How to Select a Home Theater Receiver and Amplifier

Impor­tant Fea­tures to Look For:

The audio receiver is the core com­po­nent in your Home The­ater sound sys­tem and pro­vides the selec­tion to hear like Blue-Ray disc or TVaudio, an FM – AM radio tuner, ampli­fies the sig­nal to your speak­ers and allows detail con­trol of your sys­tem. Pop­u­lar receivers are from Yamaha, Pio­neer, and Onkyo and Denon. Even the least expense receiver – start­ing under $200.00 – will have excel­lent fre­quen­cies response and pro­duce 90 – 110-watts power ampli­fi­ca­tion, more than enough for any home sys­tem. So what fea­tures are worth pay­ing more?

The $200.00 receiver could sound as good as the $800.00 receiver but may not have the impor­tant fea­tures you need:

  • Speaker Con­nec­tions. Select a 5.1 receiver sys­tem to con­nect 5-speakers (most pop­u­lar front cen­ter, left, right plus back left, right) or select a 7.1 receiver sys­tem to add 2-additonal side speak­ers, total 7. If you have a 5-speaker setup you do not want to pay for a 7-speaker setup. The “.1” refers to the optional sub­woofer con­nec­tion which is included on all receivers.
  • HDMI Up-Conversion. Allows any com­po­nent – DVD, game con­sole, TV box — to plug in the receiver and send video to the TV over a sin­gle HDMI cable. You could have many dif­fer­ent cables going to the TV with­out this feature.
  • Micro­phone Sys­tem for Acousti­cally Bal­anc­ing Speak­ers. A spe­cial mic is placed in the cen­ter of your lis­ten­ing area and with a series of beeps and burps acousti­cally adjusts each speaker for per­fect sur­round sound lis­ten­ing. A must have to insure cor­rect speaker place­ment and future seatng changes.
  • ­2nd Zone Speaker Out­put. If you are plan­ning on hav­ing speak­ers on the Patio or another room, you must have this fea­ture. You get con­nec­tions for the extra speak­ers plus a sep­a­rate vol­ume con­trol. Very impor­tant when you expect to expand your system.


Your favorite receiver man­u­fac­turer is Yamaha and our most favorite receiver Model is Yamaha’s RXV673. Sell­ing for about $499.95, this receiver has all the fea­tures dis­cussed. Just stick to the major brands and you will be ensured excel­lent per­for­mance from your Home The­ater system.