The Yamaha RX-V379BL 5.1-Channel A/V Receiver is our best stereo receiver which enables 4K ultra HD that is pass-through and comes with HDCP 2.2. Do know that this is an A/V receiver with a 5.1 channel which has a virtual cinema front. The playback of music can be from wireless Bluetooth. The audio calibration uses YPAO microphone and if your satellite speakers are too small, it has an Extra Bass feature.
Our step-up pick is the Yamaha RX-V677 7.2-channel Wi-Fi AV Receiver and it comes with an AirPlay feature. This A/V receiver with a 7.2 channel is Wi-Fi network ready and is capable of 4K videos with 60p resolution up scaling. It has a user-friendly graphical user interface and has a two speaker function with powered independent zones. It has 105 watts per 8 ohms 1kHz 2-channel at 0.9 percent THD and 90 watts per 2-channel 20 Hz to 20 kHz at 0.09 THD. The device streaming allows you to connect with HTC and AirPlay.
The budget pick is the Yamaha R-S201BL 2-Channel Stereo Receiver and is certified by Energy Star standards. It is capable of AM/FM radio tuning and has RMT feature. Being coated in a sleek design and finish, it is extremely durable and high quality. It runs at 100 watts and is a 2-channel receiver and it is very affordable.
A Little Background
A stereo receiver is an essential for any home entertainment system or home theater setup. It receives audio wirelessly and in some cases, video at high quality formats. Most stereo receivers are capable of handling Bluetooth devices and some are also Wi-Fi ready.
Any home theater entertainment system will require the assistance of a stereo receiver so you can have endless and unprecedented high quality streaming from your favorite audio and video services.
How We Picked
When we picked the best stereo receiver, we kept in mind the following criteria:
Is the stereo receiver capable of Bluetooth? Most stereo receivers should be able to accept Bluetooth playback at high quality. A Wi-Fi feature is a big plus.
What are the stereo receiver’s power outputs?
Do the technologies it has help improve ease of use and quality streaming and playback?
What do the reviews say about the stereo receiver?
What is the price of the stereo receiver?
Top Pick: Yamaha RX-V379BL 5.1-Channel A/V Receiver
The Yamaha RX-V379BL 5.1-Channel A/V Receiver is our best stereo receiver which enables 4K ultra HD that is pass-through and comes with HDCP 2.2 and in addition, the audio calibration uses YPAO microphone
For sound quality, if your satellite speakers are too small, it has an Extra Bass feature. Do know that this is an A/V receiver with a 5.1 channel and as for reliability, the playback of music can be from wireless Bluetooth. It also has a virtual cinema front and comes with a cinema DSP.
You can enjoy the benefits of a 5 channel speaker with surround sound without having to install rear room speakers. As for its other benefits, small subwoofers will definitely benefit from its Extra Bass feature, so there is no need for you to buy bigger subwoofers.
It is great for the absolute home theater experience and as for audio quality, it incredibly enhances mp3 files and other compressed music formats so that they will play as if they are digitally restored and give high quality to the sound. In addition, the 5.1 channel amp has a discrete design and as for its power, it requires only 2 AAA batteries to run and it weighs 18.6 lbs overall.
With high sound quality via wireless playback of media depends on Yamaha’s Compressed Music Enhancer via Bluetooth audio transmissions, the output power is at 130 watts with 1 kHz and with a THD of 10 percent, 8 ohms 1 channel driven while the output power at 20 Hz to 20 kHz is 70 watts at a 2-channel 8 ohms 0.09 percent.
As for equalization, the microphone uses YPAO technology to fine tune the speakers by using the mic to listen and know what needs to be adjusted to the sound, therefore, there is no need for you to set up bass or treble settings or an equalizer.
With the Yamaha RX-V379BL Receiver, you can easily play from smartphones and other tablets and devices that have Bluetooth.
Flaws but Not Dealbrakers
The only concern about the Yamaha RX-V379BL 5.1-Channel A/V Receiver is that the spring clip ports need to be redesigned a little bit for more convenience.
Yamaha RX-V677 7.2-channel Wi-Fi AV Receiver
As for our step-up pick, the Yamaha RX-V677 7.2-channel Wi-Fi AV Receiver comes with an AirPlay feature and is an A/V receiver with a 7.2 channel. As for connectivity, the device streaming allows you to connect with HTC and AirPlay. As for its unique feature, it has a two speaker function with powered independent zones.
Being Wi-Fi network ready, it is powered at 105 watts per 8 ohms 1kHz 2-channel at 0.9 percent THD and 90 watts per 2-channel 20 Hz to 20 kHz at 0.09 THD. In quality, it is capable of 4K videos with 60p resolution up scaling. It also has a user-friendly graphical user interface.
It is capable of providing music services such as Spotify, Sirius XM Internet Radio, Rhapsody, Pandora and vTuner Internet Radio. It weighs 22.1 lbs and has pass-through ultra HD at 4K which supports 50p or 60p input high definition with a ratio of 4:4:4.
As for this stereo receiver, it is perfect for super HD broadcasting in ultra 4K HD and requires 2 AAA batteries to run. It is also available in Bluetooth adapter bundle or refurbished receiver. For the size, this stereo receiver measures 435 millimeters by 171 millimeters.
It uses YPAO for sound optimization so there is no need for you to adjust an equalizer – the stereo receiver will do the job for you. As for home theater advantage, it comes with a virtual cinema front to simulate a real cinema home system.
You are able to control from the second zone with a mobile app or using the included remote control. For compatibility, the HDMI port also has MHL or mobile high definition link where you can even play 1080p videos and multichannel music. It also uses a multi-zone audio technology.
Being capable of Wi-Fi, wired and wireless playback, this receiver also doubles as a charger for any phone that is connected to it. The HDMI 2.0 specifications and connectivity are highly supported to give you only the best and smoothest HD videos. Also worth noting, the compressed music enhancer works on mp3 and other compressed formats to give you a clearer sound despite being compressed.
Adding to that, it has a SCENE feature that enables a one-touch start and the assignment of amp is powered by an intelligent technology. It has a warranty of 2 years.
Yamaha R-S201BL 2-Channel Stereo Receiver
Our buget pick is the Yamaha R-S201BL 2-Channel Stereo Receiver which is capable of AM/FM radio tuning and furthermore, it is extremely durable and high quality. Being certified by Energy Star standards, this stereo receiver runs at 100 watts and is a 2-channel receiver.
Aside from being very affordable, it has RMT feature. As it is coated in a sleek design, you can choose and save up to 40 stations for its AM/FM tuner. For its design, it has a wired technology with a color black finish.
It gives high quality sound and audio playback and when it comes to layout, it has a simple but fully detailed design that gives users a peace of mind. For accessibility, the remote control has also been smartly designed.
This stereo receiver weighs 14.8 lbs in which you can select speakers and speaker terminals for up to 2 systems. For its performance and rating, it is highly powered at 100 watts x 2 (at 8 ohms, 0.2 percent THS from 40 Hz to 20 kHz) and coupled with quality circuit design to provide clear sounds. Additionally, it comes with a headphone terminal.
Also worth noting for there is also a timer feature for you to save power which can be set for 2 hours, 4 hours, 8 hours or 12 hours. For power, its power consumption is only 0.5 watts during standby and the dynamic power channel at 8 ohms is 125, 6 ohms at 150, 5 ohms at 165 and 2 ohms at 180 watts. For sound quality, the signal to noise ratio for mono is 72 dB while on stereo, it is 70 dB.
The input sensitivity is at 500 mV while impedance is 47 kilohm and the output level is 500 mV while 2.2 kilohm is its Rec out at 1 kHz and 200 mV. Accessibility wise, it has 4 audio inputs and 1 audio output and requires 2 AA batteries to run. You can also line out from this receiver to line in on any equalizer you wish and at 50 watts, it has a total harmonic distortion or THD of 0.2 percent.
For its power, at 500 mV input shorted, its signal to noise ratio is 10 dB. It has a 70 µV residual noise via IFHA network. The Yamaha R-S201BL has 2 years warranty.
Stereo Receiver and Preamp Hybrid
Pyle P2002ABTI 2000 Watts Hybrid Receiver
The Pyle P2002ABTI 2000 Watts Hybrid Receiver is a hybrid stereo receiver that is also a pre-amplifier, it comes with a docking station for iPod. Like most stereo receivers, it enables a Bluetooth playback feature.
For its capacity, it runs at 2,000 watts peak power and for radio lovers, it comes with an AM and FM tuner. It weighs 15.4 lbs and furthermore, it also has a auto-seek feature for the station tuner. For music lovers, it is capable of input for iPod and mp3 with cable.
In terms of voltage, the power outlet is 110 volts to 220 volts. Also worth nothing, the tuner is powered with quartz synthesized technology. In size, the receiver has dimensions of 19 inches by 13 inches. As for power, the docking station is able to power up to 4 loudspeakers and also, the subwoofer and the preamp both have separate gain controls.
For power rating, at 2 ohms, it runs at 600 watts, runs at 460 watts on 4 ohms and at 8 ohms, it runs at 240 watts. It also has RCA output with a binding banana post towards speakers and as for connectivity, it comes with a record line output RCA and 2 mono RCA for connecting to the subwoofer and also has a dedicated output for the preamp with an RCA.
In physical appearance, the display meter output is digital fluorescent and gives off a striking and sleek finish and sound is high quality and accurate. The Pyle P2002ABTI Receiver is perfect for any home theater setup and also ideal for iPhones and newer models.
Best Black Colored Stereo Receiver
Sherwood RX4508 200W AM/FM Stereo Receiver
The Sherwood RX4508 200W AM/FM Stereo Receiver comes with Bluetooth feature functionality and runs at 200 watts. It has an AM and FM tuner. Additionally, there are controls for bass and treble.
As for its AM/FM function, the tuner has up to 30 station presets and the preset scan is able to quickly search with its auto scan and also, the tuner is quartz PLL synthesized digital tuner. For compatibility, it works on most CD players, DVD players, Blu-Ray players, mobile phones, gaming consoles, laptops, satellite and cable inputs, as well as retro gear like VCRs and cassette decks.
For its user-friendliness, you can easily switch between the inputs and still give a high quality sound that is very accurate and as for the shape, the design of the stereo receiver is a solid block pattern shape. Additionally, it comes with DAS or discrete amplifier stage. It is colored in a sleek black finish and weighs 41 lbs. It produces high quality and high power sounds.
When it comes to capacity, the power output is at 100 watts x 2 for 40 to 20 kHz at 8 ohms and 1 percent THD. At 1 channel, it runs at 100 watts with 0.02 THD at R/O. Do know that the amp type is an analog discrete 2-channel and the Bluetooth version is v3.0 which accepts AVRCP, A2DP and aptX.
Ideal Stereo Receiver with Docking Station
Pyle Home PT270AIU 300-Watt Stereo Receiver
If you want a stereo receiver that has a docking station, you would want the Pyle Home PT270AIU 300-Watt Stereo Receiver which is incredibly cheap and affordable and is capable of USB and SD card input that plays mp3 and most audio formats.
This stereo receiver is great for use on your home theater setup and comes with a subwoofer control and of course, it has an iPod docking station. For radio lovers out there, it comes with an AM and FM tuner and as for power, it runs at 300 watts of power. Again, for music enthusiasts, the radio station can store up to 50 stations and it also has one RCA input for audio source.
It is highly compatible with a lot of devices and the dock also charges your iPod or iPhone. You can turn it into a personal or group karaoke because it comes with two 1/4 inch microphone inputs. The Pyle Home PT270AIU weighs 13 pounds and is easily switchable between 110 volts and 220 volts.
Additionally, the tuner is an AM/FM quartz synthesized technology and for speakers, there are 2-mono RCA that are dedicated for the output of the subwoofer. Design is very decent as it has a convenient mount backrest. You can easily connect it to any subwoofer and control its gain for convenience.
As for durability and reliability, it offers unprecedented protection from overheating, short circuit and over current. The 300 watts is x2 for its peaking power at 8 ohms and also, the subwoofer has a separate gain control with 150 watts x 2 at 4 ohms.
As for its appearance, the display meter output is digital fluorescent so it looks very sleek in appearance and for its radio tuner features, it has an auto seek feature for the AM/FM tuner for stations. All in all, it is capable of a lot of audio inputs and audio outputs.
One more thing to know is that it has a wireless remote to control it and it comes with an AP loop antenna and an FM antenna for the tuner. Furthermore, the output to speakers uses a banana binding post. For karaoke lovers, the microphone settings allows for an option to put echo to your voice, much like most karaoke systems. Being colored in black finish, the Pyle Home 300-Watt Receiver has a 1 year warranty.
Best Dual Zone Stereo Receiver
Sherwood RX5502 RMS Dual-Zone Stereo Receiver
The Sherwood RX5502 RMS Dual-Zone Stereo Receiver is a great dual zone stereo receiver in which the remote control is a unified design with 25 keys. For reliability, its power is 100 watts x 4 and has a multi-room mode.
This stereo receiver is capable of dual-zone and is a multi-source receiver and also, you can use it as a zone 2/3 receiver or amplifier or as a freestanding unit. Additionally, you can switch up to 4 pairs of loudspeakers using the remote control from its front panel.
Furthermore, it is capable of RMS in and out and being given a black color finish, the Sherwood RX5502 RMS Receiver makes for a great home audio receiver to consider for its price. Additionally, it also has a 3.5 mm to RCA connection. With a very sturdy design, it comes with a sleep timer for power saving. It weighs 22 lbs and has a 2 year warranty.
Best 5.2 Channel Stereo Receiver
Denon AVR-S510BT 5.2 Channel AV Receiver
The Denon AVR-S510BT 5.2 Channel AV Receiver is a great buy as a stereo receiver. Take not that it is a 5.2 channel stereo receiver which is capable of ultra HD and 4k videos as an A/V receiver. For its technology uses DTS-HD master audio as well as Dolby TruHD for high quality sound.
It is also available in a cheaper, factory refurbished receiver and of course, comes with a Bluetooth features. For HDMI, there are 3 HDMI inputs that are already designated as this is a pass-through stereo receiver. Additionally, it fully supports HDCP 2.2 and the rate of the pass through is at 60 Hz.
Also worth noting is that it is capable of IP control as well as HEOS link so you can make wireless zones out of any stereo system, although you have to buy the HEOS link separately. Also worth noting for power, the output wattage is at 75 watts and there are 4 buttons for quick select plus so you can easily load up your favorite settings.
For mixing your music, it comes with room EQ and auto setup with friendly displays on-screen and over 5 channels give out 140 watts of power. With a sturdy build, it is colored in black finish. It also has a convenient USB port for charging phones or streaming audio and other media.
In resolution, it uses 4:4:4 pure color technologies for its 4K videos and complies with the latest of HDMI 2.0 standards which allows for 5 inputs and 1 output. You can enjoy wireless Bluetooth streaming for up to 8 paired Bluetooth devices and for compatibility, it plays most media types including WMA, mp3, AAC, mpeg-4 and high quality FLAC.
As for power, all of its 5 power amp stages pass Class AB amplification that is good for very lower impedance speakers at 6 ohms. For better sounds, the stereo receiver also has dual subwoofer output and for convenience, the terminals and speaker labels are also color coded so you won’t confuse one with another and for easy setup. In addition to that, you get an easy operation with a long press memory feature and its quick select call.
When you order, it comes with a Denon 500 series remote for controlling not jus iOS devices but also Android devices. The HDMI input is up to 3 inputs and last, but not the least, the receiver also has an auto setup for its EQ technology.
Best 7.2 Channel Stereo Receiver
Denon AVR-S710W 7.2 Channel AV Receiver
The Denon AVR-S710W 7.2 Channel AV Receiver is capable of Wi-Fi streaming. Do know that this is a 7.2 channel stereo receiver which supports HDMI version 2.0a and has up to 6 HDMI inputs with 1 on the front.
It fully supports HDCP 2.2 and has 75 watts of power per channel and also comes in a cheaper refurbished receiver. With this stereo receiver, you are able to play content from Spoitfy Connect, SiriusXM and Pandora as well as AirPlay and Android push playback and other internet radio services and supports DLNA 1.5 and as for technology, it has Dolby Atmos technology support up to 5.1.2 and it becomes DTS:X ready if you update the firmware.
It is also capable of ultra HD 4K videos and 3D and it has a 60 Hz pass-through full rate with a color resolution of 4:4:4 when it comes to quality and is highly capable of IP control as well as a HEOS link for wireless zone conversion. It is colored in black finish and for environment friendly features, it has an ECO mode for power saving.
The room calibration uses Odyssey Mule setup and allows for USB input on the front panel. It is powered at 120 watts and comes with a DSP suite Audysse Bronze with Dynamic EQ and Dynamic Volume settings and options. The audio tracks become super high resolution due to its high compatibility with FLAC and lossless WAV and PCM and also, the max power out per channel is 165 watts. It is is both a Bluetooth and Wi-Fi stereo receiver which is capable of Dolby Atmos DTS:X via firmware and the 7.2 channels are multi-zone and multi-source and is capable of multi-room setups.
Best Pass-Through Stereo Receiver
Pioneer SC-1223-K 7.2-Channel A/V Receiver
The Pioneer SC-1223-K 7.2-Channel A/V Receiver is capable of up to 8 HDMI outputs with 7 on the rear and one on the front and 2 outputs.
It comes with Audio Return Channel HDMI feature and Power Save HDMI standby feature and the technology used for processing video is Qdeo which converts from composite as well as component videos to HDMI. The amplification class is Class D3 for sophistication and meticulous sound and the 7.2 channels are at 120 watts at 8 ohms and 1 kHz.
Also available in a Bluetooth adapter bundle, it is also capable of AirPlay from most iPhones, iPad and iPod and the MHL allows playback of audio and video from Android phones and devices. It highly supports DTS-HD Master Audio and Dolby TrueHD as well as DTS Neo X format for super high quality audio and as for resolution, displays ultra HD 4k video with up scaling and pass-through support. It weighs 25 lbs and is capable of a wireless adapter port, a pre-amp output port as well as a headphone output.
Being Wi-Fi ready and pass-through, it supports most standard formats such as AIFF, WAV, FLAC, mp3, AAC, WMA, lossless Apple format and others and also has an HTC connect for HTC smartphones. Additionally, it is also DLNA certified and is compatible to Blu-Ray players. It uses Bit-stream and MCACC fine tuning and you can even use your tablet or phone to control this stereo receiver.
Stereo receivers that did not get into our top list of receivers are mostly lacking in features such as device compatibility and the prices are a bit too high.
Other Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is a stereo receiver or A/V receiver?
A: According to For Dummies , it connects to your audio and video sources and switches sources as well and is capable of listening to the radio with its built-in AM/FM tuner. It can amplify music to your audible speakers and makes for a great interface for your home theater. It is capable of decoding formats made for surround-sound such as Dobly TruHD and DTS Master Audio formats.
Q: What are the uses of a stereo receiver and should you buy one?
A: According to CNET , they are a must have for those who listen to music 24/7 or watch movies a lot and are perfect for any home entertainment system or home theater.
Q: Any tips on buying a stereo receiver?
A: According to Digital Trends , you should choose between stereo or surround sound and make sure you read the product specs so that it produces great sound and great value for your money. Also, make sure the power and wattage are just right and consider bandwidth, impedance, total harmonic distortion, and power.
Wrapping It Up
All in all, Yamaha RX-V379BL 5.1-Channel A/V Receiver is our best stereo receiver whether you want to setup a home entertainment system, a home cinema or other purposes.
Jen Miller is a former electrical engineer and product specialist with more than 20 years of product design and testing experience. She has designed more than 200 products for Fortune 500 companies, in fields ranging from home appliances to sports gear and outdoor equipment. She founded Jen Reviews to share her knowledge and critical eye for what makes consumers tick, and adopts a strict no-BS approach to help the reader filter through the maze of products and marketing hype out there. She writes regularly and has been featured on Forbes, Fast Company, The Muse, The Huffington Post, Tiny Buddha and MindBodyGreen.