Receive me.
October 16, 2009 10:38 AM   Subscribe

I'm looking for a home audio receiver + speakers to serve a few different purposes. Can you help me find a good one?

I'm piecing together my home theater, and need to buy a decent receiver that will do the following:

1) At least 5.1 audio -- including support for a (powered?) sub.
2) Multiple speaker selection; I have outdoor speakers that I'd like to hook into this as well. Ideally, I'd be able to listen to whatever either indoors only, outdoors only, or both. Do receivers ever support three channels? Eventually, I'd like to hook up a third set of speakers in the basement, and be able to switch between all of them.

What brands should I be looking at? Links to specific receivers that do what I need it to do would be appreciated.

Budget: under $250.
posted by wordsmith to Shopping (3 answers total)
 
Ignore the "+ speakers" portion of my original question -- I ended up scrapping that part. :)
posted by wordsmith at 10:44 AM on October 16, 2009


1) At least 5.1 audio -- including support for a (powered?) sub.

Onkyo uses the rear "surround" speakers to give you a 2nd "zone" (Zone 2 is what they refer to it as). So, your main listening area (where your TV and whatnot are) would effectively retain 3.1 and then you'd have stereo for the outdoor speakers.


2) Multiple speaker selection; I have outdoor speakers that I'd like to hook into this as well. Ideally, I'd be able to listen to whatever either indoors only, outdoors only, or both. Do receivers ever support three channels? Eventually, I'd like to hook up a third set of speakers in the basement, and be able to switch between all of them.

If you want a Zone 3 setup, you need to go at least 7.1 to give you the side-surround speakers which can be outsourced to your basement where you'll get a 2nd stereo setup.


What brands should I be looking at? Links to specific receivers that do what I need it to do would be appreciated.

Here's the cheapest Onkyo I could find which supports Zone 3.


Budget: under $250.
My advice: save up more money... :-/
posted by StarmanDXE at 11:56 AM on October 16, 2009


Ignore the "+ speakers" portion of my original question -- I ended up scrapping that part. :)

You don't want Zone 2 or Zone 3 capabilities anymore?

Well then, I would aim for something with at least an "HDMI Repeater" (as opposed to pass-through). With this, you can generally input to the receiver however you like (composite/component/HDMI) and the receiver will at least output via HDMI and even sometimes upscale for you (which is only useful if the upscaler in the receiver is better than the one in the TV).

If you want something rather user-friendly, I think Onkyo is the best for that. Here's an example of an Onkyo which should fit your needs.

Also, I looked into Harman/Kardon receivers and considered those as well. This Harman/Kardon is very formidable.

And, if you think you're super-human (aka an audiophile), then look into Denon.

BTW: good news. Almost all 5.1 receivers made today have Zone 2, at the least. (I guess Zone 3 is particularly expensive to implement? Or they just want to keep it for the higher-end models?)
posted by StarmanDXE at 12:07 PM on October 16, 2009


« Older I am trying to set up my route...   |  How much would it cost the ave... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.