Best AV Receiver for Audiophiles 2021

by Editor

If you’re looking for the best AV receiver for your home theater then you should know by now how difficult it is to pick the right one for your needs. 

Clearly, there are hundreds of AV receivers 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. 

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

  • Arcam AVR30
  • Marantz SR8015
  • Denon AVR-X8500H
  • Yamaha RX-A3080
  • Anthem MRX 1120

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. 

The best AV receiver for audiophiles is the Arcam AVR30. This 12W per channel AV receiver runs on Dolby DTS:X / Atmos and supports a wide range of AV devices ultimately making it the best choice for any audiophile.

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

Best AV Receiver for AudiophilesFeaturesKnown For
Arcam AVR307.2 channels, Class G;
16 pre-out channels (9.2.6 surround sound);
120W per channel;
4K UHD, HDR10, HDR10+, Dolby Vision, HLG
Best for Music and Movies
Marantz SR801511.2 channels, 140W per channel;
7.2.4 & 9.2.2 surround sound;
Auro-3D decoder, Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, HEOS
Best for Music
Denon AVR-X8500H13.2 channels;
7.2.6 / 9.2.4 Dolby Atmos;
Auro-3D decoder, IMAX, 4K, AirPlay 2, Siri, Google Assistant
Best for IMAX Movies
Yamaha RX-A30809.2 channels, 150W per channel;
5.2.4 / 7.2.2 surround sound;
Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, 4K, HDR10, Dolby Vision, Yamaha Surround:AI
Best for Surround Sound
Anthem MRX 112011 channel, 6*140W 5*60W;
7.2.4 surround sound;
Dolby Atmos, Dolby Surround, DTS:X, DTS Neutral:X, 4K UHD, HDR10, Dolby Vision, HLG
Best for Movies

Arcam AVR30

Best AV Receiver for Audiophiles

Arcam is a British brand that’s been manufacturing high-end AV receivers and audio systems for over 40 years. The Arcam AVR30 is a part of the Arcam HDA (High Definition Audio) range and is considered by many to be the best AV receiver for audiophiles. 

This is a 7.2 channel Class G AV receiver making it quite expensive and complex to produce. To reproduce the audiophile-grade sound, Arcam had to resort to only 7 channels of built-in amplification.

Best AV Receiver for Audiophiles

Even though this is the case, you’re still able to run a complete Dolby Atmos speaker layout at home. The 16 pre-out channels can be connected to external power amps thus turning the AVR30 into a 9.2.6 surround sound speaker system.

Each channel provides 120W  (8Ohms, 2 Channels driven, 0.02% 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 AVR30 supports 4K UHD video playback, HDR10, HDR10+, Dolby Vision and HLG making it one of the most powerful and compatible AV receivers to use while watching movies or while listening to music.

Marantz SR8015

Best AV Receiver for Audiophiles

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.

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.

Best AV Receiver for Audiophiles

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.

Check it out on Amazon

Denon AVR-X8500H

Best AV Receiver for Audiophiles

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.

Best AV Receiver for Audiophiles

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.

Check it out on Amazon

Yamaha RX-A3080

Best AV Receiver for Audiophiles

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.

Best AV Receiver for Audiophiles

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.

Check it out on Amazon

Anthem MRX 1120

Best AV Receiver for Audiophiles

Anthem is a Canadian based company that’s been making audio equipment for a little over 20 years now. While they don’t have a vast range to choose from, they do have the MRX series which are their most premium, high-end AV receivers.

The MRX 1120 is a 11 channel audio unit that supports up to 2 subwoofers at a time. It can support a large 7.2.4 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.

Best AV Receiver for Audiophiles

6 channels carry the load of 140W per channel whereas the rest are rated at 60@ each. In terms of video playback, the MRX 1120 fully supports 4K UHD playback via the 7 rear HDMI ports. Your video playback is also greatly enhanced by HDR10, Dolby Vision and HLG functionality.

FAQ

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.

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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