You can get a lot of A/V receiver for under $500, but if you’re looking for distortion-free sound that will light up larger rooms, you’ll want the extra power afforded by the next tier up, and spending a little more opens up the brand options a bit, too. As a bonus, these step-up receivers also tend to come with some fun extras, but those same extras can also make the decision process just that much harder. And what about overall sound quality and ease-of-use?
To simplify your search, we’ve identified our favorite sub-$1000 receiver and laid out a selection of competitive options to help you find the perfect match for your particular home theater needs.
Onkyo TX-NR828 ($599) Amazon
The TX-NR828 joins remarkable sound with an extensive tool belt of features. At under $600, Onkyo has designed a receiver that holds its own against any other under receiver under $1000. Onkyo packs its patented high-current power supply into an aluminum chassis that has 130 watts per channel, 7.2 surround sound support, Zone 2 audio for music in a separate room, 8 HDMI inputs, a phono input, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi for streaming supported Internet radio services such as Spotify, Pandora, and Rhapsody. However, the TX-NR828 doesn’t play with Apple’s AirPlay — which may or may not mean much to you, depending on your love for Apple’s ecosystem. Bluetooth offers a pretty easy workaround, though.
Buy with confidence, as Onkyo delivers dependable gear, year after year. And is routinely included in our recommendations. For peace of mind, consider Onkyo’s four-year warranty for an additional $40.
Marantz SR5009 ($899) Amazon
Marantz is the go-to option for those frustrated by the nearly ubiquitous bulky design of most AV receivers. The SR5009 touts 100 watts × 7 outputs plus 4 HDMI inputs. Built-in networking will interface with Airplay, Bluetooth, Pandora, and Spotify. Look forward to that signature warm Marantz sound.
Pioneer Elite SC-81 ($999) Amazon
The SC-81 is the introduction to Pioneer’s fleet of premium receivers. You can expect it to be filled with premium audio processing goodies including 120 watts × 7 channels and built-in networking including Wi-Fi andBluetooth. It also plays well with Spotify and Pandora and is Roku Ready. Considering that the SC-81 is one of the few receivers to be Energy Star certified, it’s a exceptionally powerful receiver.
NAD T758 ($999) Amazon
The update to NAD’s impressive is T757 is terrific for anyone looking for a simple-yet-powerful receiver. Despite a smaller tool belt than other receivers on the list, the T758 still delivers 120 watt × 7 outputs. Also notable is the modular design that makes it possible to update video and audio circuits without purchasing a brand new device.
Denon AVR-3100W Amazon
Equipped with 105-watts × 7.2 channel, Ultra HD/4K passthrough, HDMI 2.0, and support for Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and Airplay, the AVR-3100W has a premium feature set — and will provide the brawn to excel in large spaces. What’s more, the simple setup with graphical menus takes only minutes.
Yamaha RX-V777BT ($800) Amazon
Another slim AV receiver with plenty of brawn, the Yamaha RX-V777BT features 110 watts × 7 channels in addition to built-in networking that interfaces with Airplay, Pandora, and Spotify. Unlike the 677, Yamaha’s RX V777 includes a Bluetooth adapter and Wi-Fi. The steel front panel gives the RX V777 a premium and durable design.
Sony STR-DN1050 ($548) Amazon
For under $600, the Sony STR-DN1050 provides 10 HDMI inputs, one on front for MHL plus robust networking features including AirPlay, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi. This device is built to satisfy. The smart looks are an additional bonus as well.