Best AV Receivers Under $500 in 2021 – Top Picks & Buying Guide

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If you are looking for the best AV receivers under $ 500 in 2021, you have come to the right place.

It’s true that AV receivers can be expensive. Next-gen models with all the new features under the sun certainly don’t come cheap.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t get great home theater sound for less.

To begin with, you may not need all the features that a superior AV receiver offers. There is no point in paying for something you don’t need.

Cut out some of the extras and you can get a great home theater receiver for a very reasonable price.

All manufacturers release a series of AV receivers with different prices. Here, I’ll pick a few of my favorites around the $ 500 mark.

All of these models cost less than $ 500 MSRP. Remember that the price of AV receivers in all price ranges can vary at different times of the year.

Hopefully this will help you in your search for the best inexpensive AV receiver.

Our Top Pick

Last update on 2022-11-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Top 10 Best AV Receivers Under 500 To Buy In 2021

Last update on 2022-11-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

10 Best AV Receivers Under 500 Review

SaleBestseller No. 1
Sony STR-DH790 7.2-ch Surround Sound Home Theater AV Receiver: 4K HDR, Dolby Atmos & Bluetooth Black
  • CINEMATIC SOUND AT HOME: Enjoy your favorite movies, TV shows and more with theater like sound in the comfort of your home
  • BREATHTAKING AUDIO: Dolby Atmos and DTS:X deliver multi-dimensional and object-based surround sound
  • STUNNING 4K QUALITY: 4K HDR pass through with support for Dolby Vision, HDR10, and Hybrid Log Gamma provides greater and clearer color, contrast, and brightness
  • GET CONNECTED: 4 in/1 out HDMI each and 1 optical / 1 coaxial digital and analog audio connections
  • AUTO CALIBRATION: Advanced D.C.A.C. analyzes and adjusts the audio for optimal sound in every room
SaleBestseller No. 2
Onkyo TX-NR6100 7.2 Channel THX Certified Network AV Receiver
  • 210 W/Ch THX Certified Select Dynamic Audio Amplification system
  • 5.2.2-channel Dolby Atmos and DTS:X playback
  • 8K with HDMI 2.1 40Gbps (3 ins)
  • THX Select Certification
  • Discrete Zone 2 Audio and Video
SaleBestseller No. 3
Denon AVR-X3700H 8K Ultra HD 9.2 Channel (105Watt X 9) AV Receiver 2020 Model - 3D Audio & Video with IMAX Enhanced, Built for Gaming, Music Streaming, Alexa + HEOS
  • UNMATCHED 3D REALISM FOR YOUR HOME THEATER SYSTEM – Enjoy Immersive surround sound with Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization and DTS Virtual:X and crisp, clean picture with advanced video processing, 8K/60Hz, and 4K/120Hz pass-through
  • Enjoy high quality 3D audio and video knowing that AVR-X3700H IS 8K READY WHEN YOU ARE. This high-power amplifier capable of 11.2 channel processing allows to build your choice of speaker configuration to meet your exclusive entertainment needs
  • NEXT GEN GAMING – Enjoy a smooth, lag-free gaming experience with spectacular imaging, reduced lag and frame tearing with 4K/120Hz pass-through, Variable Refresh Rate (VRR), Quick Frame Transport (QFT), and Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM)
  • ENJOY THE MOST ADVANCED VIDEO TECHNOLOGY AVAILABLE with Dynamic HDR and HDR10 plus . This 9.2 channel receiver delivers clarity, contrast and color, and Quick Media Switching eliminates video delay
  • CONNECT WITH ANY HD/ULTRA HD TV, SUBWOOFER, BLU-RAY PLAYER AND TURNTABLE FOR INCREDIBLE STEREO SOUND – USB, 10 HDMI ports (7 In/ 3 Out) with HDCP 2.3 processing, Digital In, Phono input and Network support with a range of wireless connections
SaleBestseller No. 4
YAMAHA RX-A4A AVENTAGE 7.1-Channel AV Receiver with MusicCast
  • HDMI with HDCP 2.3 and eARC (7 in or 3 out)
  • 4K60, 4K120, 8K60, HDR10plus and HDMI 2.1
  • Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, AirPlay 2 and Spotify Connect
  • MusicCast multi-room audio and MusicCast Surround capable with MusicCast 20 or MusicCast 50 wireless surround speakers
  • Surround:AI and AURO-3D
SaleBestseller No. 5
YAMAHA RX-V4A 5.2-Channel AV Receiver with MusicCast
  • HDMI with HDCP 2.3 and eARC (4 in / 1 out)
  • 4K/60, 4K/120AB, 8K/60B, HDMI 2.1 (via future update)
  • Wi-Fi 2.4 GHz/5 GHz, AirPlay 2, MusicPlay (iOS and Android) and Spotify Connect
  • MusicCast multi-room audio and MusicCast Surround capable with MusicCast 20 or MusicCast 50 wireless surround speakers
  • Voice control with Alexa and Google Assistant devices or Siri via AirPlay 2
SaleBestseller No. 6
Denon AVR-S760H 7.2 Ch AVR - 75 W/Ch (2021 Model), Advanced 8K Upscaling, Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization, DTS Virtual:X & More, Wireless Streaming, Built-in HEOS, Amazon Alexa Voice Control
  • NEW 8K READY 7.2 CHANNEL AVR - Upgrade your home entertainment with the high-performance AVR-S760H that lets you build the best 4K home theater and supports 8K video & latest 3D audio formats like Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization, DTS:X and DTS Virtual:X
  • ADVANCED HDMI VIDEO SECTION WITH 8K UPSCALING - Features 3 dedicated 8K inputs that support 8K/60Hz or 4K/120Hz video pass-through. All HDMI inputs support 4:4:4 Pure Color Sub Sampling, HDR10, HDR10+, Dolby Vision & HLG for exceptional color and clarity
  • SEAMLESS, LAG-FREE GAMING EXPERIENCE - Enjoy Variable Refresh Rate (VRR), Quick Frame Transport (QFT), and Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM), which reduces lag and frame tearing for a smoother gameplay with stunning visuals and hi-resolution sound effects
  • EXTEND THE REACH OF YOUR MUSIC to any room in the house via Wi-Fi, Airplay or Bluetooth with HEOS MULTI-ROOM WIRELESS SPEAKERS - No Command Center or extra hardware required. Get Hi-Fi sound around your home with Pandora, Spotify, TuneIn, Deezer & more
  • FULL VOICE CONTROL COMPATIBILITY WITH ALEXA & OTHER MAJOR VOICE AGENTS lets you sit back and enjoy music without having to reach out for the remote Adjust the volume, change the track, or switch the inputs absolutely hands-free
SaleBestseller No. 7
Denon AVR-X4700H 8K Ultra HD 9.2 Channel (125 Watt X 9) AV Receiver 2020 Model - 3D Audio & Video with IMAX Enhanced, Built for Gaming, Music Streaming, Alexa + HEOS
  • UNMATCHED 3D REALISM FOR YOUR HOME THEATER SYSTEM – Enjoy Immersive surround sound with Auro-3D, IMAX Enhanced, DTS Virtual:X and Dolby Atmos and crisp, clean picture with advanced video processing, 8K/60Hz, and 4K/120Hz pass-through
  • Enjoy high quality 3D audio & video knowing that AVR-X4700H IS 8K READY WHEN YOU ARE. This high-power amplifier capable of 11.2 channel processing allows to build your choice of speaker configuration TO MEET YOUR EXCLUSIVE ENTERTAINMENT NEEDS
  • NEXT GEN GAMING - Enjoy a smooth, lag-free gaming experience with spectacular imaging, reduced lag and frame tearing with 4K/120Hz pass-through, Variable Refresh Rate (VRR), Quick Frame Transport (QFT), and Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM)
  • ENJOY THE MOST ADVANCED VIDEO TECHNOLOGY AVAILABLE with Dynamic HDR and HDR10 plus . This 9.2 channel receiver delivers clarity, contrast & color, and Quick Media Switching eliminates video delay
  • CONNECT WITH ANY HD/ULTRA HD TV, SUBWOOFER, BLU-RAY PLAYER & TURNTABLE FOR INCREDIBLE STEREO SOUND – USB, 11 HDMI ports (8 In/ 3 Out) with HDCP 2.3 processing, Digital In, Phono input and Network support with a range of wireless connections
SaleBestseller No. 8
Denon AVR-S960H 8K Ultra HD 7.2 Channel (90Watt X 7) AV Receiver 2020 Model - Built for Gaming, Music Streaming, 3D Audio & Video, Alexa + HEOS, Black
  • UNMATCHED 3D REALISM FOR YOUR HOME THEATER SYSTEM – Enjoy Immersive surround sound with Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization & DTS Virtual:X and crisp, clean picture with advanced video processing, 8K/60Hz, and 4K/120Hz pass-through
  • GET THE MOST OUT OF YOUR 4K TV - Enjoy the highest quality 3D audio and video knowing that the AVR-S960H is 8K READY WHEN YOU ARE. This high-power amplifier meets the most demanding entertainment needs with the latest technology available
  • NEXT GEN GAMING - Enjoy a smooth, lag-free gaming experience with spectacular imaging, reduced lag & frame tearing with 4K/120Hz pass-through, Variable Refresh Rate (VRR), Quick Frame Transport (QFT), and Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM)
  • ENJOY THE MOST ADVANCED VIDEO TECHNOLOGY AVAILABLE with Dynamic HDR and HDR10 plus . This 7.2 channel receiver delivers clarity, contrast & color, & Quick Media Switching eliminates video delay
  • CONNECT WITH ANY HD/ULTRA HD TV, SUBWOOFER, BLU-RAY PLAYER & TURNTABLE FOR INCREDIBLE STEREO SOUND - USB, 8 HDMI ports (6 In/ 2 Out) with HDCP 2.3 processing, Digital In, Phono input & Network support with a range of wireless connections
Bestseller No. 9
YAMAHA RX-V385 5.1-Channel 4K Ultra HD AV Receiver with Bluetooth
  • 5.1 channel powerful surround sound
  • Bluetooth for wireless connectivity. Rated Output Power (1kHz, 1ch driven) 100W (8 ohms, 0.9% THD); Rated Output Power (20Hz 20kHz, 2ch driven) 70W (8 ohms, 0.09% THD); Maximum Effective Output Power (1kHz, 1ch driven) (Jeita) 145W (6 ohms, 10% THD)
  • HDMI 2.1 with HDCP 2.2 (4 in/1 out)
  • 4K Ultra HD support, HDR10, Dolby vision, hybrid log gamma and BT.2020
  • YPAO auto calibration technology for ideal sound, Exclusive Yamaha Cinema DSP technology supports playback of HD Audio (Dolby TrueHD, DTS HD Master Audio, etc.), providing natural and expansive sound imaging
Bestseller No. 10
Pioneer Elite VSX-LX304 9.2-ch Network AV Receiver
  • Pioneer Elite VSX-LX304 9.2-ch Network AV Receiver

Last update on 2022-11-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

What is an AV Receiver?

It is a device that receives audio and video signals from a number of sources and then processes them and amplifies them before sending the signal to drive loudspeakers. Some do not contain an amplifier and just route signals to an external amp. They also route the video to displays, for example, a TV or video projector. A number of them also contain built-in radios.

It usually undertakes several functions that would normally be performed by other equipment.

Let’s take a look and the best currently available, starting with the….

How Does AV Receiver work?

The best AV receiver functions as a hub in your home theater system. It will connect to your audio sources and switch them when they need it. At the same time, it will also connect to your video sources and change switch when needed.

Moreover, an AV receiver decodes different sound formats and also amplifies audio signals. As a result, it drives sound to multiple speakers, and you get the best voice. In short, the best 4K receiver will become your home theater, system manager.

Why Should You Buy AV Receiver?

If you want to enjoy the best out of your home theater system, you must buy an AV receiver. While there are some that cost more, you can still find the best AV receiver under 500 or even less. An AV receiver will allow you to watch movies in its perfect glory.

Most of them come with at least five different channels to amplify sound. You can use these channels for two front, two back, and a center speaker. On the other hand, there are some studio AV receivers that come with two channels only. You can use them to power two speakers at a time.

In any case, an AV receiver will serve as a hub for your home theater system. We use it to merge all our audio and video channels and control them through a single device. People love Dolby Atmos receivers as it gives you the best features.

How To Buy Best AV Receiver?

If you want to purchase the best AV receiver, but don’t want to get confused, then give a read to our simple buying guide.

  • You must know the type of use. If you need one for only music or small rooms, then a stereo receiver will be best for you. However, for home theater systems, you must buy the best AV receiver.
  • It is important to know how many channels you will get as each channel is equal to 1 speaker. It is better to purchase as per your future needs. Prefer one that comes with the option of two subwoofers. It will improve the quality of the sound.
  • Think of your needs and buy them accordingly. Give a deep thought if you need a receiver with Wi-Fi or Bluetooth option.
  • If you plan to use the receiver for the best quality experience, then 4K video switching is very crucial. If you plan to use it in the future, then you must buy an AV receiver that has an option for 4K.
  • Make sure that your receiver has all three HDR formats. It will give you the best sound, even in the future.
  • Dolby Atmos gives the best 3D-like sound experience. The best Dolby Atmos Receiver will make sure that sound comes from all sounds. If you love the deep sound, buy one of a kind.

AV Receiver Types And Functions

When it comes to the types of AV receivers, they are available in two main types. You can select any of them as per the functions that you need. The two main types of AV receivers are stereo and A/V type.

Frankly speaking, stereo receivers work best for small rooms or offices. The main reason is that they have an option for only two speakers. You can’t connect more than two speakers usually, and as a result, your sound quality is not the best.

However, if you just want to listen to music, or have a small place to cover, these two speakers are enough to serve you. You can save by buying a stereo receiver.

On the other hand, the A/V receiver is the modern type of receiver. They are very famous as people love to buy them because of the quality of sound. Thanks to their five-channel option, AV receivers will give you the best surround voice.

You can connect two front speakers, two rear, and one main speaker with your receiver. So, you will get the best surround sound with the sound coming from every part of your home theater. People prefer this system very much because it is very efficient. This type of receiver has found its place in large rooms, and home theater systems where you need the perfect voice.

Buying Guide – Things To Keep In Mind

You will need to do some homework before finally selecting an AV receiver. There are some basic facts that you must consider as your receiver will be a hub of your home theater. The things keep in mind to find out the perfect receiver are discussed below:

Number of Inputs and Outputs

Firstly, the more inputs and outputs the more components the device can accommodate. Also, the connections have to be the right kind.

You have to decide how many inputs you will be needing to connect all your speakers. always find the Receiver that has inputs or outputs one or more than you require. This is because you will still have an option if you want to expand later.

Wattage Rating

The power rating not only is an idea of volume but also it is a measure of the receiver’s ability to deliver sound. A high wattage rating refers to high-quality sound.

Your receiver must be powerful enough to handle all your equipment. Besides, if your room is large then look for an AV receiver of high power rating.

Control Mechanism

There are many types of controlling mechanisms of an AV receiver. The more updated products are coming, the more convenient the control mechanism we are getting.

 Some are controlled by remote, some are controlled by an app of your phone, tablet or pc. Some have a voice control feature. You have to select according to your comfort.

Connectivity

The receivers that contain airplay, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth compatibility, they allow you to stream music from your favorite site. It enhances and expands the limit of your capability to enjoy music or movies which is very great.

Automatic Calibration

Setting up the whole system is complex enough. Many receivers offer automatic speaker calibration that automatically adjusts the sound of the speakers. So, you should look for a receiver that has this advantage.

Features

More will be the feature, more will be the price. If you want your receiver in your budget, then make a short research and never buy a product with modern features that you will never use in the future.

Surround Sound

If you want to experience surround sound, you have to buy 5.1 channel or above. Otherwise, you will never get the true surround sound experience. Moreover, you should buy such a stereo receiver that has provision for upgrading in the future. It is because you can turn your 5.1-channel into 7.1 or even 9.11 in the future for better audio quality. Moreover, you have to ensure the receiver supports Dolby Digital as most of the DVD format has encoded Dolby Digital for awesome 5.1 experience.

Video Switching

If you are buying a stereo speaker, you should be acquainted with Upconverting term. Most of the TVs include multiple input and outputs for video players. With video switching option, it is more convenient to run all video sources with sound through the receiver. With Upconverting, the stereo receiver can convert standard definition to high definition.

Network Connection

As the technology has advanced, we have voice assistant. If you already have Amazon Alexa or Google Home at your home, you should buy a stereo receiver that is compatible. This way you can control the receiver with your voice. Apart from that, most of the receivers listed above have Bluetooth connectivity which is the least thing brand can do. Moreover, some receivers have Wi-Fi connectivity to stream from your smartphone directly.

Power Ratings

The power ratings determine how loud the sound output will be. The more expensive models are likely to have more power ratings. Therefore, while buying a stereo receiver, you should compare with other models to buy the best one.
Apart from these, you should buy a stereo receiver from a popular brand such as Pioneer, Sony, Yamaha, Denon and likewise. They are the leaders and their products are true value for money. These brands have different series and you should do your research properly before buying.

Best Audio Video (AV) Receivers 2021 FAQ

What AV Receiver Do I Need?

AV receivers come in two major types. One of them is a studio receiver, while the other is AV. If you have a small room or need one in the office, go for the studio one. It costs less and will be enough for a small room.

However, for extreme home theater systems, you need the best AV receiver 2020. They will give you a surround sound system and perfect quality picture and allow you to have the perfect experience.

Do AV Receivers Improve Sound Quality?

AV receivers improve the sound quality to a large extent. They will allow you to spread voice-over more speakers that you can connect. Many people love to connect five speakers to their AV receivers.

As a result, you get an amplified voice with even better quality. The reason is that the amplified voice is not from a single speaker, but a group of five speakers gives you the best surround sound.

Do AV Receivers Improve Picture Quality?

Well, it is safe to say that AV receivers “affect” the picture quality. The process and up-scale low-quality signals. As a result, you get a better quality video from your receiver. However, in some cases, they may end up doing so much processing at a time. As a result, your video quality will degrade.

So, you need the best AV receiver for music and video with a bypass feature. It will never do extra processing and will lead to the best quality picture available for the movie.

How Long Do AV Receivers Last?

The results differ on paper and in reality. While the on-paper results show that your AV receiver can last as much as 30 years, the reality is quite different. Even the best AV receiver can last only up to 10-15 years.

However, many people don’t use them for their full life. The reason is that every year or after two, we have different technology. The older ones become outdated at a faster pace than before. So, it is safe to say that your AV receiver can retain its quality and specs for around five years. After this, they will become outdated.

Are AV Receivers Worth It?

AV receivers are one of the crucial most parts of your home theater system. They serve as the hub and center of your system and connect all devices. Whether it be an audio source, video source, or speakers, the AV receiver manages them all. So, the best AV receiver is really worth it.

Can You Leave Your AV Receiver ON All The Time?

There is no logic behind leaving your AV receiver on all the time. If you are running a studio house, then we understand that you need an AV receiver 24/7. However, for home use, it is better to turn the receiver off once you finish using it. It is an electrical component and generates a lot of heat that will reduce the life of your item.

What’s The Difference Between 5.2 And 7.2 Receivers?

The number and decimal mean the speakers and subwoofers that it supports in the same order. So, a 5.2 AV receiver system means that it supports five speakers and two subwoofers. On the other hand, the 7.2 system supports as much as seven speakers and two subwoofers. Of course, a 7.2 system will give you better surround sound.

Will My AV Receiver Support 4k?

In the last few years, many AV receivers support 4K. However, if you have an older version, most chances are that your receiver won’t support 4K, and you may need to buy a newer.

Why Are Receivers So Expensive?

When we look into the best AV receiver, we mean one that has as much as seven speakers and two subwoofers. Of course, its price is very high. However, there are many affordable models available that give good quality sound but with lesser ports. So, only receivers with more ports are expensive.

So, that’s all with this best AV receiver reviews and buying guide post. We hope you enjoyed reading this post and found the best AV receiver for your purposes. Stay tuned with The Keen Hunter for more such product reviews and buying guides. Thank you!

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