10 Best AV Receivers under 500 Reviewed

Do you want the best sound and video quality? What would an expensive home theater set up be without it, right? Well, that’s where a good AV receiver can be a game-changer.

And guess what, you do not have to pay thousands of dollars for it either. Yes, you can get one on the cheap as well. Don’t believe us?

Well, here are the best AV Receivers Under 500 that you do not want to miss out on in 2021.

#1: Denon AVR-S650H

10 Best AV Receiver Under 500: Expert Reviews

If you want the absolute best when it comes to video, audio, and display quality in this price range, it hardly gets any better than the Denon AVR-S650H.

Firstly, the receiver supports 4K TVs giving you excellent contrast, colors, and clarity. Further adding to that are features like HDR and Dolby Vision (gaming or movies, get life-like images each time).

But what’s life-like images without good sound?

Denon’s got you covered. By supporting multiple channels like 5.2 Channel, 2.1 Channel, and 3.1 Channel, it ensures that you get a breathtaking home theatre experience with sound that fills most rooms (dialogues or music, each word or beat will be crystal clear).

Furthermore, it also supports eARC, the latest ARC technology that delivers the highest-quality sound from your TV to the receiver. Furthermore, it also increases bandwidth and speed.

Talking about the internet, well, you can play your favorite music from any streaming platform like Napster, Spotify, SoundCloud, etc since it supports Wi-Fi.

And you can also connect your portable speaker or phone thanks to Bluetooth, giving you the freedom to listen to music from anywhere in the house.

Oh, and if you are lazy like me, you’d be happy to know that you do not have to reach out for the remote every time. The Denon AVR-S650H is Alexa, Siri, Google Assistant, and Apple Airplay compatible (just say the words and your will shall be done).

Plus, on the front panel are 4 quick-select buttons that allow you to quickly switch between 4 preset audio settings of your choice within seconds.

It also comes with 5 HDMI ports so whether you want to connect your PS4, Laptop, or TV, there’s a port for it all.

Even if you have never used an AV Receiver before installation should be easy. Its on-screen setup assistant gives step by step instructions making all connections and adjustments easy peasy.

WHAT WE LIKED

  • Supports 4k display
  • Comes with 5 HDMI Ports
  • Supports multiple audio channels like 5.2 Channel
  • Connects to any streaming platform using Wi-Fi
  • Compatible with Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri
  • 4 Quick-buttons for instant selection of preferred audio settings
  • Delivers vivid images, videos, and mesmerizing audio
  • Loud enough for medium to small rooms

WHAT WE DIDN'T LIKE

  • Poor tech support
  • Low power thus not loud enough for big rooms

#2: Sony STR-DH790

10 Best AV Receiver Under 500: Expert Reviews

Where there are audio, video devices, there’s always Sony, and why not, they are just that freaking good and this receiver further cements that.

Just like the Denon, this receiver also supports 4K displays for excellent brightness, colors, and contrast. These are further supported by Dolby Vision, HDR10, and Hybrid Log-Gamma.

The audio is just as good. With Dolby 360-degree, it will have you completely engulfed with cinema-like surround sound (just what you need during quarantine and lockdowns).

Furthermore, the DTS X: Decoding comes with object-based audio decoding which detects your presence and keeps the sound perfectly distanced for the best audio experience.

Plus, it is also equipped with D.C.A.C (Digital Cinema Auto Calibration) which ensures the sound is top-notch in any and every room by automatically scanning the room’s acoustics and manipulating the sound for the best experience.

This, in tandem with the Automatic Phase Matching, works with all kinds of speakers so that the combination of speakers you are using has no bearing on the sound quality.

Oh, and you do not need 4-5 speakers either as S-Force PRO creates a surround sound with just 2 speakers making it the ideal receiver for small rooms.

Keeping sound distortion to a minimum are multiple factors that include a special power amplifier and reinforced frame (distortion is a mere 0.9%).

Lastly, stay entertained all day long with your favorite music by connecting devices to the receiver using Bluetooth. You can even switch the receiver on/off via your smartphone thanks to the Bluetooth Standby feature.

WHAT WE LIKED

  • Turn the receiver on/off with any smartphone via Bluetooth Standby
  • Supports 4k display
  • Automatically adjusts sound as per room acoustics
  • Works with any speaker combination
  • S-Force creates excellent surround sound with 2 speakers
  • Ideal receiver for small rooms
  • Distortion is a mere 0.9%
  • Comes with 4 HDMI input slots
  • Support a 7.2 channel

WHAT WE DIDN'T LIKE

  • No Wi-Fi means no online streaming
  • Not compatible with Alexa or Siri
  • The user interface takes some getting used to

#3: Pyle Store 5.2 Channel AV Receiver

10 Best AV Receiver Under 500: Expert Reviews

Are you looking for an AV Receiver on a really tight budget? Then the Pyle Store 5.2 Channel AV Receiver is tailor-made for you and here’s why.

Believe it or not, you can grab a new receiver for about $200. But it isn’t just its low cost that makes it one of the best AV Receivers under 500.

Even at this cheaper price, the receiver supports 4k displays. And while it doesn’t have fancy frills like Dolby Vision, etc. you still won’t be disappointed.

It also gives you 3 HDMI inputs so you can easily run your console, laptop, and TV using the receiver (cheaper receivers usually have 1-2 HDMI input slots).

Another thing we love about the receiver is the Bluetooth since it allows you to connect your laptop, smartphone, tablet, etc. and listen to music at your convenience.

Yup, from the room, kitchen, and even the toilet, with the 30+ feet wireless range, you get ample freedom to move around. Plus, it also comes with an MP3/USB reader.

And in case you get bored of the same old songs, you can also tune into AM/FM radio to catch up on some news, the latest music, Hollywood gossip, and so on.

The receiver is armed with a next Gen Audio DSP sound processing Technology that allows you to adjust the Bass, Treble, and Echo to your liking. It supports the 5.2 channel and thus is perfect to create a home theatre system in moderate room size.

Lastly, the receiver is equipped with Over Current, Short Circuit, and Over Voltage Protection which increases durability by preventing an electric surge from ruining the receiver’s circuit board.

WHAT WE LIKED

  • Costs less than $250
  • Good AV Receiver for small rooms
  • Comes with 3 HDMI ports
  • EQ Controls to adjust treble, echo, etc.
  • Connect a smartphone or tablet via Bluetooth for music
  • Also features an MP3/USB reader
  • Support 5.2 channel for a decent home theatre experience
  • Compatible with a 4k display
  • Comes with Over Current, Short Circuit, and Over Voltage Protection

WHAT WE DIDN'T LIKE

  • No Wi-Fi so you cannot stream music
  • It has lesser HDMI Ports than other receivers
  • Video quality is average.

#4: Onkyo HT-S3900 5.1-Channel Home Theater Receiver

10 Best AV Receiver Under 500: Expert Reviews

If you are looking for the complete home theatre package then look no further than the Onkyo HT-S3900. Its got everything you could have asked for at less than $500.

Being a combo, this purchase includes a powerful six-piece speaker system and receiver that would transform any small room into your personal theatre (time to get the popcorn ready).

This is perfect for anyone who does not own any home theatre equipment and neither wants to spend a lot of time researching and buying speakers, receivers, etc. separately.

The receiver comes with 4 HDMI input ports so you can connect a number of devices. These ports support a 4k display along with HDR.

Furthermore, it has an excellent signal to noise ratio of 106dB while ARC amplifies the TV broadcast ensuring there is little to complain about when it comes to video quality.

To give you good sound, the receiver is armed with Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio decoders. Plus, it has one of the lowest noise distortion rates at 0.06%.

Bluetooth comes with Qualcomm aptX codec which in combination with an Advanced Music Optimizer Mode ensures you get excellent playback with almost no latency irrespective of the compression.

If not Bluetooth, you can also use the USB port for music. For the best listening experience use formats such as MP3, WMA, or AAC.

To make the task of installation easy for first-time users, the rear panel comes with detailed labels and illustrations along with color-coded cables.

The labels can be read upside-down so when you are leaning over and connecting wires, it should be hassle-free (should take no more than 5-minutes.),

WHAT WE LIKED

  • Comes with a receiver and 6-speaker system
  • 4 HDMI ports
  • Signal to noise ratio of 106dB
  • Supports 4k display with HDR
  • Comes with USB port
  • Easy to install with color-coded cables and illustrations on the rear panel
  • Distortion rate of a mere 0.6%

WHAT WE DIDN'T LIKE

  • No Wi-Fi hence no online streaming
  • Costs higher than other receivers

#5. Yamaha RX-V385 AV Receiver

10 Best AV Receiver Under 500: Expert Reviews

70 watts per channel isn’t the most impressive stat but with the 145-watt maximum dynamic output, the receiver can easily fill up a small room.

And when it fills up the room, you want it to be crisp and clear with the right amount of Bass and Treble, right? Well, Yamaha Cinema DSP technology ensures just that since it supports HD Audio.

We also love Yamaha’s Parametric Room Acoustic Optimizer which delivers an enriching audio experience by automatically adjusting the sound parameters based on the room’s acoustic.

Can’t place your speakers behind you? No problem, Yamaha’s Virtual Cinema Front technology ensures you do not miss out on the surround sound experience by creating virtual speakers at the back.

The receiver performs just as well on the video front as well since it supports 4k display with HDR and Dolby vision while Hybrid Log-Gamma delivers vivid images with amazing contrast and bright color tones.

Installation is hassle-free as well and Yamaha goes above and beyond to ensure that. Apart from labels and user guides, their app gets you instant access to an expert thus clearing all your doubts about the cables, audio settings, etc. in quick-time.

Lastly, Bluetooth allows you to connect smartphones, portable speakers, and even earphones so you can privately listen to those sad or romantic songs. There’s also a special music enhancer ensuring you get quality, dynamic sound wirelessly as well.

WHAT WE LIKED

  • Great receiver for small rooms
  • It has a variant with a powerful subwoofer
  • YPAO automatically adjusts audio quality based on room
  • Supports 4k display with HDR and Dolby Vision
  • Get surround sound experience even with all speakers in the front
  • DSP Technology supports HD Audio
  • Produces enriching bass and treble
  • WIth music enhancer, get the best audio quality wirelessly too
  • Connect smartphones, earphones, etc. instantly
  • Get expert assistance with installation on Yamaha App

WHAT WE DIDN'T LIKE

  • No Wi-Fi
  • Not suitable for moderately larger rooms
  • Sensitive remote control signal receiver

#6: Sony STRDH590 Home Theatre Receiver

10 Best AV Receiver Under 500: Expert Reviews

This Sony AV Receiver has a lot in common with the above-mentioned Sony STR-DH790. For example, it also comes with S-Force Pro so you do not need more than 2 speakers for a surround sound effect.

It also supports 4k screen with HDR, Hybrid Log-Gamma, and Dolby Vision for excellent pictures. Plus, there’s Bluetooth that gives you the freedom to connect devices like your phone, earphones, etc.

And when you are out of songs, feel free to shift to the Radio.

Then there is the D.C.A.C that tailors the audio settings to best suit the room’s acoustic on its own. Even the distortion rate is the same at 0.9%.

So what’s different?

Well, first and foremost the price. This Sony AV Receiver costs around $100 less than the Sony STR-DH790. But does that mean a dip in audio quality?

To some extent yes.

That’s because it has a lower power at 725 Watts than the 1015 Watts of the STR-DH790 which makes this model more suitable for smaller rooms. Plus, it supports 5.2 channels compared to the 7.2 channels the STR-DH790 supports.

Another reason being, this receiver does not support Dolby Atmos or DTS:X so the surround sound effect won’t be as fulfilling as with the STR-DH790.

But if you have a small room with fewer speakers and want a good home theatre receiver on the cheap, this is an excellent pick.

WHAT WE LIKED

  • It is pocket-friendly
  • A great pick for surround sound effect in small rooms
  • Get surround sound with 2 speakers
  • Audio speakers are automatically adjusted to match room’s acoustics
  • Low distortion rate at 0.9%
  • Supports 4k display with HDR and Dolby Vision
  • Comes with a Radio and Bluetooth
  • Choose from variants with banana plus, 50ft wire, etc.

WHAT WE DIDN'T LIKE

  • No Wi-Fi
  • Does not support Dolby Atmos or DTS:X
  • Suited only for small rooms

#7: Onkyo TX-SR373

10 Best AV Receiver Under 500: Expert Reviews

Being a 5.2 channel receiver, there’s always the worry that the surround sound effect won’t be good but this Onkyo receiver does a great job of covering the gap and filling up moderately-sized rooms.

That is because it comes with ports for 2 subwoofers. Plus, it delivers exceptional power as well at 80-watts and a maximum output of 155-watts.

Unlike some receivers in this price range, Onkyo supports Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio codecs thus delivering you quality sound whether you play games or watch movies.

And yes, with 4 HDMI ports, you can easily connect all these devices. You can also connect your smartphone or earphones when you are in the mood for some music using Bluetooth.

And ensuring quality does not deter when streaming music from other devices is the Qualcomm AptX codec. But its benefits are limited to devices that support it.

Like the previous Onkyo Receiver here to you can connect a USB while the audio from it is enhanced by D/A conversion and special DSP listening programs

We also appreciate the special AccuEQ. This further improves audio quality by giving you not just the optimal position for the speakers but also adjusting the output levels, crossover frequencies, and frequency response.

How does it do it? By taking into account the rooms’ acoustics

This receiver too follows in the footsteps of the Onkyo HT-S3900 and makes installation relatively easy with colored cables and detailed illustrations on the back that can be read upside-down.

Lack of a manual is a bummer though since it makes parsing the display on the front time-consuming but all in all, for the price, it is a good buy.

WHAT WE LIKED

  • It has 4 HDMI input ports
  • 4k compatible
  • AccuEQ makes speaker calibration hassle-free
  • Supports Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio
  • Maintain audio quality when connected to Bluetooth with Qualcomm AptX codec
  • Comes with USB port
  • Detailed labels at the back make installation easier

WHAT WE DIDN'T LIKE

  • Parsing the front display can take time without the manual
  • Does not support Wi-Fi

#8: Pioneer VSX-531

10 Best AV Receiver Under 500: Expert Reviews

This is another excellent AV Receiver for anyone on a budget. It costs lesser than $500 and yet comes with some excellent features that make it a steal.

Yup, even at a cheaper price, the Receiver will smoothly run your 4k TV and supports HDR. Even if you only have a 1080p TV currently, it makes a worthwhile investment for the future.

It churns out a decent 140-watts of power meaning it is good enough for even small rooms though the bass isn’t as strong since it only supports 1 subwoofer.

And even if you run it all day long doing a movie marathon, it keeps electricity consumption to minimal with its ECO Mode which automatically adjusts the settings in real-time.

You can use both Bluetooth-enabled devices or plug-in a thumb drive to listen to music. And if you don’t have a wireless earphone, there’s a headphone jack as well.

It comes with lesser HDMI ports than most other Pioneer receivers but at this price point 4 HDMI ports is the norm and it matches that.

The receiver also supports various audio codecs like Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD to give you decent sound though lacks support to some important codecs like Dolby Atmos Dolby Vision, etc.

So while audio is good it isn’t as captivating as some of the other AV Receivers on the list, its low price might suit some users.

WHAT WE LIKED

  • Supports 4k display with HDR
  • It is inexpensive
  • Supports important audio codecs like Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD
  • Comes with Bluetooth and thumb drive port
  • ECO Mode helps save on power

WHAT WE DIDN'T LIKE

  • No W-Fi setting included
  • Bass isn’t strong enough
  • Does not support Dolby Atmos and DTS:X
  • Does not support Dolby Vision either
  • Suited only for small rooms

#9: Harman Kardon AVR 1610

10 Best AV Receiver Under 500: Expert Reviews

The Harman Kardon AVR is a tad overpriced since it lacks durability but what makes it worth a mention are its good features.

Firstly, though it is only a 5.1 channel receiver, it can still fill up rooms with good audio thanks to its ability to pump out 85-watts of power.

And yes it supports 4k video and has 5 HDMI ports as well. But that’s not what makes it worth the cost. It is one of the very few AV receivers less than 500 to support 3D ready HDMI ports (yup, you can even enjoy movies in 3D with this baby).

And one of those ports is an MHL port. These are Mobile High-Definition ports that allow you to cast your mobile, tablet, etc. on your HDTV so you can view photos, videos, etc. on a much larger display.

When you want to stream just music, you can switch to Bluetooth. It supports most of the important codecs like Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD to deliver good sound quality.

It will even calibrate your speakers automatically giving you the perfect distance, settings, etc. for your room with the HARMAN EzSet/EQ III auto-calibration process.

It also features a vTuner which means you can stream some internet radio stations as well.

Video quality is a bit lacking since it does not support some codecs but if you want 3D capabilities and MHL ports, this one is for you.

WHAT WE LIKED

  • It comes with 3D ready HDMI ports
  • Delivers good audio quality
  • Automatically calibrates speakers based on the room acoustics
  • MHL Ports allow you to stream phone, tablet, etc.
  • There’s ample power to fill up medium-sized rooms
  • vTuner helps stream internet radio
  • Has 5 HDMI ports and Bluetooth
  • It also has USB Ports

WHAT WE DIDN'T LIKE

  • Does not support some video codecs
  • Costs above $350
  • Not very durable

#10: Sony STRDH190

10 Best AV Receiver Under 500: Expert Reviews

Last but not least on the list is the Sony STRDH190 and if you needed only a quality audio receiver on the cheap, it is just what the sound doctors ordered for.

Being a Sony audio receiver, we expected great sound audio and it delivered just that with its power amplifier and reinforced chassis that lowers vibrations. To be precise, it can pump out  200-watts and that’s ample volume to fill up most rooms.

You can connect up to 4 speakers but the best part is that it supports zoning so you can play particular speakers at a time when needed.

It also supports Bluetooth so feel free to connect your smartphone and wireless earphones when you need some privacy.

You can also switch between 30 pre-set radio stations with just the press of a button (say goodbye to the hassle of manually tuning for stations).

Being a low-budget audio receiver it doesn’t support a lot of the audio codecs but can definitely pack a punch and is an improvement over standard speakers.

WHAT WE LIKED

  • It costs less than $150
  • For the price, sound quality is better than other receivers
  • Comes with 30 preset radio stations
  • Change between stations within seconds with a press of a button
  • Produces power enough to fill up a room
  • Keeps vibrations to a minimum with reinforced chassis
  • It also increases durability
  • Comes with Bluetooth
  • Supports zoning of speakers

WHAT WE DIDN'T LIKE

  • It is not a video receiver
  • Audio quality is good but not heart-thumping
  • Not ideal for a home theatre setup

Best AV Receiver Under 500 Buying Guide

Looking for an AV receiver at this price point can be tricky. Just because these are cheaper receivers does not mean you want to compromise too much on audio and video quality, right?

So keep these points in mind while making the purchase.

Power

One of the most important points to consider while purchasing an  A/V receiver is power. That is because the power of the A/V receiver determines the wattage or volume that the receiver sends over to the speakers.

For best results, the power of your receiver should match or top the power of your speakers. If not, your speakers will not perform to its maximum potential. Similarly,  it can also blow out your speakers if the power is too high.

HDMI ports

Whether you wish to connect a TV, a laptop, or a PS4 to your receiver, you cannot do that without the help of an HDMI port.

Therefore, it has become very important to check the number of HDMI ports available on your receiver before making a purchase.

Your receiver should ideally contain at least a couple of extra input ports for you to function comfortably.

Bluetooth

If you are very choosy about songs and do not like wasting time on the radio waiting for your favorite ones then Bluetooth is a must as it allows you to connect your smartphone.

It will also give you a more private experience as you can connect wireless earphones. Thankfully the best AV receivers under 500 do come with Bluetooth.

Other Features

Do you love streaming music from Napster or Soundcloud? Then you need a receiver with Wi-Fi compatibility. Not all receivers in this price range come with this feature except some like our #1 pick, the Denon AVR-S650H.

Apart from that, you also want the best of audio and video experience, right? So make sure the receiver supports 4k display with HDR.

Furthermore, codecs like Dolby Atmos, Dolby Vision, DTS:X, etc. can be game-changers so it is important the receiver supports at least most of them if not all.

Some receivers also come with automatic calibrators that adjust the sound and let you know the speaker’s distance, frequency, etc. by taking into account room acoustics ensuring an improved listening experience.

Conclusion

Who has the time to visit theaters all the time to watch the latest movies, right? And even if you are watching an old movie, why not enjoy it as if you were in a theater?

That’s where a good home theater set up comes in handy. But not all of us want to spend big on an AV receiver just yet and you don’t have to either. There are plenty of receivers under 500 and our goal with this article is to help you find one.

If you have any questions about the best AV Receiver under 500, you can write to us in the comments section below. And even share your experience with an AV receiver in the past.

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