How to Find the Best AV Receiver 2023

If you’re looking for a way to improve your home audio and video experience, an AV receiver is the perfect solution. They offer everything you need to connect multiple devices and speakers, including HDMI inputs, audio decoding, and amplification.

But figuring out which one is the best can be a bit daunting. Luckily, CNET’s experts have put together a list of the top AV receivers in various price ranges so you can find the best one for your needs.

1. Denon AVR-X3700H

If you are looking for an av receiver that offers a wide range of features in a mid-range price, the Denon AVR-X3700H should be high on your list. It has a great combination of power, features and price and can handle even the most demanding home theater system.

The AVR-X3700H is a 9.2-channel receiver that offers 105 W per channel and can be configured for different speaker setups. It also offers bi-amping which enables each dynamic in a speaker to be amplified separately, improving the overall sound quality. The reviewed model also features Pure Direct mode which bypasses all DSP processing and feeds sound directly to the amplifier, allowing for clearer, more accurate sound.

It also has a built-in microphone that can be used to auto-calibrate the speakers. This allows the unit to create a soundstage that best suits your room. Its Dolby Atmos and DTS:X support allows you to experience true surround sound.

With two subwoofer outputs, the AVR-X3700H can calibrate connected subwoofers individually with Audyssey Sub EQ HT to give you seamless bass performance that is tailored to your room. It can even adjust the bass response in real time to eliminate peaks and dips that are often associated with room acoustics.

For more control over your audio, the AVR-X3700H is compatible with Amazon Alexa and HEOS voice controls. This means you can adjust the volume, skip to the next track and switch inputs using your voice.

HEOS is Denon’s home entertainment platform and it supports the most popular streaming services including Spotify, Pandora, Amazon Music HD, TuneIn Internet Radio, SiriusXM, SoundCloud and TIDAL. You can also set up multi-room audio using HEOS compatible speakers.

Another great feature is ECO mode which uses less power and helps the unit conserve energy. The AVR-X3700H can also play back music wirelessly using Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. It also features a dual-antenna transceiver which allows you to switch between the two easily and effortlessly.

The AVR-X3700H is an excellent choice for anyone who wants to step up from the Denon AVR-X2700H and add a few more channels of amplification, IMAX Enhanced capability and better room correction. It is easy to set up and offers a wide range of options for the AV enthusiast.

2. Marantz SRH-5000

If you’re looking for a top-tier AV receiver to power your home theater system or listening room, there are plenty of options to choose from. However, it can be a difficult task to find the best model for your needs and budget.

One of the most popular brands for AV receivers, Marantz offers a range of models to cater for different needs. Some models are feature-packed and designed for remarkable sound quality, while others are more affordable models that focus on making your audio experience more realistic.

Those seeking an AV receiver with a lot of bells and whistles will want to consider the Marantz SRH-5000. This model features a sleek design and supports 8K video, Dolby Atmos and Wi-Fi music streaming.

The SRH-5000 is also a great choice for gaming enthusiasts, as it’s able to drive a 7-channel system with decoding for immersive formats like Dolby Atmos and DTS-X. This model also has a built-in Dolby Atmos Height Virtualizer to simulate the vertical channels of a Dolby Atmos system, even if you don’t have them on your speakers.

For those who want a little bit of extra help with the setup process, the Marantz SRH-5000 includes a handy Setup Assistant. This will walk you through setting up your new receiver from start to finish. The setup guide has everything you need to get started including step-by-step instructions for connecting devices, selecting speaker layouts and setting up the IR remote.

Another benefit of the SRH-5000 is that it can drive speakers with an RMS power rating of up to 90W. This means you’ll be able to enjoy powerful bass, even if your speakers are relatively small.

Finally, it’s worth noting that some of 2020-launched AV receivers were hit by the HDMI 2.1 bug, which prevented them from properly displaying 4K games with 120Hz consoles. This has been fixed on all Marantz, Denon and Yamaha flagship receivers manufactured after May 2021, so if you’re planning to build your new system around these new consoles you should look for an AV receiver with the latest chips.

3. Pioneer VSX-935

The Pioneer VSX-935 is a 7.2-channel AV receiver that offers many features for the price. It supports 4K video, Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, and more. It also has a wide range of connectivity options, and it is compatible with voice assistants.

Dolby Atmos is a sound format that provides rich, cinematic audio. This format allows sound to be positioned anywhere in the room, including overhead, to create a 3-dimensional audio experience. It also allows for the upmixing of different audio formats, such as Dolby Digital and TrueHD.

It is a feature that makes the VSX-935 a good option for those who are looking to upgrade their current speakers to a more advanced system. It can also be used with Dolby Atmos-enabled headphones for an immersive listening experience.

In addition, the VSX-935 features DTS Play:Fi technology. This allows for DLNA music playback and access to streaming services like Amazon Music, Spotify, Deezer, and Tidal. It can also work in multi-room mode with AirPlay 2 compatible devices.

MCACC (Multi-Channel Acoustic Calibration) uses a custom microphone to adjust the sound of the VSX-935 to match your room and speakers. This ensures that the sound is accurately reproduced with powerful bass and clear highs.

Another great feature is Auto Phase Control Plus, which analyses the phase differences in your room and suppresses the standing waves that occur between walls and floor to make your sound clearer and more dynamic. This feature can save up to nine position readings for your listening area, making it ideal for a larger space.

This AV receiver also features Bluetooth wireless technology, which lets you stream songs from your smartphone or tablet. It also offers Wake on Play function, which automatically wakes up and switches input when a Bluetooth source starts playing.

The VSX-935 also has an optical and coaxial digital audio input that lets you connect your media player. It can also support 24-bit/192kHz audio and DSD128 files.

The VSX-935 is also an excellent choice for those who are looking to add gaming capabilities to their AV setup. It supports HDMI 2.1, which means it has access to a number of gaming-specific features that will help you minimize lag and graphic tearing while enjoying your favorite games. It also supports Variable Refresh Rate (VRR), Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM), and Quick Frame Transport (QFT).

4. Yamaha RX-V6A

When it comes to home entertainment, you can’t go wrong with an av receiver from Yamaha. This company is a worldwide leader in audio and video products, including sound bars, home theater systems, car speakers and more. The RX-V6A is one of their new line of AV receivers that feature the latest technologies and specifications, including support for 8K, HDR 10+, and HDMI 2.1.

With 7 channels of amplification, Dolby Atmos and DTS:X decoding, plus two overhead audio channels for added surround effects, the RX-V6A is an excellent choice for any home theater setup. The Yamaha is also a great value for the money, with a price tag of under $600.

While it’s not as powerful as Denon’s AVR-X3700H, the RX-V6A does a better job of controlling your speakers with room correction and a host of other features. It also supports Bluetooth and AirPlay 2 and features Yamaha’s MusicCast multiroom wireless music ecosystem, allowing you to stream your favorite songs from any compatible device in your home.

The RX-V6A also features Cinema DSP 3D, a proprietary technology from Yamaha that adds depth and richness to your music or movie track. It uses measured sound field data to create a natural three-dimensional sound field in your room, delivering a more immersive and realistic experience.

You can also reduce power consumption by activating the receiver’s Eco Mode and Auto Power Standby functions. These settings automatically adjust power output based on the on-screen eco meter and volume level, while still delivering quality sound.

This receiver also includes a phono input for connecting your turntable, and it supports Dolby Atmos and DTS:X, ensuring that you get the best possible audio and video from your sources. The RX-V6A also works with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, allowing you to control your receiver with voice commands.

Lastly, it has a sleek, modern design that looks great in any room. It has a curved front, bold volume controls at the center, and a high-resolution off-set LCD that’s blue-green in color.

The RX-V6A is a fantastic performer that should serve most people’s movie and music needs right now, with some features expected to come out via firmware updates soon. It’s also a great choice for gamers, thanks to its HDR10+ and HDMI 2.1 support.