What To Look For In An AV Receiver

AV Receiver. Sounds like something safaricom will float a tender for, right? An Audio Video Receiver (AV Receiver in short) is actually a consumer electronics component used in home theater. Its primary purpose is to receive audio and visual signals from a number of sources and process them to drive loudspeakers and/or a display. Yes, I googled that and Wikipedia came through.  An AV Receiver is the focal point of the home theater system, connecting your speakers to various electronic components. It powers your speakers, tunes radio stations, switches between audio and video components & decoding signals for surround sound. In short, it’s the nerve center for your home entertainment.

So what should you consider when you finally decide enough is enough and it’s time for the neighbors to call the police?

  1. Inputs & Outputs

This is simple: the more inputs and outputs (places to connect to the receiver) the more components (TV, speakers, playstation, blu ray player) the device can hold. Quick math.

  1. Power

Power isn’t simply another word for volume. Power dictates a receiver’s ability to produce detailed and dynamic sound. Power is measured in watts. So it goes without saying that the higher the wattage the better the sound quality.

  1. Calibration

Beginners will find that just setting up a home entertainment system so that all of the components are connected is hard enough, let alone determining whether the components are properly functioning. It is advisable to purchase a receiver that can handle automatic room calibration. It will set up the system and even suggest speaker placement.

  1. Wireless connectivity

With wireless technology being incorporated into everything, it goes without saying that your receiver should have this as well. Streaming music is now the norm rather than the exception therefore built in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are part and parcel of this experience.

  1. Speakers

All the above will amount to nothing if you do not match your receiver with a good set of speakers. They don’t have to be expensive, top of the line speakers. The rule of thumb is the speakers should be half the receivers power rating ie a speaker with a power rating of 350 watts will require an amplifier that can produce 700 watts.

There is so much you can choose to look at when making your purchase: number of channels, total harmonic distortion (THD), second-zone audio etc the list can vary depending on tastes and preferences but the above should cover the basics.