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The best AV receivers in 2022: Top amps for surround sound

When paired with a multi-channel speaker package such as the models in Klipsch’s Reference series, the best AV receivers will help you create the ultimate home theater experience. Even the most powerful soundbars won’t take you far. You can achieve the best surround sound experience with the latest sound formats such as Dolby Atmos, DTS:X and HDMI EARC. However, a dedicated AV receiver with multi-channel speakers setup and a multi-channel speaker system will allow you to get up to 9 channels of sound with digital signal processing.

We haven’t covered each AV receiver in this roundup, but they were all tested in a home with a large-screen TV (such as one of our best 75 inch TVs) just like you would.

Continue reading to learn our top picks for the best AV receivers that will help you make home cinema right.

Top 3 best AV receivers

Best overall: Denon AVR-X47000H

For many reasons, the Denon is our top pick for best receivers. First, it is a top-of-the-line receiver with support for almost every audio format. The amp comes equipped with an audio calibration system. This 9-channel amp creates rich, multilayered sound that will immerse you in any soundtrack.

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Best value: Denon AVR-X2700H

The Denon AVRX2700H is a great value and a good starting point for its 2021 X-series AV receivers. Although the price tag suggests that it is made of budget components, it can be used in smaller viewing rooms and plays big soundtracks without any problems. It’s also nuanced enough for ambiance.

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Best for smaller spaces: Marantz NR1711

The Marantz is a 7-channel Dolby atmos receiver, which is ideal for small spaces. It can fill rooms with dynamic, spacious audio. The Marantz can be connected to virtually any audio source. It even has Bluetooth headphone support so that listeners can enjoy private listening. The slimline chassis gives the receiver a luxurious look.

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Which AV receivers are the best?

For several reasons, the Denon AVRX47000H is our top pick for best receivers. This receiver is built to last. The amp supports almost every audio format, and it also has an audio calibration system that ensures the best accuracy. This amp has a 9-channel output that produces rich, multilayered sound that allows you to immerse yourself in films, music, and other content on the TV screen. If you are looking for something a bit louder, consider the Denon AVRX4700H.

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The Denon AVRX2700H is a great value and a good starting point for its 2021 X-series AV receivers. Although the price tag suggests that it is made of budget components, it works in a smaller viewing area (rather than in a large theater) and defies expectations.

Marantz’s NR1711 7-channel Dolby atmos receiver is small enough to fit in smaller spaces but large enough to fill rooms with dynamic, spacious audio. It can be connected to virtually any audio source. The receiver also supports Bluetooth headphones for private listening. The slimline chassis gives the receiver a luxurious look.

Check out our top picks of the best AV receivers.

These are the best AV receivers available right now

1. Denon AVRX4700H

The most powerful 9-channel AV receiver

Specifications

Dolby Atmos/DTS X support:

Features: Heos multiroom compatible; Amazon Alexa/Google Assistant ; Bluetooth; USB; AirPlay 2

Power output (claimed), 9x 125W

HDMI: 8x in; 3x out

Phono stage input (MM): Yes

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There are many reasons to buy

+Barnstorming cinematic performance+Comprehensive connections+Capable across entire frequency range

Avoidable reasons

High price for HDMI 2.1 bug-Suffers

The X4700H, a stunning AV receiver with a world-class specification for gaming and movies, is a sonic wonder de force. Eight inputs are covered by HDMI, with one designated 8K. There are three outputs with eARC support.

Advanced Audyssey calibration sounds great, it sounds great in our test room and should sound equally amazing in any other listening area once optimized. The X4700H’s dynamic sound is amazing, and can handle dramatic transients like a pro. The bass is clear and the upper-midrange is articulate. It does have an HDMI 2.1 bug that can be connected to the Xbox Series X. However, you can order a device that fixes it. You can read more about this below.

(Image credit: Denon)

2. Denon AVRX2700H

Overall, the best value

Specifications

Dolby Atmos/DTS X support:

Features: Heos multiroom compatible; Amazon Alexa/Google Assistant/Siri voice ; Bluetooth; USB; AirPlay 2

Power output (claimed), 7x 150W

HDMI: 6x in; 2x out

Phono stage input (MM): Yes

Today’s Top Deals

View at Amazon

There are many reasons to buy

+Superb Value for Money+Excellent cinematic performer

Avoidable reasons

Only one HDMI 2.1 input

Denon’s AVRX2700H is a great starting point for its 2021 X-series AV receivers. Although the price tag suggests that it is made of budget components, it works in a smaller viewing area (rather than in a large theater) and defies all expectations.

It delivered a punchy delivery in our listening tests. It does not have any problems with action-oriented soundtracks. Plus, it is nuanced enough for subtle ambience. It has a 150W power output for multichannel. This is generous. It can support either a conventional 7.1 surround or 5.1 channel configuration depending on how your loudspeakers are set up. You can also support 8K, but only via one HDMI 2.1 input.

3. Marantz NR1711

Low profile AV receiver.

Specifications

Dolby Atmos/DTS X support:

Features: Heos multiroom compatible; Amazon Alexa/Google Assistant ; Bluetooth; USB; AirPlay 2

Power output (reclaimed): 7x50W

HDMI: 6x in, 1x out

Phono stage input (MM): Yes

Today’s Top Deals

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There are many reasons to buy

+Low profile design +Fun sound+ Competitive price

Avoidable reasons

-Single HDMI output

Marantz hasn’t changed the appearance of its half-height Lifestyle NR AVR range in the last decade. But, we’re happy with that, because there’s always been evolution beneath the hood. It has a warm, not clinically accurate sound and its sonic signature remains largely unchanged. Although it isn’t as musical as some of its siblings higher up in the chain, it’s still enjoyable to listen to.

A 5.1.2 Atmos setup can be run with a uniform 50W across all 7 channels. Six HDMI inputs are available, including one labeled 8K that supports 4K/120fps or 8K 60Hz. Although there is only one HDMI output, the features include HEOS multiroom (120fps) and AirPlay 2. To approximate a 3D listening experience, you can use DTS:X Virtual and Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization if you don’t own a multiroom speaker system.

4. Marantz SR6015

This home theatre star is a musical genius.

Specifications

Dolby Atmos/DTS X support:

Features: HEOS compatible, Siri support by Amazon Alexa and Siri; Google Assistant support for IMAX Enhanced

Power output (claimed), 9x 100W

HDMI: 7x in; 3x out

Phono stage input (MM): Yes

Today’s Top Deals

View at Amazon

There are many reasons to buy

+Stunning cinema sound + Excellent two-channel performance

Avoidable reasons

Only one 8K/4K 120fps input

Marantz’s AV components design is timeless and elegant. Marantz’s AV component design is timeless and reflects old-school musicality with its curved fascia and small porthole display. This AV receiver is a cinema-ready beast. Its audio performance was exceptional, with flawless control over the soundstage. The sound placement of the sounds is precise and never feels pressured.

It is a 9-channel model and can be configured to 7.1.2. It also supports Virtual DTS: X Height Virtualization and Dolby Atmos Height virtualization, as well as IMAX Enhanced certification which allows it to automatically adjust bass management for deeper bass when it recognizes flagged content. Smart support includes Alexa and Google Assistant as well as AirPlay 2.

5. Arcam AVR30

For true home theater connoisseurs, this is the best AV receiver

Specifications

Dolby Atmos/DTS X support:

Features: AirPlay 2; Alexa voice control

Power output (reclaimed): 9x150W

HDMI: 7x in: 3x out

Phono stage input (MM): No

+Wonderfully rich, energetic sound+Dirac live room calibration

Avoidable reasons

-No support for 8K/4K 120fps -Usability is very basic

Arcam is frequently referred to as the home theatre connoisseur’s choice. This high-performing receiver includes the usual array of immersive codecs and IMAX Enhanced certification. The AVR30 can handle 7 channels, but you have processing headroom to process 16 channels if your receiver is equipped with additional amplification.

Dirac Live is the best at calibrating AVRs. This allows you to tune your AVR’s output to fit your listening area. The lack of 2.1 compatibility is less remarkable. Arcam offers a board swap but it is prohibitively costly. The AVR30’s lack of mod cons is not a problem. It can still deliver instantaneous highs and steady plunging lows. Bluetooth and Wi-Fi support is available, along with AirPlay 2 and Google Chromecast.

How to select the best AV receiver

A receiver as complicated and multi-talented can seem overwhelming to the casual buyer. If you want to transform your sound output into something theater-like, it is worth taking the time to learn about the requirements.

Configuration

It is important to note that seven-channel AV receivers can support the speaker configuration of 5.1.2. This is the standard surround layout for 5.1 with two additional up-firing/height speakers. The models with nine channels of amplifying can be used to create 5.1 surround with four Dolby height speakers (5.1.4) and 7.1 surround with two high channels (7.1.2). The new Klipsch reference series speaker models could be a great partner for a home cinema setup. They have several speakers that are higher than the rest to satisfy Dolby Amos requirements.

Connectivity

It’s not just about HDMI inputs that you need to find the best AV receiver. We love having many inputs but it is also important to have enough outputs. This is especially true if you intend on using a flatscreen or projector in the same space.

You might be considering an AV receiver to act as a hub for music and movies. We have a guide for the best turntables that are affordable. Most receivers today have a built-in moving magnet phono stage that allows you to play vinyl from any of our tested record decks.

Frame rate and resolution support

Are you looking for 8K or high frame rate HDMIs? Your AV receiver won’t have a connected games console, so the answer is no. There are some amazing deals on AVRs that have regular HDMI 2.0 inputs.

Surround sound

Dolby Atmos compatibility by default means that you will get DTSX as well. But how many channels are you going to need? If you have the option to choose 9 channels, it always wins over 7, as it gives you more options for speakers, such as 7.1.2 or 5.1.4.

You don’t have a Dolby Atmos-certified home theatre system. You should look for models that offer height virtualization technology so you can have an immersive audio experience even if you don’t own a complete set of speakers.

Power output

Power doesn’t have to be about roof-raising volume. Even if you don’t have a dedicated cinema room, a model that has a large amplification is a good choice. An AVR with a high power output can deliver dynamic transients and pressure load a space, without straining or clipping.

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