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Top 5 Best AV Receivers Under $1000 [2023]

an av receiver at night with fireworks in the background

AV receivers, the beating heart of any home theater system, are often seen as a luxury item – and with sky-high prices, it’s no wonder.

But what if I told you that you don’t have to break the bank to achieve the home theater experience of your dreams?

That’s right. Quality AV receivers can be affordable.

Finding an AV receiver that fits your budget and still delivers on all fronts is possible.

In this guide, I’ve compiled a list of the best AV receivers under $1000 that perfectly balance affordability and performance.

I have carefully selected models from top brands that offer high performance, essential features, and excellent potential for upgrades in the future, all while maintaining reasonable costs.

Each one is a gem in its own right, promising to transform your audio-visual experience without causing a financial earthquake.

So, buckle up. Let’s unravel the secrets of high-quality, budget-friendly home theater sound together, one model at a time.

Your perfect match might be just around the corner.

Which Receiver Should You Buy?

If you’re in a hurry, here’s a preview of the models.

My top pick is the Denon AVR-X2700H. I use a Denon receiver at home because they sound great, have all the features you need, use the excellent Audyssey room correction platform and are reliable (in my experience). If in doubt, get a Denon.

Best AV Receiver Under $1000
Denon AVR-X2700H 7.2-Ch AV Receiver
What Is It: The entry-level release from 2020's AVR-X series of receivers. Although it's a couple of years old, it's still available at a great price giving you an excellent receiver with more features than most new releases at this price point.
Pros:
  • 6 HDMI inputs with full HDCP 2.3 support and 2 HDMI outputs
  • Enhanced Audio Return Channel (eARC) support
  • Pass-through support for 8K/60Hz and 4K/120Hz
  • Dolby TrueHD, Dolby Atmos, DTS-HD Master Audio and DTS:X
Cons:
  • Limited zone options
  • 8K pass-through is only available on one HDMI input
CHECK PRICE: AMAZON FIND THE BEST PRICE

The other picks in this price category are.

Yamaha RX-A2A AVENTAGE: another favorite brand that I’ve owned in the past. Yamaha makes solid performers without extra bells and whistles you don’t need. It has the most HDMI inputs, pre-outs for the front left and right speakers and the best power specifications.

Sony STR-AN1000: Sony is a trusted brand in the AV world and produces good receivers. It has a couple of composite ins and outs, which the others don’t, but it doesn’t have a phono input (all the others do). It also supports IMAX Enhanced content and is the smallest receiver if you are tight on space.

Onkyo TX-NR6100: if you are a fan of Onkyo, this carries on their fine tradition of great AV receivers. It is THX-certified, has the most network and wireless connection options and plenty of zone outputs for this price bracket.

Denon AVR-S970H: an excellent alternative to the older AVR-X2700H if that is out of stock. It has more 8K HDMI inputs than the AVR-X2700H but fewer connections of other types.

I wouldn’t lose too much sleep over ‘sound quality’ as these are all quality receivers from excellent brands. I always liked the detail that Denon receivers deliver, but everyone has a different view on what sounds good.

Besides, your speakers (type, brand and location) and room frequency response will affect the sound much more than the amp you buy. If uncertain, go to your local AV store and use their demo room.

If all the options available in a modern AV receiver are making your head spin, check out the buying guide for the best AV receivers.

1. Denon AVR-X2700H 7.2-Ch AV Receiver

Denon is always a good option if you want to buy an AV receiver. Denon produces excellent amplifiers compared with any brand at a similar price point.

This model is part of Denon’s AVR-X range of receivers, their top-level models focusing on performance and build quality.

You can’t go far wrong with any of the AVR-X receivers – you just need to pick the model that balances price and features that suit your needs.

Denon AVR-X2700H 7.2-Ch AV Receiver
Denon AVR-X2700H 7.2-Ch AV Receiver
Image Credit: Denon

Thumbs Up

  • Pass-through support for 8K/60Hz and 4K/120Hz
  • 6 HDMI inputs with full HDCP 2.3 support and 2 HDMI outputs
  • 8K upscaling for all HDMI inputs
  • Dolby TrueHD, Dolby Atmos, Dolby Surround, Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization Technology
  • DTS-HD Master Audio, DTS:X, DTS Neural:X and DTS Virtual:X
  • Enhanced Audio Return Channel (eARC) support
  • Bluetooth send and receive for connecting Bluetooth headphones
  • Built-in HEOS multi-room streaming
  • Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Apple AirPlay 2

Thumbs Down

  • 8K pass-through is only available on one HDMI input

Denon AVR-X2700H Highlights

The Denon AVR-X2700H is a 7.2-channel receiver supporting Dolby Atmos and DTS:X 3D audio.

You can install a 5.2 or 7.2 surround sound system with dual subwoofer outputs. Of course, you don’t need to connect a second subwoofer if you don’t want to.

For object-based audio, use the two surround back channels for your height or elevation speakers.

To enable this, you need to go into the ‘Assign Mode’ menu and select the location of the overhead or Dolby elevation speakers you are using: ‘Top Front,’ ‘Top Middle,’ ‘Front Dolby,’ or ‘Surround Dolby.’

Of course, 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 use Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization Technology.

Enabling this sound mode on standard surround sound audio will create virtual height information across your speaker system.

It’s not as good as installing height speakers, but it can be effective. You can also use DTS Virtual:X, which is also available and does something similar.

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), which is marginally less than most of the other models here.

Will it make much difference in your room? Probably not.

But if you want the most power possible at this price point, choose the Yamaha or Onkyo suggestions.

Alternatively, if you need more power and channels, then the top-of-the-range Denon AV receiver features highly in the guide to the best high-end AV receivers of 2023.

One exciting new feature in this year’s model is 8K support for your new game console, available on one of the HDMI inputs.

This input and the two 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 upscaling of lower-resolution content to 8K.

If you need more than one 8K input, you will either need to buy an 8K HDMI switch – or connect your devices directly to your TV.

All the current HDR technologies will work without issue, supporting HDR10, HDR10+, HLG and Dolby Vision images – plus 4:4:4 Pure Color and BT.2020 pass-through.

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 six inputs on the rear and two outputs.

There were seven inputs on the rear and one on the front in previous years.

This shouldn’t be a game-changer for most people, but you should consider it if you have many devices to connect.

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.

Denon AVR-X2700H Specifications
Channels 7.2
Dolby Atmos 5.2.2
HDMI In/Out 6/2 (eARC) [1x 8K]
Other Video In 2x Composite, 2x Component
Other Video Out 1x Composite, 1x Component
Audio In 4x Stereo RCA, 2x Optical, 1x Coaxial, 1x Phono
Audio Pre Out/Line Out Subwoofer (x2) / Zone 2 (2-Ch)
Other Audio Out ---
USB Connection 1x Front
Zones Zone 2 (2-ch audio - powered or line out)
Auto Room Calibration Audyssey MultEQ XT
Power (W/Ch)* 95
Speaker Impedance (Ohms) 4 - 16
UHD Support 8K/60p & 4K/120p, HDCP2.3
HDR Support HDR10+, HDR10, Dolby Vision, HLG
Network/Wireless Ethernet, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth (Send & Receive), AirPlay 2, HEOS
Voice Control Alexa, Google Assistant, Siri (via AirPlay 2), Josh.ai
Dolby Decoders Dolby Digital, DD+, Dolby TrueHD, Dolby Atmos
DTS Decoders DTS, DTS Express, DTS-ES, DTS 96/24, DTS-HD HR Audio, DTS-HD Master Audio, DTS:X
Other Audio Decoders DSD, LPCM (Up to 192/24 7.1ch)
Selected Processing Modes Dolby Surround, Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization Technology, DTS Neural:X, DTS Virtual:X
Dimensions (W x H x D) 17.1 x 6.6 x 13.0 in | 434 x 167 x 330 mm (w/o antenna)
Weight (lbs/Kg) 21/9.5
Year 2020
* 8 Ohms, 20 Hz-20 kHz, 0.08% THD, 2 Channels Driven

You can use the built-in Audyssey room correction software – unless you are a sound geek and like to measure these things yourself with a calibrated microphone and SPL meter.

Audyssey MultEQ XT is available on this model, which allows you to measure and automatically optimize each speaker for the perfect sound balance in your room.

Audyssey is an excellent way to correct the sound in your room automatically and is one of the best options – until you get to the solutions found on high-end AV receivers, like Dirac Live.

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 controlled from your AV receiver, 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 in your house.

Top Wireless Smart Speaker
Denon Home 150 Compact Wireless Smart Speaker
What Is It: A portable wireless smart speaker that works with the HEOS system found on Denon and Marantz AV receivers.
Pros:
  • Excellent multi-room audio option
  • Connects to Denon or Marantz receivers - or works standalone
  • HEOS Built-in, Alexa Built-in, AirPlay 2 and Bluetooth
  • Stream audio from Amazon Music, Apple Music, TIDAL and more
  • Larger 250 and 350 speakers are also available
CHECK PRICE: AMAZON FIND THE BEST PRICE

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 – and Apple AirPlay 2 and Apple Siri support are also present for Apple mobile devices or AirPlay speakers.

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.

2. Yamaha RX-A2A 7.2-Ch AV Receiver

The Yamaha RX-A2A is the entry-level model in the high-range AVENTAGE series of AV receivers.

If you have used Yamaha amplifiers and like the ‘Yamaha sound,’ you will already know this is a good option. And, if you are yet to try a Yamaha AV receiver, you can be sure of an excellent amplifier that will serve you well.

While Yamaha does have receivers with a higher specification, they also come at a higher price. So, if you are looking for a solid receiver that won’t break the bank, you need to consider this one.

Yamaha RX-A2A AVENTAGE 7.2-Ch AV Receiver
Yamaha RX-A2A AVENTAGE 7.2-Ch AV Receiver
Image Credit: Yamaha

Thumbs Up

  • Great value for money
  • Excellent Yamaha amplifier technology
  • 8K/60p and 4K/120p video with HDMI 2.1 support
  • Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio
  • HDR10+, HDR10, Dolby Vision and HLG (HDCP 2.3)
  • Phono input connection for turntables
  • Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and Apple AirPlay 2
  • Bluetooth input and output. Stream music to the receiver – or send audio from the receiver to connected Bluetooth headphones.
  • MusicCast Surround and Multi-room support

Thumbs Down

  • 8K and HDMI 2.1 support are not available until a firmware update is released
  • A second HDMI output for another zone would have been good

Yamaha RX-A2A Highlights

The Yamaha RX-A2A is a 7.2-channel AV receiver supporting 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. It’s your choice.

One excellent new feature in this latest range of Yamaha amplifiers is the new High Slew Rate Amplifier circuit, which reduces distortion and allows for more accurate sound reproduction.

It’s great to see Yamaha striving to increase the sound quality of all their amplifiers, not just the high-end models.

The RX-A2A offers 100 watts per channel @ 8 Ohms (20 Hz-20 kHz, 0.06% THD, 2 channels driven) – plenty of power for all but the most demanding speakers.

The 0.06% harmonic distortion is better than most amplifiers in this price bracket. While it is only a slightly better specification, it highlights the gradual improvement in performance from previous years – which must be a good thing.

The RX-A2A has a new look where the large volume control has been moved to the center of the front panel, and the display panel is relocated.

Not a significant reason to choose this amplifier, but it’s good to see an attempt to improve on the traditional look of most AV receivers.

Yamaha RX-A2A AVENTAGE Specifications
Channels 7.2
Dolby Atmos 5.2.2
HDMI In/Out 7 / 1 (eARC)
Other Video In None
Other Video Out None
Audio In 3x Stereo RCA, 1x Optical, 1x Coaxial, 1x Phono
Audio Pre Out/Line Out Front L+R + Subwoofer (x2) / Zone 2 (2-Ch)
Other Audio Out ---
USB Connection 1x Front
Zones Zone 2 (2-ch audio - powered or line out)
Auto Room Calibration YPAO Multipoint (with Reflected Sound Control)
Power (W/Ch)* 100
Speaker Impedance (Ohms) 4+ Front / 6+ Others
UHD Support 8K/60p & 4K/120p, HDCP 2.3
HDR Support HDR10+, HDR10, Dolby Vision, HLG
Network/Wireless Ethernet, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth (Transmit & Receive), MusicCast Surround + Multi-Room, AirPlay 2, Spotify Connect
Voice Control Alexa, Google Assistant, Siri (via Airplay 2)
Dolby Decoders Dolby Digital, DD+, Dolby TrueHD, Dolby Atmos
DTS Decoders DTS, DTS Express, DTS-ES, DTS 96/24, DTS-HD HR Audio, DTS-HD Master Audio, DTS:X
Other Audio Decoders DSD 2-ch to 6-ch (2.8 MHz), LPCM 2-ch to 8-ch (Max. 192 kHz/24-bit)
Selected Processing Modes Dolby Surround, Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization, DTS Neo:6 Music, DTS Neo:6 Cinema, DTS Neural:X
Dimensions (W x H x D) 17-1/8 x 6-3/4 x 14-5/8 in | 435 x 171 x 372 mm (w/o antenna)
Weight (lbs/Kg) 22.5/10.2
Year 2021
* 8 Ohms, 20 Hz-20 kHz, 0.06% THD, 2 Channels Driven

With the introduction of a new range of game consoles, it’s helpful that the RX-A2A supports the higher 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, you can still use any of the HDMI inputs if you don’t have an input device with the new video formats.

If you have an 8K display, this receiver will only upscale internally to 4K.

However, this will be fine because your 8K display device will scale any input resolution to 8K.

Other new features of the HDMI 2.1 specification – VRR, ALLM, QMS and QFT – are available via a firmware update.

You should know that the 8K pass-through support will also require the firmware update.

If you are not a gamer with the latest console or graphics card, 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 – but 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 exciting 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 Yamaha MusicCast speakers – the MusicCast 20 and MusicCast 50.

Top Yamaha Smart Speaker
Yamaha MusicCast 50 Wireless Speaker
What Is It: A smart wireless speaker for streaming music - which also works with the Yamaha MusicCast system.
Pros:
  • You can use two of these as wireless home theater speakers with a compatible Yamaha AV receiver
  • Works with Alexa
  • Connects via Wi-Fi, AirPlay, Spotify Connect or Bluetooth
CHECK AMAZON PRICE FIND THE BEST PRICE

MusicCast Multi-room allows wireless connection to the speakers in nine different rooms, and 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, which is impossible on most receivers without buying alternative adapters.

Having wireless surround speakers is ideal if you are fed up with running speaker cables to your surround speakers.

3. Sony STR-AN1000 7.2-Ch AV Receiver

Sony doesn’t release a new model annually, unlike many leading AV receiver brands. However, it doesn’t matter much as long as the receiver you buy has all the features you need.

The critical point is that Sony is a trusted brand for many people when buying multimedia products. So, for an AV receiver, you can be sure of a good level of performance.

The STR-AN1000 is Sony’s first major AV receiver release since 2018. It sits around the level of the hugely popular STR-DN1080, which sold in vast quantities worldwide, so I expect this receiver to be as popular.

These receivers are at a higher level than the budget DH Series receivers, with more features and better engineering.

But, the STR-AN1000 has many new features compared to the STR-DN1080, making it a competitive receiver in this price range.

If you are looking for a respected AV brand at a price that won’t break the bank, this is a receiver you should definitely consider.

Sony STR-AN1000 7.2-Ch AV Receiver
Sony STR-AN1000 7.2-Ch AV Receiver
Image Credit: Sony

Thumbs Up

  • Popular Sony AV receiver technology
  • 8K/120Hz and 4K/120Hz UltraHD support (2x HDMI inputs)
  • HDR10, Dolby Vision and HLG HDR passthrough
  • HDMI eARC connection for receiving audio from your TV apps
  • Bluetooth transmission for sending to headphones and speakers
  • DCAC IX auto calibration with speaker relocation, phantom surround back and automatic phase matching
  • Spotify Connect, Chromecast and Works with Sonos
  • Works with Google Assistant

Thumbs Down

  • No support for Amazon Alexa

Sony STR-AN1000 Highlights

The Sony STR-AN1000 is a 7.2-channel model with support for Dolby Atmos and DTS:X – the same as the older STR-DN1080.

This means you can install a standard 5.1 or 7.1 surround sound system, add a couple of height or elevation speakers, and take advantage of Dolby Atmos and DTS:X soundtracks.

The STR-AN1000 will comfortably power most speakers designed for home use. While it’s not the most powerful amplifier, it will have plenty of output for most people.

Unfortunately, Sony only provides power specifications rated against 6-ohm speakers into 1 kHz – and only one channel, at that (165 watts per channel at 6 Ohms, 1 kHz, 0.09% THD, 1 channel driven).

This has always bugged me with Sony specifications because it makes me believe they are simply trying to make the receiver appear more powerful than it is.

It’s best to measure the rated power against 8-ohm speakers (and at least 2 channels) – because that is the impedance of most hi-fi and home theater speakers.

However, if you find 6-ohm ratings for the other amplifiers (one channel, 1 kHz), you can compare them to this receiver’s power.

There’s no need to worry too much about it, though. Amplifiers within this price range typically have similar power output, regardless of their rated power.

The main upgrade over the STR-DN1080 is the introduction of 8K/60 Hz and 4K/120 Hz passthrough, which is now standard on all new receivers.

The main difference between brands nowadays is the number of HDMI inputs supporting HDMI 2.1.

Two of the six HDMI inputs in the STR-AN1000 support 8K passthrough, which will be fine unless you have several devices with an 8K output resolution.

There is also support for HDR10, Dolby Vision and HLG HDR video. Slightly more limited than some brands, but this will cover most sources you will find currently.

Sony STR-AN1000 Specifications
Channels 7.2
Dolby Atmos 5.2.2
HDMI In/Out 6/2 (eARC) [2x 8K]
Other Video In 2x Composite
Other Video Out 1x Composite
Audio In 4x Stereo RCA, 2x Optical, 1x Coaxial
Audio Pre Out/Line Out Subwoofer (x2) / Zone 2 & Zone 3 (2-Ch)
Other Audio Out 1x S-Center (for Sony TVs with Acoustic Center Sync)
USB Connection 1x Front
Zones Zone 2 (HDMI) / Zone 3 (2-ch audio - powered or line out)
Auto Room Calibration DCAC IX / Speaker Relocation / Phantom Surround Back / Automatic Phase Matching
Power (W/Ch)* 165
Speaker Impedance (Ohms) 6 - 16
UHD Support 8K/60p & 4K/120p, HDCP2.3
HDR Support HDR10, Dolby Vision, HLG
Network/Wireless Ethernet, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, AirPlay, Chromecast, Spotify Connect, Works with Sonos
Voice Control Google Assistant
Dolby Decoders Dolby Digital, DD+, Dolby TrueHD, Dolby Atmos
DTS Decoders DTS, DTS Express, DTS-ES, DTS 96/24, DTS-HD HR Audio, DTS-HD Master Audio, DTS:X
Other Audio Decoders DSD (Up to 2.8MHz 5.1ch), LPCM (Up to 192kHz/24 bit 7.1ch)
Selected Processing Modes Dolby Surround, Dolby Speaker Virtualization, DTS Neural:X, DTS Virtual:X, 360 Spatial Sound Mapping, IMAX Enhanced
Dimensions (W x H x D) 16.9 x 6.1 x 13 in | 430 x 156 x 331 mm
Weight (lbs/Kg) 20.7/9.4
Year 2023
* 6 Ohms, 1 kHz, 0.09% THD, 1 Channel Driven

You have most of the usual network and wireless connection types – Ethernet, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and AirPlay.

Spotify Connect, Chromecast and Works with Sonos (new to this model) make it easy to connect to these services if you use them.

The receiver also supports Bluetooth output transmission, enabling you to send audio to connected devices like Bluetooth headphones or speakers.

This differs from many AV receivers that only let you send audio into the receiver Bluetooth audio to the amplifier from a mobile device.

This unit lets you do both.

The updated DCAC IX system (Digital Cinema Auto Calibration) performs the automatic sound configuration in your room.

This uses the included microphone to check the speaker connections and calculate speaker size, distance, levels, and crossover settings.

If you want to watch content in another room, you can connect the second HDMI output to a TV in another location.

The zone B RCA outputs can also be used if you only need audio in the second zone.

Another upgrade on the STR-DN1080 is an extra zone connection for zone 3. Using the front B, bi-amp or zone 3 terminals, you can send different audio to zone 3 while watching and listening to different content in the main room.

Another new feature is an S-Center output. You can use this if you have a Sony TV with the Acoustic Center Sync feature. Effectively allowing you to use your TV’s speakers as the center speaker for surround sound.

This is very effective at giving a natural sound centered on the action on the screen. Plus, it saves the trouble of buying and installing a center speaker.

If you’ve been waiting for Sony to release an updated version of the popular STR-DN1080 receiver, then this is it.

There’s probably not enough difference to make it worth upgrading unless you need the HDMI 2.1 features.

But if you are looking for a reliable home theater workhorse that doesn’t cost the earth, the STR-AN1000 is an excellent option at this price point.

4. Onkyo TX-NR6100 7.2-Ch AV Receiver

Onkyo is a very popular brand for AV receivers, and they have been a significant player on the market for several years.

Onkyo regularly releases models most years at several price points, and their receivers are well-known for being packed with features – often more than with many other brands.

The NR series of receivers are the mid-range models in the Onkyo stable, which offer the performance you need for most home theater rooms at an affordable price.

Onkyo TX-NR6100 7.2-Ch AV Receiver
Onkyo TX-NR6100 7.2-Ch AV Receiver
Image Credit: Onkyo

Thumbs Up

  • THX® Certified Select™ reference standards
  • 4K/120Hz and 8K/60Hz pass-through
  • HDMI 2.1 support out of the box
  • HDMI eARC support
  • AccuEQ Room Acoustic Calibration with AccuReflex and Subwoofer EQ
  • Dedicated powered Zone 2
  • Chromecast, DTS Play-Fi and AirPlay 2 built-in
  • Hey Google and Alexa voice control
  • Bluetooth send and receive

Thumbs Down

  • Are 6 rear HDMI ports enough?
  • Limited pre-outs for adding external amplification

Onkyo TX-NR6100 Highlights

The Onkyo TX-NR6100 AV receiver is a 7.2-channel receiver that will support a 5.2, 7.2 or 5.2.2 speaker layout.

If one of your main aims is to install a Dolby Atmos system in your room, you can add two elevation or height speakers and hear the exciting effects of Dolby Atmos sound.

To be clear, you won’t be able to install a 7.2 speaker layout plus two Atmo speakers, as there are only seven power channels.

However, you can make the most of your speaker system with built-in audio processing modes that can upmix standard soundtracks to use your Atmos speakers.

Dolby Surround and DTS Neural:X will upmix standard stereo and 5.1 surround mixes into your height or elevation speakers.

If you don’t want to install Atmo-style speakers, you can use Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization or DTS Virtual:X, which will give you a virtual 3D sound experience on a standard 5.1 or 7.1 speaker layout.

The receiver is rated at 100 watts per channel (8 ohms, 20 Hz–20 kHz, 0.08% THD, 2 channels driven, FTC), comparable to most receivers listed here.

One of the unique features of the more expensive Onkyo AV receivers is THX certification, and this model is no different.

Built to THX reference standards, you can be sure that this receiver will sound great, whichever type of audio you play through your system.

Onkyo TX-NR6100 Specifications
Channels 7.2
Dolby Atmos 5.2.2
HDMI In/Out 6/2 (eARC) [3x 8K/60AB]
Other Video In None
Other Video Out None
Audio In 4x Stereo RCA, 1x Optical, 1x Coaxial, 1x Phono
Audio Pre Out/Line Out Subwoofer (x2) / Zone 2 & Zone B (2-ch)
Other Audio Out ---
USB Connection 1x Rear
Zones Zone 2 (HDMI & 2-ch audio - powered or line out) / Zone B (2-ch audio - line out)
Auto Room Calibration AccuEQ Advance w/ AccuReflex and subwoofer EQ
Power (W/Ch)* 100
Speaker Impedance (Ohms) 4 - 16
UHD Support 8K/60p & 4K/120p, HDCP2.3
HDR Support HDR10+, HDR10, Dolby Vision, HLG
Network/Wireless Ethernet, Wi-Fi (5 GHz/2.4 GHz), Bluetooth (Send & Receive), AirPlay 2, Chromecast, DTS Play-Fi, Sonos Connect
Voice Control Amazon Alexa, Hey Google, Siri (via AirPlay 2)
Dolby Decoders Dolby Digital, DD+, Dolby TrueHD, Dolby Atmos
DTS Decoders DTS, DTS Express, DTS-ES, DTS 96/24, DTS-HD HR Audio, DTS-HD Master Audio, DTS:X
Other Audio Decoders DSD, LPCM (Up to 192/24)
Selected Processing Modes Dolby Surround, Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization Technology, DTS Neural:X, DTS Virtual:X, THX Listening Modes
Dimensions (W x H x D) 17-1/8 x 6-13/16 x 14-15/16 in | 435 x 173.5 x 379.5 mm
Weight (lbs/Kg) 21.6/9.8
Year 2021
* 8 Ohms, 20 Hz-20 kHz, 0.08% THD, 2 Channels Driven, FTC

The certification guarantees this receiver will be able to provide the same reference volume that the sound engineers used in the production studio without any distortion of the audio signal.

That’s loud – and probably more than most people would need at home.

Learn more about THX certification with this THX video:

YouTube video

This receiver has 6 HDMI inputs on the rear, slightly less than other models here, but three are HDMI 2.1 compatible with support for 4K/120Hz and 8K/60Hz pass-through.

There are also two HDMI outputs to send the output to one or more locations – either in the same room or another.

An excellent feature that sets this receiver apart from the others listed here is dedicated 2-channel power for another set of speakers in zone 2.

This means that you don’t need to install another amplifier in your second room. A simple pair of passive speakers will do, and you can drive them from the receiver.

Most receivers in this bracket may offer a powered zone, but you will usually have to use the rear channels reserved for a 7.1 layout.

Another common feature of new AV receivers is sending and receiving Bluetooth audio.

So, not only can you send audio from your mobile device to the amplifier, but you can also transmit audio from the amp to compatible Bluetooth speakers or headphones.

This model supports SBC, aptX and aptX HD audio formats when transmitting.

5. Denon AVR-S970H 7.2-Ch AV Receiver

Denon is my favorite AV receiver brand for entry-level and mid-range AV receivers. The high-end models are pretty great too. 🙂

Therefore, I make no apologies for including another Denon receiver for your consideration.

Denon receivers provide a clear and detailed sound, even at the lower end of the range.

The Denon AVR-S970H is the top-of-the-range model in the entry-level AVR-S series.

An upgrade on 2020’s excellent AVR-S960H, the S970H adds a couple more 8K HDMI 2.1 inputs. Apart from that, the changes are minimal.

The AVR-S series is an excellent choice if you want some of the latest home theater technology at a reasonable price.

So, what do you get for your money?

Denon AVR-S970H 7.2-Ch AV Receiver
Denon AVR-S970H 7.2-Ch AV Receiver
Image Credit: Denon

Thumbs Up

  • 3x HDMI 2.1 4K/120Hz & 8K/60Hz inputs
  • DTS HD Master Audio, DTS:X, DTS Neural:X and DTS Virtual:X
  • Dolby True HD, Dolby Atmos, Dolby Surround and Dolby Height Virtualization
  • Dynamic HDR, HDR10+, HDR10, Dolby Vision, HLG
  • eARC (Enhanced Audio Return Channel)
  • HEOS multi-room audio support

Thumbs Down

  • Limited zone outputs

Denon AVR-S970H Highlights

The Denon AVR-S970H is a 7.2-channel AV receiver.

Therefore, it 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.

If you want more than a standard surround sound setup, you can install a 5.2.2 system for Dolby Atmos rather than 7.1.

You can also use this model’s extra audio processing modes if your room has height speakers.

You won’t always come across Dolby Atmos or DTS:X soundtracks. So Dolby Surround and DTS Neural:X will transform 5.1 soundtracks by extending the audio into your height speakers.

These modes are pretty convincing and ensure you get the most out of your Atmos speakers. In fact, you can use these modes to extend stereo audio around your complete home theater speakers system too.

If you don’t want to install height speakers, you can use Dolby Height Virtualization or DTS Virtual:X, which will give the effect of height speakers even when you don’t have any.

This AV receiver comes with a reasonable number of HDMI inputs and outputs (6 in, 2 out), meaning it’s ready for the latest and future high-definition video technologies.

You can connect multiple devices like a Blu-ray player, gaming console, and streaming device and still have ports to spare.

But remember, only three of the inputs support 8K/60Hz and 4K/120Hz pass-through from your external devices. This will be plenty for most people, but you must consider whether this will be enough for future purchases.

That said, three 8K inputs is the maximum you get at this price point anyway.

Denon AVR-S970H Specifications
Channels 7.2
Dolby Atmos 5.2.2
HDMI In/Out 6/2 (eARC) [3x 8K]
Other Video In None
Other Video Out None
Audio In 4x Stereo RCA, 2x Optical, 1x Coaxial, 1x Phono
Audio Pre Out/Line Out Subwoofer (x2)
Other Audio Out ---
USB Connection 1x Front
Zones Zone 2 (2-ch audio - powered)
Auto Room Calibration Audyssey MultEQ
Power (W/Ch)* 90
Speaker Impedance (Ohms) 4 - 16
UHD Support 8K/60p & 4K/120p, HDCP2.3
HDR Support Dynamic HDR, HDR10+, HDR10, Dolby Vision, HLG
Network/Wireless Ethernet, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth (Send & Receive), AirPlay 2, HEOS
Voice Control Alexa, Google Assistant, Apple HomePod
Dolby Decoders Dolby Digital, DD+, Dolby TrueHD, Dolby Atmos
DTS Decoders DTS, DTS Express, DTS-ES, DTS 96/24, DTS-HD HR Audio, DTS-HD Master Audio, DTS:X
Other Audio Decoders DSD, LPCM (Up to 192/24 7.1ch)
Selected Processing Modes Dolby Surround, Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization Technology, DTS Neural:X, DTS Virtual:X
Dimensions (W x H x D) 17.1 x 6.6 x 13.4 in | 434 x 167 x 341 mm (w/o antenna)
Weight (lbs/Kg) 21/9.5
Year 2022
* 8 Ohms, 20 Hz-20 kHz, 0.08% THD, 2 Channels Driven

The Denon AVR-S970H also supports the latest HDR formats like Dynamic HDR, HDR10+, and Dolby Vision, providing stunning visuals when paired with a compatible TV and video source.

This receiver also offers a range of audio inputs, including stereo RCA, optical, and coaxial, plus a phono input for connecting a turntable if you’re into vinyl records. It’s versatile and ready to handle a variety of audio sources.

The zone features on this model are limited compared to other receivers in this price range.

However, you can send stereo audio to a second zone powered by two of the 7 channels. This does mean you will be limited to 5.1 surround sound in the main room, though. There is also no line out RCA connection, which is found on many other receivers.

For customizing your sound, the S970H features Audyssey MultEQ auto room calibration, which measures your room’s acoustics and adjusts each speaker’s sound output for the best possible sound quality.

Audyssey MultEQ is the standard version of this software with fewer measurement points than the XT and XT32 versions.

However, it still uses the same advanced algorithms to measure your room and adjust the speaker output, which is a significant plus for me.

In terms of network and wireless connectivity, this receiver is well-equipped with Ethernet, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, AirPlay 2, and HEOS.

This means you can stream music from your smartphone or other devices, connect to your home network for internet radio or streaming services, and even create a multi-room audio system with other HEOS-compatible devices.

Another standout feature is its voice control compatibility with Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple HomePod. You can adjust the volume, switch inputs, or even play a specific song, all without lifting a finger.

Pretty cool, if you like that sort of thing.

What to Expect From an AV Receiver Under $1000?

AV receivers come in several price points with increasing features, making it hard to decide which price bracket you should aim for.

I cover the best AV receivers under $500 in another article. 

So why should you consider spending more and upping your budget to $1000?

Here are the main areas where you will get more value for your money:

  • Power & Channels: Slightly more power per channel (~10-15%) and 7+ channels common in this range. However, it’s a small jump up from budget options.
  • Components: An amplifier with better-quality components. This will improve the sound quality, so it might be worth it if you are fussy about the sound. However, this will depend on your speaker quality too.
  • Connections: Around 2-3 more HDMI inputs and outputs plus additional analog inputs over cheaper models. This helps support more sources. More zone line-outs and pre-outs allow extending the system into other rooms.
  • Audio Formats: Seven channels allow the receiver to play Dolby Atmos and DTS:X 3D audio.

What to Look For in Any AV Receiver?

If you’re new to buying AV receivers, here are some key features and specifications to keep in mind:

  • Power: Aim for at least 80-100 watts per channel. This ensures sufficient power for most home theater configurations.
  • Channels: 7 channels is the sweet spot in this price range. This enables 5.1 surround sound plus stereo sound for a second zone. Or a 5.2.2 Dolby Atmos layout.
  • HDMI Inputs: Look for at least 5-6 inputs to accommodate your video sources. HDMI 2.1 future proofs for 8K video.
  • Audio Formats: Ensure the receiver decodes the latest formats like Dolby Atmos and DTS:X for immersive sound.
  • Connectivity: Evaluate wireless options (Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, AirPlay, etc.) and number of audio inputs/outputs needed.
  • Smart Features: Many receivers offer built-in streaming services and voice control. Which of these do you need, if any?
  • Room Correction: This tunes the sound to your room’s acoustics. Audyssey, MCACC, and YPAO are top technologies. Audyssey works great for the low-end, which is the most important.
  • Brand Reliability: Stick with well-known brands like those recommended in this guide for proven quality.
  • Price: Set a firm budget and find the best blend of power, features and reliability.

Focus on the capabilities that are must-haves for you, and seek receivers that meet your unique needs and room setup. With the proper research, you can find an impressive AV receiver even under $1000.

Quick Comparison Table

Image Model HDMI In/Out Power (W/Ch) Dolby Atmos
Denon AVR-X2700H 7.2-Ch AV Receiver
Denon AVR-X2700H 7.2-Ch AV Receiver 6/2 (eARC) 95 5.2.2 Check Price
Yamaha RX-A2A AVENTAGE 7.2-Ch AV Receiver
Yamaha RX-A2A 7.2-Ch AV Receiver 7/1 (eARC) 100 5.2.2 Check Price
Sony STR-AN1000 7.2-Ch AV Receiver
Sony STR-AN1000 7.2-Ch AV Receiver 6/2 (eARC) 165 5.2.2 Check Price
Onkyo TX-NR6100 7.2-Ch AV Receiver
Onkyo TX-NR6100 7.2-Ch AV Receiver 6/2 (eARC) 100 5.2.2 Check Price
Denon AVR-S970H 7.2-Ch AV Receiver
Denon AVR-S970H 7.2-Ch AV Receiver 6/2 (eARC) 90 5.2.2 Check Price

Conclusion

So, there you 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, which can be important for those with better speakers or those who like listening to music more.

You will also get a few extra features like pre-out connections for connecting to power amplifiers.

If these AV amps aren’t what you want, you could check out more expensive receivers.

But, if a standard surround sound speaker system is all you need, then any of these high-quality AV receivers is an excellent option.

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About The Author

Paul started the Home Cinema Guide to help less-experienced users get the most out of today's audio-visual technology. He has been 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. You can find out more here.

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