Everyone that knows anything about stereo equipment knows that the receiver is the heart and soul of a home theater system. Without this important part of a stereo, there is a noticeable drop-off in sound quality. Not only does it play a part in the sound of the stereo is also acts as the nerve center letting you switch between all of the entertainment options. This includes the AM/FM radio, a DVD player, TV, and more.
Stereo receivers are the epicenter of all of the different audio modes. They hold a significant impact with the quality of the sound and the smoothness with which all of the separate audio devices play through a set of speakers. It is important that they come with multiple component connections, and sound controls. These are just some of the more important features you need to look for when thinking about purchasing a new receiver.
Multi-room audio outputs – As you shop around, you’ll notice that many of the higher-end receivers come with multi-room audio outputs. This allows you to listen to music not only in that room but also simultaneously in other rooms of your home. Try to find one that is multi-source, meaning you have the ability to play different sources in different rooms. For example, you can use listen to a CD in the living room but the radio in the kitchen. Some even come with multi-room video outputs to go with the audio.
On-screen display – Many of the newer stereo receivers come with such a variety of features that an on-screen visual display for viewing the current status of the system on a television screen is useful and becoming very popular. These can be important for you if you would like to operate your system from far from the front control panel. They give you the volume level, current source, and listening modes plus other system information.
Easy to use remote controls – With so many different features now being used, it isn’t a bad idea to find a receiver with an easy to use remote control. You’ll never find one that controls every little aspect of the stereo but the manufacturers do a pretty good job fitting as much in as possible. You’ll find that some remotes have functions that are easy to find and others require you to take a training course to understand. Before you go shopping, get a basic idea about how you will use the receiver, how much you will use and then think about its ease of use.
Six-channel analog inputs – Don’t even bother buying a stereo if it doesn’t come with six-channel analog inputs. You’ll need them since you can connect DVD players which use multichannel DVD-Audio, SACD discs and the new high-definition audio formats found on Blu-ray and HD-DVD players. One catch is that to make that DVD player work correctly, you’ll need one with six-channel analog outputs so that you can connect it to the six-channel analog inputs on the receiver. You will be able to hook up future multichannel sources as you go along building up your home system.
Bass management – Stereo receivers include bass management options which let you select which speakers will handle the bass. You have the option of picking to use the main left and right speakers or even the subwoofer, if you want.
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