LDN AV receivers Our ratings Best Home Theater Receivers Under $500

If you’re looking to improve your home theater system, but don’t want to spend a lot of money on an expensive receiver, there are many great affordable options for you. We’ve compiled this list of the best AV receiver under $500 reviews so that you can find the perfect one for your needs. If you’re wondering what separates these models from more expensive ones, or why they should be considered at all, read on!

Our pick
Yamaha RX-V4A
Yamaha RX-V4A
Best AV receivers under $500
This 5.2-channel 80 Watt AV receiver creates a powerful and advanced home theater experience with the latest in video processing and Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD Master Audio and more. Read the full review.

Best AV receivers under $500 reviews

Yamaha RX-V4A – best overall

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.

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

Yamaha RX-V4A

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

Yamaha RX-V4A back

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 photo

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-DH790

If you choose a receiver, you can read our Sony STR-DH790 review, which will help you make the right choice. Sony STR-DH790 is a powerful, high-performance AV receiver that offers one of the best connectivity and thrilling sound quality at this price range. In addition to its primary function, which is the amplification of input signals from different sources, it can be used as a source for connecting additional devices to the system.

The device supports digital audio formats Dolby Atmos and DTS:X. This allows you to create a more immersive audio experience when watching movies or listening to music. It also supports 4K and HDR video playback.

Build and design

Sony STR-DH790

Sony STR-DH790 is an excellent receiver with 17 x 5-1/4 x 11-3/4 inches measures. In addition, the shape of the receiver gives a feeling that this device is strong and won't break easily.

The front side of Sony STR-DH790 is home to two digital audio optical inputs, one stereo RCA input, and one 3.5 mm minijack input. There is also a power button and a volume knob. Besides, you can find a remote control sensor on the front side. The backside of the receiver is home to a variety of ports and jacks as well.

It also comes with all the necessary cables that you will need to make it work.

Features and specs

STR-DH790 back

STR-DH790 is an A/V receiver with 7.2 channels of surround sound and 145 W (6 ohms, 1kHz, 1ch THD 0.9%) of power output to bring your music or game audio to life in the best way possible. The main STR-DH790 features include An FM tuner, Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD Master Audio decoding, Multi-zone capability for audio output, Multi-room capability for audio playback across zones.

It also comes with a built-in Bluetooth receiver, which means you can connect your smartphone or another Bluetooth-enabled device to stream audio wirelessly. There are four HDMI inputs, one HDMI output, which means you can plug in multiple devices simultaneously. Besides, you can find two digital audio optical inputs, one coaxial input, seven RCA inputs, two subwoofer outputs, and one 3.5 mm minijack output. There are also three speaker posts and a power cord connector. Finally, the Sony STR-DH790 receiver is unique in that it has a built-in Bluetooth adapter. This allows you to stream music from any compatible device without needing an Ethernet cable or a Wi-Fi adapter.

Considering Sony STR-DH790 specifications, we can highlight a high-end home theater receiver. It has 4K 60p (4:4:4) pass-through and HDR support, making it perfect for streaming movies in crisp quality.

With HDR support, you can enjoy deep colors and balanced contrasts. In addition to this receiver's already excellent audio capabilities, it now has Dolby Vision pass-through. This means that if you have a TV that supports Dolby Vision, you can enjoy the improved picture quality that this format provides.


Sony STR-DH790 photo

If you're looking for a great receiver that delivers high-quality sound, the Sony STR-DH790 is an excellent choice. One of the best things about this receiver is its sound quality. The highs and lows are well balanced, and the soundstage is wide.

So whether you're watching a movie, listening to music, or playing video games, the Sony STR-DH790 receiver is sure to provide a great audio experience. It produces a clear, rich sound that will make you feel like you are in the middle of all the action happening on screen. In addition, this is an ideal option for large and small rooms because the S-Force Pro Front helps create a virtual surround acoustic field, using only two speakers.

Verdict about Sony STR-DH790

The Sony STR-DH790 is an excellent receiver for people looking to take their home theater experience to the next level. Although the receiver features an extensive list of impressive audio and video capabilities, including Dolby Atmos and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray discs compatibility, this model offers one of the best surround sound experiences available on the market today.

Denon AVR-S650H

You can answer this question after reading our Denon AVR-S650H review. The Denon AVR-S650H is an excellent option for people looking for an upgrade. It has many features that make it stand out from the competition. Let's consider some features that make the Denon AVR-S650H different. Denon AVR-S650H front side

The receiver comes with integrated Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, allowing compatibility with various streaming media services. Besides, the AVR-S650H is equipped with HEOS technology. Therefore, it allows users to stream melody from any compatible device, such as your phone or tablet.

Build and design

According to Denon AVR-S650H specifications, it measures 17.1× 13.3 × 6 inches. The front side of the Denon AVR-S650H is quite busy. There you can find a lot of buttons, knobs, and a display. The main display is in the center, and it shows all of the information that you need to know about the current state of the receiver. On the left side, there is a home and power button. It is one of the main controls you will use throughout the operating system; it may also be pressed to return to the previous menu or screen. The next group of buttons contains volume controls and source selection. The rear side of the Denon AVR-S650H has a lot of ports and connectors.

The automatic speaker setup makes the AVR-S650H different from other models. It allows users to configure their speakers quickly without worrying about complicated procedures. Besides, you can install Denon remote app on your smartphone or tablet to use its features. Denon AVR-S650H rear side

Features and specs

The Denon AVR-S650H is a 5.2-channel AV receiver with 150W (6 ohms, 1 kHz, 10%) with one channel drive. What makes the AVR-S650H stand out from other receivers is its HEOS technology. HEOS makes a multi-room audio system easier to set up. The AVR-S650H will learn to identify each HEOS speaker you add and ask if you want it to be part of your multi-room setup. Then, it only takes a few clicks to set up a HEOS wireless speaker in a different room or even on your deck or patio.

It features 4K Ultra HD HDMI support for five inputs and one output, Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD Master Audio, and the excellent Dolby Vision. Thanks to the HDMI connections, you will be able to connect full HDR10 capable TVs, Dolby Vision capable TV/projectors, and compatible audio systems. In addition, the receiver supports AirPlay, Pandora, Spotify Connect, and vTuner Internet radio. It also has built-in Bluetooth and Wi-Fi for wireless streaming. This compatibility lets you listen to your music anywhere in the house using apps on your phone or tablet.

The Denon AVR-S650H can support 4K video. It has five HDMI inputs and one output compatible with 4K video signals. It gives you a chance to enjoy the latest films and TV shows in the best possible quality. In addition, it has a built-in UHD upscaling feature that can upscale standard-definition and high-definition video signals to 4K quality. So, the Denon AVR-S650H can upscale lower resolution video to near-4K quality. It ensures that you always get the best possible picture quality, regardless of watching.


The sound quality of this model is fantastic. Because of high-quality components, Denon AVR-S650H features like Dolby Atmos and DTS:X create an immersive listening experience. The sound is clear and crisp, with no distortion even at high volumes. The sound fills the entire room, making it the perfect choice for large spaces. The bass is also powerful, providing a powerful sound that will please even the most discerning listeners.

Besides, the receiver can playback clear dialogue when watching movies and create a robust and dynamic soundstage, making you feel right in the middle of the action.

Verdict about Denon AVR-S650H

The Denon AVR-S650H is a versatile receiver that offers excellent sound quality and an excellent selection of features. If you are looking for a new home theater receiver with plenty of power but don't want something too big, I recommend giving this one serious consideration!

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


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.

Denon AVR-S540BT

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.

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

Denon AVR-S540BT

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 back

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 photo

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!

What are the main characteristics you should pay attention to when choosing a receiver under $500?

How much power do you need

The answer depends on the size of your room and what kind of sound system you have. Generally speaking, more power is better for larger rooms or more sensitive speakers as they require less amplification to produce adequate volume levels.

How many channels do you need

No matter what type of receiver will best fit your needs, one thing is certain: they all have at least two channels – left and right! The number of additional channels varies depending on the model; some only offer 5 or 7 while others may offer as many as 11 or even 13. This is important to consider when purchasing a receiver, because the more channels it has, the more speaker options you will have.

Do you need a Dolby Atmos and DTS:X in your receiver?

These technologies create a 3-dimensional space for sound in your theater room. They both use object-based mixing technology which means that sounds can come from any direction at any time, rather than just being confined to a single speaker. These two formats are the newest innovations in surround sound, but not all receivers have them. If you’re looking for an upgrade, this article will help you decide if it’s worth the investment.

Can I use a 7.2 channel receiver with a 5.1 audio system?

The short answer is yes! While the number of channels on your receiver dictate how many speakers you can connect to a home theater, it doesn’t mean that you can’t use only five. If you’re not interested in 7.2 surround sound or want to save money by purchasing fewer speakers, then it’s possible to use a 7.2 channel receiver with five speakers without sacrificing quality.


Do expensive AV receivers sound better than cheap ones?

When it comes to sound quality, many assume that the more expensive the AV receiver, the better the sound quality it will have. However, this isn’t necessarily always the case. While, in some instances, spending more of your hard-earned money can get you a higher-end receiver with added features and improved sound quality, that doesn’t mean that a cheaper model isn’t capable of providing excellent sound. Furthermore, depending on your personal preferences and style of music, sometimes even a cheaply priced model can satisfy an audiophile’s ears just as well as a top-tier one. Ultimately, it’s important to understand what you are looking for when choosing an AV receiver.

How long will AVR last?

AV receivers can last long as they are properly maintained and cared for. Depending on its make and model, an AV receiver should last at least five to seven years with regular use. In some cases, however, the lifespan may be slightly longer or shorter than five to seven years. As with most electronics, overworking or not taking proper precautions can reduce the life of an AV receiver. Constant power cycling, overheating due to poor cooling conditions, and poor wiring are some common causes that may lead to a shorter life span. To increase the longevity of your AV receiver, it is always a good idea to keep it in optimal condition and away from dust or other additives that might interfere with electric circuits inside the device.

Do I need Dolby Atmos in a receiver under $500

If you are considering buying a Dolby Atmos receiver for under $500, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the features and benefits of this sound technology. While Dolby Atmos is primarily a feature offered in higher-end receivers, some options are available at budget prices. These budget options may not support all of the features that some more expensive receivers have, but they still offer great sound quality and give you a taste of what Atmos can do. Ultimately, it comes down to your budget and needs – if you want an immersive home theater experience without breaking the bank, Dolby Atmos on a budget might be the way to go!

Does AVR overheat?

While some AV receivers can overheat, it’s important to note that this isn’t always the case. Many receivers are designed to stay cool even in a home theater setup with five or more speakers. The key is knowing that proper ventilation must be provided for these devices because they generate large amounts of heat when running. Simply ensuring that dust and blockage are cleared away from your receiver’s fan and exhaust grills can help prevent overheating and potential damage. Additionally, avoid stacking equipment on top of your receiver and placing the device in a closed-in area, such as an entertainment center. With these precautions, you can know that your AV receiver will remain at a safe operating temperature.

We are supported by our audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you.