Best Overall
Sony STRDH190

A hi-res stereo receiver with built-in Bluetooth® compatibility.

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Best Value
Yamaha R-S202BL

A high-quality stereo receiver that’s optimized for maximum power.

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Best AV Receiver
Marantz SR5015

A high-end AV receiver that is HDCP 2.3 compliant.

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Best Power Output
Onkyo TX-SR393

A versatile receiver that will integrate your audio system and TV.

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Also Consider
Denon DRA-800H

A quality stereo receiver with low impedance drive capability.

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If you want the best sound quality, it all starts with the best stereo receiver. Whether you want to improve your home theater’s audio or simply have a receiver that connects with your Amazon Alexa, our team of experts has you covered. We’ve combed through hundreds of the highest-rated stereo receivers on the market to formulate our list of the top five.

As is the case with all products that our team has reviewed, we formulated our rankings based on an unbiased review process. While our team usually reviews more automotive-related items, we’ve spent countless hours researching products in the audio industry from the best car amplifiers to the best car stereo systems.

5 Best Stereo Receivers

Closeup of back side Hi-Tech AV receiver's connectors

  1. Best Overall: Sony STRDH190
  2. Best Value: Yamaha R-S202BL
  3. Best AV Receiver: Marantz SR5015
  4. Best Power Output: Onkyo TX-SR393
  5. Also Consider: Denon DRA-800H

Stereo Receivers Buyers Guide

Stereo receivers can be quite complicated beasts to get your head around, with quick purchases more of a rarity in this market. As these products are so feature-laden and technical, we recommend exercising caution prior to purchasing a receiver and reviewing buyers guides like the one featured below.

Power

A stereo receiver will have a power rating, typically described as watts (W) per output channel. This number is a general indication of the amount of power that you can deliver through your receiver. How this number is calculated can differ from stereo to stereo, however, so two receivers with 100W per channel power ratings may not necessarily be the same.

Another aspect you’ll need to consider is the continuous power output. Some receivers are capable of 100W per channel, but only for a short period of time. The best stereo receivers are able to deliver a consistently-high wattage across output channels.

AV Receiver Vs. Stereo Receiver

Although this article is focused on stereo receivers, it does feature a few AV receivers. Each type of receiver has its own merits, but what differentiates the two? Below is a brief explanation of each type of receiver.

  • AV receivers: An AV receiver is built to perform in a home theater setting. It acts as the brain behind the audio system as it receives, interprets, and processes TV audio signals coming from the cable or dish box to ultimately send it to the TV and speakers. If you prefer watching movies to listening to music, then this is the receiver for you.
  • Stereo receivers: A stereo receiver is primarily designed for listening to audio. This type of receiver features two amplifiers that power your two stereo speakers. If you prefer to listen to music than watch movies, then this is the receiver for you.

Price

Price is something that matters to everyone, whether it’s saving money or simply not being overcharged. According to CostHelper, you should expect to pay anywhere between $200 to $600 for a high-end stereo receiver. However, multi-channel receivers can cost upwards of $2,500.

At the end of the day, we don’t put too much emphasis on the approximate costs of stereo receivers, as they do range so drastically in price. We recommend shopping around a little bit to find any available deals or rebates because as we’ve discussed, the cost of a stereo receiver can be quite substantial.

What Does A Stereo Receiver Do?

A stereo receiver is essentially an all-in-one unit for powering speakers and sound adjustment. They usually consist of a preamplifier (which controls volume and source selection) coupled with a power amplifier and a radio tuner. 

In a vehicle, installing a new car receiver can open up the potential for new wiring and speaker combinations, and give you greater control over sound shaping. That said, it might not have as noticeable an effect as upgrading your car speakers, which actually produce sound.

#1 Best Overall: Sony STRDH190

Pros Four analog audio inputs Built-in Bluetooth connectivity Comes with a remote control
Cons Tuner not able to receive AM channels

The Sony STRDH190 is our review team’s choice for the Best Overall stereo receiver on the market. This stereo receiver can produce a power output of 100.0 watts to two speakers at 8.0 ohms with a speaker impedance ranging from 6.0 to 16.0 ohms. This two-channel receiver features a phono input, four stereo RCA audio inputs, and stereo RCA output. With the four analog audio inputs, you’ll be able to connect your receiver to CD players, turntables, and recording devices.

The stereo receiver has a couple of built-in features, built-in Bluetooth connectivity, and a tuner with a built-in FM radio with 30 preset stations. For minimal distortion, the receiver has a power amplifier while a remote control is included for fine-tuning and tweaking your home audio. This stereo receiver has compatibility with both stereo systems and smartphones, including both Apple and Amazon devices.

Our Rating: 5 out of 5

Overall Rating4.7 out of 5
Power4.5
Features5
Value4.5

Key Features

  • Cost: Around $200
  • Power: 100 watts per channel

What Customers Are Saying

Amazon Review Score: 4.6 out of 5 based on over 6,600 ratings

Reviewers love this stereo receiver for its relatively low price point, especially considering it can power 100.0 W. This receiver has a number of useful features like an analog output port. It earns high marks overall for sound quality and durability.

This is still a basic audio receiver, and so some point out that the audio fidelity is not as crystal clear as higher-end models. One reviewer pointed out that the tuner does not receive AM radio stations (only FM).

#2 Best Value: Yamaha R-S202BL

Pros Features an Eco Mode Optimized for maximum power Bluetooth compatible
Cons Remote doesn't work well

Our review team recognized the Yamaha R-S202BL as the Best Value stereo receiver on the market. The stereo receiver has four RCA audio inputs and one RCA output. This hi-fi receiver is compatible with Bluetooth and smartphones, so you’ll have easy access to streaming services such as Tidal, Pandora, and Spotify, amongst many other music streaming apps. With the receiver’s Eco Mode, you’ll be able to set the standby mode to drop to 0.5 watts automatically.

Every last detail of this stereo receiver is optimized for maximum power and minimal interference, making it one of the best stereo receivers out there. This stands true for the power transformer, as it is positioned near the amp circuit for peak power supply. Additionally, the signal ground and power supply ground connect at one point to achieve a higher signal-to-noise (S/N) ratio.

Overall Rating4.5 out of 5
Power4.5
Features4
Value5

Key Features

  • Cost: Around $200
  • Power: 100 watts per channel

What Customers Are Saying

Amazon Review Score: 4.5 out of 5 based on over 4,200 ratings

Though not feature-packed, users like the Yamaha R-S202BL as a low-cost, no-frills stereo receiver. Reviewers say it is good at its main job and the sound quality is high.

Critics of this receiver complain that it doesn’t pack quite the punch as they were hoping. Several reviewers also mentioned that the remote doesn’t work very well and must be nearby and perfectly pointed to work.

#3 Best AV Receiver: Marantz SR5015

Pros Built-in HEOS Supports multi-room audio HDCP 2.3 compliant
Cons Much more expensive than other options

The Marantz SR5015 was recognized by our review team as the Best AV receiver on the market in 2022. This AV receiver (AVR) features six high-definition multimedia interface (HDMI) inputs and two HDMI outputs, which are both High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection (HDCP) 2.3 compliant. This AVR additionally features a dedicated 8K input, phono, and aux inputs, as well as analog and digital inputs. This means that you can connect to DVD, Blu-ray players, and subwoofers for a full surround sound system.

This AVR has a built-in home entertainment operating system (HEOS) and Amazon Alexa voice control connectivity while it also connects with Google Assistant, Siri, and even Wi-Fi. You will also be able to enjoy multi-room audio as it supports the latest object-based audio formats which include Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, and Dolby Vision. It should be noted that this stereo receiver has seven channels of amplification.

Overall Rating4.5 out of 5
Power4.5
Features5
Value4

Key Features

  • Cost: Around $1,500
  • Power: 100 watts per channel

What Customers Are Saying

Amazon Review Score: 4.6 out of 5 based on over 200 ratings

Those that appreciate the Marantz receiver say that it is easy to set up and delivers superb sound quality. It offers a lot of power and many like to use it for their movie speakers.

A few users claim to have had difficulty setting up the Marantz. There are also some people who were shipped faulty receivers or receivers with missing parts. However, customers with those issues also say they were quickly mailed a replacement after reporting the problem.

#4 Best Power Output: Onkyo TX-SR393

Pros Can support HDR video pass-through AccuEQ system calibration Supports DTS:x playback
Cons Spotty Bluetooth connection No coaxial inputs

With capabilities to support Dolby Atmos and DTS:x playback, the Onkyo TX-SR393 is a high-quality A/V receiver. The stereo receiver can power 155.0 watts per channel and support 4K/60p and HDR video pass-through. This receiver features Onkyo’s AccuEQ system calibration, which analyzes data and calibrates audio response to optimize speaker performance in different listening environments.

In an effort to integrate your audio system and TV, the receiver has a vocal enhancer for clear dialog and a custom transformer for the most optimized sound quality. This receiver also includes a zone B line-out to distribute home cinema sources to a component with an analog RCA line-in, such as a hi-fi system or wireless headphone dock. Additionally, the receiver features four ARC-ready outputs.

Overall Rating4.7 out of 5
Power5
Features5
Value4

Key Features

  • Cost: Around $330
  • Power: 155.0 watts per channel

What Customers Are Saying

Amazon Review Score: 4.4 out of 5 based on over 500 ratings

This Onkyo receiver is known for delivering quality audio and holding up for many years. It has very high audio fidelity that enthusiasts appreciate. The modern design also makes this stereo receiver easy to set up, especially on a new TV.

Some are disappointed that there is no built-in equalizer. This is also not a good receiver for those powering older equipment because there are no coaxial inputs.

#5 Also Consider: Denon DRA-800H

Pros HDCP 2.3 processing OFC winding power transformer Dual high-grade 5-way binding posts
Cons Relatively expensive Complicated setup

The Denon DRA-800H is a two-channel stereo receiver. The receiver has connectivity technology for HEOS, Apple AirPlay 2, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, USB, and HDMI. Featuring a symmetrical layout, double differential digital to analog converter (DAC) circuit, and analog preamp circuits, this stereo receiver’s circuits won’t interfere with the power supply. With low-impedance drive capability, the receiver will work well with a range of floor-standing and bookshelf speakers.

The stereo receiver has two subwoofer outputs, three digital audio inputs, and five HDMI inputs, with all five HDMI inputs having access to HDCP 2.3 processing. The receiver also features an oxygen-free copper (OFC) winding power transformer which helps deliver 100.0 watts of power per channel. For easy A/B switching, the receiver has dual high-grade five-way binding posts with A+B speaker select. Additionally, an optional auto Eco mode reduces power consumption.

Overall Rating4.3 out of 5
Power4.5
Features4.5
Value4

Key Features

  • Cost: Around $700
  • Power: 100 watts per channel

What Customers Are Saying

Amazon Review Score: 4.3 out of 5 based on over 300 ratings

Given the price point, reviewers think this receiver delivers an impressive amount of power. It’s a good option for those looking for a decent receiver to play music. The WiFi connection allows users to play music directly from their phone or smart device.

Given the number of functions and ports this receiver has, some find it complicated to set up.

Our Review Standards

To select the five stereo receivers in this review, our team searched the web for top products, looking at factors like customer ratings, prices, superlatives, and Prime shipping eligibility.

Why You Can Trust Us

Each year, we review over 1,000 auto products. Our team of product experts thoroughly researches top products and tests items on real vehicles when possible before making our recommendations.

We publish hundreds of product and service reviews to bring car enthusiasts detailed guides on automotive tools, detailing kits, car seats, pet products, and much more.

Stereo Receiver: FAQ

*Data accurate at time of publication.