Finding the Best Home Theater Receivers (Under $500, Under $1000 & Under $2,000)

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If you have built (or are in the process of building) your own in-home cinematic theater, then you know that having a top-notch TV and surround-sound system is where it’s at.

Everyone wants the best cinematic experience they can get, even if they are watching in a small room. When you can’t quite afford the luxury of a movie theater, a home theater is the next best thing.

If you’re a gearhead, but you’re on a budget, purchasing high-quality receivers can be a big challenge. However, by sticking to a reasonable budget, there are good home theater receivers available.

In this article, you’ll find reviews of great home theater receivers at different price points.

NameCategoryProduct
Marantz NR1711 AV Component ReceiverBest OverallMarantz NR1711 AV Component Receiver
Denon AVR-X1600H ReceiverBudget PickDenon AVR-X1600H Receiver
Denon AVR-X6700H ReceiverUpgrade PickDenon AVR-X6700H Receiver

1. Marantz NR1711 AV Component Receiver

Our rating: 9 / 10

Marantz NR1711 AV Component Receiver

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Pros:

  • Compared to similar performers it is very affordable
  • This model supports a large number of surround sound audio systems
  • Bluetooth functionality
  • Six HDMI inputs
  • This receiver is very easy to use
  • The sound quality is excellent

Cons:

  • There is no memory function that would allow users to save their customized settings
  • It is not as simple as most of the control systems found on other units
  • When used for audio only it still needs a TV for setup to work

2. Denon AVR-X4500H Receiver

Our rating: 9 / 10

Denon AVR-X4500H Receiver

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Pros:

  • Supports Alexa

Dolby Atmos, Front-Panel HDMI/Component Video Switching. The Denon AVR-X4500H Receiver with Dolby Atmos, DTS:X and Auro 3D Upgrade is a premium A/V receiver that features nine channels of amplification, including a dedicated Subwoofer channel. It presents a clean design and comes with an easy-to-use remote control.

The receiver supports 4K and high-resolution audio, and comes with powerful features including the capability to playback and enjoy Dolby Atmos and DTS:X technology which has height to the surround sound effect. In addition, the receiver features the ability to play high resolution audio files sand Hi-Res FLAC/ALAC music files.

3. Denon AVR-X6700H Receiver

Our rating: 8 / 10

Denon AVR-X6700H Receiver

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Pros:

  • High picture and audio quality
  • Strong reception capabilities with Bluetooth and WiFi
  • Decent number of ports, particularly for 4K-compatible inputs
  • Supports Dolby Vision streaming

Cons:

  • Oversaturated interface

The Denon AVR-X6500H delivers decent quality regardless of what you are trying to do with it. It supports Amazon Alexa and Hi-Res audio, and it is a potential future solution to help you control most of your smart home. It also has several ports for connecting all kinds of streaming devices, computers, consoles, and TVs at the latest generation.

Denon has done a decent job of updating the AVR-X6500H to keep it competitive. The newest version, the AVR-X6700H has expanded Cinema DSP modes and HDR databases. It also has more pre-set modes, including a Dolby Atmos Music Optimization mode. It is a capable receiver for music, too, with built-in support for TIDAL, Spotify, and others.

4. Yamaha RX-V485 5.1-Channel AV Receiver

Our rating: 7 / 10

Yamaha RX-V485 5.1-Channel AV Receiver

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Pros:

  • Low-noise amp
  • Comprehensive remote
  • Easy to use
  • Bluetooth
  • It has impressive depth
  • Music Cast is a helpful feature
  • Compact enough to fit under your TV or mount on the wall
  • Solid sound overall

Cons:

  • Only 4 HDMI inputs
  • Difficult to set up
  • Complicated learning curve

Some of the best audio equipment in history has been from Yamaha. Their home audio systems are top of the line in quality, technology and even price.

The Yamaha RX-V485 is no exception to this rule. This 5.1 AV receiver system offers just 4 HDMI inputs that support clear resolution with full HD 1080p playback. You’ll appreciate another HDMI output that makes it possible to use an external sound bar.

5. Denon AVR-X1600H Receiver

Our rating: 6 / 10

Denon AVR-X1600H Receiver

Check Price on Amazon

Pros:

  • Bluetooth
  • Dolby Atmos ready
  • Audyssey MultEQ XT32
  • Built-in Apple Airplay
  • 4K Ultra HD pass-through with HDCP 2.2

Cons:

  • Overall execution could be better

6. Marantz SR5015 AV Receiver

Our rating: 6 / 10

Marantz SR5015 AV Receiver

Check Price on Amazon

Pros:

  • High quality
  • 7.2 channel AV receiver
  • Network, Bluetooth, USB, and audio streaming
  • Supports Alexa & other popular voice assistants
  • Easy to use and navigate

Cons:

  • No speaker wire connectors
  • No HD audio decoding
  • No balanced audio input
  • No video upscaling beyond 1080p

It also comes with support for voice assistants that allows the receiver to connect to a compatible wireless speaker at the same time.

The Marantz SR5013 comes with six HDMI input that supports 3D video and two HDMI output.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the best home theater receiver for under 500?

After endless hours of research, we’ve come up with a list of the best home theater receivers for under 500.

The best home theater receiver for under 500 is the Yamaha RX-V485, which’s available at a great price with all the features you’d want in a home theater receiver.

It supports 5.1 channels with 145 watts to power the speakers. The total harmonic distortion is very low. It’s equipped with a surround sound pass-through. However, you might want to spend a little extra and be able to get pretty much all necessary features in your product without compromises.

What is the best AV receiver for under 500?

The 5.2 Channel Yamaha RX-V485 is a great home theater receiver for anyone who is building a better home theater at a reasonable price. It's compatible with 3D, 4K, and Audio Return Channel.

The AV receiver also has an array of HDMI ports, which connects to your TV or any devices that output HD.

For example: A Cable Box, AppleTV, PS3, DVD player, anything that has a HDMI output will need.

On top of all that, the price of the receiver is very affordable for anyone on a budget.

What is the best AV receiver under $1000?

There are a lot of different setups with home theaters, but the bottom line is that an AV receiver is necessary for a great outcome. It takes all of your audio and video sources and converts them into something all of them can use. This allows you to play music, video, or games through the same source, even if its coming from various different devices.

Buying an AV receiver isn't as simple as it sounds, though. There are some considerations that you will have to make when buying one. If your budget is under $1,000, then picking our top choice by Marantz will get you everything you need for a reasonable price.

What's the best receiver for the money?

There will always be those that swear by the last generation's top model or by the new flagship (usually cost twice as much), but the Marantz seems to do everything well and is holding up. This is a great receiver for someone who wants to get everything up and running and doesn't want to be forced into upgrading for the forseeable future.

Conclusion

Receivers are the heartbeat of your home theater. It handles the amplification of all the sources coming into the room, not just the tv. From tv show episodes to game soundtracks to movie audio and beyond, a great receiver magnifies them all and makes it all come alive in your house. If you’re looking to get the best home theater receiver for your needs, we hope this article helps you in your search.

Our Recommendation

NameCategoryProduct
Marantz NR1711 AV Component ReceiverBest OverallMarantz NR1711 AV Component Receiver
Denon AVR-X1600H ReceiverBudget PickDenon AVR-X1600H Receiver
Denon AVR-X6700H ReceiverUpgrade PickDenon AVR-X6700H Receiver