Best Stereo Receiver Reviews 2023

Today, there are so many makers of stereo receivers with great technology and cool features that getting the best stereo receiver is a complicated task. To make things a lot easier for you, we have scoured the stereo receiver market and have reviewed five top brands with one product from each. These brands also have many more in their inventory.
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Input/ Output
Our Top Choice
Onkyo Stereo Receiver
Since 1946, Onkyo has made a name for itself through the delivery of top-quality audio products.
It’s easy to operate. It has a great power system, which helps it last for a long time, and its receiver reception is known to be very good..
However, the labels on the controls are tiny, so they are hard to see.
50 W/channel
2 channels
5 audio inputs, 1 output
Independent bass/treble controls
Best Value
Yamaha R-S202BL Stereo Receiver
Yamaha is one of the best-known producers of musical instruments and audio equipment. Its products are used worldwide and are highly durable.
It is very easy to use and understand. It also has a great power output and lasts for quite some time.
There have been a few reports of the receiver shutting off while it is being used.
140 W + 140 W
2 channels
4 audio inputs, 1 output
Independent bass/treble controls
Cambridge Audio Topaz SR20 Stereo Receiver
For close to 50 years, Cambridge Audio has been one of the top manufacturers of great audio equipment.
The sound output is simply superb. There are also multiple input options for variety, and it is very reliable.
No problems have been reported.
100 W
2 channels
3 digital audio inputs
Bass/treble controls
Pioneer VSX-530-K 5.1 Channel AV Receiver
For over 70 years, Pioneer has been manufacturing and distributing quality audio equipment worldwide.
It is budget-friendly and very simple to set up. It is also quite reliable, and the sound is of the highest quality.
The Bluetooth range is short.
80 W/channel
5.1 channels
4 HDMI inputs
Dolby True HD, DTS-HD Master
Bluetooth, USB
Sony 2 Channel Stereo Receiver
For many years, Sony has been manufacturing electronics used by millions of people all over the world.
It is efficient and lasts for a long time before the power dies. It has five inputs, so a wide range of devices can be connected easily.
There have been a few reports of it shutting off while being used.
270 W
2 channels
5 audio inputs
Equalizer: bass, mid, treble
Info not provided

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What is the Best Stereo Receiver?

Choosing the best stereo receiver depends on a lot of factors. After reading our buying guide, we believe you now know how to pick a good one. In the following individual reviews, we have highlighted several features and specs, and we hope that you will be able to see the one that best fits your requirements for a stereo receiver.
Our Top Choice
The Onkyo TX-8020 Stereo Receiver has a very powerful El transformer. This makes it compatible with the DS-A5 Airplay RI Dock. It also has wide range amplifier technology. If you want a studio receiver that is even more powerful and durable, check out the Onkyo TX-8160 Network Stereo Receiver.

Onkyo TX-8020 Stereo Receiver – Available With or Without Expert Setup

Onkyo distinguishes itself through the production of high-quality, functional and affordable audio products and components. With offices across the world, Onkyo has stayed focused on the design, development and sale of automotive speaker systems.

The Onkyo TX-8020 Stereo Receiver ($199.00 - Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price) is a highly efficient stereo receiver with wide range amplifier technology. If you want the best possible audio performance on a limited budget, then this stereo receiver is the best bet for you. It has five audio inputs and one output. It also has independent bass, treble and balance controls with a phono input, and A/B speaker terminals.

Here are some other stereo receivers by Onkyo:
  • Onkyo A-9050 Integrated Studio Amplifier - It has a three-stage Invented Darlington Circuitry, which makes it very powerful
  • Onkyo A-9010 Integrated Studio Amplifier - Independent headphone amplifier for clear sound signature
  • Onkyo TX-8050 Network Stereo Receiver - It accesses 80 watts per channel at 8 ohms
  • Onkyo TX-8211 Stereo Receiver - It has digital AM/FM tuner with 40 stations
  • Onkyo Network Stereo Audio Component Receiver - It has built-in Bluetooth and Wi-Fi
Best Value
The Yamaha R-S202BL Stereo Receiver has Bluetooth functionality that allows you to stream music from anywhere. It even has a headphone terminal. For an alternative that delivers high-quality sound from an iPod, get the Yamaha R-S500BL Natural Sound Stereo Receiver with an iPod Dock port.

Yamaha Natural Sound Stereo Receiver – Available in 4 Styles

Yamaha was founded in 1887. More than 100 years later, it is still flourishing and has become known as one of the best producers of musical instruments and everyday audio equipment. Its products are well-crafted, which accounts for their durability and efficiency. Yamaha greatly values innovation, integrity, accountability and teamwork, and its team is made of people who possess all these qualities and more.

The Yamaha R-S202BL Stereo Receiver ($149.95 - Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price) is a sophisticated stereo receiver with advanced circuitry design. It has two channels of W high-power circuit (8 ohms, 40 Hz-20 kHz, 0.2% THD), and it is designed to produce high-quality sound by minimizing the length of signal routes and optimizing circuit layout. This stereo receiver also provides Bluetooth functionality, so you can stream music from any device. It has 40 stations of AM/FM preset tuning. An added bonus of this stereo receiver is that it is equipped with speaker terminals for two systems!

Here are some other stereo receivers by Yamaha:
  • Yamaha R-N301BL Network Stereo Receiver - It can stream network content
  • Yamaha RV-902 Home Theater Receiver
  • Yamaha R-S201BL 2-Channel Stereo Receiver - Energy Star certified
  • Yamaha RX-V681BL 7.2 Channel Music Cast AV Receiver with Bluetooth - It has music cast wireless multi-room audio
With a built-in AM/FM tuner and a dedicated subwoofer output, the Cambridge Audio Topaz SR20 Stereo Receiver is both efficient and easy to use. If you want a stereo receiver with integrated phono stage for turntable connection that's just as efficient, but more affordable, try the Cambridge Audio Topaz SR10 Powerful FM\/AM Stereo Receiver.

Cambridge Audio Topaz SR20 Powerful Digital Stereo Receiver

Cambridge Audio was founded in 1968. It is made up of a group of music lovers whose main aim is to share the joy of music by providing “The British Sound,” which is known to be the purest reproduction of any music you are listening to. Its products are of very high quality and stand as a gift from one music lover to another.

The Cambridge Audio Topaz SR20 Stereo Receiver ($599.00 - Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price) is a powerful amplifier that offers 100 watts per channel, backed up by subwoofer output. It comes with two speaker outputs that are fully switchable, and a remote control that is easy to operate and controls the matching CD10 CD player. It has three digital inputs, one phono input, three rear analog inputs and one front mounted 3.5mm MP3 input, for very impressive connectivity. It also has a built-in AM/FM tuner.

Other stereo receivers by Cambridge Audio include:
  • Cambridge Audio CXA80 Integrated Amplifier (Silver) - It has long-lasting power and is designed with precise balance
  • Cambridge Audio CXR200 Black AV Receiver with Bluetooth - An excellent network streaming device with intelligent post processing
  • Cambridge Azur 851A Integrated - It has two main types of connectivity: phono inputs and two pairs of XLR connections
  • Cambridge Azur 651W - Has a two-channel amplifier that drives two pairs of speakers at the same time
The Pioneer VSX-530-K 5.1 Channel AV Receiver has built-in Bluetooth wireless technology, which is very fast and connects with almost all devices. If you want a stereo receiver with even more wonderful features, we recommend the Pioneer VSX-531 5.1-Channel AV Receiver with Built-in Bluetooth. It is a bit pricier, but it is worth it.

Pioneer 5.1 Channel AV Receiver with Dolby True HD & Built-In Bluetooth

Pioneer was founded in 1938 by Nozomu Matsumoto, a man who had a great passion for music. Since then, Pioneer has expanded greatly. It remains passionate about providing the best musical entertainment possible through the use of its top-quality audio speakers.

The Pioneer VSX-530-K 5.1 Channel AV Receiver ($189.99 - Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price) is a durable stereo receiver that has up to 80 watts per channel at 8 ohms. It also has built-in Bluetooth that is very reliable. Its setup is highly simplified, which is why it can be used by anybody.

Here are some other stereo receivers by Pioneer:
  • Pioneer VSX-523 5.1- Channel A/V Receiver- It has HDMI automatic return channel
  • Pioneer X-HM21V-K Micro Component Receiver with Remote - Forty-station AM/FM presets tuner
  • Pioneer VSX-524-K Audio and Video Component Receivers - With channel discrete amplifier design
The Sony 2 Channel Stereo Receiver has 200 watts of power, and comes with an AM/FM tuner with thirty presets. If you want something else with the same quality, check out the Sony 7.2 Channel Home Theater 4K AV Receiver.

Sony Long Black 2 Channel Stereo Receiver with 5 Analog Audio Inputs

Sony has established itself as one of the best manufacturers of everyday electronics. Its products are of very high standard and are used by people all over the world, every day. It produces a wide range of electronic equipment, so that customers can get all the equipment they need from just one place. It is known as the leader in outstanding customer service, which is one major reason it has continued to expand.

The Sony 2 Channel Stereo Receiver ($119.99 - Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price) is an affordable stereo receiver with 200 watts of power and super audio quality. It has an AM/FM tuner with thirty presets. When not in use, the receiver is automatically put on standby. This saves a lot of energy. Its five audio inputs let you connect a wide range of devices.

See some of Sony’s other stereo receivers in case you want something different from the featured one:
  • Sony 7.2 Channel Hi-Res Wi-Fi Network 4K AV Receiver - Easy to use, and has exceptional circuitry that increases audio yield
  • Sony STRDE475 Dolby Digital Receiver - It has two inputs, one optical digital and one coaxial digital
  • Sony 7.2 Channel Home Theater 4K AV Receiver - With front surround sound technology and USB connection for playback

How Do I Choose the Best Stereo Receiver?

A stereo receiver is simply an audio amplifier and switching device for a stereo system. The reason it is called a receiver is simply because it also contains a built-in radio tuner, like an AM/FM tuner.

The stereo receiver usually contains inputs for several audio sources, and outputs to one or more sets of speakers. When deciding to get a stereo receiver, you must be mindful of where you want to use it. Do you need it for outdoor purposes? What kind of loudspeakers are you using for sound output?

The receiver usually needs to be connected to the right aerial or antenna in order to receive radio signals. This means that you can pick up signals from radio channels and then send them to your speakers. You will also have two-channel inputs just like a normal amplifier. This will help you plug in your CD or DVD player. Remember that you can use the receiver purely as an amplifier, without ever using the built-in radio tuner.

Receivers today have loads of advanced technologies and cool features that offer better value than ever before. In this guide, we hope to help you navigate these technologies and features, so that you can make a more informed decision on the stereo receiver to buy.
Before buying a stereo receiver, one of the first things you should consider is the amount of money you are willing to spend. There are different qualities of stereo receivers, so, of course, there is a wide range of prices. Prices of stereo receivers generally range from $150 to $800.

The more features a receiver has, the more expensive it will be, and the higher the level of satisfaction you’ll likely get from using it. During our research, we came across a lot of cheap stereo receivers that were of average or less-than- average quality. Of course, we did not feature any of these receivers here, because we are focused on bringing you the best and only the best. We found that one of the greatest determinants of price for a stereo receiver is the range of amplifier power, so you have to decide whether you want less or more power. Keep on reading, and you are sure to find the stereo receiver that will give you great value for your money.
Stereo receivers vary in their designs and the features they possess. Your focus must be on functionality, and functionality is determined by the features a product has. It is always better to make an informed decision. Here are some of the most important features to consider when deciding to buy a stereo receiver:
  • Sound quality
  • Range of amplifier power
  • Stereo or surround
  • Power
  • Streaming
  • Bluetooth compatibility
  • Number/type of input/outputs
  • Channels
  • Controls
  • Total harmonic distortion
Construction and Design
Do you want a receiver that you can upload music files to via Bluetooth? While this is a popular feature, not all receivers have it. You need to check the inputs/outputs (both type and numbers) available. Does your receiver have an HDMI input? Can you play songs from your flash drive via USB? How many channels are available to you? What type of channels are they? You can have mono, stereo, 5.1 surround channels, or a combination of these. This will determine what type of speaker arrangements you can benefit from. For example, using a stereo channel for a 5.1 surround speaker setup will give you less than optimal results. So check your speaker setup (or what you plan to buy), and choose a receiver that helps you get the best from it.

What level of amplification do you need? A receiver that will be suitable for powering two 100-watt speakers will be too much if all you need is amplification for two 40-watt speakers. Check the power output (we’ll get into more details on that in the next section). Do you like tweaking your sound, or are you usually satisfied with sound the way it is? If you like tweaking things to your personal taste, then it would be a great idea to check the controls. Are they just treble and bass controls, or is there an equalizer? If the receiver has an equalizer, how many bands does it come with? The more control you want, the higher the number of bands or frequencies you should have on your equalizer.

You also need to pay attention to the material used to make the stereo receiver, and the design, as they determine how well a receiver works and how long it will last. Some receivers overheat easily because of the design and materials used, and, of course, nobody wants that.
Performance and Ease of Use
Since power is one major determinant of the cost of a stereo receiver, you really need to be careful. Manufacturers have devised means of misleading buyers somewhat. Since the FTC has mandated that manufacturers disclose the testing conditions for arriving at the power rating for every device, with some knowledge, you can easily differentiate a genuine power rating from one that has been doctored. Pay attention to the following:

RMS: This means Root Mean Squared; that is the continuous power that a device can sustain for long periods of time. Power ought to be expressed as RMS and not peak power, as peak power could simply mean that this stereo puts out Y watts for less than a second. It doesn’t mean that this power is sustainable.

All Channels Driven: You should look for the statement "all channels driven," as this means there is equal amplification to all the channels of the receiver. Depending on the mode of the receiver, it can output (for example) 120 watts per channel in stereo mode and 100 watts per channel when in surround mode. This simply shows that the power of one amp is being split among several speakers, which naturally results in low power being available when needed.

Bandwidth: Bandwidth ratings should be achieved under high stress conditions. Ideally, you should look for ratings achieved at between 20hz to 20khz.

Total Harmonic Distortion: This is an indicator of how faithful and consistent a sound signal remains when compared to the original as the receiver amplifies it. You should go for a THD rating of 0.08 or less, and steer clear of anything higher than 0.1 percent.

You should also watch for impedance rating of between 6 to 8 ohms. Impedance is a measure of electrical resistance.

Now that we have gotten the power rating clarified, you need to determine how easy it is to understand and set up the receiver. You don’t want a stereo receiver that requires many days of learning to operate. One last thing to check out is the weight and mobility of the receiver, if you intend to move it from place to place.

Get the Best Stereo Receiver of 2023!

We are glad that you have taken the time to go through our reviews, and we hope you have found the best stereo receiver for yourself. It's time to place that order.

Our Top Choice
Onkyo Stereo Receiver
Best Value
Yamaha R-S202BL Stereo Receiver
Cambridge Audio Topaz SR20 Stereo Receiver
Pioneer VSX-530-K 5.1 Channel AV Receiver
Sony 2 Channel Stereo Receiver