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In this article, we’ll be discussing what you should keep in mind when buying an AV receiver. We’ll cover important factors such as brand options, such as Denon, Yamaha, Marantz, and more. Additionally, we’ll highlight key features to consider, including sound quality, connectivity options, and price range. By the end of this article, you’ll have a better understanding of what to look for when choosing an AV receiver that suits your needs and preferences.

What To Look For When Buying An AV Receiver?

What To Look For When Buying An AV Receiver?

Overview of AV Receivers

In today’s world of advanced technology, home entertainment systems have become an integral part of our lives. Whether you’re a movie enthusiast, a music lover, or a gaming fanatic, having a high-quality audiovisual experience is essential. This is where AV receivers come into play.

What is an AV Receiver?

an AV receiver, also known as an audio/video receiver, is a central hub that connects various audio and video devices to enhance your home theater experience. It acts as the brain of your entertainment system, allowing you to switch between different audio and video sources, control the volume, and optimize the sound and picture quality. A good AV receiver can significantly enhance your overall audiovisual experience by providing the necessary power, connectivity, and control.

What does an AV Receiver do?

The primary function of an AV receiver is to decode and process audio and video signals from multiple sources, such as Blu-ray players, gaming consoles, streaming devices, and cable/satellite boxes. It then amplifies the audio signals and sends them to the connected speakers, creating a surround sound effect. Additionally, an AV receiver can upscale the video signals to higher resolutions, improve picture quality, and provide seamless switching between different input sources.

Why do you need an AV Receiver?

Investing in an AV receiver can make a world of difference in your home theater setup. Here are a few reasons why you need an AV receiver:

  1. Simplified Connections: An AV receiver allows you to connect multiple audio and video devices to a single unit, eliminating the need for complex wiring and cable management.

  2. Enhanced Sound Experience: AV receivers offer built-in amplifiers that deliver high-quality, immersive sound to your speakers, creating a true cinematic experience.

  3. Improved Video Quality: With features like upscaling and upconversion, an AV receiver can enhance the video quality of lower-resolution content, making it look sharper and more detailed on your higher-resolution displays.

  4. Centralized Control: Having a single device to control all your audio and video sources provides convenience and ease of use. You can switch between sources, adjust volume levels, and fine-tune audio settings from a single remote or mobile app.

  5. Future-Proofing: AV receivers often come with the latest audio and video technologies, ensuring compatibility with future devices and formats. It ensures that your audiovisual setup remains up-to-date for years to come.

What To Look For When Buying An AV Receiver?

Benefits of using an AV Receiver

Now that you understand the importance of an AV receiver, let’s explore the specific benefits it offers:

  1. Power output: AV receivers come with built-in amplifiers that provide sufficient power to drive your speakers, ensuring optimal sound quality and volume levels.

  2. Audio channels: AV receivers support various audio channel configurations, such as stereo, 5.1, 7.1, or even higher, allowing you to create a surround sound setup tailored to your preferences.

  3. Audio formats: A good AV receiver supports a wide range of audio formats, including popular ones like Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, and Auro-3D, ensuring immersive and realistic sound effects.

  4. Sound quality: AV receivers use advanced audio processing technologies to enhance sound quality, reduce distortion, and provide accurate reproduction of the original audio content.

  5. Digital-to-analog converter (DAC): The quality of a DAC plays a crucial role in the audio performance. AV receivers with high-quality DACs ensure accurate conversion of digital audio signals to analog, resulting in cleaner and more detailed sound.

  6. Built-in amplification: AV receivers with built-in amplifiers eliminate the need for separate amplifiers, saving space and reducing clutter in your entertainment setup.

Video Features

In addition to audio capabilities, AV receivers also offer a multitude of video features. Consider these factors when buying an AV receiver:

  1. Resolution and compatibility: Ensure that the AV receiver supports the resolution of your display device, whether it is Full HD, 4K, or even 8K. It should also be compatible with the video signals transmitted by your video sources.

  2. HDR (High Dynamic Range): HDR technology enhances the contrast, color accuracy, and overall visual impact of the content. Look for an AV receiver that supports HDR formats such as HDR10, Dolby Vision, or HLG for an enhanced visual experience.

  3. HDMI connections: HDMI ports allow the transfer of high-quality audio and video signals. Ensure that the AV receiver has an ample number of HDMI inputs and supports the latest HDMI standards for seamless connectivity.

  4. Upscaling and upconversion: AV receivers with upscaling capabilities can upconvert lower-resolution content to match the resolution of your display device, resulting in better image quality.

  5. Video processing capabilities: Some AV receivers offer advanced video processing technologies like noise reduction, edge enhancement, and color calibration to deliver a more refined and accurate picture.

What To Look For When Buying An AV Receiver?

Connectivity Options

Connectivity plays a vital role in an AV receiver to ensure seamless integration with all your audio and video devices. Consider the following connectivity options when making your decision:

  1. Networking capabilities: Look for an AV receiver with built-in Ethernet or Wi-Fi connectivity, allowing you to connect to the internet for firmware updates, streaming services, and network-based audio playback.

  2. Wireless connectivity: Some AV receivers offer wireless connectivity options like Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, allowing you to stream audio wirelessly from your mobile devices or other Bluetooth-enabled sources.

  3. Streaming services: If you frequently use streaming services like Spotify, Tidal, or Apple Music, choose an AV receiver that supports these services for easy access to your favorite music.

  4. Multi-room audio support: If you want to extend your audio to multiple rooms, consider an AV receiver that supports multi-room audio systems, allowing you to play different audio sources in different areas of your home.

  5. USB and HDMI ports: The availability of USB and HDMI ports on an AV receiver is essential for connecting external devices such as USB drives, smartphones, or game consoles directly to the receiver.

  6. Compatibility with external devices: Ensure that the AV receiver supports the type of external devices you intend to connect, such as gaming consoles, streaming devices, or Blu-ray players.

Ease of Use and User Interface

A user-friendly interface and ease of use are crucial factors when selecting an AV receiver. Consider the following aspects:

  1. Setup and installation process: Look for an AV receiver that provides clear instructions and a user-friendly setup process. Some receivers offer automatic setup features that can optimize the audio and speaker settings based on your room’s acoustics.

  2. On-screen display (OSD): An intuitive OSD makes it easier to navigate through the receiver’s menu options, adjust settings, and monitor the audio and video sources.

  3. Remote control: Ensure that the AV receiver comes with a user-friendly remote control that allows easy access to various functions and settings.

  4. Mobile app control: Some AV receivers offer companion mobile apps that allow you to control and customize your audio and video settings using your smartphone or tablet.

  5. User-friendly interface: An AV receiver with a well-designed interface simplifies the setup process and makes it easier to navigate through the various options and settings.

What To Look For When Buying An AV Receiver?

Room Calibration and Speaker Setup

Achieving optimal sound quality depends not only on the AV receiver but also on proper room calibration and speaker setup. Look for the following features:

  1. Automatic speaker calibration: AV receivers with automatic speaker calibration systems, such as Audyssey or YPAO, can analyze your room’s acoustics and adjust speaker levels and delays accordingly.

  2. Room correction technologies: Some AV receivers come with advanced room correction technologies that can compensate for room reflections and resonances, resulting in more accurate and balanced sound.

  3. Speaker setup options: AV receivers offer various speaker setup options, such as different audio channel configurations (5.1, 7.1, etc.), bi-amping, or bi-wiring, allowing you to adapt the system to your room and speaker preferences.

  4. Adjusting speaker levels: Look for an AV receiver that provides flexibility in adjusting individual speaker levels to achieve the perfect balance and ensure that each speaker is accurately reproducing the audio.

  5. Positioning and placement: Consider the size and layout of your room when choosing an AV receiver. High-end receivers may offer more advanced speaker placement options, such as object-based audio configurations for an immersive 3D sound experience.

Build Quality and Design

The build quality and design of an AV receiver can significantly impact its performance and durability. Consider the following factors:

  1. Construction materials: Opt for an AV receiver that is built with high-quality materials that can resist vibrations and ensure better heat dissipation.

  2. Size and weight: Consider the physical dimensions and weight of the AV receiver to ensure proper placement in your entertainment setup. It should fit comfortably in your desired location and offer adequate ventilation.

  3. Ventilation and cooling: AV receivers generate a significant amount of heat, especially when running at high volumes or for extended periods. Ensure that the receiver has proper ventilation and cooling mechanisms to prevent overheating.

  4. Aesthetic design: While aesthetics may not affect performance, it’s worth considering an AV receiver that complements the overall design of your home theater setup.

  5. Rack-mountable options: If you plan to install the AV receiver in a rack or custom cabinet, ensure that it has rack-mountable features for easy integration.

What To Look For When Buying An AV Receiver?

Brand and Reputation

The brand reputation and reliability of an AV receiver manufacturer are important factors to consider before making a purchase decision. Here are some reputable brands known for their AV receivers:

  • Denon
  • Yamaha
  • Marantz
  • Onkyo
  • Pioneer
  • Sony
  • Anthem
  • Harman Kardon
  • Cambridge Audio
  • NAD
  • Rotel
  • Arcam
  • Integra
  • Acurus
  • Emotiva
  • Outlaw Audio
  • McIntosh

It’s always a good idea to read reviews, check customer ratings, and research the reliability and durability of the brand before finalizing your choice.

Price and Budget

When buying an AV receiver, it’s important to determine your budget and consider the long-term investment. Here’s what you need to keep in mind:

  1. Determining your budget: AV receivers come in a wide range of prices, depending on the features and specifications. Set a budget that aligns with your requirements and preferences.

  2. Value for money: It’s essential to evaluate the features and performance you’re getting for the price. Consider the overall value and long-term usability of the AV receiver.

  3. Affordable options: If you’re on a tight budget, there are affordable AV receiver options available that still offer decent audio and video capabilities. However, you may have to compromise on some advanced features.

  4. Additional costs: Factor in any additional costs, such as speaker cables, speaker stands, proper wiring, or room acoustic treatment, to ensure a complete and optimized setup.

  5. Long-term investment: Consider an AV receiver as a long-term investment in your home entertainment system. Spending a little more upfront for a high-quality receiver with advanced features can save you money in the long run by providing better performance and future-proofing.


Buying an AV receiver is a significant investment in your home entertainment system. To make an informed purchase decision, consider the factors discussed in this article. Think about your personal preferences and needs, choose the right features for your setup, and take professional advice if needed. With the right AV receiver, you can enhance your audiovisual experience and enjoy countless hours of immersive entertainment.