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AV receiver and amplifier picks

The only way to get true home theater sound is with a separate AV receiver or amplifier. Here are the best options for the audiophiles on your gift list.

Matthew_Moskovciak.jpg
Matthew_Moskovciak.jpg

Matthew Moskovciak

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CNET editors pick the products and services we write about. When you buy through our links, we may get a commission.

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1 of 4 Sarah Tew/CNET

Sony STR-DN840

If you need a new AV receiver, Sony's STR-DN840 is the best place to start. It's relatively affordable, plus it packs in all the latest features you'll actually use: six HDMI inputs, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and AirPlay. You won't find a better deal this year.
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2 of 4 Sarah Tew/CNET

NAD D 3020

If you don't need a full AV receiver, NAD's D 3020 is a delightfully compact alternative. It has a great design, excellent sound quality and built-in Bluetooth, so it works well with your mobile devices too. It only supports stereo (although it has a dedicated subwoofer-out), but it's a great choice if you don't need surround sound.
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3 of 4 Sarah Tew/CNET

Marantz NR1403

If you're not tempted by the wireless bells and whistles on the Sony STR-DN840, consider the Marantz NR1403. Its slimline design is the best we've seen, yet it still manages to pack in six HDMI inputs for $400. It's one seriously refined AV receiver.
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4 of 4 Sarah Tew/CNET

Sony STR-DN1040

Sony's STR-DN1040 isn't the best value, but it makes you feel like you're getting your money's worth. It has an excellent, modern user interface, plus it's packed with more features than you'll ever need, including eight HDMI inputs, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and AirPlay.

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