The receiver was invented about 100 years ago as a combination of radio receiver and amplifier. Since then, it has evolved a lot. Now, you can find both basic and really advanced, multi-channel receivers that support DTS, Dolby Atmos, etc. However, if you need a budget-friendly model, you have to find a compromise between simple and advanced features.
The receivers under $500 are usually endowed with some modern features. You also can expect a high-quality picture and sounding if you choose wise.
This article will give you some useful tips that will help you find a decent and affordable receiver under 500 dollars. When you decide what receiver you want, you can read some best av receiver under 500 reviews to find the most suitable model.
So, what to look for when choosing an affordable receiver?
How many connectivity options are you going to need?
The first thing you should do is define the number of signal sources that will be connected to your receiver. In fact, they are the sources that you would connect to your TV. Then, check the number of HDMI inputs in the model that you want to purchase. It also will be better to have some extra ones in case you buy some additional equipment.
The receivers under $500 also may have optical digital and analog AV connections, but they are not very popular and are usually required for specific needs. Additionally, the receiver in this price range usually has one or more USB ports.
You also should check if the receiver has Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connections. A good unit should provide both wired and wireless connections to the local network and the internet, streaming music servers, etc. Nowadays, it’s not hard to find such a model even in budget price segment.
Number of channels
A good modern receiver has at least 5 amplification channels. However, is that enough or you need some more? The answer actually depends on the number of speakers connected to your home theater. If you have rear, side, and overhead speakers, it’s better to go for a system with 7 or 9 channels. You also should choose a receiver with more channels even if you have only one pair of speakers, but plan to buy more in future as it will be very difficult and expensive to add more channels to an existing receiver.
Dolby Atmos and DTS
As it was already mentioned, buying a receiver under 500 dollars, you can choose a model that supports Dolby Atmos and DTS. They are the most advanced surround sound technologies and will be especially pleasing for movie lovers.
If you need a receiver, able to give out sound to several rooms, then you need the one equipped with a multiroom function. Such a receiver is capable of delivering sound where you need it at the moment: to your living room, shower, kitchen, office, etc.
How much power do you need?
This depends on the room size and the speakers power. If your home theater takes up a lot of space and you want to fill the whole room with sound, you need a high-powered AV receiver (about 150W – 200W).
HDR and 4K
If you own a TV that supports 4K and HDR, your receiver must support them too. Fortunately, such advanced formats are now supported even by budget-friendly receivers so it won’t be hard to find such a model under 500 dollars. Plus, there are also the models, able to upscale a Full HD video to 4K.
Manual adjustment, performed by a professional, is, of course, the most optimal way to ensure that your receiver works at its best. However, if you buy your first receiver and don’t know enough information about its working principle and functionality, it’s better to get a model with auto-calibration feature. With this function you won’t even have to open up the settings — the receiver will automatically determine the size of your speakers, the distance between them, and check if all the components of your audio system are connected in the proper way.