Updated October 18, 2019 by Daniel Goldstein

The 10 Best Stereo Receivers

video play icon
Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive

This wiki has been updated 4 times since it was first published in May of 2019. The majority of modern receivers are engineered to function as the central hub of a home theater system. However, if you're only looking to power a two-channel audio setup, a stereo unit is the way to go. Our list ranges from entry-level budget picks with minimal features all the way to audiophile-grade options that will drive top-tier speakers. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki. Skip to the best stereo receiver on Amazon.

10. Pyle PDA7BU

9. Sherwood RX4508

8. Sherwood RX5502

7. Yamaha R-N303

6. Harman Kardon HK 3770

5. Sony STR-DH190

4. Onkyo TX-8260

3. Onkyo TX-8140

2. Pioneer SX-10AE

1. Cambridge Audio Topaz SR20

Special Honors

Outlaw RR2160 Despite its outdated appearance, this one is designed to deliver state-of-the-art performance for under $1000. Its features include two subwoofer outputs, HD radio, a moving-magnet/moving-coil phono stage, speaker EQ controls, tone dials, front-and-back USB inputs, a top-quality onboard DAC, and more. All of this is to say that it can handle all modern audio-listening needs. As for its performance, you can expect an expansive, natural sound that is both warm and well-articulated. It's sensitive enough to capture the minutiae of dynamic spikes with fine precision. outlawaudio.com

Editor's Notes

May 30, 2019:

We've created this list to accommodate those with a tight budget, as well as those looking to splurge for a high-end setup. If you're looking to get by with the bare minimum, our #10 pick, the Pyle PDA7BU, is loaded with features and can sufficiently handle a basic set of stereo speakers. Between that and our #1 pick, the Cambridge Audio Topaz SR20, are a myriad of options that range from decent to excellent. Some of these receivers are 2.1 compatible, meaning that they also have a sub line-out, should you want to connect a subwoofer to ensure that the low-end isn't lacking.

Most of these models are Bluetooth compatible, though some offer a larger wireless range. Others favor brute force over wireless networking features. What's essential is that you find a unit that's best-suited to your speakers. You don't just want a receiver that can meet the speakers' power ratings; you also want to ensure that it is powerful enough to provide plenty of headroom so you can push the speakers to their limit without worrying about distortion or damage.


Daniel Goldstein
Last updated on October 18, 2019 by Daniel Goldstein

Daniel is a writer, musician, and frequent traveler with a bachelor’s in creative writing from the State University of New York. In recent years, his writing chops have developed alongside his musical skills, thanks to a rich double life. During the day, he apprenticed with “Rolling Stone” journalist and critic Will Hermes, and when the sun set, he and his NYC-based, four-piece band gigged at high-end venues across the northeastern United States. His affinity for sharing things he's passionate about has culminated in nine years of experience as a music teacher at elementary schools, where he honed his ability to simplify and elucidate concepts to the uninitiated. All considered, he feels most at home writing about instruments, audio electronics and backpacking gear.


Thanks for reading the fine print. About the Wiki: We don't accept sponsorships, free goods, samples, promotional products, or other benefits from any of the product brands featured on this page, except in cases where those brands are manufactured by the retailer to which we are linking. For more information on our rankings, please read about us, linked below. The Wiki is a participant in associate programs from Amazon, Walmart, Ebay, Target, and others, and may earn advertising fees when you use our links to these websites. These fees will not increase your purchase price, which will be the same as any direct visitor to the merchant’s website. If you believe that your product should be included in this review, you may contact us, but we cannot guarantee a response, even if you send us flowers.