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Home Theater Receivers - 400 to 1,299 Dollars

Midrange Home Theater Receivers - AV Receivers - Surround Sound Receivers


11. Denon AVR-E400 Network Home Theater Receiver

Image of the front view of the Denon AVR-E400 7.1 Channel Network Home Theater Receiver
Image © Denon USA
The Denon AVR-E400 falls right in that sweet spot between budget-priced and midrange home theater receivers. As a result, it offers an affordable package of features without breaking the bank, and it is also easy to use. To start off, the AVR-E400 has a 7.1 Channel configuration with a 90WPCx7 output that is perfect for small or medium-size rooms. Also, the AVR-1913 incorporates Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD Master Audio decoding and Dolby ProLogic IIz processing. For video, the AVR-E400 has six 3D-compatible HDMI inputs, with analog to HDMI conversion and both 1080p and 4K upscaling. Additional bonuses include the Audyssey MultEQ automatic speaker setup system, Apple AirPlay, Direct iPod/iPhone/iPad connection via USB, Internet Radio, and DLNA supported audio and photo streaming from network connected devices (such as PCs and NAS drives). Resting in the $599 price range, the Denon AVR-E400 is definitely worth consideration.
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12. NAD T748 7.1 Channel Home Theater Receiver

NAD T748 7.1 Channel Home Theater Receiver - Front View w/Included Accessories
Photo (c) Robert Silva Licensed to About.com
Behind its uncluttered front panel, the NAD T748 home theater receiver provides either 5.1 or 7.1 channel speaker setup configuration options, four HDMI inputs with 3D pass-through, analog to HDMI video conversion (however, there is no video upscaling), Dolby TrueHD/DTS-HD Master Audio decoding, iPod connectivity, and NAD's own EARS surround processing and automatic speaker calibration system. A nice added touch is the inclusion of two internal cooling fans.
Review and Photo Profile - Official Product Page

13. Onkyo TX-NR525 5.2 Channel Home Theater Receiver

Onkyo TX-NR525 5.2 Channel Network Home Theater Receiver
Image provided by Onkyo, USA

The Onkyo TX-NR525 packs in both solid audio features and internet streaming access for a very reasonable price. First off, the Onkyo TX-NR525 features a 5 channel speaker configuration with up to two subwoofers, and is rated at 80 Watts-per-Channel (measured at 8 ohms, from 20Hz to 20kHz, at .7% THD with two channels driven). This is enough power for small or medium size room.

On the rest of the audio side, the TX-NR525 provides Dolby TrueHD/DTS-Master Audio decoding, as well as Audio Return Channel.

On the video side the TX-NR525 incorporates both 3D and 4K pass-through switching (no analog-to-HDMI video conversion or video upscaling). There are also six HDMI inputs with InstaPrevue switching.

The TX-NR525 also has a front panel USB port for accessing audio content from iPod/iPhone or USB flash drives, as well as DLNA network connectivity and Internet Radio access ( Aupeo!, Pandora, Spotify, and more) via built-in Ethernet port or the Onkyo UWF-1 Wireless USB Adapter. Wireless Bluetooth capability can also be added via the optional Onkyo UBT-1 adapter.

To guide you along in getting the most of your speaker setup, the TX-NR525 also provides Audyssey MultEQ speaker setup system, along with Audyssey's Dynamic Volume, and Dynamic EQ audio enhancements.
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Also Available - The TX-NR626: Added features include 7.2 channel configuration Dolby ProLogic IIz processing, an MHL-compatble HDMI input (allows direct access to 1080p video and 7.1 audio from compatible Smartphones or other devices), two HDMI outputs (parallel), Marvell QDEO up to 4K video processing and scaling, and, for vinyl record fans, a dedicated phono input. The TX-NR626 also incorporates built-in WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity.
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14. Sony STR-DN1030 7.2 Channel Wireless Network Home Theater Receiver

Sony STR-DN1030 7.2 Channel Network Home Theater Receiver - Photo - Front View
Photo © Robert Silva - Licensed to About.com

With the increasing emphasis on internet integration in to the home theater experience, sometimes it seem like the core function of providing good audio performance is taking a back seat newer home theater receivers, but the Sony STR-DN1030 is not such a case. The Sony STR-DN1030 offers a great balance of audio features and performance, along with cutting-edge networking features at a very reasonable price point.

The STR-DN1030 provides Dolby TrueHD/DTS-HD decoding, Dolby Pro Logic IIz audio processing, five 3D compatible HDMI inputs, and analog to HDMI video conversion with 1080i video upscaling. The STR-DN1030 also includes both network and internet streaming access via either Ethernet connection or built-in WiFi. In addition, in a surprising move for its price range, the STR-DN1030 also features built-in wireless Bluetooth and Apple AirPlay. If you looking an affordable home theater receiver that packs in both great audio performance and all those newly desired streaming features, definitely consider the STR-DN1030.
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15. Harman Kardon AVR-1700 5.1 Channel Home Theater Receiver

The Harman Kardon AVR-1700 home theater receiver provides up to a 5.1 Channel configuration, with amplifiers rated at 95wpc (2 channels driven @ 8ohms, from 20Hz to 20kHz @ approximately .07% THD). Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio decoding is featured, as well as additional audio processing, including Harman's Logic 7 surround processing.

For connectivity, the AVR-1700 has 6 HDMI 1.4a 3D pass through inputs and switching. There is also a front panel USB port that allows direct connection of a USB flash drive, iPod, iPad, or iPhone (no optional dock required). Just plug in any of those Apple devices using the provided connection cable and you can access iTunes and Apple AirPlay functions.

Additional bonuses include access to Internet Radio (vTuner, as well as media content stored on network-connected PCs and media servers via DLNA compatibility.

On the other hand, the AVR-1700 does not perform additional video processing or upscaling for connected sources. Also, while HDMI and component video-connected source signals can be passed to your TV via the AVR-1700's HDMI output, if you have a source device connected to the AVR-1700 via a composite video cable, you will also have to connect the composite video monitor output of the AVR-1700 to your TV.

If you are looking for a home theater receiver that provides the audio performance and features you need, but you need access to video processing functions, the AVR-1700 might be a good choice.
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