So, you want to know which are the best AV receivers under $1000? That’s great. In 2021 there are several fantastic receivers for you to choose from.
The problem is, where do you start?
Well, I’ve tried to make your life a little easier by picking a top 5 for you to consider.
All of these AV receivers come in under the $1000 mark. Hopefully, this list will help you narrow down your options.
I've tried to include models in a range of prices. So hopefully there will be something for every budget.
I will get into the specifics of each model, and highlight some of the important features that make each one stand out.
So, if I were looking for an AV receiver in this price range, which ones would I be checking out?
|Image||Model||HDMI In/Out||Power (W/Ch)||Dolby Atmos|
|Denon AVR-X2700H 7.2-Ch AV Receiver||6/2 (eARC)||95||5.2.2||Check Price|
|Yamaha RX-V6A 7.2-Ch AV Receiver||7/1 (eARC)||100||5.2.2||Check Price|
|Marantz SR5014 7.2-Ch AV Receiver||7+1/2 (eARC)||100||5.2.2||Check Price|
|Sony STR-DN1080 7.2-Ch AV Receiver||6/2 (ARC)||100||5.2.2||Check Price|
|Onkyo TX-RZ840 9.2-Ch AV Receiver||6+1/2 (ARC)||120||5.2.4 / 7.2.2 (Support for 7.2.4)||Check Price|
Denon is always a good option if you want to buy an AV receiver. I have owned a couple of their models and they produce excellent products that compare with any brand at a similar price point.
This model is part of Denon's AVR-X range of receivers. AVR-X receivers are their top-level models with a focus on performance and build-quality.
You can't go far wrong with any of these receivers. You just need to find the right balance between price and features that suits your needs.
The Denon AVR-X2700H is a 7.2-channel receiver with support for Dolby Atmos and DTS:X 3D audio.
With dual subwoofer outputs, you can install a 5.2 or 7.2 surround sound system. Of course, you don't need to connect a second subwoofer if you don't want to.
If you do want to take advantage of object-based audio, then you can use the two surround back channels for your height or elevation speakers.
You just need to remember to go into the 'Assign Mode' menu and select the location of the overhead or Dolby elevation speakers that you are using. 'Top Front', 'Top Middle', 'Front Dolby' or 'Surround Dolby'.
Of course, this means that you must choose between a 7.2 layout or a 5.2.2 setup. But this is the same with all 7-channel AV receivers.
If you don’t want to install height speakers in your room, you can still take advantage of Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization Technology.
When you enable this sound mode on standard surround sound audio, it will create virtual height information across your speaker system.
It’s not as good as installing height speakers, but it can be effective at times. DTS Virtual:X, which is also available, does a similar thing.
As for power, the AVR-X2700H is rated at 95 watts per channel (8 Ohms, 20 Hz-20 kHz, 0.08% THD, 2 Channels Driven). Slightly less than the other models here. Will it make much difference in your room? Probably not.
But, if you must have the most power possible at this price point, then another receiver might be a better choice for you.
Alternatively, if you need more power and channels, then the top-of-the-range Denon AV receiver features highly in my guide to the best high-end AV receivers of 2021.
One exciting new feature in this year's model is the introduction of 8K support.
One of the HDMI inputs has dedicated 8K support for your new game console. This input and both the HDMI outputs allow for 8K/60Hz and 4K/120Hz pass-through.
Bear in mind, that only one of the HDMI inputs supports 8K. However, all the HDMI ports allow for upscaling of lower resolution content to 8K.
If you need more than one 8K input, then you will either need to buy an 8K HDMI switch (which I haven't seen available yet) – or connect your devices directly to your TV.
4:4:4 Pure Color and BT.2020 pass-through are all present.
So is support for HDR10, HDR10+, HLG and Dolby Vision images. So all the current HDR technologies will work.
The HDMI ports also have the latest version of HDCP – 2.3.
The 2020 model of this AV receiver has fewer HDMI inputs than in previous years. There are a total of six inputs on the rear and two outputs. In previous years there were seven inputs on the rear and one on the front.
This shouldn’t be a game-changer for most people. But, it’s something that you should consider.
The main HDMI output also supports eARC. This is the latest version of the Audio Return Channel which supports sending Dolby Atmos soundtracks back to your receiver from the TV.
|HDMI In / Out||6/2 (eARC)|
|Speaker Impedance (Ohms)||4-16|
|Network / Wireless||Ethernet / Wi-Fi / Bluetooth (Send & Receive) / Airplay 2 / HEOS / Amazon Alexa / Google Assistant / Apple Siri / Josh.ai|
|Dimensions (W x H x D)||17.1 x 6.6 x 13.4 in | 434 x 167 x 340 mm (w/o antenna)|
Unless you are a real sound geek and like to measure these things yourself with a calibrated microphone and SPL meter, you can use the built-in Audyssey room correction software.
Audyssey MultEQ XT is available on this model. This allows you to measure and automatically optimize each speaker for the perfect sound balance in your room.
In my opinion, Audyssey is the best room correction software available. Well, until you get to some of the solutions found on the really high-end AV receivers.
Don't worry too much though. All the receivers here will do a reasonable job of balancing the audio in your room. And you can always do it manually if you wish.
If you want multi-room audio that is controlled from your AV receiver, then you have several options with the AVR-X2700H.
Denon has its HEOS multi-room system which is built into this receiver.
Connect some HEOS speakers and you can use the app to control what audio plays where in your house.
You can even use the latest voice control technologies to control your receiver.
Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant are available for controlling functions like adjusting the volume and switching inputs.
Apple AirPlay 2 and Apple Siri support is also present to allow you to stream audio from your Apple mobile devices or connect to other AirPlay speakers in your home.
Finally, if you just want to use the receiver to send audio to another room, there is zone 2 support.
You can either connect speakers directly by assigning the rear speaker terminals to zone 2 - or send audio to an amplifier and speakers in another area using the pre-out connections.
Next up is from one of my favorite manufacturers, Yamaha. The Yamaha RX-V6A is the top-end model in the mid-range RX-V Series of AV receivers.
If you have used Yamaha amplifiers before, and like the 'Yamaha sound', then this should be a good option for you. If you are yet to try a Yamaha AV receiver, then you can be sure of an excellent device that will serve you well.
While Yamaha does have receivers with a higher specification, they also come at a higher price. If you are looking for a solid receiver that won’t break the bank, then this is a good choice.
The Yamaha RX-V6A is a 7.2-channel AV receiver with support for Dolby Atmos and DTS:X audio formats.
Therefore, you can install a 5.1 or 7.1 surround sound system in your room. Or add some height speakers and have a 5.2.2 layout. Your choice.
One excellent new feature in this latest range of Yamaha amplifiers is the new High Slew Rate Amplifier circuit.
This will reduce distortion and allow for more accurate reproduction of the sound.
It’s great to see Yamaha striving to increase the sound quality of even their mid-range amplifiers.
Over the previous model in this range, the RX-V6A has a slight increase in power and a reduction in measured distortion. It offers 100 watts per channel @ 8 Ohms, 20 Hz-20 kHz, 0.06% THD, 2 Channels Driven.
The RX-V6A also has a rather sleek new look with curved front edges. Not a major reason to choose this amplifier, but it’s good to see an attempt to improve on the standard look of most AV receivers – a boring rectangular black box.
I think it looks great.
|HDMI In / Out||7/1 (eARC)|
|Speaker Impedance (Ohms)||8 and higher|
|Network / Wireless||Ethernet / Wi-Fi / Bluetooth (Transmit & Receive) / MusicCast Surround + Multi-Room / AirPlay 2 / Spotify Connect / Amazon Alexa / Google Assistant / Apple Siri|
|Dimensions (W x H x D)||17-1/8 x 6-3/4 x 14-7/8 in | 435 x 171 x 379 mm (w/o antenna)|
With the introduction of a new range of game consoles, it’s great that the RX-V6A will support the increased video resolutions of these devices.
Three of the seven HDMI inputs will accept and pass-through an 8K/60p or 4K/120p source.
Of course, if you don’t have an input device with the new video formats, you can still use any of the HDMI inputs.
If you have an 8K display, then this receiver will only upscale internally to 4K.
However, your 8K display device will be able to scale any input resolution to 8K so this won’t be a problem.
Other new features of the HDMI 2.1 specification – VRR, ALLM, QMS and QFT – will be available via a firmware update due to be released around the end of 2020 (** UPDATE - now scheduled for Spring 2021 **).
You should be aware that this firmware release will also be required for the 8K pass-through support too.
If you are not a gamer with the latest console, then most of the improvements provided by the HDMI 2.1 features won’t affect you much.
But, even so, it might be good to have these features to future-proof yourself.
The HDMI output supports an eARC connection to your TV. This will allow you to send high-resolution audio formats from your TV back to the receiver.
Don’t worry if you only have an ARC HDMI port on your TV – this will work too.
With support for HDR10+, HDR10, Dolby Vision and HLG, you won’t have to worry about passing through any of the current versions of HDR video.
Another interesting feature of this receiver is support for Yamaha’s MusicCast wireless speaker system.
It comes in two different formats – MusicCast Multi-room and MusicCast Surround.
Both allow for a wireless connection to either of the Yamaha MusicCast speakers - the MusicCast 20 and MusicCast 50.
MusicCast Multi-room allows wireless connection to the speakers in up to 9 different rooms. You can control the audio in each room by using the Yamaha app.
MusicCast Surround can configure the wireless speakers as the surround channels in a 5.1 speaker layout.
Ideal if you are fed up trying to run speaker cable to your surround speakers.
Marantz is a brand that is well known for its great sounding audio products. Marantz amplifiers have been a favorite of audiophiles for many years.
Therefore, if sound quality is an important feature for you, then a Marantz AV receiver should be high on your list of possible choices.
The SR series of receivers are the top-of-the-range models in the Marantz line-up. This receiver is the entry-level model in the range and offers great sound with a host of must-have home theater features.
The Marantz SR5014 is an AV receiver with 7.2-channels. It therefore supports standard 5.1 and 7.1 surround speaker layouts – or you can have 5.2 and 7.2 surround if you take advantage of the extra subwoofer pre-out.
But, if you want more than a standard surround sound setup, you can also install a 5.2.2 system for Dolby Atmos.
If you do have height speakers in your room, then you will want to make use of the extra audio processing modes that this model offers.
There aren't that many true Dolby Atmos or DTS:X soundtracks around – so Dolby Surround and DTS Neural:X will transform 5.1 soundtracks by extending the audio into your height speakers.
These modes are quite effective and will make sure you get the most out of your elevated speakers. In fact, you can use these modes to extend stereo audio around your home theater system too.
If you don't want to install height speakers, then this receiver also has DTS Virtual:X and Dolby Height Virtualization. These will attempt to give the effect of height speakers even when they aren't present.
As previously mentioned, one of the main selling points of Marantz hardware is the musical sound. Like many of their other products, the SE5014 uses their proprietary Hyper-Dynamic Amplifier Modules (HDAM) technology.
These are discreet circuit boards which provide a very detailed and dynamic sound compared to more traditional methods. If you know and love the Marantz sound, then you can be sure this receiver will fit the bill.
|HDMI In / Out||7+1/2 (eARC)|
|Speaker Impedance (Ohms)||4-16|
|Network / Wireless||Ethernet / Wi-Fi / AirPlay 2 / Bluetooth / HEOS / Spotify Connect / Amazon Alexa / Google Assistant / Apple Siri|
|Dimensions (W x H x D)||17-3/8 x 6-3/8 x 13-3/4 in | 440 x 161 x 348 mm (w/o antenna)|
The power of this receiver is rated at 100 watts per channel (8 Ohms, 20 Hz-20 kHz, 0.08% THD, 2 Channels Driven). Slightly less than some in this range, but in the real world the difference is unlikely to make that much difference.
This may only be a deciding factor for you if you know your speakers need to be driven hard. And, in this case, you always have the option of using the 7.2-channel pre-outs to connect to a power amplifier instead.
There are an impressive 8 HDMI inputs on this receiver. And, one of these is on the front which is a feature that I like to see. This doesn't seem important until you want to quickly connect a temporary device!
There are two HDMI outputs.
By the way, if you need help connecting your system, you might want to check out the article 'How to Set Up Surround Sound: Easy Home Theater Install Tips'.
The zone features on this receiver are a little limited compared to other models. However, you have the option of sending stereo audio to a second zone either powered - by using two of the 7-channels. Or, by using the zone 2 line-outs.
You can control all the major functions of this receiver using the Marantz AVR Remote App. Volume, inputs and settings can all be changed via the app.
It also allows for building music playlists which can be saved and recalled when required. This attention to detail for music probably stems from their long history with Hi-Fi components.
Automatic speaker configuration is controlled via the advanced Audyssey MultEQ XT system. This has more precision than the standard version of this software and uses advanced algorithms to measure your room and adjust the speaker output.
Audyssey is one of the best room correction systems I have used. This is definitely a plus point for this receiver.
Unlike many of the leading AV receiver brands, Sony doesn’t release a new model every year. However, as long as the receiver that you buy has all the features that you need, then it doesn’t matter much.
Sony is a trusted brand for many people when it comes to buying multimedia products of all types. So, for an AV receiver, you can be sure of a certain level of performance.
The STR-DN1080 is the most recent release in the DN-Series. These receivers are a higher level than the budget DH Series receivers.
If you are looking for a respected AV brand at a price that won’t break the bank, then this is a receiver you should consider.
The Sony STR-DN1080 is a 7.2-channel model with support for Dolby Atmos.
This means that you can use it to install a standard 5.1 or 7.1 surround sound system. Or you can add a couple of height or elevation speakers and take advantage of Dolby Atmos and DTS:X soundtracks.
This receiver will comfortably power most speakers that are designed to be used in the home. It’s not the most powerful amplifier, but it will have plenty of output for most people.
Unfortunately, Sony only provides power specifications rated against 6-ohm speakers – 100 watts per channel at 6 Ohms, 20 Hz-20 kHz, 0.09% THD, 2 channels driven.
I prefer seeing the power rated against 8-ohm speakers – because that is the impedance of most H-Fi and home theater speakers.
However, you can compare the power of this receiver against another amplifier if you can find the same 6-ohm ratings.
I wouldn’t worry too much though. Most amplifiers in this price range will all have a similar power output – regardless of the available rated power.
This receiver supports the pass-through of 4K video at 60Hz and you can use HDR10, Dolby Vision and HLG if you have a source that plays HDR video.
You get most of the expected network and wireless connection types. From Ethernet and Wi-Fi to Bluetooth, Chromecast and Airplay.
|HDMI In / Out||6/2 (ARC)|
|Speaker Impedance (Ohms)||6-16|
|Network / Wireless||Ethernet / Wi-Fi / Bluetooth / Airplay / Chromecast / NFC|
|Dimensions (W x H x D)||17 x 6-1/4 x 13-1/8 in | 430 x 156 x 331 mm (inc. projecting parts/controls)|
The Bluetooth technology in this receiver also allows for sending audio to connected devices. This means that you can play audio on connected Bluetooth headphones or speakers.
This is useful as many AV receivers only allow you to transmit Bluetooth audio from a device to the amplifier. They don’t transmit audio too.
But, the STR-DN1080 does. Great!
There are 6 HDMI inputs and 2 outputs. That is a decent amount for a receiver in this price range.
The automatic configuration of sound in your room is performed by the DCAC EX system. In case you were wondering, DCAC stands for Digital Cinema Auto Calibration.
This uses the included microphone to perform the usual calibration of speaker distance, levels and crossover settings. Plus there are further sound modes that you can select to alter the sound in your room, such as:
You can connect a pair of speakers in zone 2 by using two of the channels on the back of the receiver. The USA and Canadian models have dedicated zone 2 speaker terminals.
For other regions, you will use the terminals allocated for a 7.1 surround system.
Either way, you can only use powered zone 2 audio with a 5.1 speaker layout.
Alternatively, there is an RCA line out stereo pair for sending audio to another amplifier in zone 2.
Another possibility for playing content in another room is by using the 2nd HDMI output and connecting this to a TV in the other zone.
Onkyo is a very popular brand when it comes to AV receivers. They have been a major player on the market for several years and they regularly release models every year at a number of price points.
The RZ series of receivers are the top-level models in the Onkyo stable. If you buy one of these devices, then you can be sure that you will be getting all the latest technology that Onkyo offers.
The first thing that you notice when looking at the Onkyo TX-RZ840 AV receiver is the number of channels. It is a 9.2-channel receiver which is rare at this price.
If one of your main aims is to get a big Dolby Atmos system installed in your room, then this receiver is going to help you out-of-the-box.
You will be able to install a 5.2.4 or 7.2.2 surround sound system and make the most from all the latest Dolby Atmos soundtracks.
Just for good measure, you can also make the most of your speaker system with the built-in audio processing modes. Dolby Surround and DTS Neural:X will upmix standard stereo and 5.1 surround mixes into your height speakers.
The power on this receiver is rated at 120 watts per channel (8 ohms, 20 Hz–20 kHz, 0.08% THD, 2 channels driven, FTC). This is higher than most receivers in this price band.
If you don't want to make use of the extra channels in this way, you have Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization or DTS Virtual:X. These will give you a virtual 3D sound experience on a standard 5.1 or 7.1 speaker layout.
One of the unique features of the higher-end Onkyo AV receivers has been THX certification. They have always been THX certified for the best movie experience – and this model is no different.
Built to THX® Certified Select™ reference standards you can be sure that this receiver will sound great. This certification guarantees this receiver will be able to provide the same reference volume of a commercial theater - at a viewing distance of about 10-12 feet. That's loud.
|Dolby Atmos||5.2.4 / 7.2.2 (Processing for 7.2.4)|
|HDMI In / Out||6+1/2 (ARC)|
|Speaker Impedance (Ohms)||4-16|
|Network / Wireless||Ethernet / Wi-Fi / AirPlay 2 / Bluetooth / Chromecast / Spotify Connect / DTS Play-Fi / FlareConnect / Sonos Connect / Google Assistant|
|Dimensions (W x H x D)||17-1/8 x 7-15/16 x 15-11/16 in | 435 x 201.5 x 398 mm|
That's not all. The TX-RZ840 has also been certified for the new IMAX Enhanced standard. This is a similar standard to THX. However, it includes certified hardware and content to ensure you get an amazing home theater experience.
If you want to learn more about IMAX Enhanced, this is an interesting video interview from CES 2019:
With 6 HDMI inputs on the rear, this is slightly less than some models. However, it does have another one on the front of the unit which can often be useful.
There are also 2 HDMI outputs for sending the output to one or more locations.
One thing that Onkyo often do is to try and make sure that you have as many of the latest features as possible in one device. So, on top of the options already mentioned you will find:
FlareConnect™ is a wireless multi-room audio technology. It allows this receiver to connect to wireless speakers around your home. This technology is being used by Onkyo and Pioneer in some of their products.
So, there we have it. Five excellent options for anybody looking for the best home theater receivers under $1000.
In this price range, the main difference from those in a lower price bracket is the quality of the components used to build them. You will likely notice a better sound quality. This can be important for some people with better speakers, or those who like listening to music more.
You will also likely get a few extra features like pre-out connections for connecting to power amplifiers.
If these AV amps aren't quite what you looking for, you might want to check out the best AVR under $500.
If you need more channels than a 7.2 speaker system, then it used to be the case that you would probably need to go into a higher price range. But, as you can see here, 9.2-channel AV receivers are now beginning to appear at this price point.
However, the number of channels isn't everything about an AV receiver. So, if a standard surround sound speaker system is all you need, then any of these high-quality AV receivers are a great option.
If all the options available in a modern AV receiver are making your head spin, take a look at my buying guide for the best AV receivers.
Paul started the Home Cinema Guide to help less-experienced users get the most out of today's audio-visual technology. He has worked as a sound, lighting and audio-visual engineer for around 20 years. At home, he has spent more time than is probably healthy installing, configuring, testing, de-rigging, fixing, tweaking, re-installing again (and sometimes using) various pieces of hi-fi and home cinema equipment.