LDN AV receivers Our ratings Best Home Theater Receiver Under $400

If you’re looking to upgrade your home theater system, but don’t want to break the bank, then I have a list of some of the best AV receiver under $400

A good home theater receiver is a very important part of any room. It helps to amplify and send the sound from your television or streaming device to all the speakers in your room, creating an immersive experience that you’ll love.

Best receivers under $400 reviews

AVR-S540BT – best overall

To make your choice easier, we have prepared for you the Denon AVR-S540BT review. The most important thing is that Denon AVR-S540BT meets the latest audio and video technologies standard.

Denon AVR-S540BT front view

The difference between the previous models and AVR-S540BT is an upgraded Bluetooth feature, which lets you connect your phone or other devices for wireless streaming of music directly to your receiver. Besides, Denon AVR-S540BT supports FLAC and Apple Lossless format.

Build and design

The Denon AVR-S540BT is a mid-sized receiver that is designed to be placed on a shelf or table. It is not as large as some of the other Denon receivers and has dimensions 17.1 x 12.6 x 6. It has a black and silver design that looks sleek and modern.

The receiver's front has a power button, an input selector knob, and a volume control knob. In addition, the Denon AVR-S540BT receiver has an informative display. It can tell you what input you're on, your sound mode, how loud the volume is, and more. The receiver's back features all the ports and connectors you need to connect to your TV, speakers, and other devices.

The Denon AVR-S540BT has a special remote control with large buttons. Once you install the device, you can turn it on, regulate the volume, and switch channels just using the remote control.

Features and specs

Denon AVR-S540BT specifications such as 5.2 Channels can support the latest video surround formats, including 4K Ultra HD. Power Output per Channel is 140 W (6 Ohms / 1 kHz; 10% THD) with 1-Channel Driven. As for Frequency Response is 10 Hz to 100 kHz, which is a pretty good range. This kind of power is perfect for medium-sized rooms.

The AVR-S540BT has HDMI (5 in / 1 out) with 3D, 4D, Audio Return Channel, and Deep Color (36-Bit). In addition to the HDMI, this receiver includes composite video and stereo RCA audio inputs. A USB port allows connecting to your computer and charging of portable devices. Besides, an AM/FM tuner gives you the possibility to listen to your favorite radio stations. The AVR-S540BT is compatible with high-resolution audio files, including FLAC, ALAC, WAV (up to 96 kHz/24-bit), AIFF, and Apple Lossless at up to 24-bit/96 kHz.

Denon AVR-S540BT is one of the few new models to come with Bluetooth wireless technology. You can connect to compatible Bluetooth devices for wireless listening or control your music wirelessly from the Denon remote app for Apple iOS and Android.

A new feature that got a lot of attention in AVR-S540BT is the ability to support Ultra HD 50p/60p 4K video signals and Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio decoding. In addition, this device provides an HDR (High Dynamic Range), which allows you to enjoy your favorite movie or TV show with deep blacks, bright whites, and enhanced detail. So, the picture will be more spectacular than ever before.

Denon AVR-S540BT Back View

Sound

The Denon AVR-S540BT is an excellent receiver for home theater. It produces clean and crisp high-quality sound, without distortion. When you turn on this device and set the maximum volume, the sound will still be clear. It's an excellent option to watch movies and listen to music on it. So, using the receiver, you can hear every detail of the song and conversation in the movie.

Verdict about Denon AVR-S540BT receiver

Without any doubt, Denon AVR-S540BT features will help you to upgrade almost every home theater system. The receiver has excellent sound quality, and it is easy to set up. So if you are looking for an affordable option in your budget range and want to get some great features like wireless capability and HDR support, this model may be perfect for you!

Onkyo TX-SR494

Here is an Onkyo TX-SR494 review, which will make your choice easier. The Onkyo TX-SR494, like its big brother the HT-R693 and its little brother - TX-NR646 is the only model in the line of Onkyo receivers that can pass bitstream content from all available sources, including DVD players and TV boxes.

Onkyo TX-SR494 front look

Not all models in this range have such top features. For example, these are decoding of Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio formats that bring us particular pleasure from our home cinema.

Build and design

The first thing that almost everyone will notice is the full aluminum front panel, which makes this receiver a high-end product. Onkyo has kept a clean and transparent design. The dimensions are: 17,1" x 6,6 x 12,9 inches and its total weight is 18.1 lbs.

The front side of the Onkyo TX-SR494 receiver has a headphone jack, volume control buttons, input selection, and a power on/off button. In addition, the front display gives information about the source, volume level and shows different lights depending on the status of your surround sound system.

Onkyo TX-SR494 receiver has a back panel, which provides you with HDMI inputs and outputs, a set of component video connections, analog stereo audio outputs for your speakers, etc. It is a straightforward receiver that comes with a simple set of instructions. It can be connected to other devices easily and does not have many components to deal with. The remote control is also without complicated buttons or functions.

Features and specs

Let’s consider some Onkyo TX-SR494 specifications. The TX-SR494 is a 7.2-channel receiver with 80 W/Ch (8 Ohms, 20 Hz–20 kHz, 0.08% THD) power when 2 Channels Driven. The frequency response of the receiver is 10Hz-100kHz with 3dB direct mode. Its key features include the bi-amp capability for the front, HCPS (High Current Power Supply), and a wide range of connectivity options. This product is perfect for those who want a great audio experience in their home theater setup.

The TX-SR494 offers 4 HDMI inputs and 1 HDMI output. This is great for homes with many devices. It is easy to switch between sources. It also has an optical digital audio input so that you can listen to movies and games in surround sound. Additionally, the TX-SR494 has a Zone B line output that can send audio to another room in the home. This receiver also has built-in Bluetooth, so you can easily stream music from your phone or tablet.

The Onkyo TX-SR494 video features provide a lot of opportunities for users. The receiver can handle four types of HDR and supports BT.2020, ensuring that you will always get the best video and audio they can. In addition, this model can upscale and transfer 1080p, and 4K (up to 60p/4:4:4) signals with no loss in quality. Dolby Vision technology also optimizes picture quality by dynamically adjusting colors, brightness, and contrast.

Onkyo TX-SR494 rear look

Sound

Onkyo TX-SR494 receiver can produce good sound quality without any distortions. It ensures you a unique experience when watching movies or playing games. This receiver can produce clear, detailed, and balanced sound output with its Multi Channels configuration. The receiver also provides deep bass. Besides, it has a good control knob to regulate bass and treble as per your desire. You can connect your portable devices like smartphones and tablets to it and enjoy your favorite music tracks. It has both Dolby and DTS decoding, making it great for hearing the difference between the two formats.

Verdict about Onkyo TX-SR494 receiver

We can sum up that the Onkyo TX-SR494 receiver has many useful features, including Dolby Atmos, a built-in Bluetooth, and a 4K HDR passthrough. However, it doesn't have a built-in Wi-Fi adapter. All in all, this receiver seems to be a good choice for your home theater.

Yamaha RX-V4A

We have prepared a Yamaha RX-V4A review for you to make your choice easier. The most obvious thing differentiating it from others is the support of 8K HDMI and 4K Ultra HD video with full 60p resolution, allowing receiving and processing 4K content without compression.

Yamaha RX-V4A front side

The new RX-V4A is a universal receiver that supports almost any existing surround sound format. It provides a possibility to work with network sources or external speakers through its proprietary Yamaha system. It supports Dolby Atmos and DTS:X – two new surround sound formats. What is more, this model offers a possibility to work with network sources and external speakers through a proprietary Yamaha system.

Build and design

The Yamaha RX-V4A receiver has a sleek and modern look. It has a black finish and a brushed aluminum front panel. The Yamaha RX-V4A receiver weighs about 19.4 lbs and measures 17-1/8” x 6-3/4” x 14-7/8” inches.

The front panel includes a power button, volume and channel knobs, and buttons for managing the audio input and output. The receiver also includes an on-screen display that allows you to control all of its functions.

On the rear side of the Yamaha RX-V4A receiver, you can find all inputs and outputs. They allow you to connect the receiver to other devices, such as a TV or a computer. The ports are also used to power the receiver and to transfer audio and video signals.

The remote control for the Yamaha RX-V4A receiver is easy to use. It gives you complete control over the receiver’s settings and has more than enough buttons to make it easy to set up.

Features and specs

As for Yamaha RX-V4A specifications, it is a 5.2 channel AV receiver. This receiver has 80 W (6 ohms, 0.06% THD) per output channel when two speakers are driven. In addition, this receiver is equipped with bi-amp ability. Therefore, you can connect your speakers directly to it and use the receiver as a power amplifier for high-quality sound reproduction without losing the dynamics that often accompany passive loudspeakers.

Yamaha RX-V4A is an excellent home theater receiver for the newer AV formats. The Yamaha RX-V4A also has a variety of input jacks that allow for many different options for connecting external devices. In addition, this receiver comes with many features such as 4 HDMI inputs, network capabilities through RJ45 input, USB input and outputs, two digital optical audio output ports, and analog audio out port. It also has built-in Bluetooth and Wi-Fi so that you can connect it in different ways.

The video quality of the Yamaha RX-V4A receiver is not bad. The picture is clear and with ample color depth. This receiver is equipped with HDR10+. A new standard for high dynamic range video offers improved contrast, excellent brightness, and enhanced color. In addition, Yamaha RX-V4A supports a 4K Ultra HD video passthrough, allowing you to watch your favorite movies and TV shows in stunning detail. The Yamaha RX-V4A receiver is also an 8K (up to 60p) capable device that delivers excellent video quality.

Yamaha RX-V4A rear side

Sound

When it comes to sound quality, the receiver is clear and sounds great. In addition, the Yamaha is not distorted when you turn the volume up to its maximum setting.

The Yamaha RX-V4A is an excellent receiver for listening to music. The sound quality is excellent, and the surround sound effects are powerful. Additionally, it supports Dolby Digital Plus decoding. It provides an immersive opportunity for watching videos, TV shows, and games.

However, some people argue that it has a little bit of bad sound quality when watching movies, compared to the sound quality in music. The problem is that it does not have any preset modes for watching movies, so when you choose “Movie” mode, the only thing that would change is that dialog will be louder. Sometimes, that’s not enough.

Verdict about Yamaha RX-V4A receiver

Summing up Yamaha RX-V4A features, it is an excellent receiver for home theater and music listening. Dolby Atmos, built-in Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth, AirPlay, and MusicCast make it enjoyable to use. If you’re looking for an easy way to create the perfect sound in your home theater, this receiver is highly recommended and worth buying it.

Sony STR-DH590

Here is a Sony STR-DH590 review, which will help you choose the best receiver for you. Sony STR-DH590 AV Receiver is the famous line of receivers - STR-DH510 and STR- DH710.

sony str dh590 front look

The main feature that differentiates this model from others is undoubtedly its four in/1 out HDMI implementation, which allows you to pass a 3D video signal and transmit an audio signal to another device through ARC (Audio Return Channel). I also want to highlight that the company reduced power consumption and increased the efficiency of the receiver.

Sony STR-DH590 has many new features. For example, new inputs and outputs that support 3D signals and PS5. In addition, the USB port allows streaming content from the network, and there is a possibility to connect wirelessly via Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.

Build and design

The Sony STR-DH590 has 15.7 lb of total weight and dimensions of 17.0 x 5.2 x 11.8 inches. As for me, the design is modern; because it has a gloss black finish and aluminum elements.

On the front side of this receiver, there is an ON/OFF button, input and speaker selector buttons, and volume control. The volume control has a large and convenient form, which also makes it easy to use. Besides, here you can find connections for a TV aerial, speakers, and a headphones jack. The receiver also has an extra HDMI socket for a recording device.

The rear panel of the Sony STR-DH590 receiver has different inputs and outputs, connectors, and power jacks (including one to power the remote control).

The remote control makes it very easy to change the volume or switch between inputs without getting up off your couch.

Features and specs

Sony STR-DH590 is a mid-range receiver with good connectivity and picture quality. First, let's consider Sony STR-DH590 specifications. It's a standard 5.2 channel receiver with 4K Ultra HD Pass-through, which means it can receive 4K signals from devices like UHD Blu-ray players or PlayStation 5. According to the manufacturer, the power is 145 W (6 ohms, 1ch THD 0.9%), and as for frequency response, it is 1kHz. Besides, Sony STR-DH590 supports the following audio formats: MP3, WMA, WAV, AAC, CD-DA, and DVD-Audio. However, this model doesn't support Multi-room zones and Bi-amping functions.

This home theater system has Dolby Digital and DTS decoders for incredible sound quality. The receiver includes an HDMI output, USB input, iPod docking station port, and AM/FM radio tuner. You can also connect Sony STR-DH590 to any high-definition TV via HDMI connection. It has 4 HDMI inputs and one output, meaning you can connect up to 3 HD devices to the receiver at once. So if you have a Blu-ray disc player, TV, game console, and set-top box all connected, then any one of them can be selected without having to switch HDMI cables back and forth.

Its outputs are also equipped with S-Video, Composite video, and Coaxial digital audio that supports. It also has built-in Bluetooth. So, you can connect playback of your favorite music directly from your smartphone or other devices. The Sony STR-DH590 is an excellent choice for viewing 4K content with a frequency of up to 60 fps. Using a 4K HDR pass-through, Dolby Vision function, and flexible surround sound, this AV receiver creates an authentic cinema atmosphere at your home. It supports HDCP 2.2 and HDR (High Dynamic Range), providing a high-quality image with a balanced contrast of colors.

sony str dh590 back

Sound

Using this receiver, you can get a full range of advantages with Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, and DTS-HD Master Audio.

If you're looking for a great receiver that will give you a fantastic sound when watching films, the Sony STR-DH590 is worth considering. The sound quality is excellent and brings the film to life. It has got a perfect bass and a nice treble. However, sometimes the mids are too strong and not crystal clear enough.

Verdict about Sony STR-DH590 receiver

The Sony STR-DH590 receiver has excellent sound quality. It's also very easy to set up and use. This range of Sony STR-DH590 features will help you to enjoy the sound at full. The Sony STR-DH590 receiver is not the cheapest one on the market, but I think it's an excellent choice for anyone looking for a new receiver.

Yamaha RX-V385

Here we suggest you read the Yamaha RX-V385 review, in which you can pay attention to the essential features of this device.

RX-V385

The first thing that differentiates Yamaha RX-V385 from other receivers is its price range and built-in Chromecast support. It allows listening to your favorite music and watching movies without using any external devices. The second exciting feature is built-in Bluetooth to connect to all other Bluetooth devices, including your smartphones, tablets, and laptops. Yamaha RX-V385 also includes Airplay. So, you can stream music from your iOS devices wirelessly. One more feature of RX-V385 is the mobile app. As a result, you can use your iPhone or Android device as a remote control.

Build and design

The Yamaha RX-V385 has 37,4 pounds of total weight and dimensions of 12.4 x 17.13 x 6.34 inches. So I think it can fit in most home spaces.

On the back side of the receiver there are ports for connection. The front side includes a headphone jack, a Channel Input for playback of surround sound, the switch, and one volume regulator. Its design gives a possibility to install the Yamaha RX-V385 in different ways. The company designed a receiver with a slim profile. As a result, you can install a device in any place near the television, suitable for you and your design.

Besides, it is not difficult to tune the receiver. You can connect Yamaha RX-V385 to your devices using a special mobile application. It also provides access to some additional settings. You can connect TV, speakers or other devices; regulate the amplifier power.

RX-V385 back

Features and specs

Yamaha RX-V385 has quite good features. It is a 5.1-channel AV receiver with a Rated Output Power of 1ch driven, 100W (8 ohms, 0.9% THD). Besides, this receiver supports different file formats, such as MP3 / WMA / MPEG-4 AAC / WAV: up to 48 kHz/16-bit to convert the digital signal into an analog one; it uses 3 Burr-Brown DA Converters with the power 384 kHz / 32-bit.

The RX-V385 can bi-amp compatible front speakers (L, R). That means to regulate the high and low ranges, it uses two separate amplifiers. It also improves the sound of front speakers, because the device prevents high and low sounds blending.

As for inputs, the Yamaha RX-V385 is well equipped. It has a single optical input, two coaxial inputs, and two analog audio inputs. It also has a single HDMI HDCP 2.2 compliant output to complement its 4 HDMI inputs. A USB connection on the front allows you to connect a USB drive and play music from it. In addition, the receiver can stream music wirelessly because it has built-in Bluetooth. However, it doesn't have built-in WI-FI. Yamaha RX-V385 also includes Airplay that makes a connection with Apple devices possible.

Yamaha RX-V385 specifications also give the user a lot of possibilities. For example, this device allows watching different 4K videos with 60 frames/second speed. Yamaha RX-V385 allows enjoying high dynamic range (HDR) Video, in particular providing Dolby Vision and Hybrid Log-Gamm, because of up-to-date HDMI features. In addition, these technologies improve color contrast and smooth tone.

RX-V385 photo

Sound

You can enjoy the natural and high-quality sound because of CINEMA DSP technology. As a result, it produces HD Audio.

For such a level receiver, the 385 displayed a pretty good sound. Dialogues and other movie sounds are clear and precise. With Yamaha RX-V385 even a tiny speaker will give more powerful bass than a large speaker. They also maintain excellent sound balance and localization. In the tensest movie moments, the 385 produces copious amounts of bass, creating a real cinema atmosphere.

Using this Yamaha RX-V385, you have a chance to feel virtual 5-channel surround sound, even if your surround speakers aren’t behind you. There is only one disadvantage, the Yamaha RX-V385 may not be so good and powerful in larger rooms.

Verdict about Yamaha RX-V385 receiver

All in all this receiver provides high-quality for a reasonable price. It will give you a possibility to playback your favorite music and videos without using other sources. With this receiver, you can also enjoy a movie with Dolby True HD and DTS-HD Master Audio. Moreover, Yamaha RX-V385 is a good option for people, who like to stream music and video wirelessly.

Home theater receiver under $400 buying guide

How many amplifier channels do I need in my receiver?

The number of amplifier channels you need in your receiver depends on what you’re planning to plug into it. If you only want to use one speaker, then an amplifier with two channels is enough. However, if you plan to play music through multiple speakers at the same time, then four or more amplifiers are required.

How many watts of power per channel do I need in a receiver under $400?

If you’re in the market for a receiver, one of the specifications that may be important to you is how many watts per channel it has. A receiver with more watts per channel will be able to power larger speakers and create louder sound than a receiver with less watts per channel. With so many receivers on the market today, it’s hard to know which ones have the most wattage and which ones are just marketing ploys.

What connections do I need in the home theater receiver?

Most receivers these days have a lot of connections on them – HDMI, fiber optic, digital coaxial, analog stereo and more. The variety of connections will depend on what equipment you’re connecting to the receiver from your TV or Blu-ray player. A good rule of thumb is to make sure you have at least two HDMI inputs for current devices with one being “4K” compatible for future proofing. Other connection types are also important depending on how many different sources you want to connect to your TV with a single cable instead of using multiple cables going in from each device.

Difference between expensive and budget AV receivers?

To start with, an expensive AV receiver has more features than a budget one. For example, it may have HDMI inputs and outputs that are fully compatible with 4K video resolutions and HDR content. It can also support Dolby Atmos audio decoding for immersive surround sound playback in your home theater system. This is not possible on most cheaper models of AV receivers.

What is multi-room audio?

Multi-room audio is a term used to describe systems that allow you to control playback of music in multiple rooms. A multi-room audio system typically consists of a controller device, such as a smartphone or tablet, and one or more audio players. The controller device can be used to select and play music from one or more sources, such as a local music library, streaming service, or radio station. Audio players can be located in any room in the house and will play the same music simultaneously.The system is perfect for people who want to enjoy their favorite music throughout their home.