Best Receiver Under 300

Top 10 Budget Home Theater 5 Channel AV Receivers Under $300

The Best 5-Channel AV Receivers Under 300

If you’re searching for unmatched sound for your home cinema, our list of the 10 Budget Home Theater 5 Channel AV Receivers Under $300 can help you find the best cheap receiver for your home setup.

Quality audio-visual equipment is essential in today’s high-tech, immersive home theater experience. Whether you like to watch live sports events, play video games, or kick back and take in a movie or streaming show, a quality receiver matters. And you don’t need to break the bank either. Our list of the best budget home theater five-channel receivers can make a huge difference in your ability to hear the full range of sounds through your room acoustics and to view a crisp picture on your TV in your home cinema.

How Do I Find the Perfect Product for Me With the Best Sound Quality?

Even if you are on a budget, the best receiver is still within reach. You can definitely find many different makes and models of audio equipment and quality AV receivers for your home cinema. We’ve made your search easier with our ten best budget home theater five-channel AV receivers ordered from the lowest price and up. 

These receivers offer multiple digital inputs (including HDMI ports) and power component video inputs and outputs. Additionally, they have Bluetooth capabilities, high definition picture, and crystal clear sound. 

We’ve included the specifications (specs) and highlighted each unit’s AV components and features so you can see what each receiver offers. With our list, finding the best audio receiver under 300 is a breeze.

Best Receivers Under 300

Pyle PT694BT.5 5.2 Channel Hi-Fi Bluetooth Stereo Amplifier 
Onkyo TX-SR393 5.2 Channel A/V Receiver
Yamaha RX-V385 5.1 Channel 4K Ultra HD AV Receiver
Denon AVR-S540BT 5.2 Channel Home Theater System Receiver
Sony STRDH590 5.2 Channel Home Theater Receiver
Sony STR-DH790 4K 7.2 Channel Surround Sound Home Theater 
Yamaha TSR-700 7.1 Channel AV Receiver 
Marantz NR1510 UHD AV Slim Receiver 5.2 Channel Home Theater Amplifier
Onkyo TX-NR797 Smart AV 9.2 Channel Receiver 
Denon AVR-S960H 8K Ultra HD 7.2 Channel AV Receiver 
best budget home theater receivers

What Makes a Good Five-channel AV Receiver?

The best receiver under 300 should have most of these advanced features and qualities:

  • Seven HDMI Inputs
  • Volume Control
  • Audio Performance
  • Digital Cinema Auto Calibration
  • Composite Video Inputs
  • Front HDMI Port
  • HDR 10 Dolby Vision 
  • HDMI Audio Return Channel
  • Surround Channels
  • Amp Channels
  • Receiver Supports
  • HDMI Output Supports EARC
  • Easily Accessible Power Outputs
  • High-Performance Video Capability
  • Superb Sonic Fidelity
  • Onscreen Interface
  • Powerful Amp
  • Stream Music Wirelessly With Ease
  • Networking Features
  • HDR Picture
  • Powerful Bass Boost
  • Powerful Amplifier
  • Wi-Fi
  • Ready For Streaming Services
  • Surround Effects
  • Immersive Sound
  • Two Subwoofer Power Outputs
  • Ability To Listen to Internet Radio Stations

How Does a 5.1 Receiver Differ From a 7.2 Receiver With Surround Speakers?

When it comes to audio equipment, it’s essential to know how many channels your receiver offers. For example, to create surround sound in your home theater, 5.1 surround sound uses six channels (fed into six stereo speakers), while a 7.1 surround sound system uses eight channels. These extra channels improve the audio quality slightly and also help improve performance. Therefore, we included a few 7.2 channel AV receivers on our list and a 9.2 channel AV receiver as well.

Related post: Top 10 Budget Home Theater 7 Channel AV Receivers Under $400

Top 10 Budget Home Theater 5 Channel AV Receivers Under $300

1. Pyle PT694BT.5 5.2 Channel Hi-Fi Bluetooth Stereo Amplifier 

Pyle PT694BT.5 Receiver

Pyle PT694BT.5 Specs

  • Price: $268
  • 4K and HDR: Yes 
  • Dolby Digital: No 
  • Bluetooth: Yes 
  • User rating: 4 out of 5 
  • Output: 1000 watts total

What Makes It So Great?

Our first recommendation (and the lowest priced) is the Pyle Stereo Amplifier, a 5.2-channel Hi-Fi amplifier with 1,000 max watts, Bluetooth capabilities, and a simple remote control operation. You can connect and operate the receiver using smartphones, computers, and compatible Bluetooth devices within a wi fi range of 30 feet. And connecting is a breeze thanks to hassle-free pairing.

The great thing about this best budget 4K AV receiver is it has 4K Ultra HD TV, Blu-Ray, 3D video pass-through support, and dedicated RCA subwoofer power outputs. In addition, you can set up Hi-Fi home surround sound and rear speakers through Bluetooth, HDMI inputs, or usb port. 

The digital LCD is easy to read and clearly labels your current setting, so you’ll always know what device you’re using. There’s even an AM/FM radio option if you prefer to listen to local stations. Unfortunately, this receiver is not Wi-Fi enabled.

You can stream music or video from external devices using 3 HDMI ports, a front-facing USB port, two microphone adapters, digital or analog audio inputs, and L/R speaker binding posts. There’s even Next Generation audio DSP and individual volume control and recording device adjustments for the treble, bass, and echo. That makes this one of the best av receivers under 300.

Speaker impedance is between 4 and 6 ohms for surround Bluetooth speakers and subwoofers with 1,000 watts of peak power. And there’s even a short circuit, over-voltage, and over-current protection, so you don’t have to worry about electrical shortages.

You cannot use microphones to determine your room’s acoustics for customized EQ, but there are preset EQ options based on common music genres. This AV receiver is 16.9 inches long, 12.8 inches wide, and 4.9 inches tall, making it one of the shorter receivers we’ve listed in this review.

Overall, the Next Generation technology and ease of use of the Pyle PT694BT.5 5.2 Channel Hi-Fi Bluetooth Stereo Amplifier make it worthy of being listed among the best surround sound AV receivers.

You may also like: The best budget bluetooth speakers

2. Onkyo TX-SR393 5.2 Channel A/V Receiver

Onkyo TX-SR393 5.2 Channel AV Receiver

Onkyo TX-SR393 Specs

  • Price: $329
  • 4K and HDR: Yes 
  • Atmos: Yes 
  • Bluetooth: Yes 
  • User rating: 4.5 out of 5 
  • Power output:155 watts/channel
  • Release date: June 14, 2019

What Makes It So Great?

The Onkyo TX-SR393 5.2 Channel AV Receiver truly stands out in our list of inexpensive receivers. It was one of the best budget av receivers 2019. The audio system features Dolby Digital surround Atmos height virtualizers, DTS virtual: x playback to allow for height effects without needing extra wi-fi surround sound speakers (using a future firmware update), and fully supports HDR (High Dynamic Range), 4K/60p formats, including:

  • BT.2020
  • HLG
  • Dolby Vision
  • HDR10
  • 4:4:4 color-space

There are four separate HDMI inputs and ARC-enabled outputs that make it easy to use streaming services, listen to your favorite radio stations, or transfer films or games from your favorite device to a compatible TV in your home cinema so you can enjoy improved audio quality.

Bluetooth compatibility means you can stream content from PC apps, tablets, or cell phones using this budget receiver. Once you’ve paired your device with the surround sound, it starts automatic audio playback whenever you cue up an audio stream.

At 21 inches long, 9 inches wide, 16 inches tall, and 18 pounds, this system would need a bit more surface space than a gaming system, although it will need more height clearance. You can also customize your speaker layout to match your room, including:

  • 2.1-Ch with 3D surround-sound = Dolby Atmos height Virtualizer or DTS virtual: x
  • 3.2.2-Ch – Native object-audio playback

Despite the technical sound of the specifications, what you get is easy-to-use cheap surround sound that will give you cinema-style audio quality from your TVs, gaming, Bluetooth audio, or even Hi-Fi or headphone dock systems using the analog RCA line-in. 

Here is what one satisfied buyer wrote in a recent review:

“Excellent low-cost A/V receiver. This is a good budget AV receiver. I didn’t want a lot of bells and whistles to get lost in–just something simple and functionally intuitive. Like any receiver out of the box, you need to learn about the sound adjustments and experiment accordingly. I employ a 2.1 setup (two large towers and a 10-inch subwoofer). I prefer to manually set up the sound rather than the automatic method using the supplied microphone. A particular tweak I really like is the Level Calibration, which allows you to adjust the volume of each speaker set. Another thing I like about this receiver is the unamplified line-level out port. That really adds to the versatility of the unit. I use that port for a wireless headphone hookup. The remote control is intuitive. I recommend this receiver to anyone looking for a low-cost option–that doesn’t want/need a lot of bells and whistles. It has excellent sound when setup properly and is easy to use/adjust.”

If you are looking for the best cheap 5.2 Channel AV Receiver, you really can’t go wrong with the clear and powerful sound of the Onkyo TX-SR393.

See also: Top 10 Onkyo A/V Surround Sound Receivers

3. Yamaha RX-V385 5.1 Channel 4K Ultra HD AV Receiver

Yamaha RX-V385 5.1 Channel 4K Ultra HD AV Receiver

Yamaha RX-V385 Specs

  • Price: $348 
  • 4K and HDR: Yes 
  • Atmos: Yes 
  • Bluetooth: Yes 
  • User rating: 4.5 out of 5 
  • Power output: 100 watts/channel 
  • Release date: April 10, 2018

What Makes It So Great?

The Yamaha RX-V385 5.1 Channel 4K Ultra HD AV Receiver is one of the best AV receivers that features 5.1 channels with a single HDMI HDCP 2.2 compliant output and four HDMI inputs supporting:

  • 4K Ultra-HD
  • HDR10
  • BT.2020
  • Dolby TrueHD vision
  • DTS HD Master Audio
  • Yamaha RX v4a

The Yamaha RX-V85 receiver is one of the best budget 5.1 receivers on the market. The design makes it easy to connect all of your devices via analog inputs, two coaxial inputs, and a solo optical input. There’s also a single USB port on the front, which allows for streaming audio files via a connected device. Unfortunately, while this is one of the best 5.1 receivers under 300, the surround sound is not Wi-Fi enabled. However, you can stream audio via Bluetooth capabilities with an output of 100W and 8 ohms with the Yamaha RX v385.

Although it may not be enough for large spaces, the built-in amp on the Yamaha RX v385 offers decent bass, excellent spatial acuity, and exceptional volume control and sound quality. At 12.4 inches long, 17.13 inches wide, 6.34 inches tall, and 16.3 pounds, you can set this receiver up in most entertainment centers or shelves without taking up massive amounts of space.

YPAO (Yamaha Parametric room Acoustic Optimizer) auto-calibration ensures you get the best sound by using a microphone to determine your room’s exact acoustics and automatically adjusting the audio. The Yamaha RX-V385 is perfect for immersive sound setups that include height channel speakers, overhead speakers, and two subwoofers in the speaker configuration or on the sound stage.

Yamaha Cinema DSP technology allows HD playback, including DTS-HD master audio and Dolby TrueHD. This feature gives you better sound imaging through compatible speakers delivered at sixty frames per second pass-through, putting the Yamaha RX-V385 at the top of its game.

Overall, the Yamaha RX-V385 5.1 Channel 4K Ultra HD AV Receiver is an easy-to-use, high-quality 5.1 receiver and could be the best Yamaha receiver on the market. If you love the Yamaha RX-V385, check out our article on the Top 10 Budget Home Theater Yamaha AV Receivers.

4. Denon AVR-S540BT 5.2 Channel Home Theater System Receiver

Denon AVR-S540BT

Denon AVR-S540BT Specs

  • Price: $349
  • 4K and HDR: Yes 
  • Atmos: No 
  • Bluetooth: Yes 
  • User rating: 4.5 out of 5 
  • Output: 70 watts/channel 
  • Release date: April 12, 2018

What Makes It So Great?

Another of the best budget receivers is the Denon AVR-S540BT, a 5.2 channel receiver capable of 140 watts output and 70 watts per channel. At 12.56 inches long, 17.09 inches wide, and 5.94 inches tall, this receiver can pair comfortably with most entertainment systems without being too bulky.

What we love most about the Denon AVR-S540BT cheap surround sound receiver is that it comes equipped with HLC – a hybrid long-gamma that produces contrast, color, and brightness with high dynamic range and 4:4:4 pure color. Five amplifiers put out 140 watts per channel on the denon avr s540bt making this a best budget av receiver.

With the denon avr s540bt, you can connect up to eight devices, including using Bluetooth capabilities that allow for excellent sound quality playback from a wide variety of streaming music services, including Pandora, Spotify, Napster, Soundcloud, and other similar programs. Plus, Denon HEOS linking allows for creating a multi-room system in simple, easy-to-follow steps given via a setup assistant that appears on your screen. The assistant will also help connect to devices, manage your EQ features, and optimize your system.

You can control your audio signal options, with the denon avr s540bt, for Blu-Ray, television, and other categories using the simple button feature on the front of the receiver. And the denon avr s540bt receiver is compatible with connecting to a smart remote control or your smartphone. In addition, a large LCD and buttons along the front allow easy swapping between devices.

We really love the front USB port on the Denon AVR-540BT that lets you connect media devices, or you can use the 5 HDMI inputs with 4K/60 Hz capabilities, full-rate pass-through, and HDCP 2.2 support. This is one of the best AV receivers under 300 on our list and repeatedly appears in some of the most important tech news.

The Denon AVR-S540BT 5.2 Channel Home Theater System Receiver is an average-sized, budget-friendly 5.2 channel surround sound with enough features to suit all of your entertainment needs, including 4K and high dynamic range plus streaming music from multiple music-streaming services. In addition, the immersive high-quality sound with the Denon AVR-540BT best AV receiver is most excellent.

5. Sony STRDH590 5.2 Channel Home Theater Receiver

Sony STRDH590 5.2 Channel Home Theater Receiver

Sony STRDH590 Specs

  • Price: $439 
  • 4K and HDR: Yes 
  • Dolby Atmos: No 
  • Bluetooth: Yes 
  • User rating: 4.5 out of 5 
  • Output: 725 watts total 
  • Release date: February 25, 2018

What Makes It So Great?

Another of the best av receivers is the Sony STRDH590  5.2 Channel Home Theater Receiver, a 5.2-channel black receiver enabled with Bluetooth for syncing with your wi-fi devices. Using your phone or connected device, you can stream audio and even use Bluetooth to turn your sound system on standby. Use the included remote control to adjust the settings or swap between the different input sources.

A virtual front surround setup provides two front speakers that mimic the overall sound of traditional surround systems. Turn-style knobs allow you to change the volume and input, and an easy-to-read display tells you which channel you’re using. There is a headphone jack that doubles as a microphone for individual calibration of your room’s unique acoustics so you can get the ideal sound quality. Streaming services, anyone? Notably missing is a front USB port on the sony str dh590.

Capable of 725 watts at 6 ohms, 1K Hz, you have four in-channel HDMI outlets and one HDMI port, plus an audio return channel and HDCP 2.2 signal handling. There are also 4 RCA analog audio inputs and two audio outputs (1 coaxial, one optical). You get dynamic sound and superior quality from 4K high dynamic range pass-through, Dolby Vision with HDR10, and HLG (Hybrid-Log-Gamma) support. 

The cons of this budget AV receiver is that it does not have Dolby Atmos or DTS :X capabilities. You also cannot connect to Bluetooth headphones or speakers using this receiver. However, given all the other great features, we feel comfortable saying that the Sony STRDH590 5.2 Channel Home Theater Receiver is one of the best budget home theater receivers on the market.

This classic black 5.2 channel receiver’s dimensions are 11.75 inches long, 17 inches wide, 5.25 inches tall, and weighs 18.25 pounds.

6. Sony STR-DH790 4K 7.2 Channel Surround Sound Home Theater 

Sony STR-DH790

Sony STR-DH790 Specs

  • Price: $449
  • 4K and HDR: Yes
  • Dolby Atmos: Yes
  • Bluetooth: Yes
  • User rating: 4.6 out of 5
  • Output: 145 Watts per channel
  • Release Date: April 12, 2018

What Makes It So Great?

With the STR-DH790 7.2ch AV receiver, you can upgrade your home entertainment system to cinematic sound quality. Dolby Atmos and DTS :X support bring you an all-encompassing surround sound experience from movie theaters to your home. With eARC1, you can listen to the latest audio formats through your compatible TV via a single HDMI connections cable. Additionally, the 4K HDR pass-through delivers superior picture quality!

This receiver gives you superior audio with Advanced DCAC. The seamless auto-calibration technology makes it simple to work with different combinations of speakers while maintaining high-quality sound. In addition, through Automatic Phase Matching, your speakers’ phase aspects are set to match the front right and left speaker channels, ensuring that all channels work together to produce a more immersive surround sound experience.

You can easily connect your UHD Blu-ray DiscTM player, TV, and games console via four HDMI inputs, one power output, and an optical/coaxial audio connection. A trio of digital signal processors ensures the highest level of acoustic decoding, including Dolby vision.

With dimensions of 17 x 11.75 x 5.25 inches and 22.9 lbs, this receiver features an efficient, space-saving design and can easily be incorporated into your media unit. Additionally, a rigid chassis helps maintain signal fidelity by reducing vibration.

We thought it relevant to insert a well-written from a recent buyer:

“This receiver teaches you what true Dolby Atmos sounds like WOW!!! I have already played with it extensively and I can tell you Sony does not disappoint when it comes to sound quality. The model is the STR-DH790. I have already updated the firmware to the latest version that includes some additional codecs for some updated DTS plus XXX something! Updating the firm was a pain to figure out but I got it.”

Overall, we think the Sony STR-DH790 4K 7.2 Channel Surround Sound Home Theater is an excellent choice for a budget receiver.

Related: Top 10 Budget Home Theater Sony AV Receivers

7. Yamaha TSR-700 7.1 Channel AV Receiver 

Yamaha TSR-700

Yamaha TSR-700 Specs

  • Price: $572
  • 4K and HDR: Yes (8k)
  • Dolby Atmos: Yes
  • Bluetooth: Yes
  • User rating: 4.3 out of 5
  • Output Power: 1000 Watts total
  • Release Date: March 9, 2021

What Makes It So Great?

The Yamaha TSR-700 7.1 Channel AV Receiver lets you experience the theater at home for a reasonable budget price. Featuring the latest in audio and video technology, including Dolby Atmos, DTS :X, wireless streaming, this 7.2-channel receiver expands your options for an advanced home cinema.

With the 4K120AB, 8K60B, and 4K60 specs, you’ll receive seamless integration within the HDMI eco-system for high-resolution, 4-K resolutions and higher refresh rates with a single upgraded cable. In addition, 8K delivers an immersive viewing experience with twice as many pixels and two times as much resolution compared to 4K, as well as a 60Hz refresh rate for smooth, sharp, and fast-paced content. 

Sports, action movies, high-performance gaming, and VR can significantly benefit from 4K120, as it can produce ultra-fast motion UHD images that are crisp and razor-sharp. As well as supporting Dolby VisionTM, this receiver supports wi-fi and hybrid log-gamma.

To best show the features this receiver has to offer, we’ve listed the features taken directly from Yamaha: 

  • 7.2-channel 100 Watt surround sound with Zone 2
  • 4K120AB and 8K60B HDMI with HDCP 2.3 and eARC (7 in/1 out)
  • Dolby Vision™, Hybrid Log-Gamma and BT.2020
  • Supports enhanced media and gaming – ALLM, VRR, QFT, QMS (with future update)
  • Dolby Atmos®, DTS: X™ and Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization
  • Wi-Fi®, AirPlay 2®, Spotify Connect and Voice Control
  • MusicCast multi-room audio app control
  • Pandora®, Spotify, Amazon Music, SiriusXM, TIDAL, Deezer, Napster and more
  • YPAO automatic room calibration with RSC and multipoint
  • Phono input
  • MusicCast Surround capable: add optional MusicCast wireless speakers to provide surrounds for a 5.1-channel setup

We love this receiver for many reasons, and affordability is just one of them. The enhanced media and gaming features gave it the spot on our list. These features make motions and transitions in games, movies, and videos smooth and seamless. 

  • ALLM – Automatic Low Latency Mode ensures smooth, uninterrupted, and lag-free viewing and interaction.
  • VVR -Variable Refresh Rates, lag, stutter, and frame tearing are reduced, allowing for a more fluid and detailed gameplay experience.
  • QMS – Quick Media Switching eliminates the time delay between movies and videos, eliminating the potential for blank frames before the content is displayed.
  • QFT – Quick Frame Transport, gamers can experience smoother, no-lag games and real-time immersive virtual reality.

At 6.75 inches high, it’s a somewhat taller unit, but the sleek black finish and sheer design result in a beautiful addition to your home cinema. The Yamaha TSR-700 7.1 Channel AV Receiver is a solid choice at a low price.

You may also like: Top 10 Budget Home Theater Yamaha AV Receivers

8. Marantz NR1510 UHD AV Slim Receiver 5.2 Channel Home Theater Amplifier

Marantz NR1510

Marantz NR1510 Specs

  • Price: $699
  • 4K and HDR: Yes
  • Dolby Atmos: Yes
  • Bluetooth: Yes
  • User rating: 4.3 out of 5  
  • Output Power: 50 watts per channel
  • Release Date: May 14, 2019

What Makes It So Great?

Marantz’s NR1510 5.2ch 4K Ultra HD AV receiver delivers high-fidelity audio from a compact chassis. With an elegant, slim design, you’ll hear the best possible sound. Additionally, you can easily connect your analog turntable to the receiver for listening to your vinyl collection and streaming music from online sources.

The MarantzNR1510 features the latest HDMI technology, including six HDMI inputs, one HDMI input on the front panel for quick connection, HDCP 2.2, 4K Ultra HD 60Hz video, HLG, HDR10, 21:9 video, 3D, and BT.2020 pass-through. 

The HDCP-compatible input supports HDCP 2.2, 4K Ultra HD 60Hz video, 4:4:4 subsampling, Dolby Vision, HLG, and HDR10. Furthermore, through the eARC (Enhanced Audio Return Channel), you can receive Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio from your TV app with just a single HDMI connection.

Here’s what one buyer said in a recent review:

 “Good purchase. I’m very pleased with this product. I’m running it as a 2.1 system. I use it 60% music and 40% TV. This is the cheapest receiver you can buy that comes with pre-out for the front speakers. I’m using an external amp and really using it as a preamp and very happy with it. Last night my external phone stage crapped out and tried using this receiver phono stage and by golly it sounds fantastic. I’m not going to bother with finding another external phono stage. 1. Great styling, low profile 2. Really good phono stage considering this is an A/V receiver 3. Setup was relatively easy although assigning inputs was a bit questionable. Overall I give this product an A-.”

The slim, trim design is what we truly love about the Marantz NR1510 UHD AV Slim Receiver 5.2 Channel Home Theater Amplifier. With dimensions of 14.5 x 17.3 x 4.1 inches and 22.8 lbs, the unit can easily fit in your home theater system without sacrificing sound and picture quality. It’s half the height of a traditional AV receiver but still delivers the Marantz musical sound. We also like that the NR1510 can be controlled with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple Siri. The Marantz is one of the most popular budget home theater receivers on the market.

Related: Top 10 Home Theater Receivers Under $1000

9. Onkyo TX-NR797 Smart AV 9.2 Channel Receiver 

Onkyo TX-NR797 Specs

  • Price: $799
  • 4K and HDR: Yes
  • Dolby Atmos: Yes
  • Bluetooth: Yes 
  • User rating: 4.6 out of 5
  • Output: 220 watts per channel
  • Release Date: June 11, 2019

What Makes It So Great?

Onkyo’s 9.2-channel SMART A/V Receiver plays a crucial role in your home audio experience. There’s also built-in Chromecast*1, AirPlay 2, and DTS Play-Fi®, and high-speed 802.11ac Wi-Fi® enhances the audio experience in three rooms through speaker power outputs with DACs. 

THX® Certified SelectTM reference-level sound is available with nine channels, so your family will be able to enjoy Dolby Atmos, DTS:X’, and IMAX’s enhanced content. Dolby Atmos Height Virtualizer uses horizontal speakers to create a 3D sound-field with Dolby Surround® up mixes legacy sound. In addition, DAA boasts a wider soundstage thanks to anti-noise refinements with an upgraded powertrain. 

The 9-point calibration of the AccuEQ Advance eliminates standing waves so that audio can be expressed naturally. The TX-NR797 shapes entertainment to fit your lifestyle with all these features and more.

Here’s what we liked about the TX-NR797: In addition to digitally remastered digital audio and video content, IMAX Enhanced A/V receivers are equipped with DTS :X sound technology, which reproduces the full dynamic range of the IMAX theatrical sound-mixes. It delivers IMAX enhanced content designed by the filmmakers with a preset IMAX Mode. More and more films and footage will be released, in the near future, on 4K HDR streaming and Ultra HD Blu-ray in IMAX enhanced versions, and with this best stereo receiver, you will be ready.

See what this satisfied buyer said in a recent review: 

“Oh my Oh my This is one awesome AV Receiver Now that I’ve hook up this System movies are not the same without it plus yes I must say I’ve paired it all with Bic speaker from the Pl 980 2 in the front, Pl 89 2 in the rear, Pl 66 4 in over head, pl 28 center, 2-f12 one ea side and 2 Onkyo sub in the rear as well in all 5.4.4 set up. And I am pleased the DTS and Atoms sounds oooh soooo sweeet. All the way around this as Excellent quality sound clean clear and Deep bass and to top it off with the Panasonic 820 4k blu ray player. This set up is beautiful.”

The Onkyo TX-NR797 Smart AV 9.2 Channel Receiver comes in at 17.13 x 14.94 x 6.83 inches and 27.8 lbs, making it a tad larger than the others on this list but the sleek black finish and design result in an attractive addition to your home theater system. This receiver truly is of excellent quality for a budget price.

10. Denon AVR-S960H 8K Ultra HD 7.2 Channel AV Receiver 

Denon AVR-S960H

Denon AVR-S960H Specs

  • Price: $802
  • 4K and HDR: Yes
  • Dolby Atmos: Yes
  • Bluetooth: Yes 
  • User rating: 4.4 out of 5 
  • Output: 90 watts per channel
  • Release Date: June 4, 2020

What Makes It So Great?

While the Denon AVR-S960H 8K Ultra HD 7.2 Channel AV Receiver is the priciest on our list of the best home theater receivers under 300. But the features, quality, and useability make it well worth it. With the Denon AVR-S960H 7.2 channel 8K receiver, you can enjoy movies and music in full 3D with Dolby Atmos, the Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization Technology, and DTS Virtual: X.

The AVR-S960H supports 6K/60Hz, 4K/120Hz pass-through and upscaling, Dynamic HDR, VRR, ALLM, and other HDMI specifications such as eARC, HDR10, HDR10+, and HLG. In addition, all HDMI inputs and power outputs (6 in/2 out) support 8K upscaling and HDCP 2.3.

The Denon AVR-S960H receiver is a joy to use. HEOS Built-in, AirPlay 2, or Bluetooth enable you to stream popular music services such as Amazon Music HD, Spotify, Pandora, and TIDAL wirelessly. In addition, Alexa, Google Assistant, Siri, and can be controlled effortlessly with the AVRS960H.

The Denon brand has been around for over a century and should be a go-to whenever you’re looking to buy high-quality AV receivers at reasonable prices. The Denon AVR-S960H 8K Ultra HD 7.2 Channel AV Receiver truly delivers a premium audio and visual home theater experience.

Questions and Answers About A/V Receivers

When shopping around for the best home theater systems, you’ve undoubtedly come across all sorts of equipment, including speakers, TVs, projectors, soundbars, subwoofers, and more. You’ve also likely noticed that A/V receivers (or AVR) are also a pretty important component of any great home theater system. 

Not surprisingly, many people have very little understanding of an A/V receiver’s role in the home theater experience. If this sounds like you, never fear. You’ll be a pro at home theaters in no time with this quick guide to home theater A/V receivers.

What Is an A/V Receiver?

A/V receivers are electronic components that control your entire home theater experience. They are like a central hub for all of your other equipment, taking video and audio signals in from all different sources and then rerouting them to different outputs. For example, receivers send the audio signals that let you watch your favorite films and the audio signals that allow you to hear those films simultaneously. 

Receivers are similar to amplifiers, but they perform all sorts of tasks where you would otherwise need multiple pieces of equipment such as preamplifiers, power amplifiers, equalizers, etc. Here are some of the main things A/V receivers do:

Connects and Switches Your Video Source: 

This means you can choose from a selection, whether your want to watch a pre-recorded movie, a DVD, or something else.

Connects and Switches Your Audio Source: 

This allows you to push a button to select any audio source you want to listen to. 

Tunes in the Radio:

Many A/V receivers also have satellite radio receivers so that users can access exclusive content from those sources. If you plan to use XM or Sirius radio, you’ll probably want a receiver with this capability.

Decodes Various Surround-Sound Audio Formats: 

Surround-sound formats need to be decoded, and A/V receivers made for home stereos are designed just for that purpose (as opposed to a standard stereo receiver).

Provides the Dashboard or Interface for Your Entire Home Theater Setup:

In other words, using a remote control and the on-screen display, you can switch all the equipment on or off, adjust the settings, and command each different component from one place. 

Do You Need an A/V Receiver for Your Home Theater?

While it’s not a necessity to have an A/V receiver as the hub of your home theater system, the best stereo receivers let you enjoy an authentic “movie theater experience.” Of course, you can always use a soundbar, but it won’t cut it if you crave powerful and immersive audio. 

What About HDMI?

Almost everyone has devices in their homes that use HDMI. But not everyone has the same need for inputs. For example, if you are an electronics lover, you might need five, six, eight, or even more inputs, whereas someone who is less of a home-theater fan might only need a couple. 

Therefore, the receiver you purchase will also depend on the number of HDMI inputs you need. As a rule of thumb, the best receiver under 300 should have more inputs than you need since you might someday have more devices. Most people hold onto their A/V receiver for five or more years, and many things can change during that time. When it comes to HDMI inputs, the more, the better. 

HDMI 2.1 is another consideration. If you’re a gamer who likes to take advantage of the latest and greatest features, HDMI 2.1 supports PlayStation 5, Xbox One X/S, and more.  

If you are purchasing a receiver made before 2020, you’ll want to be sure it is compatible with 4K to take advantage of gaming and streaming. In addition, it should have HDCP certification and at HDMI 2.0a at the least.