Want an even more immersive theater experience at home? Is your soundbar no longer sufficient? With one of these audio / video receivers (A / V receiver) you can take your sound to the next level!
What You Should Look For in a Surround Sound Receiver
A / V receivers have been improving for decades. The feature list is endless with high-end models that can cost several thousand dollars. Most of us can not afford the Ultra Premium models, but the same features can be transferred to cheaper models. Here's a list of key features that a main receiver can use to create great sound in most environments.
Surround Channels : The most basic A / V receivers contain five main audio channels (left front, center, front right, back left and rear right) and a single subwoofer for 5.1
surround sound configuration. This works well for smaller theater spaces. For larger rooms, two additional audio channels (surround left and surround right) complete a 7.1 surround sound configuration. The other two channels increase fidelity for a more immersive experience. Some systems also have an additional subwoofer channel to allow for a fuller and more balanced bass reproduction in the room for a 5.2 or 7.2 channel configuration. To this end, some systems provide support for two or four ceiling speakers or upwardly directed speakers that reflect the sound from the ceiling and provide even more three-dimensional sound depth. This is represented by a 5.1.2, 5.2.2, 7.1.2 or 7.2.2 channel configuration.
Max. Power / Channel Power : Each surround receiver includes an amplifier for driving the surround speakers. More surround channels require more overall power to achieve the desired volume levels. It is important to know how much power is provided per channel so that the speakers can be appropriately matched to the receiver to produce a good sound from the system. The power per channel depends directly on the speaker ohms. Higher ohms mean more resistance so the receiver can deliver less power. Lower ohms mean less resistance so the receiver can deliver more power. If the manufacturer displays the receiver's performance at lower ohms, such as four or six, it may be playing the system a little to improve the representation of numbers.
Surround Sound Encoding Support : At least All modern receivers are likely to support the Dolby Digital and Digital Theater System (DTS) formats for 5.1 or 5.2 configurations. They may also support Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby TrueHD, and DTS-HD configurations for 7.1 or 7.2. Finally, to add ceiling speakers in 7.1.2, 7.2.2, 7.1.4 or 7.2.4, look for support for the Dolby Atmos or DTS: X format. There are several similar formats that are most common in streaming, gaming, and broadcast video sources.
Automatic Calibration : The proper configuration of the various audio settings in requires much knowledge of a surround sound receiver for a given room. Many receivers can hear the sound in the room and automatically calibrate themselves!
Wireless Audio : Most receivers support Bluetooth audio, but some also support audio casting over Wi-Fi or even AirPlay / AirPlay 2. Some also support Chromecast audio.
Streaming Audio : With the ever growing popularity of Spotify, Apple Music, Pandora, and others, some receivers support these streaming services directly without relying on additional source devices.
Video Support : When an A / V receiver is provisioned, it becomes the hub for any home theater audio and video device. All HDMI video equipment should be connected to the receiver so you only need to select the receiver input source to switch audio and video at the same time. This built-in HDMI switch should support HDCP 2.2 / 2.3, HDR, Dolby Vision, and full 4K / 60p Ultra HD and 3D digital video. It should also support ARC and HEC over HDMI to simplify the control of the receiver with the remote control of your TV.
The list could go on and on. However, with our collection of surround sound receivers, most of the above features can be well implemented to provide the best possible experience for most users.