Best Stereo Receiver
Directed at audiophiles who specifically want a superior home audio setup, stereo receivers are somewhat of a niche item due to their lack of video support. However, those who do not need or want an AV receiver will appreciate the ability to consolidate multiple audio devices, with many models including inputs ranging from iPods to phono inputs for turntables. Many modern stereo receivers have similar features to AV receivers, including support for Bluetooth and AirPlay. On the other hand, most stereo receivers do tend to be on the more basic side, with the focus being on discrete amplification for high-fidelity sound and flexible audio output options for expandability.
Best Stereo Receiver Overall:
The importance of purchasing an excellent stereo receiver for your home cannot be overlooked, especially if you happen to be a huge music fan. The following stereo receivers combine pristine two-channel audio for the audiophiles who demand a rich and natural sound during their musical listening experience, along with the ability to re-produce precise theater-surround modes while watching the latest DVD release. This list of best stereo receivers overall was compiled with a definite focus on each stereo receiver’s overall value, ease of use, superior sound and incorporation of the latest audio technologies available today.
The Marantz SR4023 offers just about everything you could want from a stereo receiver. Although around $450 is far from the most affordable unit you could buy, this receiver delivers top-notch sound quality, flexible connectivity, and user-friendliness. Read Full Review
Although there are cheaper options out there, Harman Kardon's HK 3770 offers a good overall package, with strong performance and ease-of-use. However, the lack of main-in/pre-out terminals might turn away some potential buyers, especially at this price range. Read Full Review
Yamaha's focus on sound accuracy is evident with the R-S700. This stereo receiver is light on features, but offers excellent connectivity and sound quality. If this focus on performance is worth around the $500 price tag for you, this is an excellent choice. Read Full Review
The Yamaha R-S300 features a vintage-inspired design, adding to the charm of this affordable stereo receiver. However, the inside is all modern technology, offering solid performance and ease-of-use for around $250. Read Full Review
With a price tag of around $150, the Sony STR-DH130 can be forgiven for being quite basic. However, despite a lack of features or too much expansion capability, this affordable stereo receiver packs plenty of power, offering excellent sound quality for the price. Read Full Review
Best High End Stereo Receiver:
All of the following high end stereo receivers are some of the most quality currently available to the audio consumer. While they may not be extremely affordable, these prestigious stereo receivers are definitely worth every hard-earned dollar that they retail for.
The design qualities separating these best high-end audio components from the lower-end components include better inner circuitry driving clean audio signals from the component’s chipset to the component’s audio processor, gold plated connections, a huge variety of sound modes and the ability of the component to deliver an outstandingly vibrant musical sound stage.
For audiophiles seeking nothing but the best, the NaimUniti 2 is an excellent option and as is expected, this stereo receiver costs a lot. However, it shows no compromise when it comes to the quality of engineering, design, and performance. Read Full Review
Those seeking some of the highest purity of sound possible will need to be prepared to shell out big bucks; the McIntosh MAC6700 commands a hefty price tag, despite leaving out many "modern" connectivity options such as WiFi. However, those who prefer the sound quality and design of this brand will love the performance of this unapologetically high-end stereo receiver. Read Full Review
Integra is Onkyo's high-end brand, building upon the already excellent performance and reputation of more affordable models. Small internal upgrades mean large sound quality improvements over cheaper models, as well as added connectivity making the Integra DTM-40.4 one of the most versatile picks on this list. Read Full Review
The Marantz M-CR610 is undoubtedly a high-end product, delivering top-notch audio performance and excellent connectivity. It lacks any video connectivity, which might make its price tag seem a bit much for what it offers and perhaps ideally for more specialized roles. Read Full Review
The Yamaha R-S700 rounds out our list as the cheapest receiver option, leaning more toward being a midrange receiver than a high-end one. However, its focus on excellent performance without the bells and whistles makes this stereo receiver worthy for inclusion. Read Full Review
Best Budget Stereo Receiver:
High quality stereo receivers should not always have to cost the consumer thousands of dollars to purchase and they also should not require a dedicated audio specialist to install them properly either.The following budget stereo receivers were selected primarily because they all feature dynamic and natural sound while also including multiple digital inputs allowing any consumer to hook up a myriad of A/V components to the stereo receivers. These budget stereo receivers are an ideal purchase for anyone needing a quality receiver for a smaller room environment or looking to upgrade the older 2-channel stereo receiver they may currently own.
For the price, it is difficult to do much better than the Onkyo TX-8020. This stereo receiver costs only around $160, while offering features that can be hard to find even on receivers costing twice the price. Although the TX-8020 lacks digital connectivity, this is an excellent choice for those who simple want excellent sound output for an affordable price. Read Full Review
With modern home theater equipment getting stuffed more and more with digital features, many buyers are seeking a simpler, analog-focused stereo receiver that won't break the bank. The Yamaha R-S201 is such as receiver, delivering excellent sound for the price without the added cost of all the frills. Read Full Review
Sony's STR-DH130 offers excellent sound quality for around $150, making it a great choice for a budget-friendly pick. Though basic in terms of both features and connectivity, the STR-DH130 delivers ease-of-use and functionality for an affordable price.
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Best Buy's Insignia brand might not carry a lot of prestige, but their NS-R2001offers a good way to pick up an affordable entry-level stereo receiver. Like all budget-friendly models, this receiver doesn't offer extensive connectivity or features, but it’s easy to use and delivers solid basic performance at a low price. Read Full Review
The Pyle PT260A can sometimes be found for less than $100, making it the least expensive stereo receiver on our list. While this price should be sufficient to give an indication of what performance expectations should be, the PT260A is a solid choice for those who just want something simple and affordable, and who don't require the best sound quality money can buy. Read Full Review