Best AV receivers under $300 in 2020

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The Best budget AV Receiver Under $300: Honest Reviews

There are lots of AV receivers out on the market, and today I will help you to choose the best AV receiver under 300. Don’t think that if something is cheap, it must be worse than its pricey alternatives. In fact, sometimes the situation is just opposite to what you expect. Of course, most of the receivers in this article have limited functionality or offer worse sound characteristics. However, if you don’t have any expensive stereo or didn’t receive good grades in music, this is the perfect time for you to choose your best budget AV receiver to upgrade your house. You may notice that later versions of the described receivers are available; however, it doesn’t always mean that the more recent model is better than the older one. In fact, functionality itself doesn’t really change much, so you can be sure that your best budget receiver will stay in trend for quite a while.

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Our pick
Yamaha RX-V683BL
The best receiver under $300
Yamaha’s RX-V683BL is the top of the RX line, is no exception. Loaded to the gills with features, from 4K HDR passthrough and Dolby Atmos to multiroom audio and Alexa integration, this versatile 7.2-channel unit can do magic.

Yamaha RX-V683BL — the best av receiver under $300

Yamaha RX-V683BL

The Yamaha RX-V683BL is a versatile receiver that offers a number of functions to promote sound clarity and flawless playback. You should not expect the super powerful sound of top-rated Yamaha’s Aventage series as the price point of the Yamaha RX-V683 is much lower. However, the receiver performance will be for sure the best AV receiver under 300 among all low-cost receivers. If you look for excellent sound without mess and distortion, this Yamaha’s model is particularly worthy of your attention.

I’ve found this model advantageous for many reasons. Firstly, the spectrum of frequencies is quite vast, so you can enjoy the conspicuous bass response as well as hear your favorite vocals distinctly. Secondly, the receiver can be easily reinforced by getting hooked up to any well-functioning speakers. For instance, Sib Evo Dolby Atmos speaker system would be a perfect match. After a little adjustment, the sound clarity improves substantially, and the Yamaha RX-V683BL is able to deliver even more power. At last, the receiver control is ensured through Setup, DSP Program, and Scene. This simple subdivision allows the user to tune up the device to achieve the most effective functioning. In particular, the DSP Program envisages a variety of modes, with the Surround Decoder mode enabling sound matrixing customization. Nonetheless, the original Straight mode translates crystal unprocessed audio that can be pleasant to your ears without switching to other more intricate ones.

One more benefit of this very model is that setting up the Yamaha RX-V683BL takes three quick steps. All you need is to wire up the speakers, connect the components, and hook up the entire device to the TV through ARC. Keep in mind, though, that there may arise some challenges with tuning up the receiver for the first time. It is for this reason that I recommend to power cycle the unit to avert this trouble.

The remote control seems somewhat complicated at first sight, but actually, it is perfectly laid out and allows selecting any connected source from the top raw. Frankly, in the long run, I have remained satisfied with all the configuration and set-up functions of the receiver.

In a nutshell, the Yamaha RX-V683BL is the best AV receiver under 300 which delivers stellar performance with high-quality sound. Though it has a number of certain restrictions, it is equally a reasonable option for those who seek to purchase a reliable receiver at a low price.

Pros of Yamaha RX-V683BL

  • The model features a modern screen menu and simple settings.
  • The receiver works with Alexa and produces voluminous sound.

Cons of Yamaha RX-V683BL

  • The receiver is more suited to reproducing cinematic content than music due to limited Multiroom settings.
  • Bluetooth malfunctions occasionally.
  • Some functions can be too difficult for older people to manage.

Onkyo TX-NR575

Onkyo TX-NR575

The Onkyo TX-NR575 is a multifunctional receiver that is remarkable for its enormous sound potential. Unlike other receivers, this one is empowered by a variety of upscale audio components that help substantially boost sound quality. The principal advantage consists in a dynamic audio amplifier that delivers noise-free and pure sound with a 170W/Ch power. The model is also equipped with Powered Zone 2 lineouts that allow connecting any audio system to a hi-fi system. The integrated controller is aimed to tune the playback. Another crucial benefit of the Onkyo TX-NR575 is the support for Dolby Atmos and DTS. Both provide the user with the ability to mix sound by applying special real-life effects that can particularly relevant when you are enjoying a movie. I tested some spatial effects to make sure the sound changes its nature and was pleased to discover that the receiver can greatly influence the audio environment.

One more reason to opt for this model is that the Onkyo TX-NR575 works with the Chromecast built-in technology that streams any audio content from other devices to the receiver without any problems. It takes only a few seconds to transfer the audio to the receiver. This convenience is of particular importance as the user’s freedom in audio playback is widely extended. The sound quality is no way affected when changing the type of audio content because the AK4458 converter activates low-distortion filters to deliver authentic and clear sound.

The receiver has also a number of modes to let the user find the most appropriate performance. I’ve tested this model by choosing diverse audio content. The receiver reproduces movie background sound effects excellently and delivers all the nuances of the soundtrack. The music reproduction is also close to perfection. I did not hear any mess and was able to listen to a clear and distinct performer’s voice. If you are more into mixed genres, the receiver works properly at both low and high frequencies. What I am about to say is that the Onkyo TX-NR575 envisages a great variety of sound options using which the user can set up the device and derive the maximum sound power.

In summary, the Onkyo TX-NR575 can be the best budget receiver for users who want an affordable product with superior parameters. If you do not expect much of this receiver, the Onkyo TX-NR575 can bring your sound to a new dimension.

Pros of Onkyo TX-NR575

  • Setting up the receiver is quick and simple.
  • The sound quality can outdo that of more costly receivers.

Cons of Onkyo TX-NR575

  • It takes quite a long time to have all wires connected.
  • The receiver does not see any Bluetooth device and responds to no music streaming app.

Onkyo TX-NR585

Onkyo TX-NR585

If there were the best home theater receiver under 300 contest, this model could definitely be the one among the leaders on the top. The benefits of the Onkyo TX-NR585 can really form a long list. So when it comes to picking up a cheap but well-working receiver, you should consider this very one first.

The Onkyo TX-NR585 has much in common with the previous models. The user can enjoy the Chromecast technology, DTS and Dolby Atmos sound effects, and AirPlay, Bluetooth wireless connection with other devices. The receiver produces pure sound without mess and can be paired with any audio system through Powered Zone 2 speaker outputs. One more common characteristic is the ARC-enabled output pass that ensures connection the receiver with TV.

Thus, it is vital to highlight specific details that make this receiver stand out so as to substantiate the first place in the potential budget receiver contest.

The Onkyo also has six inputs in the back as opposed to Yamaha featuring only four HDMI inputs. These ports make the receiver compatible with the latest sound standards, such as Dolby Vision or HDR10. Second, the product has the same specifications with Pioneer home theater, so you can confidently choose the Onkyo if you have one.

What I can conclude is that the Onkyo TX-NR585 delivers actually amazing sound, and the user can be fully sure of the receiver ability to recreate the real-life audio environment. If you would like to feel the authentic sound and delve entirely into the music atmosphere, the Onkyo TX-NR585 will live up to all of your expectations. In the long run, you cannot but benefit from the low price for this receiver.

Pros of Onkyo TX-NR585

  • The installation takes not more than 15 minutes, even for newbies.
  • You no longer need composite cables.

Cons of Onkyo TX-NR585

  • The receiver may require updating firmware to get in the best flawless operation.
  • Consumer Electronics Control (CEC) malfunctions by turning the TV on and off randomly.

Sony STR-DH790

Sony STR-DH790

This model has firmly won its share on the market. Although it is less high-powered than the previously discussed receivers, you may like it for several strong benefits.

The principal advantage is surely support for eARC. This characteristic allows supporting the latest audio formats, so the user is able to deal with object audio content, such as Dolby TrueHD and DTS:X. If you use a PS4, you will find the eARC feature considerably helpful for your gameplay. The low price point does not affect the sound quality. You will hear impeccable sound backed up by 4K Pass-through that maintain 4K quality from source to screen. However, make sure your HDMI cables are new and compatible with the higher GBPS throughput. The receiver emits a small amount of heat during even after hours of operation.

Likewise, I should also point out a number of downsides due to which the user may get disappointed about the Sony STR-DH790. Firstly, the user interface is not convenient and poorly designed. The receiver is not user-friendly and interactive as it is difficult to navigate the system. You may also see the lack of Bluetooth option as an impediment because lots of other receivers support this useful feature. The remote control is not fully maintained. I’ve experienced the problem with the enter button not working from the TV remotely.

In short, the Sony STR-DH790 is definitely a good choice for users who expect, above all, high-quality sound and video quality and are ready to put up with small limitations.

Pros of Sony STR-DH790

  • The audio quality is super powerful and flawless.
  • The speakers work perfectly for an indoor environment and can be easily tuned with the amp button on the display.

Cons of Sony STR-DH790

  • The calibration process is impaired and does not allow tuning up the microphone properly.
  • The receiver does not have support for Dolby Digital Plus.

Yamaha R-N303BL

Yamaha R-N303BL

The Yamaha R-N303BL is another Yamaha’s model that could be suited to your home theater system. Besides the attractive price, the user will benefit from many features that boost the audio quality and sound power. Yet, this receiver is still ambiguous because there are some demerits the user should consider.

I should probably start with the bright side which is pure and superior sound this receiver delivers. Paired with stereo speakers, you won’t have any complaints about the sound clarity. The Wi-Fi and Bluetooth function is certainly a plus as the user can turn control the playback remotely. The control panel is user-friendly as the buttons are subdivided into sections and does not take long time to get used to it. Another strong advantage is the MusicCast app through which you can stream audio content from your smartphone or other music services. Finally, the Yamaha R-N303BL has an optical TV input that substantially improves the sound from any entertainment source.

When it comes to disadvantages, the receiver has also several things to fix. Firstly, this model has no support for a subwoofer, which is not typical for this price range. Since the bass response is not accurate and needs some improvement, this downside is quite weighty. Secondly, Google Play Music and Apple Music are not available.

To sum up, the Yamaha R-N303BL is a cheap stereo receiver that generates refined sound and is easy to manage. If you are ready to disregard the above-mentioned limitations, this receiver can serve you for many years to come.

Pros of Yamaha R-N303BL

  • You are unlikely to find another receiver of the same capacity at such a low price point.
  • The receiver is able to power any audio equipment.

Cons of Yamaha R-N303BL

  • The display panel should be enlarged and is not bright enough.
  • The firmware update is hardly possible to get.

Sony STRDH190

Sony STRDH190

This receiver can be fairly called the best 5.1 AV receiver under 300 because a great number of advantages are combined in one little device. As long as you expect excellent sound, the Sony STRDH190 is the right choice for sure.

The setting up process is relatively simple so that a newbie can easily manage it. The RCA inputs allow connecting stereo speakers along with other equipment. You can enjoy music from several audio sources by controlling the receiver remotely. The Bluetooth feature is predominant in streaming sound from outside components. The Sony STRDH190 is no way inferior to the more costly Yamaha RX-V683 or Onkyo TX-NR575 as you can manipulate the receiver through your smartphone and turn on your best tracks in a blink of an eye. I’ve tested the streaming rate and noticed no second delay, which proves the high-end performance of this product. Moreover, the receiver construction includes a reinforced chassis aimed to alleviate vibration and boost signal fidelity.

The only downside lies in the tuner functioning. It can access only FM stations and detects them very slowly. Not everyone can be that patent, so my advice is just to give up the radio music and focus on other receiver options.

Frankly, the Sony STRDH190 is a perfect decision for people who are going to replace their old stuff or have never dealt with this kind of device. All the characteristics of the product are helpful and effective enough to manifold the sound power and enhance the audio quality. In view of all the merits, this receiver will definitely gain your loyalty.

Pros of Sony STRDH190

  • The receiver is really high-power. The medium volume is enough to fill the room with roaring sound.
  • The interface is minimal and convenient to use.

Cons of Sony STRDH190

  • The playback through Bluetooth does not deliver pure and mess-free sound.
  • The receiver lacks a low end, so the bass response is mostly weak. You will have to buy a subwoofer eventually.

Onkyo TX-NR676

Onkyo TX-NR676

Onkyo has another conspicuous receiver that could empower your home theater system. Despite the low budget, this model is versatile and can perform a number of useful functions simultaneously.

The Onkyo TX-NR676 features a number of positive design features. Firstly, the setting up process is pretty simple. The user can easily understand what to do by reading the on-screen instructions. Unlike some previous receivers, this one is consumer-friendly and does not envisage difficulties in tuning up the device. Secondly, the Onkyo TX-NR676 has support for Wi-Fi, Google Cast, and AirPlay. This feature allows streaming music from major services, such as Spotify or Pandora. Thirdly, I’ve also found the receiver design particularly helpful as the user has lots of inputs and outputs at their disposition, which enables the connection of other equipment, let alone the wireless support, which is a plus for this model. Finally, many users will find the support for DTS: X and Dolby Atmos.

When it comes to performance, I should highlight that the receiver operates properly at any volume. The audio clarity is no way distorted, so you can hear the pure sound without mess. The remote control is easy to navigate and does not contain any odd buttons but only fundamental options to keep the receiver dynamic and well-functioning.

In summary, the Onkyo TX-NR676 has every chance to become the best receiver under 300 if there were no challenges with the menu navigation. I would advise this product as a start for those who are going to buy a receiver first. However, the Onkyo TX-NR676 could please even mature users as it is equally good alone and as a part of a powerful audio system.

Pros of Onkyo TX-NR676

  • The set-up has a quick menu to control the bass response and speakers.

Cons of Onkyo TX-NR676

  • The menu control requires refinement. The user risk getting lost in numerous options.
  • At times, the sound quality may degrade at the highest volume level.

Yamaha RX-V485

Yamaha RX-V485

This receiver has no major downsides to be viewed as inferior to any of the previous models. This is why I’ve chosen the Yamaha RX-V485 as a reasonable choice for users who are currently in search of a high-quality and low-cost receiver.

I should say that the model has plenty of smart features. It has the support for MusicCast multi-room. The receiver allows adding wireless MusicCast 20/50 speakers that greatly boost any audio system. The Yamaha RX-V485 equally works with Amazon Alexa, which I see as an advantage of this product. The receiver is powerful enough (80W) and produces 0.09% distortion, which has a negligible impact on the sound quality. Another important point is that the Yamaha RX-V485 is fully compatible with the latest HDMI standards and supports the 4K video. Moreover, the built-in Optimizer analyzes your room environment and adjusts the audio to ensure the best sound.

The bad side is the lack of Google Cast. However, the receiver offers other useful options to stream audio content, such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, AirPlay, and Spotify Connect. Another drawback is the lack of HDMI inputs, which sets some limits on the receiver exploitation. Yet, this is not a major defect to turn down this receiver.

Surely, the Yamaha RX-V485 is much weaker in comparison with more costly receivers which generate more detailed and super accurate sound, but it is probably the best budget home theater receiver within this price range. With regard to all the benefits, the user will get an amazing and reliable product to deliver clear and noise-free sound.

Pros of Yamaha RX-V485

  • The remote control operates without a glitch and lets the user turn on and off the TV easily.

Cons of Yamaha RX-V485

  • The user’s manual is too simple and does not clearly explain how to set up phone apps and multiple devices.
  • The Net Radio feature has a design defect that results in malfunction.
  • The unit emits too much heat so that it is untouchable.

Denon AVR 740H

Denon AVR 740H

This receiver is full of advantages that are strong enough to win the consumer’s loyalty. Though this is the only Denon’s product on our list, it can challenge any other receiver owing to its amazing specs.

Here are the top reasons for considering the Denon AVR 740H a smart choice. Firstly, the receiver supports the 4K Ultra HD TV and so is able to produce the bright and vivid image of the highest quality. Seven amplifiers, each working at 165W power, give the immersive and spatial sound. The model can be wirelessly hooked up to stereo speakers via Wi-fi, Airplay or Bluetooth. It is for this reason that the user can enjoy streaming music from the global services (Pandora, Spotify, or Amazon Music). The support for Amazon Alexa is another benefit for the potential user. What is important is that the Denon AVR 740H also offers the set-up assistant that helps tuning up the receiver, taking into account your room characteristics and music parameters. The system is also equipped with calibration options that adjust the audio at any listening level. I would advise to use this receiver remotely and connected to your TV. This way, you will benefit from immaculate sound and flawless video.

In view of all these smart features, this receiver could become the best receiver under 300 for numerous users but for the problems with a firmware update that breaks the network on the receiver. To put it differently, the Denon AVR 740H is a perfect decision for the most demanding users who are keen on filling their rooms with loud and pure sound. Therefore, this receiver is perfect to join your entertainment system and generate clear and powerful sound.

Pros of Denon AVR 740H

  • The sound is easily optimized through speaker settings.

Cons of Denon AVR 740H

  • It may be too complicated to handle it if you have no experience in dealing with receivers.

Sony STRDH550


The Sony STRDH550 may be the best budget home theater receiver for someone who doesn’t require more than long-lasting basics. This receiver doesn’t have any connectivity interfaces, however, has a perfect signal processing with 3D pass-through, and HDMI-to-HDMI scaling, analog-to-HDMI upconversion. As a bonus, it has a USB port but no network media sources available, so if you love watching Netflix, you will have to choose another model. You also need to be careful with this receiver as it doesn’t have an auto power off function so if you forget about it, the receiver will remain in a standby power mode all the time and will consume power. It’s not much (0.3 W), but still not very pleasant.

Pros of Sony STRDH550

  • The shuffle function is available and can be customized – you can do it either for a folder or a whole playlist.
  • I loved the remote, it has all the necessary buttons that are conveniently placed.
  • A headphone jack automatically mutes all of my speakers.

Cons of Sony STRDH550

  • I tested it and came to the conclusion that this is not 4K pass-through as they announced. It’s adequate, but still not good enough.
  • No light indicators to inform you what is on and what is off. The speaker buttons are quite hard to feel.
  • HDMI pass-through doesn’t work without AC power.

Sony STR D590


The new Sony STR D590 has HDR pass-through with Dolby Vision included, Bluetooth connectivity, and you can remotely turn on/off the receiver from a smartphone paired to it. Are these changes worth extra money? If you are one of movie lovers and HDR matters to you, then don’t hesitate. However, if you don’t have any Bluetooth speakers and just use the TV all the time, there is no need to pay more.

Pioneer VSX-532


Pioneer VSX-532 may not seem too good from the first glance, but, actually, all features needed are in there so don’t judge without a deeper look. Your MP3, WMA and DSD music formats will be recognized, Dolby Digital Plus and True HD sound will please you while you are watching a movie, and 4K HDMI upscaling is the cherry on top. It also has a USB slot, four HDMI inputs, and two AV inputs. It has a great option to connect devices via Bluetooth too, so the number of inputs is not a limit. Unfortunately, this model may not be for you if you want the receiver to be compatible with your Apple Music - Pioneer VSX-532 doesn’t have an Apple AirPlay support and can’t recognize Apple lossless. It also doesn’t have a remote app, so you need to keep an eye on your physical remote constantly. To sweeten up a bit, you can go to bed while listening to your favorite tracks – this receiver has a built-in clock and a sleep timer.

Pros of Pioneer VSX-532

  • I found out that it switches on automatically when you turn on a Blu-Ray player or other connected device.
  • Lots of listening modes, my favorites are plain stereo and the Ext stereo mode. Other sound modes are a bit comical to be fair.

Cons of Pioneer VSX-532

  • I have a Samsung TV and found out that there are switching problems due to HDMI/CEC conflicts.

Yamaha RX-V385

Yamaha RX-V385

This receiver has lots of common with other presented products. I am about to outline its specs briefly so as to provide you with a genuine and objective image of this receiver.

The Yamaha RX-V385 has the support for Dolby Vision, like the Onkyo TX-NR585, and the YPAO auto-calibration feature, like the Yamaha RX-V485. It is also compatible with the latest HDMI sound standards, so you will feel the most immersive and multidimensional sound. It is totally versatile and lets the users stay trendy and up-to-date with all the latest technologies. The built-in Bluetooth function enables music streaming from other equipment.

When it comes to performance, the sound power reaches as much as 70W with the smallest distortion. The sound quality does not change within the frequency spectrum. You will hear the rich bass response as well as distinct vocal parts. The odds that you will complain about its operation are really tiny.

Besides Dolby Vision, the receiver supports Hybrid Log-Gamma that is also responsible for delivering bright and colourful video content.

Finally, the receiver is followed by an intelligible setup guide that describes various types of connections, such as speaker, TV or video projector connections.

The model is equally empowered with Exclusive Yamaha Cinema DSP technology which is able to reproduce the environment of prominent halls and so helps you delve into the music. Summing up, those who have rejected all the ten previous variants will be very delighted with the Yamaha RX-V385 for its vast range of functions and the lack of major defects. I can fairly call this product reliable.

Pros of Yamaha RX-V385

  • Paired with speakers, it delivers even better audio quality.
  • The receiver is equipped with new connections and compatible with the 4K Ultra HD TV.

Cons of Yamaha RX-V385

  • The unit gets very hot after long usage and requires regular cooling.
  • The 4K upscaling setting malfunctions and results in the flashing black and white screen.

Onkyo TX-SR383


Onkyo TX-SR383 can suit someone who needs to upscale the sound a bit. It can’t recognize a good half of audio formats available nowadays, however, it can Dolbytise your sound depending on your needs (Dolby digital plus, Dolby surround, and Dolby true HD decoders are built-in). The fact I admire is that despite rather high for this class of receivers output power per channel (100W), its operational power consumption is only 270W. Add it to total harmonic distortion of 0.08 %, 7 channels, and 106dB Signal-to-noise ratio and you will get a full picture of how everyday receiver for any purposes should look like.

Pros of Onkyo TX-SR383

  • Impressed with the ARC that this receiver has, installation was easy.
  • The volume is automatically adjusted with your TV and the device turns off/on with your TV as well.

Cons of Onkyo TX-SR383

  • Unfortunately, you need to switch the inputs manually via remote.

Pioneer VSX-932


The Pioneer VSX-932 will suit you if you are one of the huge music fans who wish to have a play with extra features while watching a film or listen to music. This model can recognize all audio formats, has all possible decoders built-in (apart from Dolby surround for some reason) and consumes not much power at all (0.1 W standby / 480 W while operating). Signal processing is worth talking about separately. HDMI upscaling up to 4K, 3D pass-through, 100 dB signal-to-noise ratio and 0.08 % total harmonic distortion make this AV receiver to be a good match for all smart TVs. ASR technology, Bi-amplifying, and pure direct mode will give you a new level of movie experience. Choose the Pioneer VSX-932 and you can be sure it will stay in trend for a long time.

Pros of Pioneer VSX-932

  • I liked that this receiver can support my 4K-ohm speakers.
  • Main A/V amp feature is really good, the sound is intense as desired.

Cons of Pioneer VSX-932

  • It’s quite heavy, and bigger than I expected.

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