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Surround sound receivers are at the heart of any good home entertainment system. If you love gaming, watching movies, or listening to music, then getting a decent surround sound receiver is a good way of elevating your audiovisual experience. A good receiver will offer powerful sound and breathtaking images to bring that cinematic feel to your home. We take a look at some of the best surround sound reciever’s under $500 to help save you time. 

There are plenty of receivers available on the market today. And although the best ones are pricey, it is still possible to get a quality receiver at $500 or below if you do your homework well. 

In a Hurry? Here are Best Surround Sound Receiver Under $500

Sony Surround Sound
  • Cinematic Sound at Home: Enjoy your favorite movies, TV shows and more with theater like sound in the comfort of your home
  • BREATHTAKING AUDIO: Dolby Atmos and DTS:X deliver multi-dimensional and object-based surround sound
  • VIRTUAL FRONT SURROUND: S-Force PRO creates a virtual acoustic field using only a 2 speaker setup

Yamaha Ultra Receiver
  • 5.1 channel powerful surround sound
  • Bluetooth for wireless connectivity. Rated Output Power (1kHz, 1ch driven) 100W (8 ohms, 0.9% THD); Rated Output Power (20Hz 20kHz, 2ch driven) 70W (8 ohms, 0.09% THD); Maximum Effective Output Power (1kHz, 1ch driven) (Jeita) 145W (6 ohms, 10% THD)
  • HDMI 2.1 with HDCP 2.2 (4 in/1 out)

Onkyo Sound Receiver
  • 155 W/Ch. (6 ohms, 1 kHz, 10% THD, 1 Channel Driven) or 80 W/Ch. (8 ohms, 20 Hz-20 kHz, 0.08% THD, 2 channels Driven, FTC) with discrete output stage circuitry and Five-Channel analog amplifiers
  • Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio decoding for theater-like surround sound. A/V Sync Control (Up to 500 ms in 5 ms Steps at 48 kHz)
  • HDMI 4 in / 1 out (HDCP 2.2 / HDR) with support for 4K/60 Hz, 3D, Audio Return Channel, Deep Color, x.V. Color, and Lip sync

Best Surround Sound Receiver Under $500 Buying Guide

This guide takes you through the most important features to be on the lookout for when buying a surround sound receiver

 

  • Connectivity

 

The connectivity options available determine the types and number of devices and components the receiver can support. You need to get a receiver that has as many inputs and outputs as possible because you do not know when you might need them. A good receiver should provide multiple alternative ways of connecting to external source devices and content. This helps you to expand the variety of content you can enjoy. 

The most basic connection is through Bluetooth, which allows you to play content directly from your mobile devices or computer. However, the most commonly used and probably most useful connection is HDMI. Most of the devices that connect to your receiver use HDMI. They include your TV, gaming console, and computer. A good receiver should have at least 4 HDMI input ports to accommodate a wide range of devices. When it comes to output HDMI ports, most receivers have only one while a few have an additional port to allow you to connect an extra TV. 

More advanced receivers are capable of streaming content from online sources through Airplay, Spotify, Deezer, or Chromecast. So you might want to check whether the receiver you’re buying can support that. 

 

  • Power Rating

 

The power rating is expressed in watts. It gives you a rough idea of how powerful the receiver is and how much volume it can produce. A high wattage shows that the receiver is capable of producing high-quality sound. The number of equipment connected to the receiver and size of your room will determine the power rating your receiver should have. 

The power rating of the receiver should be the same as or even slightly higher than that of your speakers for full effect. Be careful not to use an underpowered as it will limit your speakers’ performance and might even damage your speakers. 

 

  • Audio Performance

 

The quality of a receiver is judged based on the quality of sound it produces. So if you want to enjoy good sound, get a receiver that can deliver unbelievable audio performance. So how can you tell you the quality of sound a receiver can produce? There is no specific way of knowing. However, the power rating is a good place to start. Also, get a receiver with features that enhance audio performance such as room calibration.  

Also, more advanced receivers can produce better quality surround sound because they are capable of supporting the latest sound formats such as Dolby Atmos®, DTS:X, and DTS Master Audio. If you’re able to get one like this, then you’ll be in for a treat. 

 

  • Image Quality

 

The image quality the receiver can deliver is important.  And because many movies and games today are produced at 4K resolution, it goes without saying that your receiver should be able to support that level of video quality. Otherwise, your viewing experience will not be enjoyable. 

Also, HDR and Dolby Vision are part of the 4K experience and so your receiver should be capable of supporting all that for the complete viewing experience.  It is possible to get all these features in a receiver even at this price range. 

 

  • Control

 

A receiver should be easy to navigate and control. Most surround sound receivers have buttons and knobs that you can use to control the input and other settings. However, this is not always convenient especially because the receiver is usually placed far away from the user. 

One of the most convenient ways to address this challenge is the use of remote control. So make sure that your receiver supports that.  Other control mechanisms that have emerged today include the use of apps that allow you to control the receiver from your phone. Others are compatible with voice assistants such as Amazon Alexa, which allows you to control the device using your voice. Not many models within this price range have voice or app support but if you do your research well, you might get one. 

 

  • Channel Configuration

 

The number of channels in your receiver will determine the number of surround speakers you can use. Roughly speaking, one channel is equivalent to one speaker. So make sure that your receiver has enough channels for the speakers you want now and even have provision for when you may need to add in the future. For surround sound receivers, the minimum is a 5.1 channel system. A 5.1 layout means you will have three speakers at the front, two in the rear, and a subwoofer

 

  • Additional features

 

Some added features include MusicCast, AccuEQ, and AM/FM radio. While not essential, these features offer your receiver more functionality for better performance. 

Other great features a receiver can have include multi-room audio, which makes it possible for you to use the same receiver to play audio from different sources in different rooms around the house. Others have the room calibration function (AccuEQ) that automatically measures your room’s acoustics and adjusts accordingly to produce the perfect sound.

 

5 Best Surround Sound Receiver Under $500

 

  • Sony STR-DH790 7.2-ch Surround Sound Home Theater AV Receiver

Sony Surround Sound
  • Cinematic Sound at Home: Enjoy your favorite movies, TV shows and more with theater like sound in the comfort of your home
  • BREATHTAKING AUDIO: Dolby Atmos and DTS:X deliver multi-dimensional and object-based surround sound
  • VIRTUAL FRONT SURROUND: S-Force PRO creates a virtual acoustic field using only a 2 speaker setup

 

With this Sony STR-DH790 Surround Sound Home Theater, you can now enjoy a cinematic experience from the comfort of your home. Although it is ideal for small rooms, rest assured that the Sony STRDH790 won’t disappoint you. Indulge your eyes and ears as you immerse yourself in that theatre-like feel while watching your favorite movies. 

The most outstanding feature of this device is exceptional audio quality. This receiver has an object-based decoding feature that accurately projects sound to every corner of your room and envelops you from every angle. The receiver also delivers unbelievable 4k quality and is compatible with Dolby Vision, HDR10, and Hybrid Log-Gamma for clearer color and greater contrast and brightness. 

There are multiple ways to connect to your source devices. You could use HDMI or even connect via coaxial cable for digital and analog audio connections. And if that’s not enough for you, Bluetooth is available too allowing you to stream music directly from your phone. 

Pros

  • Compatible with Dolby Atmos and DTS:X 
  • Compact size
  • Bluetooth Standby feature to switch on the receiver
  • 4K resolution capability

Cons

  • Lacks streaming capability

 

  • Yamaha RX-V385 5.1-Channel 4K Ultra HD AV Receiver  

Yamaha Ultra Receiver
  • 5.1 channel powerful surround sound
  • Bluetooth for wireless connectivity. Rated Output Power (1kHz, 1ch driven) 100W (8 ohms, 0.9% THD); Rated Output Power (20Hz 20kHz, 2ch driven) 70W (8 ohms, 0.09% THD); Maximum Effective Output Power (1kHz, 1ch driven) (Jeita) 145W (6 ohms, 10% THD)
  • HDMI 2.1 with HDCP 2.2 (4 in/1 out)

 

This receiver allows you to enjoy virtual 5-channel surround sound even when you place your speakers in front of the room. And the bass quality will impress you. It comes with low-range enhancement technology which makes it possible to produce richer bass than any other smaller-sized speakers. Also, it does not lose localization and sound balance even if you’re using a compact front speaker. 

This device has complete compatibility and can connect with Dolby Vision and Hybrid Log-Gamma to give you that smooth tone and awe-inspiring contrast with rich colors. You can connect it to your other devices via Bluetooth or even HDMI. 

If you are a gamer or a fan of videos, this receiver can deliver videos of 4K quality at 60 frames per second pass-through for you to enjoy your movies like you would in a cinema.

It comes with a special app through which you can control different settings and functions using your smartphone or tablet. With this app, you can do many things including connecting speakers, the TV, and other source devices. 

Pro

  • Controller app
  • Easy to use
  • Versatile connections and compatibility 
  • Supports 4K resolution
  • Ability to bi-amp front speakers

Cons

  • Heats up fast

 

 

  • Onkyo  Surround Sound A/V Receiver 

Onkyo Sound Receiver
  • 155 W/Ch. (6 ohms, 1 kHz, 10% THD, 1 Channel Driven) or 80 W/Ch. (8 ohms, 20 Hz-20 kHz, 0.08% THD, 2 channels Driven, FTC) with discrete output stage circuitry and Five-Channel analog amplifiers
  • Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio decoding for theater-like surround sound. A/V Sync Control (Up to 500 ms in 5 ms Steps at 48 kHz)
  • HDMI 4 in / 1 out (HDCP 2.2 / HDR) with support for 4K/60 Hz, 3D, Audio Return Channel, Deep Color, x.V. Color, and Lip sync

 

The Onkyo TX-SR373  is an 80-watt receiver with a maximum power output of 155 watts. This makes it powerful enough to fill an entire room with high-quality sound. The crystal clear sound gives you that authentic cinematic sound allowing you to enjoy your movies and music. This device is compatible with both Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio. It also has a room calibration feature that measures and adjusts the output levels of the speakers depending on their positioning to deliver the perfect surround-sound. 

You can connect it to your devices through Bluetooth, USB, or HDMI. There is also a provision to stream content. It has built-in Qualcomm aptX software to facilitate streaming. The video quality is also worth a mention as this surround system is capable of delivering 4K video 

The process of setting up is fast and easy as the input and output ports are clearly labeled. You can set up the whole system without looking at the manual. 

Pros

  • Room calibration feature
  • Easy to set up
  • Supports Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio
  • Compact and sleek design

Cons

  • No Wi-Fi support
  • Limited HDMI in ports

 

  • Sony STRDH590 5.2-ch Surround Sound Home Theater Receiver

Sony Home Theater
  • Cinematic Sound at Home: Enjoy your favorite movies, TV shows and more with theater like sound in the comfort of your home
  • Virtual Front Surround: S Force PRO delivers virtual surround sound with only a 2 speaker setup
  • 4K Pass Through: 4K HDR Compatible with Hdcp 2.2 Support for Sharper Source to Screen Image Quality

 

Elevate your home entertainment experience with this cinematic upgrade from Sony, another revered brand in the surround sound receiver space. The Sony STRDH590 packs a punch with amazing features and solid performance. It is ideal for anyone who is looking for clear sound and exceptional video quality without having to break the bank. 

However, affordability does not necessarily mean poor quality and this device is proof of that. It has a power output of 145W at 6-ohms which is enough to give a good performance on both the audio and video front. This receiver also supports 4K video and has HDR capability to provide that cinematic feel. 

It has multiple input options including Bluetooth and HDMI, which offers the opportunity to play content from a wide range of devices. You can also use the Bluetooth standby feature to turn the receiver on at the touch of your paired device. There is also provision for a coaxial audio connection. It comes with additional functional capabilities such as FM radio and a multi-channel setup.  

Pros

  • Compact and lightweight
  • Easy to setup
  • Value for money
  • Bluetooth standby control

Cons

  • Not compatible with Dolby Atmos and DTS:X
  • Doesn’t support Wi-Fi

 

  • Denon AVR-S650H UHD Home Theater Surround Sound 

Denon Home Surround Sound
  • NEW FEATURES – In additional to the standard specifications, this advanced 5.2 channel stereo receiver features eARC - THE HIGHEST QUALITY SOUND FROM YOUR TV and the LATEST REVISION TO HIGH-BANDWIDTH DIGITAL CONTENT PROTECTION with HDCP 2.3
  • MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR NEW 4K ULTRA HD TV – Featuring HLG, HDR10, BT.2020, Wide Color Gamut & 4:4:4 Pure Color sub-sampling, the AVR-S650H delivers exceptional brightness, contrast & color, thus enriching your movie and gaming experience
  • Extend the reach of your music to any room in the house via Wi-Fi, Airplay or Bluetooth with HEOS multi-room wireless speakers – No Command Center or extra hardware required. Get Hi-Fi sound around your home with Pandora, Spotify, TuneIn, Deezer & more

 

Denon is one of the most respected brands when it comes to surround sound receivers and with this AVR-S650 surround sound unit, your movie and gaming experience will never be the same again. It offers an unbelievable resolution of up to 4K quality and supports HDR  for exceptional clarity,  contrast, and color.

You can connect to and play music from any room in your house by using Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and even Airplay. You won’t need a command station or additional hardware for that. Isn’t that convenient?

This receiver also allows you to stream content from Deezer, Spotify, Pandora, and many other streaming services. It is compatible with Alexa meaning you can exercise full control of the system without needing a remote. Everything from switching content to switching inputs can be done using the voice. 

And in case you are worried about how to set up, there is an onscreen  Denon set up assistant that will give you step by step instruction on how to connect your TV, optimize sound, and configure the EQ settings. 

Pros

  • Easy to set up
  • Compatible with Amazon’s Alexa
  • Allows streaming of content
  • Multiple connectivity
  • Supports 4K and HDR

Cons

  • Not compatible with HDMI

Best Surround Sound Receiver Under $500 Conclusion

As mentioned earlier, it is possible to find a good surround sound receiver without breaking your bank. You just need to pay attention to certain key details before making your decision. The above review should make your work easier. 

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