rsz_1home_theatre_bose_lifestyle.jpgThere are literally dozens of choices when it comes to AV receivers. How do you know what to pick? First, decide if an AV receiver is the right choice for you; an audio video receiver is an electronics component for your home theatre which is made to ‘receive’ (get it??) audio and video signals from various peripherals or devices, then it processes those signals and sends them to your TV or speakers. It also gives you centralized control over all your devices.

If you’re just starting your research into which AV receiver is right for you, start with these 5; they’re Top Picks from Best Buy (in no particular order).

Onkyo TX-NR656 1190-Watt 7.2-Channel Network AV Receiver

Onkyo receivers make our list twice, and that’s because they’re solidly built with a great reputation for delivering the best sound.

The TX-NR656 7.2-channel A/V receiver is the one you’ll want for all your future TV, since it’s 4K, Dolby Atmos and DTS:X-ready, with HDR support too. You’ll get room-filling multidimensional sound thanks to Dolby Atmos and DTS:X technology, which works together to create more lifelike audio by putting the sound where it should naturally be heard, in conjunction to the video.

denon reciever.jpgIt has 8 HDMI inputs, leaving you plenty of room to expand. And the specs? This 1190W receiver pumps out 170W per channel to fuel a full 7.2-channel surround sound system. Plus this receiver comes ready to stream internet radio and music with Spotify, TuneIn Radio, Tidal, and Deezer all built in, or use your smartphone or tablet to play digital tracks via Bluetooth.

Denon AVR-S720W 400-Watt 7.2-Channel Network AV Receiver

This is a receiver you can only get at Best Buy.

The Denon AVR-S720W 7.2-channel network AV receiver, like the Onkyo above, has both Dolby Atmos and DTS:X audio plus it’s future-ready with support for 4K Ultra HD and HDR .

With 7 channels, each capable of delivering 75 watts RMS at 8ohms, the AVR-S720W produces clear sound, and dual subwoofer units give you the option to connect 2 small subwoofers instead of 1 large one, giving you much more detailed and enveloping bass. (By the way, if you’re confused by the Amps, Watts & Ohms, check out Jeff’s EXCELLENT blog explaining these terms and what they mean to your home theatre system.)

Built-in Wi-Fi lets you connect to your wireless home network and stream content from your phone, computer, or tablet and also from services like Spotify and Sirius XM. This receiver also lets you use an app to control the receiver with your smartphone or tablet, which is handier than you think.

6 HMDMI inputs mean you can connect a whole host of devices to your home theatre, whether it’s your cable box, a Blu-ray player, or any number of gaming consoles.

Onkyo TX-SR353 700-Watt 5.1 Channel AV Receiver

The second Onkyo receiver you’ll find on the Best Buy Top 5 list, the Onkyo TX-SR353 700-Watt 5.1 Channel AV Receiver promises ‘explosive surround-sound without the heavy price tag’.

This receiver has a 700W, 5.1-channel surround sound system plus 4K support.

Its HDMI terminals (4 inputs, 1 output) support 4K UHD video and HDR (need a primer on High Dynamic Range for TV? Check out our blog on that topic here) video so you can enjoy 4K content but you can also scale up any existing content you have, making it ultra-versatile. As is becoming standard with receivers today, you can interact with smartphones or tablets via built-in Bluetooth.

marantz receiver.jpgPioneer VSX-831 5.2-Channel AV Receiver
This receiver is so brand new, it’s not even available yet. (We’ll link it up as soon as it hits the Best Buy site.) The VSX-831 AV Receiver from Pioneer features Pioneer’s unique automatic sound adjustment process, called ‘Multi-Channel Acoustic Calibration System (MCACC). This technology gives you in-room fine-tuning, which Pioneer explains, “lets you create the ideal acoustic environment. With a custom microphone, the system automatically compensates for differences in speaker size, level and distance, and equalizes response. Whether you’re watching the latest Hollywood blockbuster or enjoying high-resolution music, MCACC will make sure your home theater sounds its best.”

Of course it has connections to Google Cast, TuneIn, Deezer, or TIDAL too.

Pioneer upgraded the VSX-831, giving it a 5.2-channel receiver featuring a 140 watt/channel (6 ohms, 1 kHz, THD 1.0 %, 1ch Driven) to ensure you have enough power for your favourite components.

Marantz SR5011 720-Watt 7.2 Channel 3D Home Theatre Receiver

Marantz has been known for decades as the brand the pros turn to, and it doesn’t disappoint at the consumer level either. Built-in WiFi and Bluetooth give you the flexibility to wirelessly stream your music from the internet or your preferred mobile device. The receiver features 4K Ultra HD video pass-through and upscaling, and is equipped with and expansion-ready 8 HDMI inputs.
The Marantz has 7.2 channels rated at 100W (8 ohms) provide enough audio oomph to drive most types of loudspeakers, even in large rooms, plus it’s got Dolby Atmos and DTS UHD Master Audio. This receiver will also handle upscaling to 4K, when you’re ready to upgrade your TV and other components.

What’s your preferred receiver? Do you love one of the brands on this list, or have another favourite you think should be included if we made this a Top 10? Tell us about it in comments, below.


Erin Lawrence
Editor TV and Home Theatre
Erin is a journalist, writer, and TV producer with a fascination for technology and a love of gadgets. Check out her blog


  1. But I do not agree with Onkyo TX-NR656. I think it’s better to put Onkyo TX-NR555. He’s not expensive and good. Functions: digital player, Internet radio, network audio player;
    Built-in decoders: master-sound DTS-HD; DTS: X; Dolby atmos …
    Amplifier: Total output power: 560 W; Output power per channel: 140 W, 80 W; Output impedance per channel: 6 Ohm, 8 Ohm; Frequency Response: 20 Hz-20 kHz …
    Here are the full characteristics:
    But with the rest I agree.

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