July 6, 2020

The Best Stereo Receiver In 2020

After considering 10 models and performing more than 70 hours of testing, we believe that the Sony STR-DH190 is the best affordable stereo receiver: an excellent way to start on vinyl and a simple solution to obtain excellent stereo sound. It has its limitations, but with Bluetooth and a built-in phono preamp (plus 100 honest watts per channel), it’s a great deal overall.

Sony’s dh1 90 is reciever designed forthose customers looking for a premiumaudio experience in a stereo form to ensure you can enjoy the best quality music possible there’s full support for high resolution audio the dh1 90 has 4 analog inputs as well as a phone or input making it the best companion for turntables there’s also support for Bluetooth audio so you can easily listen to music from your phone or your tablet there’s also double speaker outputs so you can enjoy your audio in different locations at the flick of a switch
 
  • 100 watts x 2 (8 ohms, 1 Kilo Hertz)
  • Phono Input, 4 Stereo RCA Audio Inputs, 3.5 millimeter Input, Stereo RCA Output
  • Built in Bluetooth lets you wirelessly stream from other Bluetooth devices
  • Connect up to 4 speakers; A/B switching to play all at once, or in separate zones
  • Low profile design (5 ¼ Inch tall) fits easily into conventional AV cabinet
  • FM Radio with 30 station presets; wireless remote control (2AA batteries included)
  • Full size (1/4 Inch) headphone jack
  • In the box: Remote (RMT-AA400U), Batteries, FM antenna
  • We chose the Sony STR-DH190 as the best stereo receiver because it offers the best combination of features and sound quality. With Bluetooth and an on-board phono preamp plus a front input for portable devices, the STR-DH190 is a good option if you’re embracing the future or enjoying the retro. Its sound quality is equal to that of the best models we tested, including the integrated NAD amplifier; In our blind tests, I chose him as my favorite, and none of the other panelists complained about the sound. Our measurements confirm that its output power is the highest in the group: 112 watts per channel at an 8 ohm load, 150 Wpc at a 4 ohm load (at 1 kHz, total harmonic distortion of 0.5 percent, both activated channels). That means the STR-DH190 has enough power to drive almost any pair of speakers at very high volumes.

    The Bluetooth function of the STR-DH190 offers a couple of good benefits. It includes AAC capability, which means you can get a slightly better sound quality when used with Apple iPhones and iPads that use the Apple Music service (or any other streaming service that uses AAC). In addition, the receiver will automatically turn on when selected in the menu of your Bluetooth source.

  • A menu system, controlled through the front panel display, accesses minor amenities, such as the ability to rename entries, enable and disable the Bluetooth auto power on function and adjust the level of the phono input to be more or less equal to the level of the other entries. There are four more analog inputs on the back plus an output to connect to a cassette deck or other recording device and zone A and B speaker connectors. The front panel has a ¼ inch headphone jack. The remote control is compact but easy to use.

    The STR-DH190 is a good option if you are embracing the future or enjoying the retro.

    I couldn’t find any professional review of STR-DH190. The last time I checked Amazon, its rating was only 3.8 stars out of 5, with an average of 24 reviews, but the complaints were due to its patented FM connector (and we agree there) or due to a supposedly inadequate power , which our tests show is incorrect.

  • The biggest concern is that the FM antenna uses a patented connector, which works only with the 5-foot-long cable antenna that Sony provides. This should be good enough to attract most stations in an urban area, but people living in the country probably want a better antenna. It is possible to splice a better antenna on the Sony antenna. Still, if FM is a priority and you live in an area with reception problems, you could be better off with our other selection.

  • You don’t have to search hard to see where Sony cuts the corners to lower the price of the STR-DH190. The speaker cable connectors are small spring clips, which means that you will have to use 14-gauge or thinner speaker cables, and it is easy to accidentally dislodge a cable when connecting and disconnecting other devices. There is no AM radio. Personally, I don’t know anyone who uses a traditional stereo system to listen to AM; But, if you wish, you should consider our second place. There is no line level subwoofer output, so those who use a subwoofer will have to connect it through an additional set of speaker cables instead of a cleaner and more reliable line level connection.
  • 50 W/Ch (8 Ohms, 20 Hz-20 kHz, 0.08%THD, 2 Channels Driven, FTC)
  • WRAT (Wide Range Amplifier Technology). Tuner Features: 40 FM/AM Random Presets
  • 5 Analog Audio Inputs and 1 Output, including Phono Input for Turntable Connection
  • Massive EI Transformer. Compatible with the DS-A5 AirPlay RI Dock for iPod/iPhone/iPad.It’s not a surround sound stereo.
  • Power Output90 W + 90 W (6 Ω, 1 kHz, 1% THD,1 Channel Driven, IEC)
  • In terms of performance, the Onkyo TX-8020 is in the same stadium as the Sony STR-DH190. The two receivers differ mainly in the characteristics. The Onkyo does not have Bluetooth. However, it uses threaded connecting posts, which provide a more reliable connection for speaker cables than Sony spring clips. It has a mono line-level subwoofer output, which can make a connection to a subwoofer a bit easier. It has a standard FM antenna connector, so it will connect to the FM antenna you choose. It also has an AM tuner, which Sony is missing.

    Note that our panelists felt that the audible differences between the receivers we tested were insignificant, and the evaluators could not settle for a favorite. For the most part, choosing a stereo receiver is reduced to costs and features.

  • The Onkyo TX-8020 was very close to being our first choice. Unlike many economical receivers, it has large, rugged threaded connection posts to connect the speaker cables, which results in a much more reliable connection in our experience than the spring clips in our top selection. It has a monophonic line level subwoofer output, which makes it easier and tidy to connect to an active subwoofer. It has FM and AM tuners, and uses standard connectors for both, so you can connect the antenna of your choice.

    We discovered that the Onkyo TX-8020 sounds slightly different from our main selection, but not in a way that gives it a consistent advantage or disadvantage compared to its competitors. Geoff chose him as his favorite in our blind tests. We measure its output power at 80 watts per channel at an 8 ohm load, 116 wpc at a 4 ohm load (at 1 kHz, total harmonic distortion of 0.5 percent, both channels activated). That is better than Onkyo’s ratings; According to Onkyo’s strictest standards, we measure 57 watts at 8 ohms.

  • The only real drawback of the TX-8020 is that it has no built-in Bluetooth, a feature that Wirecutter technology experts consider essential. Of course, you can add a Bluetooth adapter, which is available on Amazon for less than $ 15, but it is an extra doohickey that you have to deal with. With five analog inputs on the back (plus an output for a cassette deck or other recorder), the TX-8020 has many inputs to add a Bluetooth adapter plus four more devices, and also has a phono input. There is a ¼ inch headphone jack on the front.

    CNET’s Steve Guttenberg praised the TX-8020, saying “it offers serious value for a very reasonable price.” In addition to that review and my own review of a few years ago in Lifewire (from which my laboratory measurements were sadly removed), I could not find any other professional reviews of the TX-8020. At Amazon, it has attracted 573 user reviews with an average rating of 4.2 stars out of 5.

 

Why you should trust us

I have reviewed the audio equipment professionally since 1990. I am currently reviewing the SoundStage audio website network, and I have written reviews for magazines and websites, including Sound & Vision, Home Theater Review, Lifewire and Home Theater. I have probably done more blind tests of audio components than any other journalist, and my house has a dedicated listening room (where we did the tests for this guide) and a fully equipped test bench, as well as the equipment that I bought or built specifically for comparison tests like this.

My listening panel consisted of two experienced audio professionals. Wirecutter headphone editor Lauren Dragan has a degree in music performance and audio production from Ithaca College, and has reviewed high-end home audio equipment for publications such as Home Entertainment,

the competition

  • 45 W/Ch stereo power (8 ohms, 20 Hz-20 kHz, 0.08%, 2 channels Driven, FTC); 100 W/Ch (6 ohms, 1 kHz, 10% THD, 2 channels Driven) , AM – 530 kHz–1,710 kilo Hertz
  • Bluetooth Audio streaming technology for almost any device
  • Mm phono, analog, and digital Audio inputs
  • Hi-current discrete amplification system
  • FM/AM radio tuners with 40-station memory presets
  • DIRECT ENERGY. The discrete amplifier inherits the Direct Energy Design for faithful reproduction of the audio content. A shorter transmission path, clean grounding and rigid structure with improved damping all help improve audio for quality sound
  • BLUETOOTH COMPATIBLE. Seamlessly connect your phone, tablet or PC with Bluetooth Wireless Technology. This smart receiver remembers your device and starts playback when it detects incoming Bluetooth audio. Ver. 4.2, Profile: A2DP/AVRCP, Codec: SBC/AAC
  • AM/FM TUNER. The automatic tuning feature lets you easily find stations in your area. Manual tuning is also available. You can save up to 40 stations on the receiver’s preset for quick access
  • AUTO STANDBY. The SX-10AE will automatically turn off after being left uncontrolled for a certain time set by the user
  • FEATURES. 100 W per Channel (6 ohms), 45 W per Channel (8 ohms). Tone Controls: Bass (100 Hz)/Treble (10 kHz) +/- 10 dB. Frequency Response: Direct 10 hz-100 kHz, +1 dB/-3 dB
  • Bluetooth Wireless Music Streaming – Compatible with Virtually All Bluetooth Enabled Devices
  • Works with iPhone, Android, Smartphones, Tablet, MP3 player, TV, PC etc. – Digital Receiver Amp
  • Easy Karaoke and DJ: Mix Two Microphones with Music from Bluetooth, AM/FM or Aux-in for Karaoke Fun
  • LCD Display – AM/FM Radio – 50 Presets – 2 Mic Inputs – 3 RCA Inputs – 4 Speaker Outputs
  • 200 Watt MAX Output – Remote Control – Power: 110-200V – Dimensions: 19.0″ (W) 11.4″ (D) 4.7″ (H)
  • Bluetooth Wireless Music Streaming – Compatible with Virtually All Bluetooth Enabled Devices
  • Works with iPhone, Android, Smartphones, Tablet, MP3 player, TV, PC etc. – Digital Receiver Amp
  • Easy Karaoke and DJ: Mix Two Microphones with Music from Bluetooth, AM/FM or Aux-in for Karaoke Fun
  • LCD Display – AM/FM Radio – 50 Presets – 2 Mic Inputs – 3 RCA Inputs – 4 Speaker Outputs
  • 200 Watt MAX Output – Remote Control – Power: 110-200V – Dimensions: 19.0″ (W) 11.4″ (D) 4.7″ (H)

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