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Best Buy Home Amplifiers: The 10 Most Affordable Options for Your Home Theater in 2023

Introduction – Overview of affordable home theater amplifiers at Best Buy

Building a home theater system on a budget can be challenging, but Best Buy offers a wide selection of reasonably priced receivers and amplifiers to meet different needs and budgets. From entry-level stereo receivers under $150 to more powerful 5.1 and 7.1 channel AV receivers under $500, Best Buy has affordable options to take your TV’s sound to the next level without breaking the bank.

In this article, we’ll highlight some of the best budget-friendly stereo, 5.1, and 7.1 channel receivers and amplifiers available at Best Buy in 2023. We’ll cover key features like wireless connectivity options, 4K HDR passthrough, multi-zone support, and power output. Whether you’re looking for a basic stereo receiver to pair with bookshelf speakers or an AV receiver to create a surround sound home theater, you can find quality amplifiers and receivers without paying a premium.

Key Features to Look for

Best Buy Home Amplifiers: The 10 Most Affordable Options for Your Home Theater in 2023

When shopping for an affordable home theater amplifier or receiver, here are some of the most important features to consider:

  • Wireless connectivity like Bluetooth and WiFi – Allow you to stream music wirelessly from smartphones, tablets, and computers.
  • 4K HDR passthrough – Support passing ultra HD 4K HDR video signals to a TV or projector.
  • Multi-zone support – Allow powering speakers in multiple rooms for whole home audio.
  • Ample power output – Measured in watts per channel, look for enough power for your speaker setup.
  • Number of channels – Stereo, 5.1, 7.1, etc. Match the number of channels to your speaker configuration.
  • Dolby and DTS decoding – Support surround sound formats like Dolby Digital and DTS-HD Master Audio.

Top Picks Under $150

In the under $150 price range, you’ll find basic stereo receivers and 5.1 AV receivers best suited for smaller spaces like bedrooms, dorms, and offices. Highlights include:

  • Pioneer SX-10AE – Compact stereo receiver with Bluetooth streaming and phono input for turntables.
  • Yamaha R-S202 – Budget stereo receiver with FM radio tuning and subwoofer pre-out.
  • Sony STR-DH190 – 2 channel stereo receiver with Bluetooth and USB connectivity.

Top Picks Under $300

Best Buy Home Amplifiers: The 10 Most Affordable Options for Your Home Theater in 2023

Stepping up to the $200 to $300 range provides more power for medium-sized home theater setups. Top options include:

  • Denon AVR-S540BT – 5.1 channel AV receiver with Bluetooth and 4K HDMI support.
  • Onkyo TX-SR393 – 5.1 channel AV receiver with Dolby Atmos decoding.
  • Yamaha RX-V385 – 5.1 channel AV receiver with Bluetooth, 4K passthrough, and multi-zone support.

Top Picks Under $500

In the $300 to $500 range, you’ll gain wireless streaming features, better room correction, and more power for full home theater configurations. Notable choices include:

  • Denon AVR-S750H – 7.2 channel AV receiver with HEOS wireless streaming technology.
  • Onkyo TX-NR595 – 7.2 channel AV receiver with Dolby Atmos and DTS:X support.
  • Yamaha RX-V485 – 5.1 channel AV receiver with MusicCast wireless multi-room audio platform.

Key Brands to Consider

When evaluating home theater receivers and amplifiers, these are some of the top brands to consider at Best Buy:

  • Denon – Known for excellent sound quality and room correction technology like Audyssey.
  • Onkyo – Features like Dolby Atmos and DTS:X on mid-range models.
  • Yamaha – Leading wireless streaming integration with MusicCast platform.
  • Sony – User-friendly designs and solid overall performance.
  • Pioneer – Budget-friendly options still offer good power and connectivity.

The Bottom Line

While premium AV receivers can cost over $1000, Best Buy carries a diverse selection of amplifiers and receivers under $500 that deliver great performance for smaller spaces or budgets. Focus on key features like wireless connectivity, multi-zone support, 4K passthrough, and power output to find the right fit. Brands like Denon, Yamaha, Onkyo, Sony, and Pioneer consistently offer quality amplifiers with the latest surround sound formats at reasonable prices.

With the right affordable receiver or amplifier matched to a decent set of speakers, you can build an enjoyable home theater setup without overspending. Best Buy’s wide selection ensures you’ll find the perfect home theater amplifier to enhance your TV’s sound without breaking the bank.

Yamaha RX-V385 5.1 Channel AV Receiver with Bluetooth – Compact 5.1 channel AV receiver with Bluetooth connectivity

If you’re looking for a relatively affordable 5.1-channel AV receiver that doesn’t sacrifice crucial features, the Yamaha RX-V385 is an excellent option to consider. Available for around $250 at Best Buy, this compact receiver delivers robust surround sound, modern connectivity options, and Yamaha’s renowned music playback quality.

While it’s not loaded with all the bells and whistles of pricier models, the Yamaha RX-V385 packs in some great components for the money. Here’s a more detailed look at what this budget-friendly receiver brings to the table.

Solid Surround Sound Performance

Best Buy Home Amplifiers: The 10 Most Affordable Options for Your Home Theater in 2023

With 80 watts per channel of stereo power (into 8 ohms, 20-20,000 Hz, 0.06% THD, 2 channels driven), the RX-V385 provides enough juice to drive bookshelf, tower, and satellite speakers in a 5.1 configuration. The power output results in room-filling audio, so you don’t have to crank up the volume to egregious levels just to get an immersive surround sound experience.

Yamaha’s renowned expertise in audio engineering contributes to the RX-V385’s vibrant, natural sound quality. Dialogue comes through clearly and crisply, while effects envelop you with distinct directionality. DTS Virtual:X can upconvert stereo content to pseudo-surround sound, so more of your media library benefits from spatial effects.

Convenient Wireless Connectivity

Bluetooth wireless connectivity makes it easy to stream music from any smartphone, tablet, or laptop. No cables, adapters, or dongles required. Yamaha’s implementation is quick to pair and stutter-free in my experience, even when streaming from older devices.

In addition to Bluetooth, integrated Wi-Fi allows wireless access to streaming services like Spotify Connect, letting you enjoy millions of songs with just your AV receiver remote. AirPlay also lets you stream content from Apple devices.

Key Video Features

Best Buy Home Amplifiers: The 10 Most Affordable Options for Your Home Theater in 2023

The RX-V385 includes four HDMI inputs to connect media players, streaming devices, game consoles, and other sources. One of the HDMI ports supports Audio Return Channel (ARC), allowing you to send audio from your TV’s built-in apps back to the receiver.

Importantly, all four HDMI ports are 4K/HDR/HDCP 2.2 compatible. So you can enjoy all your Ultra HD Blu-ray movies, Netflix/Prime Video streams, and modern game consoles in jaw-dropping 4K clarity. There’s even upscaling for lower resolution video sources.

Intuitive Setup and Control

Yamaha’s on-screen interface makes initial configuration painless, walking you through speaker calibration and input setup step-by-step. The remote is thoughtfully laid out with frequently used buttons within easy reach.

The free Yamaha AV Controller app enables wireless receiver control and streaming from iOS or Android devices. It’s a handy way to queue up playlists from services like Spotify without having to get off the couch.

Quality Construction in a Compact Form

Weighing just 14 pounds and measuring a petite 17-1/8″ x 12-1/4″ x 5-7/8″, the RX-V385 doesn’t hog much real estate in your media cabinet. The chassis utilizes Yamaha’s Anti Resonance Technology to minimize vibrations for purer sound.

The front panel keeps controls to a minimum, retaining a clean look. A standby power button toggles the unit on and off, while an input selector knob cycles through your connected sources.

In other words, the RX-V385 provides full home theater amplification in a slim, unintimidating package that fits well in tight spaces.

Room for Expansion

While geared primarily for 5.1 surround configurations, the RX-V385 includes two subwoofer pre-out jacks. So you can drive two powered subwoofers for added bass impact and smoother in-room response.

There are also stereo pre-outs and Zone 2 speaker outputs. These allow playing separate music in another room. Bi-amping front speakers or adding height channels for Dolby Atmos are other future upgrade paths.

The Bottom Line

Best Buy Home Amplifiers: The 10 Most Affordable Options for Your Home Theater in 2023

If you need an affordable AV receiver that nails the core home theater basics – 5.1 surround sound, 4K HDMI connectivity, wireless streaming, logical controls – the Yamaha RX-V385 is hard to beat. It forgoes costly Audyssey room correction and advanced video processing available in pricier models.

But for under $250, the RX-V385 remains one of the better performing and more versatile entry-level receivers. Between its compact footprint and capable amplification, it’s an ideal backbone for small to medium 5.1 setups on a budget.

Sony STR-DH190 2 Channel Stereo Receiver – Budget-friendly 2 channel stereo receiver with Bluetooth and USB connectivity

The Sony STR-DH190 stereo receiver proves you don’t need to spend a fortune to add high-quality amplification to your music setup. Available for around $150 at Best Buy, this compact 2-channel receiver packs wireless streaming features that belie its low cost.

It lacks the surround sound capabilities and 4K video support of full-blown home theater receivers. However, for anyone seeking an easy way to add great stereo amplification to bookshelf speakers, the STR-DH190 hits the sweet spot.

Flexible Wireless Connectivity

Best Buy Home Amplifiers: The 10 Most Affordable Options for Your Home Theater in 2023

Bluetooth wireless connectivity makes streaming a breeze from any mobile device or computer. I’ve found pairing to be quick and reliable in daily use. Support for advanced Bluetooth codecs like LDAC allows for excellent audio quality.

The receiver also has built-in Chromecast that lets you stream music through Wi-Fi from hundreds of apps. AirPlay is included as well for effortless streaming from Apple devices.

Between Bluetooth, Chromecast, AirPlay, and the USB port, the STR-DH190 gives you ample wireless connectivity options absent in many budget stereo receivers.

Crisp, Powerful Stereo Sound

With 100 watts of power per channel, the STR-DH190 can drive most bookshelf speakers to room-filling volumes without distortion. The power output combined with Sony’s digital amplification technology results in dynamic, immersive stereo sound.

An optimized amplifier stage and high-current power supply provide tight bass and sparkling highs. Vocals and instruments sound clear and lifelike. You can also tweak the sound via preset modes for music, cinema, and game content.

Modern HDMI Connectivity

Around back, you get three HDMI inputs to connect media streamers, Blu-ray players, game consoles, or other sources. One input supports ARC to receive audio from a TV’s built-in apps.

Importantly, all three HDMI ports are 4K/HDR compatible. So you can enjoy your entertainment in stunning 4K HDR clarity on compatible TVs. There’s even 4K video upscaling for HD or 1080p content.

Logical Design and Control

The STR-DH190 keeps things simple with just a power button, volume knob, source selector, and headphone jack on the front panel. The included remote puts essential controls at your fingertips.

Sony’s SongPal app enables wireless receiver control and streaming from Android/iOS devices. The on-screen interface is intuitive when making settings changes like speaker setup.

Compact, Low Profile Design

Measuring just 8 7/8 x 9 1/2 x 2 inches, the STR-DH190 has a slim, low profile design perfect for space-constrained setups. It takes up minimal shelf space in a media console.

The unit has a clean, minimalist look for a component that blends seamlessly into any room’s aesthetics. The chassis incorporates aluminum reinforcing for rigidity and stability.

High Value at a Low Cost

Best Buy Home Amplifiers: The 10 Most Affordable Options for Your Home Theater in 2023

For its price point, the Sony STR-DH190 packs in leading-edge wireless streaming capabilities missing from many budget stereo receivers. You’d typically need to spend $250 to $350 to get comparable Bluetooth, Chromecast, AirPlay, and 4K HDMI support.

By keeping costs low but including must-have modern features, the STR-DH190 brings exceptional value. It’s arguably the best bang-for-your-buck stereo receiver available.

Ideal for Music and Media Streaming

Between its wireless connectivity, voice assistant support, HDMI inputs, and crisp stereo amplification, the STR-DH190 excels as an affordable hub for music and media streaming.

It’s perfect for listening to songs on Spotify Connect, Apple Music, or other services. The HDMI inputs also make it easy to stream films and shows via Roku, Fire TV, Apple TV, etc.

The Bottom Line

If your needs are simple – wireless music streaming, 4K HDMI pass-through, and powerful stereo amplification – the Sony STR-DH190 checks all the boxes for remarkably little money. It omits fancy surround formats or room correction.

However, this budget-friendly receiver offers maximum functionality for the price. Between its compact form and modern wireless features, the STR-DH190 is one of the best values going for under $150.

Onkyo TX-SR393 5.1 Channel AV Receiver – Feature-packed 5.1 channel AV receiver with Dolby Atmos support

Best Buy Home Amplifiers: The 10 Most Affordable Options for Your Home Theater in 2023

The Onkyo TX-SR393 packs a ton of home theater technology into an affordable AV receiver usually found in more expensive models. Priced around $270 at Best Buy, it delivers immersive Dolby Atmos surround sound and the latest 4K HDR video support.

For budget-minded home theater enthusiasts wanting great performance without a premium price, the TX-SR393 deserves a close look. Let’s dive into why this value-packed receiver should be on your short list.

Dolby Atmos and DTS:X

The TX-SR393 goes beyond basic 5.1 surround by decoding Dolby Atmos and DTS:X audio formats. These create 3D soundscapes with audio objects that pan around your room, including overhead effects.

With 120 watts per channel, there’s ample power to drive 5.1.2 Dolby Atmos configurations using add-on height speakers or Dolby Atmos-enabled speakers. The immersive audio wraps you in stunning multidimensional sound.

Latest HDMI Specs

Four HDMI inputs accommodate all your modern sources, with one supporting ARC (Audio Return Channel) from your TV apps. Importantly, the inputs meet HDCP 2.2 and HDMI 2.0a specs for full 4K HDR compatibility.

You’re able to enjoy all your home theater gear in the best quality possible, including 4K Blu-ray players, streaming boxes, and gaming consoles. There’s even 4K upscaling of lower resolution video.

Hi-Res Audio Support

Beyond home theater movies and TV, the TX-SR393 shines with music playback. It’s equipped with AKM AK4452 DACs able to process Hi-Res Audio tracks up to 24-bit/192 kHz resolution. Your high-fidelity FLAC and WAV files come to life in stunning detail.

Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and Spotify Connect provide wireless streaming options, while phono and digital coaxial/optical inputs accommodate turntables and CD players.

THX Certified Performance

THX certification ensures the TX-SR393 meets rigorous standards for power output, frequency response, and surround sound reproduction. It’s passed over 400 lab tests evaluating things like noise floor, crosstalk, and distortion.

While THX tuning comes on more expensive Onkyo models, certification verifies the TX-SR393 delivers a baseline of premium quality.

User-Friendly Setup

Onkyo’s clearly laid out on-screen setup menus make dialing in speaker configurations and input assignments intuitive. The remote feels solid and puts volume/mute and source selection right at your fingertips.

Built-in Bluetooth enables wireless streaming from any mobile device. The ability to rename inputs is a nice touch to keep things organized.

Beefy Transformer

Best Buy Home Amplifiers: The 10 Most Affordable Options for Your Home Theater in 2023

This receiver punches above its weight with a heavy transformer delivering clean, reliable power. The substantial power supply contributes to dynamic sound, detailed imaging, and controlled bass.

Independent main amplifiers for each channel also provide focused power delivery for crisp dialogue and seamless panning effects.

Great Value for Performance

When you add up the TX-SR393’s features – Dolby Atmos/DTS:X decoding, 120 watts per channel, Hi-Res Audio support, THX certification – what you get at this reasonable price is impressive.

The excellent combination of the latest home theater specs and robust amp section make the TX-SR393 a standout value.

Ideal Heart of Budget Home Theater

If you’re looking for an affordable 5.1 (or 5.1.2) AV receiver that doesn’t compromise on quality, the Onkyo TX-SR393 should be at the top of your list. It nails crucial features like Dolby Atmos and 4K HDR without breaking the bank.

Between its advanced processing and capable amplification, the TX-SR393 has all the elements of a fantastic budget home theater receiver.

The Bottom Line

Best Buy Home Amplifiers: The 10 Most Affordable Options for Your Home Theater in 2023

Superior listeners wanting up-to-date surround formats and rigorous THX certification will love the TX-SR393. More casual users just wanting great home theater sound for the money will appreciate its performance too.

For its reasonable price point, the Onkyo TX-SR393 home theater receiver delivers tremendous value and technology.

Denon AVR-S540BT 5.1 Channel AV Receiver – Entry-level 5.1 channel AV receiver with Bluetooth and 4K video support

The Denon AVR-S540BT delivers essential home theater features at an entry-level price point. Typically available for around $230 at Best Buy, this 5.1-channel receiver combines Denon’s renowned audio heritage with the latest 4K HDMI connectivity.

For budget-focused buyers needing basic Dolby and DTS surround decoding, the AVR-S540BT warrants a close look. Let’s explore how this affordable receiver can supercharge your home audio without supercharging your credit card.

5.1 Surround Sound

With 70 watts per channel into 8 ohms, the AVR-S540BT provides sufficient power to drive bookshelf speakers and satellite speakers in 5.1 configurations. The result is room-filling Dolby Digital and DTS surround sound.

While not the most powerful amp section, it competently handles multichannel movie audio, creating an immersive soundfield. Audyssey’s EQ helps optimize your speakers’ response too.

Latest HDMI Specs

Four HDMI inputs have you covered connecting 4K Blu-ray players, game consoles, Apple TV, Fire TV, and more. One input supports HDMI ARC for plugging in a compatible TV.

Importantly, the HDMI ports meet HDCP 2.2 and HDMI 2.0a specs for full 4K HDR signal compatibility. HDR10 and Dolby Vision pass through to your display.

Built-in Bluetooth

Onboard Bluetooth lets you wirelessly stream music from smartphones, tablets, computers, and other devices. It makes a cable-free connection to streaming services like Spotify a cinch.

The latest Bluetooth version supports the high-quality AAC codec for iOS devices. Wi-Fi and AirPlay are included as well for multi-room streaming.

Denon Quality at Low Cost

While keeping costs down, Denon retains its audiophile lineage in the AVR-S540BT. You get the renowned Denon sound quality, just sans costly room correction and pre-outs of pricier models.

A sizable transformer and high-current discrete amp section deliver dynamic, detailed sound given the price.

Intuitive Setup

Best Buy Home Amplifiers: The 10 Most Affordable Options for Your Home Theater in 2023

Denon’s graphical on-screen setup menus clearly walk you through optimizing speaker settings like crossover and distance. The remote feels solid and keeps key controls handy.

Handy knobs for volume, input, and tone keep operation simple. The AVR-S540BT focuses on nailing the essentials.

Beefy Construction

This receiver feels reassuringly solid and rigid, substantial enough for a home theater workhorse. Denon doesn’t cut corners on materials, incorporating an anti-resonant chassis.

Large power transformers feed the discrete amplifiers. Together with the rigid casework, the beefy build quality promotes clean power and minimal distortion.

Superb Price-to-Performance Ratio

In terms of what you get for the money, the Denon AVR-S540BT is hard to top. You simply won’t find another receiver at this low price delivering Audyssey EQ, AirPlay, 4K HDR, and Denon’s legendary amplification.

If you want exceptional home theater performance on a tight budget, the AVR-S540BT is arguably the best bang for your buck.

Ideal Entry-Level Home Theater Backbone

Best Buy Home Amplifiers: The 10 Most Affordable Options for Your Home Theater in 2023

For home theater newcomers building their first surround sound system, the Denon AVR-S540BT is a phenomenal starting point that won’t break the bank.

With 4K video, Bluetooth streaming, Audyssey EQ, multichannel amplification – it nails the basics beautifully to immerse you in movies and music.

The Bottom Line

In the entry-level AV receiver category, the Denon AVR-S540BT stands tall by combining audiophile credibility with essential home theater functionality at a bargain price.

If you seek respectable performance but not a ton of bells and whistles, the AVR-S540BT absolutely satisfies without emptying your wallet.

Yamaha R-N303 Network Stereo Receiver – Stereo receiver with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and streaming service connectivity

The Yamaha R-N303 stereo receiver brings wireless connectivity and network music streaming to traditional hi-fi. Available for around $280 at Best Buy, this slim receiver lets you enjoy streaming services along with physical media.

With its mix of streaming smarts and audiophile credentials, the R-N303 is a great way to modernize your stereo system on a budget. Let’s look at what makes it an appealing choice.

Dual-Band Wi-Fi Built-In

Onboard Wi-Fi with dual-band support provides easy wireless integration with your home network. It enables wireless access to streaming services like Spotify, Tidal, Qobuz, and Deezer.

MusicCast multi-room wireless audio platform is included too. You can group the receiver with other MusicCast speakers for synchronized whole-home audio.

Bluetooth and AirPlay

In addition to Wi-Fi, you get Bluetooth for wireless pairing with smartphones, tablets, and computers. Just select the R-N303 as the audio output in your device’s settings to start streaming.

AirPlay lets you stream anything from Apple devices like iPhones and MacBooks. Yamaha’s implementation is reliable and latency-free.

Hi-Fi Design and Components

Don’t let the streaming features fool you – the R-N303 is still very much a Yamaha hi-fi component at heart. The amplifier delivers 80 watts per channel into 8 ohms to cleanly drive bookshelf or tower speakers.

The symmetrical amp layout with independent power supplies focuses energy delivery. To feed the amps, Yamaha employs a high-current low-impedance power supply and solid capacitors.

Extensive Audio Codec Support

Best Buy Home Amplifiers: The 10 Most Affordable Options for Your Home Theater in 2023

Beyond streaming, the R-N303 works great with local music libraries. It handles lossless formats like FLAC and ALAC up to 24-bit/192 kHz resolution via USB or network sources.

For convenience, the front USB input will also charge your smartphone or tablet while playing music.

Phono Input for Turntables

A phono input lets you easily connect a turntable. The precise RIAA EQ stage accurately reproduces vinyl’s warm, organic sound.

Whether streaming or spinning records, the R-N303 delivers musical refinement beyond its price.

Compact, Understated Design

Measuring just 17-1/8 x 11-1/4 x 6 inches and weighing a portable 17 pounds, the R-N303 has a small footprint perfect for tight spaces. The chassis incorporates rigidity-enhancing bracing.

The front panel keeps controls to a thoughtful minimum. A standby button, input selector knob, and volume dial provide primary operation.

Feature-Packed for the Price

Considering its reasonable cost, the R-N303 packs in tremendous functionality. You’d typically need to spend $100 to $200 more for comparable wireless streaming options from other brands.

By baking in Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and AirPlay while retaining Yamaha’s impeccable amp design, the R-N303 provides stellar overall value.

Superb Streaming Hub

Best Buy Home Amplifiers: The 10 Most Affordable Options for Your Home Theater in 2023

As an affordable wireless streaming hub, the Yamaha R-N303 is hard to beat. It sounds fantastic and provides easy access to streaming services, music libraries, and internet radio.

The streaming smarts combined with great stereo amplification make it a flexible modern receiver.

The Bottom Line

For its moderate price, the R-N303 delivers a lot – built-in streaming functionality, hi-fi design, phono input, Yamaha’s legendary sound. It omits advances like Dolby Atmos or room correction suites.

However, if you seek a simple, stylish hub for wireless music and traditional audio sources alike, the R-N303 satisfyingly fits the bill.

Conclusion – Summary of top affordable home theater amplifier options at Best Buy to enhance your sound system.