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One of the most important things in any home movie theater is the sound. And a pair of decent speakers is not the only thing you are going to need for good audio reproduction. A 5.1 receiver or 5.2 receiver as well is one of the greatest ways to complete your home movie theater, filling the room with a high-quality sound.
Both 5.1-channel and 5.2-channel receivers are a good choice for a home theater because they allow not only for standard left, right, and center channels but also for two more channels to ensure true surround sound. The only difference between them is that a 5.2-channel receiver features two subwoofer outputs instead of one.
There are so many options on the modern market that it can be hard to find what you need exactly. Fortunately, our top picks will help you choose the most suitable 5-channel receiver that will provide powerful bass and clear voices for computer games, movies, or music.
This is a home theater receiver with 5.2 channels for those who like the elaborate bass. The sound distribution for two subwoofers is smart and component-wise. I adjusted the power output and frequency so that each component received its optimal settings. The auto calibration did not impress me, as some humming was heard during the surround effect. Upon getting the setup right, I heard the full rich sound with an overwhelming presence. The highs were clean, while the lows managed by subwoofers gave the right thump without being boomy. I loved the instant TV integration that allows simultaneously turning on and off both devices. Switching between ports is precise, no lags or delays.
I also tested the Front Stage Surround with my old set of 2.1 Sony speakers. It might be a great solution for the small rooms, giving vibrating warm bass and a good presence effect. I customized the settings for the sound modes I prefer, managing to get the super clear dialogues in the TrueHD version. The night version mode hushing the effects and outlining the voices also works perfectly. Besides, this is quite a decent AV receiver for gaming; the picture, sound and game speed were on top during my network Playstation games.
The Yamaha RX-V385 is a 5.1 receiver which is aimed to provide powerful surround sound, having 100W (8 Ohms, 0.9% THD) of output power.
In terms of setup, the receiver offers YPAO Auto Calibration, so you get high-quality audio quickly and with ease. To get assistance with cable connections, you can use a special AV Setup Guide, included the package.
The Yamaha receiver supports 4K UHD, HDR10, Dolby Vision, Hybrid Log-Gamma, and BT. 2020. Plus, thanks to Yamaha Cinema DSP technology, the receiver also works with HD Audio which includes Dolby TrueHD, DTS HD Master Audio, etc.
Thanks to Virtual Cinema Front technology, you don’t have to place the speakers behind the listening position as the receiver will still ensure the surround sound since it has the ability to bi-amplify the front speakers. Besides, this 5.1-channel receiver also features the low-range enhancement technology, so it’s able to provide decent bass even if your speakers are small.
There are quite a lot of controls on the receiver’s front panel, like buttons to select the input and program, tone control, scene buttons (DVD, TV, CD, Radio), etc. However, you still don’t have to get up from the sofa to control the receiver as there is a large multifunctional remote control provided in the package.
On the rear panel of this 5.1 surround sound receiver from Yamaha, there are four HDMI inputs and one output, antenna jacks, AV and audio jacks, monitor output, and subwoofer jack. For wireless connectivity, the unit offers Bluetooth.
The receiver’s size is 17.1 x 6.3 x 12.4 inches and weighs 17 lbs.
This 5.2-channel receiver from Sony features 725W (up to 145W per channel at 6 Ohms) of power, being designed to provide a powerful multi-channel sound. It supports 4K pass-through and HDMI audio return channel. This way, you can use it for native 4K video content and for Blu-ray/Blu-ray 3D movies. However, it can only broadcast 4K-content, without the ability to upscale Full HD content to 4K quality.
The receiver offers Digital Cinema Auto Calibration so that quick and easy setup is not a problem. All you have to do is just connect your equipment to the receiver, plug-in the included calibration microphone, and follow the simple on-screen guide.
The present receiver from Sony supports HD Digital Cinema Sound and DSP sound technology. Thanks to special Height mode which enhances vocal height and 3D effects, this model can possibly be the best 5.2 receiver for epic and realistic sound.
Except for featuring the built-in equalizer, the receiver has many built-in decoders, like DTS:X, Dolby Atmos, Dolby Surround, etc. Generally, the sound quality is decent for the price and even more than enough for plain home use.
Externally, the Sony 5.2 receiver looks like standard AV-receiver, with a minimalist interface and square-shaped design. On its front panel, you will find two knobs (input selector and volume control). Being 17 x 6.3 x 13 inches in total, it weighs 16.8 lbs.
In terms of inputs, there are four HDMI inputs and one output, two composite video inputs, composite monitor output, two opt audio inputs, coaxial audio input, four analog audio inputs, headphone output, USB (with high-res file playback support — up to 192k/24-bit WAV/FLAC), and MHL port.
The receiver goes with a slim remote control which ensures simple browsing as it doesn’t have any extra features that you won’t be using — only basic receiver controls.
This 5.1 AV-receiver from Onkyo provides 120W per channel (6 Ohms, 10% THD, one channel driven) and has 6-channel analog amplifiers that deliver high instantaneous current to speakers so the audio reproduction appears to be really dynamic.
For simplified installation, the receiver offers an easy connection guide with illustrated connection diagram. All the connectors on the rear panel of the receiver are clearly labeled and easily readable. Plus, all the included cables are color-coded.
The Onkyo 5.1 receiver supports Ultra HD 4K/60Hz, HDR, BT.2020, and HDCP 2.2. It also has Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio decoders, so the receiver supports all the most popular lossless multichannel formats that are usual for Blu-ray Disc. The audio return channel works perfectly to amplify TV broadcasts.
The present model has a minimalist design but looks a bit bulky (17.1 x 6.7 x 12.9 inches and 17 lbs.). On the front panel, there are the following ports: a USB port, tone control, on/standby and volume master knobs, etc. The USB port supports MP3, WMA, and AAC audio files and offers D/A conversion, as well as DSP listening programs. The included remote control has standard functions which allow you to navigate the menu, switch between inputs, etc.
On the rear panel of the receiver, there are four HDMI inputs and one output, SPDIF input, audio line-in, composite video input, headphones jack, monitor, and speaker outputs. Being a 5.1 Bluetooth receiver, the HT-S3900 supports Bluetooth with Qualcomm apt Audio technology.
The Yamaha 5.1 receiver is definitely worth it for the options it provides. First of all, hooking it up is a pleasure as the producer did not scrimp on Banana jacks, and all the connecting ports are solid and firm. The cables are HDCP-compliant, so there is no need to worry about something not working properly. I appreciated the MusicCast wireless transmission, as I have the compatible speakers. The sound was nice, very pure and edgy right where needed, while the surround simply swept me away with its deep vibrating tones! I spend some time setting the system, as the setup menu offers multiple options for controlling the sound and picture. I tried the auto calibration of this home theater receiver with 5.1 channels and it worked well; yet, the sound needed further adjustment according to my preference. I loved the immediate HDR implementation and the no-lag performance with my Playstation. I also connected my wireless headphones via Bluetooth and enjoyed the clear multi-channel broadcast. I tried this receiver with the plasma TV and new OLED, both working fine and producing great graphics and colour balance. I connected my old Sirius for streaming the music and was pleased with the seamless integration. No delays, no errors whatsoever.
This 5.2 receiver is designed to meet the preferences of its owner. The setting took some time; yet, it was a piece of cake. It was great to choose between the parameters and hear the sound getting blurred or sharp, disperse or compressed into one powerful stream. I appreciated the receiver’s work in True HD; the colors were fantastic, the details were rich, and graphics were beyond praise. The 4K did not work at first, it required tweaking with input options to set it properly. However, the gaming experience on my PS4 was totally worth it. This receiver supports majority of popular audio formats like ALAC, AIFF, FLAC, WAV Via USB. The surround amazes with the powerful surge and low basses physically penetrating the room.
Another great feature is the headphones surround. I can enjoy the great sound presence without waking up my household. It would be good to have more connectivity options in this device as the Wi-Fi connection would enable new apps and updates. Still, I believe there’s quite a lot already for the price.
The Pioneer VSX-523 is a cheap 5.1 receiver which features a digital core engine with Texas Instruments Aureus DSP. It provides 140W of power per channel (1 kHz, 1 % THD, 6 Ohms).
The receiver offers Auto MCACC Room Calibration for trouble-free setup and a high-quality audio transmission. It automatically measures every speaker's connection in the room to optimize performance in accordance with the speaker’s distance to the listening point, sound levels, and timbre.
The receiver supports DTS-HD Master Audio, Dolby TrueHD and Dolby Digital Plus, HDMI with 3D and 4K Ultra HD pass-through. This way, it can be connected to Blu-ray Disc players, cable boxes, gaming consoles providing unsurpassed audio quality.
This model can be the best 5.1 receiver for those who want to save energy as it has an energy-saving, intelligent Eco mode. It analyzes all of your sources in real-time to adjust power consumption in accordance with your needs.
The appearance of the Pioneer 5.1 receiver is simple: the face panel has black, wood-like texture, and features a USB port, phones, and setup mic inputs, as well as two large knobs (input selector & volume master), and quite big informative display.
This model has four HDMI inputs and one output, three analog audio inputs and output, pre-amp output, two composite AV inputs and output, two digital audio inputs, and a headphone jack.
The receiver’s size is 13.1 x 17.1 x 6.6 inches and weighs 18 lbs.