The Best AV Receivers for Amazing Home Theater Sound 2023


Today’s top AV receivers (aka Audio/Video or Home Theater Receivers) represent the most technical / feature-rich / hard-to-understand components in our stores, so it’s no surprise that 4 out of every 5 questions we get are typically about AV receivers. Like “What is 4K switching and do I really need it?” Or “Can an AV Receiver operate two TVs at once while playing different music in every room?” To the more challenging “What the heck is DTS:X and HDCP 2.2 support, and do I really need to know?”

For easy-to-understand answers (starting with “What are AV Receivers and what do they do?) we recommend hitting our easy-to-read AV Receivers Buying Guide. But if you’re in a hurry and just want to know which of the newest AV receivers are best, you’re already on the right page. Below, our experts list the best of the best by category, so you can get the best for you, your situation, and your budget.

One last note going in: Though we list and compare key features for each receiver, all contain the bare essentials: support for 4K, HDR, and current HDMI standards. We also don’t cover all features (some have over 100!). That way, we can keep everything bite-size. But if you’re an audiophile and want the complete story, we do link to each receiver’s full spec sheet.

Ready? Let’s do this.

Here Are Our Picks for the AV Receivers of 2023:

The Best Wireless Streaming AV Receiver

Product Image

Denon AVR-X2800H 7.2 Channel 8K Home Theater Receiver with Dolby Atmos/DTS:X and HEOS Built-In

Regular price $1,199.00
Sale price $1,199.00 Regular price
Save $-1,199.00 (%)
  • Dimensions: 17.1" x 9.3" x 13.4" (W x H x D)
  • Weight: 21 lbs
  • Warranty: 3 years
  • Number of Channels: 7.2
  • Watts: 95 per channel
  • Wireless Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, HEOS

The Denon AVR-X2800 is ready for the present and the future. This 7.2-channel gem offers 95 watts/channel (8 ohms, two channels driven) with full support for Dolby Atmos and DTS:X, and it can even simulate height channels with Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization and DTS Virtual:X. And Denon is famous for its discrete amplification that can safely drive low-impedance speakers.

The AVR-X2800's video capabilities are no less impressive. One of the HDMI inputs accepts up to 8K/60 Hz video and passes it through to the HDMI outputs, and the receiver can even upscale lower resolutions to 8K. It also supports all HDR formats, including HDR10, HDR10+, Dolby Vision, and HLG. And the gaming experience is greatly improved with Variable Refresh Rate (VRR), Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM), and Quick Frame Transport (QFT).

If you're into wireless streaming, the AVR-X2800 has you covered in spades with built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. Denon's own HEOS multi-room streaming is joined by Apple AirPlay 2, and the receiver works with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, making you the master of your audio/video domain.

 The Best Surround Sound AV Receiver

Product Image

NAD Electronics T 758 V3i Home Theater AV Receiver with Dolby Atmos and AirPlay 2 Integration

Regular price $1,299.00
Sale price $1,299.00 Regular price
$1,699.00 Save $400.00 (24%)
  • Dimensions: 17.13" x 6.81" x 15.69" (W x H x D)
  • Weight: 33.9 lbs
  • Warranty: 2 years
  • Number of Channels: 7.2
  • Watts: 70 per channel
  • Wireless Connectivity: AirPlay 2, Wi-Fi

NAD is famous for prioritizing quality over frills, and the T 758 V3i is a perfect example. It offers seven channels of amplification with a real-world rating of 70 watts/channel (8 ohms, all channels driven). It accepts and decodes Dolby Atmos signals for emphasis is on audio quality, with Modular Design Construction (MDC) that allows future hardware upgrades. It also supports high-resolution audio formats such as MQA (Master Quality Authenticated).

The video path is pure and simple, with support for resolutions up to UHD/4K at 60 frames per second and high dynamic range. In addition, analog sources are converted to HDMI for simple "one-cable" connection to the display. This receiver leaves video processing where it belongs—in the display.

Integrated Wi-Fi allows you to stream audio from local sources using AirPlay 2 and various online streaming providers, and it also supports Apple Siri voice control. Even better, the T 758 V3i includes NAD's BluOS multi-room streaming technology. If your philosophy is "music first," this receiver has your name on it!

The Best Dolby Atmos AV Receiver

Product Image

Yamaha RX-A2A AVENTAGE 7.2-Channel AV Receiver with 8K HDMI and MusicCast

Regular price $799.95
Sale price $799.95 Regular price
$999.95 Save $200.00 (20%)
  • Dimensions: 17.13" x 9.63" x 14.63" (W x H x D)
  • Weight: 22.5 lbs
  • Warranty: 2 years
  • Number of Channels: 7.2
  • Watts: 100
  • Wireless Connectivity: Wi-Fi, MusicCast, Bluetooth, AirPlay 2, Spotify Connect

The newest model in Yamaha's flagship Aventage line is the RX-A2A, a 7.2-channel beauty that offers 100 watts per channel (8 ohms, two channels driven). It can accept and decode Dolby Atmos and DST:X immersive 3D audio signals, and it offers Yamaha's proprietary Cinema DSP 3D soundfield technology for an even more immersive experience. A future firmware update will add Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization as well.

On the video front, the RX-A2A provides 4K/120 and 8K/60 passthrough, and it fully supports Dolby Vision, HLG, HDR10, and HDR10+ (in a future firmware update). Gamers will appreciate Variable Refresh Rate (VRR), Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM), Quick Frame Transport (QFT), and Quick Media Switching (QMS), the last one coming in a future update.

When it comes to wireless connectivity, the RX-A2A offers Bluetooth and Wi-Fi as well as AirPlay 2 and Spotify Connect, and you can stream directly from many different online providers. Yamaha's MusicCast system lets you easily set up a multi-room audio system and add wireless surround speakers. If you're a fan of voice control, you have Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple Siri at your beck and call.

The Best Receiver With AI Sound

Product Image

Yamaha RX-A6A AVENTAGE 9.2-channel AV Receiver with MusicCast

Regular price $2,449.95
Sale price $2,449.95 Regular price
Save $-2,449.95 (%)
  • Dimensions: 17-3/16" x 7-1/2" x 18-3/16" (W x H x D)
  • Weight: 41.2 lbs
  • Warranty: 3 years (5 years with product registration)
  • Number of Channels: 9
  • Watts: 150W per channel
  • Wireless Connectivity: WiFi, Bluetooth

If anything can make a Dolby Atmos system sound even better, it’s Yamaha’s AI technology for sound effects and music: Surround:AI and Cinema DSP HD3. But that’s just one small part of what the Atmos-compatible RX-A6A can bring to your home theater. Another significant advantage this receiver offers is Yamaha’s MusicCast technology, which lets you set up your rear surround sound speakers wirelessly (when using Yamaha’s MusicCast wireless speakers). If your entire setup is wired, the RX-A6A has 150W of power to distribute clear, clean signals to every channel, with headroom to spare.

The RX-A6A is equipped to work with all of your content sources. Its 7 HDMI 2.1 inputs support 8K/60Hz and 4K/120Hz switching, HDR, HDR10, HLG, and Dolby Vision. Gaming-optimized processing provides the gamers in your household with a lag-free experience, and multi-room operation can play from two sources in two zones or the same source in three zones. Streaming and voice commands are simple to set up with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Apple AirPlay 2, Amazon Alexa, and Google Assistant built-in — and you can play high-resolution audio files from a thumb drive or networked computer. Speaking of setup, Yamaha’s own Parametric Room Acoustic Optimizer makes configuring your surround sound system a breeze.

The Best 8K AV Receiver

Product Image

Denon AVR-X6700H 11.2-Channel 8K Home Theater Receiver with 3D Audio and Amazon Alexa Voice Control

Regular price $2,999.00
Sale price $2,999.00 Regular price
Save $-2,999.00 (%)
  • Dimensions: 17-3/16" x 6-9/16" x 15-15/16" (W x H x D)
  • Weight: 32 lbs
  • Warranty: 3 years
  • Number of Channels: 11
  • Watts: 140W per channel
  • Wireless Connectivity: WiFi, Bluetooth

This home theater receiver is, quite simply, a beast. With a power rating of 140W per channel driving two channels, it’s got more than enough power to fill a good-sized home theater with fantastic sound and plenty of headroom to ensure that all of your Dolby Atmos and DTS:X soundtracks sound crystal clear and exciting. If you don’t have an entire Atmos speaker system with height speakers, the AVR-X6700H employs Dolby Atmos height virtualization or DTS Virtual:X to create 3D audio effects without the speaker channels dedicated to height. You’re also covered with this receiver if you have content with IMAX soundtracks.

With all of the inputs and outputs you would expect in a fully-featured home theater receiver, the AVR is also capable of running audio in three rooms with powered stereo outputs for the second and third zones. Plus, an All-Zone Stereo mode ensures that all three zones stay in sync when playing the same source. You can also play surround sound in your main room, and stereo mixes in your second and third zones. What’s more, dual-zone HDMI switching lets you watch video content from two different sources in separate zones simultaneously. The preamp outputs give you tons of flexibility to incorporate surround sound processors that may be available in the future. This is our highest-rated home theater receiver for handling 8K content and delivering a first-rate home theater experience.

The Best Sony AV Receiver

Product Image

Sony STR-AZ7000ES 13.2 Channel 8K Home Theater AV Receiver with Dolby Atmos, DTS: X, IMAX Enhanced, Google Assistant, & Works with Sonos

Regular price $3,298.00
Sale price $3,298.00 Regular price
Save $-3,298.00 (%)
  • Dimensions: 17" x 7.75" x 17.38" (W x H x D)
  • Weight: 48 lbs
  • Warranty: 1 year
  • Number of Channels: 13
  • Watts: 150W per channel
  • Wireless Connectivity: WiFi, Bluetooth

You’ve reached the top of the mountain with the STR-AZ7000. This top-of-the-line receiver has the ability to decode AND power 13 channels of audio AND it does 8K!!!

The AZ7000 also has dedicated analog pre-outs so if you want to upgrade a power amplifier for your front speakers for an even cleaner sound at lower volumes, you have no limits. In fact, you could decide to not use a single amplification channel from the AZ7000 (although I don’t know why you would) you can do that.

The AZ7000 is built to be a showstopper. Sony upgraded the power supplies, heatsinks, new large-capacity power transformers, you know - all the things that take your experience to the next level.

The AZ7000 is the only A/V receiver in the new Sony ES release to have Dual Center capability. What is a dual center? Well, the label doesn’t lie; the AZ7000 has the ability to do a pair of center speakers for when you have a large screen (imagine a 100” flat panel with a center speaker above and below). If you want to read more about the entire Sony ES line, check out Brian's full review here.

Sony also developed a new capacitor for high power by creating a new block capacitor based on their extensive experience with developing sound quality capacitors with a focus on making sure the materials they used were of the highest quality but also created the highest quality sound.

They even went as far as to offset the position of the screw in the feet of the receiver. Sony did this to increase rigidity and improve resonance control. When you’re focusing on something as small as the foot of a receiver to make sure it’s not the entry point for unwanted vibration on “just a A/V receiver” you know that you’ve made the right decision in your purchase. In fact, Sony made all the right decisions for you already. You just get to sit back and enjoy it. That’s even better, right?

The Best 7-Channel AV Receiver

Product Image

Yamaha RX-V6 7.2-Channel AV Receiver with 8K HDMI and MusicCast

Regular price $599.95
Sale price $599.95 Regular price
$749.95 Save $150.00 (20%)
  • Dimensions: 17.13" x 9.63" x 14.88" (W x H x D)
  • Weight: 21.6 lbs
  • Warranty: 2 years
  • Number of Channels: 7.2
  • Watts: 100
  • Wireless Connectivity: Wi-Fi, MusicCast, Bluetooth, AirPlay 2, Spotify Connect

Yamaha is often at the top of the list for recommended home theater receivers, and the RX-V6 is no exception. This receiver offers 100 watts per channel (8 ohms, two channels driven), and decodes Dolby Atmos and DTS:X 3D sound (Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization will be added in a future firmware update).

Video-wise, the RX-V6 supports up to 4K/120 and 8K/60 (with a future firmware update) with HDCP 2.3 and eARC. Other advanced video features that especially benefit gamers include Variable Refresh Rate (VRR), Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM), Quick Frame Transport (QFT), and Quick Media Switching (QMS).

Wireless streaming is fully implemented with Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, which supports Apple's AirPlay 2, Spotify Connect, and voice control as well as Yamaha's own MusicCast multi-room audio system. Many streaming services are available, including Pandora, Amazon Music, Sirius XM, Tidal, Deezer, Napster, and more.

The Easiest 7.2 Receiver to Set Up

Product Image

Yamaha RX-A4A AVENTAGE 7.2-channel AV Receiver with MusicCast

Regular price $1,299.95
Sale price $1,299.95 Regular price
Save $-1,299.95 (%)
  • Dimensions: 17-3/16" x 7-1/2" x 18-1/16" (W x H x D)
  • Weight: 35.7 lbs
  • Warranty: 3 years (5 years with product registration)
  • Number of Channels: 7
  • Watts: 110W per channel
  • Wireless Connectivity: WiFi, Bluetooth

Take a look at the front panel of this home theater receiver. All you see is one big knob in the center. One. Yes, it’s the volume control. What could be simpler? The RX-A4A can simplify many other aspects of your home theater setup. Longing for a simpler surround sound speaker setup without wires running across your living room? Use Yamaha MusicCast speakers for your rear pair, and the RX-A4A can connect to them wirelessly. Intimidated by what it might take to get your Dolby Atmos 5.1.2 setup calibrated? Yamaha’s YRAO optimization technology will take care of it for you. Need a home theater you can talk to rather than having to remember where you left the remote? The RX-A4A’s dual-band WiFi and Bluetooth will have you telling Alexa or Google Assistant what you want to watch in no time.

Just because it’s easy to set up doesn’t mean the RX-A4A’s feature set is limited. The only functional differences between it and its larger sibling, the RX-A6A, are that it has 7 processing channels, as opposed to 9, and 110W of output power, compared to 150W on the RX-A6A. Seven HDMI 2.1 inputs that can handle 8k content? Check. AI processing for killer sound effects and music? Check. Full-on Dolby Atmos 5.1.2 support? Check. Gaming mode with no-lag optimization? Check. Reinforced chassis that dampens vibration that can affect video and audio performance? Check. Forward-facing processing technology that can take on the next advances in video and audio technology and future-proof your home theater investment? Check.

The Best 9.2 Receiver for the Money

Product Image

Integra DRX-3.4 9.2 Channel Network 8K AV Reciever with Dolby Atmos

Regular price $1,500.00
Sale price $1,500.00 Regular price
Save $-1,500.00 (%)
  • Dimensions: 17-1/8" x 6-7/8" x 14-13/16" (W x H x D)
  • Weight: 24.3 lbs
  • Warranty: 3 years
  • Number of Channels: 9
  • Watts: 100W per channel
  • Wireless Connectivity: WiFi, Bluetooth

This receiver ticks all the boxes on our home theater receiver checklist. It has what you need to set up a full 9.2 Dolby Atmos system. With six HDMI 2.1 inputs, you'll be able to enjoy 8K content from a variety of cutting-edge sources, such as a 4K Blu-ray player or Apple TV. Support for ARC and eARC means you'll be surrounded by uncompressed, full-range audio on every channel. Each channel is supported with enough power that your height and surround channels will sound as stunning as the dialog and music in your front channels.

Thanks to the included DIRAC automatic room EQ calibration system, tailoring your whole range of home theater equipment and optimizing for your specific room is effortless. Analog inputs allow you to add turntables without an extra preamp, and preamp outputs for each channel let you extend your surround sound system with separate amplifiers and surround processors. This means you're covered as your processing systems evolve in the future!

Connectivity is never a problem, as the DRX-3.4 is equipped with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.2, Chromecast, and DTS Play-Fi. High-quality digital-to-analog converters let you rock out to full bandwidth, high-resolution audio from your own audio files (wired or wirelessly connected), or streaming services such as TIDAL or Amazon Music HD. This receiver is ready to be part of your home network, too! Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa capabilities, as well as output for multi-room audio systems, and — an unusual feature in such an affordable receiver — it works with IP-based automation control systems.

The Best 9.4 Channel AV Receiver

Product Image

Denon AVR-X4800H 9.4 Channel 8K Home Theater Receiver IMAX Enhanced with Dolby Atmos/DTS:X and HEOS Built-In

Regular price $2,499.00
Sale price $2,499.00 Regular price
Save $-2,499.00 (%)
  • Dimensions: 17.1" x 6.6" (9.3" with antennas raised) x 15.3" (W x H x D)
  • Weight: 29.1 lbs
  • Warranty: 3 years
  • Number of Channels: 9.4
  • Watts: 125 per channel
  • Wireless Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, HEOS

If you’re dreaming of a fairly extensive 3D audio system or a multi-room media system, this is one heck of an impressive candidate to be your AV receiver, at a very reasonable price. With 125 watts per channel (into two channels), the AVR-X4800H has enough power to fill a good-sized home theater with 7 channels, including floor-standing mains and a couple of subs. It’s ready to rock with any video source, with 8K/60Hz and 4K/120Hz support and compatibility with HDR10, HDR10+, Dolby Vision, and HLG for extended picture contrast and brightness with compatible TVs and HDR-encoded content. It’s also loaded with gaming-optimized video processing technologies for lag-free game experiences. Able to devote all nine channels to an extensive Dolby Atmos or DTS:X system, and with ultra-high-resolution audio playback and enhanced ARC, the AVR-X4800H has some serious audio delivery flexibility.

Configuring your rig is simple with the included Audyssey speaker calibration and system optimization tools. Alexa and Google Assistant are on-board to help you enjoy your music and video just the way you want, too. Any way you look at it, the AVR-X4800H’s feature set is remarkably comprehensive.

Still not sure? We got this.

We’re not going to sugarcoat this: choosing the best possible home theater receiver for the best possible home theater or multi-room music solution is not easy. Above, we’re just scratching the surface on features and capabilities – we could write 5000 words on any ONE receiver above, and still not cover everything.

The good news? Once everything is set up, most AV receivers really are simple to operate. (Not the case 10 years ago.) And though most include a remote control with more buttons than Granny’s sewing box, most also include an intuitive, easy-to-use smart phone app that simplifies everything – right down to the very basics. (Most of our customers prefer the app.)

As always, we invite you to call or write, anytime, with any questions at all. Tell us what you’re looking for, what your budget is, a little about your room, what kind of movies and music you like, and we’ll explain your options patiently, honestly, and without pressure or ”selling.” Our one and only goal: helping you get it right while saving you some money. Our one and only motive: doing such a great job, you tell your friends, neighbors (even your cousin Ricky) about us.

One more thing:

A last word of advice: if not us, buy your new AV receiver from a trusted dealer. And the more experience and longer the track record, the better. A good dealer will take care of you in the event anything happens.

Also check out the best home theater systems award list.

Speaking of trusted dealers...

World Wide Stereo is home to some 90+ industry-leading audio/video professionals who love what they do and talking about it, too. We opened our doors in 1979, gained a small yet die-hard following, won a slew of national awards for everything from killer car audio installations to customer service, grew the business online… and today we enjoy a faithful following of like-minded TV-watching, music-listening, gear-loving defenders of fun for the whole family. Our only rule: no one leaves unhappy. Learn more about World Wide Stereo here.

Leave a Comment

Related Articles