CNET: Best AV receivers of 2017

The Sony STR-DN1070 proves itself a worthy all-arounder with a dynamic performance in both music and movies. Its six HDMI ports offer compatibility for the latest 4K sources. (Handout/TNS)
The Sony STR-DN1070 proves itself a worthy all-arounder with a dynamic performance in both music and movies. Its six HDMI ports offer compatibility for the latest 4K sources. (Handout/TNS)

So you’ve got the high-definition, wide-screen, 4K video television. But if you want the full home theater experience, you need an AV receiver. Here are the four best models we’ve seen in the last year.

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Sony STR-DN1070

Product Review: https://www.cnet.com/products/sony-str-dn1070/#ftag=CAD187281f

CNET rating: 4.5 stars out of 5 (Outstanding)

The good: The Sony STR-DN1070 proves itself a worthy all-arounder with a dynamic performance in both music and movies. Its six HDMI ports offer compatibility for the latest 4K sources. Useful features include multi-room streaming, three separate powered speaker zones and wireless support for AirPlay, Google Cast and Spotify Connect.

The bad: Unlike many receivers at its price, the Sony doesn’t support Dolby Atmos or DTS:X surround formats. Sony’s wireless multi-room system isn’t as compelling as Yamaha’s.

The cost: $498.00 to $517.95

The bottom line: Lack of Atmos is more than eclipsed by excellent sound quality, making the Sony STR-DN1070 one of the best receivers at this price.

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Denon AVR-S920W

Product Review: https://www.cnet.com/products/denon-avr-s920w/review/#ftag=CAD187281f

CNET rating: 4.0 stars out of 5 (Excellent)

The good: The Denon AVR-920W offers excellent surround sound performance for the money, especially for an Atmos-capable model. Music playback is accomplished and full-sounding. The comprehensive AVR control app for Android and iOS offers Wi-Fi streaming and source selection.

The bad: Neither HEOS nor Google Cast multi-room audio is supported on this receiver, and the Wi-Fi control app can be flaky.

The cost: $499.00 to $579.00

The bottom line: The Denon AVR-S920W is an excellent mid-priced Atmos-ready receiver, with plenty of home cinema muscle and excellent usability.

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Yamaha RX-V481

Product Review: https://www.cnet.com/products/yamaha-rx-v481/#ftag=CAD187281f

CNET rating: 4.0 stars out of 5 (Excellent)

The good: The Yamaha RX-V481 offers very good audio performance in a relatively affordable bundle. It offers numerous streaming services over Wi-Fi plus the ability to stream to a Bluetooth headphone. HDMI ports support 4K video and HDR sources.

The bad: The total of just four HDMI ports means users with more than one gaming console, for example, may need to look elsewhere. Competitors such as Pioneer and Sony are supporting the versatile Google Cast system.

The cost: $399.95 to $399.99

The bottom line: The Yamaha RX-V481 checks most of the must-have feature boxes, and still delivers excellent sound quality for a mid-priced receiver.

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Pioneer VSX-831

Product Review: https://www.cnet.com/products/pioneer-vsx-831/review/#ftag=CAD187281f

CNET rating: 4.0 stars out of 5 (Excellent)

The good: The Pioneer VSX-831 offers an excellent array of features for the price, including six HDMI ports, multi-room audio with Google Cast, and a phono input. The interface is thoroughly modern and easy to use. Sound quality is everything you’d want at the price.

The bad: Some of the promised streaming features are yet to be released. The receiver is not as accomplished for music playback as it is for home theater.

The cost: $398.00 to $449.99

The bottom line: The Pioneer VSX-831’s plethora of features, excellent ease-of-use and fine sound quality make it one of the better AV receivers for the money.

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The following CNET staff contributed to this story: CNET contributor Steve Guttenberg, Senior Associate Editor Ty Pendlebury and Senior Editor Laura K. Cucullu. For more reviews of personal technology products, please visit www.cnet.com.

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