An A/V receiver takes your home entertainment system to the next level, optimizing the quality of your sound and video signals and letting you control all your devices through one convenient hub. Unfortunately, receivers are often seen as high-end accessories—and carry a similarly high-end pricetag.
The good news is, you can find a number of high-quality receivers in the under $1,000 price point if you know where to look. Which one is the best AV receiver under $1,000 will depend on how you plan to use it. For overall home theater use, the Denon AVR-X3700H is the winner when you can find it in this price point, though that’s not always guaranteed.
Not sure how to decide which receiver is right for you? Let’s take a quick look at the main factors to consider before we jump into the full reviews.
Best AV Receiver Under $1000 – Top picks:
|Denon AVR-X3700H||Yamaha RX-V6A||Marantz NR1711||Marantz SR5014||Pioneer Elite VSX-LX104||Denon AVR-X2700H|
|Video||8K/60Hz, 4K/120Hz||4K/120Hz||8K/60Hz, 4K/120Hz||4K/60Hz||4K/60p, 4K/24p||8K/60Hz, 4K/120Hz|
|Amplifier||9.2 Channel (105 Watt X 9)||7.2 Channel (100W per channel)||7.2 Channel (50W per channel)||7.2 Channel (180W per channel)||7.2 Channel (170W per channel)||7.2 Channel (95 Watt X 7)|
|Sound||7.1.2, 5.1.4 or 2.1 Dolby Atmos||Dolby Atmos with Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization and DTS:X||2.1, 5.1 or 7.1 Dolby Atmos||5.1 Dolby Atmos||5.2.2 Dolby Atmos||7.1, 5.1 or 2.1 Dolby Atmos|
|Price||Find on Amazon|
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Most people decide to get an A/V receiver when they add a multi-speaker surround sound system to their home theater, and that makes the quality of the audio signal a key factor in the decision. For the best output and sound quality, look for a receiver with discreet amplifiers for each channel, which will do the best job of preserving the integrity of the audio signal.
What kind of sound you’re listening to will be a factor, as well. If you’re mostly using it for movie and TV sound, support for audio formats like DTS and IMAX Enhanced are key, and you’ll likely want Height Virtualization technology for 3D sound.
Best audio quality: Yamaha RX-V6A
Responsiveness is the most important factor for gamers. A good gaming receiver won’t add any additional lag to the signal and is compatible with the latest generation consoles. Ideally, you want to look for a receiver that offers Quick Frame Transport (QFT), Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM), and a Variable Refresh Rate (VRR). Receivers like the Denon models below that support 4K gaming are an added bonus, giving you the best possible picture while you’re playing.
Since it pulls control of all your devices together into one centralized hub, an A/V receiver can also be an easy way to set up a smart home entertainment system. All of the receivers on this list offer some kind of voice control support. In some cases that’s limited to a specific service, such as the Pioneer Elite VSX-LX104, which can only be used with Apple’s Siri. Receivers will broader support for multiple systems are more versatile, but not necessarily more robust in terms of what commands they offer.
If you’re looking for the most sophisticated smart control, Denon is the brand to look at. Both Denon models reviewed below can be integrated into a range of smart home automation systems and offer a wide array of voice control commands across supported systems.
In the past, A/V receivers have been reserved for the most dedicated audiophiles and home theater buffs. This gave them a reputation for being complex and hard to use. High-end receivers are often built with experienced users in mind and may lack some of the guidance you’re looking for as a beginner. The Marantz SR5014 overcomes this issue by including a guided set-up process that walks users through connecting devices and optimizing settings step-by-step.
Easiest set-up: Marantz SR5014
The Denon AVR-X3700H is a versatile and user-friendly receiver, with the performance to perform beautifully in almost any home entertainment system. It’s especially great in home theater set-ups, with support for advanced visual formats like HDR10+ and HLG. Since it has an 8K input, it won’t become outdated as video technology improves, making it an excellent long-term investment for modern home theaters.
The sound quality of the Denon AVR-X3700H is top-notch, too. This 9.2-channel system can also be used in 5.1.4 and 7.1.2 configurations for a 3D soundscape, and supports a range of advanced audio formats like IMAX Enhanced and DTS:X.
The Denon AVR-X3700H is compatible with a range of smart home systems. It supports voice control through Alexa, Google Assistant, or Siri, and integrates easily into more sophisticated home automation systems like Control4 SDPP. It’s even a great choice for gamers, with a low lag for a smooth playing experience with no frame tearing or other annoying issues.
You won’t always find the Denon AVR-X3700H priced under $1,000, so if you have a hard budget limit it might not be the best choice. It does frequently drop into this price category when it’s on sale, however, which is why we decided to include it on the list. When you can find it for that price, it’s hands down the best bang for your buck, especially if you want a versatile receiver. For our more in-depth review of this receiver click here.
- Excellent sound quality and output
- 3D audio with Dolby Height Virtualization
- 8K HDMI input with HDR and eARC support
- Responsive with a low lag for gamers
- Supports multi-room music and direct streaming
- Compatible with voice control and home automation systems
- Not always priced under $1,000
- Firmware often requires updating before use
For audiophiles, the Yamaha RX-V6A is an excellent receiver that can serve as the hub of a smart listening room or entertainment system. It supports up to a 7.2-channel speaker system through wired inputs, or up to 5.1-channel wireless speaker systems, giving users a lot of versatility for their set-up.
No matter how you connect the speakers, you’ll get an exceptional sound quality from the Yamaha RX-V6A. It supports advanced audio technology like Dolby Atmos and DTS:X, along with a compressed music enhancer that restores signal loss from digital formats like MP3, maintaining the integrity of the audio signal from all content sources. The YPAO technology enhances the experience further, optimizing the acoustics across your listening area so the whole room is a sweet spot.
This is also an easy receiver to set up and use, with a clearly-labeled rear panel and an intuitive interface. The wireless connectivity of the Yamaha RX-V6A makes it a convenient choice for modern smart home theaters. It has built-in support for popular voice control systems and can stream music directly from services like Spotify and Pandora thanks to its MusicCast support. While its input/output options are more limited than other receivers, it has everything audiophiles need, including a phono input and analogue audio hook-ups.
- Upgradable to 8K
- Supports Dolby Atmos and DTS:X
- Multipoint acoustics for consistent room-filling sound
- Works with Alexa and Google voice control
- Seamless connectivity with wireless speakers
- Stream or cast content through MusicCast and AirPlay2
- Limited outputs
- No height virtualization (coming in future update)
The Marantz NR1711 is a great budget-friendly receiver for those setting up home theaters. It supports the advanced audio and visual technology you need to create a truly immersive movie watching experience. Support for various HDR formats and 8K resolution mean you’ll see content the way it was intended. It also supports the latest audio formats, including overhead speakers and 3D sound with Dolby Height Virtualization.
Another reason we love the Marantz NR1711 for home theaters is its gaming performance. It has ALLM, QFT, and VRR, that ideal trifecta of technologies that prevent lag and ensure a smooth on-screen response. This makes it a great choice for multi-use home entertainment systems.
We also appreciate the convenient design of this receiver. The Marantz NR1711 has a slimmer profile than most models, good news for anyone with limited space on their entertainment center. It also supports voice control through Alexa, Google Assistant, Siri, or Josh.ai, something smart home owners will appreciate.
- 8K pass-through and upscaling on HDMI inputs
- High visual quality with HDR10+, HLG, and Dolby Vision
- Slim profile fits easily on any entertainment center
- Supports Dolby Height Virtualization for 3D sound
- Broad voice control compatibility
- Low lag and high refresh rate are great for gamers
- Sound quality for music isn’t as high
- Setup process can be tedious
Here’s another top option from Marantz, the SR5014. Its audio and visual signal support is similar to those of the NR1711 above, including support for HDR visual formats and a range of advanced audio technology, including Height Virtualization. The only notable omission from a home theater standpoint is that it doesn’t offer 8K support. That’s not a huge concern yet since 4K is the current high-end standard but can limit its long-term performance.
Like the NR1711, the Marantz SR5014 is responsive enough to use with the latest gaming consoles. Its smart features are relatively robust, too, with compatibility for most voice control systems. For wireless streaming or multi-room music, it supports AirPlay2 and HEOS. Using all of these features is relatively easy, with a guided on-screen setup even complete A/V beginners can understand.
The best thing about the Marantz SR5014, though, is its sound quality. You’ll get truly audiophile-level music playback that’s true to the artist’s intent, regardless of the signal format. Each channel is powered by an impressive 180 watts for a dynamic, detailed sound with a massive output. That makes the Marantz SR5014 our top choice for music lovers.
- 4K pass-through with Dolby Vision and HDR10 compatibility
- High sound quality for music or movies
- Supports HEOS and AirPlay2 for streaming and multi-room music
- Suitable for gaming with ALLR
- Compatible with Alexa, Siri, and Google voice control
- Step-by-step guided set-up
- No 8K upscaling or support
- Some users report connection issues
Pioneer Elite VSX-LX104
The Pioneer Elite VSX-LX104 is smart in a different way than most receivers. It has a built-in microphone and intelligent acoustic calibration system (MCACC) that tracks the audio performance and optimizes it to the room and speakers. Support for upmixing and 3D sound adds the option to use a 5.2.2 channel configuration for an immersive sonic picture.
The video signal support of the Pioneer Elite VSX-LX104 is equally robust. It supports HDR10, HLG, and Dolby Vision technology, along with 4K resolution, so it meets the current standards for home theater receivers. Unfortunately, it lacks technology like ALLR and VRR, so it may not be the best choice for gamers.
More so than other receivers, the performance of the Pioneer VSX-LX104 depends on what speakers and devices you use. It works great with Apple products, supporting Siri voice control and AirPlay2 for streaming, but can’t be used with other services. Similarly, it pairs very well with Sonos speakers and can be controlled through the Sonos app, a feature you can’t use with speakers from other brands. Click here for our more detailed Pioneer Elite VSX-LX104 review.
- High visual quality with 4K resolution
- Automatically optimizes sound to speakers and room
- Supports 3D surround sound
- Can save up to 3 personal presets on the front panel
- Streaming and voice control through AirPlay2 and Siri
- Works with Sonos Connect app
- Not a great choice for gaming
- Input and output options are limited
The Denon AVR-X2700H shares a lot of features with the AVR-X3700H above but sells for a more consistently affordable price. That makes it a top option for buyers with a strict budget limit, especially if you’ll be using it in a smaller space. Its 7.2 channels will still produce enough sound to fill most rooms, and support 3D audio as well as DTS sound formats.
When it comes to home theater and gaming performance, the Denon AVR-X2700H gives you the best bang for your buck. It’s 8K ready and supports all the latest visual formats, with a 120Hz 4K pass-through that’s responsive enough for both movies and 4K gaming. Technology like VRR, QFT, and ALLM keeps the on-screen action smooth, and it has plenty of inputs for all your devices.
You can use the Denon AVR-X2700H in smart home theaters, too. It has full voice control compatibility and integrates easily with Josh.ai or Control4 SDPP, along with supporting HEOS multi-room music and streaming through AirPlay2. The only major negative is that the firmware can be a bit glitchy and often requires updating before you set it up, so it’s not quite as plug-and-play as other receivers on the list. For our more in-depth review of this receiver click here.
- Immersive, Hi-Fi audio
- 8K ready with a 120Hz 4K pass-through
- Supports all the latest HDR video formats
- Works well for gaming
- Voice control and multi-room music support
- Good range of wireless and wired connection options
- Set-up can be tricky and time consuming
- Doesn’t support pass-through from all 4K sources
While the Denon AVR-X3700H has the overall strongest performance on the list (>>> Check on Bhphotovideo), it’s not necessarily the best choice for everyone. The most important thing when you’re buying a receiver is to pick a model that works well with your space, speakers, and other devices. We hope this comparison has helped you figure out what you’re looking for!
REFERENCES AND FURTHER READING:
- Denon AVR-X2700H vs AVR-X3700H Comparison
- Denon AVR-X2700H vs Marantz NR1711