Making your own multimedia center, in the commodity of your home, is something many of you are seeking. However, what if you have a limited budget, but still want to create a mesmerizing audio-video experience in the center of your home. In that case, your only option is to buy more budget-friendly components, and the focal point of such a system should definitely be the best AV receiver under $500 that will make your entertainment center worth envying.
Of course, in order to find something like that, you need to do proper research or listen to somebody’s advice, which will definitely help save some valuable time and find the perfect fit for your system, all in one. In such occasions, the best option is definitely a product guide like this one that will bring all the necessary information in front of you, and let you easily decide for the best match.
Therefore, don’t waste your time, hop on to business, read the lines below carefully and find the best AV receiver under $500 in no time.
How to Choose the Best AV Receiver under $500
When choosing the best AV receiver, you must focus on several main characteristics that include the following:
One of the main aspects of today’s AV receivers is definitely their streaming capabilities. Even if you are not a fan of Spotify, Pandora, Deezer, or similar services, you will sooner or later need some of them. Therefore, better be safe than sorry and get yourself a device you can use in the long run.
In terms of connectivity, you should not only worry about the most common Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connection but more modern connection types as well, such as AirPlay, Chromecast, etc., that will make streaming and pairing of the devices much more comfortable.
Be sure that the desired AV receiver supports 4K reproduction, HDR, HLG, Dolby Atmos and similar mainstream functions.
Don’t forget about the HDMI ports, their number, as well as their compatibility. If they don’t support at least HDCP2.2 standard, better look for something else.
Also, look at what other types of inputs and outputs this device has and choose the one with the biggest variety of them. Look if there are MusicCast, AccuEQ and SONOS functions that aren’t essential, but can make the system setup much easier and give you more flexibility and usability, and therefore, a much better overall value for the money.
6 Best AV Receivers under $500
Yamaha RX-V685 AV Receiver
A Feature-Rich AV Receiver
There are not that many products that offer such a good combination of features, audio-video quality and price, as it is the case with Yamaha RX-V685 7.2-Channel AV Receiver. This device brings almost the same old-style design as the previous generations of this receiver, as well as exceptional overall performance and good power output (up to 150W at 8-ohms) that place it among the best AV receivers under $500.
This is a device that supports almost any audio and video format, including MP3, WMA, MPEG-4 AAC, WAV, FLAC, and many others. Moreover, it comes with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and AirPlay 2 function and allows you to use it for streaming your favorite services, such as Pandora, SiriusXM Internet Radio, Spotify, Deezer, Napster and others.
Yamaha RX-V685 is a reasonably priced device, with open, very detailed sound that will please even the more demanding audiophiles. Also, it offers a great variety of inputs and outputs (seven HDMI HDCP2.3 compatible ports, two coaxial inputs, one composite video input, three aux inputs, etc.), as well as support for Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, Dolby Vision, HLG and of course, 4K HDR videos.
Other interesting features of this device include its MusicCast functionality and Alexa voice control that just add to its already great value that makes it so attractive in the first place. In other words, if you want a great AV receiver at a fair price, Yamaha RX-V685 is a superb choice.
- Great connectivity
- Excellent video and sound experience
- Support for various file types
- Variety of streaming options
- eARC compatible
- Non-intuitive menus
Greatness at an Affordable Price
Onkyo TX-NR595 is an affordable, feature-rich AV receiver, with impressive sound quality that puts it neck to neck with devices such as Sony STR-DN1080 and Denon AVR740H.
This is a 7.2 channel device that delivers up to 80W of power at 8-ohms and the very nice 170W at 6-ohms, and offers great connectivity that involves Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and Ethernet networking, as well as numerous advanced functions, such as Apple AirPlay 2, Chromecast, DTS Play-Fi and Spotify Connect that provide the incredibly flexible streaming capabilities. Also, this device comes with eight HDMI HDCP2.2 compatible ports, one digital coaxial connection, four RCA connections, a 6.35mm headphone jack, as well as one aux input and many more.
Onkyo TX-NR595 has a two-year warranty and delivers a modern, minimalistic design that, along with its user-friendly nature, makes it a great option for a vast number of users. More importantly, this AV receiver provides support for 60Hz 4K video and a whole bunch of accompanying features, such as HDR10, Dolby Vision, HLG and 3D video pass-through. Also, there is support for Dolby Atmos, DTS:X and even AccuEQ that will automatically optimize your speakers’ system.
To make a long story short, if you are seeking usability and ease of use, as well as amazing sound quality, followed by a good price and plenty of advanced features, everything you need is Onkyo TX-NR595 AV receiver.
- Great sound quality
- Excellent connectivity
- Numerous streaming options
Denon AVR-S950H Receiver
AV Receiver with Plenty of Power under the Hood
A proper ratio of features, connectivity and price is essential for a successful product and Denon AVR-S950H is one of the devices that certainly holds up to that principle.
It offers Ethernet, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, AirPlay 2 and HEOS connectivity and provides support for many streaming services that include: Deezer, Napster, Spotify, Pandora and SiriusXM. Also, this device can handle a variety of audio file types (MP3, WAV, FLAC, ALAC, etc.) and offers support for 60Hz 4K video reproduction.
In addition, it is fitted with video upscaling and 3D video pass-through function, but more importantly, it is fully compatible with HDR10, HLG and Dolby Vision, as well as Dolby Atmos, DTS:X and many other.
Denon AVR-S950H delivers up to 185W of power at 6-ohms and up to 90W at 8-ohms and comes along with the 2-year warranty.
Its list of inputs and outputs is impressive and among others, it includes 10 HDMI HDCP 2.3 ports, component and composite video, as well as digital audio, and many more. Moreover, this device is compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, and comes with numerous enhancing features, such as Audyssey MULTEQ that altogether transforms it into an affordable audio-video beast.
The point being, if you are looking for the best AV receiver under $500, this is definitely a device to consider.
- Great connectivity
- Easy setup
- Very good streaming capabilities
- Good value for the price
- eARC compatible
- No SONOS or built-in Chromecast
A Very Good Entry-level AV Receiver
A device doesn’t necessarily have to be feature-rich and packed with the latest technologies to be good. Sometimes, it is enough that it brings a good combination of factors, such as an affordable price, good quality performance and a solid overall value, which is the case with Sony STRDH590.
As you have probably realized from the past few lines, this AV receiver is no match up to high-end devices. However, that isn’t its intention in the first place. This device, with its power output of 145W at 6-ohms, is designed for value-oriented users that are seeking the essential functions and not the fancy gizmos.
In accordance with that, this receiver has only the basic features, such as Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master support, Bluetooth 4.2 connectivity, as well as support for 3D pass-through, 24Hz 4K video and of course, HDR.
As expected, its inputs are also limited – only five HDCP 2.2 compatible HDMI ports and one coaxial audio drastically reduce its altogether usability.
Sony STRDH590 is a 5.1-channel AV receiver that delivers precise and clean sound and even better video quality, which makes it suitable for both videophiles and audiophiles.
All in all, if you are searching for a good-quality addition to your already great home theater system, you may be sure that Sony STRDH590 is the device that won’t disappoint you, and will help you save up, as well.
- Easy setup
- A Good overall value
- Small and lightweight
- No support for Dolby Atmos and DTS:X
- No built-in Chromecast or AirPlay
- No upscaling feature
Marantz NR1609 AV Receiver
A Power Tool in a Slim Suit
If you are searching for the best AV receiver under $500 and you expect it to be both attractive-looking and equipped with a ton of features, Marantz NR1609 AV Receiver might be a great deal for you.
Although its power is limited only to 50W (at 8-ohms), this 7.1-channel AV receiver is still strong enough to drive some of the best home theater speakers out there (of course, more sensible ones, money-wise) and provide a solid audio performance that will please even the more demanding users.
Marantz NR1609 AV Receiver comes packed with features and offers Bluetooth, Ethernet and dual-band Wi-Fi networking, as well as AirPlay2 and HEOS, along with streaming services such as Spotify Connect, Deezer and Tidal that can be used through the dedicated HEOS app.
More importantly, this receiver supports video upscaling, Audyssey MultEQ room calibration, as well as multi-room playback, through the already mentioned HEOS feature. Also, Marantz NR1609 supports 4K video, HDR10, Dolby Vision and HLG, and audio profiles such as Dolby Atmos, DTS Neural:X and Dolby Surround.
In other words, everything you need is there, including the Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant support, as well as a large number of different inputs and outputs, such as nine HDCP 2.2 compatible HDMI ports, component video, digital audio and many more.
Altogether, Marantz NR1609 AV Receiver is a great device that isn’t for everyone but will certainly please anyone.
- Great network capabilities
- No Chromecast
- Low 50W power output
A Lot of “Juice” for the Money
Yamaha RX-V485 is a solid, more budget-oriented AV receiver, with plenty of features, including the ones you would expect only in more expensive models.
This device has everything that a mainstream user might need and more, except for a built-in Chromecast feature, which is its biggest disadvantage at the same time. Luckily, there are other connection types, such as Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and AirPlay 2 that will allow you to stream your favorite tunes with ease.
Have in mind that this receiver supports a vast number of streaming services that include Spotify, Apple Music, Tidal, Napster, Pandora, Deezer and many others. Also, it comes fitted with five HDCP2.3 and eARC-compatible HDMI ports and provides support for both MusicCast and Alexa voice control.
Yamaha RX-V485 is capable of delivering up to 115W at 8-ohms and 145W at 6-ohms and is fully compatible with HDR10, Dolby Vision, HLG and BT. 2020, as well as Dolby TrueHD and Dolby Audio.
In terms of audio performance, this device delivers a great sound experience. However, if you have a trained ear, you will spot a subtle lack of detail in upper frequencies, which isn’t much, especially for newbies and mainstream users that probably won’t even hear the difference, but the fact that it exists stays.
Overall, Yamaha RX-V485 is a more than a decent device, with numerous features and good overall performance, as well as a very attractive price that surely places it as the top pick among the best AV receivers under $500.
- Great sound quality
- Easy to use
- Plenty of features
- Only 5.1 channel audio
- No Chromecast
Now that you’ve learned what matters and what doesn’t and got some suggestions of great devices you should consider, we’re sure you are ready to find your future companion! Happy shopping!