Best 2-channel receivers under $500 in 2018

Votes 5 5
Rating 3.4 3.4

Audio Receivers under 500 – The Best Affordable Options

The market of audio receivers is kind of baffling, to say the least. Customers still believe that a good sound is worth a lot of money. Read on to find your best stereo receiver under 500.

Receivers of any kind take some time getting acquainted with. It is very hard to understand what is what especially if you are not an electronics whiz kid. Or you have never had such a product in your house before and you need a beginner friendly option. Frankly speaking, the audio receivers are usually associated with luxury, vast space and modern interiors. But it is not exactly true. You can enjoy an amazing sound even with a humble affordable family option.

Read our review of the best AV receivers.

A set of standard receiver functions is all you need to have a good sound. With a little bit of our help and guidance, you can pick out your very best home stereo receiver under 500. We simply give you the unbiased review and first-hand user experience with ratings.

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Our pick
Yamaha R-N303BL
The best stereo receiver under $500
The R-N303 is the perfect blend of technology and timeless design elegance.

Onkyo TX-8140 – Almost Five Stars

Onkyo-TX-8140

This lovely little receiver has all the good important functions together with some cute options like 4 am/fm buttons. We believe it could be the top of the best stereo receivers under 500 but the end decision is yours. TX-8140 is amazing for its price-quality ratio and the wide sphere of use. Enjoy various options like Bluetooth, Spotify, Pandora, Sirius, Slacker, Deezer etc. It is amazing considering the price point and the lifespan.

Onkyo TX-8140 PROS:
  • The instruction is very clear and simple. So even if you have never used receivers before Onkyo TX-8140 is very easy to install and plug in a couple of your domestic speakers.
  • Even if you love loud music the sound is going to be really clean and crisp with no artificial noise.
  • Use it together with apps for Android or Apple. This way you can run your iTunes etc. music on Onkyo receivers.
Onkyo TX-8140 CONS:
  • Some customers report overheating issues so just be careful if you run it for a long time.
  • If you use it heavily you can blow your receiver up and ruin the transistors.
  • If you use this receiver to stream Pandora you might have gaps in the stream as the sound stops and starts.

Harman Kardon HK 3770: The Touch of Luxury

Harman-Kardon-HK-3770

The candidate number two for the best stereo receiver under 500 nomination. This one has a rating that is slightly lower than a previous one. Although the price is slightly higher HK 3770 has got some very nice features. For example, you get a separate input for a subwoofer. You can also enjoy all the common features like radio, internet radio, Bluetooth etc. Although it is somewhat expensive Kardon is one of the best 2 channel stereo receivers out there.

Harman Kardon HK 3770 PROS:
  • You get amazing bass sounds much cleaner and deeper than other affordable receivers.
  • No loss of sound when adding a second pair of speakers. The volume and sound quality will be just as good.
  • The customer support is available when you need it. You get to have an instant reply and they speak English well.
Harman Kardon HK 3770CONS:
  • The receiver tends to shut down without a warning in case of overheating which usually happens after a few hours.
  • Sometimes you might have to deal with the burned power cable. Usually, this is a production fault that you can tell right away.
  • The remote might be slow to react or some buttons in it might break down. Quite a common error according to the customers.

Yamaha R-N303 – A Family Friendly Option

Yamaha-R-N303BL

This one is also a nominee for the best stereo receiver under 500 award. The Yamaha R-N303 receiver is really cool because from one side you pay very little money for it and from the other side, R-N303 has all the same cool modern features. R-N303 audio receiver is relatively affordable comparing it to other audio receivers in the under 500 dollars category. Plus it works with Alexa plus it has the most of features of the previous two receivers. Maybe it is not that exciting or luxurious. But this receiver has an amazing price-quality ratio.

Yamaha R-N303 PROS:
  • It is reliable and solidly built although not very sophisticated. So it is a great option for the whole family and you do not have to worry about your family members ruining it.
  • It is just as good for big space and large sound as it is for a quiet music in your bedroom.
  • It has a wider range of music apps than the previous two. R-N303 also includes Napster and Tidal that were not featured in the previous ones.
Yamaha R-N303 CONS:
  • The Bluetooth and Wi-Fi features take some time to set up and be properly adjusted.
  • You do not have the balance control option.
  • Some customers have reported Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connection issues and irregular connection.

Onkyo TX-8220 – The Cheapest One

Onkyo-TX-8220

This one might not be the best stereo receiver under 500 dollars but we had to add it as an option for you to consider. Receivers do not have to be expensive and just in case you need a really cheap one we’ve got you covered. We believe that you do not need to have a load of cash to enjoy good sound. Onkyo TX-8220 is really the most affordable in the affordable category and that means a lot. It also has some advanced features, for example, you get to control the balance, treble, and base.

Onkyo TX-8220 PROS:
  • If you want to have the pure sound you can skip the bass, treble and balance controls. Bypass them for a clear sound.
  • TX-8220 is very easy to align with other software. The chance of any connection issues is very low.
  • The manual for setup and programming is very easy so you can handle it even without any experience.
Onkyo TX-8220 CONS:
  • This one does not work with Alexa. Which you can easily overlook especially if you have never had Alexa to begin with.
  • TX-8220 might not be able to handle expensive powerful speakers.

Comparison Table

Even if you still feel like you need more data to make the final choice we give you all the information and technical specifications in the form of a chart. Take your time and look at all the offers, options, and features. Make sure you like everything about the product and the comparison chart, in this case, can be really handy. We have a special feature allowing you to choose products that you want to put into the table for a better side by side comparison.

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