“Let our rigorous testing and reviews be your guidelines to A/V equipment – not marketing slogans”
Facebook Youtube Twitter instagram pinterest

Recently Reviewed AV Receivers

Denon AVR-X3000 and AVR-X4000 IN-Command Receivers Preview

Denon AVR-X3000 and AVR-X4000 IN-Command Receivers Preview

The Denon IN-Command AVR-X3000 and AVR-X4000 receivers pack a lot of technology into their unassuming chassis. These are receivers that can send audio and video to more than one zone, are fully networked including AirPlay and many other streaming options, and have oodles of power. The AVR-X3000 will have nearly everything the average consumer could want to power a simple 7.1 home theater, but lacks some of the higher end features found on the AVR-X4000. The AVR-X4000 can handle a second or third zone, has full 9.2 pre-outs, and has Audyssey MultEQ® XT32, among a host of other features. When you are at this level of buying, it pays to make a list of what you need. If these receivers can't do it, it likely can't be done. At least, not at these price points.

The Denon IN-Command AVR-X3000 and AVR-X4000 receivers pack a lot of technology into their unassuming chassis. The AVR-X3000 will power your home theater. The AVR-X4000 will do that and much more.

— May 01, 2013 09:00 in AV Receiver Reviews

Harman Kardon AVR 3700 Wireless Networked A/V Receiver Preview

Harman Kardon AVR 3700 Wireless Networked A/V Receiver Preview

The AVR 3700 has a lot of technology that many users clamor for. With built in wireless networking, pre-outs for those with external amplifiers, two zones of audio, eight HDMI inputs and two outputs, 4k upscaling, and much more, Harman has touched on all the right bases. At $1000, the AVR 3700 will have a lot of competition. Time will tell if this feature set mated with the Harman name will prove to be a winning combination.

The Harman/Kardon AVR 3700 Receiver has a lot of technology that many users clamor for including built in wireless networking, full 7.2 pre-outs, two zones of audio, eight HDMI inputs and lots more.

— April 22, 2013 21:00 in AV Receiver Reviews

Yamaha RX-A830 AVENTAGE 7.2 Channel Network AV Receiver Preview

Yamaha RX-A830 AVENTAGE 7.2 Channel Network AV Receiver Preview

The most exciting thing about the new Yamaha AVENTAGE RX-A830 is the price. At under $900, it has enough features to please even the most ardent audiophile and feature-phile. A full suite of networking, iDevice compatibility, MHL, 7.2 inputs, 100 watts per channel, Burr-Brown 192 kHz/24-bit DACs for all channels, Pure Direct mode for bypassing any unnecessary circuitry, YPAO with multi-point measurements, 4k upconversion...the list goes on. At this price point, it is hard to believe that there is much more that could be offered.

The most exciting thing about the new Yamaha AVENTAGE RX-A830 Receiver is the price. At under $900, it has enough features to please even the most ardent audiophile and feature-phile.

— April 18, 2013 06:05 in AV Receiver Reviews

Sherbourn SR-8100 7.1 Channel Receiver Preview

Sherbourn SR-8100 7.1 Channel Receiver Preview

Sherbourn has taken a stand with the SR-8100. They have said, "We will create a receiver and it will sound AWESOME!" It may not connect to your computer or stream cat videos from YouTube but that's not what you want is it? The Sherbourn SR-8100 has can push 80 watts into 8 ohms all channels driven, it has three zones of audio, and can stream CD quality bluetooth audio from your phone. With an integrated room correction system and three banks of 11 bands of parametric EQ for each channel and 3 bands for the sub, even the most dedicated tweaker will be happy. At $800 MSRP, this is an audiophile-quality receiver at consumer-level prices.

Sherbourn has taken a stand with the SR-8100 A/V Receiver. "We will create a receiver and it will sound AWESOME!" At $800, the SR-8100 is an audiophile-quality receiver at consumer-level prices.

— April 12, 2013 09:00 in AV Receiver Reviews

Marantz NR1504 NR1604 Slim AV Receivers Preview

Marantz NR1504 NR1604 Slim AV Receivers Preview

We've long been fans of the Marantz NR line, and the new NR1504 and NR1604 have done nothing to change that. Sporting high end audio components, discrete amplification, Apple AirPlay, Audyssey MultEQ, and much, much more, there is a lot to like. At a starting price of $500, the NR line isn't going to break the bank either. With a low profile design, potential customers don't have to sacrifice audio quality, features, and style just because they have limited space.

The Marantz NR1504 and NR1604 don't sacrifice audio quality, features, and style just because they have have a low profile design.

— April 03, 2013 21:05 in AV Receiver Reviews

2013 Pioneer VSX-xx23 Series A/V Receivers Preview

2013 Pioneer VSX-xx23 Series A/V Receivers Preview

It may not be Christmas, but in the world of A/V receiver manufacturers, it's the most wonderful time of the year. Hot off the presses, Pioneer is announcing the VSX-523 ($279.99) and VSX-823 ($429.99) 5.1 channel receivers, the VSX-1023 ($529.99) 7.1 channel receiver, and the VSX-1123 ($629.99) 7.2 channel receiver. The name of the game for this release is integration, namely with smartphones, both Apple/iOS and Android, though Pioneer is sure to have a few more tricks up its sleeve. For those who haven't been shopping in the A/V receiver market for very long, you might be shocked as to how far your dollar goes these days in terms of feature sets. Pioneer seems to deliver. Read on to learn more.

Fresh for the new year, Pioneer has released the VSX-523, VSX-823, VSX-1023, and VSX-1123, with prices ranging from $279.99 to $629.99. Do these models have the features needed to be relevant in 2013?

— March 09, 2013 13:00 in AV Receiver Reviews

Denon E-Series Receivers Preview

Denon E-Series Receivers Preview

With budget offerings, it is always important to know what features you'll need versus those you just want. With the new E series from Denon, you have quite a few choices. If you are tight on money but use exclusively HDMI devices, the E200 may be enough for you. If Internet connectivity, AirPlay, and room correction are important, you'll want to bump up to the E300. For scaling up to 4k, Zone 2 support, and 7.1 channels, the E400 will be the Denon for you. While compromises have been made on these receivers, that's always the case for budget offerings. It looks to us like Denon has a solid new line on tap for this year.

With budget offerings, it is always important to know what features you'll need versus those you just want. With the new E series from Denon, you have quite a few choices.

— March 07, 2013 08:05 in AV Receiver Reviews

New Yamaha RX-V '75 Series Receivers Preview

New Yamaha RX-V '75 Series Receivers Preview

When shopping for receivers, it is easy to get lost in the number of features. What is important is that you remember what you'd actually use versus what is "new" or "hot". With the new Yamaha RX-V '75 line, there is something for everyone. What we like is that they've included some level of automatic speaker setup and calibration even at their most entry level. While you'll have to pay more for features like upconversion and multi-zone, that's to be expected. Yamaha has a solid new lineup of receivers this year. It may be an incremental change from last, but, if you are on the market for a new receiver, that won't matter. What matters is what it offers. For the money, Yamaha is offering a lot.

Yamaha's new RX-V '75 line may be an incremental change, but, if you are on the market for a new receiver, that won't matter. What matters is what it offers. For the money, Yamaha is offering a lot.

— March 01, 2013 05:05 in AV Receiver Reviews

Sony STR-DA2800ES A/V Receiver Review

Sony STR-DA2800ES A/V Receiver Review

The Sony STR-DA2800ES is a bright light in an otherwise dull A/V receiver market, largely thanks to its home automation and network functionality. Sony has chosen to champion home automation by partnering with Control4 to allow the receiver to handle basic automation (power, input, lights, sound mode) without the need for any additional equipment or costly professional installation. For people who want more than basic automation, the receiver can be registered with Control4 so a certified technician can customize the system to your needs. Beyond home automation the STR-DA2800ES also supports a plethora of audio and video streaming services, has 3 HDMI outputs, and a 4 port Ethernet switch. Sony managed to pack quite a bit into a receiver for only $999, and it performs with aplomb. It may not be the right choice for the consumer looking for a no-frills, audio centric receiver, but it is certainly a good choice for someone looking for the ability to step into home automation or streaming services without an entire rack of equipment.

The Sony STR-DA2800ES is a bright light in a typically dull AV receiver market, largely thanks to its home automation and network features. At $999 it is unlike any other receiver on the market.

— January 06, 2013 19:35 in AV Receiver Reviews

harman/kardon AVR 700 & AVR 1700 A/V Receiver Preview

harman/kardon AVR 700 & AVR 1700 A/V Receiver Preview

harman/kardon has just released two new A/V receivers, the AVR 700 & AVR 1700. These two new entry level models in the harman/kardon receiver line up, despite the apparent sequential numbering scheme, focuses on function sets. The AVR 700 clearly seems rooted in a more traditional A/V setting while the AVR 1700 seams geared towards accommodating evolving entertainment options, both with limited overlap to allow for the most functionality while still meeting budget price points. Check out our preview of these new A/V receivers to see which one may be right for your needs.

This is a preview of the new harman/kardon AVR 700 and AVR 1700 entry level A/V receivers. Both units have different goals in mind for functionality and connectivity. This article will help clarify.

— November 27, 2012 16:59 in AV Receiver Reviews

Denon Ceol Piccolo Mini Networking Receiver Preview

Denon Ceol Piccolo Mini Networking Receiver Preview

The Denon Ceol Piccolo is a small wireless network music player with two speaker outputs. When I say small, I mean small. It measures 3.55" H x 7.09” W x 9.22” D. This means that could fit almost anywhere, giving the system the ability to be placed on a kitchen counter, in the living room, or on a computer desk. It has a number of inputs and network features that allow it to do double duty as a stand alone music system or as an alternative to a soundbar for TV sound. A built-in 65wpc amplifier will allow it to power most speakers on the market and built-in WiFi makes it easy to connect to your network. I foresee this system being a great option for TV viewing as well as music in any room in the home.

The Denon Ceol Piccolo is a small wireless network music player with two speaker outputs. It has Built-in Wifi, Airplay, optical and stereo audio inputs, Pandora and Spotify support.

— October 17, 2012 20:00 in AV Receiver Reviews

Sony STR-DN1030 AV Receiver Review

Sony STR-DN1030 AV Receiver Review

On paper, the Sony STR-DN1030 looks like quite an impressive receiver, with a feature list poised to make other $500 receivers blush. Among those features are built-in WiFi, Bluetooth, Airplay, HDMI upconversion and a new user interface. In my opinion, Sony’s receivers have been lagging behind the competition for a long time, but the laundry list of features made me wonder if Sony had finally started to take their non-ES receivers more seriously. So, I was excited to hear that Audioholics was getting the STR-DN1030 in for review, but just like a romance gone wrong, I was afraid to put too much trust in a company that had burned me more than once before.

On paper, the Sony STR-DN1030 looks like quite an impressive receiver, with a feature list poised to make other $500 receivers blush. Among those features are built-in WiFi, Bluetooth & Airplay.

— September 24, 2012 14:25 in AV Receiver Reviews

Denon AVR-4520CI, Marantz, Boston and More at CEDIA HiPer Demo Room

Denon AVR-4520CI, Marantz, Boston and More at CEDIA HiPer Demo Room

We checked out some cool Marantz, Denon (AVR-4520CI A/V receiver) and Boston Acoustics gear at the 2012 CEDIA High Performance (HiPer) Listening Rooms. This entailed sinning up some Dire Straits on vinyl and also listening to some tracks on SACD from Marantz' new SA-11S3 SACD Reference player. Everything was being played back through a pair of Boston Acoustics M-Series tower speakers. What we loved was the detail and clarity of the tracks, particularly in the Dire Straits album - there was no compression to be found anywhere. The M-Series tower speakers also put out an incredible amount of bass that wasn't bloated or overdone - but it really made us wonder if "DenonMatt" was pulling the wool over our eyes and using a pair of subs to sweeten the soundstage (he wasn't). At times we could swear there were subs in the room.

We checked out some cool Marantz, Denon and Boston Acoustics gear at the 2012 CEDIA High Performance (HiPer) Listening Rooms. This entailed sinning up some Dire Straits on vinyl and also SACD.

— September 13, 2012 08:30 in AV Receiver Reviews

Sherbourn SR-8200 and SR-8100 AV Receivers Preview

Sherbourn SR-8200 and SR-8100 AV Receivers Preview

The Sherbourn SR-8200 ($1999) and SR-8100 ($999) 7.1 receivers are built really well, with full billet aluminum faceplates and buttons and a 10-year warranty that is almost unheard of in the industry. The products are simple, elegant and they just are built to work. In fact, Sherbourn released a ton of new custom installation products this year at the 2012 CEDIA Expo, but the company is, perhaps, most excited about their new home theater AV receivers.

The Sherbourn SR-8200 ($1999) and SR-8100 ($899) 7.1 receivers are built really well, with full billet aluminum faceplates and buttons and a 10-year warranty that is almost unheard of in the industry.

— September 11, 2012 09:25 in AV Receiver Reviews