Recommended: Home Theater Receivers

With the holiday shopping season upon us, we see the purchasing of home entertainment electronics spike at this time of year. Sales abound, and good deals can be had if you do some research.

Throughout the coming weeks, we are going to post a series of our recommendations in consumer electronics. Let us do the work and save you the headache and confusion…

Uh, whatever…

Today we are going to start with that workhorse of the low to mid-priced home theater system, the A/V Receiver. Think of the audio-video receiver as the hub or “brain” of your home theater system. Your source items (cable, satellite, cd and dvd players, game consoles…) plug in to the receiver and then the receiver processes those signals and sends them to your speakers and video display.

Brain, huh..?

Let’s start with the entry-level range for the more budget conscious. Our pick here is the Onkyo TX-SR606, which at an MSRP of $599.00 has all the features we look for in a home theater “brain”. 7.1 channel processing, HDMI 1.3a connections, audio processing of the new lossless Blu-ray formats, zone 2 controls…all that and more are present in a nice sounding and user friendly package.

What about the really good brain..?

Rotel, a highly regarded manufacturer of audio/video electronics, has released a new receiver that hits the target for the discerning listener among us…the audiophile. The RSX-1560 boasts 7 channels of amplification, all the latest audio processing formats and multi-zone control capabilities. Excellent engineering has gone into this receiver, not to mention high quality parts and first-rate fit and finish. We guarantee you won’t be disappointed with the listening experience, whether it is the latest movie or a music CD. Well worth the $2599.00 asking price – just be sure to pair it with some quality speakers.

One important thing to remember here, and it applies to both units – pricing is negotiable..! A little work should get you the Onkyo for around $500, and the Rotel can be had for less as well. It is a definite buyers market out there! Also note that these recommendations are not the perfect solution for all home theaters. If you have any questions, leave us a comment…

Happy listening..!