Site Search

Which Are the Top 5 Best High-End AV Receivers in 2017?

If you are looking for the best high-end AV receivers in 2017, then you're in luck. I'll try to help you narrow down your options by looking at my top 5 choices. You may not agree on the order, but I hope you'll find my selection useful.

Cheaper AV receivers can be a great place to begin if you are on a budget. But, if you want a top-end AV receiver, then you are going to 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.

Top 5 High-End AV Receivers Comparison Table

1. Yamaha RX-A3070 AVENTAGE AV Receiver 

Best High End AV receiver: Yamaha RX-A3070 AVENTAGE AV Receiver

If you want a high-end Yamaha AV receiver, then look no further than the RX-A3070. Yamaha is one of my favorite receiver manufacturers, and I make no apology by putting them at the top of the list. This model is the highlight of the AVENTAGE range of receivers. These are designed by Yamaha's engineers for the highest levels of audio performance.

Yamaha RX-A3070 Highlights

The RX-A3070 is a 9.2-channel receiver with full support for Dolby Atmos and DTS:X. As well as the standard surround sound layouts of 5.1 and 7.1, this unit can deliver Dolby Atmos up to 7.2.2-channel or 5.2.4-channel.

In fact, this receiver has processing which supports an 11.2-channel speaker layout. However, this requires the use of the pre-outs into an additional 2-channel power amplifier.

This receiver has plenty of power if you need it. An impressive 150 watts per channel (8 ohms, 20 Hz - 20 kHz, 0.06% THD, 2ch driven), should be more than enough horse-power.

With a stylish aluminum panel to hide the front connections, this beast weighs in a nearly 40lbs. It's a seriously hefty unit. Mind your back when you take it out of the box!

There are 8 HDMI inputs and 2 outputs which should be fine for most set-ups. All support the requirements for 4K/60 Ultra HD passthrough - HDCP 2.2, HDR10, Dolby Vision, Hybrid Log-Gamma and BT.2020.

* 8 Ohms, 20 Hz–20 kHz, 0.06% THD, 2 Channels Driven
Yamaha RX-A3070 AVENTAGE AV Receiver Specifications
Dimensions (W x H x D) Weight (lbs) Power (W) Speaker Impedance (Ohms)
17-1/8 x 7-1/2 x 18-5/8 in (435 x 190.5 x 473 mm) (w/o antenna) 39.9 150* 4-8
Network / Wireless? Channels Dolby Atmos? HDMI In/Out
Ethernet / Wi-Fi / AirPlay / Bluetooth / MusicCast 9.2 7.1.2 / 5.1.4 7+1 / 2

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

This unit has 192kHz/24-bit DACs for all the main 7 channels. This is in the shape of the top class 32-bit ESS SABRE PRO Premier DAC™ ES9026PRO. 

If you want to get into wireless audio around your home, then you're in luck too. With support for Yamaha's MusicCast system, use the app to wirelessly stream music around your home. You can have MusicCast speakers in up to 9 rooms around the house.

You may be interested to know that there is another Yamaha model above this one in the line-up. However, it isn’t actually an amplifier. The Yamaha CX-A5100 is an 11.2 channel AV preamplifier. This means it has everything a normal AV receiver does, except an amplifier to power your speakers. So, you would connect the 11.2-channel pre-outs, which are balanced XLR outputs, to a power amplifier. Don’t choose this unless you are prepared to buy a power amplifier for your speakers. The matching Yamaha power amplifier is the Yamaha MX-A5000BL.

Thumbs Up   

  • 9.2-channels / 11.2 channel pre-outs
  • Top quality AVENTAGE audio performance
  • Yamaha Total Purity Concept Audio: High drive amp technology. High purity pre-amplification. Anti-vibration technology. Independent pure power supplies.
  • Full video and audio in Zone 2
  • Powered Zone 2 and 3 outputs
  • HDR10, Dolby Vision and Hybrid Log-Gamma
  • MusicCast wireless streaming

Thumbs Down   

  • It's a bit deeper than other receivers. Make sure you have space
CLICK FOR LATEST PRICE

2. Pioneer SC-LX901 Elite AV Receiver

Pioneer SC-LX901 Elite AV Receiver

If you are a fan of Pioneer AV equipment, then you will surely be interested in their high-end home theater receiver. The SC-LX901 sits at the top of the Elite Series of receivers and has all the best features that Pioneer offer.

Pioneer SC-LX901 Highlights

The main feature of the SC-LX901 that makes it stand apart from many other AV receivers, is the fact it is a Class D amplifier. Many amplifiers built for home use are known as Class A/B amplifiers. However, Pioneer has spent time perfecting their Class D3 design.

I don't want to get side-tracked by the details, but in simple terms, the main advantages of a Class D amplifier are that it is efficient and lightweight. Greater efficiency will mean it will use less power and create less heat.

To create an AV receiver for the audiophile, Pioneer has collaborated with the world-famous AIR Studios in England. This receiver has received the AIR Studios Monitor certification.

* 8 Ohms, 20 Hz–20 kHz, 0.08% THD, 2 Channels Driven
Pioneer SC-LX901 AV Receiver Specifications
Dimensions Weight (lbs) Power (W) Speaker Impedance (Ohms)
17-1/8 x 7-5/16 x 17-1/3 in (435 x 185 x 441 mm) 39.7 140* 4-16
Network / Wireless? Channels Dolby Atmos? HDMI In/Out
Ethernet / Wi-Fi / AirPlay / Bluetooth / Chromecast / DTS Play-Fi / FireConnect 11.2 7.2.4 / 5.2.4 7+1 / 2

Another standout feature is this model has a full 11.2-channel capability. Thus, you can connect the full quota of a 7.2.4 speaker layout when using Dolby Atmos. DTS:X is also built-in.

This receiver is rated at 140 watts per channel (8 ohms, 20 Hz - 20 kHz, 0.08% THD, 2ch driven). This will be plenty for most rooms and is on a par with similar receivers in this price range.

There are 8 HDMI inputs in total - 7 on the rear and 1 on the front - and 2 HDMI outputs. Inputs 1 to 5 and the 2 HDMI outputs support 4K Ultra HD / 60p video. Also present are HDCP 2.2, BT.2020, HDR10 and Dolby Vision pass through.

All top-end AV receivers have some form of automatic room correction. This one is no different as it comes with Pioneer's MCACC Pro Auto Room Tuning. This is the best version of their auto room tuning technology. It will analyze and correct the phase differences of your speakers, and find the best balance for your room. 

Thumbs Up   

  • 11.2-channels
  • Audiophile technology with a 32-bit 192 kHz ESS SABRE32 Ultra DAC (ES9016S)
  • AIR Studios® Sound Tuning
  • Class D amplification for low power consumption and less heat
  • MCACC Pro Auto Room Tuning

Thumbs Down   

  • No Hybrid Log-Gamma (HLG) pass-through
CLICK FOR LATEST PRICE

3. Onkyo TX-RZ3100 AV Receiver

Onkyo TX-RZ3100 AV Receiver

The flagship AV receiver from Onkyo comes in the form of the TX-RZ3100. Onkyo produces a fine range of AV receivers and has fantastic products at every price point. However, if you are after the best, then this model sits right at the top of the pile.

Onkyo TX-RZ3100 Highlights

The first thing that makes this AV receiver stand out from the pack is that it is a true 11.2-channel machine. Some of the others support 11.2-channel processing but require a stereo power amplifier to connect 11 speakers. This Onkyo model has native support for 11 channels and so everything is all in the box.

With all the channels built-in, Dolby Atmos and DTS:X speaker layouts up to 7.2.4 can all be configured. If you want to experience your older movies in all 11 channels, then there is DTS Neural:X for upmixing 5.1 movies.

As with most of the high-end Onkyo AV receivers, this model is THX certified. THX® Select2™ Plus Certification means this receiver meets the same audio standards as in a commercial theater. This specification is recommended for viewing distances up to 10-12 feet. The certification also requires the audio components within the unit to be of the highest standards.

* 8 Ohms, 1 kHz, 0.08% THD, 2 Channels Driven
Onkyo TX-RZ3100 AV Receiver Specifications
Dimensions Weight (lbs) Power (W) Speaker Impedance (Ohms)
17-1/8 x 7-15/16 x 17-13/16 in (435 x 201 x 453 mm) 43 140* 4-16
Network / Wireless? Channels Dolby Atmos? HDMI In/Out
Ethernet / Wi-Fi / AirPlay / Bluetooth / Chromecast / DTS Play-Fi / FireConnect 11.2 7.2.4 / 5.2.4 7+1 / 2

There are plenty of HDMI inputs. Seven on the rear and one on the front. As for outputs, there are two. One for the main room and another for zone 2. There is support for 4K/60 Hz, HDR10, Dolby Vision, BT.2020 and HDCP 2.2. Be aware, only HDMI inputs 1-5 and the two outputs support the 4K video/HDCP 2.2 specs.

This unit also supports more network/wireless connection types than most. Apart from ethernet, you have access to Wi-Fi, AirPlay, Bluetooth and Chromecast. But, that's not all. A firmware update will allow you to enable two different multi-room audio formats - DTS Play-Fi and FireConnect. 

DTS Play-Fi uses Wi-Fi to stream audio from several sources - another device, a media server or an online service. You can connect to compatible wireless speakers around your home and enjoy multi-zone audio.

FireConnect is similar but works on a different protocol. If you have FireConnect-enabled speakers, you can stream audio to them around your home.

Thumbs Up   

  • 11.2-channels
  • High-end audio engineering
  • THX® Select2™ Plus Certification for theater reference sound
  • Powered Zone 2 and 3
  • HDR10 and Dolby Vision
  • FireConnect or DTS Play-Fi multi-room audio
  • Onkyo RZ Series products are backed by a three-year warranty 

Thumbs Down   

  • Power: 140 W/Ch (8 Ohms, 1 kHz, 0.08% THD, 2 Channels Driven). Power is quoted at only 1 kHz, rather than the usual 20 Hz–20 kHz. Therefore, this unit is not quite as powerful as some of the others here. But, it has more channels.
CLICK FOR LATEST PRICE

4. Denon AVR-X7200WA AV Receiver

Denon AVR-X7200WA AV Receiver

If you're interested in a top-of-the-range Denon AV receiver, then look no further. This monster provides top-notch design and engineering - all wrapped up in a solid chassis with a metal front panel. You won't get a more powerful and versatile machine from Denon than this one.

Denon AVR-X7200WA Highlights

If you just want to talk about power, then you won't go far wrong here. With 150 watts of power (8 ohms, 20 Hz - 20 kHz, 0.05% THD, 2ch driven), you will be able to drive most speakers in the home AV market. All 9 channels have advanced 32-bit D/A conversion using the reference-class AK4490 converters.

If you are using 7.1 surround sound in your main room, you can use the extra two channels to power a set of stereo speakers in another room. So, no extra amplifier required. Alternatively, you could have 5.1 in your main room, and power stereo speakers in two different rooms.

Dolby Atmos object-based sound is supported up to 5.1.4 or 7.1.2 speaker configurations. You can also have 2 subwoofers as part of these layouts. DTS:X is available via a firmware update.

* 8 Ohms, 20 Hz–20 kHz, 0.05% THD, 2 Channels Driven, FTC
Denon AVR-X7200WA AV Receiver Specifications
Dimensions Weight (lbs) Power (W) Speaker Impedance (Ohms)
17.1 x 7.7 x 16.9 in (434.5 x 195.5 x 429 mm) (w/o antenna) 37.7 150* 4-16
Network / Wireless? Channels Dolby Atmos? HDMI In/Out
Ethernet / Wi-Fi / AirPlay / Bluetooth 9.2 7.2.2 / 5.2.4 7+1 / 3

Another feature which isn't that common in many AV receivers is support for Auro-3D. Auro-3D is a variation to the object-based audio of Dolby Atmos and DTS:X. This is a paid upgrade, but once enabled, allows you to experience this unique configuration of extra height channels.

As you would expect, it can handle the best quality audio soundtracks in Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio. In addition, you can use the advanced DSP algorithms of DTS Neo:X to spread the audio into 11-channels.

As for HDMI connections, this unit has more than most. It has 7 HDMI inputs on the rear, plus one at the front. The bonus is that it has 3 HDMI outputs, giving you more options if you want to send the video to different displays. Two of these HDMI outputs allow you to have video and audio in the main room, while the third will output to another room.

All the rear HDMI ports support 4K Ultra HD 50/60 Hz video pass-through - with HDCP 2.2 and HDR10.

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

Thumbs Up   

  • 9.2-channels / 13.2 channel pre-outs
  • High-quality audio specification
  • Flexible routing for video and audio in other zones
  • Third HDMI output
  • Auro-3D upgrade-ready

Thumbs Down   

  • Only supports HDR10. A firmware update has been suggested.
CLICK FOR LATEST PRICE

5. Marantz SR7012 AV Receiver

Marantz SR7012 AV Receiver

You may know that Marantz has a long-standing reputation for quality Hi-Fi hardware. Well, they've been producing fine AV receivers too, and the SR7012 is another to add to the list. Their flagship AV receiver aims to find a place as the center of your home theater setup and to sound great with your music.

Marantz SR7012 Highlights

The SR7012 is a 9.2-channel AV receiver with discrete power amplifiers on each channel. It has processing for 11.2 surround sound, and pre-outs for all 11 channels, so you can get 11.2 surround sound if you add another stereo amplifier.

Out of the box, Dolby Atmos is supported up to 7.2.2. If you add an extra stereo amp, then you can get a full 7.2.4 layout. Not only is DTS:X present, but this unit also has an Auro-3D decoder built-in. This is rare to find in a current AV receiver and so is a bonus if you are interested in Auro-3D.

The power specs aren't as high as some in this price bracket, but it's no slouch and should be plenty for most people. It is rated at 125 watts per channel (8 Ohms, 20 Hz–20 kHz, 0.05% THD, 2 Channels Driven).

* 8 Ohms, 20 Hz–20 kHz, 0.05% THD, 2 Channels Driven
Marantz SR7012 AV Receiver Specifications
Dimensions Weight (lbs) Power (W) Speaker Impedance (Ohms)
17-3/8 x 7-3/8 x 16-1/4 in (440 x 185 x 411 mm) (w/o antenna) 31.1 125* 4-16
Network / Wireless? Channels Dolby Atmos? HDMI In/Out
Ethernet / Wi-Fi / AirPlay / Bluetooth / HEOS 9.2 7.2.2 / 5.2.4 7+1 / 3

An impressive 8 HDMI inputs (1 at the front), and 3 HDMI outputs, all support 4K/60 pass-through. Not only is there full HDCP 2.2 and BT.2020 support, this unit will also pass-through all the common HDR variations. That is, HDR10, Dolby Vision and HLG.

The bonus features don't stop there. You can also use a firmware update to enable eARC support. This stands for Enhanced Audio Return Channel. This new feature of HDMI 2.1 will allow the pass-through of object-based soundtracks from your TV into the receiver. So, for any TV app that delivers Dolby Atmos, it will be easy to get the audio into your surround sound system.

There are plenty of network connection options. Wi-Fi, AirPlay and Bluetooth are all present. Plus, this unit has built-in HEOS wireless multi-room audio support. 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.

Thumbs Up   

  • 9.2-channels / 11.2 channel pre-outs
  • Marantz audio technology
  • HDR10, Dolby Vision and Hybrid Log-Gamma
  • Dolby Atmos, DTS:X and Auro-3D built-in
  • Audyssey MultEQ XT32 automatic room acoustic correction
  • eARC support

Thumbs Down   

  • In terms of specs, not as powerful as some receivers in this price range. However, in real-world use, this will make little difference for most people. 
CLICK FOR LATEST PRICE

Conclusion

If you are in the market for a new AV receiver, then you won’t go wrong by choosing any one of these fantastic models. There are times when it is practical, or necessary, to lower your budget and choose a device in a lower price bracket. However, if you are fortunate to not have these considerations, then you may as well look at the best there is on the market.

Check out my overview of the best AV receivers in 2017 if you want a buying guide and a closer look at some models in different price brackets.

However, these are some of the best high-end AV receivers in 2017. They are the flagship models from each manufacturer. Onkyo, Yamaha, Marantz, Pioneer and Denon. There are other top brands available, but you’ve got to narrow down your choice somewhere down the line. We all have our favorites, and these are some of mine. Hopefully, you will find one here that fits exactly what you are looking for.

Take your time to consider what exactly you need in a new AV receiver, and you should find something here that ticks all the boxes.


Facebook Comments

Have your say about what you just read! Leave a comment in the box below.