Budget and Buy Your AV Receiver
Before you begin looking at AV receivers, consider these three questions:
- How many speakers will I have?
- How many inputs do I need?
- What is the size of my budget?
Your answers to these questions will simplify your process. Let’s begin with the number of speakers you’d like to use. In a minimal 5.1 surround-sound setup, you’ll need five speakers and a subwoofer. However, if you think you’d like to go all-in with 11 channels of sound either now or later, it’s best to invest in a receiver that can handle 9 to 11 channels. Next, your AV receiver needs to include the appropriate inputs for whatever sources you plan to connect, whether it’s your Roku, Blu-Ray player, or PlayStation 5. Finally, your estimated budget is a helpful indicator of an AV receiver right for you. For basic 5.1 surround sound and a few inputs, you can find a receiver for $450 or lower. If you’re looking for more modern features, like Wi-Fi, Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, 4K HDR passthrough, additional inputs, and music streaming, a respective AV receiver will be priced around $800. If your AV receiver is over $1,000, you’ll be able to enjoy everything listed above with more control and power. If you haven’t settled on a budget quite yet, just cut your total speaker budget in half. The resulting number should be within the higher range of the cost of your AV receiver.