Are you looking at getting a new and better stereo receiver for your turntable? Over here we will discuss what are the 5 main things to look out for when selecting a receiver. What do you understand from a stereo receiver? Some people term it as an AV receiver while others call it a surround sound receiver, basically an item that can perform a range of abilities when they perform the role of being the center hub that connects your components – in other words, it acts like the headquarters command center of your sound system in your home. Therefore, in many cases we have high expectations of our stereo receiver as they contribute to you having a good audio system. It’s like one of the important parts that everyone pays attention to, that’s why this is something we are all keen on.
So what are the 5 factors to consider before you get a stereo receiver?
It is recommended that you select the stereo receiver depending on what system you are going to have. This is because by doing so, you will be able to conveniently and effortlessly upgrade your components when you evolve your system as and when required. With proper planning in advance, this will reduce the probability of you buying new stereo receivers in the years after.
No.1 factor: The HDMI factor
Today, almost every device in your house or living room makes use of HDMI, thus the pure number of HDMI inputs an AV stereo receiver has will be one of the most imperative factors you should look out for. So now, you may ask whats the magic number? To be honest, we don’t think there is any such magic/fixed number to rely upon. Because some of us only need 3 while others require 6 so somewhere along this range is considered good enough. The most common tip we always know is to be prepared and just standby one extra HDMI input just in case you ever need something extra, you are prepared.
Is there any way for expanding or adding more HDMI inputs in future?
Yes, you have the option to increase your HDMI inputs if you need more, by relying on a HDMI switcher. But you have to be aware that it will not be the best-looking solution. You can also use some universal remote to make up for it. Taking into mind that usually an AV receiver satisfies the owner for about 5 years before change happens, it can be a worthy cause to spend that small investment to acquire one or two more HDMI inputs.
Gearing for modern times, modern devices
With technological advancement, 4k resolution and streaming is getting so common amongst television machines, so it makes sense to get a stereo receiver working at 4K compatibility. In other words, you can get access to 4K content and also be setting yourself forward for high dynamic range and enhanced standards.
No. 2 factor: In-built Wi-fi, Bluetooth and Airplay features
Now most receivers in the market are constantly upgrading their features to fit modern day devices. In-built wi-fi, Airplay and Bluetooth are very common and in fact some would say necessary, since you do not know when you will be needing such capabilities with newer gadgets and components. Usually we know that receivers tend to be packaged with a lot of non-useful features that seem aplenty yet not helpful.
Why is wi-fi connectivity important?
If you are reading this post, it means you likely have a smart device and today’s technology will allow you to seamlessly stream your favorite music from your smart device to your receiver instantly. For those of us who have music in our smart devices, you know how helpful this can be.
Bluetooth and Airplay can perform similar functions with Apple and non-Apple products. If you compare Bluetooth and Airplay, the former probably performs less good in terms of sound quality. Why do you need these to be in-built? Well you are right that you can also connect through an external device, but isn’t it more convenient to do away with the hassle of finding/buying something extra and leave it hanging around? If you look at one of these examples like the Sony STE-DN840, you can get convenience just by selecting the correct input on your smart device.
No. 3 factor: Calibration
For those of us who are just starting out, sometimes the problem is at the earliest stage where even just setting up the system at home where all components are correctly connected is posing a challenge already, AV novices do not even have the right focus to tackle issues on functionality with the components. Isn’t this true?
How can this process be better done or improved?
Well, many stereo receivers today already make our job easier and simpler: with the automatic speaker calibration. What does this mean? It essentially means that the stereo receiver will do the dirty work of analysis and fine-tune automatically the sound coming from connected speakers for you. The mechanics of it work in this manner, where your receiver will be able to find out the speaker size and tell the distance between the speaker and the listener and knowing if the components are well connected.
No. 4 factor: Power
Power of a receiver does not only refer to its volume, as many commonly have this misconception. Power is able to understand the receiver’s capabilities in bringing out dynamic and detailed sound. Then it would be reasonable to say that if you want better music quality, your receiver should have high watts. An important point to take note is that your stereo receiver must be strong to the extent that it can accommodate the speakers and the receiver even if they are in different locations or rooms. How much power is then needed or best specified? This actually depends on your speaker sensitivity. The higher the speaker sensitivity, the lesser power is needed. Also, if the room encompassing your AV system is smaller, then the lesser power is required.
No. 5 factor: Easy interface
Something that we mostly take for granted, is the usability interface. Imagine your receiver is one of the best and most complicated in terms of features provided, but you have real trouble operating it, simply because it is not easy to navigate and the display panel is not straightforward etc. That is a situation you don’t want to be caught in. Thus, before you commit to the receiver, you have to be sure that the navigation is easy or simple enough for you to toy around with, where you understand how to operate it and all its functions accordingly.
Does stereo receiver or AV receiver have a bearing on sound quality? If yes, how much does it affect?
When it comes to sound, the simple explanation is that sound does not only depend on the receiver. Why so? This is because sound is also very dependent on your speakers. There are many arguments about this issue, you can find it everywhere. You should hear the difference if any and determine yourself whether the receiver is the main bearer of sound quality. However, there is a caveat here: not all receivers are tuned the same. Because we know that different market in the world has different taste and preferences so manufacturers actually have put in this mechanism where some receivers are found to be tuned specific to their respective markets. Hope this helps you in your decision process. Let me know your thoughts.