Comparing Receiver Manufacturers

Which company makes the best receivers?

As a general rule of thumb, you can avoid system compatibility issues by choosing a receiver made by the same company that made your speakers and the rest of your home audio equipment. However, that's not always possible, and if you have to choose a receiver, you may well be wondering which company has the reputation of being the best. As with most evaluative judgments in the world of home audio, that depends a lot on who you ask. However, there are some general trends among the major manufacturers that can help you narrow down your list of options.

Major Manufacturers of Audio Receivers

Here is a brief profile of six major manufacturers of home audio receivers:

  • Yamaha receivers. Yamaha is known for its mass appeal, offering a reasonable balance of good performance and affordability. If you're looking for a good receiver for an attainable price, Yamaha's receivers will appeal to you.
  • Denon receivers. Denon is a more specialized brand name, and the company was a pioneering force in the advent of digital audio. The company's receivers are in the mid-range; they offer more precision and better performance than entry-level brands, but aren't priced as high as the premium brands.
  • Kenwood receivers. Like Yamaha, Kenwood is primarily known as a manufacturer of affordable entry-level receivers. If you're looking for a quality product for a low price and you aren't particularly worried about optimizing performance, Kenwood receivers are a solid bet.
  • Onkyo receivers. Onkyo is a premium manufacturer, and you can expect that its receivers will outperform most competitors. However, quality comes at a price, and you'll pay a little more for Onkyo receivers.
  • Pioneer receivers. This company has been around for a long time, and it belongs in the same market segment as Yamaha and Kenwood. Pioneer receivers are generally affordable, with reasonably priced entry-level models that offer good performance for a low price.
  • Sony receivers. Of all the major brand names, you have the greatest range of options with Sony receivers. The company offers everything from solid-performing low-priced models to more expensive models with premium performance. Sony is a trusted brand name, and its top-of-the-line products stand up beside just about any competitor's.

If you'd like to see how a receiver performs before you buy it, pay a visit to your local home audio retailer and ask for a demonstration of the product you're considering. Then, when you've heard the difference for yourself, you can finalize your decision and complete your purchase in-store or online.

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