Halo of Flies Records AV receivers Best 4K AV Receiver Reviews

Best 4K AV Receiver Reviews

When buying a home theater system, you first think about surround sound, which is perfectly normal. But the fact is that even the most expensive receiver with an amazing soundstage will not give you a full-fledged experience if, at the same time, the processing of surround sound formats will not provide the opportunity to enjoy a high-quality picture.

In this article, I will help you find your best 4k receiver at a very modest price that provides the actual video resolution of today, as most content on external media or streaming sites have it. Of course, you’ll need a TV that supports this resolution. Still, you’ll get a hundredfold return on your investment because the brightness, contrast, image detail, and smoothness of the frames (60 or 120Hz) will ensure that you’ll be immersed in the movie through sound and video. So, go ahead and do your research! And I’ll start by telling you what you can expect from a modern, inexpensive 4k AV receiver.

Our pick
Yamaha RX-V385
Yamaha RX-V385
Best 4k receiver
This 5-channel AV receiver, providing complete compatibility with the latest HDMI standards, delivers transmission of 4K video at 60 frames/second pass-through. Read the full review.

4K receivers comparison table

Name Channels Power output HDMI in/out Bluetooth/Wi-Fi Review
Yamaha RX-V385 best overall 5.1 100W/8 Ohm, 145W/6 Ohm 4/1 yes/no Review
Sony STR-DH790 also great 7.2 90W/6 Ohm 4/1 yes/no Review
Denon AVR-X1800H 2023 model 7.2 80W/8 Ohm, 120W/6 Ohm 6/1 yes/yes Review
Onkyo TX-NR696 7.2 100W/8 Ohm, 210W/6 Ohm 7/2 yes/yes Review
Here, you can also check the best receiver for turntables.

Key features to look for in a 4K receiver

key features to look for in a 4K receiver

In general, 4k compatible receivers cannot be characterized as a separate segment. Still, this review presents budget options with 5 and 7 channels of amplification that provide you with the opportunity to enjoy a beautiful picture and can offer you the following associated joys of home theater:

  • Since the ability to process a 4K signal depends on the version of HDMI connectors your receiver is equipped with, at the same time, you can count on ARC (sometimes even eARC) functionality to retransmit audio with minimal (or no) loss; HDCP content protection 2.2 (less often, 2.3), pass-through capabilities, such as HD video, and if your HDMI version is 2.1, then 8K/60Hz resolution (there is one such in my rating); improvement of lower quality video to 4K (upscaling); support for UHD formats (HDR video formats) and less often, features that gamers will appreciate (ALLM, VRR, QFT).
  • When it comes to a 7-channel device, you can also expect support for Dolby Atmos and DTS:X, the most popular surround sound formats today. For 5-channel devices, only basic immersive formats are available, which nevertheless noticeably improve the soundstage and can present surround sound.

These models have a little power (enough for rooms up to 300 square feet) and a small number of ports for connecting additional equipment, but if you clearly understand their advantages and real possibilities, you will never be disappointed.

Best 4K home theater receiver reviews

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Yamaha RX-V385 – best overall

Yamaha RX-V385 features

I want to open my rating by introducing you to a budget 5.1-channel receiver Yamaha RX-V385. Despite its venerable age (the model was released in 2018), the receiver has a minimal but optimal set of features to satisfy the wishes of a modern viewer who just wants to watch movies of good quality in the evenings. This is the most inexpensive receiver of my selection and the lowest-powered (70W (8 Ohm, 20Hz-20kHz, 0.09%, 2ch), but it takes its first place of honor, as it is still extremely popular among users and has a lot of positive reviews. You just clearly need to understand what to expect from it.

The receiver has a limited number of HDMI ports (4/1), but with them, you can access 4K/60Hz video and an upscaling function to this resolution. Isn’t it great that with this simple device, every video you have will be displayed on your TV screen with a high-end picture? Just don’t use a long cable with it; it creates a video delay of a few seconds. These connectors also provide support for HDR10 and Dolby Vision formats, end-to-end 3D video, and maximum HDCP 2.3 protection. However, this isn’t gamer territory – the model lacks features for optimal console gaming.

Yamaha RX-V385 specifications

Everything is quite expected in surround sound: the receiver decodes the old formats Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio. But along with this, RX-V385 is the owner of such technologies as CINEMA DSP and Adaptive DRC, which makes it stand out among cheap receivers because, thanks to them, dialogues are heard clearly, and I did not have to adjust the volume during viewing to hear a separate episode.

The receiver is designed for a small room (say, up to 200 square feet), so if you don’t want to set up a full speaker system, you can use Virtual CINEMA FRONT. By placing all the speakers in front of you, you’ll continue to hear surround sound because this feature simulates it!

Yamaha RX-V385 sound

If you suddenly want to use the receiver as a stereo translator via your smartphone, there is Bluetooth for that purpose (no Wi-Fi). The AVR has a two-way version with SBC codec support, but I was pleasantly impressed with the level of playback of my playlists and streaming audio. For a receiver of this rank – it is just great and smooth, with no delays or lags.

Yamaha RX-V385 is the best 4k home theater receiver with a surprisingly low price and basic functionality. Although the manufacturer has made a lot of compromises, the options left in this AVR work very well and will help the device serve you for quite a long time. It is a true godsend for owners of small apartments.

Key specs

  • Channels: 5.1.
  • Power output: 100W/8 Ohm, 145W/6 Ohm.
  • HDMI inputs/outputs: 4/1.
  • Video functions: 4K/60Hz Ultra HD pass-through and upscaling.
  • Bluetooth/Wi-Fi: yes/no.
  • Streaming services: has not.
  • Supports: HDMI eARC, HDMI CEC, HDCP2.3, HDR10, Dolby Vision.
  • Surround sound: DTS HD Master, Cinema DSP, Dialog Level Adjustment, SILENT Cinema, Virtual Cinema DSP, Dolby TrueHD, Dolby Digital Plus.


  • The most inexpensive list receiver with 4K support.
  • It has maintained popularity and high praise among users for several years.
  • The sound of dialogs is better than that of other receivers of other brands of similar rank.
  • Virtual CINEMA FRONT technology simulates surround sound quite successfully.
  • Bluetooth works without any problems, delays, or lags.


  • Has the least in channel rating.
  • It is the least powerful in the rating.
  • No features to work with game consoles.
  • No Wi-Fi.

Sony STR-DH790 – also great

Sony STR-DH790 features

A similar model, but with 7 channels of amplification, takes second place in the selection of inexpensive 4k receivers. Sony STR-DH790 provides more power of 90 W (6 Ohm, 20 Hz – 20 kHz, THD 0.9%, 1ch), although it is specified for 6 Ohm speakers (paying your attention), so in reality, this difference is not so tangible. Even with 6-Ohm speakers, you won’t be able to turn up the full volume because THD 0.9%, even without testing, tells us that, in this case, you will hear interference and wheezing. Nevertheless, the model has the widest compatibility with speakers of different impedances (from 6 to 16 Ohm), and the sound was very decent with almost all sets of my speakers. You can also connect 2 subwoofers. I also noticed overheating of the device when operating for long periods, although this is a perfectly acceptable joint for budget models.

Sony STR-DH790 specifications

Despite some shortcomings with movies, the system sounds coherent, quite rich, and very convincing (for the minimum 5.2.2 configuration) in Dolby Atmos and DTS:X surround sound formats, which STR-DH790 supports. Bi-amping and Pure Direct have a big impact on the overall soundstage, and I highly recommend using them, as Sony’s sound is quite pleasant, and I like it even better than some of the other rated models. Sony uses a microphone to calibrate this model, although other models with 7 channels have built-in automatic systems, making it much easier. But even here, the setup didn’t take long, to be honest. But there is S-Force PRO, which simulates surround sound using only 2 front speakers. Perfect for small rooms.

This model, like the Yamaha RX-V385, does not have Wi-Fi. It only has Bluetooth and supports the AAC codec, making it optimal for Apple devices. It passed the test with flying colors, and I didn’t notice any outright flaws.

Sony STR-DH790 sound

As for the main area I’m looking at in this review, the STR-DH790 has the same functionality as the leader of the selection, as both receivers were released in 2018. It even has the same number of HDMI ports (which, by the way, is very few for a modern 7-channel device) with identical functionality. But guess what? Unlike the Yamaha, there’s no upscaling to 4K here.

Sony STR-DH790 is a great 4k passthrough receiver with the ability to watch movies with Dolby Atmos sound. For a small amount of money, you will get a home theater of a reliable, proven model where all the functions work well; you do not need to bother with the selection of speakers and sounds which is soft, clean enough, and confident.

Key specs

  • Channels: 7.2
  • Power output: 90W/6 Ohm.
  • HDMI inputs/outputs: 4/1.
  • Video functions: 4K/60Hz.
  • Bluetooth/Wi-Fi: yes/no.
  • Streaming services: has not.
  • Supports: HDMI ARC, HDMI eARC, HDMI CEC, HLG, HDCP 2.2, HDR10, Dolby Vision.
  • Surround sound: DSD, Dolby Digital, Dolby Atmos, DTS HD Master, Dolby TrueHD.


  • The widest compatibility with speakers is from 6 to 16 Ohm.
  • Bi-amping and Pure Direct enhance the soundstage.
  • It has a pleasant sound, better than some of the rated models.
  • S-Force PRO simulates surround sound using only 2 front speakers.
  • Bluetooth supports AAC codec and is compatible with Apple devices.


  • The number of HDMI ports is less than other 7-channel receivers on the list.
  • At maximum volume, the sound has interference.
  • Overheats during prolonged operation.
  • No 4K upscaling.

Denon AVR-X1800H – 2023 model

Denon AVR-X1800H features

The Denon AVR-X1800H receiver reproduces 4K signals but is slightly out of line in my rating. Besides the fact that I really appreciate the sound reproduction of this brand, this model is the newest (released in 2023) and, in the video realm, has the most functionality of all the ones presented here.

The receiver has an average 80W (8 Ohms, 20Hz-20Khz, 0.08% 2ch drive) output for 7.2-channel receivers. But given its THD, it will sound brighter, clearer, and louder than the models described above. In general, Denon has a warm sound, and it is suitable for watching movies with 3D sound and stereo because it naturally provides the most “live” realistic scene. In Dolby Atmos and DTS:X surround sound formats, I achieved good results using the Audyssey MultEQ XT calibration system. I also appreciate the decoding of Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization and DTS Virtual:X soundtracks by the receiver. After all, with their use, you don’t have to chisel the ceiling to install overhead speakers.

Denon AVR-X1800H specifications

Turning to the main thing of my review, it’s worth saying that the model provides the maximum features to date. It has the optimal number of HDMI connectors: 6 in (HDCP 2.3, CEC) and 1 out (eArc). 3 /1 of which supports 8K/60Hz video transmission. This is the maximum for today, especially taking into account compatibility with Dolby Vision, HDR 10+, Dynamic HDR, and HLG formats. The other 3 inputs operate at 4K/120Hz resolution, which also exceeds the capabilities of the receivers described above. Moreover, with ALLM, QMS, QFT, and VRR options, you will also satisfy your gamer inclinations.

It remains to be mentioned that the AVR-X1800H also surpasses its predecessors in wireless connectivity. There’s Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, AirPlay2, and a built-in HEOS ecosystem. So you’ll have access to more streaming services and voice assistants. A truly versatile low-cost receiver.

Denon AVR-X1800H sound

We can’t do without pointing out some flaws (as the hero of “Some Like It Hot” said: nobody’s perfect!). So, when the Denon app froze, I, after some attempts to fix it, just unplugged the system and rebooted it. You also don’t get a user manual included. If you’re a retrograde like me, the online PDF file may not suit you, and printing 200+ pages may be a problem.

The Denon AVR-X1800H is more expensive than other participants of my selection, but it is a universal modern device with support for the highest video resolution, the most popular surround sound formats, and wide opportunities for music lovers. You’ll get more if you’re willing to spend a little more.

Key specs

  • Channels: 7.2
  • Power output: 80W/8 Ohm, 120W/6 Ohm.
  • HDMI inputs/outputs: 6/1.
  • Video functions: 4K/120Hz, 8K/60Hz, upscaling to 8K.
  • Bluetooth/Wi-Fi: yes/yes.
  • Streaming services: SiriusXM, Pandora, Spotify, AirPlay Audio Streaming, Amazon Music HD, Amazon Music, TIDAL, Deezer, iHeart Radio, Napster, Soundcloud, Mood Mix.
  • Supports: HDMI ARC, HDMI eARC, HDMI CEC, Dolby Vision, HDR 10+, Dynamic HDR, HLG, ALLM, QFT, VRR.
  • Surround sound: DTS HD Master, DTS:X, DTS Neural:X, DTS Virtual:X, Dolby TrueHD, Dolby Atmos, Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization, Dolby Atmos Music, Dolby Surround.


  • Bright, warm sound suitable for movies and music.
  • HDMI 2.1. features are very extensive (the only one in the rating with 8K video).
  • The receiver is suitable for gaming.
  • Extensive wireless streaming capabilities.


  • If the app doesn’t work, you must shut down the whole system and reboot it.
  • No user manual.

Onkyo TX-NR696

Onkyo TX-NR696 features

Onkyo could not fail to be on the list of receivers for 4k TV. After all, a brand always offers more features for less money. I think that’s why TX-NR696 is among the most upconvert receivers. That’s why I give it the prerogative to be called optimal in this review’s price/quality ratio.

So, we have the highest power from the chart, which is 100W (8 Ohms, 20-20 kHz, 0.08%, 2 ch) with excellent distortion. This means (and I confirm it in practice) that it is the loudest and yet has the cleanest sound among all the participants of the rating. Nevertheless, I paid close attention to AVR-X1800H in the soundstage area because TX-NR696 doesn’t have the same brightness. But the sound is very good, quite nuanced for a device of the segment in question, dense and rich in the low frequencies. Watching movies in Dolby Atmos and DTS: X left a pleasant impression.

Onkyo TX-NR696 specifications

TX-NR696 was released in 2019, so all its HDMI ports have no 8K support like Denon, but only 4K/60Hz. But this model has more connectors of this type than any other (on my list). Accordingly, it has the rest of the functionality, like the Yamaha RX-V385 and Sony STR-DH790. But with it, you can broadcast an HDMI signal to the second zone and watch different videos in two rooms. Convenient when you have kids. I have to say that when using the HDMI ARC, I noticed a few times that it loses audio and sound synchronization. It was very minor and not all the time, but it happened. Considering the price of the AVR, I forgive this drawback because the picture was very good, and the process went on without signal freeze.

Onkyo TX-NR696 sound

Another thing is that, unlike these two models, Onkyo is more like Denon AVR-X1800H in wireless broadcasting. It can offer you DTS Play-Fi (considered one of the most successful in audio signal transmission), AirPlay2, and Sonos. But here, I didn’t like the Bluetooth in operation.

The Onkyo TX-NR696 is a great alternative to more expensive models, offering a higher level of versatility. In addition, the receiver is highly rated THX Certified, like its premium counterparts, and sounds good for both movies and music. You will surely be pleased with the results, especially if you choose the speaker system and cables optimally suited to the center of your home theater over time.

Key specs

  • Channels: 7.2.
  • Power output: 100W/8 Ohm, 210W/6 Ohm.
  • HDMI inputs/outputs: 7/2.
  • Video functions: 4K/60Hz pass-through, video upconversion (up to 1080p and 4K) for HDMI sources.
  • Bluetooth/Wi-Fi: yes/yes.
  • Streaming services: AirPlay2, Deezer, Tidal, Pandora, SiriusXM, Napster, SoundCloud, Amazon Music, Amazon Music HD, Mood mix.
  • Supports: HDMI ARC, HDMI eARC, HDMI CEC, HDCP2.3, HDR10, Dolby Vision.
  • Surround sound: DTS HD Master, DTS:X, DTS Virtual:X, Dolby TrueHD, Dolby Surround, Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization, Dolby Atmos.


  • Optimal price/quality combination.
  • The most powerful receiver in the selection at 100 watts.
  • More HDMI ports than the others in the rating.
  • Provides video transmission for two zones.


  • A slight video-audio synchronization loss was noticed a few times when using HDMI ARC.
  • Bluetooth performance is not very good.
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