DownHomeDigital AV receivers Best 9 Channel AV Receivers

Best 9 Channel AV Receivers

Today, the home theater sphere has become considerably democratized. Gone are the days when you had to put aside some of your savings to make the long-awaited purchase. The range has diversified without sacrificing technical performance.

Our pick
Denon AVR-X4700H
Denon AVR-X4700H
Best 9.2 Receiver
The Denon AVR-X4700H 9.2 channel 8K AV receiver with 125W per channel fully supports 3D audio formats like Dolby Atmos®, Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization Technology, DTS:X®, DTS Virtual:X™, IMAX® Enhanced and Auro-3D®. Read the full review

However, there are still models for connoisseurs willing to invest to enjoy a cinema-worthy installation. It is for this audience that this review was created. I want to help as much as possible to highlight all the pros and cons of the presented models and help with choosing the best 9.2 receiver.

9.2 AV Receivers comparison table

Name Channels Power output HDMI in/out Bluetooth/Wi-Fi Review
Denon AVR-X4700H best overall 9.2 125W/8 Ohm, 165W/6 Ohm 8/3 yes/yes Review
Denon AVR-X3700H under $1500 9.2 105W/8 Ohm, 135W/6 Ohm 7/3 yes/yes Review
Denon AVR-X3600H budget 9.2 105W/8 Ohm, 135W/6 Ohm 8/3 yes/yes Review
Marantz SR7015 premium 9.2 125W/8 Ohm, 165W/6 Ohm 8/3 yes/yes Review

Do I need a 3D home theater sound?

And since I decided to review models with outstanding characteristics made to create a real home theater, we must understand the need to have a crucial element of the home theater. Namely, 3D or surround sound.

Movie engineers use 3D sound to enhance immersion and the viewer’s auditory perception. In simple terms, sound comes from several different directions around the user, using several specific audio channels or dedicated speakers. And as you already know, almost all Blu-ray movies have a volumetric sound.

That is why the receiver must support at least configuration 5.1 to create a sound stage with the listener in the center. Alternatively, there must be 5.2.4 or 7.2.2-system support for perfect surround sound. But the 9.2 home theater systems especially stand out because they provide excellent sound and often have great video features. So I will talk about the testing methods of the selected models and then proceed directly to the review.

How I picked and tested 9.2 receivers

Since I tested both surround and stereo sound, it would be nice to tell you about my setup for these tests.

I used the following equipment for the test and I evaluated volumetric sound using the example of the movie Deadpool 2:

I listened to the following tracks in different genres from different sources:

  • Radiohead – The National Anthem – Spotify
  • Bob Marley & The Wailers – Turn Your Lights Down Low – Deezer
  • Arctic Monkeys – Do I Wanna Know – SoundCloud
  • Led Zeppelin – Ramble On (CD player)
  • The Weeknd – The Hills (CD player)
  • Jacky Terrasson – Reach (CD player)
  • Mark Nauseef – With Space in Mind (CD player)
  • Mahler – Symphony No.2 (CD player)

I have a completely different configuration for evaluating surround sound. It comprises a Klipsch RP-8060FA set and a Sony UBP-X700 Blu-ray player. The speakers were connected to each receiver using an AudioQuest Type-9 cord, and you and I know how important a good connection is. So that was my kit, and now we’re getting to the fun part.

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Mid-price 9.2 Receiver Reviews

Denon AVR-X4700H – best overall

Denon AVR-X4700H

Denon gives a special role to the X4xxx line of receivers. This series belongs to the premium segment, as it is made on a more advanced component base, comes in an ergonomic design, and is packed with various features. But at the same time, such models are sold worldwide and in large quantities. The popularity of this series is explained by the fact that you can deploy a large home theater for all modern cinema formats and audiophile music system on its basis. So let’s take a quick look at what the new representative of this series has to offer.

The Denon AVR-X4700H with nine amplification channels and dual subwoofer outputs can drive 5.2.4 or 7.2.2 channel speakers or in stereo at 125W per channel at 8 Ohm or even 165W, and 200W at 6 Ohm (on one channel).

However, significant changes were made to the video block. The Denon AVR-X4700H is among the first receivers to adopt the HDMI 2.1 standard with support for 8K at 60Hz. All HDMIs accept Dolby Vision and HDR10 +. However, only the main output is 8K with eARC and HDCP 2.3.

Denon AVR-X4700H back

And I draw your attention to the fact that here we are entering the top speed of digital video requiring short 48 Gbps cords, at the risk of obtaining no image. Moreover, the AVR-X4700H decodes all current multi-channel audio formats: Dolby Atmos, DTS: X, Auro-3D, and IMAX Enhanced.

Separately, the calibration attracts my attention. The Audyssey MultEQ XT32 is present with its procedure going through eight measurement points. However, the novelty of the AVR-X4700H consists of offering two distinct memories that can be recalled from the menus. It is thus possible to create a curve for films and another for music. That is not found in any competing device, even, for example, in the Marantz SR7015.

Denon AVR-X4700H photo

The AVR-X4700H has a built-in phono stage, all network and streaming playback features are implemented, as well as the multi-zone benefits of wireless HEOS. As I said above, Audyssey MultEQ XT32 is responsible for multichannel calibration and the sound quality in pure musical mode – an advanced digital platform D.D.S.C. HD Digital (includes audio processing AL32 Processing Multichannel, contains jitter suppression circuit, DAC Asahi Kasei AK4458VN) and seriously modified power system, which has a powerful shielded transformer and more capacitor “buffer.” By the way, the latter is made on custom high-quality electrolytes with a polyolefin dielectric.

I started a test configuration with a subwoofer. When listening to music through the HEOS system and Tidal, I can say that the AVR-X4700H is doing with honors. In direct stereo without a subwoofer, I found my speakers’ sound signature, which received enough current to hold the membrane in the bass convincingly. The sound stage is wide and high, with good positioning of vocals and instruments, but lacks warmth and support in the low-midrange.

Now let’s move on to multichannel on my best 9.2 receiver tests. The film atmospheres are correctly transcribed, giving the impression of being at the heart of the action, surrounded by all the events. By default, the sound of Denon receivers is pretty focused on voices but is already well-supplied with dynamic bass.

Comparing all the test results, this is a very balanced device, and I can say that Denon AVR-X4700H is the best 9 channel AV receiver overall on the market. So whether you are a movie buff or a music lover, you will be satisfied with absolutely lossless HD audio playback and qualitative surround sound with the full suite of Dolby, DTS, and IMAX technologies. It’s a true Hercules among 9 channel receivers.

Key specs

  • Channels: 9.2.
  • Power output: 125W/8 Ohm, 165W/6 Ohm.
  • HDMI inputs/outputs: 8/3.
  • Video functions: 8K/60Hz, 4K/120Hz pass-through, analog to HDMI video conversion, upscales video signals to HD and Ultra HD (up to 8K).
  • Bluetooth/Wi-Fi: yes/yes.
  • Streaming services: AirPlay2, Spotify, Pandora.
  • Supports HDMI ARC, HDMI eARC, HDMI CEC, HDCP2.3, HDR10, HDR10+, Dolby Vision.
  • Surround sound: DTS:X, Dolby Atmos, IMAX Enhanced.


  • Audyssey calibration clarifies the sound stage, reinforces the center, and further improves the front/surround connection without the side and ceiling speakers.
  • Virtualization of ATMOS ceiling speakers is really high quality and practically does not differ from real ceiling speakers.
  • Support for all modern surround sound formats.
  • HEOS.
  • Supports video scaling up to 8K resolution.


  • The receiver plays high-definition streaming video intermittently.
  • Bluetooth’s functionality sometimes loses previously connected devices from memory.

Denon AVR-X3700H – under $1500

Denon AVR-X3700H

It’s time to introduce you to yet another receiver from Denon. The AVR-X3700H is a nine-channel device with 105W per channel power at 8 Ohm or 135W at 6 Ohm. In fact, you have a choice of configuration. However, the AVR-X3700H can handle 7.1.4 channels simultaneously. For this, outputs with pre-amplification are here, counting on the addition of an external stereo power supply.

I would like to point out that this Denon has the latest sound standards. It can decode Dolby Atmos and DTS: X as well as IMAX Enhanced. And another helpful feature is the presence of DTS Virtual: X technology and Dolby Height Virtualization Modes to simulate ceiling speakers.

Denon AVR-X3700H back

The situation is also good with video capabilities. Here you can see 8K compatibility via HDMI 2.1 input and output. In addition, most standard video technologies are present here, such as HDR 10+, which the Denon AVC-X3600H did not have.

I was impressed by this 9.2 surround sound receiver`s sound. The AVC-X3700H recreates a feeling of an enjoyable and genuinely immersive sound environment. The excellent link is there between the fronts and other speakers with effects. There is at no time a cut between the two zones, which is one. Within this three-dimensional space, the sound objects move entirely freely.

Denon AVR-X3700H photo

In Deadpool 2, in battle scenes where sounds spring up from above or across the room in front of us, between the fronts and surrounds, the 3700 masters its subject and place the elements where they need to be.

This model pleasantly surprised me with its performance both when playing music and as a home theater center. This is a dominant model in the mid-price segment (under $1500) of 9-channel receivers with 8K/60 Hz support and IMAX Enhanced for a true cinema experience.

Key specs

  • Channels: 9.2.
  • Power output: 105W/8 Ohm, 135W/6 Ohm.
  • HDMI inputs/outputs: 7/3.
  • Video functions: 8K/60Hz, 4K/120Hz pass-through, analog to HDMI video conversion, upscales video signals to HD and Ultra HD (up to 8K).
  • Bluetooth/Wi-Fi: yes/yes
  • Streaming services: AirPlay2, Spotify, Pandora.
  • Supports HDMI ARC, HDMI eARC, HDMI CEC, HDCP2.3, HDR10, HDR10+, Dolby Vision.
  • Surround sound: DTS:X, Dolby Atmos, IMAX Enhanced.


  • This model is suitable for modern gaming, as it reproduces images of 4K/120Hz.
  • Bi-amplification is available.


  • The sound distortion appears at high volumes.

Marantz SR6015

Marantz SR6015

Next on my list is the Marantz SR-6015. This receiver uses high current-carrying discrete component amplifier circuits. Thus, it can deliver 220W per channel at 6 Ohm or 2 x 110 watts into 8 ohms in stereo, which is a perfect figure for a mid-budget 9.2 channel receiver. The SR-6015 has the latest immersive multi-channel audio decoders. It can broadcast Dolby Atmos and DTS: X audio streams.

Marantz SR6015 back

The SR6015 did a magnificent job with my test system. The first listening without calibration gives a calm, even, very nice sound stage. Whether it’s multichannel listening or stereo music, the SR6015 doesn’t have aggressive highs or dominant lows.

Marantz SR6015 photo

After going through Audyssey MultEQ XT32 calibration, the changes were quite significant. In a positive sense, of course. Here, I was able to enjoy the volumetric sound in the film entirely. The subwoofer is perfectly synchronized with the rest of the unit and gives deep bass, explosions and other special effects that are “physically” felt. Everything was set up perfectly automatically, there was nothing to tweak. I also want to note that the receiver perfectly reproduces dialogues through the center speaker.

I can say that the SR6015 is a high-performance home theater receiver. This one of the best 9 channel AV receivers should satisfy most people looking for a modern device that can immerse them in movie soundtracks. The SR6015 meets the expectations of nearly all Atmos and DTS: X setups. The Denon also has Auro-3D decoding, an additional HDMI connector, and Audio Zone 3.

Key specs

  • Channels: 9.2.
  • Power output: 110W/8 Ohm, 150W/6 Ohm.
  • HDMI inputs/outputs: 7/3.
  • Video functions: 8K/60Hz, 4K/120Hz pass-through, analog to HDMI video conversion, upscales video signals to HD and Ultra HD (up to 8K).
  • Bluetooth/Wi-Fi: yes/yes.
  • Streaming services: AirPlay2, Spotify, Pandora.
  • Supports HDMI ARC, HDMI eARC, HDMI CEC, HDCP2.3, HDR10, HDR10+, Dolby Vision.
  • Surround sound: DTS:X, Dolby Atmos, IMAX Enhanced.


  • A large number of inputs support HDMI 8K and/or dual 4K outputs, eARC, etc.
  • The wireless network is easy to set up and very responsive.


  • HDMI CEC does not work correctly to control basic device commands such as ON/OFF.

Budget 9.2 Receiver Reviews

Denon AVR-X3600H – budget

Denon AVR-X3600H

And now it’s the turn of budget models. I want to start with the Denon AVR-X3600H as the best representative of the 9.2 receiver under $1000 segment. It is the embodiment of all the latest technological innovations in the production of audio equipment. It meets the ever-growing demands of consumers who value truly perfect surround sound and high-quality video.

Thanks to digital amplifiers for each channel, the device received 125W power at 8 Ohm or 165W at 6 Ohm, or 235W at peak and stable operation with good quality indicators even with low impedance acoustics. This offers the opportunity for some savings when choosing a home theater speaker.

Denon AVR-X3600H back

The AVR X3600H receiver has an advanced video section with an impressive calibration set of compatibility with the new HD and Ultra HD TV panels. The unit provides multi-channel audio transmission directly from the TV panel over the extended eARC audio channel. It incorporates image optimization technology – Dolby Vision, supporting dynamic brightness expansion – HDR version 10 and HLG, which provides clarity, brightness, and remarkable detail.

Besides, the support of Dolby Atmos and DTS surround sound technologies is implemented in the device, completely immersed me in the thick of events taking place on the screen with the realistic soundtrack. I liked that it creates a pretty real immersive experience.

Denon AVR-X3600H photo

And I can even argue that the sound quality is at the level of premium models, and the sound is close to ideal, both when watching a movie and when listening to music. The 32-bit DAC of the top brand AKM AK4458VN by the Asahi Kasei Microdevices provides impressive processing power, which allows it to produce a good sound, I cannot say the same for the Denon AVR-X3700H.

In my opinion, the Denon AVR X3600H review showed the fact that the device is ideal for a technical upgrade of an existing home theater or creating a new one with impeccable video and surround sound quality. In terms of sound characteristics, it clearly outperforms its competitor Onkyo TX-NR797 and I can confidently declare the AVR-X3600H the best budget 9.2 receiver.

Key specs

  • Channels: 9.2.
  • Power output: 105W/8 Ohm, 135W/6 Ohm.
  • HDMI inputs/outputs: 8/3.
  • Video functions: 4K/60Hz pass-through, analog to HDMI video conversion, upscales video signals to HD and Ultra HD (up to 4K).
  • Bluetooth/Wi-Fi: yes/yes.
  • Streaming services: AirPlay2, Spotify, Pandora, Tidal, Deezer.
  • Supports HDMI ARC, HDMI eARC, HDMI CEC, HDCP2.3, HDR10, Dolby Vision.
  • Surround sound: DTS:X, Dolby Atmos, IMAX Enhanced.


  • It is possible to create a multi-room chain using HEOS and AirPlay 2.
  • High-resolution audio playback in FLAC and DSD formats is lossless.


  • Music from streaming services such as Amazon Music and Tidal does not play well.
  • The receiver has a poor Wi-Fi network reception and a slow data transfer rate.

Onkyo TX-NR797

Onkyo TX-NR797

And the last one on my list is the Onkyo TX-NR797. This is the first Onkyo receiver to be released under the IMAX Enhanced program.

In addition, this device is THX Select certified, compatible with Dolby Atmos and DTS: X audio formats, as well as 3D sound virtualization technologies, enhanced audio distribution, and 4K HDR support. That is why it plays surround sounds in 5.2.4 channels or 7.2.2 rear envelopes and develops 100W at 8 Ohm, or 220W at 6 Ohm. And this is the standard set for this price range.

Onkyo TX-NR797 back

TX-NR797 provides immersive DTS: X audio decoding, optimized to perfectly reproduce the full dynamic range of IMAX audio mixes.

This new IMAX Enhanced mode is designed to reproduce IMAX audio, as the filmmakers originally intended. It’s perfectly in sync because the enhanced IMAX audio has been programmed to handle 4K HDR and Ultra HD Blu-ray properly. And I must tell you that the technology fully copes with its task. There were such sensations as in a professional cinema when watching a movie, and the sound environment was fully felt.

Onkyo TX-NR797 photo

On the other hand, the playback of audio recordings did not make such an impression on me, but still – the receiver sounds good. I cannot single out any apparent flaws in the sound. I can say for sure that the sound stage is wide and the sound itself is pretty detailed.

Onkyo TX-NR797 is a good and inexpensive receiver with advanced features such as multi-room up to 3 zones, Wi-Fi 5 Hz, and in addition, there is THX certification. Yes, in terms of sound quality and power, it is inferior to many reviewers, but it compensates for this cost, inferior to Denon AVR-X3600H only in amplifier power.

Key specs

  • Channels: 9.2.
  • Power output: 100W/8 Ohm.
  • HDMI inputs/outputs: 7/2.
  • Video functions: 4K/60Hz pass-through, analog to HDMI video conversion.
  • Bluetooth/Wi-Fi: yes/yes.
  • Streaming services: AirPlay2, Spotify, Pandora, Tidal, Deezer, Amazon Music.
  • Supports HDMI ARC, HDMI eARC, HDMI CEC, HDCP2.3, HDR10, Dolby Vision.
  • Surround sound: DTS:X, Dolby Atmos, IMAX Enhanced.


  • The initial setup is quick and easy. Everything is intuitive.
  • It is possible to send an independent signal to Zone 2.


  • The Bluetooth interface works stably over long distances. To get good sound, the devices must be as close as possible.

Premium 9.2 Receiver Reviews

Marantz SR7015 – premium

Marantz SR7015

Now we will talk about receivers from the premium segment. The Marantz SR7015 is one of those. And one of its distinguishing features is support for HDMI 2.1. Therefore, it supports 8K video.

Moreover, there are no less than 9 output channels (125W at 8 Ohm or 165W at 6 Ohm and even 235W at peak). These channels can be used in different ways up to 11.2 if an additional 2-channel power amplifier is connected to the pre-out output.

Marantz SR7015 inputs

I was surprised by the vast range of supported technologies. It immediately becomes clear that this is the best premium receiver in front of me. There is a complete set of Dolby and DTS decoders, as well as Auro 3D and many video technologies.

I think it’s important to mention that Marantz does not change its traditions in terms of sound. HDAM modules have sworn Marantz for 25 years, and it is not without reason. In Pure Direct stereo mode, the SR-7015 has a typical Marantz warm tone that is immediately noticeable. The same sound that I know well since.

Marantz SR7015 photo

Switching to Multi-Channel Stereo mode, the source, of course, remains stereo, but the sound is distributed throughout the room through all the speakers, showing that the Marantz SR7015 can produce a very believable simulation of multi-channel sound what the Denon AVR-X4700H lacks. It may not be entirely realistic for an audiophile, but it is immersive and delightful. Here I can note an even wider sound stage. Sound objects move naturally. In Cinema mode, voices are even more profound and richer.

To be honest, the Marantz SR7015 plays premium-quality sound, both in stereo and multichannel. Together with high definition video transmission, this makes it the greatest premium receiver on the market.

Key specs

  • Channels: 9.2.
  • Power output: 125W/8 Ohm, 165W/6 Ohm.
  • HDMI inputs/outputs: 8/3.
  • Video functions: 8K/60Hz, 4K/120Hz pass-through, analog to HDMI video conversion, upscales video signals to HD and Ultra HD (up to 8K).
  • Bluetooth/Wi-Fi: yes/yes.
  • Streaming services: AirPlay2, Spotify, Pandora.
  • Supports HDMI ARC, HDMI eARC, HDMI CEC, HDCP2.3, HDR10, HDR10+, Dolby Vision.
  • Surround sound: DTS:X, Dolby Atmos, IMAX Enhanced.


  • There is a phono input to which you can directly connect a turntable.
  • SR7015`s 8K/60Hz and 4K/120Hz video transmission with the Auto Low Latency Mode and the Quick Frame Transport for a great gaming experience.


  • The headphone jack is behind a hinged cover on the front panel, which is not convenient.
  • Sometimes the receiver does not respond to the change of sources, it is only necessary to reboot the device.

Buyer’s guide

How much power per channel do you need?

An essential step in choosing a receiver is to determine the required power. This is a delicate point to which I draw your particular attention, as lack of power affects the final perceived sound quality.

And the first thing to do to determine the required value is to look at the impedance of the speakers we are going to install and select the receiver power we need based on that impedance.

For example, values ​​between 120 and 150 watts per channel are generally sufficient for powerful and impressive sound in rooms less than 30 square meters. They are influenced by many more factors, such as speaker sensitivity, room acoustics, etc.

Pay attention to your connections

Another key point when buying our receiver is to see what types of connections it has and in what quantity. Usually, there are many analog and digital inputs, the latter being optical and coaxial or HDMI. However, it is always advised to think about how much equipment we want to connect (DVD, Blu-ray, game console, DTT receiver, computer, TV, etc.) and with which type of connection more or less to calculate the inputs and outputs that we need.

How to add music to other rooms?

And I will mention another helpful feature that I find very useful – this is multiroom. Multiroom allows you to connect a second set of speakers (some models have support for multiple stereo pairs and a 5.1 set) in a different room that can play content independently of the primary audio source. Modern receivers can do this using a wired connection through dedicated channels. In addition, there are wireless technologies such as HEOS or AirPlay 1/2 with which you can create a multi-room environment.


How many speakers can I connect to a 9.2 receiver?

9.2 surround sound uses a minimum of five speakers and one subwoofer in a 5.1 configuration-left, center, right surround), a left surround back speaker, and two front height speakers for 7.1 or nine speakers when used with Dolby Atmos or Auro 3D object-based surround formats. There is no minimum speaker requirement for participating in the height or overhead effect.

How many channels do I need for surround sound?

You need five speakers plus one subwoofer that operates during movie playback.

Can I use any speakers with a receiver?

You can use any speakers with a receiver; however, it is best to stick with the same brand or look for speakers designed to work specifically with your equipment.

Can I mix different brands of speakers?

Yes, as long as they don’t produce distortion or noise that would make the audio sound bad.

Is it better to use the same brand of speaker for my center and front speakers?

Yes, if you use two different brands, it may sound off, or there may be a delay in the sound.

Can I use my old speakers?

Some older model speakers may work, while some newer ones may not. Also, even though they are analog, audio connections have changed over time, so you may need to replace your old speakers with newer ones.

How many speakers do I need for Dolby Atmos?

A 5.1 system is not enough for Dolby Atmos, you need at least 7 speakers plus a subwoofer.

Does an AV receiver improve audio quality?

Yes, AV receivers are designed to drive your speakers properly for better sound quality.

AV receivers ratings by channels

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About Frederick Douglass
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