Reviews

10 Best Home Theater Amplifiers For 2020

Looking for the best home theater amplifiers to buy this year? Here’s a list with cheap AV receiver options you can buy on Amazon.

An Audio/Video Receiver is a hub of a home theater and the electronic component that controls and drives your home theater experience. The ability to decode analog and digital surround-sound formats is a good feature that differentiates an A/V receiver from a more traditional stereo receiver.

AVR also has five channels of application ready to drive your surround-sound speaker system. It comes with the ability to interpret and amplify those signals and then send them to output devices like your television and sound system.

Some of their components include a built-in DVD and other media player design. Over the years, there has been an expansion in the home entertainment option; which warranted the need for a receiver.

The AV receiver is mainly classified as an Audio frequency electronic amplifier; but with the rapid addition of several characteristics, AV receiver now adds up with additional functionality that is significant.

Most of the new amplifiers come with the ability to handle a variety of digital audio signals; surround-sound playback; video switching; and video processing.

Best Home Theater Amplifiers 2020

There are different types of amplifiers waiting for you in the market, and it takes a better understanding of a buyer’s guide for you to know the one that fits best in your home.

Today’s receivers are made with lots of advanced technology and cool features that offer the best value than ever before. The bad part is that it makes the research and buying process potentially more confusing than ever before. This is why we have a compiled list of the best home theater amplifiers in 2020.

When you are done reading this buyer’s guide, you will be armed with knowledgeable information on making a solid buying decision on a receiver that will serve you for years.

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1. Pioneer VSX-534

Pioneer VSX-534 5.2-Ch Avr, 4K, HDR10, Dolby Vision/Atmos/Virtual & Bluetooth

We recommend this receiver as the best because of its staggering price. The pioneer product has occupied the best budget spot for some time now with some very good reasons. A very nice feature that we didn’t expect to see is the room calibration, which is rarely inputted into affordable receivers. The model also comes with a huge range of surround sound programs to use. Putting the room calibration aside,

it also includes full Dolby Atmos; with the bass almost impressive than that of Onkyo TX-NR686. If you are looking for a great A/V receiver, We have no doubts telling you that Pioneer VSX-534 is the best budget receiver right now.

Pioneer VSX-534 Features:

  • Wattage: 80, Two-Channels Driven
  • Channels: 5.2
  • Dolby Atmos: Yes
  • Connection: Bluetooth

Why we love the Pioneer VSX-534:

  • It has a sleek look.
  • It comes with great room calibration.
  • Designed with an impressive surround sound.

Why we don’t like it:

  • Frequent fault in the Bass area.

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2. Onkyo TN-NR686

Onkyo TX-RZ820 THX-Certified 7.2-Channel 4K Network A/V Receiver

Unlike the Marantz SR604, the Onkyo TN-NR686 is a better alternative, especially if you are not looking for additional channels and power.

This receiver boasts a good range of price with astonishing features for almost all setups. It also comes with two subwoofer outputs allowing the whole house to shake on its foundations. One of its characteristics is the ability to add speakers in an additional zone in the house.

In terms of sound quality, it is as good as the Denon AVR-X4500H given the alternative price and features.

Even though, I really do not experience my movies and streaming series in the best position ways; it is still quite useful as the best surround sound option with the Atmos, DTX:X, and DTS Neural:X making it an excellent choice.

Onkyo TN-NR686 Features:

  • Wattage: 100, Two-Channels Driven
  • Channels: 7.2
  • Dolby Atmos: Yes
  • Connection: Bluetooth/Wi-Fi

Why we like the Onkyo TN-NR686

  • It has Cool features at an affordable price.
  • It comes with two subwoofer outputs.

Why we don’t like it:

  • The sound quality isn’t that exciting.

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3. Denon AVR-S740H

Denon AV Receivers Audio & Video Component Receiver Black (AVRS740H)

The AVR-S740H is an upgrade to the AVR-730H. The former and latter receivers are both excellent, but with the addition of almost $100 to the new one. It is very easy to note that there is really no improvement in the features of both receivers in terms of audio quality and Video standards.

The Denon industry is making many advances, and this is one of their top picks at the best budget rate. But for the fact that I named this particular model among the list, then there has to be something astonishing about it. The AVR-S704H is a great receiver.

Only a few receivers deliver 7.2 channels Audio with an intense sound of raving quality. It also comes with the HEOS functionality as an excellent feature. You can always decide to pick the SONY STR-DN1080 which is quite better, but the AVR-S740H is also a better receiver with lesser money to spend.

Denon AVR-S740H Features:

  • Wattage: 75, Two-Channels Driven
  • Channels: 7.2
  • Dolby Atmos: Yes
  • Connection: Bluetooth/Wi-Fi

Why we like the Denon AVR-S740H:

– Great and technical stellar sound.


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4. Pioneer VSX-934

Pioneer VSX-934 7.2-ch Network AV ReceiverThe Pioneer VSX-934 is an alternative into the Yamaha RX-V585 and the Denon AVR-S740H due to its range of characteristics and attractive price tag. If you have an iOS device, this AV receiver is the best you can get affordably because it has the inclusion of Apple AirPlay2.

This model is designed with a huge range of codecs which makes it deliver great surround sound. The sound quality comes with every explosions, punch and bullet impact that an excellent lightweight receiver ought to have.

Even though there are still some superior receivers, it still remains the best option considering the versatility in both small and big rooms. You can always count on the Pioneer VSX-934 to get the job done at the very least price and variety of features.

Pioneer VSX-934 Features

  • Wattage: 160, Two-Channels Driven
  • Channels: 7.2
  • Dolby Atmos: Yes
  • Connection: Bluetooth/Wi-Fi

Why we like the Pioneer VSX-934

  • Suitable for iOS device users.
  • Best price for a surround sound program.

Why we don’t like it:

  • Other models have better functionalities.

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5. Denon AVR-S650H

Denon AVR-S650H Audio Video Receiver, 5.2 Channel (150W X 5) 4K UHD Home Theater Surround Sound (2019) | Music Streaming | Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, AirPlay 2, Alexa, HEOS Built-in | eARC and Upgraded HDCP

The latest product from Denon is an incredible surround sound without having to incorporate additional speakers. Unlike other Denon products, the AVR-S650H comes with technology known as Dolby Atmos height virtualization technology.

Its sound delivery is classic, with an impersonation of height audio, using complicated digital witchcraft. Among the three new receivers that incorporate this technology, the AVR-S650H stands as one of them. To vouch for increased power, We would recommend the S750H and S950H; which comes with Denon’s HEOS tech for wireless listening and has its overall sound quality coming with upgraded internals.

However; many people still prefer the Onkyo TX-NR686 with an extra $80 because it possesses a true Dolby Atmos. The AVR-S650H is a solid receiver and deserves to be on this list, especially for people who want to mimic height speakers.

Denon AVR-S650H Features:

  • Wattage: 150, Two-Channels Driven
  • Channels: 5.2
  • Dolby Atmos: No
  • Connection: Bluetooth/Wi-Fi

Why we like the Denon AVR-S650H

  • Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization Technology is standard.

What we don’t like:

  • It is expensive compared to the features.

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6. Onkyo TX-NR787

Onkyo TX-NR787 THX Certified 9.2-Channel Network A/V Receiver

The new Onkyo series has left everyone in awe. There has been a big preference of the former product, Onkyo TX-TR686, over the latter just because of the cheaper price tag and of course; having the same functionality.

But because it is newer doesn’t mean there is no point to justify its own existence. It comes with an excellent receiver of its own. For its price tag, you will surely get the expected features, including those amazing streaming options. The upgraded Onkyo has a ChromeCast built right in.

The model is quite a power enough to surpass the other receivers because the sound quality is excellent.

Onkyo TX-NR787 Features:

  • Wattage: 100, Two-Channels Driven
  • Channels: 9.2
  • Dolby Atmos: Yes
  • Connection: Bluetooth/Wi-Fi

Why we like the Onkyo TX-NR787:

  • High-grade streaming option compared to the former.

Why we don’t like it:

  • No preamp outputs in it.

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7. Yamaha RX-V585

Yamaha RX-V585 AV Receiver

It takes a great sauce to make a small room sound like a big one; it is very uncommon. The Yamaha RX-V585 delivers compact, tight, and powerful audio quality that performs exceptionally in this area.

Every punch and explosion makes it feel like the walls are being compromised. At this price tag, Yamaha is best suitable for smaller rooms. It comes with amazing features like the ability to use wireless speakers for its rear sound channels and subwoofer.

It ensures enough space in the room even while it is small. Apart from the fact that there are fewer wires to clutter things, you still get a Dolby Atmos and DTS:X that is able to cater for surround sound needs. It also comes with excellent audio tuning and calibration via Yamaha’s proprietary software.

It has four HDMI ports, and even if the receiver is one side down, they can still handle 4K video playback. Though adding more sources later might pose a problem, but it is a minor issue. Yamaha fits well into the homes of people who have small space considering the wireless feature.

Yamaha RX-V585 Features:

  • Wattage: 80, Two-Channels Driven
  • Channels: 7.2
  • Dolby Atmos: Yes
  • Connection: Bluetooth/Wi-Fi

Why we like the Yamaha RX-V585:

  • It has wireless functionality sound.
  • Suitable for small rooms with the effect of a bigger room.

Why we don’t like it:

  • Not made specifically for larger spaces.

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8. Sony STR-DN1080

Sony STR-DN1080 Surround Sound Receiver: 7.2 Channel Dolby Atmos Home Theater AV Receiver with Bluetooth and Wifi

Here comes another solid receiver with an attractive price tag. Just like the Denon AVR-X4500H and Onkyo TX-NR686, It comes with an excellent quality sound.

But the reason why other sites have placed it on top of the list is that its 165 watts is more than enough to power just about any speaker currently in the market, and the only thing is that it doesn’t have the Amazon Alexa functionality which Denon and Onkyo possesses.

Perhaps, we can consider Sony’s interface which is easy to use. Also, apart from having the Dolby Atmos and DTS:X functionality, it also comes with the DSD functionality. The STR-DN1080 can play ultra-high-resolution files and this is not a feature you see often in other models.

Sony STR-DN1080 features:

  • Wattage: 165
  • Channels: 7.2
  • Dolby Atmos: Yes
  • Connection: Bluetooth/Wi-Fi

Why we like the Sony STR-DN1080:

  • It has terrific sound.
  • It comes with a user interface.

Why we don’t like it:

  • Unlike other big models, it doesn’t have Amazon Alexa functionality.

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9. Denon AVR-X1600H

Denon AVR-X1600H 4K UHD AV Receiver | 2019 Model | 7.2 Channel, 80W Each | 3D Audio | New Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization | 6 HDMI Inputs and 1 Output with eARC Support | AirPlay 2, Alexa & HEOS

This is one of the receivers I can interestingly talk about because it comes with a lot of features. Do you ever get to watch your shows on Netflix or Amazon prime in 5.1?

Do other models allow your smart TV to send surround sound information directly from the receiver and from there to your speaker? If all of this sounds interesting to you, then the Denon AVR-X1600H is the best for you. Something very interesting about it is the HDMI eARC technology.

This technology makes it offer an excellent sound quality and a good range of surround sound software.

People actually think Denon AVR-X1600H is worth buying, but we would have liked to see a few more added characteristics; because one piece of technology to a receiver line doesn’t really account for an upgrade. However, it is one good receiver if you plan on watching streaming services in surround sound all through the year 2020.

Denon AVR-X1600H Features:

  • Wattage: 80, Two-Channels Driven
  • Channels: 7.2
  • Dolby Atmos: Yes
  • Connection: Bluetooth/Wi-Fi

Why we like the Denon AVR-X1600H:

  • Great features like HDMI eARC at a bargain price.
  • Best for streaming services.

Why we don’t like it:

  • Low upgrade for a high price.

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10. Pioneer SC – LX904

Pioneer Elite SC-LX904-11.2-Ch Network AV Receiver with IMAX Enhanced/Works with SONOS/Dolby Atmos

The Pioneer SC – LX904 may come with a higher price than some people are not willing to pay, but it surely delivers absolutely sensational and epic sound. The Watts is around 140; that’s a huge power! It is best suited for big rooms with surround sound software making it the perfect choice.

Comparing the cost of other amplifiers, there is a need to point out that the majority of the cost goes towards the advanced music features of the particular model. The Pioneer SC-LX904 has a large coverage when you are playing music through your receiver.

This model comes with outstanding features like Sonos compatibility, multi-room audio and even compatibility with high-end music software like Roon. You’ll be wasting money if all you just wanted is buying a receiver for your home theater set in 2020; because the Pioneer SC-LX904 has a great ability and good price tag that shouldn’t be ignored.

Pioneer SC – LX904 features:

  • Wattage: 140, Two-Channels Driven
  • Channels: 11.2
  • Dolby Atmos: Yes
  • Connection: Bluetooth/Wi-Fi

Why we like the Pioneer SC – LX904:

  • It has incredible sound and power.
  • The model is an affordable price point compared to MRX1120.

What we don’t like:

– It is only worth the cost of advanced music features (no mediocrity).


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Why You Need An Amplifier For Speakers

An amplifier is a device that turns the low voltage signals from your source equipment into a signal used to power a pair of speakers. The functions of an amp can be split comes in two main sections. The first talks about how you collate and select multiple inputs, and as well select the required level of gain.

The first section is what we call the preamplifier. The second does the ‘heavy lifting’ and adds the gain to the signals in order to be used to power a pair of speakers. We call this the power amplifier.

In most AV receivers, the functions are split into two boxes like the 851E and 851W, these are referred to as pre and power amps.

Home Theater Amplifier Effects

These effects allow you to experience an Auro-3D in surround sound software.

Using a phone or other media devices as a signal connection in your room will only give you a little taste as compared to an amplifier that comes with an astonishing bass and good wattage.

Some even come with 6-8 height channels, double subwoofer, and inputs for iOS devices. You can get an affordable amplifier that fits into your small with quality sound. To experience explosive, punching and, great audio/video outlets, you will always need an amplifier.

Use these amazing Spotify alternatives to get music on your speakers.

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