Recently, the popularity of such amplifiers is growing all over the world; modern devices receive a lot of interesting functions, including the ability to access the network to play content from online resources.
Due to the increased competition, manufacturers, along with expensive models, began to offer affordable AV receivers, which functionality is not much inferior to top-end devices. Even giant producers of audio and video equipment expand the range of products through models with a democratic value..
In this article I reviewed the candidates for the title "best AV receiver under 200". A surprisingly low, "ridiculous" price, even for the majority of our compatriots, in no way speaks about the deterioration of quality, technical parameters or functionality of the model, but only about a few "cut-down" features. For those who are used to being satisfied with little and saving on quality, receivers are a distant and irrelevant topic. I will help you to choose a good inexpensive receiver. I’m sure that this article will provide you the necessary facts to choose the best AV receiver under 200 dollars.
Naturally, each brand brings something special to its AV receivers – Yamaha in this sense is not an exception, but rather a vivid example. The USB connector with support for connecting iPod or iPhone is moved to the front panel, and when working with conventional flash drives, according to users, the system often takes more time than usual – but everything works correctly.
RX-V383BL impresses with its performance. For this price category, Yamaha has very extensive sound: it is distributed around the room so smoothly and evenly that you will hardly regret the absence of two more rear speakers.
It offers both digital sound for movies and sports, and 5-channel sound for direct vintage stereo. The speaker impedance is adjustable and also has a short circuit protection in case the speaker wires cross. The only drawback for me is that Yamaha’s YPAO technology did not position the speakers.
In addition, Yamaha is the master of dynamics. Beyonce's concert on the Blu-Ray disc demonstrates the accurate conveyance of all the nuances of her voice, impeccable rhythm and solid, balanced combination with accompanying instruments. Playing a CD has the same properties, including precise and excellent details.
All things combined, it's a good home theater receiver. Keeping pace with current trends, the device supports an economical mode of operation, which reduces power consumption by about 20%. In this case, the device still warms up noticeably - the upper panel of the enclosure is a ventilation grill and you definitely shouldn’t put anything on it.
Also, Yamaha released a newer model of this line. This manufacturer is known for creating affordable options for the latest high-quality video and audio technologies for home theaters – like the creation of a new Yamaha AV Receiver RX-V385. The newest product is equipped with the automatic customization technology YPAO that analyzes the acoustic characteristics of any room and optimizes the sound for it. The new receiver supports 4K Ultra HD, HDR, and Dolby Vision technologies, which allows using a variety of settings. Created as an entry-level product, the new hardware supports all latest technologies, allowing consumers to create a premium home theater system at an affordable price.
The first thing I would like to note is the stylish design of this AV receiver. The modest and clean design of the front panel means that certain necessary control functions are available only from the remote control. The signature style of the front panel goes well with the products of the same brand, and not as well with others.
The AVR 1510S demonstrates truly amazing parameters with a large dynamic range and a good margin for low frequencies. It allows you to fill a rather large room with sound. Like the previous model, there are four HDMI inputs with support for 3D video and 4K resolution. A striking difference from cheaper models is the presence of an Ethernet network connector: the system can be connected to a computer network, and works with Internet resources and network devices. Network functions allow you to receive audio and even video from remote sources – not only in a home computer network but also from the Internet.
The HK AVR 1510 is potentially the best AV
The built-in DSP works with both two- and multi-channel sound. Device management is done with a completely programmable remote control. It is worth noting that due to abundance of buttons the front panel of the receiver is partially blocked from view. However, this is additionally compensated by the presence of special proprietary software for gadgets using iOS or Android. After installing it, you can control the receiver with portable devices, but for this you need to connect the model to a router with built-in Wi-Fi. I cannot but note that the small heat release of the whole system was achieved due to an efficient pulsed power supply. At the same time, the weight of the device is decreased, as well as its energy consumption.
Denon AVR-S540BT is equipped with the enhanced Dolby Vision scaling. It includes 5 HDMI inputs with 4K / 60Hz characteristics and support for HDCP 2.2 on all HDMI ports. The device is quite musical, and it is particularly well-suited for high-quality stereo recordings. I recommend this device to those who want to replace the amplifier and receiver with one device.
I decided to watch a movie to see how this device would cope with its high-octane soundtrack. The receiver instantly demonstrated that it was ready to reproduce all the effects of the film, and sounded fascinating. The midrange was excellent, thanks to which the squeaking of tires and the noise of motors were reproduced in detail, and the accurate conveyance of dynamic nuances of sound added realism to what was happening on the screen. The sound picture filled the entire room uniformly, and was spreading consistently in all directions.
In addition, the sound was fully balanced. The high frequencies sounded clear and transparent, while the basses rumbled confidently in those scenes where it was necessary. However, the bass was slightly more modest. This is probably the best receiver under 200 for your home theater, but it has its flaws, like other models in this review.
The receiver excels in transmitting the rhythmic pattern and the synchronicity of sound, which is also dynamic and fluid. Vocals and instruments separately retain all the smallest nuances and features, and at the same time are very harmonized. Playing music from a network provided the same sound quality, although, due to the use of Bluetooth or AirPlay, it was expected to decrease.
The receiver comes with a well-designed remote control, but there is also a special application for mobile devices, which provides more convenient access to the functions of this device. It allows you to select inputs, change the settings of a sound type, adjust the equalizer, control the sound in additional zones, and change the volume.
I suggest you compare the characteristics of the listed candidates to be called the best av receiver under 200, and choose a multichannel receiver of these brands. For the purity of the comparison, I have taken models that fall in the same price category. This chart shows the similarities and differences related to the models in our review.