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The 10 Best Receivers  Dec 2018

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1
Best Receivers - Sony STRDH190 2-ch Stereo Receiver with Phono Inputs Review Sony
9 . 9
2
Best Receivers - Pioneer AVH-1300NEX 6.2" DVD Receiver Apple CarPlay Built Review Pioneer
9 . 5
3
Best Receivers - Denon AVRX1400H 7.2 Channel AV Receiver with Built-in Review Denon
9 . 2
4
Best Receivers - Sony 7.2 Channel Home Theater 4K AV Receiver Review Sony
9 . 0
5
Best Receivers - Pioneer Surround Sound A/V Receiver - Black (VSX-532) Review Pioneer
8 . 6
6
Best Receivers - Pioneer Bluetooth Audio Component Receiver Black (SX-10AE) Review Pioneer
8 . 4
7
Best Receivers - Yamaha Bluetooth Audio & Video Component Receiver Black Review Yamaha Audio
8 . 0
8
Best Receivers - Onkyo THX-Certified Audio & Video Component Receiver black Review Onkyo
7 . 8
9
Best Receivers - Yamaha RX-V485BL 5.1-Channel 4K Ultra HD AV Receiver Review Yamaha Audio
7 . 4
10
Best Receivers - Onkyo TX-NR575 7.2 Channel Network A/V Receiver Review Onkyo
7 . 2

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Your Guide To Buying a Receiver

By Nicole Blanckenberg

    If you are looking for a hub that brings your home theatre system and speakers together seamlessly, then an AV receiver is what you need. Unlike soundbars that boost your TV’s built in speakers, these quality devices handle a multitude of functions, including powering speakers, tuning radio stations, switching between audio and video and decoding signals for your surround sound. Receivers are convenient but choosing one out of so many options can leave you confused. To help you take your sound quality to the next level and make your choice easier, we have put together this shopping guide.

    There are three main types of AV receivers: stereo, home theatre and dual (also known as multi room) receivers. Each offers users different functions, and choosing one will depend on your entertainment needs. To help you compare receivers, we have broken it down below:

    Stereo Receivers: These are great value for money receivers for buyers looking for something to amplify their sound systems. Designed with music lovers in mind, they have two stereo channels of amplification, and output CD, cassette, turntable and radio audio to a set of speakers. These are ideal for people who want receivers to coordinate their music devices or for small rooms or offices.

    Home Theatre Receivers: These receivers build on the stereo receiver technology by adding surround sound capability, digital audio and video processing, and often automatic speaker setup. They power a multitude of speakers and decode surround sound audio from DVDs, HDTVs and audio and are perfect for coordinating your home theatre set up to bring you cinema quality sound. There are three surround sound systems that your receiver can support: 5.1 systems are great starter systems for home entertainment. 6.1 support Dolby Digital Ex and DTS-ES formats, and 7.1 systems support both 5.1 and 6.1 systems but also allow for an additional seventh speaker.

    Dual Source or Multi-room Receivers: These receivers allow users to play audio from one source in one room while outputting a different source to speakers in another room. They offer a variety of options and functions you can choose from. Preamp-levels lets you output to a second set of powered or amplified stereo speakers in another room. Speaker-level second-room output would allow your kids to watch 5.1 movies in the living room while you listen to your favorite stereo album in your office. And dual-room A/V output receivers are great for families or big homes where variability and flexibility is needed in watching a video while listening to music elsewhere.

    Based on all the consumers' reviews we've scanned, these are the top things they mentioned about their new stuff:

    1. Calibration: Reviewers with receivers that offer good automatic calibration rate their devices much higher. This feature will make surround sound setup super easy, provides excellent sound no matter the configuration, and takes all the guess work out of setting up your entertainment systems.
    2. Operation: Receivers with good displays and remotes are valued by their owners. A good display will allow you to review settings easily and a remote will allow you to make adjustments without having to get off your sofa in the middle of a movie.
    3. Audio and Video: Audio and video quality is a big concern for reviewers. If you are looking for a receiver for both listening and watching, finding a top brand with good sound and clear video reviews will ensure product satisfaction.
    4. Features: Feature variety adds a lot more viewing and listening pleasure to your entertainment system. That is why receivers with lip sync functions to match audio and video, and things like bluetooth or built-in apps are valued and rated much higher by reviewers. Making sure your prospective receiver has the features you need will ensure a better entertainment value.
    • When deciding on your receiver, make sure the power matches the needs of your specific speakers. This will depend on the sensitivity of the speaker, which is measured by the volume it puts out (measured in decibels) per watt (power). Low sensitivity speakers generally need more power, and the larger the room housing your entertainment system, the more power you will need.
    • The more places your new receiver has for connections, the more devices you can connect. Having enough inputs and outputs will insure you have enough space to connect ipods, gaming systems, TVs and speakers. HDMI connections are now the most common, and the more you have, the more options you have of connecting devices. Aim for at least 3 depending on what your needs are.
    • Choose a receiver that offers digital connections over analog to ensure it will connect to all your modern devices.
    • To make setup and connection hassle-free, check if your prospective receiver offers automatic speaker calibration. This means the receiver will be able to analyze and adjust the sound of the connected speakers automatically. This clever function allows the unit to determine the speaker size, measure the distance from each speaker to the listening point, and make sure everything is connected and adjusted properly.
    • Receivers with high-current power produce sound bursts much better than those that don’t, even at the same wattage. This means you can enjoy those high budget special effect sounds of your favorite action movie without the worry of them using up your receiver's power.
    • For the ultimate in music options, choosing a receiver with AirPlay capabilities will take your entertainment system to the next level. This will allow you to connect your iOS devices and their apps wirelessly to your receiver. This is a great feature for people whose music is stored on their Apple devices rather than vinyls or CD’s.
    • Receivers that connect wirelessly to your home internet network will allow you to make use of direct streaming music services giving you more listening options.
    • Choosing a quality receiver with a graphical interface (or on-screen viewer) will make operation and set-up much easier.
    • A receiver with an audio-only mode means it will be able to shut off video circuits while in that mode, enhancing the sound by minimizing noise disturbance.
    • High-end receivers often have on-board video processors, which reduce noise and sharpen HDTV imaging better than the scaler in your video display, making them good entertainment investments.

    Yamaha: Beginning with instruments in 1887 and expanding to electronics, motorcycles, and powersports equipment, Yamaha’s 127 years of history is guided by kando, the “simultaneous feelings of deep satisfaction and intense excitement” from encountering something of exceptional value.They are now one of the leading brands in receivers and other entertainment electronics.

    Denon: Another Japanese company, Denon was founded in 1910 and specializes in manufacturing high-fidelity audio equipment for both consumers and professionals and their receivers are highly rated.

    Onkyo: Onkyo, Japanese for “sound harmony,” manufactures home cinema and audio equipment. They began in 1946 in Okasa, Japan and are now renowned receiver and home entertainment system producers.

    Sony: Japanese electronics conglomerate Sony was ranked 87th on the 2012 Fortune Global 500 list. They derived their name from sonus, the Latin word for sound and have been producing high quality home entertainment electronics and receivers for many years.


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