features that are found on less expensive units will drop off in favor of the ultimate in audio performance. The Anthem MRX 720 is all about great sound. We have found two things are probably the most important in how good all of these receivers sound, its the amplifier portion and the digital portion that does all the signal processing. Anthem as put the same type of technology into their receivers as they do in their big, separate power amps, with massive power supplies that offer your speakers huge current reserves

On the digital side, Anthem uses a quad core processor to extract every nuance of object based surround information, then the signal is decoded through premium 32-bit / 768 kHz Differential-Output D/A converters. This is far better than found in most receivers and the result is sound that totally envelopes you.

Another thing you get with Anthem receivers is their famous Anthem Room Correction or ARC. Each unit comes with a professional style calibrated microphone with a file for that exact mic. Anthem Room Correction does a better job of fixing room issues than anything we have seen except for Dirac.

You also have room to grow into a full blown 7.2.4 Dolby Atmos system with preamp outs on the MRX 720 for future power amps. We also love the way you can set up 4 different profiles for the room correction. Think of one for a single listener, one for a crowd, one for music only. Super cool!

Anthem also has everything covered on the video side with Dolby Vision, HDR and all the HDMI features.

We’ll never forget the first time we installed an Anthem MRX 720 in our showroom. This particular theater room has the gear hidden away, and we did the install and calibration without letting anyone know we had changed things. Within in just a few hours, our staff was doing demos and asking what the heck we did to the room as it sounded so much better!

When you want great sound and only need 7 channels, the Anthem MRX 720 is the best choice

High Notes

  • Anthem Room Correction
  • Real Amps Coupled with High End DAC’s
  • Great Speaker Profile Memory

Best Home Theater Receivers - Best Full 11 Channel Atmos

Anthem MRX 1120 $3499

  • Channels 11.2
  • Dolby Atmos-Yes
  • Watts Per Channel 140/2 channels driven
  • App Control- Yes
  • Bluetooth- No
  • Music Streaming- Yes
  • Room Eq- Anthem ARC
  • Phono Section- No

The Anthem MRX 1120 is basically an MRX 720 with 4 additional amp channels and an upgrade power supply for improved performance. We won’t repeat all the great stuff we said about the MRX 720 in the notes above. What you get with the 4 additional channels is the ability to install a complete Dolby Atmos system with left, center, right, surrounds, rear surrounds, top front Atmos, and top rear Atmos speakers with all of the needed amps built right into the receiver. We feel it also sounds slightly better from an audio standpoint than the MRX 720, but the difference is not huge, it’s more about having the extra amp channels on board.

If you are going to take the full Atmos dive and get all of the speakers, this unit offers amazing sound in one package, saving you the space that will be taken up with an additional amp or amps that you would need to add to the MRX 720. However, if you are just starting out with 7 channels you could go with the MRX 720 and add the additional amps or amps later for the remaining 4 channels.

If you are going full blown Dolby Atmos the MRX 1120 is our clear winner under $5000!

High Notes

  • Anthem Room Correction
  • Awesome Full Atmos Amp Section
  • Great Speaker Profile Memory

Best Home Theater Receivers - No Holds Barred Sonic Performer

Lexicon RV-9 $6500

  • Channels 7.2
  • Dolby Atmos-Yes
  • Watts Per Channel 120/2 channels driven
  • App Control- Yes
  • Bluetooth- No
  • Music Streaming- Yes
  • Room Eq- Dirac
  • Phono Section- No

When you are ready for the best all in one receiver we have ever heard, step up to the Lexicon RV-9. Lexicon has made their mark in the pro audio world with decades of award winning products. Their surround sound processors from the late 1980’s through early 2000’s were our favorites. Lexicon has teamed up with Arcam to produce a new receiver that has everything we love built in!

First, you’ll get some of the best sounding DAC’s on the market in the RV-9. This makes all the difference in the world in sound and the ones Lexicon uses in the RV-9 cost multiples more than any of the ones used by other brands. Second, Class G technology is used for the amp channels. Class G runs in pure Class A (the best sounding amp tech period) at most volume levels, then switches over to Class AB when things really get demanding. Class G in our listening tests just sounds amazing.

If you have followed Audio Advice, you know we believe in room EQ done right and nothing does a better job than Dirac, developed in the UK for the best commercial cinemas, we love the fact it's included with the RV-9. We also really like Lexicon’s exclusive Logic 7 upmixer which will make your music sound much closer to live.

The RV-9 also supports Dolby Vision and all the latest HDMI specs, plus has a pretty cool app and Spotify Connect for music streaming along with UPnP capability. Our only complaint is we do wish it came with 11 powered channels on board, but when you consider it is only $500 more than Lexicon’s MC10 surround sound processor and you get 7 Class G amps, that makes us feel very good about it.

When we compare the sound of the RV-9 to other receivers, it is in a class by itself. Lexicon’s DAC’s sound so much better than anything else, then you couple that with the Class G amps and Dirac room correction and you are just miles beyond anything else.

The best sounding receiver we have heard, the Lexicon RV-9

High Notes

  • Dirac Room Correction
  • Class G Power Amps
  • Amazing Sound

We hope you have enjoyed our best home theater receivers article. Hopefully it has helped you decide a great path to go down for improving your home theater or media room. Our best advice is to think about where you want to be five years from now when you start to make your choice. A few extra dollars spent now might allow you to do some more upgrades in the future.