Best 2 channel stereo receiver in 2020

Preview
Yamaha R-S202BL Stereo Receiver
Sony STRDH190 2-ch Home Stereo Receiver with Phono Inputs & Bluetooth
Sherwood RX4508 200W AM/FM Stereo Receiver with Bluetooth, Black
Sony STRDH130 2 Channel Stereo Receiver (Black)
Onkyo TX-8020 2 channel Stereo Receiver
Title
Yamaha R-S202BL
Sony STRDH190
Sherwood RX4508
Sony STRDH130
Onkyo TX-8020
Total output power
100 W
200 W
100 W
100 W
300 W
Number of channels
2
2
2
2
2
Impedance
8 ohm
6–16 ohm
8 ohm
8 ohm
8 ohm
Signal-to-noise ratio
71 dB / 70 dB
93 dB
30 dB
96 dB
80 dB
Frequency response
10 Hz – 100 kHz
20 Hz - 20 kHz
40 Hz - 20k Hz
20 Hz - 20 kHz
20 Hz - 20 kHz
Bluetooth
Wi-Fi
AM/FM
Dimensions
12.6 x 17.1 x 5.5 inches
11 x 17 x 5.2 inches
14.8 x 17.1 x 5.6 inches
21.2 x 10.9 x 15.4 inches
17.3 x 12.8 x 5.8 inches
Weight
14.8 pounds
17.1 pounds
16.3 pounds
14 pounds
16.1 pounds
Prime Benefits
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Preview
Yamaha R-S202BL Stereo Receiver
Title
Yamaha R-S202BL
Total output power
100 W
Number of channels
2
Impedance
8 ohm
Signal-to-noise ratio
71 dB / 70 dB
Frequency response
10 Hz – 100 kHz
Bluetooth
Wi-Fi
AM/FM
Dimensions
12.6 x 17.1 x 5.5 inches
Weight
14.8 pounds
Prime Benefits
-
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Preview
Sony STRDH190 2-ch Home Stereo Receiver with Phono Inputs & Bluetooth
Title
Sony STRDH190
Total output power
200 W
Number of channels
2
Impedance
6–16 ohm
Signal-to-noise ratio
93 dB
Frequency response
20 Hz - 20 kHz
Bluetooth
Wi-Fi
AM/FM
Dimensions
11 x 17 x 5.2 inches
Weight
17.1 pounds
Prime Benefits
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Preview
Sherwood RX4508 200W AM/FM Stereo Receiver with Bluetooth, Black
Title
Sherwood RX4508
Total output power
100 W
Number of channels
2
Impedance
8 ohm
Signal-to-noise ratio
30 dB
Frequency response
40 Hz - 20k Hz
Bluetooth
Wi-Fi
AM/FM
Dimensions
14.8 x 17.1 x 5.6 inches
Weight
16.3 pounds
Prime Benefits
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Preview
Sony STRDH130 2 Channel Stereo Receiver (Black)
Title
Sony STRDH130
Total output power
100 W
Number of channels
2
Impedance
8 ohm
Signal-to-noise ratio
96 dB
Frequency response
20 Hz - 20 kHz
Bluetooth
Wi-Fi
AM/FM
Dimensions
21.2 x 10.9 x 15.4 inches
Weight
14 pounds
Prime Benefits
-
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Preview
Onkyo TX-8020 2 channel Stereo Receiver
Title
Onkyo TX-8020
Total output power
300 W
Number of channels
2
Impedance
8 ohm
Signal-to-noise ratio
80 dB
Frequency response
20 Hz - 20 kHz
Bluetooth
Wi-Fi
AM/FM
Dimensions
17.3 x 12.8 x 5.8 inches
Weight
16.1 pounds
Prime Benefits
-
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Stereo Receiver Reviews

Isn't that great to have a home theater at home? But the first issue that comes to our mind is how to get the characteristic stereo sound. And that is when the best stereo receiver will come in handy.

However, how to make the right choice? Does it worth breaking a bank and purchase the most expensive model that claims to be the best one? Or should you pick an affordable one that features mediocre or just fewer features? At this moment, buyers can be mistaken because price doesn't always mean quality. Cheaper electronics can have almost all features without compromising sound quality.

That's why we decided to take a test and help buyers that are in doubt make a win-win deal. Here we selected one of the best vintage stereo receivers that can boast a wide range of functions no matter how much they cost. Indeed, dual-channel stereo receivers are able to provide stunning sound with clear highs and lows filling all the room. And multiply connections (inputs and outputs) allow hooking up different devices to experiment with a sound.

Nevertheless, keep in mind that the budget device doesn't mean a poor-quality unit but rather a regular device with fewer features, which perform their main function at a high level. But don't neglect pricey models because they may have additional features to boost general sounding.

So discover all the reviews below, take special note of the advantages and shortcomings of these devices, and find the best receiver for yourself.

Jump to

Our pick
Yamaha R-S202BL Stereo Receiver
The best stereo receiver
Yamaha, the most trusted brand in home audio, adds Bluetooth compatibility in this Hi-Fi receiver for easy wireless access to streaming music services and music on your smartphone or other devices. Enjoy the connectivity and the outstanding and legendary quality of Yamaha Natural Sound? Frequency Response: 10 Hz – 100 kHz (0 ± 0.5 dB / 0 ± 3.0 dB).

Yamaha R-S202BL

Yamaha-R-S202BL

Yamaha offers 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, it provides a very good and effortless Bluetooth connection. This is possibly the best stereo receiver, as it allows you to manually control your music's balance of high and low frequencies. All things combined, this is a very versatile system that offers excellent performance and great sound quality. The Yamaha stereo receiver is a basic receiver with numerous features that we treasure: Bluetooth, CD channel/connection, three extra audio ports, and full-function remote control. Up to eight different Bluetooth devices can be linked to this receiver, and, when Bluetooth is selected as the input, it will automatically connect to whichever one is on. Plugging is a snap and the instructions are super clear. You would like the auto-preset of FM radio stations with a strong signal, and the reception with an aftermarket antenna is excellent.

PROS

  • Ability to use the headphone jack and still have audio output to the speakers.
  • The Yamaha R-S202BL stereo receiverhas the option to turn each channel on and off.
  • Separate bass and treble adjustments with the plentiful level of bass.

CONS

  • Occasional Bluetooth drop-outs; those make you reset Bluetooth every hour.
  • It is impossible to program cable box remotes to power the unit on and off.
  • You have to turn the volume knob really far to get a good sound level.

Sony STRDH190

Sony-STRDH190

The STR-DH190 has four analog audio inputs and one output to connect multiple devices (turntable, subwoofer, amplifier, etc.) simultaneously. Due to an inbuilt power amplifier, the sound power produced is enough to fill a medium-sized room. I'm highly pleased with this device: FM/AM radio has great sensitivity, the remote is very convinient and functional, and it’s also easy to use. Bluetooth works without drops or lags. By pairing smartphone or tablet via Bluetooth Standby mode, one can activate the receiver which already "fall asleep". I can say that Sony deserves credit for this entry-level 2-channel receiver that offers a decent set of features, paired with excellent sound.

PROS

  • It has great sound reproduction with excellent clarity.
  • The remote control lets you rename the inputs in order to label and distinguish them.
  • The receiver can connect with up to four speakers.

CONS

  • You can only pair it via Bluetooth to one device at a time, like your computer or your iPhone, not both.
  • The radio tuner scans very slowly to find stations.

Sherwood RX4508

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 all types of music and listens to it a lot, 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. There is no switched outlet on the back: a definite flaw in relation to that phono preamp! Despite the "old school" design of the amplifier, the control is as digital as it gets – you will want to make adjustments via the very functional but not very aesthetic remote. The Bluetooth connection is magic: effortless pairing, great range, and most importantly, impressive sound.

PROS

  • High-quality Bluetooth, with no connection drops.
  • Vivid sound.
  • Modern design.

CONS

  • No HDMI connectivity.
  • The front display is hard to see in bright light.

Sony STRDH130

Sony-STRDH130

This receiver is more impressive than you can expect from such an affordable unit. It's a basic unit so set up is easy. This easy-to-use basic stereo receiver is as good as it gets at this price point. The Sony stereo receiver has plenty of power and delivers very clean sound. There is no loudness control (on/off), but it seems that it is always on. The tuners work very well and have direct frequency input from the remote. The portable input is great for connecting phones. The phone volume 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 is it!

PROS

  • This receiver support remotes from the previous model.
  • Separate bass and treble controls.
  • A save station function works with no issues and recall is easy.

Sony STRDH130

  • Controls on the tuner are minimal.
  • Lack of speaker balance control.
  • No USB connection.

Onkyo TX-8020

Onkyo-TX-8020

This TX-8020 is a more modern receiver, and its remote also allows adjusting bass and treble. The TX-8020 has a digital readout for a volume level, as opposed to a rotating knob with a painted indicator on the old model. It sounds very fresh and vivid, with good tone controls. Unlike the old model, this one has "direct" control, which cuts out the tone circuitry. It's a good investment for those looking for a power source for a sufficiently efficient loudspeaker in a small room. 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.

PROS

  • It has a phono input with the ground and a subwoofer pre-out.
  • Clear sound with no distortion.
  • The receiver is simple to set up and operate.

CONS

  • There is no switched AC outlet on the back.
  • The balance control does not completely separate the left/right channels.

Pioneer SX-10AE

Pioneer-SX-10AE

Every inch of the Pioneer stereo receiver was designed to create quality sound due to 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 the faithful reproduction of the audio content. The automatic tuning feature lets you easily find stations in your area; however, manual tuning is also available. You can save up to 40 stations as the receiver’s presets for quick access. It's a great amp at this price range if you need a high-quality surround sound system.

PROS

  • This cheap stereo receiver can automatically turn off after being left uncontrolled for a certain time set by the user.
  • Totally rapid with no connection issues.
  • Rather intuitive controls.

CONS

  • The necessity to raise the volume to 60 before it gets a load.

Onkyo TX-8220

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. The “Auto connect” 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 movie lovers seeking authentic hi-fi sound, the TX-8260 is extensively equipped with inputs to connect a wide range of players.

Enjoy room-filling sound reproduction from the aforementioned and other sources, such as USB Audio, Network, and Bluetooth. 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 ensure a wide adjustment range. In addition to great audio playback, I get good and clear sounding of voices when used for DVD or direct TV connection via an optical cable, which can be an issue with home theatre systems. The bass is solid and not boomy, while the higher frequencies are clear and vibrant.

Onkyo TX-8220 PROS:
  • Clear highs without tinny side-tones, comfortable mid sounds, and just enough deep bass.
  • Remote buttons are 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:
  • It's difficult to tune in radio stations.
  • AM antenna is somewhat problematic to adjust for the best reception.
  • Can get extremely hot.

Sherwood RX4208

Sherwood-RX4208

This old-fashioned amp/receiver doesn't have a lot of bells and whistles, but it performs its set of functions 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 driven by this receiver. Medium frequencies 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 at appropriate levels assuming the speakers are up to the task.

PROS

  • RIAA-equalized phono input.
  • Good AM/FM sensitivity.

CONS

  • Tone quality could be better.
  • Doesn't have a "loudness" button for low frequencies and low volumes.
  • It lacks subwoofer out and switched power plugs.

Yamaha R-N303BL

Yamaha-R-N303

This Yamaha stereo receiver has three connection types: wired, wireless, and Wi-Fi Direct. It has all the RCA inputs in case you have a Phonograph, a CD player, and even a tape deck. Instead of buying more CDs, you can stream music from YouTube via your mobile phone through Bluetooth. This stereo receiver with phono input can connect to the home Wi-Fi, and Wi-Fi Direct creates a network to play your music data. Wi-Fi Direct is useful if the home doesn’t have a network or Internet service. If you have a nostalgia for vinyl recordings, a phono input terminal will come in handy. The remote is effective with buttons arranged conveniently and logically. The stereo separation is great with any system, and there is plenty of volume in reserve. The R-N303 is the perfect blend of technology and timeless design elegance with a number of essential features.

PROS

  • Optical audio inputs for TV.
  • Two channels with 100-Watt output.
  • Wi-Fi, Wireless Direct, Bluetooth, and AirPlay with great performance.

CONS

  • The R-N303BL panel display is minimal, in terms of both its content and brightness.
  • The remote has 37 small buttons, none numeric, all labeled with even smaller print.
  • Controlling AM/FM tuners without a tuning knob on the panel or any digital controls is a challenge.

Onkyo TX-8140

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 synced with Internet streaming services to music on your smartphone and tablet. This device can do everything a modern setup needs, and it has pleasing sound quality. Phono-related characteristics are exceptional and all the new digital features are easy to set up. You can pair this potentially best stereo receiver for music with a Bluetooth-compatible device, and enjoy the 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 makes this device a decent stereo.

PROS

  • The controls are intuitive and easy to use.
  • It’s very versatile and looks great.
  • No problems connecting to a wireless network.

CONS

  • The unit runs hot.
  • Customize EQ function is inadequate.
  • It is worth noting that you cannot change the line output level, it is just a steady signal.

Marantz MM7025

Marantz-MM7025

The Marantz MM7025 stereo power amplifier meets many needs for both two-channel devotees and home theater enthusiasts alike. It produces 140 Watts of power per channel with full-bandwidth and very low distortion characteristics, so it can precisely control performance-demanding speakers in large rooms or deliver subtle nuances 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! Overall, this sturdy and versatile receiver offers high-quality amplification. Current feedback circuits, originally developed for the Marantz’s Reference Series amps, ensure the purest sound reproduction regardless of its source. Excellent improvement of sound by this Marantz stereo receiver is essential for any quality surround sound system. The particular positioning of each instrument in an orchestra is crisp and distinct, the bass is formidable and powerful, that what every audiophile expects from the best 2-channel stereo receiver.

PROS

  • It creates powerful sound on demand and absolute silence when on but not in operation.
  • The Marantz can be connected to bi-wired speakers.
  • The fan on the rear panel is almost silent.

CONS

  • The speaker terminals accept banana plugs but are not the standard 3/4 inches pin spacing.
  • There is no switch for the 12-Volt active/standby input.

Harman Kardon 3770

Harman-Kardon-HK-3770

This is a great audio device for a TV set. The receiver can stream Internet radio (only if you have an Ethernet connection, as it doesn’t support 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 an elegant white text, which indicates modes, features, and menus. In addition, there is a large, faintly luminous ring around the volume knob. Excellent bass and midrange tones, a really nice "punch" even with lower volumes — without a doubt, you can tell this is a powerful amp. Easy setup and intuitive controls, if you like a slow and methodical approach. The sound required a bit of initial tweaking 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).

PROS

  • A great number of input options including a phono stage of decent quality.
  • Auxiliary inputs for Phono, Tape, and DVD, and two optical inputs.
  • Can run either of two sets of speakers, or both sets at once.

CONS

  • Despite being rated for 125 Watts, the quality of the audio is just not up to this units price point.
  • Bluetooth cuts out at random times for a second.
  • There is literally no way to adjust the left/right balance on this amp.

Onkyo M-5000R

Onkyo-M-5000R

Still have not decided what is the best stereo receiver for you? There is another candidate for this position, and to be brief, Onkyo stereo receiver sounds great. The design of this amp is amazing, and in reality, it looks better than on pictures. The heavy-duty speaker posts on the back are really nice too. They are able to provide very warm and lush sound without roughness or garbling. If your musical taste runs from acoustic, bluegrass, country rock, jazz, blues, alt-country, country swing, Merle Haggard, George Jones, and some rock, this best vintage stereo receiver is created for you. This amp combo handles them all easily, effortlessly, and without distortion.

PROS

  • The preamp and power amp combo is superb.
  • The sound is very warm and pure.
  • Sophisticated vintage design.

CONS

  • 80 Watts is the maximum power before the sound weakens.

Comparison chart

Below you can find a comparison chart with all the necessary features of the best stereo receivers, which you can be interested in. The most important for making the right decision is to conduct a comparison of different characteristics, special features, pros and cons. It is impossible to understand which amplifier is the best if you have not explored brands and models. Therefore, the article provides 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 the above-described receivers, as, despite their similarity, they still differ from each other in some features.

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