Best Surround Sound Receivers: Factors To Consider, Top Brands, And Key Features

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Looking for the best surround sound receiver? Explore , top brands like Sony and Yamaha, and key features like Dolby Atmos support for an immersive audio experience.

Factors to Consider when Choosing a Surround Sound Receiver

When it comes to choosing a surround sound receiver, there are several factors that you need to take into consideration. These factors will help ensure that you make the right choice and end up with a receiver that meets your specific needs and preferences. In this section, we will explore the key factors that you should consider when selecting a surround sound receiver.

Audio Quality

One of the most important factors to consider when choosing a surround sound receiver is the audio quality it delivers. After all, the main purpose of a surround sound system is to provide an immersive and high-quality audio experience. To assess the audio quality of a receiver, you can look for specifications such as the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) and the total harmonic distortion (THD). A higher SNR indicates a cleaner and clearer sound, while a lower THD indicates a more accurate reproduction of audio. Additionally, you can also read reviews and listen to demos to get a sense of how the receiver performs in real-world scenarios.

Compatibility with Devices

Another important factor to consider is the compatibility of the surround sound receiver with your existing devices. It is essential to ensure that the receiver can seamlessly integrate with your TV, Blu-ray player, gaming console, or any other audio source you plan to connect to it. Check if the receiver supports the necessary audio formats, such as Dolby Digital or DTS, to ensure compatibility with your devices. Additionally, consider the number and types of inputs and outputs available on the receiver, as this will determine how many devices you can connect simultaneously and the quality of the connections.

Connectivity Options

The connectivity options offered by a surround sound receiver play a crucial role in its usability and versatility. Look for receivers that provide a range of connectivity options, such as HDMI, optical, and coaxial inputs and outputs. HDMI is particularly important as it supports both high-definition audio and video signals, allowing for a seamless and convenient connection between your devices and the receiver. Furthermore, consider if the receiver offers wireless connectivity options, such as Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, as this can enhance the flexibility and ease of use of the system.

Power and Wattage

The power and wattage of a surround sound receiver are important factors to consider, especially if you have a large room or if you want to achieve a more immersive audio experience. The power output of a receiver is measured in watts per channel, and a higher wattage generally indicates a more powerful and dynamic sound. However, it is crucial to balance the power output with the size of your room and the type of speakers you are using. It is recommended to choose a receiver that provides enough power to drive your speakers effectively without overpowering them or causing distortion.

Top Brands for Surround Sound Receivers

When it comes to surround sound receivers, there are several that have established themselves as leaders in the industry. These brands have consistently produced high-quality receivers that deliver exceptional audio performance and offer a range of features to enhance your home theater experience. In this section, we will take a closer look at four of the top brands for surround sound receivers: Sony, Yamaha, Denon, and Onkyo.


Sony is a well-known and respected brand in the electronics industry, and their surround sound receivers are no exception. Sony receivers are known for their sleek design, advanced features, and impressive audio quality. One of the key features of Sony receivers is their compatibility with the latest audio formats, such as Dolby Atmos and DTS:X, which provide a truly immersive sound experience. Sony also offers receivers with wireless connectivity options, allowing you to stream music and movies from your smartphone or other devices. With intuitive user interfaces and easy setup, Sony receivers are a great choice for both beginners and audio enthusiasts.


Yamaha is another top brand that has been synonymous with quality audio equipment for decades. Yamaha surround sound receivers are known for their exceptional audio performance, reliability, and versatility. One of the standout features of Yamaha receivers is their MusicCast technology, which allows you to wirelessly connect and control multiple audio devices throughout your home. With MusicCast, you can create a seamless multi-room audio system and enjoy your favorite music in every corner of your house. Yamaha receivers also offer advanced sound customization options, allowing you to fine-tune the audio settings to suit your preferences.


Denon is a brand that is highly regarded by audio enthusiasts for its commitment to delivering high-fidelity sound. Denon surround sound receivers are known for their powerful performance, precise audio reproduction, and extensive connectivity options. One of the key features of Denon receivers is their support for Dolby Atmos, which creates a three-dimensional soundstage that truly immerses you in your favorite movies and music. Denon also offers receivers with wireless streaming capabilities, allowing you to access your favorite music services and enjoy high-quality audio without the need for additional devices. With their user-friendly interfaces and robust build quality, Denon receivers are a popular choice among audiophiles.


Onkyo is a brand that has gained a reputation for producing high-quality audio equipment at affordable prices. Onkyo surround sound receivers offer a great balance of performance, features, and value for money. Onkyo receivers are known for their solid build quality, easy setup, and excellent audio fidelity. Many Onkyo receivers come equipped with 4K Ultra HD pass-through, allowing you to enjoy the latest high-resolution video content with stunning clarity. Onkyo also offers receivers with multi-room audio capabilities, allowing you to expand your audio system to different areas of your home. With their affordable price points and impressive feature sets, Onkyo receivers are a popular choice for budget-conscious consumers.

Key Features of the Best Surround Sound Receivers

When it comes to choosing the best surround sound receiver for your home theater setup, there are several key features that you should consider. These features can greatly enhance your audio experience and provide you with the immersive sound quality you desire. In this section, we will explore the important features to look for in a surround sound receiver.

Dolby Atmos Support

One of the most significant advancements in home theater audio technology is Dolby Atmos. This innovative feature creates a three-dimensional sound experience by adding height to the traditional surround sound setup. With Dolby Atmos support, sound is not only projected from the front, rear, and sides, but also from above, creating a more realistic and immersive audio environment. Imagine hearing raindrops falling from the ceiling or a helicopter flying overhead with precision and clarity. Dolby Atmos support is a game-changer when it comes to surround sound, and choosing a receiver that includes this feature will elevate your home theater experience to new heights.

Wireless Connectivity

In today’s digital age, wireless connectivity is a must-have feature for any modern surround sound receiver. Gone are the days of dealing with a tangled mess of wires and cables. With wireless connectivity, you can easily connect your receiver to other devices, such as smartphones, tablets, or laptops, without the hassle of physical connections. This allows for seamless streaming of music, movies, and other media directly to your surround sound system. Whether you’re playing your favorite playlist or streaming the latest blockbuster movie, wireless connectivity provides convenience and flexibility in your home entertainment setup.

Multi-Room Audio Capabilities

If you have multiple rooms in your home that you want to enjoy high-quality audio in, then multi-room audio capabilities are a feature you won’t want to miss. With this feature, you can synchronize your surround sound receiver with speakers located in different rooms, allowing you to play the same audio throughout your home or have different audio sources in each room. Whether you’re throwing a party and want music playing in every corner of your house or simply want to listen to your favorite podcast while cooking in the kitchen, multi-room audio capabilities provide versatility and convenience.

4K Ultra HD Pass-through

In today’s era of high-definition content, it’s essential to have a surround sound receiver that supports 4K Ultra HD pass-through. This feature ensures that your receiver can handle the latest video formats and resolutions, allowing you to enjoy stunning visuals alongside immersive audio. With 4K Ultra HD pass-through, you can connect your receiver to a 4K TV or projector and experience the full potential of your home theater system. Whether you’re watching a Blu-ray movie, streaming a 4K video, or playing the latest video games, having a surround sound receiver with 4K Ultra HD pass-through guarantees a crisp and vibrant visual experience.

Budget-Friendly Surround Sound Receivers

When it comes to choosing a surround sound receiver, budget is often a major consideration. Fortunately, there are plenty of options available that offer great value for your money. In this section, we will explore the best budget-friendly surround sound receivers, including affordable options under $200 and refurbished or used receivers.

Best Value for Money

Finding a surround sound receiver that offers the best value for your money can be a challenging task. However, there are a few key factors to consider when looking for a receiver in this category. One important aspect is the audio quality. While you may not expect the same level of performance as higher-end models, it’s still crucial to ensure that the receiver delivers clear and immersive sound.

Another factor to consider is the compatibility with devices. Look for receivers that have multiple input options, such as HDMI, optical, and RCA, to ensure that you can connect all your audio sources easily. Additionally, check if the receiver supports the latest audio formats, such as Dolby Digital and DTS, for an enhanced audio experience.

Connectivity options are also important. Look for receivers that offer Bluetooth or Wi-Fi connectivity, as this allows you to stream music wirelessly from your smartphone, tablet, or computer. Some receivers even offer built-in streaming services like Spotify and Pandora, providing a wider range of audio options.

Lastly, power and wattage are crucial considerations. While budget-friendly receivers may not have the same power output as their higher-end counterparts, it’s still important to ensure that the receiver has enough power to drive your speakers effectively. Look for receivers with a power output of at least 50 watts per channel to ensure a satisfactory audio experience.

Affordable Options under $200

If you’re on a tight budget, there are several affordable options for surround sound receivers available for under $200. These receivers offer decent audio quality and a range of features while still being budget-friendly.

One popular option in this price range is the Sony STR-DH590. Priced under $200, this receiver offers 5.2 channels of audio and supports the latest audio formats, including Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio. It also has four HDMI inputs, allowing you to connect multiple devices, such as your TV, Blu-ray player, and gaming console.

Another affordable option is the Yamaha RX-V385. This receiver offers 5.1 channels of audio and supports 4K Ultra HD pass-through, ensuring that you can enjoy your favorite movies and shows in stunning detail. It also has Bluetooth connectivity, allowing you to stream music wirelessly from your devices.

For those who prefer refurbished or used receivers, there are often great deals available. Refurbished receivers have been professionally inspected and repaired if necessary, ensuring that they are in good working condition. These receivers often come with a warranty, providing peace of mind.

When purchasing a refurbished or used receiver, make sure to buy from a reputable seller and check the condition and warranty details. It’s also a good idea to research the specific model to ensure that it meets your requirements and has the necessary features.

In summary, there are affordable options available for under $200, including both new receivers and refurbished or used ones. Consider models like the Sony STR-DH590 and Yamaha RX-V385 for reliable performance within your budget.

To compare the Sony STR-DH590 and Yamaha RX-V385, refer to the table below:

Receiver Model Channels Audio Formats HDMI Inputs Connectivity
Sony STR-DH590 5.2 Dolby TrueHD, 4 Bluetooth, HDMI, RCA
DTS-HD Master Audio
Yamaha RX-V385 5.1 Dolby TrueHD, 4 Bluetooth, HDMI, RCA
DTS-HD Master Audio

Refurbished or Used Receivers

If you’re looking to save even more money, considering a refurbished or used receiver can be a viable option. Refurbished receivers have undergone a thorough inspection and any necessary repairs to ensure they are in good working condition. They often come with a warranty, providing added peace of mind.

When purchasing a refurbished receiver, it’s important to buy from a reputable seller. Look for sellers who have a good reputation and offer a warranty on their products. This way, you can be confident that you’re getting a reliable receiver that will meet your audio needs.

Used receivers can also be a cost-effective option, but they come with some inherent risks. It’s essential to thoroughly research the specific model you’re interested in and ask the seller detailed questions about its condition and usage history. Additionally, it’s a good idea to test the receiver before purchasing it to ensure that it functions properly.

While buying a used receiver may require more effort and caution, it can provide significant savings. Just make sure to approach the process with diligence and consider the potential risks.

In summary, if you’re looking for a budget-friendly surround sound receiver, consider refurbished or used options. Look for reputable sellers and thoroughly research the condition and warranty details. By doing so, you can find a cost-effective solution without compromising on audio quality or features.

Overall, when it comes to budget-friendly surround sound receivers, there are plenty of options available that offer excellent value for your money. Whether you’re looking for the best value, affordable options under $200, or considering refurbished or used receivers, there are choices to suit every budget. By considering factors such as audio quality, compatibility with devices, connectivity options, and power and wattage, you can find a budget-friendly receiver that meets your needs and enhances your audio experience.

User-Friendly Surround Sound Receivers

Easy Setup and Installation

When it comes to choosing a surround sound receiver, one of the key factors to consider is how easy it is to set up and install. After all, you want to be able to enjoy your new audio system without the hassle of complicated instructions or confusing wiring.

Many user-friendly surround sound receivers come with intuitive setup guides and diagrams that make the installation process a breeze. These guides typically provide step-by-step instructions, ensuring that even those who are not tech-savvy can easily connect their speakers and audio sources.

Additionally, some receivers offer advanced features like automatic speaker calibration, which further simplifies the setup process. With this feature, the receiver uses a built-in microphone to analyze the sound in your room and adjust the audio settings accordingly. This ensures optimal sound quality without the need for manual adjustments.

Intuitive User Interface

Another important aspect of a user-friendly surround sound receiver is its interface. After all, you want to be able to navigate through the various settings and options without feeling overwhelmed or confused.

Fortunately, many modern receivers come with intuitive user interfaces that are designed to be easy to use and navigate. These interfaces often feature simple menus and icons, allowing you to quickly access and adjust settings such as volume, audio modes, and speaker configurations.

Some receivers even offer smartphone apps that allow you to control the receiver wirelessly. This means you can adjust the settings and playback options from the comfort of your couch, without having to get up and manually interact with the receiver itself.

Remote Control Functionality

In addition to smartphone apps, surround sound receivers usually come with a dedicated remote control. This allows you to easily control the receiver and all its functions from a distance.

A user-friendly remote control should have well-labeled buttons and a layout that is easy to understand. It should also provide quick access to commonly used functions, such as adjusting the volume or selecting different audio sources.

Some advanced receivers even come with universal remote control capabilities, allowing you to control other devices in your home theater setup, such as your TV or Blu-ray player, with just one remote.

To summarize, when looking for a user-friendly surround sound receiver, it’s important to consider the ease of setup and installation. Look for receivers that provide clear instructions and offer features like automatic speaker calibration. Additionally, prioritize receivers with intuitive user interfaces and remote control functionality for convenient and hassle-free operation.

Here is a table summarizing the key features to look for in a user-friendly surround sound receiver:

Feature Description
Easy setup and installation Clear instructions and intuitive wiring diagrams
Intuitive user interface Simple menus and icons for easy navigation
Remote control functionality Well-labeled buttons for convenient operation
Smartphone app support Wireless control via smartphone or tablet
Universal remote capabilities Control multiple devices with one remote

By considering these factors, you can ensure that your surround sound receiver is not only capable of delivering immersive audio but also user-friendly and easy to use.

Advanced Surround Sound Receiver Features

Surround sound receivers have come a long way in recent years, offering a range of advanced features that enhance the audio experience in your home theater. In this section, we will explore some of the key advanced features to consider when choosing a surround sound receiver.

Customizable Sound Settings

One of the standout features of modern surround sound receivers is the ability to customize sound settings to suit your personal preferences. With customizable sound settings, you can adjust the audio output to match the acoustics of your room and tailor the sound to your liking.

Whether you prefer a more bass-heavy sound for action movies or a more balanced sound for music, a receiver with customizable sound settings allows you to fine-tune the audio to create the perfect listening experience. Some receivers even offer preset sound modes for different genres, making it easy to switch between settings depending on what you’re watching or listening to.

Network Streaming and Internet Radio

Gone are the days of relying solely on physical media for your audio needs. Many surround sound receivers now come equipped with network streaming capabilities, allowing you to access a wide range of online music services and internet radio stations.

With network streaming, you can easily connect your receiver to your home Wi-Fi network and stream music from popular platforms like Spotify, Pandora, or Apple Music. This opens up a world of possibilities, giving you instant access to millions of songs without the need for CDs or digital downloads.

In addition to streaming music, some receivers also offer built-in support for internet radio. This means you can tune in to your favorite radio stations from around the world, exploring different genres and discovering new artists, all from the comfort of your own home.

Voice Control Integration

Voice control has become increasingly popular in recent years, and it’s no surprise that it has made its way into the world of surround sound receivers. With voice control integration, you can control your receiver using voice commands, making it even easier to navigate through menus, adjust settings, and switch between audio sources.

By simply speaking commands to your receiver, you can change the volume, switch inputs, or even ask the receiver to play a specific song or artist. This hands-free approach to controlling your surround sound system adds a new level of convenience and simplicity to your home theater setup.

Voice control integration is often achieved through compatibility with popular voice assistants like Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant. By connecting your receiver to your existing smart home ecosystem, you can seamlessly integrate your audio system into your overall smart home setup, creating a truly connected and streamlined experience.

Surround Sound Receiver Maintenance and Troubleshooting

Cleaning and Dusting Tips

Keeping your surround sound receiver clean and dust-free is essential for optimal performance and longevity. Here are some easy cleaning tips to ensure your receiver stays in top shape:

  1. Power Off and Unplug: Before starting any cleaning, always remember to turn off your surround sound receiver and unplug it from the power source. This will prevent any accidents or damage during the cleaning process.
  2. Gentle Dusting: Start by using a clean, dry microfiber cloth or a soft brush to remove dust from the surface of your receiver. Be gentle and avoid applying too much pressure, as this could scratch the surface or dislodge any delicate components.
  3. Ventilation Openings: Pay special attention to the ventilation openings on your receiver. These openings allow for proper airflow and cooling. Use a can of compressed air or a soft brush to gently remove any dust or debris that may have accumulated in these areas.
  4. Remote Control: Don’t forget to clean your remote control as well. Wipe it down with a slightly damp cloth to remove any dirt or grime. Be careful not to get any moisture inside the control, as this could damage the internal circuitry.
  5. Regular Maintenance: Make it a habit to clean your surround sound receiver at least once a month. This will help prevent dust buildup and maintain optimal performance.

Troubleshooting Common Issues

Even the best surround sound receivers can encounter issues from time to time. Here are some common problems you may encounter and how to troubleshoot them:

  1. No Sound: If you’re not getting any sound from your speakers, first check the connections. Ensure that all cables are securely plugged in and that the correct input source is selected on your receiver. Also, make sure the volume is turned up and not muted.
  2. Poor Audio Quality: If you’re experiencing distorted or poor audio quality, check the speaker connections and make sure they are properly wired. Adjust the speaker settings on your receiver to ensure they are properly calibrated for your room’s acoustics. You may also want to check the audio settings of your source devices (such as TV or DVD player) to ensure they are outputting the best possible quality.
  3. Interference or Static: If you’re hearing interference or static noises, it could be due to a poor connection or radio frequency interference. Check all cable connections and make sure they are secure. If you’re using wireless speakers, try moving them closer to the receiver to improve the signal strength. Additionally, keep any potential sources of interference (such as cordless phones or Wi-Fi routers) away from your receiver.
  4. Overheating: Surround sound receivers can generate a significant amount of heat, especially during prolonged use. If your receiver feels excessively hot or shuts off unexpectedly, it may be overheating. Ensure that there is enough space around the receiver for proper ventilation and consider using a cooling fan or placing the receiver in a well-ventilated area.

Firmware Updates and Upgrades

Firmware updates and upgrades are crucial for keeping your surround sound receiver up to date with the latest features and improvements. Here’s what you need to know:

  1. Check Manufacturer’s Website: Regularly visit the manufacturer’s website to check for firmware updates specific to your surround sound receiver model. These updates are usually available for download and can be installed via a USB drive or network connection.
  2. Follow Instructions Carefully: When updating the firmware, it’s important to carefully follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer. Make sure you have a stable power source and a reliable internet connection, if applicable. Improper firmware installation can lead to malfunctions or even permanent damage to your receiver.
  3. Benefits of Upgrading: Firmware upgrades often bring new features, performance enhancements, and bug fixes. They can improve audio quality, add compatibility with new devices, and enhance overall user experience. Keeping your receiver updated ensures that you’re getting the most out of your investment.

In conclusion, proper maintenance and troubleshooting are essential for the optimal performance of your surround sound receiver. Regular cleaning and dusting help prevent dust buildup, while troubleshooting common issues ensures uninterrupted enjoyment of your audio experience. Additionally, staying up to date with firmware updates and upgrades ensures that your receiver remains compatible with the latest technologies and features. By following these tips, you can extend the lifespan of your surround sound receiver and enjoy high-quality audio for years to come.

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