How To Choose A Home Theater Receiver – A Buying Guide

How To Choose A Home Theater Receiver – A Buying Guide

This is a guide on how to choose a home theater receiver. It seems like everyone does a ton of research on TVs, projectors, and speakers but not much research on receivers. In this video I cover the fundamental specs to look out for so you get the best receiver or amplifier for your home theater.

Buy the Denon X2700H on Amazon: https://amzn.to/3hnus6L
Buy the Denon X3700H on Amazon: https://amzn.to/3vQAnVC
Buy the Denon X8500h on Amazon: https://amzn.to/3eZyAqB
Buy the Emotiva XPA-3 on Amazon: https://amzn.to/3nXHetD

0:00 Introduction
0:55 Number of Channels
1:50 Choosing Speakers First
2:51 Wattage Ratings
3:46 Total Harmonic Distortion
4:25 Impedence (Ohms)
5:01 Marketing Tricks
6:20 Finding Actual Wattage
8:39 Mid-Range Receivers
10:03 Mid/High-End Receivers
10:28 Adding An Amplifier
11:15 HDMI Support
11:41 Room Correction
12:19 Number of HDMI Ports
12:43 Zones & Smart Home
13:10 Final Thoughts

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50 Comments

  1. GAV ARSENAL on July 6, 2021 at 2:58 am

    Wow ALL in 1 GUD luck.



  2. ZericTV on July 6, 2021 at 2:58 am

    New homes come with options to place 5 speakers in the ceiling are the back two speakers supposed to be set to Rear L and Rear R or set to ATMOS? Or is ATMOS just a feature that can be on all 5 of the ceiling speakers?



  3. Cujobob on July 6, 2021 at 3:01 am

    Buy your receivers at Costco. They carry good products and offer nice discounts.



  4. Alvin Crown on July 6, 2021 at 3:03 am

    Curious opinions of the Denon X3700H vs Yamaha A4A? TIA



  5. kiran vytla on July 6, 2021 at 3:03 am

    Hey Chris…thats awesome info all in one video…great work 👍🏼👍🏼



  6. OlympusHeavyCavalry on July 6, 2021 at 3:05 am

    You’ve just helped answer questions I had for some time, about adding a Stezza Amp to an AVR. Cheers bud 🙂



  7. Robert Schuster on July 6, 2021 at 3:07 am

    just buy separates and don’t worry about picking the right receiver, than you only have to update the processor when new technology comes out, as amps last forever



  8. Heiko Gehrig on July 6, 2021 at 3:07 am

    Great quick and to the point summary! You were literally the only reference that answered my questioned [directly] on what AVR I needed to power my 4 up firing Atmos speakers.



  9. Tammy Banachowski on July 6, 2021 at 3:07 am

    If the receiver states 80 RMS but does not specifically state the number of channels, can you assume it is per channel or speaker? Buying a Sony 790 receiver



  10. Sean Mangan on July 6, 2021 at 3:07 am

    So much information missing from this vid.



  11. Hatim Saif on July 6, 2021 at 3:11 am

    Hi Chris, I need help with choosing a receiver. I bought a used pair of RP-280FA and RP-504C for a good deal. Then I added to them a pair of RP-500M and SPL-120 sub. Still not sure how to decide what to get. Thank you



  12. Kenny Sipholi on July 6, 2021 at 3:12 am

    Geez this info was too much 😂 I felt like I was in an astrology class, But I liked every piece of it. So my question is: if getting a low powered av might hurt my good speakers, does the same principle apply on high powered av on small speakers?



  13. pankaj singh on July 6, 2021 at 3:13 am

    We understood absolutely nothing … it would be better if you could give us a choice of 3 amplifiers in different price brackets and please try to understand that we would very much appreciate less of so much technical details because it was totally confusing and I am pretty sure even you don’t know what you are saying



  14. BigRed DaMan on July 6, 2021 at 3:14 am

    bro stop showing me 1500 dollar receivers, my car’s system cost less than that lol



  15. Jesús Guerrero Lafoz on July 6, 2021 at 3:14 am

    Awesome! The master!



  16. Mateo on July 6, 2021 at 3:17 am

    awesome thanks



  17. Dexrae on July 6, 2021 at 3:17 am

    i just want a doable cheaper receiver for the Klipsch Reference Theater Pack, i just dont want to pay a arm and a leg



  18. Matt F on July 6, 2021 at 3:17 am

    This was very very helpful and interesting. The first time I’ve seen your channel.



  19. Eric on July 6, 2021 at 3:19 am

    Fantastic information for beginners like me trying to choose the perfect Home theater setup. Love the pre-amp explanation made it very clear. Thank you.



  20. Damian Foreman on July 6, 2021 at 3:22 am

    Great video covering the basics. Just a more detailed note about HDMI; as far as I know, there are no receivers available that have proper HDMI 2.1 support (full bandwidth, 4K/120 and 8K/60 HDR video passthrough, VRR, etc.) I’m excluding Denon’s cheater box since it’s not part of the receiver.



  21. PHAX on July 6, 2021 at 3:23 am

    I just bought a Klipsch Black Reference Theater Pack 5.1 Surround Sound System the other day and I was wondering if anyone could help me choose a receiver or recommend some I’m kind of low on money right now so it would be better for lower priced receivers that are compatible with my set but I am going to be using this more for music not as much for movies or "home theater" please and thank you



  22. Cujobob on July 6, 2021 at 3:23 am

    When talking about receivers, please ignore THD. The distortion that bothers your ears comes from when an A/B amplifier switches from class A to AB. Doing so creates a type of distortion that causes fatigue.

    The ear isn’t particularly sensitive to distortion of all types AND you can’t trust manufacturer posted THD measurements.

    If you’re serious about home theater, make sure any receiver you purchase has pre-outs so you can get a quality amplifier as an upgrade. Lastly, the receivers sold through Costco’s website are typically very good and a huge discount from what you’d normally find.



  23. Jeevan Raj on July 6, 2021 at 3:26 am

    Great video. I am glad I found your channel. Nobody explains this much details. Even someone does, they just make it complicated to understand. You are doing a great job. Keep it up👍🏾



  24. TJ Jones on July 6, 2021 at 3:26 am

    Super helpful thanks. I have learned to "buy once and cry once." So now I know I can’t afford a system that I want at this time. Thanks for the info detailed enough but not to into it where I couldn’t follow!



  25. Don Morton on July 6, 2021 at 3:26 am

    Excellent video. Very informative and eye opening. Great job.



  26. Kenny Sipholi on July 6, 2021 at 3:28 am

    Geez this info was too much 😂 I felt like I was in an astrology class, But I liked every piece of it. So my question is: if getting a low powered av might hurt my good speakers, does the same principle apply on high powered av on small speakers?



  27. stealthcomp14 on July 6, 2021 at 3:29 am

    Would love a video on actual full audio setups that you would recommend based on budget. Similar to your projector recommendations based on budget



  28. John Vanderbeck on July 6, 2021 at 3:31 am

    Do you have a video going into more depth on smart home receivers? I am building a new home and designing it from the ground up as a smart home. Originally I was planning to go Sonos for whole home audio but grew concerned that I could do better for the home theater room. Right now I am considering some mixed setup with something better and dedicated for the HT room with Sonos everywhere else but if there are strong smart home receivers that can be amazing surround setups for the HT room AND drive whole home audio I’d love to look into them.



  29. parupudi phanindra on July 6, 2021 at 3:33 am

    Great Knowledge. Thanks sir



  30. Michael Marquez on July 6, 2021 at 3:34 am

    This is really really great thank you! I’m gonna leave a like from both my accounts!! I will watch this a couple more times tho but wow I want to set up something for sure !



  31. Donald DeOrio on July 6, 2021 at 3:36 am

    Very concise video glad you brought up the power amp option, the other option is to buy a used preamp processor. I have a used Marantz AV 7005 preamp and a Carver av705x 5 channel amp 125watts at 8 ohms and 180 at 4ohms cost me $800 for both. Plenty of power for music and movies. Another option for someone on a tighter budget



  32. Inês Matos on July 6, 2021 at 3:37 am

    Awesome review with real use cases ! That’s a gold point of view that most videos don’t show. Thank you !



  33. parupudi phanindra on July 6, 2021 at 3:39 am

    Hi I had Denon s 750h and it drives 8ohms 0.08% 2 channels 75watts.
    I recently bought klipsch 620F floorstandings which need 100watts continuously and Klipsch R52C which needs 100watts power continuously.
    Denon s 750 will work with the above speakers?. Please guide.



  34. Jason Hosein on July 6, 2021 at 3:41 am

    hey chris i am going with the svs prime pinnacle tower 5.0 with a pair of prime elevation speakers and 2 subs,what are some of your recommendations for receivers that i can use from budget to highend



  35. Jame Gumb on July 6, 2021 at 3:42 am

    I just want a very slim 40mm or thinner receiver. If I can screw it in a 1U rack even better.

    I just need 1 (pref 2) hdmi in and if possible 1× sp/dif. Just 1 pc. Banana not shitty terminals if possible. Not many watts needed, 50 per channel is plenty.

    Which one? Cannot find any. Alternatively I will take any hdmi board that offers this so I can build my own, very hard to find hdmi though.



  36. Philip Freeman on July 6, 2021 at 3:42 am

    Do we really drive our speakers at RMS power though? I’d wager that the VAST majority of HTs don’t put RMS power into the speaker to get a clean 85dB sound level. That’s a consideration too.



  37. volt8ge on July 6, 2021 at 3:42 am

    I’ve been searching for and watching a few videos like this one… yours is the BEST!!! Thank you, love your stuff, never shave (I don’t know where that saying comes from)



  38. Trucker 340 on July 6, 2021 at 3:42 am

    You forgot to mention the subwoofers.



  39. MeLovePhotography on July 6, 2021 at 3:43 am

    Thank you Chris for the share. I have pioneer lx503 and Harman Kardan hkts16 120 w per channel with other speakers making up 7.2.4. But noticed sounds in all speakers are loud and nice expect from the front 3. Action scenes are loud coming from the back and side but not from the front. Is it something to do with power? I just bought external amps to test it out. Will let you know how it sounds, but what are your inputs. Testing tone was all good though.



  40. Karen on July 6, 2021 at 3:44 am

    Hi Chris! Whew, that was a lot of information. I am in the process of getting my unfinished basement finished. I did not know it was going to be as complicated as I now think it’ll be when it comes to choosing speakers/receivers, etc. You certainly sound like you know what you’re talking about, so I hope I can help me along the way by answering questions for me as they arise. Thanks in advance!



  41. Paritosh Trivedi on July 6, 2021 at 3:44 am

    Hi Chris, I want to set up home theatre in my house. The room size is 16ft by 11 feet. My budget is around 1400 dollars. Kindly guide me if possible



  42. J on July 6, 2021 at 3:46 am

    when your $500 budget turns into $10k



  43. Ermelious on July 6, 2021 at 3:47 am

    I think its better to wait for the the new 2021 AV receivers to launch. Most of the mainstream 2020 AV receivers featured bad HDMI 2.1 implementation which is a chipset issue that cannot be fixed via firmware.



  44. Nazia Khan on July 6, 2021 at 3:48 am

    Hey Chris! Your videos are super helpful but as this is my first time setting up a media room, I am a bit lost. I have a room, without lights, the size of a normal bedroom and am looking for a projector under $1,000 with really good visual for watching tv and movies (not gaming) and then wondering what sound system I should get – can I use a Sonos surround sound with any projector?



  45. Eric In SF on July 6, 2021 at 3:48 am

    Not bad, what a been nice to see you cover something more than consumer grade though.



  46. Ernesto Villanueva on July 6, 2021 at 3:51 am

    Hello Chris, thanks for the info it has been very very helpful. Now I can understand better what kind of receiver or amplifier I need to start my new sound system.



  47. Mike Smith on July 6, 2021 at 3:51 am

    How did YouTube know that I’m looking at receivers? Strange.
    Good informative video



  48. Anthony F on July 6, 2021 at 3:52 am

    I got a great price on a Denon AVR-S750 last year and I have been very happy. It powers my 5.1.2 home theatre set-up and all of my analog sources as well. It also works with Alexa and does a great job streaming audio from a variety of sources including my DLNA server.



  49. Patricia Diaz on July 6, 2021 at 3:52 am

    Can I use studio monitors I use on the usb audio interface on my computer and just use the xrl plug on the reciver.



  50. Tina Belcher on July 6, 2021 at 3:53 am

    Great channel.