4 Features to Look for in a Digital Receiver

When you're researching a new digital receiver for your home audio and theater system, you have a wide range of options. The question is, which AVR will ultimately allow you the versatility to enjoy all your favorite entertainment, coupled with exceptional sound quality? As you shop for home theater receivers, look for these key features:

1. The right inputs and outputs
The AV receiver is the hub of your home entertainment experience, so one of the most important considerations is whether you'll have all the necessary connections. Today's electronics communicate the latest picture and sound codecs via HDMI cables, making these inputs and outputs your top priority. Look for an AVR that offers enough HDMI connections for all your current devices. If you’re considering additional components in the future, such as a gaming system, make sure there are enough HDMI inputs to support it as well.

A USB port will allow you to hook up an MP3 player or mobile device and enjoy digital music through your home theater system. To incorporate analog devices such as a turntable or speakers, check that the receiver you choose features all the necessary inputs and outputs. The best receiver for your needs may have both RCA and XLR connections to maximize its functionality.

2. The power to deliver exceptional sound
You rely on your AV receiver to produce sound with clarity and volume. Systems with higher wattage output not only have the power to get loud, but they offer the dynamics and detailed reproduction that makes for a richer experience. Keep an eye on the capabilities of both your amplifier and your speakers to get the most out of a surround sound system, including features like 3D audio.

Go beyond the power rating by looking into how many channels a receiver is capable of driving and their performance levels when working simultaneously. Test out whether the system can reach high volumes without introducing distortion and listen closely for any unwanted noise.

3. Wireless connectivity
High-quality wireless connectivity for music listening is an increasingly important part of today’s home audio system. With Wi-Fi and Bluetooth compatibility, a receiver opens up vast opportunities to stream music and even set up multi-room systems with zones playing from different channels at the same time.

4. Automatic speaker calibration
How you arrange and balance your speakers makes a huge difference in the performance of your system. An AV receiver with automatic speaker calibration helps you along with the optimal setup for your listening area. The Audyssey program included with Marantz receivers uses advanced algorithms and an included microphone to analyze each speaker's output and troubleshoot your set up.

A powerful, dynamic and versatile AV receiver is essential to creating a home theater system. Marantz digital receivers are designed with an array of features that cinema fans can’t get enough of, and that true audiophiles demand.