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Top 5 Best High-End AV Receivers [2022]

Which Are the Top 5 Best High-End AV Receivers? - master volume control on an AV receiver

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Sometimes you just need to buy the best on the market. If you need a new home theater receiver, check out these top-rated 5 best high-end AV receivers.

If you are looking for the best high-end AV receivers in 2022, then you’re in luck.

This list of five of the very best will narrow down your choices – and even if you disagree with the order, you should find the selection a helpful starting point.

These receivers offer some of the best engineering, features and performance that money can buy.

Cheaper AV receivers can be a great place to begin if you have a limited budget – and there are plenty of low-cost models to choose from with fewer features and more basic build quality.

But, if you want a top-end AV receiver, you will have to make a more significant investment.

The good news is you will be buying a high-quality home theater receiver that should last for years to come.

So, if you are looking to buy a high-end AV receiver, which models should you be looking at? Read on to find out.

Top 5 High-End AV Receivers Comparison Table

Image Model HDMI In/Out Power (W/Ch) Dolby Atmos
Arcam AVR30 7.2-Ch AV Receiver
Arcam AVR30 7.2-Ch AV Receiver 7/3 (eARC) 120 5.2.2 (Support for 9.2.6) Check Price
Marantz SR8015 11.2-Ch AV Receiver
Marantz SR8015 11.2-Ch AV Receiver 7+1/3 (eARC) 140 7.2.4 / 9.2.2 (Support for 7.2.6 / 9.2.4) Check Price
Denon AVR-X8500HA 13.2-Ch AV Receiver
Denon AVR-X8500HA 13.2-Ch AV Receiver 7+1/3 (eARC) 150 7.2.6 / 9.2.4 Check Price
Yamaha RX-A8A AVENTAGE 11.2-Ch AV Receiver
Yamaha RX-A8A AVENTAGE 11.2-Ch AV Receiver 7/3 (eARC) 150 7.2.4 Check Price
Anthem MRX 1140 11.2-Ch AV Receiver
Anthem MRX 1140 11.2-Ch AV Receiver 7/3 (eARC) 140 5.2.6 / 7.2.4 / 9.2.2 (Support for 9.2.6) Check Price

1. Arcam AVR30 7.2-Ch AV Receiver

If you’re interested in getting an AV receiver that works for both movies and music, then an Arcam receiver should be on your radar. Arcam is a British company that has been producing high-end audio products since 1976.

This receiver is part of the Arcam HAD (High Definition Audio) range. In the early years, Arcam released their top-end products under the FMJ (Full Metal Jacket) banner.

However, in recent years they have introduced the HDA series of amplifiers and players and these are now considered to be their top-performing products.

The AVR30 is the top model in the HDA range of integrated AV receivers. Although, they do also have the AVR40, which is a preamplifier i.e. it doesn’t have any built-in amplification.

Arcam AVR30 7.2-Ch AV Receiver
Arcam AVR30 7.2-Ch AV Receiver
Image Credit: Arcam

Arcam AVR30 Highlights

The Arcam AVR30 is a 7.2-channel AV receiver with Class G amplification.

Class G amplification is one of the main differences between this receiver and the competition.

Most AV receivers use Class AB amplification. This is a cost-effective way to make a relatively efficient amplifier that sounds good – without costing too much to build.

A Class G amplifier is much more complex and expensive to produce. However, it is also a very efficient way of driving your speakers and provides very low levels of distortion.

This means it is perfect for providing high-end audiophile sound.

If you want to learn more about Class G amplification, Arcam has a simple guide to Class G amps here.

The high cost of building an amplifier this way is one reason why the AVR30 ‘only’ has 7-channels of built-in amplification.

Yes, many of the other AV receivers here will be able to power more speakers out-of-the-box – but they don’t offer Class G amplification. So, you need to decide what is more important to you.

With all this technology, there is always a balance that you need to find between features and cost.

But, even though there are only 7-channels in this receiver, it doesn’t mean that you can’t run a big Dolby Atmos speaker layout in your room.

The Arcam AVR30 has 16 pre-out channels (17 with the second subwoofer out) that you can connect to external power amps. This means that you can use this AV receiver to run a 9.2.6 surround sound speaker system.

That’s not too bad at all!

In most cases, you would probably use the built-in Class G channels to run your basic 5.1/7.1 speaker layout. Then add external amplifiers to add the extra height channels – to a maximum of 8 more speakers.

Of course, if you only wanted to use the built-in class G channels – without buying more power amplifiers – then you can set up a very nice 5.2.2 Dolby Atmos or DTS:X system.

Four of the pre-outs can also be used for connecting extra active subwoofers – up to four in total.

The AVR30 provides 120 watts per channel (8 Ohms, 20 Hz-20 kHz, 0.02% THD, 2 Channels Driven) which should be more than enough for any home theater room.

There is full support for all the latest 4K UHD video requirements. So 4K/60p with HDMI 2.0b ports and HDCP 2.2. HDR pass-through is present for HDR10, HDR10+, Dolby Vision and HLG.

Just bear in mind that the HDMI boards aren’t HDMI 2.1. Therefore you won’t be able to run an 8K/60p or 4K/120p video source unless Arcam offers an upgrade in the future.

However, this will mainly be of interest to gamers with the latest consoles. If that is you, then another brand might be a better choice.

But, if you are only into music and movies, this is unlikely to have much impact on you anytime soon.

Arcam AVR30 AV Receiver Features
Amplifier Type Class G
Channels 7.2
Dolby Atmos 5.2.2 (Support for 9.2.6)
HDMI In / Out 7/3 (eARC)
Zones Zone 2 (HDMI & 2-ch audio – powered or line out)
Pre Out / Line Out 15.2-Ch + Zone 2 (2-Ch) / Stereo 2-Ch
Power (W)* 120
Speaker Impedance (Ohms) 8 recommended
UHD / HDR Support 4K/60p, HDCP 2.2 / HDR10+, HDR10, Dolby Vision, HLG
Network / Wireless Ethernet / Wi-Fi / Bluetooth / Airplay 2 / Chromecast
Auto Room Calibration Dirac Live
Selected Audio Decoders Dolby Digital, DD+, Dolby TrueHD, Dolby Atmos, DTS, DTS-ES, DTS 96/24, DTS Express, DTS-HD HR Audio, DTS-HD Master Audio, DTS:X, Auro-3D
Selected Sound Modes: Post Decoding Dolby Surround, Dolby Virtual Height, DTS Neural:X, DTS Virtual:X, IMAX Enhanced
Dimensions (W x H x D) 17-1/16 x 6-3/4 x 16-3/4 in (433 x 171 x 425 mm)
Weight (lbs/Kg) 39.9/18.1
* 8 Ohms, 20 Hz-20 kHz, 0.02% THD, 2 Channels Driven

Talking of HDMI, there are 7 HDMI connections on the rear and 3 outputs.

The main output supports the newer Enhanced Audio Return Channel (eARC) – which can be useful for sending high-resolution 3D audio from your TV apps to the receiver.

A useful upgrade on the older FMJ AV receivers is the addition of more network and wireless connection options.

As well as an Ethernet connection found on the older receivers, the AVR30 adds support for Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Airplay 2 and Chromecast.

However, all Arcam products should be viewed as sound quality first, fancy features second. Everything is geared towards a high-end audiophile product. Anything that might compromise this is not present.

Another feature that might make the AVR30 a good choice for you is also – surprise, surprise – aimed at getting the best sound in your room.

Arcam AV receivers come equipped with Dirac Live room correction and a calibration microphone. You will also need to download the Dirac Live software and install it on your laptop or PC.

It is a more complex process than the room correction supplied with most AV receivers. But it will do a fantastic job of balancing the sound in your room. No pain, no gain!

Dirac Live is widely accepted by many to be the best room correction technology around. It does an exceptional job of producing a balanced and immersive surround sound experience.

Just be aware, you will need an Internet connection for this to work. The readings are sent online to the Dirac servers to make the complex calculations and number-crunching.

Of course, you don’t have to use Dirac Live. You can make manual measurements and adjustments yourself. But, if you’ve gone to the expense of buying one of these beauties, then I think you’d be mad not to take advantage of this excellent technology.

If you are new to the Arcam brand, you might find this overview of the company interesting:

YouTube video

Thumbs Up

  • Top-of-the-range audiophile sound quality for movies and music
  • Audiophile Class G amplification
  • ESS 9026PRO audiophile DAC
  • 15.2-channel pre-outs for sending to power amplifiers
  • eARC HDMI support
  • Arcam doesn’t release ‘new’ models every year with only a few small extra features. Instead, their amplifiers are updated via firmware with many of the newer technology updates.
  • Dirac Live automatic room correction
  • IMAX Enhanced and Auro-3D support
  • Free MusicLife control app for iOS and Android

Thumbs Down

  • No support for HDMI 2.1
  • Only 7-channels out of the box
  • It’s expensive

2. Marantz SR8015 11.2-Ch AV Receiver

If you want an AV receiver that works well for music and movies, then a Marantz AV amplifier should be on your list.

Marantz is a manufacturer with a rich history of hi-fi products. So, you can be sure that their AV receivers will receive the same attention to detail.

The SR range of Marantz receivers is their top-end model – and the SR8015 is the flagship receiver.

So, if you are interested in buying a Marantz receiver, it doesn’t get any better than this.

Marantz SR8015 11.2-Ch AV Receiver
Marantz SR8015 11.2-Ch AV Receiver
Image Credit: Marantz

Marantz SR8015 Highlights

The Marantz SR8015 is an 11.2-channel AV receiver with discrete power amplifiers on each channel. This means that you can install a full object-based surround sound speaker layout of 7.2.4 without adding any further amplification – or 9.2.2 if you wish.

But that’s not all. This model also has processing for a 7.2.6 or 9.2.4 speaker system. To make this work, you will need to buy a 2-channel power amplifier for the extra two channels.

You can connect the extra amplifier via the pre-out connections on the back.

In fact, there is a complete set of 13.2 pre-outs on the back if you want to power all your speakers from external power amps.

This unit also has an Auro-3D decoder built-in. This is rare to find in many AV receivers and so is a bonus if you are interested in Auro-3D surround sound.

If you don’t want to install height speakers in your room. The SR8015 also supports Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization Technology and DTS Virtual:X listening modes.

These can create an effect that is like having height speakers installed. Not quite as good as the real thing, but worth trying out if you don’t want to install extra speakers.

There is the same number of HDMI ports as the previous model of this AV receiver. So, you get 8 HDMI inputs (1 at the front) and 3 outputs. Which is about as many as you get on any receiver these days.

There is also support for eARC (Enhanced Audio Return Channel). This is especially useful as more streaming video apps and soundbars begin to offer higher resolution audio.

Therefore, eARC will allow you to pass Dolby Atmos and DTS:X audio streams from your TV and back into the receiver.

One of the main new features in this year’s release is support for 8K video.

HDMI 2.1 support is slowly appearing in new AV receivers. This means that this receiver will pass-through 8K/60p and 4K/120p video through to your TV.

Marantz SR8015 AV Receiver Features
Channels 11.2
Dolby Atmos 7.2.4 / 9.2.2 (Support for 7.2.6 / 9.2.4)
HDMI In / Out 7+1/3 (eARC)
Zones Zone 2 (HDMI & 2-ch audio – powered or line out) / Zone 3 (2-ch audio – powered or line out)
Pre Out / Line Out 13.2-Ch / Zone 2 (2-Ch) + Zone 3 (2-Ch)
Power (W)* 140
Speaker Impedance (Ohms) 4 – 16
UHD / HDR Support 4K/60p, HDCP 2.3 / HDR10, Dolby Vision, HLG
Network / Wireless Ethernet / Wi-Fi / Bluetooth / Airplay 2 / HEOS / Spotify Connect / Amazon Alexa / Google Assistant / Apple Siri / Josh.ai
Auto Room Calibration Audyssey MultEQ XT32
Selected Audio Decoders Dolby Digital, DD+, Dolby TrueHD, Dolby Atmos, DTS, DTS-ES (Matrix6.1 & Discrete6.1), DTS 96/24, DTS Express, DTS-HD HR Audio, DTS-HD Master Audio, DTS:X, DSD (2-ch – 5.1-ch, 2.8 MHz), LPCM (Up to 192/24 7.1ch), Auro-3D
Selected Sound Modes: Post Decoding Dolby Surround, Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization Technology, DTS:X Pro, DTS Neural:X, DTS Virtual:X, IMAX Enhanced
Dimensions (W x H x D) 17.3 x 7.3 x 18.1 in | 440 x 185 x 460 mm (w/o antenna)
Weight (lbs) 38.4
* 8 Ohms, 20 Hz-20 kHz, 0.05% THD, 2 Channels Driven

It also allows support for the new gaming and media features such as Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM), Quick Media Switching (QMS) and Variable Refresh Rate (VRR).

It is worth remembering that, at present, it is only the new game consoles that will output these video formats. So, unless you have these consoles, you won’t benefit from HDMI 2.1 support too much.

Be aware, there is just a single 8K HDMI input. So, if you have more than one new game console, you might need to connect one directly to your TV.

All the other HDMI ports support 4K/60p and HDR10, HDR10+, Dolby Vision and HLG. The receiver can also upscale 1080p and 4K video to 8K for output to your TV if required.

As you would expect from a high-end Marantz product, this receiver is built using their famous HDAM technology. The Marantz Hyper-Dynamic Amplifier Modules have been developed over many years in their hi-fi products.

Designed to provide a detailed and dynamic sound, you can be sure this receiver will work well for both movie soundtracks and music mixes.

There is plenty of power under the hood. With a rating of 140 watts per channel (8 Ohms, 20 Hz-20 kHz, 0.05% THD, 2 Channels Driven), you will have no problems driving even the most power-hungry of speakers.

There are plenty of ways to connect this amplifier for internet and network content.

For those who like using an old-fashioned cable (me!), you have an Ethernet port. But you can also connect via Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Airplay 2, Spotify Connect and more.

The popular voice-control technologies of Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and Apple Siri are also supported.

This unit also has built-in HEOS wireless multi-room audio support.

Denon Home 150 HEOS Wireless Speaker
Denon Home 150 HEOS Wireless Speaker
Image Credit: Denon

Add any HEOS-compatible speakers, and you can enjoy wireless audio in every room in your house. No need to buy a separate wireless multi-room system.

Automatic room correction is handled by the excellent Audyssey MultEQ XT32 system. I have always found this to give fantastic results when it comes to cleaning up and balancing the sound in your room.

Thumbs Up

  • Excellent value for money
  • 8K/60p and 4K/120p pass-through
  • HDMI 2.1 connections
  • 11.2-channels for 7.2.4 or 9.2.2 speaker layouts
  • Processing support for 7.2.6 and 9.2.4 systems
  • Dolby Atmos, DTS:X and Auro-3D
  • Powerful 140 watts per channel
  • Marantz HDAM audiophile performance
  • Support for HDMI eARC – Enhanced Audio Return Channel
  • Voice control via Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and Apple Siri
  • Audyssey MultEQ XT32 room correction
  • HEOS multi-room audio streaming

Thumbs Down

  • Only one 8K HDMI input

3. Denon AVR-X8500HA 13.2-Ch AV Receiver

Denon is always a brand you should consider when looking for a new AV receiver. They really do hit the mark at a range of prices – both budget and high-end.

However, when it comes to their flagship offering, not many receivers match this beast.

It does come at a hefty price, but if you want a receiver with the lot, this beauty could be the one for you.

Denon AVR-X8500HA 13.2-Ch AV Receiver
Denon AVR-X8500HA 13.2-Ch AV Receiver
Image Credit: Denon

Denon AVR-X8500HA Highlights

The original AVR-X8500H was released in 2018. Then, in 2021, Denon released an updated version – the AVR-X8500HA.

They are essentially the same, and most of the features are found in both models.

However, in the updated Denon AVR-X8500HA, the main improvements in the new version are:

  • A single HDMI 2.1 input supporting 8K/60AB and 4K/120AB
  • The addition of HDR10+/dynamic HDR
  • Upscaling from 1080p and 4K to 8K
  • Pass-through support for VRR, QMS and QFT
  • HDCP 2.3
  • DTS:X Pro (available as a firmware update in the AVR-X8500H)
  • Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization (available as a firmware update in the AVR-X8500H)
  • front wide speaker support on Dolby Surround (available as a firmware update in the AVR-X8500H)

Apart from that, the two versions have similar specifications – although the MSRP is slightly higher for the new model.

Therefore, if you don’t need the new features, you may get a bargain if you can find the older model in stock.

So, what are the main features of the AVR-X8500HA?

The first thing that takes the eye on the Denon AVR-X8500HA is the remarkable 13.2 channels. If you really want to take advantage of Dolby Atmos and DTS:X, then you can have a 7.2.6 or 9.2.4 surround sound speaker system.

All built-in – no further amplification required. That’s impressive.

In addition to Dolby Atmos and DTS:X, you can add Auro-3D support via a firmware update.

This receiver is also one of the first models to support IMAX enhanced.

This new type of content will be released in the coming months and will play in all its glory on supported hardware – like this one.

IMAX Enhanced technology offers optimized pictures for HDR screens, improved aspect ratio control on large displays and customized surround soundtracks similar to Dolby Atmos and DTS:X.

The AVR-8500HA has 7 HDMI inputs on the rear and one on the front. Of the rear inputs, one is HDMI 2.1 and supports uncompressed 8K/60p and 4K/120p.

HDR10+, HDR10, Dolby Vision and HLG are present along with 4K UHD 60Hz video, 4:4:4 Pure Color sub-sampling and HDCP 2.3.

If you want 8k support and find an older AVR-X8500H, you can also buy an upgrade from Denon that will swap one of the original HDMI ports and allow support for 8K/60p and 4K/120p.

AVR-X8500H HDMI 8K UPGRADE
AVR-X8500H HDMI 8K Receiver Upgrade
  • Will upgrade one HDMI channel on your AVR-X8500H
  • Adds an HDMI 2.1 port for 8K/60p and 4K/120p video
  • Ideal for gamers with the latest consoles
  • Your unit will need to be shipped to a service center
  • Order on denon.com and receive a shipping box
ORDER AT DENON

Remember, an HDMI 2.1 input is only likely to benefit gamers with the latest consoles. For home theater, you won’t get much performance improvement.

This receiver also has a useful 3 HDMI outputs.

The 3 outputs really do give you control with sending content to different zones in your home. For example, it will allow for separate connections to a main TV screen and projector. And, you can still send additional video content to another screen elsewhere.

Denon AVR-X8500HA AV Receiver Features
Channels 13.2
Dolby Atmos 7.2.6 / 9.2.4
HDMI In / Out 7+1 (1x 8K)/3 (eARC)
Zones Zone 2 (HDMI + Component + Composite & 2-ch audio – powered or line out) / Zone 3 (Component + Composite & 2-ch audio – powered or line out)
Pre Out / Line Out 13.2-Ch / Zone 2 & Zone 3 (2-Ch)
Power (W)* 150
Speaker Impedance (Ohms) 4 – 16
UHD / HDR Support 8K/60p & 4K/120p, HDCP2.3 / HDR10+, HDR10, Dolby Vision, HLG
Network / Wireless Ethernet / Wi-Fi / Bluetooth / Airplay 2 + Siri / HEOS / Amazon Alexa / Google Assistant
Auto Room Calibration Audyssey MultEQ XT32
Selected Audio Decoders Dolby Digital, DD+, Dolby TrueHD, Dolby Atmos, DTS, DTS-ES (Matrix6.1 & Discrete6.1), DTS 96/24, DTS Express, DTS-HD HR Audio, DTS-HD Master Audio, DTS:X, DSD, LPCM (Up to 192/24 7.1ch), Auro-3D
Selected Sound Modes: Post Decoding Dolby Surround, Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization Technology, DTS:X Pro, DTS Neural:X, DTS Virtual:X, IMAX Enhanced
Dimensions (W x H x D) 17.1 x 7.7 x 19 in | 434 x 195 x 482 mm (w/o antenna)
Weight (lbs/Kg) 52 / 23.6
* 8 Ohms, 20 Hz-20 kHz, 0.05% THD, 2 Channels Driven

You also have plenty of options for routing audio into zones 2 and 3.

If you need the flexibility of sending some – or all – channels to an external power amp, then you will have no problems with this model. There are a full set of 13.2 pre-outs.

One of the best benefits of a Denon receiver is the presence of Audyssey automatic room acoustic correction technology.

The Audyssey system does a great job of correcting and balancing the sound in your room, and this unit comes with the top-end Audyssey MultEQ XT32 version.

Even if you’re an audio geek, who loves playing around with microphones, audio software, EQ and the like – the Audyssey software always does an excellent job in half the time – and with much less fuss.

All network and wireless connection types you would need are covered in this unit – including Ethernet, wireless and Bluetooth.

You can make use of Apple AirPlay 2, Spotify Connect and voice-controlled technology like Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and Apple Siri.

Denon’s HEOS wireless multi-room technology is present as expected.

HEOS allows for control of wireless speakers around your house, and this can either be controlled via the HEOS app or Amazon Alexa.

This receiver allows IP control for more advanced remote control capability for hardware like Control4 automation devices.

Plus, it has an RS-232C serial port for connection to a range of alternative control systems. This receiver supports the major remote control brands like Crestron, AMX and Savant.

The ‘Denon 2016 AVR Remote’ app also allows complete control of your Denon hardware from your mobile device. It works pretty well, but it could be time for an update with a slicker interface.

One thing to consider is that you will need some serious space to install this monster. It has a depth of 482mm and weighs in at just over 51 lbs, so it’s not for the faint-hearted.

Take a look at this official Denon video to get a better look at this top AV receiver:

YouTube video

Thumbs Up

  • 13.2 channels allowing for 7.2.6 or 9.2.4 speaker systems
  • Advanced video processor for upscaling low-resolution analog or digital video
  • Reference class 32-bit AKM AK4490EQ D/A converters on all channels
  • HDR10+, HDR10, Dolby Vision, HLG & IMAX Enhanced
  • 8K/60 and 4K/120 support in the new AVR-X8500HA
  • HDMI 2.1 8K upgrade available for the older AVR-X8500H

Thumbs Down

  • Nothing in terms of features and performance – but only suitable for those with a big budget.

4. Yamaha RX-A8A AVENTAGE 11.2-Ch AV Receiver

If you want a high-end Yamaha AV receiver, then look no further than the RX-A8A.

Yamaha is one of the best receiver manufacturers around, and they make excellent AV receivers at all price points.

However, this flagship model sits at the top of the AVENTAGE range of receivers – designed by Yamaha’s engineers for the highest levels of audio performance.

The RX-A8A is the first Yamaha integrated receiver with built-in support for 11-channels and contains the architecture of the high-end CX/MX A5200 power amplifier and preamp.

Yamaha RX-A8A AVENTAGE 11.2-Ch AV Receiver
Yamaha RX-A8A AVENTAGE 11.2-Ch AV Receiver
Image Credit: Yamaha

Yamaha RX-A8A Highlights

The Yamaha RX-A8A is an 11.2-channel receiver with full support for Dolby Atmos and DTS:X.

The 11-channels of amplification mean you can install an impressive 7.2.4 speaker system without the need for extra amplifiers.

Of course, you can also have a smaller speaker layout – like 7.1 or 5.1.4 – and save the spare channels for powering speakers in other zones.

DTS Neural:X and Dolby Surround modes are available if you want to upmix stereo, 5.1 or 7.1 soundtracks to your 5.2.4/7.2.4 speaker system.

Plus, you can also enable the unique Yamaha Surround: AI™ technology which adjusts the sound in real-time depending on what is happening on the screen.

For example, a scene with loud sound effects and music will be optimized differently to one with quiet dialogue and ambient sound – meaning the surround effect will change depending on what you are watching.

If you need it, this receiver has plenty of power, and the 150 watts per channel (8 ohms, 20 Hz – 20 kHz, 0.06% THD, 2ch driven) should be more than enough to fill even the largest room.

There isn’t anything earth-shattering about the look of this receiver, so just expect a standard front panel with a primary volume control knob, a few connectors, and a small display panel.

This beast weighs more than 47 lbs, so it’s a very heavy receiver. And, at 435 mm wide and 476 mm deep, you will also need plenty of space to install it.

One significant new feature in the latest AVENTAGE receivers is support for 8K/60 Hz video – or 4K at 120 Hz.

So, if you want to support the latest display resolutions, this receiver will have you covered. However, these require a firmware update, so initially won’t be available out-of-the-box.

There are 7 HDMI inputs and 3 outputs which should be plenty for most setups.

All support the requirements for 4K/60p UHD passthrough (8K/60 and 4K/120 with the firmware update) – plus HDCP 2.3, HDR10+, HDR10, Dolby Vision, Hybrid Log-Gamma and BT.2020.

Yamaha RX-A8A AVENTAGE AV Receiver Features
Channels 11.2
Dolby Atmos 7.2.4
HDMI In / Out 7 / 3 (eARC)
Zones Zone 2 (HDMI & 2-ch audio – powered or line out) / Zone 3 (2-ch audio – powered or line out) / Zone 4 (HDMI)
Pre Out / Line Out 11.2-Ch / Zone 2 & Zone 3 (2-Ch)
Power (W)* 150
Speaker Impedance (Ohms) 4+ Front / 6+ Others
UHD / HDR Support 8K/60p & 4K/120p, HDCP 2.3 / HDR10+, HDR10, Dolby Vision, HLG
Network / Wireless Ethernet / Wi-Fi / Bluetooth (Transmit & Receive) / MusicCast Surround + Multi-Room / AirPlay 2 / Spotify Connect / Amazon Alexa / Google Assistant / Apple Siri
Auto Room Calibration YPAO Multipoint (with Reflected Sound Control), 3D, 64-bit High Precision EQ Calculation, Low Frequency mode and Angle Measurement
Selected Audio Decoders Dolby Digital, DD+, Dolby TrueHD, Dolby Atmos, DTS, DTS-ES (Matrix6.1 & Discrete6.1), DTS 96/24, DTS-HD HR Audio, DTS-HD Master Audio, DTS:X, DSD 2-ch to 6-ch (2.8 MHz), LPCM 2-ch to 8-ch (Max. 192 kHz/24-bit), Auro-3D (via firmware update)
Selected Sound Modes: Post Decoding Surround:AI, Dolby Surround, Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization, DTS Neural:X
Dimensions (W x H x D) 17-1/8 x 7-1/2 x 18-3/4 in | 435 x 192 x 476 mm (w/o antenna)
Weight (lbs) 47.2
* 8 Ohms, 20 Hz-20 kHz, 0.06% THD, 2 Channels Driven

You can set up several different scenarios in different rooms using the zone connections.

While watching a movie in the main zone, you can play stereo music in zone 2, 3 or 4.

Or, you can watch videos in zone 2 or 4 while enjoying something else in the main room.

As you would expect, there is a whole host of other input types – from component and composite video – to optical and coaxial digital audio – plus many more besides.

One interesting feature is the addition of XLR balanced audio inputs. This allows for receiving signals from professional audio hardware – or any device with XLR audio outputs.

There is also another stereo pair of XLR audio outputs. These are pre-outs for the front left/right speakers for connecting a balanced signal into a power amplifier.

As you would expect for a high-end unit like this, there is a complete set of pre-outs for powering external power amps instead of using the built-in channels.

This unit has dual 32-bit ESS SABRE ES9026PRO DACS for delivering high-quality sound that should satisfy all but the most demanding audiophile.

All the components in this receiver are designed for top-quality sound reproduction, and you won’t be disappointed if you already love the Yamaha sound.

You will need to buy either the MusicCast 20 or MusicCast 50 wireless speakers to enable this, which you can configure as your surround speakers in a 5.1 setup.

If you want to get into wireless audio around your home, then you’re in luck too.

With support for Yamaha’s MusicCast system, you can use the app to wirelessly stream music around your home – and you can have MusicCast speakers in up to 9 rooms around the house.

You also have support for MusicCast Surround, which might solve your problem if you want wireless surround speakers.

Until MusicCast Surround, it’s not been easy to get wireless surround speakers with a standard AV receiver.

Yamaha MusicCast 20 Wireless Speaker
Yamaha MusicCast 20 Wireless Speaker
Image Credit: Yamaha

You will need to buy either the MusicCast 20 or MusicCast 50 wireless speakers to enable this, which you can configure as your surround speakers in a 5.1 setup.

Thumbs Up

  • 11.2-channels / 11.2 channel pre-outs
  • Audiophile AVENTAGE audio performance
  • High-quality DACs – Dual ESS SABRE ES9026PRO
  • Double-bottom plate to reduce vibrations
  • Surround:AI™ technology with 64-bit processing
  • Full video and audio in Zone 2
  • Powered Zone 2 and 3 outputs
  • HDMI output in Zone 4
  • Customized capacitor
  • Support for HDR10+, HDR10, Dolby Vision and HLG
  • MusicCast wireless streaming / MusicCast Surround
  • Amazon Alexa/Google Assistant/Siri voice control

Thumbs Down

  • It’s a big unit. Make sure you have the space to install it

5. Anthem MRX 1140 11.2-Ch AV Receiver

Anthem is a Canadian company that has been making high-quality audio products for 20+ years. While well-known among people who immerse themselves in the world of audio technology, the casual consumer is possibly less familiar.

Anthem doesn’t have a long list of AV receivers to choose from. But, when they release one, you should always sit up and take notice.

The MRX series has three models in the range and was updated in 2020. The receiver highlighted here, the MRX 1140, is at the top of the pile.

Anthem MRX 1140 11.2-Ch AV Receiver
Anthem MRX 1140 11.2-Ch AV Receiver
Image Credit: Anthem

Anthem MRX 1140 Highlights

The first thing that jumps out at you when looking at this AV receiver is the number of channels. The Anthem MRX 1140 is an 11-channel unit that also supports two independent subwoofers outputs.

This ticks the box if you are looking for a single unit to support a large 7.2.4 immersive audio speaker system.

In fact, in terms of Atmos, the 1140 has a significant upgrade on the older 1120 model. The MRX 1140 also has processing for 15.2 channels, whereas the 1120 only had 11.2 pre-outs.

This means you can have a 9.2.6 speaker layout if you add additional power amplifiers.

With full support for Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, Dolby Surround and DTS Neural:X – this unit will make full use of your complete speaker system.

The upmixing modes of Dolby Surround and DTS Neural:X are particularly effective in extending standard 5.1 soundtracks into your height speakers.

And, the new MRX 1140 also adds DTS:X Pro support, allowing upmixing for speaker layouts over 11.2-channels.

There is plenty of power to be had here. You will have no problem driving your speakers nice and hard with this unit.

It is rated in a slightly different way to other receivers I’ve seen. Channels 1-5 are rated at 140 watts per channel (8 Ohms, 20 Hz-20 kHz, 0.01% THD, 2 Channels Driven).

While the rest of the channels are rated at 60 watts per channel (8 Ohms, 20 Hz-20 kHz, 0.01% THD, 2 Channels Driven).

It’s all perfectly logical, though. Your main 5 speakers are the ones that do most of the work, and the extra surround and height speakers do less.

The other spec to take notice of is the rated total harmonic distortion of 0.01%. This is as good as it gets in AV receivers and really places this receiver in audiophile territory.

Anthem MRX 1140 AV Receiver Features
Channels 11.2
Dolby Atmos 5.2.6 / 7.2.4 / 9.2.2 (Support for 9.2.6)
HDMI In / Out 7/3 (eARC)
Zones Zone 2 (HDMI & 2-ch audio – powered or line out)
Pre Out / Line Out 15.2-Ch + Zone 2 (2-Ch) / Stereo 2-Ch
Power (W)* 140
Speaker Impedance (Ohms) Front 6 – 8 / Others 8
UHD / HDR Support 4K/60p, HDCP 2.2 (Future 8K Upgrade Available) / HDR10, Dolby Vision, HLG
Network / Wireless Ethernet / Wi-Fi / Bluetooth / Airplay 2 / Chromecast / Google Assistant / Spotify Connect (Coming Soon) / Roon (Coming Soon)
Auto Room Calibration ARC Genesis
Selected Audio Decoders Dolby Digital, DD+, Dolby TrueHD, Dolby Atmos, DTS, DTS-ES, DTS 96/24, DTS Express, DTS-HD HR Audio, DTS-HD Master Audio, DTS:X, LPCM 2-ch to 8-ch (Max. 192 kHz/24-bit)
Selected Sound Modes: Post Decoding Dolby Surround, DTS:X Pro, DTS Neural:X, DTS Virtual:X, IMAX Enhanced
Dimensions (W x H x D) 17 x 6.54 x 15 in | 431.8 x 166 x 382.1 mm (w/o antenna)
Weight (lbs/Kg) 33.6/15.2
* 8 Ohms, 20 Hz-20 kHz, 0.01% THD, 2 Channels Driven

When looking at all the features on offer here, you might notice that there are fewer ‘bells and whistles’ than you find on other brands.

I have no problem with that, and it tells me that Anthem is more interested in getting the basics exactly right – more than trying to cram in every little new feature under the sun.

The sound quality of this machine is right up there with the best. A powerful and dynamic performer when it comes to movies – and equally good at reproducing stereo music.

If you still run a separate stereo amplifier for listening to music, you may no longer need it if you buy this receiver.

You can be sure that you have full support for the latest 4K UHD video standards – 4K/60p video, HDCP 2.2, HDMI 2.0b and all the leading HDR technologies.

Anthem also confirms that this receiver is upgradeable to HDMI 2.1 and 8K video support. Contact their support team for further details if you are interested in this.

There are 7 HDMI ports on the rear which will be plenty for most people – plus there are three HDMI outputs, including a dedicated port for a zone 2 connection.

Another standout feature of the MRX 1140 is the automatic room correction. It’s great to see the new MRX models come with the latest ARC Genesis software.

The good news is, this is up there with the best room correction software. The general consensus is that ARC is on a par with the highly respected Dirac Live system that Arcam uses (among others).

You can’t get much more of a recommendation than that.

It’s like Dirac Live in that you need to install the software on your laptop and connect the supplied microphone to make the measurements.

In fact, each ARC-ready component comes with everything you need to get it all working. Software, microphone, tripod – even all the required cables, and you just need to supply the laptop.

It does a fantastic job of measuring your room and balancing out the frequency response, and it’s a great way to get an immersive surround sound experience in your room.

Correcting the imperfections in sound caused by your room is underrated by many and will allow you to get the best from your hardware.

Another new feature is the Anthem Web User Interface. This is available in all new MRX receivers and is an updated platform allowing for complete control of your receiver via any laptop, tablet or phone.

Thumbs Up

  • Audiophile sound quality for both movies and music
  • Anthem Genesis Room Correction (ARC)
  • 11.2-Channels for a full Dolby Atmos system
  • Processing for 15.2-channels
  • Toroidal Power Supply
  • Premium 32-bit / 768 kHz DAC (AKM AK4458VN)
  • HDR10, Dolby Vision and HLG
  • Apple AirPlay 2, Google Chromecast and Bluetooth v4.2

Thumbs Down

  • A price that isn’t for the feint-hearted – but you have to pay for top quality
  • The front HDMI port has been removed from the previous model

Conclusion

If you are in the market for a new AV receiver, you won’t go wrong by choosing any of these fantastic models.

Sometimes it is necessary to reduce your budget and choose a device in a lower price bracket.

However, if you are fortunate not to have these considerations, you may as well look at the best there is on the market.

These are some of the best high-end AV receivers in 2022.

They are the flagship models from each manufacturer – Arcam, Yamaha, Anthem, Denon and Marantz.

There are other top brands available, but you’ve got to narrow down your choice somewhere down the line. This list should help, and hopefully, you will find one here that exactly fits what you are looking for.

If you are still unsure and want to look at some models in different price brackets, check out the overview of the best AV receivers in 2022.

Take your time to consider what you need in a new AV receiver, and you will find the right model that ticks all the boxes.

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Top 5 Best High-End AV Receivers

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About Home Cinema Guide

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. You can find out more here.

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