Best AV receiver 2018: which home cinema AV receiver should you buy?

<pre><pre>Best AV receiver 2018: which home cinema AV receiver should you buy?

If you want to make a cinema out of your living room that you do not have to pay, you should pick up one of the best AV receivers.

Why? Because even with the best TV, if you're stuck with the bad speakers that are often built into TV's, you have to be content with a sub-par audio experience. Do yourself, and your favorite movies and games, a pleasure – buy an AV receiver instead.

If you are looking for the best AV receiver, it is crucial to determine how many and which ports you need. Trust us, nobody wants to continuously move 15 cables to use your PS4.

This is crucial because the best AV receivers are in fact the central base on which all your entertainment devices must connect and communicate. Even if you have a mass of devices, it means that the transition between devices will always be seamless – no matter what you try to play, watch or listen to, you'll always get a great entertainment experience.

If you have already jumped on the 4K bandwagon, you need to look for a receiver with a wealth of HDCP 2.2-compatible HDMI ports. And if you really want to become high-tech and want to invest in multi-room streaming, think about which wireless speaker system is right for you: Chromecast, Heos or even Yamaha MusicCast. Even if you do not immediately plan to use this technology, what is the damage to making your entertainment setup future-proof?

Dolby Atmos is the great app for many people. This 3D audio system has become the gold standard in immersive audio. It may be available on soundbars, but only an AV receiver offers true overhead Dolby Atmos audio. You only have to decide whether you want a system with seven or nine channels. (That said, you do not need Dolby Atmos at all, in which case a standard 5.1 sound system will fulfill your wishes for surround sound.)

So, if you're choosing a new AV receiver, you've come to the right place, so let's explore the best AV receivers you can buy today.

Best AV receivers under $ 699

Onkyo TX-NR676

A budget receiver with excellent functions and performance

Power (claimed): 9 x 100W per channel Dolby Atmos: Yes HDMI: 7-in, 2-out | AV inputs: 2 x composite; 2 x digital audio Weight: 27.6 lbs. (12.5 kg)

Numerous entrances and exits

Good wireless support

Easy to use

Requires more streaming support

Gone are the days when buying a surround sound supporting receiver with multiple HDMI ports meant spending an arm and a leg. Nowadays you can get a great receiver with support for a surround-sound installation of less than $ 500 / £ 600. For example, the Onkyo TX-NR676.

It is not the only receiver in its price range with a large number of functions or a plethora of entries, but there are some extensive packages that are just as easy to assemble, set up and use as Onkyo & # 39; s.

In terms of expected sound performance Onkyo has long offered great sound quality, and this receiver is no different. The receiver supports DTS: X and Dolby Atmos, which gives the sound a much more immersive atmosphere.

We discovered that the receiver generally sounded great at all volumes. At low volumes there was still much clarity and detail, while higher volumes produced little distortion, which was nice to hear. Extremely tuned ears may miss one little detail in the high-end on louder volumes, although the receiver is still well above its price range when it comes to sound quality.

If you are looking for a great A / V receiver and have a maximum budget of $ 400 / £ 600, the Onkyo TX-NR676 is the best choice.

Read the full review: Onkyo TX-NR676

Sony STR-DN1080

An innovative, affordable Dolby Atmos AV receiver with lots of cool tricks

Power (claimed): 7 x 165W in 6 ohms Dolby Atmos: Yes (5.1.2) HDMI: 6-in, 2-out | AV inputs: 3 x composite; 2 x digital audio Dimensions: 430 (b) x 156 (h) x 331 (d) mm Weight: 9.7kg

Dynamic movie performance

Virtual surround speaker technology

Frustrating user interface

Tough cosmetic design

It may be too late for the party, but the debut Dolby Atmos AV receiver from Sony offers a cool functionality. Although it is apparently a seven-channel design (meaning it can be performed in a 5.1.2 Dolby Atmos configuration), there are also two phantom rears that create a seven-channel pseudo-surround soundstage. The receiver can even physically move the physical position of your speakers to create a better sonic balance.

The build quality is proportional to the price tag. This is not a heavyweight and the fascia seems too choosy, but the hairline finish is a premium touch. Connectivity is good. We get six HDMI inputs, all with HDCP 2.2 enabled. There are also two HDMI outputs for combi TV and projector use. There are also two analog AV inputs, plus a pair of stereo phonos and two digital audio inputs.

The AVR connects via Ethernet or Wi-Fi and Bluetooth with NFC for fast pairing, plus Airplay. The AVR also has built-in Chromecast. That is already the most important wireless boxes checked.

The set-up is aided by the latest version of Sony's Auto Calibration software, which now features a 31-band graphic EQ and a stereo calibration microphone that adjusts phase, distance and level.

Usability is average. The receiver relies heavily on his UI, which is nice, but sometimes a little frustrating.

The performance is excellent for the price. The STR-DN1080 may not be particularly warm, but it is exciting. Films benefit from seamless panning and pronounced dynamics. Output power is noted at 7 x 165W in 6 ohms. The biggest surprise is the effectiveness of the ghost rows, which really help to fill in the back edge. This sonic deception places the STR-DN1080 somewhere above a standard 5.1.2 design, but under a real nine-channel amplifier.

In general, this is an innovative, exciting AV Dolby Atmos receiver. Think of it as a great home cinema offer.

Marantz NR1607

This sleek Dolby Atmos receiver can hit loud and loud when needed

Power (claimed): 7 x 50W in 8 ohms Dolby Atmos: Yes (5.1.2) HDMI: 7-in-1 out AV inputs: 6 x digital audio (2 x optical and 4 x coaxial) three stereo phono inputs, 3.5 mm stereo mini-plug, six stereo phono inputs | Dimensions: 440 (b) x 376 (d) x 105 (h) mm Weight: 8.3kg