As any home cinema enthusiast will tell you, having a great AV receiver is essential to getting the most out of your movie-watching experience. But with so many models on the market, it can be tricky to know which one is right for you. If you’re looking for the best AV receiver under $1500, then look no further – we’ve got you covered.
In this blog post, we’ll take a close look at three of the best options out there, so you can make an informed decision about which one is right for your needs. Let’s get started!
Best AV receiver under $1500 reviews
Denon AVR-X3700H – best overall
In this Denon AVR-X3700H review, we will take a closer look at the key features of the receiver and find out how it can compete with more expensive models.
For instance, this receiver shares the same key features as the more expensive AVR-X4700H, however, there are some differences you will notice in the text below. Overall, Denon AVR-X3700H is a mid-priced option that saves them some money but still has all the features they need.
Build and design
Denon AVR-X3700H measures 17.1 x 14.8 x 6.5 inches (WxDxH) and weighs 31 pounds. It has a black finish with a brushed metal faceplate and an information display in the center that shows all the essential information at a glance. The buttons and knobs are all hidden away neatly.
One of the minor nitpicks about the receiver's design is that the power button is a bit small and difficult to press. The volume knob is also quite sensitive, so it's easy to accidentally turn it up or down too far by accident.
Actually, Denon AVR-X3700H looks similar to its older brother, the AVR-X4700H. The only real difference is that the AVR-X3700H is a little bit smaller and lacks a few of the more advanced ports. However, it does not take up too much space and fits nicely into most AV cabinets.
Features and specs
Denon AVR-X3700H has 9 channels and delivers 125 watts per each one. Compared with other receivers I tested before, it's more than enough even for a spacious house. Multi-room supports audio sources for two zones.
As for the ports, I think that Denon AVR-X3700H has just about everything you could need. On the back of the receiver, you will find eight HDMI ports, though I needed only four of them to plug in the TV, soundbar, Sony Playstation, and laptop without having to worry about running out of ports. It also has built-in HEOS that lets you play music from your own library or streaming apps like Spotify, Pandora, and Amazon Music. As for me, I generally pair the receiver with my phone using Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. By the way, it was a pleasant surprise to control the receiver with Siri voice commands.
Denon AVR-X3700H features an advanced video processor that is up to 4K/60Hz. Support for HDR10, Dolby Vision, HLG, and lossless file formats like FLAC, WAV, and ALAC adds extra quality to everything you watch or play. Plus, you get access to different audio decoding technologies, including Dolby TrueHD, Dolby Atmos, DTS-HD Master Audio, and DTS:X.
One of the coolest Denon AVR-X3700H's specifications is its ability to mix two-channel stereo sources to create a virtual surround sound experience. So, you are able to watch TV shows or movies that are not in surround sound. The receiver will automatically create a surround sound experience by using its algorithms.
Once you have everything connected, you can start listening to music right away. I tested Denon AVR-X3700H with a variety of music genres like jazz, rock, and indie. All of them sounded flawless and music filled my large living room to the fullest. I think that it was Audyssey MultEQ XT32 that did a great job of calibrating the sound of the receiver to my room. In other words, the system compensated for the acoustics of my room and made sound well-balanced, no matter where I was sitting.
Verdict about Denon AVR-X3700H
Denon AVR-X3700H has a lot of features you usually don't find in this price range. It delivers powerful sound quality that can fill large rooms, support the latest audio formats, and has an advanced video processor. So, I highly recommend the Denon AVR-X3700H for its reasonable price.
This Yamaha RX-A4A review will take an in-depth look at one of the best AV receivers available on the market today. Previous models in the RX-A series have been very popular, and this one is sure to continue that trend. We'll go over the features, specs, design, and performance of this AV receiver to help you determine if it's the right model for your home theater setup.
Build and design
The Yamaha RX-A4A measures 17.1 x 6.8 x 14.6 inches and weighs just over 20 pounds, so it's not too big or too heavy to be inconvenient to move around. It's made to be placed in a standard AV rack and has plenty of ventilation to keep it cool during operation.
The front panel is fairly straightforward, with the power button, volume control, and input selection buttons located near the top. There are also indicator lights for power, input, and surround mode. The receiver has a clear glass finish and houses all the buttons and controls, while the back panel is packed with ports and connections.
Features and specs
The Yamaha RX-A4A's specifications are next. It is a 7.2-channel AV receiver with a maximum power output of 100 watts per channel. The receiver has 2 Multi-room zones and ESS SABRE DACs for superior sound quality. There is also a Music Enhancer included to improve the frequency response of compressed audio files.
The RX-A4A has a total of 7 HDMI inputs and 3 outputs, which is more than enough for most home theater setups. It also features advanced voice recognition and control with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri. You can use your voice to control various functions of the receiver, such as power, volume, input selection, and surround mode.
Also, this AV receiver comes with a remote control and an iOS/Android app for controlling it remotely. So you can stream music from Pandora, Spotify, and other streaming services using the built-in app.
The only drawback that happened to me while using the receiver was that it can take a few seconds for the audio signal to adjust and actually play.
This model is able to decode high-resolution audio files up to 24-bit/192kHz and has a frequency response of 20Hz-20kHz. Also, the receiver supports 4K Ultra HD, 3D, and Dolby Atmos and also includes Yamaha's Cinema DSP 3D technology, which creates a virtual surround sound environment that is faithful to the original soundtrack. This is a fantastic feature for action and sound-based movies or TV shows.
Another characteristic I find very special is Surround:AI that automatically adjusts the sound field to match the content you're watching. When I was watching a concert, the sound was focused on the center of the room, but after I switched it to a football game, the sound was more evenly distributed around the room.
I do video games, music, movies, and TV as well as my 4k HDR Blu-rays and MKV files on my computer hooked up to the receiver. The YAMAHA RX-A4A's features have so far handled everything just fine. The highs are crisp and detailed, the mids are well-balanced, and the lows are deep and authoritative. Besides, the receiver does a great job with all the different audio formats. I don't have Atmos speakers, but even without them, the receiver still creates a realistic soundscape.
Also, I think passthrough mode is worth mentioning here. Shortly, this feature enables you to route the video signal through the receiver while it's on standby. I found it useful for playing a game late at night with headphones through your controller; no need for the amp to be on and muted, or have headphones through the amp. Overall, I'm very pleased with this receiver.
Verdict about Yamaha RX-A4A
The Yamaha RX-A4A is a great AV receiver for anyone looking for all the latest features. With a variety of settings, it can be tailored to your specific needs and preferences. If you want the best possible audio and video quality, the Yamaha RX-A4A may be the perfect option.
The Marantz SR5015 is one of the company's more affordable receivers, yet it still manages to pack in a healthy selection of features. On contrary to previous models in the SR series, this one comes with an 8-channel amplifier which provides plenty of power for a 7.2 system. I've put it to the test, and I am ready to share opinions with you. Keep reading the Marantz SR5015 review to see if it's the right receiver for your needs.
Build and design
Marantz SR5015 looks very similar to its predecessor, the SR5009. The only real difference is that the new model is a tiny bit wider in order to accommodate the extra amplifier channels. It's still a slim receiver at just under 4 inches tall, so it should fit nicely into most home theater setups. The front panel features the same clean and simple design that Marantz is known for. All the inputs and outputs are located on the back, which makes for a neater installation.
One thing to note is that the SR5015 only comes in black. If you're looking for a receiver with a little more style, you might want to check out one of Marantz's higher-end models.
Features and specs
The Marantz SR5015 is a 7.2-channel receiver with an 8-channel amplifier. That means it can power a full surround sound system with no problem. It has a total output of 105 watts per channel, which is plenty for most applications. With seven amplifier channels on board, you can connect a 5.1.2 or 7.1.2 speaker setup and no external amplifier is needed.
The receiver has eight HDMI inputs and two outputs, as well as built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. You can also use the receiver as a central hub for your home theater system thanks to Apple AirPlay 2 support. There's a USB port on the front for quick access and an input for a personal audio player. The Marantz app may be downloaded to your smartphone or tablet and used to control the receiver, which is a nice touch.
Marantz SR5015 also features Dolby Atmos and DTS:X decoding, making it ideal for movie lovers. Dolby Surround and DTS Neural:X mixing modes are also effective, and they can be used with non-Atmos content. Among Marantz SR5015's specifications is support for 4K Ultra HD video and HDR. If you have a compatible TV, you can take advantage of the receiver's 4K passthrough feature without losing any quality. The SR5015 also provides HDR10 and Dolby Vision support.
One of the main things about the SR5015 is its sound quality. Thanks to its discrete amplifier design and Marantz's HDAM technology, the receiver remains clear and distortion-free. It did a great job of reproducing both 2-channel and multichannel music, delivering the performance that had me hooked for hours on end.
The SR5015 had no problem driving my Klipsch Reference Premiere speaker system to loud volumes. Even when pushed to high volumes, the receiver never sounded harsh or strained. Since it didn't have any trouble filling the whole room with the sound of music or film, I think the receiver's amplifiers do their part very well.
The only thing I could nitpick about is that the receiver didn't quite have the same impact as some of the higher-end models I've tested. During action-packed scenes, I felt like the sound could have been a little more explosive. But overall, I thought the SR5015 did a great job with movies.
Verdict about Marantz SR5015
The receiver has a lot to offer, from its build and design to its sound quality. If you're looking for an affordable surround sound receiver that can handle just about anything you throw at it and doesn't compromise on features or performance, I highly recommend checking out the SR5015.
Pioneer Elite SC-LX704
In this Pioneer's Elite SC-LX704 review we will take a look at one of the company's top-of-the-line AV receivers. It is a full-featured AV receiver with a bevy of advanced audio processing capabilities that should appeal to a wide range of users. While it's not the cheapest receiver on the market, it definitely offers a full performance.
Build and design
The Pioneer Elite SC-LX704 has a sleek and elegant design that will look great in any home theater setup. The front panel is glossy black with a silver Pioneer logo in the center. The rest of the receiver is made of high-quality materials and feels very solid. It's not too big or bulky, and the front panel is relatively uncluttered. The receiver also has a built-in AM/FM tuner and comes with remote control. From my point of view, the buttons on the remote are a bit small and cramped. Even so, they become convenient once you get used to them.
The SC-LX704 is relatively easy to set up. The onscreen display is clear and easy to navigate, and the receiver comes with a well-written manual that will help you get everything up and running in no time. Included setup microphone makes calibrating your speakers a breeze.
Features and specs
Let's see what features Pioneer Elite SC-LX704 hides inside. The receiver has a 9.2-channel amplifier and a power output of 140 watts per channel (8 ohms, 20 Hz - 20 kHz, 0.08% THD). Thanks to the A/B speaker, it's possible to use two different types of speakers. At the same, the Bi-Amp mode allows using the front left and right channels for bi-amp operation with compatible speakers. In addition, Multi-Tone Control adjusts the sound of each individual channel to match your speakers.
The SC-LX704 has a variety of inputs and outputs, including HDMI, a subwoofer output, an RS-232C port for integration with custom control systems, and a USB port for connecting a storage device. You can wirelessly stream audio from your mobile devices, using built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, or connect wirelessly to speakers and favorite services like Spotify, Pandora, and Tidal. There's also support for AirPlay, Chromecast, and DNLA. If you're into vinyl, the SC-LX704 has a phono input for connecting to a turntable.
The Pioneer Elite SC-LX704 also supports 4K Ultra HD pass-through with HDR support. This means that you'll be able to enjoy the latest and greatest in video quality, without having to worry about compatibility issues. The receiver comes with a variety of pre-set sound modes, including Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, Dolby Surround, and DTS Neural:X. There's also a Cinema EQ mode that automatically adjusts the sound quality for movies and a Music EQ mode that does the same for music.
I've tested a lot of receivers before, and the Pioneer Elite SC-LX704 is definitely one of the finest. The calibration process, from my point of view, is better than many others. Besides, I tried to play the soundtrack of "Mad Max: Fury Road" with the Dolby Atmos enabled, and it sounded fantastic, with plenty of depth and detail. The explosions and gunfire were incredibly loud and realistically portrayed, and the sound stage was huge. The SC-LX704 handled music well, delivering a smooth and natural sound with good bass response. Even at higher volumes, the Pioneer is rich and full.
Verdict about Pioneer Elite SC-LX704
The Pioneer Elite SC-LX704's specifications clearly met my hopes. It is great for movies, music, and games alike. Overall, this unit is a decent value for the money if you're looking for a high-end receiver that can handle all of your audio needs.
Denon launched the latest revision of AVR-X2700H in 2020, and it still remains rather future-proof. It offers you the ability to create the finest 4K home theater today while also ensuring that your receiver is 8K prepared. This Denon AVR-X2700H review will cover its most essential features, letting you know where it succeeds and falls short.
Outwardly, we are dealing with a typical black box receiver that won't win any beauty contests. But compared to the previous models, the AVR-X2700H comes with an enhanced dynamic range, the support for more video formats, and an expanded list of surround sound codecs.
Build and design
Denon AVR-X2700H is quite heavy at 21 lbs. However, this weight is due to the high-quality build. There is a metal chassis that gives the receiver a solid feel. With the dimensions 17.1 x 13.4 x 9.3 inches (or 6.6 inches with the antennas in the horizontal position), the device is the same size as its predecessor - the AVR-X2600H. The only change you see on the front panel is the absence of an HDMI port.
All functions are visualized in a large display in the middle. Two big circular knobs on either side of the front panel serve for volume control and source selection. A thin line of function buttons under the display includes buttons for the tuner preset channel selection, controls for Zone2, the brightness of the display and its mode, and some buttons you can use to register settings of your choice.
Features and specs
Denon AVR-X2700H features provide users with a sophisticated yet easy-to-use solution for their home theater needs. There is a 7 channel amplifier that delivers 95 W (8 ohms, 20 Hz – 20 kHz, THD: 0.08% 2ch drive) of power per channel, which is quite a lot for a receiver in this price category.
There is a good selection of connections for all your devices. The AVR-X2700H has 6 HDMI inputs and 2 HDMI outputs with HDCP 2.3 processing. One dedicated input supports 8K/60Hz and 4K/120Hz pass-through (although the producer underlines that not all the 4K/120Hz media sources are supported). Upconversion to 8K is available on all six HDMI inputs. One of the HDMI outputs has ARC/eARC capability, which lets you hear the sound from your smart TV app through your speakers without using an additional cable. It can come in handy if you mount your TV on a wall. There is also an audio preamp output that allows connecting an external power amplifier. In addition, optical and coaxial inputs are available.
From the other specifications of Denon AVR-X2700H, it is worth noting that the receiver supports Dolby Atmos and DTS:X surround sound decoding, the respective virtualization technologies, and a wide selection of HDR formats.
The device comes with built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth and has two antennas that ensure a reliable connection. You can choose a wired or wireless connection to your home network. The AVR-X2700H provides access to most streaming services. You can listen to music stored on your mobile devices over AirPlay. Besides, the AVR-X2700H can deal with music files on your computer with its built-in support for most popular file formats.
Finally, the receiver offers compatibility with most voice-controlled assistants, making it easy to perform such functions as adjusting volume.
Good news for everyone who wants to enjoy the incredible sound experience. Denon AVR-X2700H shines thanks to excellent build quality and components that deliver high-fidelity performance when it comes to sound quality. Those who change their old receiver to this model describe its sound as warm, clear, and full. They also notice that the bass became deep and tight and the trebles – smooth and well-defined. Users also praise the quality of sound when it comes to surround sound. Finally, they agree that Denon AVR-X2700H works very well with different types of speakers.
The receiver features a wide variety of sound settings to let you customize your experience depending on the content you listen to. You can use either the Audyssey MultEQ XT room calibration system or one of the pre-programmed modes for movies, music, or game. If you are an advanced user, you can even create your own mode.
Verdict about Denon AVR-X2700H
The AVR-X2700H is packed with impressive features and delivers excellent sound. As for some minor issues, I can mention the setup difficulties and disappointing functionality of the mobile app supplied with the device. But at this price range, it is probably tough to find another receiver with the same performance.
Are you searching for a powerful yet affordable home audio system and want to know if the Onkyo TX-RZ50 is right for you? Well, we've done all the hard work for you by testing this powerful amplifier and speakers, so let us tell you what we found. The Onkyo TX-RZ50 9.2-Channel AV receiver has proven to be an excellent pick for adding quality sound to your home.
Build and design
The Onkyo TX-RZ50 has a front panel with buttons and knobs. It is designed to look nice and has simple controls for adjusting the sound. The main power button is at the panel's top, with volume and input selection buttons below. The Tone Control knobs are on either side of the center display, allowing quick sound adjustments. Finally, a headphone jack is located at the bottom for private listening. These controls can customize your home theater experience quickly and easily.
The Onkyo TX-RZ50 also features a sleek and modern look with black accents and silver trim. This combination of colors helps it stand out while still providing an elegant look.
The Onkyo TX-RZ50 has dimensions of 17 1/8˝ x 7 15/16˝ x 15 11/16˝ (435 x 201.5 x 398 mm), making it a relatively small and portable device. Its weight also reflects this as it weighs only 30.9 lbs. (14.0 kg), making it light enough to be carried around easily.
Features and specs
The Onkyo TX-RZ50 is a unique audio amplifier that offers superior sound quality and performance. It boasts 250 W/Ch of THX® Certified Select RZ Series Dynamic Audio Amplification, meaning it can provide a powerful and crisp sound to any home entertainment system. It is also IMAX® Enhanced certified for an immersive signature sound by DTS:X®, providing a true cinematic experience.
The device features 11.2-ch processing and pre-outs for 7.2.4 layouts, allowing you to get the most out of your surround sound system at home. In addition, it can be controlled with Hey Google or Alexa, making it easy to use.
The Onkyo TX-RZ50 is also equipped with a range of HDMI® inputs. Inputs 1-3 and the Main/Sub out support 8K/60AB and 4K/120AB, while inputs 4-6 support 8K/60B and 4K/120AB. The front HDMI input supports up to 4K/60 (HDMI 2.0). There's also an HDMI Sub/Zone 2 Out that can transmit media to a second display.
Onkyo TX-RZ50 supports Bluetooth® wireless technology, allowing you to send or receive audio easily. In addition, it features RX mode (SBC/AAC) and TX mode (SBC/Qualcomm® aptX™/aptX HD), providing superior sound quality when streaming music or other audio content.
In addition, the AVR is compatible with 4K/120, giving gamers an ultimate gaming experience. With this level of resolution, you'll enjoy the most stunning visuals and smooth gameplay from the comfort of your home.
For music lovers, the receiver is also Sonos Certified, meaning it can easily integrate into existing Sonos audio systems for expanded sound options. So whether streaming music or playing it through a CD player, you can experience your favorite tunes in crystal clear sound.
The sound from the Onkyo TX-RZ50 is really good. It makes everything you hear sound clear and crisp. The soundstage is wide and detailed, making it easy to pick out individual sounds in the mix. The bass response is tight and precise, giving plenty of power when needed without being too overpowering. Voices are natural and clear, while the highs have good sparkle without sounding harsh or grating. It also has a lot of dynamic range, allowing a wide range of music types to be enjoyed.
All in all, this receiver's sound quality is excellent, something that both seasoned audiophiles and novices alike can appreciate.
The Onkyo TX-RZ50 truly shines after being calibrated with DIRAC, making movie watching an unparalleled experience! It not only adds clarity and precision to sound across the frequency range but also offers features such as adjustable dialogue enhancement, bass management, and subwoofer equalization. In addition, with DIRAC's unparalleled acoustic manipulation capabilities, your Onkyo TX-RZ50 will become a truly immersive home theater experience!
Verdict about Onkyo TX-RZ50
The Onkyo TX-RZ50 is an impressive receiver that offers a wide range of features and options for both audio enthusiasts and casual listeners.
This product is truly outstanding - it was effortless to get up and run, and the audio quality is incredibly clear. It's of note that this item outperforms many others in its price range!
The Onkyo TX-RZ50 AV receiver is an excellent choice for anyone in search of a feature-packed and powerful home theater receiver!
AV receivers under $1500 buying guide
Power and number of amplification channels
The power and number of amplification channels are two important factors to consider when choosing an AVR. More powerful amplifiers can drive more speakers, and more channels allow for more flexibility in speaker placement and configuration.
When choosing an AV receiver, it is important to consider the power rating and the number of channels. More powerful amplifiers can drive more speakers, and more channels allow for more flexibility in speaker placement and configuration.
Some AV receivers offer a surround sound experience with up to 7.1 channels. Others offer an immersive 3D audio experience with Dolby Atmos or DTS:X.
No matter what your audio setup, it is important to choose an AV receiver with enough power and channels to support it.
HDMI and other required connection
The most important connection for your AVR is the HDMI connection. The HDMI connection will allow you to connect your Blu-ray player, cable box, or other HD devices to your TV. If you do not have an HDMI input on your AVR, you will not be able to view HD content.
In addition to the HDMI connection, you will need to connect your audio source to your AVR. This can be done with an optical cable, coaxial cable, or stereo RCA cables. If you are using a digital audio source, you will need to connect it to your AVR using an optical or coaxial cable. If you are using an analog audio source, you will need to connect it to your AVR using stereo RCA cables.
Finally, you will need to connect your power cable to your AVR. This can be done with a standard AC power cord or an HDMI cable with a built-in power cable. Once everything is connected, you can turn on your TV and AVR and begin watching HD content.
Built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
Having built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth is important in an AV receiver because it allows you to connect your receiver to your home network without having to use any cables. This means that you can stream music from your computer or phone to your receiver, without having to worry about where the cables are. Bluetooth is also important for connecting wireless headphones or speakers to your receiver.
The maximum devices that you can connect simultaneously will depend on the make and model of your receiver, but most receivers can connect to at least four devices at once. This is a great feature if you want to be able to listen to music in different rooms of your house, or if you want to be able to move around while still being able to listen to your music. Another advantage of having built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth is that it makes updating your receiver’s firmware much easier.
Most receivers will automatically check for updates every time they are turned on, and will install them automatically if they are available. This means that you don’t have to worry about missing out on any new features or improvements, and your receiver will always be up to date.
4K pass-through and HDR
If you’re looking for a receiver that can handle the latest in audio and video technologies, then you’ll want to consider one with 4K pass-through and HDR support. This will let you enjoy Ultra HD content from your Blu-ray player, streaming services, and other devices without any degradation in quality. Plus, many HDR-compatible TVs can take advantage of the enhanced brightness and contrast that HDR provides. So if you’re looking to get the most out of your home theater setup, be sure to choose a receiver with 4K pass-through and HDR support.
Surround sound formats support: Dolby Atmos and DTS:X
These days, more and more movies are being released in Dolby Atmos and DTS:X. If you’re looking for a receiver that can decode these new formats, you’ll want to make sure it supports them. Most receivers these days do support these formats, but there are a few that don’t. So, if you’re in the market for a new receiver, be sure to check and make sure that it supports Dolby Atmos and DTS:X.
One of the great things about these new surround sound formats is that they create a more immersive experience for the viewer. With Dolby Atmos, sounds can come from anywhere in the room, which really helps to put you in the middle of the action. With DTS:X, you get a more realistic soundstage, with sounds coming from all around you. If you’re looking for an immersive experience, be sure to check out movies that are available in Dolby Atmos or DTS:X. You won’t be disappointed!
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