The Best AV Receivers for Every Budget in 2016

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Prices on 4K TVs and audio equipment were lower than ever during the holidays and many consumers took advantage of the sales to nab new AV receivers to go with their home entertainment systems. If you’re looking to buy a new AV receiver, the main things to consider are price, sound quality, setup ease and compatibility with other technologies. Here are some of the best AV receivers available for all budgets.

Below $250

At the budget end of the pricing scale, one of the most popular brands currently below $250 is the Sony STR-DH750 7.2 Channel AV Receiver with Bluetooth. The STR-DH750 provides seven channels of surround sound, HDMI connectivity, built-in Bluetooth for wireless streaming, a wired front-panel USB port for iPhone, iPad and iPod users and a wired front-panel MHL port for Android users, all for around $200. Additional features include:

  • The sixth and seventh speakers can be customized as either Surround Back or Front High speakers, or used to power a second set of speakers in another room
  • You can also bi-amp your front speakers for richer sound
  • Setup is easy, with an on-screen setup guide and Digital Cinema Auto Calibration to optimize your speakers after you’ve positioned them

$250 to $400

At the next pricing tier, check out the Yamaha RX-V479. Currently priced around $350, the RX-V479 combines 5.1 surround sound with six HDMI inputs, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, 4K video compatibility, Apple Air Play, built-in support for Pandora, Spotify and Rhapsody compatibility and MusicCast multi-room support (an alternative to a Sonos multi-room sound system). Additional features include:

  • A setup guide app for iOS and Android tablets and an automatic calibration system guides you through installation
  • The RX-V479 supports Dolby TrueHD and DTS Master Audio decoding

$400 to $700

Moving on up to the next price range, the Marantz NR1506 AV receiver provides excellent sound for both movies and music. For about $500, the NR1506 provides 5.1 surround sound, the latest HDMI 2.0a standard, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, 4K TV and Blu-ray compatibility, embedded Spotify Connect and support for Internet radio, Apple AirPlay, Pandora and SiriusXM. Additional features include:

  • A setup assistant that connects to your TV screen and an automated calibration system guides you through installation
  • The NR1506 is about half the height of other receivers, so it can fit into a smaller space

Over $700

At the premium end of the pricing scale for diehard home theater enthusiasts is the Integra DTR-70.6 11.2-Channel AV Receiver. For $2,800, the DTR-70.6 offers 11.2 surround sound with Dolby Atmos support. The channels can be configured as a 7.2.4 Dolby Atmos theater with four height channels or a 5.2.4 Dolby Atmos theater with four height channels, combined with an independent-powered audio and video for zone 2 and an independent line level-audio for zone 3. The system comes with Spotify, Pandora, SiriusXM Internet Radio, AUPEO!, Slacker and TuneIn, and supports Spotify Connect. Additional features include:

  • Ability to configure the system as a 7.2 standard theater with independent audio and video for zone 2 and an independent-powered audio for zone 3
  • Support for 11.4 preamp outs for use with separate power amps
  • HDMI 2.0 for 4K Video at 60 fps, HDCP 2.2 compatibility to support ultra HD, high resolution audio, and certified THX Select2 Plus for Reference-Level Sound, among other advanced features
  • Remote app which allows you to control the system through your mobile device
  • Large size: 17 inches wide by 8 inches high by 17 inches deep. Weighs 47 pounds