2022 Best Home Theater Receivers

This year’s list of best home theater receivers for 2022 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 ever heard, there is sure to be a model that is right for your home theater system 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.

As you are thinking about upgrading your home theater receiver, you might also want to check out our article and/or video on what features to look for in a home theater receiver.

Home theater

What to Look for in a Home Theater Receiver

There are a few key features we look for in home theater surround sound receivers. Below, we detail each of these specs so you understand why we have them as part of the checklist. We used to make a point to call out units that could switch 4K, but since this is now so commonplace, we made that a requirement for this list.

Top Home Theater Receiver Features

  • Channels - This is the number of powered speaker channels on board to drive your speakers.
  • Preamp Outputs - Preamp outputs allow you to add more amplifiers later to expand your system without having to change your receiver. An example could be a receiver with 5 powered channels, yet it has preamp outs for a total of 9 or 11, which gives you great expansion options. This will be a Yes or No followed by the number of channels available as preamp outs. As a note, we will not count subwoofer channels unless the receiver does something special.
  • Dolby Atmos - Dolby Atmos is one of the most exciting surround sound formats to come out in decades. You can learn more about Dolby Atmos in our What Is Dolby Atmos? video.
  • Watts Per Channel - This is the power rating of the receiver. Some companies spec this with all of the channels driven and some spec it with just two. Some will also spec it without it covering the full audio bandwidth of 20Hz-20,000Hz. The most honest spec would be all channels driven from 20-20,000Hz at a very low distortion number. 
  • ARC - stands for “audio return channel.” e-ARC is the latest version of ARC, which will pass full uncompressed Dolby Atmos down the connection. ARC will pass compressed Dolby Dolby Atmos down the connection. This all comes into play if you like to use your TV apps for streaming. All app streaming (for now) compresses the Dolby Atmos signal — so you will be ok just using an ARC connection. However, if you have connected a next-gen video game console to your TV, you will want e-ARC for the best audio. 
  • App Control - This one is pretty obvious. If the unit has app control, we will let you know ​​— although we suggest you do not make this a big part of your buying decision — how the unit sounds and functions is more important.
  • Bluetooth - If the unit has Bluetooth built-in we will call it out.
  • Music Streaming - If the unit has the ability to use music streaming apps, this will be noted as a “Yes.” Think about how often you want to stream music in your home theater before you make this a big deal. 
  • Room EQ - We are big fans of Room Correction. No room is acoustically perfect and this technology has greatly improved over the years. Some are better than others, you can learn all about them in our video that walks you through how to optimize home theater EQ.
  • Phono Section - If you can connect a turntable, this will be marked as a “yes” to indicate this. Bear in mind many turntables have a phono preamp built-in, which means you could connect that type of turntable into any of these receivers even if this was indicated with a “No.”

If you are in the market for a new home theater, be sure and check out our comprehensive collection of buyer’s guides on everything from the best speaker layouts to common electrical mistakes. And, when you are ready to visualize your home theater, our new free 3D home theater design tool will be something you will want to test out! We hope you enjoy going through these Home Theater receiver top picks.

Best Home Theater Receiver Under $750

Denon AVR-X1700H 7.2 Channel 8K Av Receiver

  • Channels - 7.2
  • Dolby Atmos - Yes
  • Watts Per Channel - 80 W/Ch (8 Ohms, 20 Hz–20 kHz, 0.08% THD, 2 Channels Driven, FTC)
  • Preamp Outputs - No
  • ARC - Yes, eARC
  • App Control - Yes
  • Bluetooth - Yes
  • Music Streaming - Yes
  • Room Eq - Audyssey MultEQ XT
  • 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-X1700H 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 6 HDMI connections on the rear, you should be well covered. 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 for accessing almost all of the major music services. Bluetooth, Airplay, and Spotify Connect are also built-in. It even has a Bluetooth transmitter to send the sound to your Bluetooth headphones for late-night listening. 

Nothing is missing from the latest high-speed video capabilities with support for 8K, HDCP 2.3, and Dolby Vision. We were also impressed by the fact Denon included a front panel USB jack where you can connect a USB stick or a hard drive — and this will decode up to 24-bit/192-kHz ALAC, FLAC, and WAV lossless files, as well as DSD 2.8MHz and 5.6MHz tracks. It is even Roon tested, which is pretty impressive for a somewhat basic receiver.

Audyssey MultEQ XT is a very good room EQ and setup system that is included with the AVRX 1700H. Just connect up the mic and off it goes. This version of Audyssey will even give you some dynamic volume features for late-night listening and some neat ways to fine-tune two subwoofers, individually. 

To get all of these features under $750 with Dolby Atmos is pretty amazing, making it our choice in the sub-$750 range.

Features Galore

Supports Streaming, HiRes Audio, & Vinyl

Easy Audyssey MultiEQ XT Setup

Best Home Theater Receiver Under $1000

Yamaha Aventage RX-A2A 7.2-Channel AV Receiver

  • Channels - 7.2
  • Dolby Atmos - Yes
  • Watts Per Channel - 100 W/Ch (8 Ohms, 20 Hz–20 kHz, 0.06% THD, 2 Channels Driven, FTC)
  • Preamp Outputs - Yes, Front Left and Right only
  • ARC - Yes, eARC
  • App Control - Yes
  • Bluetooth - Yes
  • Music Streaming - Yes
  • Room Eq - YPAO automatic room calibration
  • Phono Section - Yes, MM

The RX-A2A is from Yamaha’s Aventage receiver line, which represents their best of the best. This is the entry-level model that gets you into that great Yamaha sound for a reasonable price. The units in this series are all about having better audio. The Yamaha engineers go over every component, electrical signal path, and material to produce what they call “True Sound.” The all-important DACs are 384 kHz / 32-bit for improved audio quality.

Yamaha was one of the first companies to introduce surround sound technology way back when home theater first got started, and the RX-A2A includes many enhancements that come from their surround sound DNA. You’ll find both Dolby Atmos and DTS:X, but also 17 DSP programs and some more virtual speaker tech for an even more immersive experience. What is really neat about the Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization included is if you have a situation where you cannot get wires into your ceiling for Atmos speakers, you can get a similar effect with just the use of Yamaha’s Virtualization tech.

You’ll have all the latest video tech with 7 HDMI inputs and support for Dolby Vision, HDR10+, HDCP 2.3, and 8K60. 

Yamaha is known in the professional music industry for great instruments and products you will find at every phase of both recording music and live performances. This means they know quite a bit about how to get good sound in any environment. This led them to develop their own system for fine-tuning your room to sound its best. They call it YPAO™, which is short for “Yamaha Parametric Room Acoustic Optimizer.” This measures your speaker characteristics, and room reflections to get you into a sound that is as close to the mixing room the soundtrack was born in — and best yet, it is fully automatic and works very well if you just follow the simple steps.

Yahama also has its own music streaming system called MusicCast that has all of the top streaming services — but better yet, you can use other MusicCast products in your home for a whole-home music experience. If you prefer to use Airplay2 or Bluetooth, these are included as well.

To keep everything on target within its price category, Yamaha puts its budget into better performing audio parts, instead of allocating it to Apple, Amazon, and Google — so if you are looking for voice control, it is missing on the RX-A2A — but that great sound is one reason many buyers of Yamaha receivers are repeat customers as they just love the warm and compelling sound.

Yamaha True Sound

Outstanding Room EQ Technology

Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization

Best Value Dolby Atmos Home Theater Receiver

Marantz SR5015 7.2 Channel Home Theater Receiver

  • Channels - 7.2
  • Dolby Atmos - Yes
  • Watts Per Channel - 100 W/Ch (8 Ohms, 20 Hz–20 kHz, 0.08% THD, 2 Channels Driven, FTC)
  • Preamp Outputs - Yes, 7
  • ARC - Yes, eARC
  • 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 a bit above $1,000, we get into models that have seriously good amplifiers inside! You will get bigger power supplies and some serious weight. This is the case with the Marantz SR5015, and its great amplifier section. The amp channels can also be configured in any way imaginable — including a second room. HDMI connections cover 8 between the front and back panel, plus it supports an 8K input and output. Another great audio feature is the fact that all 7 channels have pre-amp outs, which allows you to add bigger amps later should you wish to grow your system.

From streaming to 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.

One big reason to move up to the Marantz is its great audio quality. It has a massive power supply for a receiver in this price range, and it uses all discrete components — giving it a rich, full sound that also controls your speakers better than anything we have heard for the price. You will be able to get the most out of it with the super-easy setup system. It literally walks you through every step, making it almost impossible to miss anything. The Marantz on-screen GUI setup is by far the best we have seen. Once you’ve done the setup, and run the Audyssey Room EQ tests, it will optimize your speakers for your room. Another great feature for late-night listening is Dynamic Volume, which reduces the loud explosions you might hear during an action movie.

While you might find some units with more features or amp channels around this price range, none of them can beat the classic, warm sound Marantz delivers in the SR5015. We care about audio, which is why the SR5015 is our best value Dolby Atmos receiver.

8K Ready

Seven Powerful Channels with Dolby Atmos Expandability

Simple Set up with Pure Marantz Sound

Best Upgradeable Value Home Theater Receiver

Onkyo TX-RZ50 9.2 Channel A/V Receiver

  • Channels - 9.2
  • Dolby Atmos - Yes
  • Watts Per Channel - 120 W/Ch (8 ohms, 20 Hz–20 kHz, 0.08% THD, 2 channels driven, FTC)
  • Preamp Outputs - Yes, 11
  • ARC - Yes, eARC
  • App Control - Yes
  • Bluetooth - Yes
  • Music Streaming - Yes
  • Room Eq - Dirac Live
  • Phono Section - Yes, MM

Onkyo rocked the home theater receiver world in late 2021 when they introduced the RZ50. It has 9 powered channels included with preamp outputs for 11 plus 2 subs allowing you to add a power amp later to go with a full-blown 7.2.4 Dolby Atmos speaker configuration.

All 6 HDMI inputs are 8K HDCP 2.3 with two independent outputs that are both 8K (unless you use one for zone 2, then the second one will be limited to 4K) with eARC on the main one.

Onkyo has always been known for leading the pack with useful features and the RZ50 is packed full of them. You have app control, voice control, several ways to get streaming music into it, and bidirectional Bluetooth so you can also send the sound to a pair of headphones for late-night listening. A pretty unique feature that Sonos ecosystem fans will enjoy is the ability to connect a Sonos Port and it will show up in the Sonos app — you’ll have full control within the Sonos app, and you can add up to 3 to the RZ50!

But, the big reason for the success of the RZ50 is the fact that it has Dirac Live. Dirac has been a favorite room correction system of audio connoisseurs for almost a decade, but it has previously only been found in only the much more expensive units. You’ll see it in things like the Datasat RS20i, which sells for over $20k! To be able to get this great system for the price of the RZ50 is pretty incredible. The unit comes with a microphone for setup, but if you are serious about implementing Dirac properly, we suggest you purchase an aftermarket mic like the MiniDSP for around $100.

Dirac Live

9 Powered Channels Included

Every Audio/Video Feature You Can Dream Of

Best Sounding A/V Receiver For The Money

Anthem MRX 740 11.2 Pre-Amplifier / 7 Amplifier Channel AV Receiver

  • Channels - 7.2
  • Dolby Atmos - Yes
  • Watts Per Channel - 140/2 channels driven
  • Preamp Outs - Yes, 11
  • ARC - Yes eARC
  • App Control - Yes
  • Bluetooth - Yes
  • Music Streaming - Yes
  • Room Eq - Anthem ARC Genesis
  • Phono Section - No

When we move into the $2,500+ range and up, the flavor of things changes. You’ll start to see units from companies that focus their efforts on the best sound possible. If their engineers have to decide between paying royalties for Alexa voice control or putting in better parts, they will always opt for the better parts. 

The Anthem MRX 740 is all about great sound. We have found two things are probably the most important in how good all of these receivers sound — it's the amplifier portion and the digital portion that does all the signal processing. Anthem has 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 Genesis. Each unit comes with a professional-style calibrated microphone with a file for that exact mic. You do not have to buy a better mic as the one included is excellent and was even upgraded in 2021. Anthem Room Correction is now as good or better than Dirac as they have now given it the ability to blend your subwoofers and set levels and delays. It is also extremely easy to fine-tune all of your speakers to your listening room.

We also love the way you can set up four different profiles for the room correction. Think of one for a single listener, one for a crowd, and one for music only. Super cool!

You also have room to grow into a full-blown 7.2.4 Dolby Atmos system with preamp outs on the MRX 740 for future power amps — and taking things to a level no other receiver does, you can reroute amp channels. Let’s say you need two more channels to go from the included recommended option of 5.2.2 to 5.2.4. You can purchase a great two-channel power amp for the main two-channels and re-route those amp channels to drive any other two-channels. 

Anthem also has almost everything covered on the video side with Dolby Vision, HDR, IMAX Enhanced, and 4K60. The MRX740 is not yet 8K or 4K120 game-ready for next-gen consoles, but you can easily connect your gaming consoles to your TV and get uncompressed Dolby Atmos on the eARC connection. 

Music streaming is also very seamless with Airplay2, Chromecast, and Bluetooth. There is a future update to include Roon as well. 

But, it's really the sound of the Anthem receivers that win so many people over. While the MRX740 may only have 7 powered channels on board, it weighs more than any receiver on this list so far due to its massive power supply. The sound is more like what you get from separate components with dynamics that make your system really come to life. 

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

When you want great sound and only need 7 channels for now, but with room to grow, the Anthem MRX 740 is the best choice

ARC Genesis Room Correction

Real Amps Coupled with High-End DAC’s

Great Speaker Profile Memory

Best Full 11 Channel Atmos Home Theater Receiver

Anthem MRX 1140 15.2 Pre-Amplifier / 11 Amplifier Channel AV Receiver

  • Channels - 11.2
  • Dolby Atmos - Yes
  • Watts Per Channel - 140/2 channels driven
  • Preamp Outs - Yes, 15
  • ARC - Yes eARC
  • App Control - Yes
  • Bluetooth - Yes
  • Music Streaming - Yes
  • Room Eq - Anthem ARC Genesis
  • Phono Section - No

The Anthem MRX 1140 is basically an MRX 740 with 4 additional amp channels, an upgraded toroidal power supply for improved performance, and a few more goodies. We won’t repeat all the great stuff we said about the MRX 740 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 740 — but the difference is not huge — it’s more about having the extra amp channels on board.

There are two other things that are really cool. First, it has processing for 15 channels inside. This means you can go all the way to a 9.2.6 Dolby Atmos system just by adding a four-channel power amp. Secondly, it has two totally independent subwoofer outs. These are tuned individually using the new version of ARC Genesis to perfectly blend each subwoofer — no matter where it is positioned — with the rest of your speakers. To us, that is a huge deal! 

If you are going to take a full Atmos dive and get 11 speakers now or later on, 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 740 later. However, if you are just starting out with 7 channels, you could go with the MRX 740 and add the additional amps or amps later for the remaining 4 channels, if you think you will stay at 11 speakers. But, if you think you might want those wide fronts or 3 pairs of Atmos, the MRX1140 is the way to go. 

If you are going full-blown Dolby Atmos the MRX 1140 is our clear winner under $5,000!

ARC Genesis Room Correction

Awesome Full Atmos Amp Section with Extra Preamp Outs

Independent Dual Sub Calibration

Best Home Theater Receiver - No Holds Barred Sonic Performer

Arcam AVR31 15.2 Pre-Amplifier / 7 Amplifier Channel Class G AV Receiver

  • Channels - 7.2
  • Dolby Atmos - Yes
  • Watts Per Channel - 120 W/Ch (8 ohms, 20 Hz–20 kHz, 0.02% THD, 2 channels driven, FTC)
  • Preamp Outs - Yes, 15
  • ARC - Yes eARC
  • App Control - Yes
  • Bluetooth - Yes
  • Music Streaming - Yes
  • Room Eq - Dirac Live
  • Phono Section - No

When you are ready for the best all-in-one receiver we have ever heard, step up to the Arcam AVR31. While it only has 7 powered channels built-in, it is — from a pure audio standpoint — the best sounding receiver we have heard to date, and it has some outstanding tech to help you get the best sound for those of you with more than one subwoofer.

First, if you are reading this far, you are probably a lover of high-performance audio gear and know all about the importance of the DAC (or Digital to Analog Converter). The AVR31 uses two ESS 9026PRO audiophile DACs with ESS reference voltage regulators. These DACs cost far more than the ones in any of the receivers we have covered up to this point.

Also, as a high-performance person, you might have heard about Class G amplifiers. The ultimate amp would be pure Class A, which sounds amazing, but runs very hot when you get into higher power. Class G runs at pure Class A up to a point, then switches over to Class AB. It may only have 7 powered channels built in, but it is also by far the heaviest unit on this list weighing in at 40 pounds with its huge power supply. The sound of this Arcam is something special — akin to big, separate components.

You will have a lot of expansion options as there is processing in the AVR31 for 15 channels. Even cooler, there are 4 assignable outputs. If you are not going all the way to 9.1.6, you can assign up to four individual subwoofer outputs and each can be calibrated independently. For those of us who like multiple subs, this is just fantastic.

From a tech perspective, you get full support for HDMI2.1 with 8K@60fps and 4K@120fps plus Dolby Vision, HDR10+, HDR10, and HLG. Airplay2 and Google Chromecast are also present, and it is the only unit on this list with the better version of aptX®HD Bluetooth. There is a MusicLife app that lets you stream most of the popular services, and it is set up for Roon too.

Whether you are a fan of Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, or Auro 3D, it can decode any of those, which also makes it unique in this group.

Dirac is one of our favorite room correction systems and you’ll get the latest Dirac Live with the AVR31 — plus the option of purchasing Dirac Live Bass, which does an incredible job of blending subwoofers to your main speakers. 

If you want to start out with the very best sound, with all sorts of expansion options, the AVR31 is our top choice. It is not cheap, but nothing else has everything you get with this great home theater receiver.

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.

Custom Home Theater Solutions

If you are reading this and want to learn more about home theater in general, check out Home Theater Central. Here we have lots of articles on how to design your dream home theater. We even have a free 3D design tool so you can visualize how the screen and speakers should be placed for optimum performance in your room. 

If you are lucky enough to live near our world class showrooms, we highly recommend you contact one of our local theater designers to help with your project. We can help you build the theater of your dreams from start to finish including installation.