Best AV Receiver for 2021

Are you looking The best AV receiver For the money? You’ve come to the right place. I’ve tested the most popular options for the big brands in the $ 500 to $ 800 range, and the connectivity, performance levels, and feature sets are impressive. From 8K video To Dolby Atmos To Wi-Fi music streaming – and high quality audio – modern home cinema receivers offer everything a Home theater Encouragement may be needed.

The latest such feature is 8K compatibility, which is available on many of the best models we’ve reviewed. Original 8K video, and 8K TVs, are relatively rare today, but 8K compatibility may still be important for future proof. That is, if you get an 8K TV in the future – and for gamers Xbox Series X Or PlayStation 5 Who want Latest video features. Such gamers should be aware, however, that until a long time ago, 8K-synced receivers had problems displaying video from certain types of gaming consoles and PCs.

We’ll explain all of them in depth below, but first, here are our current choices for the best AV receivers of 2021.


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Which receiver should I buy?

Of Yamaha RX-V6A My favorite recipient for the last 12 months. It offers great shapes and performance chips for the match. It is one of the last models to resist price increases in 2021 and is also the cheapest I can recommend. It is worth noting that some non-4K / 120Hz Yamaha models may still be on the shelves. The company is working on an online tool to determine which models are available, but has no timetable for its rollout yet.

If you want to be safe Onkyo TX-NR6100 Is the recipient. Onkyo is an excellent performer and offers easy setup, excellent use, solid shape and useful features, including the best streaming suite. Meanwhile, the Denon AVR-S960H also offers 8K throwput and is especially good with music.

Finally, Sony STR-DN1080 It’s too old at the moment, but it still offers 4K HDR throughput, streaming capabilities and advanced sound. (Note: This is currently marked as a closure on many shopping sites, but Sony confirmed to CNET that this is the current model as of September 10.)

Ty Pendlebury / CNET

This Yamaha AV receiver is the best 8K receiver I’ve ever tried, but it comes with a warning. Early 2021 models are not compatible with 4K / 120Hz, and we are still waiting for the 8K board upgrade program to begin. Video compliance aside, the Yamaha RX-V6A offers a fresh look at the AV receiver design with its future edges and simple controls, and it also maximizes sound quality. The RX-V6A can even make you forget about going to the cinema again, and there’s no shortage of music. This Yamaha receiver offers Wi-Fi connectivity, AirPlay 2, Spotify Connect, Bluetooth and Yamaha’s music cast system for streaming from your devices.

Read our YAMAHA RX-V6A review.

Ty Pendlebury / CNET

The TX-NR6100 is a follow-up to Onkyo TX-NR696, my favorite recipient of the last few years. Like its predecessor, the NR6100 offers a wealth of excellent sound and connectivity, which now includes support for 4K / 120Hz from gaming consoles. It also boasts a great selection of streaming formats, including Chromecast Built-in, DTS Play-Fi, Spotify Connect, AirPlay and Bluetooth. However, the NR6100 is not as good a deal as its predecessor as it now costs $ 150 more, and the Yamaha RX-V6A offers better performance at a lower price.

United voice

One of the only two mainstream designs to be released in 2020, Denon’s AVR-S960H may not be as shiny and shiny as the Yamaha RX-V6A, but it still offers excellent sound quality. The receiver is comfortable, blends well with the forward speaker and plays music beautifully. It has almost everything you need, including 8K video, Amazon Alexa and voice control via Google Assistant Speaker, Dolby Atmos, and Apple AirPlay 2. While the best AVR-S750H of 2019 is still available, the ‘960’ is priced at around $ 600. You can also pay a little more to enhance the features and power of the S960 offerings.

Be aware that versions of the Denon AVR-S960H purchased before April 2021 are affected by the 4K / 120Hz bug and owners must sign up for one of the free dongles.

Read our Denon AVR-S960H review.

Best for Android users (update: out of stock)

Sony STR-DN1080

Sarah Tew / CNET

The Sony STR-DN1080 won our Editors’ Choice Award in 2017, and despite being quite long in the teeth, it is still an excellent AV receiver package. The sound quality is not as strong as that of Denon and Onkyo, but they are all very close. If you want a receiver that provides ease of use and integrates both AirPlay (but not AirPlay 2) and Google Chromecast built-in wireless streaming, this is a great option. It even uses virtual speaker relocation technology to improve the sound in the room where you set it up. It’s still officially a current model but it’s always out of stock. You’re better off buying an Onkyo TX-NR6100 instead.

Read our Sony STR-DN1080 review.

Should You Buy an 8K Receiver?

You want to make sure your new recipient keeps up to date with the latest TVs and video gear. Standards change all the time, but at least for now. HDR and Dolby Vision, And at least HDMI version 2.0 Or better? All these models support 4K and HDR video. 8K support is here, though Content is hard to find., And most recorded content is still available in 1080p or even SD anyway. If future proofing is a concern for you, the rest of the list also offers 8K and HDMI 2.1 compatibility for the Sony STR-DN1080.

That said, I would still advise caution when buying an 8K receiver, especially if future proofing is something you’re interested in. All of 2020 8K– There were synchronized receivers. Sensitive to an insect Prevent them from appearing Variable refresh rate Video, and more Xbox Series X Especially. While Denon, Marantz and Yamaha have announced reforms. For existing models, if you buy. Yamaha RX-V6A There is a small chance that it may need to be replaced. A Yamaha spokesman told me this Synchronized receivers start delivering in the summer, But there is still no easy way to check compatibility (although an online tool is coming).

Sound United, which manufactures Danone and Marantz receivers, says. Any model sold after April 2021 Must be 4K / 120Hz synchronized. The spokesman said that if consumers are not sure whether their model is compatible or not, they should contact their dealer or customer support. Older, incompatible models can be fixed with a free adapter, but the company suggests that these dongles are now out of stock by early 2022.

Contestant Onkyo released its 99 599. TX-NR5100 In mid-July 2021, and when I found out that it could pass 4K / 120Hz, I’m sure it’s not recommended for the same amount as the older, more capable TX-NR696. Of $ 799 TX-NR6100 There is a real alternative, but it is more expensive.

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Denon AVR-S960H

Ty Pendlebury / CNET

Is 4K / 120Hz support a big deal?

As I write this, there are a handful of games that you can put into this mode – The will of Ori and Wasps, Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, To name a couple – but the benefits of 4K / 120Hz over 60Hz are minimal as far as we’ve seen at this point. Future games and even video sources can tell the difference, and that’s why you need a receiver that is fully compatible.

If you buy an old receiver, you don’t care. Xbox Series X, Or you do not want to send your 8K model to the store, you can always put a fancy new console directly on the TV, then use eARC To get audio to the recipient. Despite the clutter in which AV receiver manufacturers have found themselves, these models have one thing in common: excellent performance.

Other features to look for in a sub $ 1K recipient

AV receivers are notoriously complex, with many features and confusing technical features. (For example, What is “Ultra HD”? Anyway?) Still, what are the things that really matter when buying a new model? I am going to summarize the most important here.

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The back panel of the TX-NR6100 offers 6 HDMI inputs and 2 outputs.

Ty Pendlebury / CNET

HDMI input: As much as you can get.

With most TVs and set-top boxes supporting HDMI, you should buy a receiver with maximum HDMI input ports and outputs. Front-mounted HDMI ports are like an appendix – unnecessary, as most users don’t hot plug into HDMI devices – the number of inputs behind is the most important. (How else would you connect your Roku, Blu-ray player, Nintendo Switch And all your other devices?) In this roundup, both Sony and Onkyo have six rear-mounted HDMI ports, while the Danone and Yamaha are better with seven. If you want to combine two different displays – a TV and a projector, for example – all offer HDMI output except Yamaha. You should also make sure you have an extra HDMI cable or two hands – these things are like a pair of other socks that you can never find when you need them.

You don’t really need Dolby Atmos ‘Height’ speakers.

Most recipients are included in the price range of $ 500 and above. Dolby Atmos Ability and DTS: XBut the effect they can have on your home theater movie may be fine, or in most movies, non-existent. In other words, don’t worry about losing these formats if you don’t have one or two extra height speakers installed. Raising the speaker around your back to the wall will take you halfway through the quality, deep sound.

Wi-Fi music streaming

Most midrange receivers have on-board Wi-Fi network connectivity. Wireless music streaming Through your speaker system. There are many standards for wireless streaming services, but the most universal. Spotify Connect, Apple Air play 1 and 2 and Google Chrome built-in. If you want to create a multi-room system with multiple AV systems and speakers with wireless connectivity, these are the three flavors that are intended. Onkyo and Sony are the only two devices that support all three. The Danone receiver model lacks wireless streaming via Chromecast, but it does increase. Airplay 2 And proprietary HEOS systems. Yamaha, meanwhile, has its own music cast system.

For more general information on what you should look for, check it out AV Receiver Buying Guide.

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