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Buying a new AV receiver: When is it time for an upgrade?

Buying a new AV receiver
Buying a new AV receiver: Do you want to expand your speaker setup with new speakers, or going for a higher resolutions, then an upgrade is a good idea.
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Nowadays, not only in the field of TVs, you can choose from far too many models with many more different features and functions. AV receivers are also becoming increasingly advanced and are equipped with various techniques and options that make it attractive to upgrade. But, when is it wise to Buying a new AV receiver?

Do I need to upgrade my receiver?

We have been getting this question regularly recently and then, as you are used to from us, it is time for a general article in which we try to address this question as well as possible. After all, a new AV receiver is not always the best solution, especially when there are other devices that have the same functions or when your current receiver actually does everything right.

Buying a new AV receiver is not required

We cannot possibly cover all the options that today’s receivers have, but in general there are a number of functions that are important today. However, whether you need these depends of course on what you want to do. Is your current receiver still working fine and are you not looking for built-in support for streaming services or higher resolutions? Then there is little reason to purchase a new receiver. After all, the chance that your audio reproduction will improve significantly is in most cases not particularly great. It is important that you read up on what receivers nowadays all offer in order to clarify whether an upgrade is really necessary.


Perhaps one of the most important reasons for Buying a new AV receiver is the range of connections. In many cases, older models only have a number of analog connections, which unfortunately cannot be used with a lot of modern equipment. An optical input and a number of HDMI ports are then certainly desirable. If you want to enjoy the highest quality audio, for example DTS-HD Master Audio , then a receiver with HDMI ports is really recommended. In addition, you only receive 1080p material from a Blu-ray player via HDMI ports to your TV.

Buying a new AV receiver: When is it time for an upgrade?

But, we can also look further. Do you want to go for a 4K Ultra HD TV in the future or do you even already have one? Then it is wise to purchase a receiver with HDMI 2.0 ports because it allows 4K material to be forwarded (and sometimes upscaled). HDMI version 1.4 is a minimum requirement for the reproduction of 3D material.

More speakers

It is perhaps the most logical reason to upgrade to a new receiver, but if you currently have a 5.1-channel receiver and actually want to add two or more extra speakers to your setup, it is wise to go for a new model. Many AV receivers nowadays offer a minimum of 7.1 (or 7.2) channel amplification, which can go up to 12.2 channels. Read more about speaker layouts to see what the possibilities are.

New audio formats

Since the end of last year, we have also seen new audio formats appear that use multiple speakers in the room. For example, more and more receivers are equipped with Dolby Atmos and Auro 3D, two audio formats that can accurately place a sound object in a three-dimensional space through speakers in the ceiling (or add-on modules on speakers at the front). It is the next step in surround sound, but you must of course have space and budget for it. If you want the best of the best, a receiver with support for these audio formats is certainly an option.

Wireless technologies and streaming services

The latest AV receivers almost all have integration of streaming services and wireless technologies. The most popular examples are the music services Spotify (with Spotify Connect ) and Deezer, and the wireless technologies WiFi, DLNA, AirPlay and Bluetooth. You would say that all these extra options are a very good reason to upgrade, but first make sure you do not already have other equipment that supports some of these services or standards. After all, a smart TV with Spotify does the same and can easily send the audio to your current receiver. A Blu-ray player with WiFi and DLNA can play media from your network and thus play audio over your connected receiver. In short, check carefully whether you really need these features on your receiver.

Buying a new AV receiver: When is it time for an upgrade?


You don’t just buy a new AV receiver, especially if you want to go for quality and many possibilities. Purely to keep up with the times or to have more features than the neighbor is therefore not a good reason to upgrade. However, are you looking for more or better connection options, do you want to expand your speaker setup with new audio techniques and speakers, or are you going for a future with higher resolutions, then an upgrade is a good idea. Now that receivers are becoming increasingly advanced, have an internet connection and can be provided with updates (and sometimes paid upgrades) relatively easily, we recommend that you reserve some extra money and immediately go for a model from the higher segment. Even if you don’t use all speaker channels; on many models you can use some of the unused channels for extra space. In addition, you often get more advanced options for adjusting the audio reproduction and regular updates.