Published On: November 13, 2020

AVR Buyer's Guide - 2022 Edition

Published On: November 13, 2020
Last Updated on: April 5, 2022
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AVR Buyer's Guide - 2022 Edition

Shopping for a new AV receiver? A little overwhelmed by the possibilities? You've come to the right place.

AVR Buyer's Guide - 2022 Edition

By Author: Mark Henninger
I’m an AV enthusiast, equipment reviewer, photographer, videographer and drone pilot. I’m also a THX-trained video calibrator with extensive experience reviewing consumer displays including TVS, projectors, monitors and smartphones.

Buying an AV receiver can be surprisingly stressful, due to the remarkable number of features offered by these unassuming-looking metal boxes that have evolved over the years from relatively simple analog switching devices to the computation-centric, connected digital devices that define the category today. Our goal is to help you cut through the complexity to make an informed decision based on your needs.

Competition is good for innovation and there's plenty of it among the various AVR makers, you've got over a dozen brand to choose from. And these days, most AVRs are both Wi-Fi connected and able to handle Dolby Atmos sound to one degree or another.

Features and Specs

If there's a "dividing line" between old and new AV receivers, these days it's support for HDMI 2.1 and the 8K/60 plus 4K/120 formats that go with it, along with features like eARC. HDMI 2.1 represents a huge bit of future-proofing that we consider so important here at Home Theater Review, it is required for inclusion on this list.

Similarly, the prevalence of support for Atmos and DTS:X on even entry-level AVRs (not to mention soundbars), as well as the wide availability of Atmos soundtracks, not only on disc but with streaming content, makes 3D immersive sound support a must-have feature for 2022.

Since AVRs are responsible for power, not just processing, it is prudent to ensure that the unit you choose satisfies the needs of the speakers you own. This can get a little bit complicated, but fundamentally you want and AV receivers that is compatible with the impedance of your speaker system, so if you have picked out 4-ohm speakers, for example, you’ll want to pick an AVR that explicitly supports it.

As for power output, it becomes difficult to ascertain how an AVR will respond under heavy load, powering a multichannel speaker system where the various speakers are at different distances and have different sensitivities. But what you’ll find is that there is not a huge gap between the power output of most AV receivers, nowhere near the range available when purchasing amplifiers.

Most AV receivers rate their power output in either one channel or two channels driven, which is a rating of the peak output of the amplifier module, not the capabilities of the power supply. And this is useful for one year using an AVR to listen to music in stereo, but at their core AVRs are multichannel surround-sound devices, and how they do when all channels are driven concurrently is a different specification that’s certainly useful if you can find it.

One of the defining functions of modern AV receivers is room correction, and the systems implemented by various manufacturers vary in effectiveness depending on both the model’s tier (entry-level AVRs tend to have simpler room correction systems) as well as by the type of room correction—some manufacturers have their own system, others use one of the two major brands that licensed the technology to AV receiver manufacturers.: Audyssey and Dirac.

The Marantz  NR1510 is a 5.1-channel offering that takes up half the space of a normal AV receiver, making it a great option if big black boxes aren't your thing. The NR1710 ups the channel count to 7.1, which may be enticing if your room is a little deeper and there's plenty of space between your seat and the back wall. The NR1710 also supports Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization, which the NR1510 doesn't, so if you're interested in experiencing a subtler form of object-based surround sound without installing ceiling speakers or height modules, it may be the better pick. You can also upgrade the NR1710 to a true 5.1.2 object-based setup, should you decide to install overhead speakers or up-firing speaker modules.

The Best AVRs for 2022

Editor's Choice

The $499 Denon AVR-S750H. Yes, this 7.1-channel receiver supports Dolby Atmos and DTS:X (in a 5.1.2-channel configuration--which, if you'll remember, means 5.1 plus two overhead speakers), but that doesn't mean you have to configure it as such. You can use it as a 7.1 or simple 5.1 receiver with no problems. If you do so, it also supports Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization Its 75 watts of power per channel means that it's a better choice than either of the slimline Marantz offerings if you have a mid-sized room or less sensitive speakers, but of course it does take up more space than either of those models.

With a total of six HDMI inputs (five 'round back, one up front), the AVR-S750H is a little limited in terms of connectivity, but if that's enough for you, have at it. Perhaps more importantly, though, it doesn't feature video upscaling, so if you watch a lot of 720p TV channels on a 75-inch 4K TV, you might instead step up to something like Denon's $599 AVR-S950H, even if you don't need as many HDMI ports as it provides (seven 'round back, one up front).

Another slight step up would be the $799 AVR-X2600H, which adds second-zone preamplifier outputs and a step up to Audyssey MultEQ XT room correction.

If you're willing and able to spend a little more for better performance and more flexibility but don't need 8K...

The next significant step up is Denon's $1,099 AVR-X3600H. This 9.2- (not 9.1-) channel receiver is where you start to get into independent measuring and setup of more than one subwoofer, which usually (although not always) results in smoother, more even bass response from seat to seat in your listening room. It also includes the best form of Audyssey room correction in MultEQ XT32. If you want to go Atmos and DTS:X, the AVR-X3600H is good for a 5.2.4 or 7.2.2 setup without additional amplification. Or you can simply rely on its Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization technology.

And if for some reason you find that its 105 watts per channel of amplification isn't enough for you (if, say, you move it to a bigger room), the AVR-X3600H has 7.2-channel preamp outputs, meaning you can add your own external seven-channel amp to the equation and just use the receiver as a preamplifier. A total of eight HDMI inputs (seven around back, one up front) mean that most people will have a little bit of headroom in terms of digital AV connectivity. Just know that this product's successor is already slated for a July 15 release date.

For the semi-equivalent Marantz offering, I really like the $999 SR5014. Unlike the aforementioned NR1509 and NR1609, this one does feature Marantz's own proprietary amp circuitry, so you'll likely find that its sound is dynamic and more musical to your ears than that of the Denon AVR-X3600H. It does offer slightly less power per channel, though, at 100 watts, and is limited to seven amplified channels, not nine.

Otherwise, their feature sets are pretty comparable: both offer Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization, AirPlay 2 and HEOS multiroom streaming, along with support for all of the current AV standards. The Denon offers a second-zone HDMI output, which the SR5014 lacks. Also, the SR5014 lacks a feature from last year's Marantz offering at this level, the SR5013: multi-channel analog inputs. This may be important if you have an audiophile Blu-ray or UHD Blu-ray player with DVD-Audio and/or SACD playback capabilities. If you want the multichannel analog inputs from last year, plus the Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization from this year, you'll need to step up to the $1,499 SR6014, which also ups the output to 110 watts per channel and the amplified channel count up to nine.

If you need a bit more power and aren't a gamer...

I mentioned in the updated intro to this guide that the summer/autumn 2019 offerings from most AVR manufacturers weren't as fully fleshed out as in previous years due to the impeding release of HDMI 2.1, which are still rolling out as we speak.

As of this writing, the two AVRs with HDMI 2.1 capabilities that we can recommend with some reservations are the Denon AVR-X4700H ($1699) and AVR-X6700H ($2499).

The AVR-X4700H features nine channels of amplification with dynamic power rated at 125 watts per channel and can function as an 11.2-channel preamplifier if you want to bring your own amps to the party. The X4000H level is the most popular model in any given year amongst HomeTheaterReview readers, and for good reason: it may not feature the absolute max in terms of output and channel count, but it's a hell of a bargain in terms of output for the price.

The AVR-X6700H, meanwhile, features eleven amplified channels (with dynamic power rated at 140 watts per channel), meaning you don't need additional amps for a 7.2.4 setup. Connect an extra stereo amp, though, and the X6700H will be able to process up to 13.2 channels of DTS:X Pro audio via a future firmware update.

Both the AVR-X4700H and AVR-X6700H deliver a whole host of features new to this year's lineup, including:

  • 8K passthrough and upscaling.*
  • 4K/120Hz.*
  • Variable Refresh Rate (VRR) for reduced lag, stutter, and frame tearing when gaming via next-gen consoles.
  • HDR10+ pass-through capabilities.
  • Quick Media Switching (QMS).
  • Quick Frame Transport (QFT).

If you want to go big and go home with Atmos and DTS:X (and can wait a bit for HDMI 2.1 functionality)...

Denon's AVR-X8500H 13.2-Channel AV Receiver is a beast of a machine. For Dolby Atmos, it can be configured for 7.2.6- or 9.2.4-channel listening, although with DTS:X material its limited to decoding of 7.1.4 or 5.1.6 channels for now. And with 150 watts per channel of output, it's plenty powerful enough for most rooms and most speaker systems. It's also eligible for upgrades down the road, although we've heard no official word yet about when an HDMI 2.1 upgrade will be available (the rumor mill has it at early 2021). You can read our review of the AVR-X8500H for a complete rundown of its features and capabilities.

If you're interested in one of those audiophile offerings mentioned above...

You might want to wait until Anthem's new lineup starts to roll out in December. Just to reiterate the deciding factors mentioned above: they have more robust amplification than most mass-market receivers, and their Anthem Room Correction system is absolutely aces. Could you get better results with an AV receiver equipped with Dirac room correction? Maybe. If you really understand room acoustics and know what you're doing.

NAD_T_778.jpgIf that's the case, you might instead opt for NAD's newer T 778 AV receiver, which not only boasts the latest version of Dirac, but also a beast of an amplification section and support for Bluesound, which is -- in my opinion -- a much better wireless multiroom music system than Chromecast, which the Anthems support.

The Anthem MRX 740 is a better choice if your room is a little bigger or you want to up the channel count to 7.2. The MRX 720 also features 11.2-channel preamp outputs if you want to go full-blown Atmos/DTS:X and don't mind bringing your own amps to the party.

If you want the biggest, most speaker-packed all-in-one audiophile Dolby Atmos/DTS:X solution without adding amps, the MRX 1140 is where it's at. It offers 11 amplified channels and 15.2-channel preamp outputs. If you'd like to audition any of these Anthem receivers to hear if the difference is worth it for you, you can find your nearest dealership by following this link.

And if you want something in between the MRX 740 and MRX 1140 in terms of channel count, with a somewhat more intricate room correction system, the NAD T 778 may be right up your alley. It offers nine amplified channels, but with 11.2 channels of preamplification (if you're willing to add your own outboard amplification). The one major drawback of the NAD, though, is that even if you're fine settling for HDMI 2.0 for a while, it only features five back-panel HDMI inputs, which may or may not be enough for your home theater system. If you'd like to audition the T 778 to hear it for yourself, you can find your nearest dealership here.

Additional Resources

  • Amplifier
    2021-10-28 06:54:08

    Thank you for sharing accurate information about the amplifiers, and the deals are really nice too. I look forward to seeing your future posts. Also, check out this guide that is very propelling and has amazing new content and some techniques that can be beneficial for you guys.

  • Home Theater Review
    2021-04-09 10:18:59

    Thanks for posting!

  • Far Middle
    2021-02-23 18:22:01

    Announcement from Anthem Most relevantly, no ARC for 2021 models as of now due to COVID related delays: "As a result, the alignment of final software and hardware was condensed into an unreasonably small timeframe to implement ARC and fully test it prior to shipping. Thus, we made the decision to not launch ARC on the new MRX and AVM models at day one."

  • Stew Hanniford
    2021-02-13 20:56:27

    Dennis, this is one of the best articles I've read on the subject...period. You hit on all the major points and hit them out of the park. You have a good eye and a great swing! Could not agree more that too many speakers tends to be distracting. All this talk about immersive and life-like forgets that movies are an escape from reality. Please let me focus on the acting and the story. I can get all the surround sound I need with 5.1 and get fewer higher quality speakers instead of a a dozen less expensive speakers. This is a case where less is more...much more. And don't get me going on Dolby Vision. Talk about distracting. Reviewing the Anthem receivers is awesome. Still waiting on the release of the MRX 540 though, now pushed out to the end of February 2021. Once again you're spot on that Bluesound is better than Chromecast, but Anthem has promised that their receivers will be Roon Ready and Roon has changed my life more than any other A/V device in my house, and I have a lot of expensive stuff all over the place. Oh, and regarding the audio-in, why do I want my video going through a pre when it can go right to the TV and why do I want my sound to go through the TV before hitting the pre? Well, Apple TV leaves me no choice but that's another story. For my Oppo UHD-205 my HDMI goes right to the TV and the audio goes through six Kimber Kable Hero RCA direct to the pre. If I buy new electronics today I have very few choices to do it this way. Thank you to Panasonic for keeping the love alive with their 4K disk player, the DP-UB9000. Call me old school but I love how it sounds. My audiologist has some concerns however. Now while I'm not ready yet to toss my ancient Sunfire A/V equipment, I would like that room correction stuff. Nice that you touch on that. Your overall recommendations are spot on but as you mention pairings, what about the speakers? Should I get something in the Sonus Faber Olympica line, the Focal Kanta line, or will the Paradigm Persona line to go best with my new Anthem? An all Canadian option has some appeal but those Sonus Fabers are drop dead gorgeous. Yes, I do sometimes sit on my couch with everything turned off too just to stare. Creepy I know. Its time to hit the links. No I don't do golf, but you've provided a treasure trove of resources and I'll start with "How to Pick the Right Amp for Your Speakers." And, by the way, the tour in Bowling Green is the best value this side of the Mississippi and close enough to bourbon country to make it worth the trip. It's kind of cute seeing the old dudes smiling ear to ear as they pick up their new toys. The riders in the passenger seat (I'm assuming their wife) are harder to judge but I think they're contemplating on how they'll even the deal.

  • jaybird100
    2021-02-03 14:34:23

    My biggest beef with most of today's AVR's has more to do what they DON'T do, rather than what they do. Most DON'T provide multichannel analog inputs anymore. I enjoy watching movies, but music is probably the bigger part of my listening. I enjoy my music in multichannel, as well. I have an excellent DVD/DVD-A/SACD player that I wouldn't be able to use with most new receivers. In addition, I have an Involve Audio Surround Master v.2 for playing my vast quadraphonic record collection through, as well as enhancing stereo music into a great multichannel experience. I know the purists are cringing at the thought, but I don't give a damn what they think. I know what I like, and if I find myself needing a new receiver, it has to meet MY demands, not me meeting its capabilities. So my suggestion to receiver manufacturers is to bring back the multichannel inputs.

  • mivenho
    2020-12-29 23:36:17

    I've heard that both the SONY ES and Yamaha Aventage lines employ higher quality components than competing mid-level AVRs. Both brands should be more reliable as a result

  • Kahuna
    2020-11-15 08:15:11

    Hahahaha... " homebrewed recordings of Rainforest Pygmy chants at midnight on the summer solstice". No you are not. You are not exaggerating in the slightest. It feels like most current generation of receivers are a swiss army knife of features without the most important backbone... sound quality. Unless you spend a gazilloin dollars of course, then its all sound quality and frustratingly minimal features. And even then, I can't help but feel you're paying for the badge.

  • BladeRunner
    2020-10-19 01:55:25

    @OptimusPrimate:disqus thank you for this great rundown. I wanted to check in with you (as it's been about 3-4 months since this guide went up), but do you see the state of AV Receivers with HDMI 2.1 still in the same place now (Oct 2020)? Looking at some of the big name brands (Denon, Yamaha), it looks like it's still in the same place now (Yamaha's RX-V6A / 4A) with 3 or 4 HDMI 2.1 inputs (although still waiting on a firmware update?); or the Denon X6700H with just 1 HDMI 2.1 input? :( At this stage, is it best to just wait until next year (a full year) for the 2021 models to come out? I'm in this weird state as I'm getting the Sony PlayStation 5 console soon, but still have an older Yamaha Receiver from years ago, so I'm not sure what to do. Thanks!

  • m1nd7r1p
    2020-10-01 05:04:28

    I will never own another Denon receiver, nor by extension, a Marantz (as they are the same company). My last Yamaha receiver had excellent sound and lasted 15 years--in fact it still works fine but I upgraded to an OLED tv and wanted 7.1 surround. I made the mistake of buying a Denon AVR-S930H. Sound quality is definitely great--when the unit works. It randomly goes into the "flashing red power light" error where it powers up for a few seconds, then powers down and flashes red, which signals a problem. Disconnecting all speakers and inputs, the problem persists. So I sent it in for warranty repair, paying $100+ for shipping both ways. I got the unit back *after a month at the repair shop*, and nothing was fixed. They said they couldn't find a problem. Except it still continues, and the only way to get it working is to slam it on the ground. Literally. Pick it up and slam it down. Which suggests a bad connection somewhere. Oh, and the network card died within days of getting it back from the repair shop. Their build quality is absolute rubbish and the warranty "repair" was an absolute joke. Do a google search for "Denon receiver shuts down after a few seconds" and you will see this is an extremely common problem across multiple Denon receivers, all with the same symptoms. So please, do us all a favor and add build quality/reliability evaluations into your reviews. The best-sounding receivers are worthless expensive paperweights if manufacturers can't get build quality right.

  • Charles Calkins
    2020-09-17 22:28:03

    Thanks for the great information. I'm in the market for a new AV receiver hope I remember your advice when I buy one

  • Roger Far
    2020-08-20 17:39:01

    A question that's been bothering me a bit because I can't find a good answer. I'm interested in getting Atmos, should I look for ceiling speakers or up pointing speakers? And if the latter, are those additional to the normal surround setup or in place of?

  • Dennis Burger
    2020-07-24 18:37:52

    Keep your eyes peeled for my review of the 6700, coming soon! I hope to answer exactly this question.

  • Dennis Burger
    2020-07-24 18:36:20

    1. This is one of the downsides to being an AVR reviewer rather than a consumer. This is not an experience I have, unfortunately. Most AVRs last, at most, two months in my system before being replaced by something new. I guess I can speak to the issue of manuals, though: one of the reasons I picked Denon/Marantz as the mass-market manufacturer to dominate this guide is because I find their documentation to be excellent and easy to understand. 2. Depending on the price point, probably Yamaha. 3. Eh, it can be, but it's not as important as you might think. 4. Oh, absolutely. I'm aiming for an August update given some information that I'm not allowed to talk about yet. 5. Not in my experience, unless you're using analog connections. 6. Which route would I *personally* go? AV preamp/separates. But that's not what this guide is about. 7. That depends! See this (slightly outdated) discussion of the topic. 7 again. I think you're gonna see '14 and '15 models start to depreciate pretty quickly because of features more than anything. CarPlay was added in '16, and a lot of people want that. '16 was also, to the best of my knowledge, the first year where some of the features that were previously married to the Z51 package became standalone options. My dad and I have NPP exhaust in our '16 despite the fact that it's not a Z51. That adds to and helps it retain its value. We've also had more offers to buy Bluestreak since the release of the C8, mostly because for some folks the Corvette should be a Front-mid-engine/RWD car, so they consider the C7 to be the last "real" 'Vette. That's just my two cents.

  • Lidocaineus
    2020-07-06 22:17:07

    … Excellent non-response.

  • Paully
    2020-07-06 20:49:21

    Many 1000’s of hours watching Japanimation buckaroo..

  • Lidocaineus
    2020-07-04 22:52:45

    Er, why would you spend $4000 on your TV then $600 on what is arguably even more important than the visual experience? Also, do you have a data backing up the assertion that the video is discernibly degraded going through your particular AVR? Even further, do you think people with multiple sources enjoy plugging them all into a TV and hoping (e)ARC works properly when everyone aside from those at the entry level pretty much hates it? What a silly comment.

  • Paully
    2020-06-27 22:36:18

    I never pass my Video Signal of my $4000 TV through a $600 AVR, anymore.. Run you signal wires straight to your TV from your video source only..

  • Steve Hubbard
    2020-06-27 21:17:31

    Dennis, I really appreciate the thorough response. Sounds like I need to run Audyssey again. Or just wait until I upgrade again, likely by end of year :)

  • IamtheStig
    2020-06-27 18:48:27

    Back with another comment... Arcam has some nice receivers out there (cough, i might have bought one, cough). The Arcam users manual is, in my opinion, terrible, but the Dirac is fantastic! I'm using it my place with 7 in ceiling Triad speakers and one sub. 2 of the in ceiling speakers are for heights, then I have LCR, and 2 surrounds. 1 SVS sub rounds things out and it's a decent solution. I have a dedicated 2 channel system for serious listening. This Arcam setup is just for TV and movies or background music fill.

  • CSU Phil
    2020-06-25 16:32:15

    This is a very useful article. I am in need of replacing my 13 year old Denon 2800ci. It is currently working but has some issues. Denon suggested sending it to one of their service centers but shipping and repairs will be a similar cost to replacement. Also, if I have to disassemble the system and wait for the repair, I might as well spend the money to take advantage of some of the new tech. I guess I'll keep my fingers crossed and hope the old Denon lasts long enough for the manufacturers to launch their new lines. I have a few questions: 1. Which manufacturer has the best service (repairs, warranty, manuals)? 2. Which manufacturer offers the highest quality componentry? 3. Is weight still a consideration? Back in the day, it was the heavier the better. 4. Will you add to this article when most of the brands are offering their HDMI 2.1 / 8k lineups? 5. When these AVR's offer streaming services like spotify, is there better sound or other benefits as opposed to streaming through a connected device? 6. If 5.1 or 5.2 with quality sound for music is important, what route would you go? 7. Is spending a little more and going with an entry level processor (like the Outlaw 976 or Emotiva MC700) and seperate amp worth the extra money? 7. I saw my 1st mid engine vette this week. Pretty awesome. Do you think the new design will drive down the market on late model used? Thanks for the advice and looking forward to you answers.

  • Sergio S
    2020-06-24 14:14:33

    How’s it going everyone. I’m a bit of a rookie at HT. I was looking at upgrading from an Onkyo tx-nr777 to a Denon Avr x6500h. I was wondering if it was worth the price to wait on new X6700h or just get the x6500h. Use is 95% HT 5% music Room 14 ft wide 27 ft long Set up Klipsch 2x Rp-280FA front LR + Atmos 1x Rp-450c center 2x CDT-5650-cii over seats 2x R-28f rear LR 2x Svs elevation prime for rear LR Elevation(got them for $250 new might swap out for Klipsch rp-500 later) 1x HSU VTF-3 MK5 HP Sub

  • datdude
    2020-06-23 21:10:09

    Thanks for the update....I'm waiting to see what some of the other manufacturers offer regarding hdmi 2.1 as this is the year I'm upgrading my entire home theater setup...speakers, subs, receiver, television, cables, even the cabinet. I like the Denon and I would pull the trigger on it, but only having the one hdmi 2.1 port is giving me pause. I really wish they had included at least two hdmi 2.1 ports, but what can you do.

  • Dennis Burger
    2020-06-23 19:24:59

    No news yet! I'm awaiting word just as patiently as you are. Looking into my crystal ball (and let's keep in mind how reliable those things are), I would expect some September/October releases from Marantz. But that's not written in stone. So, as for the distances being off, it's important to remember that those physical measurements in the UI don't actually represent distance; they're simply used to calculate delays. That's why there's often such a discrepancy between subwoofer measurements and speaker measurements. Given the active electronics in your sub, there's likely to be some minor delay introduced by the DSP (if your sub has one), which is why the mic wants to set the distance so low. It's effectively saying, "Hey, I need way less delay in the subwoofer than the rest of your speakers to compensate for the fact that the sub itself is a little pokey in delivering the signal I send to it." As for the differences in your left and right front speakers, that could be caused by some temporal shenanigans caused by reflections from your boundaries or objects within the room. Or it could just be a goof-up on the part of your room correction system. I typically find that Audyssey and Dirac are dead-on-balls-accurate with delay settings, whereas Yamaha and others struggle to set the delays quickly. But that's based on, like, the last two years of testing and doesn't apply to older AVRs. (That's one of the downsides to being an AVR reviewer -- I see dozens of new models in any given year, whereas you readers may only see a new AVR every five years or so. So it skews my perspective and often serves as a detriment when trying to remember how things things worked in the long, long bygone days of, like, 2017.)

  • Steve Hubbard
    2020-06-23 18:45:27

    Dennis, thanks for the thorough review. I've had many Denons, the latest being the 6400H, and I'm considering switching to see if I hear the Marantz to be more musical, as you and some other reviewers have mentioned. I'd also think about the NAD because I do enjoy Bluesound. A couple of questions: *Any idea when the Marantz with HDMI 2.1 and comparable to the Denon 6700H will come out? *Since you've done a number of Audyssey setups, I'm curious if you have found the distance measures to sometimes be way off target. For instance, I've run it on the 6400H multiple times but typically it claims my SVS subwoofer, which is situated a few inches behind and to the left of my front left speaker, is 10 or more feet away. And it says the left, which is actually a little closer to me than the right front speaker, is a couple of feet further away. I end up adjusting these manually but sometimes I wonder if I should have, because Audyssey knows more about room correction than I do.

  • choirboy
    2020-06-23 12:39:48

    As an FYI regarding Yamaha reliability and support. I purchased an A-960 integrated amp in 1981. I was surprised to be contacted by Yamaha several years back to be advised of a potential issue with the power cord on these units. This was some 30 years after purchase. All in all, my experience with Yamaha products have been positive. My last purchases were a Yamaha LaserDisc player and DSP-A700 with processor. Still working after close to 40 years. Not sure what the support is like on more entry-level product but for the their higher-end gear, it appears exceptional. Looking at Yamaha's offerings at the higher-end (for them), the products look pretty interesting. If I was in the market, I wouldn't hesitate to purchase given my experience.

  • Jeff
    2020-02-25 15:57:06

    need The forum members expertise I currently own a Yamaha Aventage RX-1030 Receiver with 2 Klipsch Towers and Klipsch Center Speaker and 2 Klipsch Surrounds plus Klipsch 450 watt Sub I am looking at the Marantz 6014 Receiver I need to justify besides the age of the Yamaha what I would be gaining vs the Yamaha receiver by going with the Marantz I would use for massive CD Collection, Vinyl, and Movies on my 65inch Samsung TV KS800 Your feedback is Very Much Appreciated!

  • Prerich
    2019-10-17 18:50:58

    Good advice!

  • techbeengood
    2019-10-15 13:38:44

    I’ve commented before about my frustration with Yamaha reviews that I believe ignore important end user concerns. I’ve owned almost every commercial brand of electronics (Marantz, Sony, Onkyo, Sherwood, and others of historical significance). Yep, I’ve heard differences. Most of those sound quality differences are overwhelmed by room considerations, and none of them are so egregious that they condemn a product. I also found YPAO room correction to be effective, flexible and fairly easy to understand and employ. But, one factor has overwhelmed all others for me as I choose my next AVR. No other AVR has ever been so easy to interact with by using either the remote control or a phone App. The Yamaha has a such a sensible, user friendly access to all those controls I want to use in every-day operation. I can easily modify those things I care about without messing up more permanent settings. Dialogue levels, subwoofer levels, tone controls, etc are all on a menu one button press away. And, yet, even those permanent settings are easy to understand and modify without getting lost. My memories of past experiences with frustrating Pioneer and Sony interfaces left me cursing only a few years back. Despite being a v-e-r-y long term music and video component user, nothing is more important to me than every-day ease-of use. My wife needs to have superficially easy access to ON/OFF and program selection (Yep, we've got an extensive Harmony collection). I want access to it all, but just as easily. [Dennis Burger: If I could glean more informative details about the relative (important!) ease of use of various products, you might be able to pry me away from my current Yamaha love affair, but, so far, I’ve got too little to go by. I keep coming back to read the reviews for your observations. Everything contributes to making decisions. I'm just trying to help you help me.]

  • Dennis Burger
    2019-09-30 14:37:05

    It's been a while since we collected survey data from our readership, but last time we checked, significantly fewer than 10 percent of Home Theater Review readers actually install overhead speakers or up-firing Atmos speaker modules.

  • betty43
    2019-08-15 14:58:51

    Have an Anthem that sounds really good. However, for some reason, the HDMI inputs on it keep failing. Have taken it back to the dealer once to fix this issue, but shortly after, two more in puts died. Have no idea what is causing this as we always unplug the system and the inputs when there's a storm or we are going away somewhere on a trip. Any ideas on how to fix this?

  • Michael McFarlane
    2019-08-15 02:15:28

    NAD makes receivers with Dirac. I bought a T758 V3 because it has Dirac.

  • S. Brawner / ProAudio Georgia
    2019-06-21 20:00:30

    Well this was quite a nice read. I understand that in the world of media and the review process there are many things you can not see or might not experience. For that reason i always treat these kind of things with a grain of salt. I have no intention of being offensive or judging anyones opinions but i would like to throw in some real world experience to offset the lab results. Denon/Marantz (D&M Holdings) makes a phenominal product and is an excellent recommendation for anyone interested in buying a new receiver. If you like to tinker and you like all of the little rarely used features the Denon is the better choice, however in my experience the Marantz is better for the person who wants great sound with minimum effort. I would like to push back on your statements (or lack thereof) about Yamaha. The YPAO room correction is extremely accurate and the overall sound is extremely nice. Dollar for dollar i would challenge someone to do a true measurement of room correction and power measurement comparing the D&M products next to the Yamaha products. I am in no way interested in someones opinion, as an HAA and ISF certified integrator i put very little faith in opinion and tend to trust my meters. After a proper calibration, if an adjustment is needed for customer preference then do it, but if you can't measure the difference then it doesn't exist. Lastly your recommendation of Anthem is beacon of lab testing as opposed to system deployment. I have had the occasion to install/integrate 6 Anthem receivers. Of those i had 3 with serious HDMI problems, and 1 that would not communicate over the RS232 port. Maybe i need a larger sampling but the numbers are real and disturbing. In full disclosure, IF the receiver worked it sounded phenominal. I can really undertsand how someone might like these amplifiers, however with a 50/50 shot that it will work properly i would not stake my reputation on recommending the product. I have my favorites as does anyone else involved in our industry but my personal opinion isn't reflected in this post. These are measureable observations made over many years. I thouroughly enjoy reading your articles and i wish you the best. Namaste.

  • seascape
    2019-06-08 12:32:35

    disagree in terms on yamaha, their high end AVR’s and separates have a proven track record for quality, reliability and rock solid performance. Audessy beats it in room correction though, setup is a tweakers dream come true at the expense of adding a bit more technical knowledge, get their phone app and its one of the best in class setup UI’s..Yamaha’s high end are most definitely are on par or better than any of those.. Denon/Marantz are great too.. Onkyo on the other hand you could not pay me to own one of those, imo they are junk. Denon/Marantz you’ll want a extra cooler too, their amps run hot.

  • IamtheStig
    2019-05-04 16:37:25

    Agreed. I've run through one Marantz av receiver and dvd player: vintage 2000, crapped out just outside their used to be good 5-yr warranty period with no parts available to replacement. I currently have an 8801/7055 setup w/Oppo 95 player. The 8801 runs really hot for a pre. Knocking furiously on wood, no issues so far though. I have heard newer Anthem gear and it is indeed nice kit. Thanks for the article, Mr. Burger. Appreciate the insight on the newer gear.

  • David H Miller
    2019-05-04 15:30:54

    It's clear the manufacturers of receivers want object based sound processing to succeed. They have a lot of money invested in it. I am wondering, however, how many purchasers of these products actually have attached 4 or 6 overhead speakers? This technology can work quite well in dedicated theaters but I am skeptical about the benefits in a typical living room or game room setup that I see in most homes. Part of my cynicism comes from long experience with products and technologies (mini-disc, SACD, 3D televisions, etc.) hyped and promoted by the AV industry that were never really adopted by the public.

  • Van
    2019-05-01 22:23:05

    with any receiver or amp especially one that runs hot, i recommend a component cooler. works for me.. AC Infinity makes various models that start @ $49.00

  • Dennis Burger
    2019-05-01 18:21:24

    Four of these puppies, painted white so as to not visually stand out when there's nothing screwed into them.

  • rshank64
    2019-04-30 22:01:16

    Hi Dennis, I would be interested to know how you do temporary setup for Atmos reviews and mount/unmount ceiling speakers. Do you box mount your atmos speakers? For me it would be one way of testing the location first before actually drilling holes in the ceiling!

  • stanny1
    2019-04-30 17:35:13

    I recommend getting the least expensive receiver with the features you need and make sure it has pre-outs. Most receivers have amps that are a joke. Buy that receiver with pre-outs and add an Outlaw 5000 or a Monoprice Monolith amp (made by ATI) that is rated at full power with all channels operating.

  • Jim Grigsby
    2019-04-30 15:06:47

    I will stick with pre-amp and my separate Outlaw amp at 200 watts RMS fully driven 5.1 channels. My room is about 20' x 30' and the idea of more and more speakers is just not for me. One thing that is a MUST for me is analogue inputs for 5.1 so that I can hook my Surround Master matrix decoder into the system. This one item has given me more enjoyment to my vast collection of two channel stereo material than anything!! I also highly appreciate the HD radio capabilities of my preamp which so many receivers leave off. I have been into hi-fi equipment since I was 12 years old and started restoring old tubed antique radios made in USA. Late 1960's and early 1970's is when I got started. I agree with another review here that all the old brands that used to be built like brick crap houses, in either USA or Japan are now JUNK from China and other Asian countries. Build quality is an absolute joke.

  • Dennis Burger
    2019-04-30 14:14:28

    Mark, I wanted to touch on one comment you made here, just as a point of clarification. I review most of the AVRs here at Home Theater Review. I've reviewed plenty of receivers that I personally wouldn't buy. But if I don't go so far as to say that in my reviews, it's *not* for fear of offending a manufacturer. It's simply in consideration of the fact that, when I'm doing a standalone product review, my *opinion* of the product shouldn't matter. It might end up on the page, but ultimately my goal is to give the reader enough information to make a more informed decision about the things most important to him or her. I bumped into this a while back when I found some performance issues with a receiver that I considered to be quite significant. I pointed those out in the review pretty harshly. The manufacturer fact-checked the review, and didn't say boo about my findings. The comments section, though, drew in some fans of the brand who didn't take too kindly to my observations. I also LOATHE ratings, and have campaigned to get rid of them on HTR, to no avail. Jerry likes them because of SEO purposes. So whatever number of stars I affix to my reviews? Ignore them. I'll always do my very best to break down the considerations you mentioned in the text of the review. If a product sounds great but is ergonomically borked? I'll point that out. If it sounds like an old transistor radio with a two-inch paper cone and foam surrounds, but angels come down from on high to set the thing up for you, I'll also point that out. There will be products I adore that you may want to defenestrate. There will be products I would just as soon flush as touch again that you may hug and pet and squeeze and name George. In a review, it's my goal to prioritize my words in such a way that you know whether it's right for you, whether I like it or not. And if I ever fail at that goal, I hope you'll call it out in the comments to keep me honest. But just know that in every review that I write, YOUR concerns come before the manufacturer's or my own, every time.

  • Dennis Burger
    2019-04-30 14:02:08

    This guide was not intended to insinuate that there's anything wrong with Onkyo or Yamaha. But when you get right down to it, for your average AVR shopper, Denon or Marantz offers much better room correction, easier setup, and--purely in my experience--better reliability.

  • Harry Morgan
    2019-04-30 13:03:55

    so, what's wrong with Onkyo and Yamaha?

  • Phil Davis
    2019-04-30 12:41:52

    If you buy will be using that 5 year warranty inside of a year....its not the same Sony as we used to know....Denon and Marantz are the same HOT and don't last much beyond the warranty (personal experience)...PIONEER ELITE should be considered...not made in China or Vietnam as the preceeding are.

  • Wayne
    2019-04-30 11:26:08

    Really excellent advice. These recommendations will sound great (at least good), work well, have a reasonable lifetime as formats change, and won't break the budget. Thanks for a great article.

  • Mark Lawless
    2019-04-29 15:26:51

    Thanks for the more down to earth advice. It's such a pain in the butt having to try and decipher the bottom line when people are not trying to offend a manufacturer. Some of these manufacturers are cutting some corners these days when it comes to sound quality. I was just thinking today how when it comes to sound quality we should give them a 1-10 rating, based just on the sound quality. Then give them an overall rating based on convenience and features. I have an Onkyo that has great features but was disappointing based on the sound quality. So I would give it a 6 sound quality and a 9 based on it's features. Perfect for some.

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