You would think that buying an A/V receiver would be easy: find one that has the channels you need and the features you want — hopefully at a price you’re comfortable with — and call it a day. Unfortunately, that usually isn’t the case. From intentionally misleading specs to the explosion in available features, it’s harder than ever to pick a top receiver out of the seemingly ever-expanding lineup.
For one thing, you want to make sure you pick a receiver that is the most compatible with products you already own. Do you want support for Google Home? What about wireless multiroom? Do the speakers you already own support DTS Play-Fi, or was that FireConnect? Then, of course, there’s the actual audio quality, which can’t be gauged from a list of specs.
Fortunately, we have had the chance to experience many of the top receivers available right now for ourselves. Combining our hands-on experience with our collected years of expertise, we’ve compiled a list of some of the absolute best models you can buy.
Anthem MRX 1120
Why should you buy this: It offers fantastic sound and every feature you could want
Who’s it for: Anyone who places a premium on top-notch sound
How much will it cost: $3,500
Why we picked the Anthem MRX 1120:
Anthem is a well-known name among those who require top-tier sound quality in their A/V receivers, and the 11.2-channel MRX 1120 is the top dog of the company’s latest offerings. If features support for both Dolby Atmos and DTS:X object-based surround sound, in either 7.1.4 or 5.1.4 configurations, depending on whether you want to leave channels free for a second zone for another room in your home.
The MRX 1120 features a massive Toroidal power supply, offering 140 watts of clean power across each channel at 8 ohms. Ultra HD pass-through, supports both 4K and high dynamic range (HDR) content, with support for 4:4:4 chroma and BT.2020 colorspace. A up-scaler is even included, bringing standard and high definition signals up to 4K. A total of eight HDMI inputs are included, all of which support HDMI 2.0a and HDCP 2.2, in addition to two HDMI outs and three digital audio outputs.
In addition to the wired multiroom functionality provided by the second zone, the MRX 1120 also offers wireless multiroom connectivity via DTS Play-Fi. This is backed up by built-in support for a number of streaming services, including Spotify, Tidal, Amazon Prime Music, Pandora, SiriusXM and internet radio. For those who value fidelity over convenience, hi-res audio support is included as well, which makes good use of the receiver’s 32-bit / 768 kHz differential-output DACs
Finally, the Anthem MRX 1120 makes setting it up a snap with its Anthem Room Correction software, which is one of the best options out there. The company even includes a high-quality mic and stand for measuring your room’s acoustic properties right inside the box.