Which Are the Top 5 Best High-End AV Receivers in 2019?

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If you are looking for the best high-end AV receivers in 2019, 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

Image Model HDMI In / Out Power Dolby Atmos
Yamaha RX-A3080 AVENTAGE 9.2-Ch AV Receiver 7 / 3 150 W/Ch 5.2.4 / 7.2.2 Check Price
Denon AVR-X8500H 13.2-Ch AV Receiver 7+1 / 3 150 W/Ch 7.2.6 / 9.2.4 Check Price
Pioneer SC-LX901 Elite 11.2-Ch AV Receiver 7+1 / 2 140 W/Ch 5.2.4 / 7.2.4 Check Price
Onkyo TX-RZ3100 11.2-Ch AV Receiver 7+1 / 2 140 W/Ch 5.2.4 / 7.2.4 Check Price
Marantz SR7013 9.2-Ch AV Receiver 7+1 / 3 125 W/Ch 5.2.4 / 7.2.2 (Processing for 7.2.4) Check Price

1. Yamaha RX-A3080 AVENTAGE 9.2-Ch AV Receiver

If you want a high-end Yamaha AV receiver, then look no further than the RX-A3080. 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.

Best High End AV receiver: Yamaha RX-A3080 AVENTAGE 9.2-Ch AV Receiver

Yamaha RX-A3080 Highlights

The Yamaha RX-A3080 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.

DTS Neural:X and Dolby Surround modes are present if you want to upmix stereo, 5.1 or 7.1 soundtracks to your 5.1.4/7.1.2 speaker setup.

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 7 HDMI inputs and 3 outputs which should be plenty for most set-ups. All support the requirements for 4K/60p Ultra HD passthrough - HDCP 2.2, HDR10, Dolby Vision, Hybrid Log-Gamma and BT.2020.

The 3 HDMI outputs can either send the same video content to each location - or you can send two different sources.

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 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 that can be used for connecting a balanced signal into a power amplifier.

As you would expect for a high-end unit like this, there are a full set of pre-outs for every channel if you wish.

Yamaha RX-A3080 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” | 434 x 192 x 474 mm (w/o antenna) 39.9 150* 4-8
Network / Wireless? Channels Dolby Atmos? HDMI In/Out
Ethernet / WiFi / Bluetooth / MusicCast Surround / AirPlay / Spotify Connect 9.2 5.2.4 / 7.2.2 7 / 3
* 8 Ohms, 20 Hz–20 kHz, 0.06% THD, 2 Channels Driven

This unit has 384kHz/32-bit DACs for all the main 7 channels. This is in the shape of the top class ESS SABRE PRO Premier DAC™ ES9026PRO. All the components in this receiver are designed for top quality sound reproduction.

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 will also find support for MusicCast Surround. This might be the solution you are looking for if you really want wireless surround speakers.

It's not been an easy task to get wireless surrounds with a standard AV receiver - until now!

You will need to buy either the MusicCast 20 or MusicCast 50 wireless speakers. These can then be configured as your surround speakers in a 5.1 setup.

Another new innovation with this model is Yamaha's Surround:AI™ technology. This is an interesting new feature that will adapt the sound in your speakers depending on the scene that is on screen. 

The aim to to give you the best sound in your room, regardless of the type of audio. So, a scene with loud sound effects and music will be optimized differently to one with quiet dialogue and ambient sound.

All this happens in real time.

If you are really looking for the best money can buy, 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. You would connect all your devices here, and use it to raise/lower the volume.

However, you would connect the 11.2-channel pre-outs, which are balanced XLR outputs, to a power amplifier for driving your speakers.

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   

  • Great value considering build quality and features
  • 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.
  • High quality DACs - ESS SABRE PRO ES9026PRO and SABRE ES9007S
  • Surround:AI™ technology
  • Full video and audio in Zone 2
  • Powered Zone 2 and 3 outputs
  • Support for HDR10, Dolby Vision and HLG
  • MusicCast wireless streaming / MusicCast Surround
  • Amazon Alexa voice control
  • Dual band WiFi - 2.4 and 5 GHz

Thumbs Down   

  • It's a big unit. Make sure you have the space to install it.
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2. Denon AVR-X8500H 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, there a few receivers which match this beast.

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

Denon AVR-X8500H 13.2-Ch AV Receiver

Denon AVR-X8500H Highlights

The first feature that takes the eye on the Denon AVR-X8500H 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 is due to be released in the coming months and will play back 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-8500H has 7 HDMI inputs on the rear, one on the front and 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 different video content to another screen elsewhere.

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.

As you would expect with a new unit, all your current 4K and HDR technologies are supported on every HDMI interface. HDR10, Dolby Vision and HLG are present along with 4K UHD 60Hz video, 4:4:4 Pure Color sub-sampling and HDCP 2.2.

Denon AVR-X8500H 13.2-Ch AV Receiver Specifications
Dimensions (W x H x D) Weight (lbs) Power (W) Speaker Impedance (Ohms)
17-1/8 x 7-3/4 x 17-1/4 in | 434 x 195 x 482 mm (w/o antenna) 51.4 150* 4-16
Network / Wireless? Channels Dolby Atmos? HDMI In/Out
Ethernet / WiFi / AirPlay 2 / Spotify Connect / Bluetooth / HEOS / Amazon Alexa / DLNA Certified 13.2 7.2.6 / 9.2.4 7+1 / 3
* 8 Ohms, 20 Hz–20 kHz, 0.05% THD, 2 Channels Driven, FTC

In my opinion, one of the best benefits of a Denon receiver is the presence of Audyssey automatic room acoustic correction technology. 

I have always found the Audyssey system does a great job at correcting and balancing the sound in your room. 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 (OK, you got me, I'm talking about myself here!) - the Audyssey software always does an excellent job in half the time – and with much less fuss.

Pretty much all network and wireless connection types that you would need are covered in this unit.

From Ethernet to wireless to 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. This can either be controlled via the HEOS app or Amazon Alexa.

For more advanced remote control capability this receiver allows IP control - 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 full control of your Denon hardware from your mobile device. It works pretty well in my experience, 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. Not for the faint-hearted.

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

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, Dolby Vision, HLG & IMAX Enhanced

Thumbs Down   

  • Nothing in terms of features and performance – but only suitable for those with a big budget.
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3. Pioneer SC-LX901 Elite 11.2-Ch 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 Elite AV Receiver

Pioneer SC-LX901 Highlights

The main feature of the Pioneer 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.

Pioneer SC-LX901 AV Receiver Specifications
Dimensions (W x H x D) 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 5.1.4 / 7.1.4 7+1 / 2
* 8 Ohms, 20 Hz–20 kHz, 0.08% THD, 2 Channels Driven

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. 

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  • 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
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4. Onkyo TX-RZ3100 11.2-Ch 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 AV Receiver

Onkyo TX-RZ3100 Highlights

The first thing that makes the Onkyo TX-RZ3100 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.

Onkyo TX-RZ3100 AV Receiver Specifications
Dimensions (W x H x D) 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 5.1.4 / 7.1.4 7+1 / 2
* 8 Ohms, 1 kHz, 0.08% THD, 2 Channels Driven

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.
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5. Marantz SR7013 9.2-Ch 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 SR7013 is another to add to the list. This high-end AV receiver aims to find a place as the center of your home theater setup and to sound great with your music.

Marantz SR7013 9.2-Ch AV Receiver

Marantz SR7013 Highlights

The Marantz SR7013 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). 

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.

Marantz SR7013 AV Receiver Specifications
Dimensions (W x H x D) 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) 31.3 125* 4-16
Network / Wireless? Channels Dolby Atmos? HDMI In/Out
Ethernet / WiFi / AirPlay 2 / Bluetooth / HEOS / Spotify Connect / Amazon Alexa 9.2 5.2.4 / 7.2.2 (Processing for 7.2.4 + Auro-3D) 7+1 / 3
* 8 Ohms, 20 Hz–20 kHz, 0.05% THD, 2 Channels Driven

Apart from the main area in your home, this model supports two extra zones. You can use one of the extra HDMI outputs to send video/audio to a TV in another room.

Plus, you can send stereo music to either zone 2 or 3 - all while playing content in the main room. Cool.

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 2 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. 
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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 2019 if you want a buying guide and a closer look at some models in different price brackets.

These are some of the best high-end AV receivers in 2019. 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.


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.