10 Best

Av Receivers

of February 2024

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Buying Guide for the Best Av Receivers

Pat Daniels

What is an AV Receiver? 

In an A/V receiver, the user can connect all the audio and video sources being used, including a cable TV box, Blu-ray player or CD player, and a digital media hub (Apple TV, Roku, etc.). Through HDMI, the receiver's video output connects to the TV, and several audio outputs plug into speakers and a subwoofer. They built-in sound effects and soundtrack formats such as Dolby Digital and Atmos to enhance music and movie experience. Additionally, they come with amplifiers that boost the speakers.

What Does an A/V Receiver Do?

An AV receiver controls and powers your home theater experience. Below are the main tasks of an AV receiver: 

  • Connects and switches audio sources: An AV receiver can connect to all external audio sources, allowing users to choose which audio source they want to listen to.
  • Connect and switches video sources: By connecting all video sources to the AV receiver, the user is able to switch/select the preferred video source with the receiver's remote instead of adjusting on the display. 
  • Radio programming: A radio tuner is included in an AV receiver so users can listen to different radio stations. Satellite radio receivers are available on most models as well, but require a subscription fee to access satellite-exclusive stations.
  • Decodes surround-sound formats: An A/V receiver's capability to decode both analog and digital surround-sound formats sets it apart from a traditional stereo receiver. User's can select different audio output formats (Dolby or Atmos) through this decoding feature.
  • Amplifies multiple speakers: One distinguishing feature of an A/V receiver is that it comes with at least five channels of amplification for driving (or powering) your surround-sound speakers.

Types Av Receivers

What is the difference between an AV receiver and an Amplifier?

AV receivers can receive and decode audio signals, amplify the signal to the speakers, and enable video transmission to TVs or projectors. While an amplifier is only capable of receiving an audio signal, process it, and amplify the signal to the speakers.

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What are the benefits of using an AV receiver?

Besides enabling you to have optimal sound and system flexibility, AV receivers offer many other advantages to your home theater system and that include the following:

  • Decodes the various ways a sound/soundtrack is entered into a medium such as DVD and translates it to the sound that you prefer to hear such as Digital Dolby or Atmos
  • Helps overcome obstacles to high quality sound inherent in each room (as a result of the room size, the ceiling height, and type of flooring)
  • Supports multiple inputs, giving users the greatest degree of flexibility when setting up their systems
  • Amplifies sound and makes a home entertainment set up a reality
  • AM/FM Radio - A home audio receiver has a radio tuner that allows users to listen to the radio stations they like. 
  • Everything is integrated in a simple, easy-to-manage interface. By using the receiver's remote control, the user can easily control stereo equipment.

Important Features

How to choose an AV receiver?

Here are a few things to consider when buying an AV receiver

  • Channels: The number of channel determines how many speakers are included in an AV receiver. It is recommended to have at least 5 channels if you want to have a surround sound system
  • Inputs/Connectivity: Consider the sources you'll be using, such as wireless music that will require Wi-Fi or Bluetooth input on your receiver. In general, the more connectivity your receiver has, the better.
  • Video Switching: It is recommended to choose AV receivers that support 4K video switching so users can connect any video (DVD or Apple TV) and multiple 4K-capable devices to one display
  • Power/Wattage: High-wattage receivers provide better sound quality even at low and medium volumes. Think about the size and design of the room where you will be installing your equipment, the bigger the room, the greater the power requirements
  • Multi-room AV receivers: Consider multi-room receivers which can play two different audio/tv components simultaneously in different rooms. As a result, you can use your receivers for a variety of purposes.
  • Features: For an immersive home entertainment experience, check for special audio/video features such as surround sound, multi-channel stereo, 3D streaming or multi-screen display.

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