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Best Home Theater Receivers 1,300 Dollars and Up

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The Home Theater Receiver is the heart of a home theater system, providing centralized connection and control. High end Home Theater Receivers also provide extensive audio and video switching and processing, and most also provide network connectivity and custom control capabilities. Check out my list of high end home theater receiver favorites in the $1300 and Up price range.

For additional Home Theater Receiver suggestions, also check out my listings of Home Theater Receivers - $399 or Less and Home Theater Receivers - $400 to $1,299.

Also, check out my Guide to Home Theater Receivers for everything you need to know before purchasing one.

1. Yamaha RX-A3030 Multi-Zone Network Home Theater Receiver

RX-A3030-med.jpg
Image provided by Yamaha

The Yamaha Aventage RX-A3030 probably has all the features you will need in a home theater receiver for years to come. This receiver is rated to deliver 150wpc (measured with 2-channels driven from 20Hz to 20kHz), and features extensive standard and high-definition Dolby and DTS audio decoding and processing options, as well as Yamaha's own audio processing enhancements, which include the ability to incorporate extra front and rear height channels as well as the addition of ESS Technology ES9016 and ES9006 SABRE Digital-to-Analog Audio Converters. The RX-A3030 also has two subwoofer outputs and preamp outputs for an additional three two-channel zones. The RX-A3030 can also expand to up to an 11.2 channel main system configuration via the addition of external amplifiers.

For video support, the RX-A3030 has eight 3D-compatible HDMI inputs (including a front mounted MHL-enabled input), and dual HDMI outputs (one of which can be assigned to output an independent signal to a second Zone) along with 1080p and 4K upscaling. In addition, extensive video setting options are provided.

In addition to HDMI, there are also abundant analog video connections, including the now very rare S-Video connection option, as well as a comprehensive collection of analog and digital audio input and outputs.

The RX-A3030 is also DLNA certified, which allows wired or wireless (via the optional YWA-10 Wireless Network Adapter) audio streaming from other devices, such as a PC or media server connected in a home network. Extra bonuses include direct iPod/iPhone connection via USB, along with Apple AirPlay, Internet Radio, and HD Radio.

As far as control goes, you can use the provided remote control, integrate the RX-A3030 into a custom installation control environment, or use a compatible iOS, Android, or Kindle Fire device.
Compare Prices - Official Product Page

Also available, the RX-A2030 (140wpc, fewer video setting options, no 11.2 channel expansion option)
Compare Prices - Official Product Page

2. Onkyo TX-NR5010, 3010, and 1010 Network Home Theater Receivers

Onkyo TX-NR5010 Network Home Theater Receiver
Image provided by Onkyo

The TX-NR5010 is the 2012/13 flagship home theater receiver from Onkyo that combines the latest audio processing, video upscaling, multi-room capability, and media player/extender functions.

To start off, the TX-NR5010 is THX Ultra2 Plus certified, and features an assignable 9.2 channel configuration (with expansion up to 11 channels via additional amplification) combined the latest surround sound processing technology, including Dolby ProLogic IIz, Audyssey DSX and DTS Neo:X. In terms of power output, the TX-NR5010 can push out 145 watts-per-channel (measured from 20Hz-20kHz, 0.05% THD, at 8ohms with 2-channels driven), supported by a 4 transformer power supply.

In terms of video support, the TX-NR5010 is 3D-enabled, complies with ISF standards and has 9 HDMI inputs (including a front panel MHL-enabled HDMI input) and two outputs (one of which can be assigned to Zone2), with 1080p upscaling via HQV processing and 4K scaling via via QDEO processing.

These days, a home theater receiver that deserves to be called a "flagship" also needs to provide extensive networking capabilities, and the TX-NR5010 does not disappoint. This receiver features full DLNA compatibility, which allows music streaming from compatible newtwork-connected devices, such as PCs and media servers. The TX-NR5010 also provides built-in ethernet connection for access to internet-based streaming servies, sucvh as Pandora, Rhapsody, Spotify, and vTuner. In addition, WiFi and Bluetooth compatibility can be added via optional USB adapters.

Also available, the TX-NR3010, which has a slightly lower power output and 24-bit, instead of 32-bit, DACs (Digital-to-Analog audio converters), and the TX-NR1010, which features a single transformer power supply, has a built-in 7-channel configuration with the ability to expand to 9 channels via additional amplification, but has no 11-channel expansion capability.

For more details and perspective on all three receivers, refer to my previous report.

Official Product Page for the TX-NR5010
Compare Prices for the TX-NR3010
Official Product Page for the TX-NR1010

3. Yamaha Aventage RX-A3010 3D-Compatible Network Home Theater Receiver

The Yamaha Aventage RX-A3010 Home Theater Receiver has power, up-to-date features, and an abundance of connectivity options for any home theater. This receiver is rated to deliver 150wpc, and features Dolby Digital Plus, TrueHD, DTS-HD Master Audio decoding. The RX-A3010 also has two subwoofer outputs and preamp outputs for an additional three two-channel zones. In fact, the RX-A3010 can be expanded to up to 11.2 channels for main system operation using additional external amplifiers.

 

On the video side, the RX-A3010 has eight 3D-compatible HDMI inputs and dual HDMI outputs along with 1080p upscaling using the HQV Vida video processor. The RX-A3010 is also DLNA certified, which allows audio streaming from other devices, such as a PC or media server connected in a home network. Extra bonuses include direct iPod/iPhone connection via USB, Internet Radio, and also HD Radio and Bluetooth connectivity (via optional adapters).

The RX-A3010 is definitely a great example of how home theater receivers have morphed into a comprehensive gateway for access and distribution of audio, video, and network-based content for today's home theater systems.
Compare Prices.

4. Marantz SR-7007 7.2 Channel Home Theater Network Receiver

Marantz SR7007 7.2 Channel Network Home Theater Receiver
Image © D&M Holdings

The Marantz SR5007 packs in a lot of practical behind its unusual front panel styling. This receiver is 3D and Audio Return Channel-enabled, and provides a seven channel configuration, two subwoofer outputs, Dolby Pro Logic IIz front height channel processing, and analog to HDMI video conversion and 1080p upscaling. In addition, seven HDMI inputs are provides, as well as three HDMI outputs. HDMI outputs 1 and 2 output the same signal, but the third output can send a different HDMI source signal to a Zone 2 setup. Additional connection features that are included are a set of both 5.1/7.1 channel analog audio inputs and preamp outputs, and a dedicated phono turntable input.

To make speaker setup easier, the SR7007 also includes the Audyssey MultEQ XT ProMultEQ XT room correction system, which can be upgraded to MultEQ XT Pro via installer upgrade.

The SR57007 also provides a USB port, DLNA certification, and internet access to music streaming services, such as Pandora, Rhapsody, and vTuner. Apple AirPlay compatibility is also provided, so you can stream music from your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch as well as from iTunes libraries.
Compare Prices

NOTE: While an FM tuner is provided, there is no AM tuner.

5. Denon AVR-4520CI 9.2 Channel Home Theater Receiver

The AVR-4520CI sits on top of the Denon home theater receiver product line for 2013.

To start off, the AVR-4520CI provides an assignable 9.2 channel configuration (with expansion up to 11 channels via additional amplification) combined the latest surround sound processing technology, including Dolby ProLogic IIz, Audyssey DSX and DTS Neo:X. The AVR-4520 is rated to deliver 125 watts-per-channel (measured from 20Hz-20kHz, 0.08% THD, at 8ohms with 2-channels driven).

In terms of video support, the AVR-4520 is both 3D and 4K UltraHD-enabled and has seven HDMI inputs and three outputs (one of which can be assigned to Zone2). Both 1080p and 4K upscaling are provided. In addition, the front HDMI input is MHL compatible.

Audio and video are certainly not the whole story as the AVR-4520 provides extensive networking capabilities, including full DLNA compatibility, which allows music streaming from compatible network-connected devices, such as PCs and media servers. The built-in ethernet connection also provides access to internet-based streaming services, such as Pandora, Spotify, and vTuner. Even Apple AirPlay compatibility is provided, so you can stream music from your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch as well as from iTunes libraries.
Official Product Page - Compare Prices

6. Pioneer Elite SC-67 THX Select 2 Plus Certified Receiver

The Pioneer Elite SC-67 is a great home theater receiver to consider. Incorporating powerful 140 watt-per-channel Pioneer D3 amplifier, assignable 9.1 channel speaker configuration (expandable to 11 channels via external amplification), extensive audio decoding (inlcuding Dolby TrueHD/DTS-HD Master Audio) and processing (including DTS-Neo:X), network connectivity, internet radio, and custom installation control integration, this receiver has just about everything you need for your setup. Also, the SC-67 is both THX Select2 Plus and AirStudios Certified.

For video, the SC-67 utilizes Marvell QDEO supported 1080p upscaling, but can also pass-through 4K resolution source signals.

The SC-67 also has abundant connection options, including eight HDMI inputs (including one that is MHL-enabled) and three HDMI outputs (one of which can supply a separate HD feed to second Zone, as well as 11.2 channel preamp outputs. However, no 5.1/7.1 channel analog audio inputs or S-Video connections are provided.

If all of the above isn't enough for you - the SC-67 also has up-to-date networking and internet access features, such as DLNA and Windows 7 compatibility, Apple Airplay and Internet Radio (Pandora, Sirius, vTuner). The SC-67 also has access to the iControlAV2012 and Air Jam Apps.

The SC-67 has a lot more to offer that I can't mention in this short entry. For more, check out the...
Official Pioneer Elite SC-67 Product Page - Compare Prices

Also available, the Pioneer Elite SC-65, which eliminates the third HDMI output, reduces the available HDMI inputs to seven, provides only analog audio output capabilitzy to Zone 3, does not have Air Studios certification, and has slightly less power output (130 wpc vs 140 wpc for the SC-67 (rated at 1kHz at 8 ohms - 1% THD - 2 channels driven). Official Pioneer Elite SC-65 Product Page - Compare Prices

7. Anthem MRX700 7.1 Channel Home Theater Receiver

Anthem MRX700 7.1 Channel Home Theater Receiver - Front View w/Included Accessories
Photos (c) Robert Silva - Licensed to About.com
The Anthem MRX700 Home Theater Receiver offers 7 channels of amplification, lots of power, practical features, and excellent performance for your home theater setup. With HDMI 3D pass-through, analog to HDMI video conversion and 1080p upscaling, Dolby TrueHD/DTS-HD Master Audio decoding, Internet Radio, iPod connectivity, and Anthem's own room correction and speaker setup system, the MRX700 is definitely worth consideration.
Review - Photo Profile - Video Performance Tests - Official Product Pages
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