budget friendly av receivers

6 Best AV Receiver under $500 Reviews | 2019 Great Value For Money

The AV receiver is the master brain of your entire home theater system. It’s the component that tells the signals where to go, whether to the different speakers or screens. The quality of your AV receiver can determine the quality of your whole home theater system, but doesn’t mean that you have to spend a lot of money. The best AV receiver under $500 may just be exactly what you need.

Top 3 AV Receivers

[BEST OVERALL]

1. Sony STRDH590 5.2 Multi-Channel 4k HDR AV Receiver with Bluetooth

Editor’s Rating:

4.2/5

  • Easy speaker calibration
  • FM radio with 30 presets
  • Detailed dialogue for movies

[BEST FOR THE MONEY]

2. Denon AVRS530BT 5.2 Channel Full 4K Ultra HD AV Receiver

best av receiver

Editor’s Rating:

4.1/5

  • Fantastic value for money
  • Clear instructions for setup
  • Quick select buttons for receiver source

[BEST ALEXA COMPATIBLE]

3. Yamaha RX-V683BL 7.2-Channel MusicCast AV Receiver with Bluetooth, Works with Alexa

Editor’s Rating:

4.1/5

  • Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and even Airplay connectivity
  • Phono input for vinyl
  • Simple setup with Reflected Sound Control calibration

Best AV Receiver under 500 Bucks: Factors to Consider

So how do we determine the best receiver under $500? Obviously the price will be definitive, and we can’t include the best AV receivers who cost a lot more. If you have the budget for it, you really should consider picking among the best AV receivers under 1000 dollars.

But some of the candidates for best audio receiver under $500 are ideal for some home theater rooms. These can be found by considering the following factors:

Sound Quality

This is perhaps the most important factor of them all. But it’s annoying that you have to really test the AV receiver first in your own home to confirm if it sounds right for your room and for your preferences. Sometimes even the most impressive stats and feature lists can’t give you the sound quality you want. The only way to increase your chances of find good sound quality is from reading reviews that say so.

A/V Receiver Channels

You’ve seen numbers like 5.1 and 7.1 in relation to your speakers, right? The first numeral in this number combination refers to the number of speakers, while the second numeral refers to the number of subwoofers. The AV receiver channels should match your home speaker setup, although for privacy you may want to alternate with the best wir​​​​eless headphones instead.

Surround Sound

When you have multiple speakers surrounding you, the sounds can come from the same directions as it would if you were in the middle of the movie scene you’re watching. There are many surround sound systems though, and so you need to pick the most suitable for you among them. You can pick among systems like DTS:X, Dolby Atmos, Auro-3D, Dolby TrueHD, Dolby Digital Plus, and DTS: Neural X.

Wattage

This is the power level that the amp will push through your speakers. It can go from as low as 30W to 500W. Having more watts is better, though you need to be very sure that your speakers can actually handle the amount of power the amp will send.

Connectivity

Obviously there are numerous ways to connect to the AV receiver. You can see these options at the back of the unit, with connections both analog and digital. The most crucial ones are the HDMI inputs, as it’s the most common type of port. But there’s no need to get a unit with too many HDMI ports (like 7). That’s true especially when you don’t have that many HDMI gadgets to connect.

Then you also have features like Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. With Bluetooth, you can connect your smartphone to your receiver so you can play your music through your surround sound speakers. With Wi-Fi, you can also play the music from your PC. Then there’s the option of getting smart receivers, when you wish to have systems like Alexa to control your home theater system when you give a voice order.

Ease of Setup and Use

Setting up the AV receiver can be a pain, but some are relatively simpler to get all fixed. You generally use it through your remote, so the remote layout should clean and logical. It should be simple enough to go through the menu options to make your adjustments.

Futureproofing

The one problem that you can have with the best AV receivers is that you may get the best AV receiver 2019 can provide, and then next year there’s a new best budget receiver that has fallen well within your price range. It can be annoying.

So what you need is the best AVR under $500 that will make you feel satisfied even when more advanced models become available in the near future. Again, this seems like a vague factor to consider, but you can’t overlook it. You may end up constantly upgrading your AV receivers and that can be a strain on your bank account!

If you don’t want to feel like you have an obsolete system, then it’s imperative that you consider 4K capability. This is the feature that offers a resolution of 3,840 by 2,160 pixels. That gives you stunning detailed images to go with your terrific sound, and it’s new enough that it won’t be topped for a while. Even if is improved upon, it may not matter to you because the resolution is already ridiculously detailed.

With these factors in mind, let’s take a look at some of the AV receivers you should choose from:

Best AV Receiver Under 500 Dollars Reviews

Take a look at our special selections for various categories. We’ve picked the best AV receiver overall, the best AV receiver for your money, and best Alexa-compatible AV receiver.

1. [Best Overall] Sony STRDH590 5.2 Multi-Channel 4k HDR AV Receiver with Bluetooth

Editor’s Rating:

4.2/5

First of all, the STRDH590 is a Sony. That should already tell you a lot about its quality. The fact that it’s now available for such a low price point means that you can enjoy an AV receiver from a proven brand. It’s also a lot cheaper than many surround sound amplifier models on this list.

This is the entry-level Sony AV receiver that works for those who only have 5 speakers in their audio setup. Sony made sure to include all the essential features that you will need as a dedicated movie watcher and gamer. It doesn’t have the non-essential features that are “nice but not needed”. You don’t pay for those features, but the features you do get are tremendous especially with the low price you pay.

This accommodates a 5.2 system, so it’s perfect for smaller rooms in which 7 speakers is overkill. It sends out 145 watts per channel, and that’s not bad at all.

The setup is easy too. You just need to connect your speakers, sources, and display. Then you power on the receiver, and choose your language preference. Then you run the DCAC automatic setup. This is the Digital Cinema Auto Calibration. This analyzes the acoustics of the room, and then it adjusts and calibrates your various audio parameters in the setup. Basically, it’s like you had a professional audiophile setting things up.

After that, you can go to the Options menu and make your adjustments, and you’re good to go. All these steps actually will only take you a few minutes.

Play some music, and you’ll get sound that’s crisp and clean. This comes with Bluetooth, so you can use your smartphone. You can push up the volume a bit and it should do well enough. It offers good control over the bass so it doesn’t put out too much boom. It works with S-FORCE PRO front surround sound, Dolby TrueHD and DTS HD Enhanced Audio Codecs. You may also want to try the FM radio, which has 30 presets.

As for playing movies, this offers 4K HDR and Dolby Vision compatibility with HDCP 2.2 support. The sound comes through cleanly, and the dialogue is quite detailed. In fact, it can reveal dialogue that other AV receivers would not have revealed.

So all in all, this AV receiver can make even your average speakers somehow shine with clarity and crispness. The price may be modest, but you may be tempted to brag about this gadget to your friends. It’s certainly among the best AV receivers 2019 regardless for the price.

Things We Liked

  • Easy speaker calibration
  • FM radio with 30 presets
  • Detailed dialogue for movies
  • Great bass control

Things We Didn’t Like

  • Receiver remote isn’t compatible with Sony Blu-ray player

2. [Best for the Money] Denon AVRS530BT 5.2 Channel Full 4K Ultra HD AV Receiver

Editor’s Rating:

4.1/5

It’s not always easy to find good AV receivers when your budget is limited, but then there’s the Denon AVRS530BT. The AVRS530BT is among the best AV receivers under $500, and in fact it’s well under that price ceiling. You wouldn’t think so though, given the long list of impressive features it offers.

This can send output out to 5 channels, and it’s rated to provide 140 watts per channel. It also comes with an Auto Eco mode that automatically adjusts the maximum power available depending to the volume level. It’s compatible with a wide range of 6ohm speakers, due to its operational stability brought by the low impedance drive capability.

This has Bluetooth built-in, so it’s no problem streaming your music through your smartphone. This can have up to 8 paired Bluetooth devices in its memory, so people can just connect and listen to their own music playlists.

With its 5 HDMI inputs, this can provide support for 4K Ultra HD full frame rate. So if you have a 4K-ready TV and lots of 4K content downloaded from the internet, you get full fidelity.

The setup for the AV receiver isn’t all that complicated either. You just use the quick start guide and the Setup Assistant, and you’ll know what step to do. The Setup Assistant gives you clear instructions to enable you to adjust the crucial system settings for the best sound possible. There’s even a setup measuring microphone to help adjust the system parameters that fits your particular room and speaker system.

Using this is simple too, which is par for the course for the best stereo receiver under $500. It’s all right there on the front panel, though of course you can just use the remote instead. With the Quick Select buttons, you can do the regular tasks quickly and easily. If you have a smart TV connected to this, you can also just use the TV remote as well.

The sound is definitely a treat, especially when you consider the price. You can put in some music with your USB thumb drive, or even play the FM radio feature. This has Bluetooth too, and with the Bluetooth remote you can control it through your smartphone app. It’s also compatible with Denon HEOS which can provide you with virtually unlimited music sources.

All in all, it’s one of the best receivers under $500 you can get, and at this price it can’t be beat.

Things We Liked

  • Fantastic value for money
  • Clear instructions for setup
  • Quick select buttons for receiver source
  • Superb sound

Things We Didn’t Like

  • Not for systems with 7 speakers

3. [Best Alexa Compatible] Yamaha RX-V683BL 7.2-Channel MusicCast AV Receiver with Bluetooth, Works with Alexa

Editor’s Rating:

4.1/5

With the Yamaha RX-V683BL, you can now add your home theater system as one of the service areas Alexa can help you. Who wants to bother with a remote when you can just tell Alexa to activate the TV and play what you want? Now that you have a voice assistant, having this AV receiver is one way to optimize the service.

The setup is ridiculously easy as well. Connect it with your TV, gaming console, DirecTV STB, and HTPC and you’ll have no trouble. The features you get include 7.2-channel surround sound with Dolby Atmos and DTS:X. These sound technologies are terrific, as they provide exquisite details in the sound that other receivers may muffle.

Connectivity isn’t a problem with the Yamaha RX-V683BL, as this comes with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and even Airplay wireless connectivity. There’s even a phono input for the traditionalists who think that vinyl offers the most authentic sound for music.

This comes with a very long list of features, starting with Alexa compatibility. All you need are Alexa-enabled devices such as Amazon Echo, Tap, Dot, and Show, plus MusicCast products, and you can just tell Alexa how to control your entertainment and music experience in your home.

The setup is rather simple, which it ought to be. To make it really easy on you, there’s the AV setup guide app that you can use with the Yamaha AV receiver. The app will guide through the process, so you can deal with the cable connections between the AV receiver and source devices. You’ll then know how to adjust the settings for power amplifier assignments, TV and source device connections, and speaker connections.

The sound enhancements are awesome, with Yamaha’s YPAO – Reflected Sound Control feature. This analyzes the room acoustics and measures various speaker capabilities, and then it calibrates the sound parameters to get the best sound. The Reflected Sound Control takes note of how sound waves bounce of the walls of your room.

The sound enhancements include rich bass production, even if you have smaller speakers. Yamaha AV amplifiers emphasize “Total Purity” in their sound reproduction, which minimizes distortion and eliminates noise. They also focus on reaching astonishingly high quality clarity.

The Zone 2 audio is especially noteworthy too. This lets you enhance the sound and music system of a second room, though you can actually add audio with MusicCast to up to 9 additional rooms. With Zone 2, the sub zone gets the extra bass and the automatic adjustment of the bass and treble on the volume equalizer.

The list of tech features goes on and on. Suffice it to say that this is a Yamaha and this famous and respected brand in the audio industry for very good reasons. Add the fact that Yamaha’s customer service is just superb, and you get the best AV receiver there is for your Alexa device.

Things We Liked

  • Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and even Airplay connectivity
  • Phono input for vinyl
  • Simple setup with Reflected Sound Control calibration
  • Multi-room capacity

Things We Didn’t Like

  • Owner’s manual is on DVD

Alternative Options for Best Budget Home Theater Receiver

We’re not stopping with just 3 recommendations. We do have other suggestions for you if you’re looking for the best home theater receiver under $500. Here are 3 more options you should look at with features that may suit your preferences, while their prices certain fit your budget.

4. Denon AVR-S920W 7.2 Channel Full 4K

Editor’s Rating:

4.1/5

This Denon AVR-S920W is a 7-channel AVR receiver, with an amp that can work with 7 4-ohm speakers, with a max of 185 watts per channel. You don’t have to worry about the power consumption with the Eco mode, as the power consumption is adjusted depending on the audio volume settings.

Setup and use is easy, as you have the intuitive graphical on-screen display along with the Quick Start Guide to help you out. There are color-coded and properly labeled speaker connectors that can help make all the right connections right away. Perhaps the most annoying thing about the setup is that you should get the PDF manual from the Denon website. It is 283 pages, and it would have been nice if it was already printed out.

The front panel features 4 Quick Select buttons you can use while the AVR remote lets you pick your sources right away. There’s a remote app you can use, and your Smart TV remote can also work in controlling the AV receiver.

With its dual diversity antennas, you have dual-band Wi-Fi and Bluetooth for wireless streaming and connectivity with your home Wi-Fi network. This also works with Apple AirPlay, and there are handy front panel USB ports to connect your devices (while charging them too).

This offers 8 HDMI inputs, with one of them in the front panel. You also have 2 HDMI outputs so that you can connect to 2 HDTVs. It’s compatible with 4K Ultra HD content, along with 21:9 aspect ratio and 3D video content.

The sound is fantastic, as you might guess. This has the Audyssey Bronze suite of DSP functions, and that includes MultEQ. The receiver has a measuring microphone which helps in testing the speakers and the subwoofer, so that you get the precise settings that optimize the whole speaker system for the acoustics of the room.

This isn’t limited to a single room either. In the main room, you can connect a 5.1 or a 5.2 sound system and then have a pair of stereo speaker in a separate room. The 2 areas don’t have to listen to the same music either. The second room can enjoy the music from another source, and it also has independent volume controls.

Things We Liked

  • With 4K and 3D video processing along with HDMI 2.0a and HDCP 2.2 compliance, this AV receiver is nicely futureproof
  • The processing for sound and video is excellent
  • The setup is actually very easy, and so is using it. Even the remote is intuitive to use even in the dark
  • Music streaming works perfectly

Things We Didn’t Like

  • No phono input for vinyl

5. Yamaha RX-V383BL

Editor’s Rating:

4.2/5

Yes, with the Yamaha RX-V383BL we have another Yamaha on this list. It’s not favoritism, though, but an acknowledgement of the excellence of the brand itself. It’s a no-nonsense AV receiver with a simple setup and a one-touch start.

For surround sound amp setup, you have the YPAO feature that analyzes your room acoustics and then sets the audio parameters accordingly. This takes only a few minutes. You also have the AV setup guide app to help you make your cable connections.

Afterwards, you have a 5.1-Channel powerful surround sound system with wireless Bluetooth playback, full 4K video support, and Dolby Vision and Hybrid Log-Gamma compatibility. The rich bass production is fantastic, and the Cinema DSP technology makes you feel like you’re in the middle of the scene with the sound coming from all directions.

Just make sure that RC commander sensor is in direct line of sight with your receiver. You can’t hide the AV receiver behind a cabinet wall, as it won’t work with the remote.

Things We Liked

  • One-touch start
  • Easy setup
  • Excellent sound
  • Bluetooth capability

Things We Didn’t Like

  • The manual may not be easy to understand for some people

6. Yamaha RX-V483BL

Editor’s Rating:

4.4/5

Again, we have another Yamaha with the RX-V483BL. This is an alternative AV receiver you may want to consider if you want AV amps compatible with Alexa. This 5.1-channel 4K Ultra HD network AV receiver offers Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and AirPlay wireless connectivity. You also can get MusicCast speakers and put in audio into 9 additional rooms.

It offers just enough HDMI ports, with 4-in, 1-out HDMI ports to fill your needs. Tuning your system won’t be a problem either with the automatic YPAO sound optimization that can optimize your audio settings in just a few minutes.

This works with Alexa, so vocal commands are possible. It’s Wi-Fi compatible too, and this means that streaming audio and video from your other networked gadgets is a lot easier.

This may seem like a simple AV receiver, and in many ways it is. But it has a lot of features that can be rather hard to find, so you may want to invest a day or two playing with it to see what it can fully do. The instruction booklet doesn’t contain all the info you need, though the Yamaha customer support people are fantastic and you can ask them your questions.

Things We Liked

  • Wi-Fi compatible
  • Works with Alexa
  • Enables Bluetooth streaming
  • YPAO sound optimization for tuning your system

Things We Didn’t Like

  • The instruction booklet isn’t thorough enough

Best Receivers 2019: Conclusion

The best AV receivers 2018 can offer were great, but in 2019 quite a lot of advanced AV receivers found their prices within the $500 range. That’s all the better for us mortal folks who aren’t millionaire’s because surround sound excellence from the best home theater amplifier isn’t reserved for the filthy rich. With the best receiver 2019 has to offer, we can get a fantastic music listening and movie watching experience that rivals what the rich folks enjoy.

About the Author Michele Zangrandi

Hi guys, If you share the same excitement for literally ANY new music device out there, then I would be honoured to call you brothers!

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