Best 2 channel stereo receivers in 2018

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Rating 5 5

Best 2 channel Stereo Receivers: Honest Reviews

The modern technologies do not just predict our future but create it. It runs in quantum leaps and lets us have a powerful cinema theater at home. As it comes to making a decision, the reflecting begins – which one is the best stereo receiver, what criteria should I apply for the right choice? There is always a doubt: whether to go more pricey and go to the expense or to prune the budget, but get a thing with lesser functions. Buyer sometimes forgets that cheaper electronics contain ALL necessary features without any excesses, which provide your home theater with overwhelming sound in a little amount of money.

You hit upon the article not in vain; here you can find some pieces of advice concerning the best average-priced vintage stereo receiver, with a wide selection of functions as for this segment of cost. The budget option doesn't matter low quality for a unit but average and the main characteristics, which perform their function as well as expensive acoustics. Some of the models below are new ones, but you can also find those older models with all the necessary functions, which will not lose their modernity with some time.

The time to make right decision has come, we can help you to choose to find here an answer what is the best receiver for your sensitive sound perception in affordable price.

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Our pick
Yamaha R-N303BL
The best stereo receiver
The R-N303 is the perfect blend of technology and timeless design elegance.

Get your vintage Yamaha R-N303


Placement of this receiver on the top of our best stereo receivers reviewing has its reasons. It has three connection types to choose wired, wireless and WiFi direct. It has all the RCA inputs if you have Phonograph, CD player, and even the tape deck Instead of buying more CDs, you can stream music off YouTube via your mobile phone through the Bluetooth on this receiver. Wireless connects to the home Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi direct creates a network you can connect to. WiFi direct is good if the home doesn’t have a network or internet service. The nostalgia of vinyl will have vanished with a phono input terminal. The remote is effective with buttons conveniently (even logically) arranged. The stereo separation is great with any system, and I have plenty of volumes to spare. The R-N303 is the perfect blend and amplitude of technology and timeless design elegance.

Yamaha R-N303 PROS:
  • Optical audio inputs for TV.
  • Two channels of 100 high-power output.
  • There are reperforming Wi-Fi, Wireless Direct, Bluetooth, and AirPlay.
Yamaha R-N303 CONS:
  • The R-N303BL panel display is minimal, both in content and brightness.
  • The remote has 37 small buttons, none numeric, all labeled with even smaller print.
  • Managing the AM/FM tuners without a tuning knob on the panel, or numeric controls of any kind anywhere creates some hardship.

Shaking walls with Onkyo TX-8140


High current enables masterful control of the speakers for extremely accurate and dynamic sound. The free Onkyo Remote app puts a range of streaming options at your fingertips, from universal hi-res audio via network-attached devices to internet streaming services to music on your smartphone and tablet. This device can do everything a modern setup needs. It has a nice pleasing sonic signature to boot. Phono is exceptional and the digital and new features are easy to set up. For you to know, there is no digital edge on CD. You can pair one of the best stereo receivers for music up and enjoy whatever's playing on the Bluetooth-compatible device for huge cinematic sound. There is a possibility to have full volume control through all devices that are on the same network, it is responsive and of course otherwise, it is a really decent stereo as well.

Onkyo TX-8140 PROS:
  • The controls are intuitive and easy to use.
  • It’s very versatile and looks great.
  • No problems connecting to a wireless network.
Onkyo TX-8140 CONS:
  • The unit runs hot.
  • Not developed customize EQ function.
  • It is worth noting that the line out cannot have its level changed, it is just a flat signal.

The best cheap stereo receiver Sony STRDH190


A very solid home receiver for the reasonable price. What do you suppose to have in the best home stereo receiver? The STR-DH190 has four analog audio inputs and one output, so you can easily connect your traditional audio components like a CD player or turntable, and recording devices. It is also more than powerful enough for the mid-sized room the unit is in. Highly pleased with the Receiver. The FM has good sensitivity and there are numerous external inputs. I like the ability to name these inputs. The remote is very useful and also easy to use. The Bluetooth features (control, pairing, and sound quality) are first-rate. You can power on the receiver using your compatible mobile device if you wish that feature to be activated, which keeps the receiver in standby mode. It may not have the audiophile reputation of the latter, but Sony deserves commendation for this entry level 2 channel feature full excellent sounding receiver.

  • It has great sound reproduction with excellent clarity.
  • The remote control lets you rename the inputs to label what goes in where.
  • Nice and compact to fit on a bookshelf.
  • You can only pair Bluetooth to one device at a time like your computer or your iPhone, not both.
  • The tuner scans very slowly to find stations.

Marantz MM7025 meets your listening needs


You buy an amplifier if you know why. The Marantz MM7025 Stereo Power Amplifier answers many needs for both two-channel devotees and home theater enthusiasts alike. It produces 140 watts of full-bandwidth, very low distortion power per channel, so it can precisely control demanding speakers in large rooms or deliver subtle nuance in smaller acoustic environments. The MM7025’s advanced technology serves all your listening needs. Conservatively rated power adds WAY more to your music or movies than just volume; it's quite impressive! Heavy, well built, high-quality amplification. Current feedback circuits, originally developed for the Marantz’s Reference Series amps, ensure the purest sonic reproduction regardless of source. Excellent improvement of sound in combination with Marantz receiver for the quality surround sound system. The special positioning of each instrument in an orchestra is crisp and distinct, the bass is authoritative and powerful, that what every audiophile expects from his best 2 channel stereo receiver.

Marantz MM7025 PROS:
  • It is heavy and built well with the parts of very high quality.
  • Perfect reproduction of any kind of music.
  • Controls speakers in small and large rooms.
Marantz MM7025 CONS:
  • The speaker terminals accept banana plugs but are not the standard 3/4 inch GR spacing.
  • There is no hand-off-auto switch for the 12v active/standby input.

Excellent 2 Channel Yamaha R-S202BL


Yamaha is first class quality at an excellent price. It does everything exceptionally well, from CDs, phono, auxiliary inputs for an iPod, and the best of all, very good and simple Bluetooth connection. One of the best stereo receiver allows you to manually control your music's balance of high and low frequencies. This is a very versatile system that gives excellent performance. Yamaha R-S202BL is a basic system with numerous features that we treasure: 1) Bluetooth 2) cd channel/connection 3) three extra audio ports. Has full function remote, up to 8 different Bluetooth devices can be synced and it will automatically connect to whichever one is on when Bluetooth is selected as the input. Very good receiver with great sound quality. Hook-up is a snap and the instructions are super clear. You would like the auto-preset of strong FM stereo stations. Reception with an aftermarket antenna is excellent.

Yamaha R-S202BL PROS:
  • Ability to use the headphone jack and still have audio output to the speakers.
  • It has the option to turn on and off each channel.
  • Separate bass and treble adjustments with the plentiful level of the bass.
Yamaha R-S202BL CONS:
  • Occasional Bluetooth drop-off; that makes reset the Bluetooth every hour.
  • Impossible to program cable box remotes to power the unit on and off.
  • The volume knob had to be turned really far to get a good sound level.

Onkyo M-5000R can touch the deepest chords of your soul


Have not still decided what is the best stereo receiver for you? There is next candidate for this position and to be brief, Onkyo M-5000R sounds great. The fit and finish of this amp is amazing. It looks better than the pictures. The heavy-duty speaker posts on the back are really nice too. Very warm, very lush, no edginess or crispiness to the music. If your musical taste runs from acoustic, bluegrass, country rock, jazz, blues, alt-country, country swing, Merle Haggard, George Jones, and some rock, so this best vintage stereo receiver created for you. This amp combo handles them all easily, effortlessly, and without distortion.

Onkyo M-5000R PROS:
  • This preamp and power amp combo is superb.
  • The sound is very warm, neutral, and effortless.
  • Sophisticated vintage design.
Onkyo M-5000R CONS:
  • 80 watts is the maximum power before the sounds weaken.

Surround your space with Pioneer SX-10AE


Every inch of the Pioneer SX-10AE has been devised to create quality sounds, such as a shorter transmission path, clean grounding, and rigid structure with improved damping. The discrete amplifier inherits the Direct Energy Design of Pioneer’s high-end AV receivers for faithful reproduction of the audio content. The automatic tuning feature lets you easily find stations in your area. Manual tuning is also available. You can save up to 40 stations on the receiver’s preset for quick access. Great amp at this price range if you need a qualitative surround sound system.

Pioneer SX-10AE PROS:
  • The SX-10AE can automatically turn off after being left uncontrolled for a certain time set by the user.
  • The whole effortless connect.
  • Pretty intuitive controls.
Pioneer SX-10AE CONS:
  • The necessity to raise the volume to 60 before it gets a load.

Full and clear sound with Sherwood RX4508


No doubt this is the best high end stereo receiver you can buy for less than $200. You can listen to music through this system at both low and high volume at home/office/man cave. If you consider yourself as someone who likes music, listens to a lot of it, all types, well Sherwood can open perfectness for you. it sounds a bit more “open” and “dynamic” and at least as “full” and “clear” as the NAD. Overall – the brushed black metal case will look incomparable at your home. No switched outlet on the back: bummer relative to that phono preamp! As old school as the amplifier design is, the control is as digital as it gets – you will want to control this via the very functional but not very aesthetic remote. The Bluetooth is magic, great (easy) pairing, great range, and most importantly, great sound.

Sherwood RX4508 PROS:
  • High-quality Bluetooth, with no drops.
  • Crispy sound.
  • Modern design.
Sherwood RX4508 CONS:
  • No HDMI's.
  • Phono input and Bluetooth hard to find on the receiver.

Solid quality for smaller system Onkyo TX-8220


With low-latency Bluetooth 4.1 wireless technology, you can stream almost any audio that's playing on your smartphone, tablet, laptop, or PC applications. Auto-Connect function tablet, laptop, or PC applications. The function makes pairing up and playing back your music much faster and easier than before, with enhanced stability reducing loss in audio quality. Crafted for music and film lovers seeking authentic hi-fi sound, the TX-8260 is extensively equipped with inputs to connect a wide range of players.

Enjoy room-filling reproduction of these as well as USB Audio, Network, and Bluetooth sources with ease. Bass and Treble controls make tuning the sound for various types of music and media as well as various sound levels quick and easy and allow plenty of adjustment range. In addition to great sound for audio playback, I get good clear sound for voices when used for DVD playback or direct from TV with optical cable, which can be an issue with home theatre systems. The bass is tight and not boomy while the higher frequencies are clear and vibrant.

Onkyo TX-8220 PROS:
  • Clear highs without tinny sound, comfortable mid sounds, and just enough deep bass.
  • Remote buttons clearly labeled and easy to use.
  • You can bypass the bass and treble controls to play without any adjustments for sound purity.
Onkyo TX-8220 CONS:
  • Difficult to get the radio stations to tune in.
  • AM antenna is somewhat a problem to adjust for "best" reception.
  • Can extremely get hot.

Minimalistic, but straightforward Harman Kardon HK 3770


This is a great audio component for a TV. The receiver can stream internet radio (if you have an Ethernet connection, no Wi-Fi) and even has a good quality Bluetooth connection. I like the modern minimalist style and HK products certainly fit the bill in that category. The Black plastic face reveals elegant white text indicating modes, features, and menus. This is a large, soft luminous ring around the volume knob as well. Excellent bass and midrange, really nice "punch" even with lower volumes, you can tell this is a powerful amp, no doubt. Easy setup and intuitive controls, if you are slow and methodical about it. The sound required a bit of tweaking initially using the remote tone control buttons (a bit tricky to access - you need to make sure the remote is set up with the tone control applied to the Stereo mode - but worth the effort.

Harman Kardon HK 3770 PROS:
  • A great number of input options including a decent quality phono stage.
  • Auxiliary inputs for Phono, Tape, and DVD, and two optical inputs.
  • Can run either set of two sets of speakers, or both sets at once.
Harman Kardon HK 3770 CONS:
  • Now for the bad news, despite being rated for 125 watts and I have no doubt it can, in fact, put that out, the quality of the audio is just not up to this units price point.
  • Bluetooth, it cuts out randomly at times for a second.
  • There is literally no way to adjust the left/right balance on this amp.

No excesses with Sherwood RX4208


This old-fashioned amp/receiver doesn't have a lot of bells and whistles, but what it does, it does well. Plug in a good sound source (including a turntable using the built-in preamp), attach a good pair of speakers, and you'll get good quality sound. The amplifier section has a classic AB design with discrete components, lots of heatsink surface area, and a well-ventilated case. All of these qualities are indicators of old-school tank-like design and construction. The actual power output is more than adequate even with the relatively inefficient sealed-cabinet (air-suspension) speakers this receiver will be driving. Transients are punchy and noise thresholds are virtually non-existent. I believe, it sounds better than more expensive receivers. This receiver will fill midsize and larger rooms with realistic sound levels assuming the speakers are up to the task.

Sherwood RX4208 PROS:
  • Provides a clear and beautiful sound.
  • Great design.
Sherwood RX4208 CONS:
  • No output for the subwoofer.
  • Doesn't have a "loudness" button for low frequencies and low volumes.

Play whatever you want with Onkyo TX-8020


This TX-8020 is more modern in as much as the remote also controls the bass and treble. The TX-8020 also has a digital readout for volume level as opposed to a rotating knob with a painted indicator as on the old receiver. It sounds very crispy with good tone controls. This has a "direct" control, which cuts out the tone circuitry, the old one did not. This is a good investment for someone looking to power reasonably efficient speakers in a small room. It is intended, for the money, to provide clean distortionless sound for those caring to listen closely to a musical performance. I like some of the thoughtful design features as the dimmable display, volume buttons offset from all the other buttons on the remote, and a separate "dock" line-level input you can use for whatever you wish. For the money, this receiver is an extremely good deal and sounds great.

Onkyo TX-8020 PROS:
  • It has a phono input with ground and a subwoofer pre-out.
  • Clear sound with no distortion.
  • The receiver is simple to setup and operation.
Onkyo TX-8020 CONS:
  • There isn't a switched AC outlet on the back.
  • The balance control does not completely separate the left/right channels.

Sony STRDH130 is a great bargain for turntable owners


This receiver is more impressive than you can be expecting from such an economical unit. As good as it gets at this price point, basic, simple, easy to use a stereo receiver. It's a basic unit so set up is easy. The Sony STRDH130 has plenty of power and is very clean. There is no loudness control (on/off) but it seems that it is always on. The tuners work very well. They have direct frequency input from the remote. The portable input is great for phones. The phone still has to be turned all the way up, but it is very close to the level of the FM tuner. The remote controls most of the functionality. The receiver seems to pick up the signal from anywhere. If you're on a budget or just looking for a basic no-frills receiver then this it!

  • Clear sound.
  • Easy to use controls.
  • The nice looking device as well.
  • Controls on the tuner are minimal.
  • Lack of speaker balance control.
  • No USB connection.

Comparison chart

Below you can find a comparison chart with all necessary feature, which you can be interested in. The most important for taking a right decision is to conduct a comparison of different characteristics, specialties, pros, and cons. It is impossible to understand which amplifier is the best if you have not explored the mark as a whole. Therefore the article is provided with full information, which can help you in the crucial choice of the best stereo receiver for your home theater. Try to compare the technical characteristics of which mentioned before the receiver, as despite on their similarity they still differ from each other in some features.

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