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        Receivers & Amplifiers

        I sometimes marvel at just how much fun a surround sound system provides. Watch movies and TV shows, play video games, or rock out to music — even in multiple rooms at the same time.
        Receivers & Amplifiers
        Home Theater Receivers
        Home theater receivers

        A home theater receiver powers five or more speakers for enveloping surround sound and provides connections for your A/V gear. Some connect to the Internet for endless listening options.Go to products
        Stereo Receivers
        Stereo receivers

        Putting together an audio system just for music? Stereo receivers leave off multi-channel surround sound and complicated video processing, but deliver good, clean, stereo power.Go to products
        Integrated Amplifiers
        Integrated amplifiers

        An integrated amplifier is essentially a receiver without a built-in AM/FM tuner. You get power to drive your speakers, audio controls, and inputs for music source components.Go to products
        Power Amplifiers
        Power amplifiers

        Power amps have a simple job — to deliver clean power to your speakers. Our selection includes 2-channel amps for stereo and multi-room amps that power several pairs of speakers.Go to products
        Stereo Preamps
        Stereo preamps

        Use a stereo preamplifier with a separate amp for high-performance sound. The preamp handles source switching and signal processing, and allows you to make tonal adjustments. Go to products
        Surround Sound Preamp/Processors
        Surround sound preamp/processors

        These preamps are specifically designed for audiophile-quality surround sound. Use a "pre/pro" with one or more amplifiers for killer home theater performance.Go to products
        High-resolution Audio
        High-resolution audio

        Learn how to get more from your music with lossless, studio-quality digital files and high-res gear.Go to products
        Bluetooth Home Theater Receivers
        Bluetooth home theater receivers

        These receivers come with Bluetooth technology for streaming music wirelessly from your compatible phone, tablet, or computer.Go to products
        Multi-zone Receivers
        Multi-zone receivers

        These receivers can play music in at least one extra listening room — great for enjoying tunes out on the deck, in the basement, or a bedroom.Go to products
        Amplifiers for Multi-room Systems
        Amplifiers for multi-room systems

        These amplifiers have special features to help you install speakers in multiple rooms of your home.Go to products
        Cables & Installation
        Cables & installation

        Complete your system with wiring, furniture, and moreGo to products
        Accessories
        Accessories

        Remotes, batteries, blank tapes, and moreGo to products
        Add-on Modules
        Add-on modules

        These modules work with specific integrated amplifiers to expand the unit's capabilities. Go to products
        Professional Installation
        Professional installation

        Don't want to install your new gear yourself? Find an installer near you.Go to products

        Our articles and videos

        TOP

        How to shop for receivers and amplifiers

        You'll need a receiver or an amplifier to power the speakers of your home audio or home theater system. To narrow down your choices, answer a few key questions.

        • Surround sound or stereo?
        • How many rooms or zones do you want to fill with sound?
        • Do you want a radio or network music sources built-in?
        • Do you want to connect a record player?

        Below you'll find tips on how to choose. To learn more, read our buying guides for home theater receivers, integrated amps, stereo receivers, and separate amps and preamps.

        A receiver is an amplifier that includes a radio tuner and a preamplifier section. You can connect a variety of source components and at least two speakers. There are three different categories from which to choose:

        Home theater receivers

        A home theater receiver (also known as an A/V receiver) supplies at least five channels of power for surround sound setups. It also provides video processing and at least one HDMI output for your TV.

        Stereo receivers

        A stereo receiver has two channels of amplification for left and right stereo speakers. It also has an AM/FM tuner, of course. But these days, you're likely to also see multiple analog and digital audio inputs, and Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity. Most models can power a second set of speakers, too.

        Multi-zone receivers

        These are home theater receivers that can power speakers in at least two different rooms or "zones" — one surround sound zone and one or more zones of stereo sound.

        Why get a separate amp and preamp when you can get a receiver that includes both functions? The short answer is that you can get better sound and more system-building flexibility.

        Integrated amplifiers

        An integrated amplifier is two components in one — a power amp that drives your speakers and a preamplifier for your music source components. The preamp lets you select your sources and control the volume.

        Power amplifiers

        Hi-fi stereo amps are for high-performance stereo music systems. They can be used in surround sound systems, though multi-channel amps might make more sense for that purpose.

        Monoblock amps have just one channel. Some models are designed to drive a passive subwoofer. Others are meant for audiophiles who like to use a separate amp for each channel of their system.

        Multi-channel home theater amps are the companions for surround sound preamp/processors. You'll need at least five channels for a surround system. You can choose a powerful 3-channel amp to drive the front left, right, and center channels. Your surround speakers, which may require less power, can have their own 2-channel amp. If you want to keep things simple, get one amp with enough channels to drive all of your speakers.

        Stereo preamps

        A stereo preamp includes connections for your source components, as well as tone, balance, and volume controls. There's a switch to select the component you want to play. Some models include a built-in network music player.

        Surround sound preamp/processors

        Think of a surround sound preamp/processor as a home theater receiver without the built-in amplifier. It does the video processing, surround sound decoding, input switching, and audio signal processing. Most models come with built-in room correction software that helps fine-tune the sound.

        Multi-zone amplifiers

        Multi-zone amps are building blocks for a multi-room system. You get at least two channels of power. Some models include as many as 16 channels. Many models include connectors for remote control, power triggers, and infrared signal transmission.

        Power

        How many watts do you need? Wattage ratings and maximum volume are only loosely connected. For example, a 200 watt amplifier will only play a mere 3 dB louder than a 100 watt amplifier — a barely noticeable difference. To play twice as loud as that 100 watt amp, you would need one with 1,000 watts, a ten-fold increase in power. Look at the recommended power range for your speakers and choose your amp power accordingly.

        Wireless multi-room music

        Many receivers work with multi-room music platforms that let you stream music to compatible wireless speakers you have set up throughout your home. You can create different zones and control what's playing in each room with an app on your phone or by using voice commands.

        Bluetooth

        Bluetooth® lets you enjoy wireless music streaming from any compatible smartphone, tablet, or computer. Some receivers and integrated amplifiers have this feature built in, while others may offer it as an add-on option.

        You'll need speakers, of course. You may also need power protection, speaker wire, audio cables, HDMI cables, and A/V furniture. You can find them all here.

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