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Best AV receivers for 2022

Our top home theater receivers from Yamaha, Denon, Marantz, Onkyo, and more

In this article: Our top home theater receiver picks for 2022, along with a few shopping and setup tips.

  1. Easiest to use — Yamaha RX-V4A
  2. Best for small spaces — Marantz NR1711
  3. Best for Dolby Atmos® — Denon AVR-X3700H
  4. Best budget receiver — Sony STR-DH790
  5. Best for music — Marantz SR5015
  6. Best for gaming — Onkyo TX-NR5100
  7. Best all-around — Marantz SR8015

I spent the first half of my Crutchfield career as an Advisor, helping our customers design audio/video systems. I'd hear back from folks after they hooked everything up. "Hey Kramer," they'd say, "My new surround sound system rocks!" I want to help you experience that same joy in your home.

What makes these receivers my favorites?

Below is a short list of my favorite home theater receivers for 2022. So what makes these models stand out?

My selections are based off of my listening experiences, customer feedback, and industry reviews. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but it highlights some of the best options available.

Naturally, not every awesome receiver we carry is listed here. But my hope is that it gives you some solid footing as you plan out your new system. Let's dive in.

Yamaha RX-V4A 5.2-channel home theater receiver with Wi-Fi®, Bluetooth®, Apple AirPlay® 2, and Amazon Alexa compatibility

Easiest receiver to use — Yamaha RX-V4A

It might be hard to remember, but we haven't always been able to control A/V equipment from our phones. But now that we can, life sure is a lot simpler when it comes to using our gear.

Yamaha leads the way on this front with their value-packed RX-V4A. It combines an easy-to-use on-screen interface with an intuitive control app. Together these make switching sources, changing volume, and picking songs quick and easy.

Despite the RX-V4A's modest price tag, it's actually loaded with features you'd expect from a more expensive model. On the video side it supports 4K and HDR-encoded content. And for music it uses Apple AirPlay® 2, Bluetooth®, and MusicCast for high-quality wireless streaming.

Details

  • 5-channel amplifier
  • 80 watts per channel
  • HDMI connections: 4 in, 1 out
  • MusicCast, Bluetooth, and Apple AirPlay 2 wireless music streaming
Marantz NR1711 - 7.2-channel slimline home theater receiver with Wi-Fi®, Bluetooth®, Apple® AirPlay® 2, and Amazon Alexa compatibility

Best receiver for small spaces — Marantz NR1711

Large home theater receivers definitely have their place. But not every piece of furniture will accommodate them. Thankfully, there's a fantastic alternative if you're tight on space.

The Marantz NR1711 features a slimline design, so it can fit into areas that conventional receivers can't. At just over 4" high it's an excellent choice for use on a smallish shelf, or inside a slender A/V cabinet.

Use it to power a 7.2-channel home theater system. Or go with a conventional 5.1-channel setup, and power an additional pair of speakers in another room at the same time.

Details

  • 7-channel amplifier
  • 50 watts per channel
  • HDMI connections: 6 in, 1 out
  • HEOS Built-in, Bluetooth, and Apple AirPlay 2 wireless music streaming
Denon AVR-X3700H 9.2-channel home theater receiver with Wi-Fi®, Bluetooth®, Apple AirPlay® 2, and Amazon Alexa compatibility

Best receiver for Dolby Atmos — Denon AVR-X3700H

Do you have overhead effects speakers as part of your home theater? Denon's AVR-X3700H does a fantastic job processing Atmos-encoded soundtracks. Use this powerful nine-channel receiver to drive a 5.2.4 or 7.2.2 Dolby Atmos system, and enjoy spacious sound effects above, beside, and in front of you — just like you would in an actual theater.

Last year I added Atmos modules to my Definitive Technology BP-9060 floor-standing speakers as part of a home theater makeover. The additional plane or "layer" of sound has made watching movies and playing video games immensely enjoyable.

speaker topper

I added Definitive Technology A90 upward-firing Atmos modules to my BP-9060 tower speakers last year. The larger soundstage has been a treat, and the installation couldn’t have been simpler.

Helpful features for late-night listening and more

The AVR-X3700H has enhanced Audio Return Channel (eARC), which lets you pass full-resolution soundtracks from your TV to the receiver. That's particularly helpful when you stream Atmos-encoded movies on Netflix from your TV.

And here's one of my favorite features: the 'X3700H supports Bluetooth transmission to headphones (think late-night movies or TV watching), which lets you listen long after everyone else has headed off to bed.

Details

  • 9-channel amplifier
  • 105 watts per channel
  • HDMI connections: 7 in, 3 out
  • HEOS Built-in, Bluetooth, and Apple AirPlay 2 wireless music streaming
Sony STR-DH790 7.2-channel receiver with Bluetooth®, Dolby Atmos®, and DTS:XT

Best budget receiver — Sony STR-DH790

Having a sweet surround sound system doesn't have to set you back a ton of cash. Sony's STR-DH790 is a good choice for getting solid A/V performance out of a modest budget.

This receiver powers up to seven speakers at a time, so you can drive a 5.1.2-channel Dolby Atmos system with it. You can also play music wirelessly from your phone through Bluetooth.

Is this level receiver right for you?

As you're shopping, make a list of features that are "must haves" for you. That way you'll know whether jumping up to the next-level model is worth it or not. Some features are more useful to some folks than others, like a second zone of audio, or a phono input for a turntable.

So what are you giving up by going with a budget-friendly model like the STR-DH790? Well, it doesn't have Wi-Fi, so you can't control it with an app. It also doesn't support wireless streaming through Apple AirPlay.

That said, the 'DH790 is surprisingly good for the money and can deliver clear dialogue and immersive surround effects in most rooms.

Details

  • 7-channel amplifier
  • 90 watts per channel
  • HDMI connections: 4 in, 1 out
  • Bluetooth wireless music streaming
Marantz SR5015 7.2-channel home theater receiver with Dolby Atmos®, Wi-Fi®, Bluetooth®, Apple AirPlay® 2, and Amazon Alexa compatibility

Best receiver for music — Marantz SR5015

I have a Marantz-based home theater system, and am particularly fond of how it sounds in stereo. That's because Marantz is known for its rich, warm sound and precise stereo imaging, and that's exactly what you get from the SR5015.

This 7.2-channel receiver is a workhorse with movie soundtracks. But flip it to one of its stereo modes, and enjoy pristine playback of your favorite albums. That includes vinyl too, since this receiver has a built-in phono stage for a turntable.

HEOS Built-in gives you easy wireless streaming

The SR5015 uses Bluetooth and AirPlay 2 for music streaming. It also has "HEOS Built-in," which is Marantz's wireless music ecosystem (it's Denon's too, by the way).

HEOS Built-in lets you stream music from Pandora®, Spotify®, and other online music services while controlling everything from your phone.

You can also link the SR5015 to wireless HEOS Built-in speakers around your house for seamless multi-room music. My in-home review on Denon's Home series speakers offers a closer look at how it all works.

Details

  • 7-channel amplifier
  • 100 watts per channel
  • HDMI connections: 6 in, 2 out
  • HEOS Built-in, Bluetooth, and Apple AirPlay 2 wireless music streaming
Onkyo TX-NR5100 7.2-channel home theater receiver

Best for gaming — Onkyo TX-NR5100

Video games can bring a great deal of joy to our lives, especially when played on a "next-gen" console like Sony's PlayStation® 5, or the Xbox Series X. That's where a receiver like Onkyo's TX-NR5100 shines.

Onyko made sure the TX-NR5100 is compatible with the latest video technology. Each of its four HDMI inputs supports 4K/120Hz and 8K/60Hz video content — the best resolution and frame rates currently available in a home theater receiver.

Advanced gaming features for smooth, lag-free play

The TX-NR5100 offers several gaming-optimized video processing technologies for a smooth, lag-free gaming experience.

Variable Refresh Rate (VRR), Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM), Quick Media Switching (QMS), and Quick Frame Transport (QFT) reduce or eliminate lag and frame tearing. All of that adds up to an awesome gaming experience that looks and sounds incredible.

Details

  • 7-channel amplifier
  • 80 watts per channel
  • HDMI connections: 4 in, 2 out
  • Chromecast built-in, Bluetooth, and Apple AirPlay 2 wireless music streaming
Marantz SR8015 - 11.2-channel home theater receiver with Dolby Atmos®, Wi-Fi®, Bluetooth®, Apple AirPlay® 2, and Amazon Alexa compatibility

Best all-around — Marantz SR8015

It's not easy to pick a "best" home theater receiver. That's because we're pretty selective with what we carry at Crutchfield. Each model we offer brings a unique mixture of features and value to the table.

With that in mind, I believe the best all-around receiver we currently sell is the Marantz SR8015.

As the flagship receiver in Marantz's lineup, it has every technology I look for — crystal-clear amplification, advanced audio/video processing, a huge power supply, an intuitive user interface, and superb wireless music streaming.

Marantz SR8015 power transformer

A high-performance power transformer helps the SR8015 deliver Marantz's signature sound.

A true "whole house" receiver

The SR8015 supports up to three zones of audio, and can drive 11 speakers at a time. You can focus all of its power on your surround sound system, or use some of it to play music in other spaces.

With 140 watts of power per channel, the SR8015 can drive bookshelf, floor-standing, and custom-integrated wall or ceiling speakers with authority.

Get the best sound possible in your room

This receiver uses Audyssey's MultEQ® XT32 auto setup and room calibration system to tailor its sound to your room's acoustics. I use MultEQ XT32 for my home theater, and have been impressed by how smooth and cohesive it makes my system sound.

On that note, if you go this direction I recommend you spring for the optional Audyssey MultEQ Editor app (around $20). It lets you direct the speaker calibration process from your phone or tablet instead of with the handheld remote control.

Audyssey MultEQ Editor App

I used Audyssey's MultEQ Editor app to calibrate my home theater, and highly recommend it for yours.

The app also unlocks additional Audyssey features that I have found well-worth the money, like EQ curve adjustment, Midrange Compensation control, and the ability to save multiple calibration profiles.

Bottom line: this receiver is a fantastic choice for the long haul

If you're making a long-term investment into your home theater system, the Marantz SR8015 is my pick for the best all-around receiver we carry. It has the latest HDMI features, loads of power, and the ability to fill even large rooms with fantastic surround sound.

Details

  • 11-channel amplifier
  • 140 watts per channel
  • HDMI connections: 8 in, 3 out
  • HEOS Built-in, Bluetooth, and Apple AirPlay 2 wireless music streaming

Tips on choosing the right receiver

There are a few key factors to keep in mind when shopping for a new receiver. Questions like, "How many channels do I need?" and, "How many inputs and outputs should it have?" are important to consider.

Those topics and more are covered in our home theater receiver buying guide.

Get the most out of your new receiver

Once you've gotten your new receiver home, check out our setup tips to get the best sound possible from your system.

Free lifetime tech support is included with every Crutchfield purchase.

Jump into the conversation

If you have a question about a receiver you're considering — or want to pick my brain about anything in the article — leave a comment below.

I respond quickly, and if I don't know the answer I'll find someone here that does. Thanks for reading!

Last updated 11/19/2021
  • Amen Omorogbe from Niskayuna

    Posted on 11/29/2021

    Hi Kramer, I love your article. I see that you picked Marantz sr 8015 as your overall best receiver. I was considering purchasing sr 7015 before I read your article. Is the difference between the two worth the extra cost? I am currently using onkyo rz820 which has a 140 watts. Will the sr 7015 sound considerably less, in terms of quality compared to the 140 watts Onkyo?

    Commenter image

    Kramer Crane from Crutchfield

    on 11/30/2021

    Thanks for reaching out, Amen. My feeling is that unless you need those extra two channels of power the SR7015 is the better value. The 11-channel 8015 is an exceptional receiver, but in your shoes I'd rather put the difference in price toward a new sub or other system upgrade. I don't expect you'll see any drop in performance compared to your current Onkyo (quite the opposite, actually!).
  • Bob from TANEYTOWN

    Posted on 10/16/2021

    How does the Marantz SR 8015 compare to the Yamaha RX A8A? Which one should I purchase and why? I have an 7.2.4 configuration set up running Definitive 2004 bi polar L/R With Definitive 9080 surrounds and SVS height speakers for my Atmos. Thank You, Bob

    Commenter image

    Kramer Crane from Crutchfield

    on 10/20/2021

    Thanks for reaching out, Bob. In your shoes I'd buy the SR8015. I use Marantz components in my Definitive Technology Atmos system and love the rich, warm sound they produce. It is more money than the RX-A8A, but I believe the difference in price to be worth it over the long haul. You won't be disappointed.
  • Tim Francis from MENTOR

    Posted on 9/13/2021

    have a onkyo 646, it wont go out to tv(fire tv) and return through it. any recommendations for replacement

    Commenter image

    Kramer Crane from Crutchfield

    on 9/13/2021

    Thanks so much for reaching out, Tim. If you've been otherwise happy with your TX-NR646 then I'd check out the Onkyo TX-NR5100. It's one of the few receivers we have in stock that offers the latest HDMI technology, and it's been quite popular among Crutchfield customers so far.
  • Carl from Lexington

    Posted on 7/19/2021

    Hello, my son bought me a Denon avr 540 from you a month or so ago. I'm 82 years young and after I read reviews on this unit it concerns me. Most negative reviews stated it was a beast to set up and the volume control on the remote was extremely slow to work. At my age I don't have the technical know how to troubleshoot a new receiver's problems. Do you think I should consider getting a different receiver from you? I subscribe to fish network, have a Sony Blu-ray DVD player and an older Apple TV unit and a powered subwoofer and five speakers. I don't mind spending a little more money if this will help me get the right receiver. I watch a lot of movies and I have a 65 inch Bravia tv. Thank you for your time. I have been buying from you guys since the late 70's. Y'all have always been great.

    Commenter image

    Kramer Crane from Crutchfield

    on 7/19/2021

    Hi Carl, thanks for reaching out. The setup and calibration process is about the same for nearly all A/V receivers these days — I don't think there are any notably simpler options than the AVR-S540BT.

    The good news is that you get free lifetime technical support with us, and we can help you with any questions that come up — just give the phone number on your invoice a call.
  • Ronnie Jones from Bridgewater Township

    Posted on 7/14/2021

    Hi Kramer, first - great article and thank you for putting together that information. I'm trying to decide on purchasing the Denon AVR-X4700H or the Yamaha RX-A3080 to replace an old Yamaha RX-V775 receiver. I've owned two Yamahas which I loved. The only issue I have with them is the volume can be low and you sometime have to crank up the volume to get it loud. Could be a setting issue but I've experienced that on both Yamahas I've owned. I'm leaning more towards the Denon but with your expertise, I'm hoping you can nudge me in the right direction based on your knowledge of those two units. Thanks in advance!

    Commenter image

    Kramer Crane from Crutchfield

    on 7/16/2021

    Hi Ronnie, thanks very much for reaching out. I recommend you stay with Yamaha, but go with the AVENTAGE RX-A6A, which includes the latest HDMI and HDCP protocols (the RX-A3080 is three years old at this point, and doesn't support HDMI 2.1 or HDCP 2.3).

    As I understand it, it's not uncommon for Yamaha A/V receivers to need to be "cranked up" more than other brands. It has to do with the slope of their output curve — think of a hockey stick where the curved part is on the right side of a graph. It's a long, slow build up of not a lot of volume, but once you get to the curve, it ramps up fast. That's by design, I've been assured. As long as the unit isn't getting too hot — and as long as you're not hearing distortion — crank away my friend.
  • Matt Jefferson from Leicester, NC

    Posted on 6/1/2021

    I'm upgrading my system. I presently have a Denon AVR 1913, KLIPSCH FORTE II FRONTS AND POLK AUDIO REAR AND CENTER. MY SUB IS 15" and offers plenty of bass. What would you recommend as a good receiver to replace the denon avr 1913, which by the way is failing in mote ways than I am willing to try to fix.

    Commenter image

    Kramer Crane from Crutchfield

    on 6/8/2021

    Thanks for your question, Matt. Take a look at Marantz's lineup of home theater receivers. I've been impressed by their sound quality, reliability, and ease of use.
  • Tim

    Posted on 5/17/2021

    Hi Kramer, I currently have a Onkyo TX-RZ820 that I bought from Crutchfield back in 2018. I'm looking to upgrade and thinking of going with the Mrantz SR8015 to take advantage of the newer technology plus hoping to improve sound and surround sound capability. I have Klipsch Synergy speakers in a 5.1.2 set up. Is it worth the price and will I notice that much improvement? I was also considering the Yamaha 3080.

    Commenter image

    Kramer Crane from Crutchfield

    on 5/18/2021

    Hi Tim, thanks for reaching out. The SR8015 is a wonderful choice — I have Marantz gear in my home theater, and am a big fan. If you go with the SR8015 I'd expect a modest boost in performance in amplification quality, room calibration, video processing, and smart home integration versus your Onkyo TX-RZ820.
  • Charles from Oxnard, CA. 93035

    Posted on 5/9/2021

    Why the Marantz and not the Denon x8500h or A110 AVR??

    Commenter image

    Kramer Crane from Crutchfield

    on 5/17/2021

    Hi Charles, thanks very much for reaching out. Please accept my apology for the delayed response.

    At this level you can't go wrong with any of those receivers. I have a personal preference towards Marantz, but since Denon and Marantz are sister companies under the same ownership they share many of the same technologies. All three of these elite models are capable of delivering an incredible listening experience — you can't go wrong either way.
  • Javier Cruz from Philadelphia

    Posted on 5/3/2021

    Hi, I am in the market for a new AVR. I am considering the Marantz sr8015. But would like to know if I should wait for the Yamaha 8k AVENTAGE flagship AVR. Do you know if it will be out this year? Thanks

    Commenter image

    Kramer Crane from Crutchfield

    on 5/5/2021

    Thanks for reaching out, Javier. The decision you're facing is one a lot of folks (including myself) have wrestled with over the past year. Supply for home theater components has been limited for some time, and delays in the release of new models have been common.

    With that in mind, I have no qualms recommending the SR8015 for your system — Marantz's flagship home theater receiver is one of the most complete pieces of A/V gear we've ever offered. I expect we'll see some great new options at some point this year, but for now, the SR8015 is hard to beat.
  • Brett Vincent from Chincoteague VA

    Posted on 3/31/2021

    I am in the process of upgrading my A/V system, including upgrading my aging Denon AVR-2809CI. The Marantz SR8015 sounds like a great option but I am open to other suggestions. My question: Is there any reason to wait for 2021 models or go with a 2020 model? Is anything major in the wings (like a new HDMI standard for example) that would make it worth my while to wait? Thanks.

    Commenter image

    Kramer Crane from Crutchfield

    on 4/7/2021

    Hi Brett, thanks for reaching out. As far as I know, there are no major home theater receiver breakthroughs slated for 2021. Many receiver companies are still trying to integrate HDMI 2.1 features, like 4K/120 and 8K/60 video. COVID has delayed the production cycles for nearly everyone, and inventory remains challenging. The chip fire a few months back is still impacting the supply chain as well.

    My recommendation is to grab the best option you can when it's available. The SR8015 is one of the most complete pieces of A/V gear we've ever offered. In your shoes I'd grab one and not look back.