Instead of installing speakers in or on the ceiling, you can add speakers on top of your existing towers, with drivers projecting upwards. At the same time, you can use the third port to send uncompressed audio to a soundbar — though why you would do that when you already have a 7.1.2 system at your disposal is anyone’s guess. The Onkyo TX-NR696 is the best AV home theater receiver for those looking for a budget-ish option. The one area that could possibly change is high-resolution audio, as even many of the above models don’t support everything possible yet, though that is quickly changing as well. The Denon AVR-S540BT may offer good sound, but it uses spring clips for speaker wire attachment, as opposed to the more common and much friendlier binding posts. We also argue that other similarly-priced receivers, like the $649 Denon AVR-S960H, offer better sound quality. When it comes to A/V receivers, reducing your budget invariably means reducing the number of features. It’s nice to have, and can be helpful, but it’s often far more effective to simply use the included remote to get the job done – especially for everyday things like changing the volume or muting playback. You’ll be able to control receiver volume by using the brilliant Sonos app, and you can also attach up to three Sonos Port devices to your receiver. It does help that the Denon AVR-S960H performs well for movies, although it is missing a few key features we would have liked to see. For example, if you are already using a 5.1 you can start your upgrade to an Auro 9.1 setup by adding four wall speakers - two above your two main speakers, and two above your two surrounds. Where Dolby Atmos differs from conventional surround set-ups is by necessitating one, two or more extra pairs of ceiling speakers. It’s also less prone to dropouts than Bluetooth, and as we mentioned, it sounds better. It’s not just because it tells everything where to go, routing signals to different speakers and screens. You could also invest in a remote extender, which means you don’t need line-of-site to the receiver to control it. Because for $600, we would have hoped that the RX-V6A would do something a little different, beyond the looks. Starting with all things audio, it’s got Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, DTS:X Pro, IMAX Enhanced, Auro 3D, plus the ability to connect a turntable for some vinyl playback or to stream from the likes of Spotify, Tidal, Pandora, AirPlay 2, among others. Currently, the best room calibration software is known as Anthem ARC Genesis. However, it is features where the Denon AVR-S750H struggles. The X3600H has 9.2 channels of audio, which is more than enough for most people, and it also includes the ability to add an additional two channels if you want to expand later. We also keep a Peachtree Nova 220 SE integrated amplifier nearby for reference. If you’re interested in making the room sound good, then we recommend ARC Genesis – or at the very least, another form of reputable room correction software. The 11.2 channel system can run in 7.2.4 or 9.2.2 configurations when using all the channels. Not right now. All of the models we highlight support 4K and most also support HDR as well. DO NOT DO ANY CONNECTING WITH YOUR RECEIVER PLUGGED IN. However, there’s no escaping the fact that the majority of the cost goes towards the advanced music features of this model. It's probably a bit much for our purposes to go into here, but we do offer an explanation of the different types of video in our roundup of the best Blu-ray players. At a time when home sound systems are getting smaller, smarter, and more compact, Denon decided to go in the opposite direction. Dolby has a huge market share, and DTS:X is gaining fans fast, but Auro-3D’s technological requirements have seen it struggle, despite the fact that it’s pretty incredible. We also have to give it a black mark for the on-screen interface, which is hugely clunky and outdated.

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