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AV Receivers

Get a Denon 7.2-channel stereo receiver for $399

Designed for serious audiophiles and normally priced at $599, this top-rated powerhouse packs Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and eight (!) HDMI inputs.

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I want to build a whole new home theater around this baby. Denon

There's the home theater, and then there's the home theater. You know the kind I mean: HD projector, wall-size screen, cushy seating, maybe a few movie posters and, of course, speakers everywhere.

One of the key building blocks of such awesomeness is the AV receiver, the hub that powers all those speakers and handles all the switching between various audio and video modes and devices. Of course, this being 2015, that receiver should support wireless tech as well.

Usually there's a pretty big delta between an entry-level receiver and a really high-end one, but today it's considerably narrower: Adorama has the Denon AVR-S900W 7.2-channel AV receiver with Bluetooth and Wi-Fi for $399 shipped. That's after applying coupon code CN42015RCV at checkout. Regular price: $599! (And, for what it's worth, the list price is $649.)

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Denon

The AVR-S900W cranks out 185 watts of audio goodness across seven channels. It supports dual subwoofers (that's the ".2" in "7.2") and features a whopping eight HDMI 2.0 inputs. That means you can route any and all devices through it: cable box, Roku box, game console, another game console, a camcorder and so on.

Other noteworthy specs include Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, the former for pairing smartphone and tablets (it can remember up to eight of them!) for Pandora, Spotify and other streaming sources, the latter for home-network connectivity and, if you're into it, AirPlay streaming.

I could go on and on about the features, but the truth is I'm pretty much a novice when it comes to home audio. I just know a good deal when I see one, especially when you consider the reviews.

Indeed, although CNET hasn't reviewed the receiver, it earned a solid four stars from Amazon customers, and respected AV journal Sound and Vision dubbed it a Top Pick and gave it five stars nearly across the board. That was based on the $650 list price, too.

Granted, even at $399, this isn't for everyone. It's still a pricey addition to any home theater, but if you were going to spend, say, $300 for something closer to entry-level, a little extra splurging gets you a seriously high-end upgrade. Your thoughts?

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