AV Receivers

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Danny Phillips  |  Jun 28, 2014  |  0 comments

Harman/Kardon steps into the crowded, competitive midrange receiver market with the AVR 171, a product packed with compelling cutting-edge features and an impressive specification.

Mark Craven  |  May 06, 2014  |  0 comments

Onkyo's TX-NR929 is not one of the brand's heavyweight offerings, but this well-priced receiver – it now sells for around £1,000, after initially launching at nearer £1,500 – packs enough performance and feature tricks to comfortably drive and tune most people's setups. The value for money offered is superb, and it's therefore easily recommended.

Danny Phillips  |  Apr 28, 2014  |  0 comments

When it comes to crafting AVRs, Arcam is very much from the old school. It's more concerned with the purity of performance than the number of logos on the box, an ethos that has earned it audiophile adoration, if not the attention of feature-seeking budget buyers.

Ed Selley  |  Mar 05, 2014  |  0 comments

Pioneer’s range of AV receivers caters to budgets from the extremely frugal to the decidedly lavish. If you feel that you sit in the latter category, you will need to look at the top of the pile and the SC-LX87. And, although this flagship might not be as pricey as some of the company's previous one-box offerings (such as the SC-LX90), it's still a very serious amplifier indeed.

Steve May  |  Mar 04, 2014  |  0 comments

If traditional home cinema is to flourish, it needs AV receivers like the Marantz NR1604. It’s no secret that real-world consumers have fallen out of love with the surround sound behemoths of yesteryear – incredible hulks just don’t cut it anymore (unless they’re green gamma-soaked scientists). Home audio has downsized dramatically, and AVRs have been slow to follow suit. Just as well then, that this third iteration of Marantz’ slim-line NR models is, simply put, the best yet. When it comes to form, functionality and outright fun the NR1604 pretty much nails it.  It goes without saying that by its nature this style of receiver isn’t so much about reckless performance, as usability (an often ignored phrase in the hedonistic world of home theatre). The dinosaur, it seems, is evolving.

Steve May  |  Nov 25, 2013  |  0 comments

Denon has high hopes for its 2013 X-series of AV receivers, with the new range boasting an unapologetically modernistic feature set and some welcome refinements, including a reworked user interface, clearer front panel display and hand-holding Setup Assistant to demystify installation. The model featured here tops the lineup, but at £1,200 and tipping the scales at 12.3kg, it’s more cruiserweight than heavyweight.

Steve May  |  Sep 05, 2013  |  0 comments

It's probably fair to say that Arcam doesn’t rush its AV receivers to market. It’s been four years since the launch of the brand’s last flagship, the AVR600, which in the world of home electronics is something of an age. At least the brand doesn’t undersell them when they arrive. The AVR750, it says, is not just the finest home cinema receiver it’s ever made – it’s also the best-sounding stereo amplifier, too. Quite a claim, and the guys from Cambridge may well be right.

Danny Phillips  |  Aug 28, 2013  |  0 comments

Onkyo’s success in the AVR market stems from its ability to hit the sweet spot between value and performance, and this 7.2-channel model looks to offer more of the same with a load of features and a nice price.

Mark Craven  |  Aug 09, 2013  |  0 comments

AVR manufacturers are obsessed with matching their TV counterparts and introducing a gamut of new models each year, despite bona fide audio developments being few and far between. As such, Pioneer's VSX-923 represents a revamp of the VSX-922 (itself a revamp of the VSX-921), sharing many of the same features and design. In fact, apart from doing away with the drop-down flap on the front which hid the USB input and setup mic jack, the front of the VSX-923 is identical to its forebear. This equates to a nice big display flanked by two hefty knobs (volume and input selection), all set off by a brushed black chassis that will match the other noir components on your rack. It's kinda stylish, in a discreet sort of way.

Steve May  |  Aug 08, 2013  |  0 comments

The STR-DA5800ES is an AV receiver unlike any other. With it Sony has avoided the obvious – there’s no AirPlay or Bluetooth streaming – but pushed the envelope when it comes to leading-edge signal processing and usability. It’s remarkably forgiving of your living space but offers uncompromised audio quality. For many AV enthusiasts this will sound like very good news indeed.

Richard Stevenson  |  Jul 10, 2013  |  0 comments

Sitting in the shadow of Yamaha’s flagship Aventage receiver, the £1,500 RX-A2020 is a big and hefty lump of AVR goodness. The range build and cosmetics are superb, even if there is a serious hint of Harman Kardon about that full-width black Perspex screen, and the display is bold, bright and large enough to see from the other side of the room – even if you live in a sports hall. The rest of the fascia is pleasingly minimalistic and the sculptured knobs, different sizes at that, have a cool and solid feel to them.

Martin Pipe  |  May 26, 2013  |  0 comments

Occupying the lowest rung of Yamaha's elite 'Aventage' range, the RX-A820 is a versatile beast with DSPs galore (an area where Yamaha has a rich history), a claimed 7 x 130W of amplification at your disposal and no fewer than eight HDMI ports. With its £850 price tag it's aimed at those who want something more than just a basic AVR.

Richard Stevenson  |  Mar 31, 2013  |  0 comments

Somewhat dispensing with the preamble, Denon’s AVR-4520 takes the AV receiver market by the scruff of the fascia and gives it a good shake. This flagship model does cost a significant chunk of money but it is one of the most flexible, well-featured and cleverly thought-out AVRs ever made. Add to this a stunning sound quality that strikes the perfect balance between detail and dynamics, and you have a product that will absolutely delight movie and music fans. We love it.

Steve May  |  Mar 28, 2013  |  0 comments

AV receivers are too big, too complicated and too damn old school. That’s the unspoken truth for a generation weaned on portable devices and wireless widgets. While home cinephiles will rightfully defend an opposing view, the fact is that for many, 
AVRs have simply become an irrelevance.  

Richard Stevenson  |  Mar 11, 2013  |  0 comments

There is something right about using 
a BD player and AVR that have been designed together as an holistic partnership. One can expect not only matching cosmetics but a synergistic duo, like Bonnie and Clyde or Sooty and Sweep. And not only should their performance exceed the sum of the parts, they won’t look like a car-crash into a Richer Sounds shop-front on your kit rack, either.

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