AV Receiver

An AV receiver is the brains of your home theater system, so it makes sense to choose a quality unit – but what if you’re looking for AV receivers under $500? While AV receivers can certainly run the gamut in terms of pricing, there’s no shortage of quality models available at a budget-friendly price point.

Our tech expert found these 5 great options all for under $500, including our top pick, the Onkyo TX-SR494 AV Receiver, which stands out for its compatibility with Dolby ATMOS and ultra 4K HD.

Best Overall

Onkyo TX-SR494 AV Receiver

For the best in AV receivers, look no further than the Onkyo TX-SR494.

If you’re looking to complete your home theater system, don’t forget to pick up quality speakers and a subwoofer for the best sound possible.

Our Tech Expert’s Top 5 AV Receivers Under $500

Here are the top picks from our tech expert. Compare the ratings and features of different models.

Editor’s PicksBrandRating4K compatibleHDMI portsConnectivity
Best OverallOnkyo TX-SR494 AV Receiver4.54Bluetooth, USB
Best Budget BuyOnkyo TX-SR393 5.2 Channel A/V Receiver4.54Bluetooth
Best AV Receiver Under $500 with BluetoothYamaha RX-V385 AV Receiver4.64Bluetooth
Best 4K AV Receiver Under $500Denon AVR-S650H AV Receiver4.65HEOS, AirPlay, Bluetooth, WiFi
Best All-in-One ReceiverDenon RCD-N10 All-in-One Receiver4.30HEOS, AirPlay, Bluetooth, WiFi

*Ratings are on a scale of 1 to 5 and based on reviews, feedback, and opinions of actual customers

Who Should Buy an AV Receiver Under $500

  • Budget-conscious home theater enthusiasts – A high-quality AV receiver can provide your family with a richer, more enjoyable viewing experience, at an affordable price point.
  • Music lovers – An AV receiver allows you to connect high-quality speakers for a richer audio experience. Some systems even allow you to play audio in different rooms within the home for added versatility.
  • Video game enthusiasts – Those who enjoy video games will appreciate the immersive experience that a good AV receiver provides.

Who Should Not Buy an AV Receiver Under $500

  • Home theater enthusiasts – If budget is no option, you’re better off springing for the best possible receiver you can afford and shouldn’t limit yourself to options under $500.
  • Tech unsavvy – While there are many plug-and-play receivers available, if you aren’t tech-savvy you might want to opt for a complete home theater system rather than dealing with components like a receiver separately.

Research Tips

Here are some tips and best practices to consider when purchasing an AV receiver under $500. Be sure to do adequate research on the product you are considering purchasing to look for key features and any extra bells and whistles that matter to you. You can also ask your friends, family, or local AV store if they have any recommendations on AV receivers under $500.

  1. Check the HDMI (and other) inputs – Most TVs and set-top boxes support HDMI, so you want a receiver with as many of these inputs and outputs as possible. You’ll need the inputs to connect devices like your Blu-Ray player and gaming console. If you want to connect two displays, you’ll need to ensure you have two HDMI outputs.1
  2. Look 4K HDR compatibility – You want to make sure your AV receiver can keep up with the latest TVs and video gear, with 4K being the current standard for now and likely the foreseeable future.2
  3. Connectivity options are a big plus – Look for an AV receiver with Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connectivity for connecting other components such as speakers and streaming services like Spotify.

How Much Do They Cost?

Between $200 and $600

For most AV receivers, you can expect to pay between $200-$600 and still get a quality product. The fewer ports on your receiver, the lower the price point. And, if you don’t care about specialty sound you can opt for a basic 7 or even 5 channel version without breaking your budget. However, the best AV receivers of the bunch will cost you upwards of $1,000 or more.

The Best AV Receivers Under $500: Full Reviews

Best Overall

Onkyo TX-SR494 AV Receiver

For the best in AV receivers, look no further than the Onkyo TX-SR494.

The Onkyo TX-SR494 AV Receiver took the top spot on our list of the best AV receivers under $500. It’s compatible with Dolby ATMOS and ultra 4K HD. The Onkyo TX-SR494 AV Receiver offers both USB and Bluetooth connectivity and provides 160 watts per channel.

It boasts seven channels of high-current power and allows for multiple speaker configurations. It also has HDMI terminals that support HDR and 4K/60p video.

  • Provides 160 watts per channel
  • Dolby ATMOS compatible
  • Includes 4 HDMI inputs
  • Some reviewers found the Bluetooth range small
  • Not ideal for video games
Best Budget AV Receiver Under $500

Onkyo TX-SR393 5.2 Channel A/V Receiver

For a budget-friendly AV receiver, the Onkyo TX-SR393 5.2 Channel A/V Receiver has you covered.

The Onkyo TX-SR393 5.2 Channel A/V Receiver is a solid choice for those on a budget and boasts Dolby Atmos and DTS: x playback compatibility. It supports 4K/60p and HDR (HDR10, hlg, Dolby vision, BT.2020) and offers 150 watts per channel.

This receiver comes complete with four HDMI inputs and one ARC-ready output to pass video from the player to your compatible TV, and it also offers the ability to provide 3D surround sound.

  • 3D surround sound
  • 4K compatible
  • 5.2 channels
  • Bluetooth enabled
  • Sound and video may be out of sync when using Bluetooth
  • Hassle to flip between inputs
Best AV Receiver Under $500 with Bluetooth

Yamaha RX-V385 AV Receiver

If you’re looking for an AV receiver with Bluetooth for wireless connectivity, the Yamaha RX-V385 AV Receiver is a great choice.

The Yamaha RX-V385 AV Receiver features Bluetooth for wireless connectivity and comes complete with YPAO auto-calibration technology for ease of setup. It offers support for 4K Ultra HD and features 100 watts per channel.

It is compatible with the latest HDMI standards and features four inputs. It supports 5.1-channel surround sound and playback of HD audio for an immersive sound experience.

  • YPAO auto-calibration technology
  • Supports 5.1-channel surround sound
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • No zone control
  • No Wi-Fi connectivity
Best 4K AV Receiver Under $500

Denon AVR-S650H AV Receiver

Make the most of your new 4K ultra HD television.

The Denon AVR-S650H AV Receiver supports 5.2 channel surround sound and is compatible with ultra 4K HD video. It boasts both WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity for use with streaming services such as Alexa and Spotify.

This receiver provides 150 watts per channel and features eARC. It boasts an award-winning on-screen setup assistant for ease of installation, with clear simple instructions to connect your TV and establish any specific EQ settings.

  • Features eARC
  • WiFi and Bluetooth compatible
  • Supports 4K UHD
  • Full voice control compatibility
  • Includes 5 HDMI inputs
  • Some reviewers had challenges configuring
  • Customer support is lacking according to reviewers
Best All-in-One AV Receiver

Denon RCD-N10 All-in-One Receiver

The Denon RCD-N10 All-in-One Receiver is perfect for smaller rooms and houses.

The Denon RCD-N10 All-in-One Receiver is a great option for those looking for an all-in-one unit for their home theater needs. It features a receiver and CD player in one unit and is ideal for use in smaller rooms and houses.

This receiver boasts WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity and is compatible with Amazon Alexa. Its minimalistic design has both analog and digital inputs and is ideal for a wireless surround sound setup.

  • Perfect for smaller rooms and houses
  • WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity
  • Analog and digital inputs
  • Some reviewers had issues with firmware updates
  • Customer support is lacking according to reviewers

Frequently Asked Questions

How long do AV receivers last?

Depending on the quality of the hardware used, in theory, an AV receiver could last 30-40 years. That said, home theater technology advances rapidly, so in reality, an AV receiver actually lasts around five years.

Why are AV receivers so expensive?

An AV receiver doesn’t need to be expensive, as we’ve shown with our under $500 options. There are plenty of affordable receivers on the market. The price of a receiver will climb as you add more ports and upgrade the power amplifier portion of the device.

Is 5.1 or 7.1 surround sound better?

7.1 surround sound offers better quality than 5.1 surround sound systems because 7.1 systems offer 8 channels vs. the 6 channels used by 5.1 systems. It’s worth spending a bit more money for the better quality offered by 7.1 surround sound systems, particularly if you’re looking for that top-quality surround sound experience.

Do AV receivers improve sound quality?

Yes, AV receivers improve sound quality as they allow you to manage the audio across more speakers and take advantage of 5.1 and 7.1 channel audio options. They also help to amplify sound and even perform single room correction on the signal.3

Article Sources

Tech Pro Daily uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.

  1. Briere D, Hurley P. Video Inputs on an A/V Receiver. Dummies.com. Accessed August 9, 2021.
  2. Greenwald W. What Is HDR (High Dynamic Range)? Pcmag.com. Updated February 1, 2021. Accessed August 9, 2021.
  3. Wilson TV, Harris T. How Home Theater Works. Howstuffworks.com. Accessed August 9, 2021.