14 Best Rated Av Receiver Under $500 in May 2023
Fonot Tech Mar 26, 2023 8:24 AM
Last update on 2023-05-28 / Affiliate links / Images, Product Titles, and Product Highlights from Amazon Product Advertising API
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Best Overall: Onkyo TX-NR5100 7.2-Channel 8K Smart AV Receiver
Best Budget: YAMAHA RX-V385 5.1-Channel 4K Ultra HD AV Receiver with Bluetooth
Best Value: Pioneer VSX-534 Home Audio Smart AV Receiver
Editor's Choise: Denon AVR-S760H 7.2 Ch AVR
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Power and Audio Quality: Look for an AV receiver with at least 100 watts per channel, which should provide ample power for most home theater setups. Also, check the THD (total harmonic distortion) rating, which indicates how accurately the receiver reproduces sound. Ideally, THD should be less than 1%.
Connectivity: Consider the number and types of inputs and outputs you need. HDMI inputs are a must-have for connecting modern devices, but you may also need legacy inputs like composite, component, or optical. Look for an AV receiver that supports the latest HDMI standards, such as HDMI 2.1, for 4K/120Hz, HDR, and VRR (Variable Refresh Rate) compatibility.
Features: Choose an AV receiver that has features you need, such as built-in Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, or voice control. Some models also support multi-room audio and have built-in streaming services like Spotify or Pandora.
Brand and Reputation: Opt for a well-known brand with a good reputation for quality and customer support.
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#1 YAMAHA RX-V385 5.1-Channel 4K Ultra HD AV Receiver with Bluetooth
Specs: The Yamaha RX-V385 is a 5.1-channel AV receiver that supports 4K Ultra HD video and Bluetooth connectivity. It has a variety of features that make it a great choice for home theater enthusiasts on a budget.
What we like:
- 4K Ultra HD support: The RX-V385 can pass through 4K HDR video at 60 frames per second, making it a great choice for those with 4K TVs.
- Easy setup: The Yamaha setup wizard walks you through the process of connecting your speakers and sources to the receiver, making it easy for even beginners to get started.
- Bluetooth connectivity: You can easily stream audio from your phone or tablet to the receiver using Bluetooth, without the need for any additional cables.
- Yamaha Cinema DSP: The receiver has Yamaha's Cinema DSP technology, which uses advanced processing algorithms to create a more immersive audio experience.
What we don't like:
- Limited number of inputs: The RX-V385 has only four HDMI inputs, which may not be enough for those with a lot of sources.
- No built-in Wi-Fi: Unlike some other receivers in its price range, the RX-V385 does not have built-in Wi-Fi, so you'll need to connect it to your network using an Ethernet cable if you want to access streaming services like Spotify or Tidal.
Our Verdict: The Yamaha RX-V385 is a great entry-level AV receiver for those looking to upgrade their home theater experience. It offers solid performance, 4K Ultra HD support, and Bluetooth connectivity, all at an affordable price point. While it may not have all the bells and whistles of higher-end receivers, it's a great choice for those on a budget who still want great sound and video quality.
#2 Sony STRDH590 5.2 Channel Surround Sound Home Theater Receiver
- 5.2 channels with 725W power output
- 4K HDR pass through
- Bluetooth connectivity with NFC one-touch pairing
- FM/AM radio tuner
- 4 HDMI inputs and 1 output with ARC support
- Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio support
- Digital Cinema Auto Calibration
What we like:
- Great audio performance with powerful and clear sound
- 4K HDR pass through and Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio support ensure high-quality audio and video experience
- Bluetooth connectivity makes it easy to stream audio from your smartphone or other devices
- Digital Cinema Auto Calibration makes setup easy and accurate
- Multiple HDMI inputs and ARC support provide flexibility and convenience
What we don't like:
- The FM/AM tuner may not be as relevant to some users
- Some users may prefer more HDMI inputs
Our Verdict: Overall, the Sony STRDH590 is a great choice for a 5.2 channel surround sound home theater receiver. With its 4K HDR pass through and Bluetooth connectivity, it delivers excellent audio and video performance, and its Digital Cinema Auto Calibration makes setup easy and accurate. While it may not have as many HDMI inputs as some users may prefer, its multiple inputs and ARC support still provide plenty of flexibility and convenience.
#3 Denon AVR-S570BT (2022 Model) 5.2 Channel AV Receiver
Specs: The Denon AVR-S570BT features 5.2 channels with 70 watts per channel, 8K Ultra HD video support, HDR10, HLG, and Dolby Vision video compatibility. It also includes Bluetooth connectivity, four HDMI inputs, and one output with support for HDCP 2.3, eARC, and Audio Return Channel.
What we like: We like the easy setup process of this AV receiver, with clear instructions and intuitive on-screen menu. The sound quality is impressive with crisp and clear audio, even at high volumes. The eARC support and four HDMI inputs allow for easy connectivity with multiple devices. The AVR-S570BT also includes advanced gaming features, such as Auto Low Latency Mode and Quick Frame Transport, which enhances the gaming experience.
What we don't like: One downside is that the AVR-S570BT only supports 5.2 channel audio, which may not be enough for those who want a more immersive sound experience. Additionally, it lacks Wi-Fi connectivity, which may limit its streaming capabilities.
Our Verdict: Overall, the Denon AVR-S570BT is a solid AV receiver for those who want a high-quality audio and video experience. Its advanced gaming features make it a great choice for gamers, and its ease of use and setup is perfect for those who are new to home theater systems. However, its lack of Wi-Fi connectivity and 5.2 channel audio may not be suitable for everyone's needs.
#4 YAMAHA RX-V4A 5.2-Channel AV Receiver with MusicCast
- 5.2 channel AV Receiver
- Supports 8K/60Hz and 4K/120Hz HDMI® 2.1 with HDCP 2.3 and eARC (7 in/1 out)
- Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and Apple AirPlay 2 connectivity
- MusicCast multi-room audio and voice control compatibility
- Supports Dolby Atmos and DTS:X
What we like:
- The Yamaha RX-V4A offers great sound quality and supports Dolby Atmos and DTS:X for immersive 3D audio.
- With 8K/60Hz and 4K/120Hz HDMI® 2.1 with HDCP 2.3 and eARC, it's well equipped to handle the latest high-resolution video formats.
- The inclusion of Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and Apple AirPlay 2 connectivity makes it easy to stream music from your favorite devices.
- The MusicCast multi-room audio and voice control compatibility allow you to easily integrate the receiver into your smart home ecosystem.
What we don't like:
- Some users have reported difficulty with the initial setup and configuration of the receiver, especially when it comes to connecting to the network and setting up the MusicCast app.
Our Verdict: Overall, the Yamaha RX-V4A is a solid choice for a mid-range AV receiver, offering great sound quality and a range of connectivity options. While some users may experience difficulties with setup, the receiver's support for the latest high-resolution video formats and compatibility with multi-room audio and smart home systems make it a great option for those looking to upgrade their home theater setup.
#5 Onkyo TX-SR494 AV Receiver with 4K Ultra HD | Dolby Atmos | DTS: X | Hi-Res Audio
- 160 watts per channel
- 4K Ultra HD, Dolby Atmos, DTS: X, and Hi-Res Audio support
- 4 HDMI inputs and 1 output
- Bluetooth and FM tuner
- Compatible with voice control through Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant
What we like:
- Great sound quality with plenty of power
- Multiple audio format support including Dolby Atmos and DTS:X
- Easy to set up and use
- Bluetooth connectivity is seamless and works well
- Compatible with voice control through Alexa and Google Assistant
What we don't like:
- No built-in Wi-Fi, only Bluetooth
- Limited HDMI inputs
Our Verdict: The Onkyo TX-SR494 is a great mid-range AV receiver that provides excellent sound quality and support for the latest audio and video formats. It is easy to set up and use, and the Bluetooth connectivity works well. However, the lack of built-in Wi-Fi and limited HDMI inputs may be a drawback for some users. Overall, this is a great option for those looking for a reliable AV receiver with solid performance at a reasonable price.
What is the difference between an AV receiver and a stereo receiver?
An AV receiver has built-in decoding and amplification for both audio and video signals, while a stereo receiver only has audio decoding and amplification.
Do I need to match my AV receiver with my speakers?
Yes, it's recommended to match the power and impedance ratings of your AV receiver with your speakers to ensure optimal performance.
What is THD?
THD stands for total harmonic distortion, which measures how accurately an audio amplifier reproduces sound. A lower THD rating means more accurate sound reproduction.
Can I connect my turntable to an AV receiver?
Yes, you can connect a turntable to an AV receiver that has a phono input, or use a separate phono preamp to connect to a line-level input.
Can I use an AV receiver as a preamp?
Yes, some AV receivers have preamp outputs that allow you to connect external power amplifiers for a more robust audio system.
An AV receiver is an essential component of any home theater system, and with so many options available, it can be challenging to choose the right one. By considering factors such as power and audio quality, connectivity, features, brand, and reputation, you can find an AV receiver under $500 that meets your needs and budget. With the right AV receiver, you can enjoy immersive and high-quality audio and video in the comfort of your own home.