Best AV receivers


We're still yet to see much of what 2018 has to offer, but the best of 2017 is still a) the best and b) ever-more competitively priced. They can handle music streaming services such as Spotify, boast wireless technologies like AirPlay and Bluetooth, not to mention the latest surround-sound processing formats, including Dolby Atmos and DTS:X.

We've got a home cinema amplifier for every budget so you can buy safe in the knowledge you're getting maximum bang for your buck.


Best home cinema deals

How to set up your home cinema amp and get the best results

Under £250

Pioneer VSX-531

Pioneer's fine entry-level AV receiver produces splendid results for the outlay.


130W per channel | Bluetooth

Reasons to Buy
Fast, articulate sound
Agile and expressive
Good scale and size
HDMI inputs support 4K passthrough
Reasons to Avoid
Some spring-loaded terminals
Treble lacks substance
Rivals have more sonic solidity
No network features

Under £500

Sony STR-DN1080

This home cinema amplifier from Sony ticks so many boxes we deemed it the best AV receiver of 2017 at the What Hi-Fi? Awards. A superb piece of kit.


4K HDR | Dolby Atmos & DTS:X | HDMI inputs x6 | Hi-res audio (24-bit/192kHz) & DSD

Reasons to Buy
Stunningly insightful and authoritative
Punchy, agile and precise
Hugely enjoyable and dynamic performance
Exhaustive features
Easy to use
Reasons to Avoid
A backlit remote would be nice

Under £750

Denon AVR-X3400H

The current range of Denon AV receivers is pretty special, and this might be, pound-for-pound, the best of the lot. 


7.2 surround sound | 8x HDMI outputs | Hi-res (24bit/196kHz)

Reasons to Buy
Great power, big punch
Great balance despite rich midrange and plenty of bass
Fast and dynamic
Reasons to Avoid
Tough competition

Under £1000

Denon AVR-X4400H

An absolutely thrilling pound-for-pound performance from another splendid member of Denon's current AV amp range.


4K | HDR | Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, DTS Virtual:X

Reasons to Buy
Great power and punch
Good balance, with rich midrange and plenty of bass
Fast and dynamic
Fine for stereo listening
Reasons to Avoid
Nothing at this price

Under £2000

Denon AVR-X6400H

A perfect fit for a capable high-end speaker package, this is a composed, articulate and powerful performer.


11 channel amplifier | 4K HDR | Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, Dolby Vision | 8x HDMI inputs

Reasons to Buy
Excellent clarity and detail
Fluid dynamics and rhythms
Accurate timing
Refined character
Exhaustive features and connections
Reasons to Avoid
Some might prefer a bigger, more muscular sound