Best AV Receiver for Audiophiles 2022 | Top Rated Receivers and Buyer’s Guide

by Michael Dwain

If you’re looking for the best AV receiver for audiophiles, then you’ve come to the right place. By now, you must know already just how difficult it is to pick the right AV receiver for your needs. 

Clearly, there are hundreds of different models out there that offer high-performance and come with some pretty impressive specifications that money can buy. 

But truth be told, there are only a handful that come with audiophile grade sound quality.

Today’s article is going to cover the best AV receiver for audiophiles. These receivers are some of the best in their class and are pretty expensive so they’re clearly not meant for everyone. 

Based on the tests we carried out, the best AV receiver for audiophiles is the Denon AVR-X2700H. It’s a 7-channel receiver that renders 8K video and can deliver up to 95W peak power per channel. This receiver also comes with full 3D audio support as well as support for various codecs and formats such as dts:X, Dolby, HEOS, Atmos and wireless connectivity such as Bluetooth and Wi-Fi

Price aside, audiophile grade AV receivers are truly powerful sound units that can literally bring the roof down without you having to crank up the volume all the way to Max.

If that’s what you’re looking for, then check out our take on the best AV receiver for audiophiles

Recommended Read: Best Dolby Atmos Receiver

What to look for in an AV receiver for Audiophiles?

There are many things to consider when looking for an AV receiver that can deliver audiophile-grade sound. After all, you’re picking up a receiver to power your surround sound speakers at home and unless you choose the right receiver, you will not have a complete listening experience.

  • The first and most important thing to consider is how much amplification can the receiver generate. The receiver needs to deliver the right amount of power to match your speakers. Anything lower than the speakers rating then you won’t receive the best sound and anything higher than the speaker rating ca blow the speakers.
  • Check the inputs on the receiver and see whether it’s ideal for the set up and devices you have running at home. Make sure the AV receiver provides enough digital and analog inputs for your audio equipment.
  • Choose a receiver that is compatible with different types of speakers including range and subwoofers. Also, when you consider the output ports on the receiver, ensure that it comes with an ample number of ports to connect different speakers including a HDMI-ARC port to connect your TV.
  • Finally, consider additional features such as Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and even connectivity with internet radio and voice assistants such as Alexa, Google Assistant and even Siri as this will make it easier to control your playback without having to use the remote control.

How did we test these AV receivers?

We put over 15 different high-end AV receivers through a series of tests to determine whether they are ideal for an audiophile to use.

Each receiver was first tested to see if they are easy to setup and whether they came with the right cables and if extra cables had to be bought. This is important because you will need something that’s easy to use and which won’t take up much of your time only setting it up and calibrating the speakers.

Next, the receivers were put through a range of sound tests and video tests to check the overall quality and level of sound reproduction. We filtered out the ones that ended up crackling at high volumes and those that did not deliver a clear and deep bass.

Finally, we tested out the different additional features the receiver came with such as voice compatibility to see if the built-in microphone is sensitive enough to pick up your voice from a distance and even checked the network related features such as AirPlay, DLNA as well as support for online radio and music apps.

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Based on our findings, the following 6 AV receivers are perfect for audiophiles and have been rated on a scale of 1-5 with 5 being the score allotted to the best AV receivers for audiophiles.

Check them out!

Best AV Receiver for AudiophilesFeaturesKnown For
Denon AVR-X2700H7 channelsOverall Best for Audiophiles
Yamaha Aventage RX-A10807.2 channelsBest for Hi-Fi Sound
Marantz SR801511.2 channelsBest for Music
Denon AVR-X8500H13.2 channelsBest for IMAX Movies
Yamaha RX-A30809.2 channelsBest for Surround Sound
Onkyo TX-NR60507 channelsBest for Gamers

Best AV Receiver for Audiophiles

Typically, AV receivers are not cheap to own, they start from around $100 for a low-budget one and around $799 for a great sounding one

But if you’re looking to pick up one that delivers audiophile-grade sound then you will definitely have to invest way more and you might have to shell out upwards of $1500.

The one good thing about buying the best AV receiver for audiophiles is that you can expect the device to last for years to come. 

So without any further delay, here are the best AV receivers in the market for audiophiles.

Denon AVR-X2700H

Enjoy immersive surround sound with Dolby Atmos and DTS Virtual:X as well as crisp, clean picture and advanced video processing. This 7.2 channel receiver delivers clarity, contrast and color, and eliminates video delay via Quick Media Switching.

Network support with a range of wireless connections like Wi-Fi, AirPlay2 or Bluetooth with compatible HEOS multi-room wireless speakers like the Denon Home series without any extra hardware.

The Denon AVR-X2700H provides Hi-Fi sound around your home and you can use internet radio and streaming apps such as Pandora, Spotify, TuneIn & more. One of the best things about the Denon AVR-X2700H is that it’s designed for gamer’s as well and can deliver 4K/120Hz pass-through and up-scaling as well as variable refresh rate to reduce lags in your gameplay.

Not only does it pack a punch and delivers clean and crisp picture quality, but it also aces the sound department and can generate enough power to drive a large-scale home theater. And if you’re looking for a hands-free experience, simply activate Alexa, Google or Siri and control your playback.

Pros

  • Decent spatial control and sound delivery
  • Supports HDMI 2.1 as well as 8K video
  • IMAX Enhaced surround format

Cons

  • Not as advanced as some of the others on the list

Rating – 5/5

Check it out here

Yamaha Aventage RX-A1080

The Yamaha Aventage RX-A1080 72 Channel AV Receiver is considered by many to be one of the best AV receivers for audiophiles. 

This is a 7.2 channel Zone 2 AV receiver that uses an ESS Sabre DAC and is equipped with Cinema DSP HD3 and YPAO sound optimization to reproduce the audiophile-grade sound.

Each channel provides 120W  (8Ohms, 2 Channels driven, 0.06% THD) making it perfect for any room size. If connected in the appropriate manner, you can have audio playing in every room of the house.

The RX-A1080 supports 4K UHD video playback, HDR10, Dolby Vision and BT2020 making it one of the most powerful and compatible AV receivers to use while watching movies or while listening to music.

Pros

  • Very responsive
  • Sound delivery is focused
  • Wide range of connectivity options

Cons

  • May require some updates

Rating – 5/5

Check it out here

Marantz SR8015

If you’re looking for a high-end receiver that is built specifically for movies and music, then the Marantz SR8015 should be among the top three on your list. While it may be one of the most expensive AV receivers on this list, there are reasons that justify the high pricing.

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This flagship receiver has 11.2 channels with around 140W per channel. With this much power you can either install a full 7.2.4 surround sound unit or 9.2.2 surround sound speaker layout to give you an experience you’ll never forget.

The SR8015 comes equipped with a rare but interesting addition that you won’t get in most AV receivers today – Auro-3D decoder, this enables you to experience Auro-3D surround sound. If that’s not good enough for you, then you might want to go in for this speaker as it supports Dolby Atmos height Virtualization and DTS Virtual:X. 

I’d suggest you to buy the SR8015 if you’re looking for something with wireless capabilities such as Ethernet, Wi-Fi, AirPlay 2, HEOS, Alexa, Google Assistant and more. This will enable you to control, play and even switch devices all with the help of a few voice commands. Currently, the ST8015 supports a playback of 8K resolution as long as the TV unit it’s connected to is 8K compatible.

Pros

  • 11 channel system
  • Auro 3D decoder
  • 8K video support

Cons

  • Pricey

Rating – 4.5/5

Check it out here

Denon AVR-X8500H

Denon is a favorite among audiophiles simply because of the quality components used in them and their ability to deliver some of the most pure sounding audio. The AVR–X8500H is Denon’s beast that comes with an impressive 13.2 channels layout allowing you to take advantage of Dolby Atmos and DTS:X to drive a 7.2.6 or a 9.2.4 surround sound speaker layout. 

The greatest part about this receiver is that everything is built into it so there’s absolutely no need to add a preamp to it. Apart from the Dolby capabilities, you can expect to watch movies in true 3D with Auro-3D supported technology.

Want to watch IMAX resolution movies? This is the one for you. It’s equipped with IMAX enhanced tech that allows you to optimize the image for HDR screens and aspect ratio control for larger screens. 

As you would expect with a relatively new model, every HDMI slot supports 4K video playback, the receiver comes with wireless capabilities such as Alexa, Google Assistant, Siri and access to services like AirPlay 2 and Spotify Connect.

Pros

  • Improved sound detail
  • 4K support
  • Wireless capabilities
  • Dolby and IMAX Enhanced

Cons

  • Expensive

Rating – 4.5/5

Check it out here

Yamaha RX-A3080

The Yamaha RX-A3080 Aventage is a high-end AV receiver like no other. This range of receivers, ‘Aventage’ is some of Yamaha’s best in terms of audio performance and is pretty much the most affordable audiophile-grade AV receiver on this page.

It is a 9.2 channel receiver with complete Dolby Atmos and DTS:X support as well as a surround sound support for a speaker layout of 5.2.4 or 7.2.2. If you’re looking to upmix the stereo capabilities on the RX-A3080, all you’d have to do is switch on either the DTS Neutral:X or the Dolby Surround modes.

In terms of connectivity, you’re provided with 7 different HDMI inputs and 3 HDMI outputs that support 4K resolution, HDR10, Dolby Vision, Hybrid-Log Gamma and BT 2020. Each channel is capable of peaking at 150W, delivering nothing but the best sounding audio you could possibly imagine.

With wireless capabilities such as Yamaha’s MusicCast system, AirPlay, Spotify Connect, Alexa and more, you can expect to have all the music you’d like at your fingertips. There’s an added bonus, the RX-A3080 comes with Yamaha’s Surround:AI; here you’re able to feel the reproduction of the sound change based on the scenario played on the screen.

Pros

  • Clear and detailed sound
  • Loads of wireless capabilities
  • Cost effective
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Cons

  • None

Rating – 4.5/5

Check out the Yamaha Music Store

Onkyo TX-NR6050

Onkyo is a Japanese company that’s been making audio equipment for a little over 75 years now. While they don’t have a vast range of audiophile-grade receivers to choose from, they do have the TX series which are their most powerful high-end AV receivers.

The TX-NR6050 is a 7 channel audio unit that supports up to 2 subwoofers at a time. It can support a large 5.2.2 surround sound speaker system and uses Dolby Atmos, Dolby Surround, DTS:X and DTS Neutral:X to provide you with a complete range of sound.

All 7 channels carry the load of 210W and In terms of video playback, the TX-NR6050 fully supports 8K UHD playback via three of the rear HDMI ports and three ports support 4K UHD. Your video playback is also greatly enhanced by HDR10, Dolby Vision and built-in HLG functionality.

Pros

  • Wide sound stage
  • Powerful delivery
  • Affordable
  • 8K video support

Cons

  • Lacks a few features

Rating – 4.5/5

Check it out here

FAQ’s

Do AV receivers improve the audio quality?

Receivers are designed to manage audio transmission across more speakers than a regular amplifier. With receivers, you can truly take advantage of 5.1 and 7.2 channel options while amplifying sound and receivers even allow you to perform single room correction to the signal, which greatly improves the audio quality.

Do AV receivers improve picture quality?

Well, the answer to this question is both yes and no. You will receive improved picture quality while processing low quality videos and up-scaling them. But if the video does not need any up-scaling, you would mostly drop the overall picture quality if you try any form of video processing.

What’s the difference between 5.2 and 7.2 AV receivers?

5.2 is similar to 5.1 surround sound with the only exception being the former uses two subwoofers whereas the latter will manage only one. 

In terms of 7.2 vs 5.2, you get a wider coverage of audio with a 7.2 system since this unit consists of a left/right speaker, center speaker, rear-left/rear-right speaker and two additional surround sound speakers for the sides.

The 5.2 would have only the front left/right, center, subwoofer and rear-left/right.

Which brand makes the best AV receivers?

The top rated brands in the audio space here re Denon, Marantz, Sony, Yamaha and Onkyo and the best AV receiver we happened to test is the Denon AVR Series.

Do expensive AV receivers sound better?

In general, Yes. But that’s not always the case and some pretty affordable AV receivers can be extremely powerful too. Some notable AV receivers that are both cheap and deliver audiophile grade sound are the Onkyo and Sony Aventage.

Takeaway

If you’re in the market for a good audiophile-grade AV receiver, then you can’t go wrong by picking any of these models. These are the best AV receivers for audiophiles and if you’re up for it then go right ahead and pick one up, you will not regret it.

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Author Profile

Greetings! My name is Michael and this is my website.

I've been specializing in audio equipment and accessories for a while and have a little something in store for every kind of hi-fi enthusiast.

Based in California, I keep attending special launch events across the globe. This has helped me understand the products better, and with a unique hands-on experience I'm able to provide you with easy to understand reviews about the best in audio tech from around the world.

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