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The 10 Best Av Receivers  Sep 2018

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1
Best Av Receivers - Yamaha Networked AV Receiver Audio Component Black Review Yamaha
9 . 8
2
Best Av Receivers - Pioneer VSX-531 5.1-Channel AV Receiver with Built-in Bluetooth Review Pioneer
9 . 6
3
Best Av Receivers - Sony STRDH790 7.2 Multi-Channel 4K Hdr AV Receiver Review Sony
9 . 1
4
Best Av Receivers - Pioneer VSX-531 5.1-Channel AV Receiver with Built-in Bluetooth Review Pioneer
8 . 8
5
Best Av Receivers - Yamaha Natural Sound Stereo Receiver (R-S202BL) Review Yamaha
8 . 6
6
Best Av Receivers - Denon AVRS730H 7.2 Channel AV Receiver with Built-in Review DENON
8 . 3
7
Best Av Receivers - Sony STRDH590 5.2 multi-channel 4k HDR AV Receiver Review Sony
8 . 0
8
Best Av Receivers - Denon AVRS730H 7.2 Channel AV Receiver with Built-in Review DENON
7 . 8
9
Best Av Receivers - Yamaha Bluetooth AV Receiver Audio Component Black Review Yamaha
7 . 5
10
Best Av Receivers - Denon Audio & Video Component Receiver Black (AVRS530BT) Review DENON
7 . 1

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Your Guide To Buying an Av Receiver

By Yehudah Posnick

    An AV receiver, or “Home Theater receiver”, is the next step up after using a sound bar to enhance your television's or home theater's sound system. It takes in an audio signal, amplifies it, and passes it on to speakers all around the room. It can be used to enhance the sound of television, cable satellite programming, a Blu-ray DVD player, a computer—and even your portable devices like a smartphone or iPhone. It allows you to switch the input from one device to another by just clicking a button, without having to detach and re-attach wires. But if it tries to do so many things, it might end up being hard to know what to choose. Here is a guide to some of the best AV receivers on the market. 

    • Number of channels: The most important specification on AV receivers is the number of channels. For example, you'll see 5.1, 6.1, 7.1, 7.2, and 9.2 channels. The first number is to how many speakers the sound will be distributed. (The first stereo systems, for example, would have only 2 channels—treble and bass.) The majority of AV receivers have 5.1 channels, so they distribute the sound to 5 speakers: left, right, center, left surround and right surround speakers. If it's 7.1, it has 7 main channels: the basic 5, plus left-rear-surround and right-rear-surround speakers. The “.1” or “.2” indicates the number of amplified “subwoofer” speakers that will receive a signal. (The bass sound is sent to a subwoofer.) Having all those speakers in one room is meant to create a 3-dimensional “Surround-Sound” effect—like in a movie theater.

    • HDMI inputs: HDMI stands for High-Definition Multimedia Interface. Very often a video signal is compressed in order to be able to move it to another device. But compressing the signal will cause loss of detail. An HDMI cable will transfer a uncompressed video signal into your AV receiver, so it retains all the original detail. State-of-the-art AV receivers will have inputs for attaching HDMI cables, which retain the original video signal and quality. Most AV receivers have as many as 8 HDMI ports—that means 8 devices that you can hook up. 

    • Up-conversion ability: Maybe you want to increase the resolution of a video signal, to get a more clear picture. That's called “up-conversion” or “up-scaling”. Perhaps you'll take an analog movie and want to convert it to high definition (HD). Check to see what the AV receiver is capable of converting.

    • Unnecessary features: Some AV receivers have sound processing effects that can can try to duplicate the sound of an auditorium, arena, or opera hall. Most users say that they can live without them.

    • Upgrading: If your system supports only 5 channels , it's not necessary to upgrade to 7 channels. If you're only buying a unit now, it will typically support 7 channels. But if it doesn't support HDMI inputs, that might be a good reason to upgrade, seeing that most types of media connect with HDMI cables.

    • Wireless features: Being able to connect WiFi or Bluetooth devices will cut down on the number of cables coming out of the AV receiver. That will simplify using the device considerably. Also, if it supports wireless, you can send video from your cellphone or laptop to the AV receiver.

    • Power of the device: The more power that the receiver has means that it will deliver a louder sound. But that's not all. It will also have a better frequency response and accuracy is producing the sound. Usually the AV receiver will be rated by the total power, and the power per channel. For example, 1190 Watts total power for the device, with an sound amplification of 170 Watts/channel.

    • Number of inputs: You'll need enough ports for all the components that you want to hook up. That could include a video game system, a Blu-ray disk player, and your cable satellite box. So check how many inputs the AV receiver can support. Typically it will say something like “8 in, 2 out”-- so you can hook up 8 different devices.

    • Distortion: Another statistic that you'll see with AV receivers is Total Harmonic Distortion—THD. That is an indication of how much does the audio output differ from the input. It should be a small number--if it's on the scale of 0.04, that means that the output is a faithful reproduction of the input.

    Yamaha-- is a Japanese corporation established in 1887 in Hamamatsu, Japan, for manufacturing musical instruments. They have expanded over the years to manufacturing electronics, motorcycles, and power sports equipment as well.

    Onkyo—was established in 1946 as a company specializing in phonograph equipment. They later expanded to stereos, CD players, amplifiers, and A/V receivers.

    Pioneer-- was founded in 1938 by Nozomu Matsuomo in Tokyo, Japan, for manufacturing and repairing audio speakers. Presently the company is based in Kawasaki. They specialize in digital entertainment products, such as car audio devices and electronics, optical drives, home audio-visual devices, and DJ equipment.

    Denon-- was founded in 1910 as part of the Japan Recorders Corporatoin, making vinyl records and phonographs. They assumed the name Denon in 1947 after a company merger. They make professional and consumer audio and movie equipment: A/V receivers, Blu-ray players, tuners and headphones.