Best AV receivers of 2020

Wish to discover the perfect AV receiver for the cash? I’ve lately examined a number of the hottest huge black field choices from the foremost manufacturers, and the characteristic units and efficiency ranges are impressively excessive on this middling value vary. From Dolby Atmos to Wi-Fi music streaming to voice management — and, after all, high-quality audio — these fashions have all the pieces a house theater fanatic wants.

Now enjoying:
Watch this:

Easy methods to purchase an reasonably priced AV receiver


Which receiver comes out on prime?

Of the present receiver fashions I’ve reviewed, the Onkyo TX-NR696 is my favourite. The receiver gives straightforward setup, wonderful usability, nice encompass sound with loads of headroom, stable seems and, most vital, loads of up-to-date options important to a stereo receiver. The Onkyo retails for greater than $500 however it’s frequently on sale for underneath that. Even at $580 the TX-NR696 is a superb deal.

The Sony STR-DN1080 additionally places in a superb present regardless of being from 2017, as does the 2019 Denon AVR-S750, which gives an much more refined efficiency than the Sony and Onkyo. I rated all three as “wonderful,” with just a bit daylight separating their general CNET rankings. They’re all nice performers and, as costs fluctuate frequently, if you could find one which’s considerably cheaper than the others, go for it.

Learn extra: Sound bar vs. audio system: Which TV audio system sounds finest in 2020?

Sarah Tew/CNET

The Onkyo TX-NR696 is the perfect budget-ish receiver launched in 2019 with a wealth of connectivity that helps a number of audio codecs with a giant, daring sound. It is not the direct alternative to my favourite receiver of 2018, the TX-NR585, however this step-up mannequin gives a variety of enhancements together with a bump in energy (80W to 100W) and a front-mounted HDMI cable port (along with the six HDMI inputs on the again). This receiver gives streaming protocols together with Google Chromecast built-in, DTS Play-Fi, Spotify Join, AirPlay and Bluetooth. The one factor we did not like was the distant management (it was only a bit an excessive amount of). If you could find the TX-NR696 underneath $500 that is nice however it’s nonetheless value the additional coin.

Learn our Onkyo TX-NR696 assessment.

Learn extra: Greatest soundbars for 2020

Sarah Tew/CNET

The Sony STR-DN1080 was our 2017 Editors’ Selection, and it is nonetheless a superb stereo receiver bundle. Sound high quality shouldn’t be fairly as robust as these of the Denon and Onkyo, however they’re all very shut. In order for you a receiver that gives ease of use and integrates each AirPlay (however not AirPlay 2) and Google Chromecast built-in wi-fi streaming, it is a nice possibility. It even makes use of digital speaker relocation expertise optimize sound to the room the place you setup. Do not pay full value, although — it frequently goes on sale for between $400 and $500.

Learn our Sony STR-DN1080 assessment.

Learn extra: Greatest streaming machine of 2020: Roku, Apple TV, Hearth Stick, Chromecast and extra

Sarah Tew/CNET

The 2019 AVR-S750H replaces the superb S740H, and whereas it has been tweaked a bit of, it seems to be primarily the identical receiver. It has all the pieces you want, together with voice management suitable through each Amazon Alexa and Google audio system, Atmos and AirPlay 2. It has an on-screen setup assistant that helps you join your TV and optimize encompass sound — whether or not it is for an immersive audio expertise your own home theatre or flipping from channel to channel in your lounge sofa.

Learn the Denon AVR-S750H assessment.

Learn extra: Greatest Wi-Fi audio system and music methods of 2020

Additionally contemplate

Sarah Tew/CNET

The Yamaha RX-V485 gives high quality sound at an reasonably priced value, in addition to Wi-Fi connectivity, Airplay 2, Spotify Join, Bluetooth and different music casting out of your units. It additionally has 4K Extremely HD with HDR10. For most individuals, although, it is value paying extra for additional HDMI inputs and outputs and Dolby Atmos functionality, obtainable in all the fashions above.

Learn our Yamaha RX-V485 assessment.

What to search for in a $500-ish receiver

AV receivers are notoriously complicated, with reams of options and complicated technical specs. I’ll sum up a very powerful ones proper right here. 

4K HDR compatibility

You wish to make sure that your new receiver can sustain with the newest TVs and video gear. Requirements do change on a regular basis, however the naked minimal proper now’s assist for HDR and Dolby Imaginative and prescient (no less than HDMI model or higher). All of those fashions assist 4K and HDR video.

Learn extra: One of the best good audio system of 2020


The rear panel of the Onkyo TX-NR585 gives six HDMI inputs

Sarah Tew/CNET

No less than 4 HDMI inputs

With most televisions and set-top containers supporting HDMI, you should purchase a receiver that has as many of those inputs and outputs as potential. Entrance-mounted HDMI ports are form of like appendices — unneeded, as a result of most customers do not do hot-plugging of HDMI units — making the variety of rear inputs what’s most vital (how else are you going to attach your blu-ray participant, Nintendo Swap, sound bar and all of your different units. The Yamaha has the least at 4, whereas the Sony and Onkyo have probably the most, at six. The Sony additionally gives a second HDMI-out for Zone 2. You also needs to make sure you’ve gotten an additional HDMI cable or two on-hand.

Learn extra: Greatest common remotes of 2020

You do not actually need Dolby Atmos ‘top’ audio system

The Yamaha is the one mannequin right here that does not assist Dolby Atmos and DTS:X however the results they’ve on your own home theatre film watching could be refined, or in most motion pictures: nonexistent. In different phrases, don’t be concerned about lacking out on these new codecs for those who do not set up the additional audio system. Mounting rear wi-fi encompass audio system excessive on the wall as an alternative will get you half of the best way when it comes to high quality immersive sound.

Wi-Fi music streaming

Most midrange receivers have onboard Wi-Fi community connectivity for wi-fi music streaming. There are many requirements for wi-fi streaming providers, however probably the most common are Apple AirPlay and Google Chromecast (and generally Spotify Join) inbuilt . Should you’re trying to construct a multiroom system with a wide range of AV methods and audio system with wi-fi connectivity, these are the 2 flavors to purpose for. The Onkyo and Sony are the one two that assist each. The Denon fashions lack wi-fi streaming through Chromecast however up the ante to AirPlay 2.

For extra on what you need to be searching for, take a look at my full AV receiver shopping for information.

Learn extra: Greatest sound bars underneath $300

Initially revealed final 12 months and up to date periodically.