Audiophiles know that a good AV receiver is the heart of a home theatre system, and if you end up purchasing the right one, let me tell you, no one can stop you from getting the ultra HD sound experience.
Brands like Denon, Pioneer, Sony, Yamaha, and Onkyo have a good variety of AV receivers in all price ranges. But, as this article targets only the best picks under 500 dollars, I have taken time to get you the list of the best-selling mid-range AV receivers from these top brands.
You will also see a buying guide listing the essential features you need to consider while buying an AV receiver at the end of the article. Read that carefully before making a final decision about your purchase. So with that being said, let's get into the topic.
RECOMMENDED AV RECEIVERS UNDER $500
In a hurry, here are my top 3 picks
REVIEWS OF TOP RATED AV RECEIVERS UNDER $500
1) SONY STR-DH790 - BEST BUDGET AV RECEIVER
The first pick on my list is from Sony, and it’s the Sony STR-DH790. You will be surprised to see that this affordable 4K receiver is loaded with several amazing features you can’t imagine.
It has a 7.2 surround system support, 4k60p streaming capacity, 3D surround, and many such features. This is an excellent deal for the price because you can connect your gaming consoles, Bluray players, CD players, satellite cable TVs with this audio/video receiver as it has slots for these.
And guess what? It supports the latest audio formats like DolbyVision, DolbyAtmos, and DTX, which is simply surprising for me.
You can get the best home theatre experience while watching movies or listening to music when you have this powerful receiver installed in your home.
And setting up this AV home theatre receiver isn’t a hectic task; all the controls are pretty straightforward.
I previously owned a DX770, and when I compare this updated version with that, the design has become even sleeker and packs some new features.
The controls on the front panel include a master control volume knob, headphone jack, calibration mic input, and a power button. That’s it, and all other I/O connections are at the back.
The metal framework to protect the internal circuits, proper venting on the front and rear sides of the receiver show that the Company has taken the best care to avoid heating-up issues of the internal components. The heat sink bracket protects the internal circuitry from getting damaged by sound pressure and other radiations.
Lastly, this receiver has a unique feature called the Automatic phase matching technology that will adjust the volume of your speakers according to your living space. Not only that, it is equipped with Digital cinema calibration, which is useful for getting the same high-quality sounds from all surround speakers.
Overall, it’s a huge steal for the price, so make sure you don’t miss out on it!
2) YAMAHA RX-V385 - BEST BUDGET 5.1 RECEIVER
If the look of the product isn’t that important for you because you just want to purchase the best entry-level AV receiver to watch home movies, in that case, why not nod your head for this Yamaha RX385!
As said, the look isn’t fantastic; it’s simple with the usual controls and buttons Yamaha has. But its performance is worth it.
Firstly, this supports a 5.1 surround speaker system. You can connect your 5 speakers and one subwoofer without any issues using the plugs.
Like the Sony STR-DH790, this also has USB connectivity, 5 HDMI ports facility (4 inputs, 1 output for TV, and is BlueTooth enabled.
Also, the heat sink facility is proper, with adequate vents on the receiver’s top, bottom, and aside.
Can you imagine just for 300$, you get a 4K HDR-compatible receiver? Trust me, and you will have a wonderful home theatre experience with this receiver installed in your home.
It supports the latest HDR formats like HDR10, Dolby vision, hybrid log-gamma, and BT.2020. In terms of audio format compatibility, this RX 385 supports DTS-HD Master Audio, Dolby TrueHD, Dialog Level Adjustment, Dolby Digital Plus, and SILENT Cinema,
Well, is this power-packed gadget suitable for larger rooms or smaller ones? Hmmm, though the power output is a decent 145W, as this is an entry-type model, I suggest this for smaller and mid-sized rooms.
And guess what, this amazon’s best-selling receiver weighs only 7.7kilograms which means it is lighter than a Sony STR-DH790. Really for the price of 300$, it is loaded with many useful features.
3) SONY STRDH590 - BEST BUDGET HOME THEATER RECEIVER
Sony STRDH590 arrives with a minimalistic design. It is slightly more expensive model than the YAMAHA RX-V385 AV RECEIVER with even better features and controls.
Firstly, I want to appreciate the look of this Sony 590 AV receiver. It is sleek and stylish and is only 5-inches tall. So, you can easily place it on your bookshelves or places with space constraints.
Secondly, this is a 5.2 channel receiver, so you can connect 5 speakers and has 2 sub outputs to connect your subwoofers.
You get 4 HDMI inputs, and each input supports 4K HDR streaming: HDR10, HLG, Dolby Vision, 60P, and 4:4:4 color space. That’s good news!
Like all latest model home theatre receivers, this is also Bluetooth enabled, so you can easily connect it with your smartphones or any Bluetooth-enabled device and enjoy wireless streaming.
Now an important point for newbies to home surround equipment. Don’t worry if you don’t know how and where to place your woofers and speakers with this receiver, as it has a Digital theatre auto-calibration. Now for this helps is that it will measure the acoustics of your room to place the speakers and woofers in the right place. You will also get a microphone included in the package for this purpose.
The S-Force Pro Front Surround is the best gift this receiver can give to small room owners. But how? Well, this feature, when enabled, will give a perfect home theatre surround sound by enhancing the front 2 speaker’s audio quality alone.
You can connect your Bluray players, CD player, and gaming console. If you have hifi-turntable or record player then this receiver would be a perfect for it, provided you have a separate phono input for turntable connection.
This AV receiver of Sony is designed to support Chromecast. The USB port of the device can be used for charging mobile, but it cannot be used for media playback. Moreover, this receiver is enhanced with the connectivities like HDMI, coaxial cable and digital audio input.
With all these, it gives the best sound quality to the users. This multifunctional system comes with the Foldable headphone, audio cable, and much more. Overall, it is one of the best AV receivers that fit your needs.
4) DENON AVR-S540BT - BEST BLUETOOTH AV RECEIVER UNDER 500 DOLLARS
Denon is one of the top-leading electronic gear manufacturers in the world, and their AV receivers are always in demand in the market.
And when it comes to Denon AVR-S550BT, it is a budget-pick and has all the necessary features you would expect for the price.
It is compatible with 4K streaming devices, making it one of the best options to choose from. Secondly, it supports the latest audio formats like Dolby® and DTS® surround sounds. So, I would say it is another great choice to get a perfect home theatre experience while watching movies or while playing games.
Now coming to the main part, what speaker system configuration does the Denon AVR-S540BT support? Well, it supports a 5.2 surround system configuration meaning you can connect 5 surround speakers and 2 subwoofers with it.
Every channel can give an output of 70W(8ohms) or 90W per channel at 6 Ohms which is a fairly decent range for this price.
And as we see in most Denon products, this also is equipped with the Denon 500 Series Remote app, so you can control this system from any corner of your room wirelessly using your mobile itself. You can also operate it using your Smart TV’s remote control by switching on the HDMI CEC functionality of your TV.
You can add additional devices like CD players, media boxes, speakers, etc., using the 5 HDMI input ports and connect your Tv/set-up box to the receiver using the single HDMI output port provided.
Lastly, in terms of design and construction. The Denon AVR-S540BT looks stylish, weighs 7.6kg, and is easy to control with simple QuickSelect buttons on the front panel. There is also a USB connectivity port on the front side so you can charge your mobile and play songs simultaneously
The device has a compressed audio restorer that improves the quality of sound while listening to MP3 music.
5) Pioneer VSX-834 7.2-Channel AV Receiver
This Pioneer VSX-834 is the latest model released in 2019 and is the best among all the other models listed in this article.
If you have got a 4k Ultra HD home theatre system in your home and are looking for an AV receiver, this is the ideal choice.
Pioneer is a tough competitor to Sony and Onkyo in the speaker, subwoofer, and AV receiver market.
It supports Dolby Atmos, DTS-x, and you can’t imagine the ultimate surround sound it gives you. It is the best piece of equipment for spicing up your home parties and DJ nights.
Even the video format support is vast, and this mid-range AV receiver supports 4K HDR (HDR10, HLG), Dolby Vision for HDCP2.2.
You can stream your favorite programs on Netflix, Amazon prime, or anything just by inserting a firestick directly onto this receiver.
Lastly, you can connect your Bluray players, gaming consoles using any of the 4 HDMI inputs given at the back. There is one HDMI output.
As this is a 7.2 surround system supporting instrument, you need to clamp your 7 speakers and 2 subs and enjoy watching movies with high-resolution sound and video. (Not necessary that you should have 7 speakers, hook up the speakers you have and leave the other channels empty).
6) Onkyo TX-SR494 AV Receiver
I said I would be listing the best-selling AV receiver from Onkyo, and this TX-SR494 is the model I was mentioning. You just have to spend 425$ on purchasing this product, and you’re all set to enjoy a perfect 7.2 DolbyAudio home theatre system.
Every channel in the AV receiver can deliver 80W (8 ohms), so it is great for small and medium-large-sized rooms.
The best part I liked about this receiver is that it allows you to play music/watch content through Zone A, Zone B, or in both zones at once.
7) YAMAHA RX-V4A 5.2-Channel AV Receiver
This 5-channel Yamaha RX-V4A is another solid choice of AV receivers you can consider buying. It is compatible with your latest smart TVs, CD players, and gaming consoles. You can connect these using the HDMI ports at the rear panel (4-inputs, 1-output).
This system is equipped with the CINEMA DSP 3D facility to give you the best movie experience in your home. The footage remains clear and defined even while playing high-resolution games because the receiver supports HDR10+ video format and delivers images at 4k120p resolution.
And the exciting fact is that you can control the receiver using voice commands as it works with Alexa and Google Assistant.
8) Denon AVR S740H av receiver
The final pick in our list is Denon AVR-S740H. It is compatible with Bluetooth, Wifi, and AirPlay. Also, it is compatible with smart devices like tablets, smartphones, and other devices. This AV receiver also pairs with the Smart TV. Hence, you can control your Television at your convenience.
Like other AV receivers, this receiver supports BT.2020, full 4K Ultra HD, Dolby Atmos, Chromecast streaming, multiroom music, AirPlay, and much more. Also, it includes a wide color, gamut, and pure color subsampling through which you will get crispy pictures with eye-catching videos on the screen.
In addition, it has 7 HDMI input, USB port on the front, FLAC, Phono input and WAV files. The user interface of the device is easy to follow and it can be coupled with a remote controller. One disadvantage of the device is its in-built Chromecast. Furthermore, tuning the drivers can be a tricky one if you are unsure of its performance.
Also, setting up the entire speaker unit can take a while. In case, if you incorrectly attach an RCA cable then the audio can sound off. Eventually, this AV receiver is one of the best choices for you if you prefer high sound quality at an affordable price.
Why YOu Need av receiver?
Do you love to watch movies? Willing to enjoy the soundtrack with the best quality? Then the AV receiver will be the perfect one that fulfills your need. Most of the AV receiver arrives with the supporting channel surrounded by the sound system.
Also, the AV receiver is capable of processing video signals. So, if you want to experience the best home theatre sound in your living room, go ahead and choose the perfect fit for you.
BUYING GUIDE TO PICK THE BEST BEST VALUE AV RECEIVER UNDER 500$
Most latest TVs are all 4K, so see if the AV receiver you choose has a 4K HDR compatibility. Some models are compatible with 8k streaming devices. It's all your choice on what type of support and compatibility you're expecting from a receiver.
If you want to watch content/listen to sounds from different rooms, see if the AV receiver allows zone playback in other rooms.
Also, see if the receiver supports surround system formats like Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, and more. You can compromise on these audio formats if you plan to equip your rear woofers and speakers on a high wall. Because mounting your rear surround speakers on a high elevation will allow you to get the best sound quality.
2. Connectivity and number of output ports:
What is the use if the receiver doesn't have the required number of outs to connect your additional home theatre sound systems?
So, first, pay attention to the number of input and output ports the receiver has. Mainly HDMI connectivity has to be looked upon because all the latest TVs, setup boxes, CD players are paired through HDMI cables only.
The number of HDMI ports will help you decide how many speakers, CD players, and soundbars you're going to connect with the AV receiver.
3. Wireless connectivity:
This includes an ethernet connection so that you can play your favorite tunes directly from your smartphone apps. This connection to the home network has become mandatory for every electronic gadget so see if the receiver has this facility.
It would be great if the receiver also had built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.
Note: If you want a Wi-Fi-enabled AV receiver, see if it supports Spotify Connect, Apple AirPlay 1 and 2, and Google Chromecast.
4. Number of channels:
How many surround speakers you're planning to have in your home stereo setup. This is an essential question to ask yourself because you can purchase a receiver with more channels and also leave 2-3 channels empty. However, if the receiver has only 3 channels, but you're planning to set more speakers, it will become a waste.
The basic surround system configuration supported by an AV receiver is 5.1 (3 speakers in the front, 2 on the rear side)
How loud do you want the sounds to be? To understand that, you have to look into the maximum power rating of the AV receiver.
But, receivers with high power outputs are generally expensive. If you are looking for one to get the best sound experience while watching movies, a power rating of 50W-100W is sufficient.
However, if you want the best of the best sounds and don't mind spending more on an AV receiver, then go for the ones with a power rating between 120W-150W and drive your speakers hard.
Impedance value will tell you by providing what voltage you can get the best out of the receiver. Impedance matching is very important when using speakers, woofers, soundbars, amps, and other audio gears because only if the speaker and the receiver's impedance match can they get paired.
An AV receiver is an indispensable part of the home theatre unit. Choosing a cheap AV receivers under 500 for your home is not much easy. Most of the receivers mentioned above are 4k AV receivers with Bluetooth and ethernet capability.
I hope you find your best one and enjoy streaming your favorites. If you like this article, give a big fat thumbs up and share your views in the comment section 🙂
I’m Peter, a freelance writer, researcher and part of the EnterTheUnderWorld team. Writing intrigues me a lot and it is also fun. I believe that I am good at researching different varieties of products from different categories. My aim is to help people who are looking for any product under a specified budget. So you can find different articles covered under varied budgets on this website. All the products are tested and used by me so that I can write the review precisely.