Downhomedigital Receivers Best 2 Channel Stereo Receivers

A stereo receiver is a solid component of an audio system that has two channels (left and right) and two amplifiers for each channel. Many avid audiophiles are searching for the best stereo receiver because this particular channel combination allows getting the most powerful sound and savoring the slightest tone fluctuations.

Two amps are responsible for powering 2 stereo speakers, but don’t expect to receive surround sound even if you connect your stereo receiver to a TV. Such units are solely focused on pleasing music lovers. There are even some users who hook up a stereo receiver to a turntable or use its radio capabilities (given a model comes with an AM/FM antenna) to listen to music.

No matter what your intention is, if you are all about listening to music, you should definitely get a high-quality stereo receiver. Since there are many nuances to consider while shopping around, I decided to study the matter in detail to provide you with a professional view on the topic. This review is the result of my meticulous research. I have not only described those stereo receivers that are now considered to be the top offers but have also listed the key features you need to pay attention to while picking a fitting model.

Check out our list of the best receivers for turntable.

What did I pay attention to when picking stereo receivers?

Testing multiple products, I tried to be as objective as possible. I clearly understand what features affect the performance of a receiver and the quality of the sound emitted, so I listed them below. I highly recommend you use this rundown as the guideline to get the best stereo receiver for music. Be attentive and good luck with your choice!

2 channel stereo receiver

Amplifier power

In general, stereo receivers are equipped with a built-in power amplifier. Simply put, this element defines how much you can raise the volume before the sound gets distorted, so you can hardly listen to it. If you get a larger unit, it has a transformer that handles power. A more lightweight apparatus relies on the digital method.

Don’t underestimate a power amplifier as it “is in charge” of sending power to your speaker. Power is measured in watts, and the higher the value, the louder your speakers can get. Undoubtedly, you want a mighty stereo receiver, but top-tier devices come with a hefty price tag. Don’t get too carried away with watts figures, as an average 100W receiver can perfectly cover medium-sized environments.

AM/FM tuner with presets

AM/FM radio used to be a must-have feature for any stereo receiver. But demands have changed slightly, and manufacturers have shifted focus to other features. Nowadays, not all devices have an AM/FM tuner, which implies the impossibility of accessing radio stations. More and more people are interested in Internet-based platforms, and the popularity of podcasts is rapidly growing.

This is a well-understood practice, but if you are one of those users, who like listening to the radio, you definitely need to get a stereo receiver with AM/FM antennas (either fixed or detachable). Besides, you can use special presets to instantly access particular radio stations.

Analog inputs

In general, an analog input converts a voltage level into a digital value that can be stored and processed in a device. A standard stereo receiver usually has a pair of analog audio inputs – one for the left channel and the other one for the right.

The inputs are labeled on the case, and there are corresponding buttons on the remote control and the front of a unit. It is a no-brainer to connect a receiver to another device if the labeled inputs coincide, but that isn’t always the case. The only exception is a phono input that is designed specifically for a phonograph. This input also perfectly copes with eliminating background noise.

Digital inputs

While a signal transmitted via analog inputs can get screwed because of electrical interference, digital inputs perfectly cope with this task minimizing the risk of degrading audio quality. Audiophiles highly value the efficiency of such connection types, so no wonder companies that produce surround-sound audio systems opt for digital inputs.

In general, there are 2 kinds of digital audio connections – coaxial and optical. Both are used for connecting audio sources such as Blu-ray players, set-top boxes, etc., but their effectiveness is different. Many users claim that coaxial inputs better transmit audio signals because of higher bandwidth and a stable connection. However, average users are unlikely to notice a significant difference.

Another popular type of digital connection is HDMI. It is referred to as a universal connection method for video and audio. Thanks to remarkably high bandwidth, it perfectly copes with playing lossless audio formats and stays several steps ahead of coaxial and optical inputs.

Receiver outputs

Talking about receiver outputs, we can roughly divide them into 2 groups: amplified outs and non-amplified outs.

Amplified outs come in various shapes but are usually marked in black and red. Entry-level receivers have 2 amplified outs, while the best stereo receivers come with 4 or even more ports. Before connecting speakers to your receiver, you need to ensure there are no severe discrepancies between impedance rates of both units. Otherwise, your speakers may get damaged.

Non-amplified outputs come in handy if you want to use a more profound amplifier than an integrated one in order to power bulkier speakers. By using such outputs, you get around the power amplifier and build a route directly from preamps to the output.

I appreciate the possibility of using both amplified and non-amplified outputs. This way, I managed to create the most powerful audio systems adding different types of speakers to the original setup. This is especially cool if you like organizing parties and need great sound in every corner of your house.

Stereo Receivers

What’s the difference between a cheap and expensive stereo receiver?

While looking for the best stereo receiver, I was pleasantly surprised with affordable prices if compared to the cost of AV receivers. Being an integral part of an audio system, stereo receivers still have a less complex assembly, unlike AV units that must support different sound technologies and have ports for connecting to a TV. That’s probably the main reason why prices don’t go insanely high. However, there are still high-end receivers that are more expensive than budget-friendly counterparts, and I was curious to learn how they differ.

The first reason for such price variations is the amplification power. More expensive receivers can power massive speakers and, of course, better amplifications come at a price. Besides, high-priced receivers brag about lower impedance, a broader frequency range, and less pronounced distortion. That is vital if you want to get a beautiful and warm sound.

Another peculiarity I noticed is that pricey receivers have better build quality, so they are bound to serve you for a longer period. Besides, if you want a receiver to match your interior, you probably need to shop for a particular design and color variation, so the chances are high that such a demand will entail additional expenses. For instance, vintage models have a unique charm, but get ready to shell out to get such a receiver.

Last but not least, cheap receivers can’t please you with such a great variety of incredible options. This mainly refers to Bluetooth and integrated Wi-Fi that make music streaming a breeze. Some affordable receivers even lack a subwoofer output and an embedded preamp.

How I picked and tested 2 channel receivers?

There are multiple stereo receiver reviews, but I was interested in checking their capabilities myself. That was an interesting experience, as different brands have peculiar features that make their products stand out. To determine how well stereo receivers cope with their initial mission, I listen to soundtracks from various resources. I also chose different music genres to assist buyers who fancy classical music, rock songs, romantic melodies, and whatnot.

The list of songs I listened to:

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

I have a full set of high-quality equipment to define the strong and weak points of every receiver I tested. My toolkit consists of:

  • CD player SACD 30n
  • Speaker wire – AudioQuest Type-9
  • Stereo speakers:
    • Klipsch RP-8060FA
    • KEF Q350
    • DALI OBERON 5
Our pick
Best Stereo Receiver
Denon DRA-800H
Best Stereo Receiver
Denon stereo receiver built with Hi-Fi amplification seamlessly integrates with the latest Hi-Res audio, wireless, voice control and AV receiver technologies including five 4K Ultra HD HDMI inputs.

2 Channel Stereo Receivers Comparison Table

Stereo receivers Channels Power output HDMI in/out Phono in Bluetooth/Wi-Fi
Denon DRA-800Hbest overall 2.0 100W/8 Ohm, 120W/6 Ohm 5/1 yes yes/yes Review
Yamaha R-N803premium 2.0 100W/8 Ohm 0/0 yes yes/yes Review
Marantz NR1200slim 2.0 75W/8 Ohm, 100W/6 Ohm 5/1 yes yes/yes Review
Sony STR-DH190under $200 2.0 100W/8 Ohm 0/0 yes yes/no Review
Pioneer SX-10AEunder $300 2.0 45W/8 Ohm 0/0 no yes/no Review
Yamaha R-N303under $400 2.0 100W/8 Ohm 0/0 yes yes/yes Review

Best Stereo Receiver Reviews

Denon DRA-800H – best overall

Denon DRA-800H front view

Denon DRA-800H is a pure stereo receiver designed to power two pairs of speakers (A and B). It outputs 100 watts at 8 Ohms and 120 watts at 6 Ohms under Hi-Fi quality playback conditions, which I tried to mimic in the comfort of my studio. The total harmonic distortion is 0.08%, which is OK but more than in Yamaha R-N803 (0.015%).

Denon DRA-800H inputs

I read many positive words about its Ethernet and Wi-Fi network interfaces and was curious whether they are so cool. In fact, I managed to access many Internet music services via the Denon HEOS App without problems. That’s terrific news for people who use Deezer, Amazon Music, Spotify, and the like. In addition, Denon DRA-800H can read high-resolution audio files in WAV, FLAC, and ALAC formats.

Denon DRA-800H photo

Thanks to AirPlay 2 compatibility, this unit receives and transmits regular music, and works with an audio stream from any application (YouTube, video games, TV playback, etc.). Thus, it showed remarkable results with all the equipment I used during my test.

What’s more, this receiver is Alexa, and Google Assistant certified. If you have a smart speaker that uses Alexa or Google Assistant, you can control playback using voice commands without utilizing a remote control or your smartphone. I check it for raising and lowering the volume and for switching composition – flawless functioning.

Evaluating the audio-emitting capabilities of this receiver, I can say that sound was smooth, with excellent low frequencies, broad soundstage, and “authentic” instruments. A combination of sleek design, amazing sound quality, and intuitive controls makes Denon DRA-800H the best 2 channel stereo receiver. True audiophiles will definitely appreciate how this unit can boost their music listening experience.

Key specs

  • Channels: 2.0
  • Power output: 100W/8 Ohm, 120W/6 Ohm
  • HDMI inputs/outputs: 5/1
  • Phono Input: yes
  • Bluetooth/Wi-Fi: yes/yes
  • Streaming services: AirPlay2, Spotify, Pandora, TIDAL, Deezer, Soundcloud
  • Supports HDMI ARC, HDMI CEC, HDCP2.3, HDR10, Dolby Vision

Pros

  • Powerful, detailed & sharp sound no matter what source you listen to
  • HEOS button on a remote gives instant access to all online music platforms and tuner channels
  • Remarkable HDMI functionality and bi-wiring
  • Allows switching zones for multiple outputs at a time

Cons

  • Gets hot with extended use
  • Doesn’t have pre-outs for connecting speakers
  • No Audyssey calibration

Yamaha R-N803 – premium stereo receiver

Yamaha R-N803 front view

When I first saw this receiver, I was astonished by the number of connections it comes with. There are both dated and the latest ports, so the developer has done a great job at future-proofing its product. In addition to the HDMI input, there are three RCA inputs, a dedicated RCA input, and a built-in stage for turntable and vinyl. There is also an optical and coaxial input, a jack for AM and FM antennas, an Ethernet port, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth connectivity. WOW!

Yamaha R-N803 inputs

The main difference between this receiver from its peers is network integration. It offers many features, including built-in support for Tidal, Pandora, Spotify, SiriusXM, Deezer, and TuneIn. The device also supports streaming via AirPlay, DLNA, Bluetooth, or mobile devices via Wi-Fi Direct. Though this makes it similar to Denon DRA-800H, the entire process is more straightforward here.

The R-N803 is equipped with a SABER 9006AS digital converter (DAC), which supports high-definition audio. I also found a power transformer and Pure Direct mode, which allows audio signals to bypass a buffer amplifier and tone controls in the shortest possible way. This feature will appeal to genuine audiophiles.

Yamaha R-N803 photo

Yamaha R-N803 is the first brand’s network Hi-Fi receiver that includes the proprietary YPAO microphone system. To determine the optimum sound quality, YPAO corrects any reflected sound by applying equalizer settings that best suit your environment. I really like this feature because doing it manually in my studio would take too much time. Thanks to its robust internal components, the R-N803 delivers 100W at 8 Ohms and 170W at 6 Ohms and can stay on par with more expensive counterparts.

All in all, Yamaha R-N803 can be called the best high-end stereo receiver as it delivers great sound from virtually any source. It is powerful and pleasant to listen to. If you can afford to spend such a sum, this receiver will pay you off with incredible sound any time you switch it on.

Key specs

  • Channels: 2.0
  • Power output: 100W/8 Ohm
  • HDMI inputs/outputs: 0/0
  • Phono Input: yes
  • Bluetooth/Wi-Fi: yes/yes
  • Streaming services: AirPlay, Spotify, Pandora

Pros

  • Music is clean and clear at all music levels
  • Sounds incredible regardless of the source (USB flash drive, vinyl, CD player, TV)
  • The MusicCast app covers many functions
  • Music streaming, phono preamp, and multichannel analog inputs

Cons

  • Setting Wi-Fi is very time-consuming
  • No Amazon Music and no free Spotify
  • Bluetooth shutters frequently

Marantz NR1200 – best compact

Marantz NR1200 front view

Knowing the growing demand for top receivers with Bluetooth that produce clear sound, I was really interested in checking the capabilities of Marantz NR1200 to understand whether it can withstand such severe competition.

In fact, this receiver is designed with a peculiar company’s ideology in mind but has some interesting features meant for satisfying modern demands. As a stereo receiver, the NR1200 delivers 75 watts per channel at an 8 Ohm load and has two pairs of speaker output jacks (A and B). Since it is an affordable model in the Marantz catalog, it lacks some features available in the more expensive Marantz units. However, I looked under the cover to ensure that the receiver is made of reliable and high-quality components.

Marantz NR1200 inputs

Unlike Denon DRA-800H and Yamaha R-N803, this model is strikingly compact (14.5 x 17.38 x 4.25 inches), so if you need a cool receiver for a small room, opt for this device. It has three linear RCA inputs and an MM input of a built-in phonograph. This may seem disappointing compared to the number of inputs other top-tier receivers have, but it is more than enough for most users today.

I like that the Marantz NR1200 comes equipped with coaxial and optical inputs. I tested them with multiple sources and experienced no lags and errors. A built-in network module and HEOS support also deserve praise. HEOS is a combination of streamer and smart platform, so I managed to test the NR1200 in a multi-room system with other compatible devices and control them from a single app.

Marantz NR1200 photo

Having tested multiple receivers, I can instantly recognize Marantz products because of their “energetic” sounding, and this unit is no exception. The bass was detailed and focused, with clear raises and fast fading. Another strong point of the NR1200 is its high-frequency sound. It has an AKM DAC instead of ESS Saber, and that’s why high frequencies combine transparency and some sweetness.

Marantz NR1200 is a slim all-in-one receiver that can be paired with speakers for enjoyable music listening sessions. It has all the needed features and can deliver music without causing listening fatigue in small and medium-sized rooms. If you are shopping for the best home stereo receiver for music and don’t want to overpay for frills, this is a wonderful option to consider.

Key specs

  • Channels: 2.0
  • Power output: 75W/8 Ohm, 100W/6 Ohm
  • HDMI inputs/outputs: 5/1
  • Phono Input: yes
  • Bluetooth/Wi-Fi: yes/yes
  • Streaming services: AirPlay2, Spotify, Pandora, TIDAL, Deezer
  • Supports HDMI ARC, HDMI CEC, HDCP2.3, HDR10

Pros

  • Easy to set up and operate
  • Separate knob controls for bass, treble, and balance
  • Plenty of HDMI connections for all kinds of attachments
  • Nice compact unit with Zone 2 capabilities and Bluetooth

Cons

  • No bi-amping
  • Doesn’t support DV passthrough
  • No dedicated headphone amp

Sony STR-DH190 – best under $200

Sony STR-DH190 front view

Sony promises that this receiver will amaze you with gentle sounding and extensive control features, but is that the truth?

Primarily, I evaluated the design. This is a low-profile receiver, so you can easily add it to your stereo system without occupying much space. Regardless of a compact body, there are all types of ports needed for connecting this unit to different sources. There are 4 analog audio inputs and 1 output, so pairing it with a turntable or recording device is as easy as ABC. I connected my CD player and stereo speakers and have nothing to complain about.

Sony STR-DH190 inputs

What makes this unit stand out from the crowd is sophisticated Bluetooth connectivity. In addition to the regular Bluetooth feature, there is Bluetooth Standby mode, which allows turning the receiver on/off using a phone. I tested this feature, and it worked flawlessly.

Another bragging point is the possibility to switch between A and B speakers. This comes in handy if you want to get a powerful sound in one room or intend to transmit different audio signals in 2 adjacent areas. I tried both and was astonished by how gorgeous the sound was. The power output is 100 watts with 8 Ohm speakers.

Sony STR-DH190 photo

Sony STR-DH190 perfectly copes with high-res audio playback and can define even the slightest sound nuances. Thanks to internal components, the vibration is reduced, which means you always get studio-quality sound. Another thing I can’t but mention is a discrete power amplifier that eliminates distortion. Though it can’t stay on par with Yamaha R-N803, considering the overall sound range, it is a great representative of its price category.

I believe Sony STR-DH190 can appeal not only to regular buyers but also to those with high demands for such equipment. Every component here is well-thought-out to please listeners with detailed soundstage both at low and high frequencies. I think it is the best budget stereo receiver under $200 considering the range of features and the sound quality.

Key specs

  • Channels: 2.0
  • Power output: 100W/8 Ohm
  • HDMI inputs/outputs: 0/0
  • Phono Input: yes
  • Bluetooth/Wi-Fi: yes/no
  • Streaming services: no

Pros

  • Good sound range and nice equalization
  • Many options to tweak sound
  • Bluetooth features (control, pairing, and sound quality) are first-rate
  • 4 sets of stereo line inputs and 2 sets of A/B speaker outputs

Cons

  • Doesn’t have a tape function
  • No HD radio

Pioneer SX-10AE – best under $300

Pioneer SX-10AE front view

Despite the minimalistic functionality, Pioneer SX-10AE looks almost indistinguishable from its multichannel counterparts with fancy decoders and radio presets on board (e.g., Denon DRA-800H).

The key advantages of the SX-10AE are its low cost and uncluttered menus. The setup process is intuitive, even if this is your first time using such a device. As for the supported interfaces, you can connect a network player, a satellite receiver, and a subwoofer.

Pioneer SX-10AE inputs

Unfortunately, I didn’t find any digital ports, which is the tradeoff you need to settle for while purchasing affordable products. Keep in mind that this receiver accepts streams only in the basic SBC and Apple AAC codecs, and there is no support for aptX.

Pioneer SX-10AE photo

Considering the cost of the Pioneer SX-10AE, I can say that the sound quality is quite good. This is a good receiver with subwoofer output that you can get for this money. 45W/8 Ohm power output is sufficient for getting a fairly powerful, clear, and dynamic sound with an adequate soundstage organization.

Summing up, I can say that such a device is sure to attract a specific category of music lovers. I think it can be used as a partner for an inexpensive turntable or a TV, and satellite receiver, if you don’t plan to build a multi-channel home theater. Though it doesn’t have many advanced features, it perfectly copes with its main task and can be called the best stereo receiver under $300.

Key specs

  • Channels: 2.0
  • Power output: 45W/8 Ohm
  • HDMI inputs/outputs: 0/0
  • Phono Input: no
  • Bluetooth/Wi-Fi: yes/no
  • Streaming services: no

Pros

  • Outstanding Bluetooth feature
  • Aerial connections for AM and FM
  • The lack of extraneous complexity is a delight
  • Sounds fantastic and can get pretty loud

Cons

  • No dedicated phono input
  • You can’t alter volume from A to B; the volume setting affects both the same
  • Not HDMI compatible

Yamaha R-N303 – under $400

Yamaha R-N303 front view

If you miss a classic design but want a full range of modern streaming features, you should definitely consider Yamaha R-N303. Thanks to the proprietary MusicCast protocol, you can connect nine compatible devices via Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, or AirPlay. Besides, the MusicCast technology allows you to broadcast music from any source connected in different rooms.

Yamaha R-N303 inputs

I decided to study the filling of the receiver to better understand its great-sounding features. All components are organized according to the principle of low-impedance design. Such a layout makes an audio signal path shorter, while a power transformer placed close to an amplifier minimizes signal drops. What a nice upgrade!

I listened to different songs, but this receiver fully reveals its capabilities in rock and jazz. Yamaha R-N303 provides enough density and power in the bass section and delivers delicacy and rhythm in other melodies. Hardly can you find a more harmonious model with a natural sound image in this price category or even when considering more expensive products (e.g., Marantz NR1200).

Yamaha R-N303 photo

The model has a power output of 100 watts at 8 Ohms and 150 watts at 6 Ohms, so I highly recommend choosing speakers with high sensitivity and an impedance of at least 6 ohms – and you will be rewarded with authentic Hi-Fi sound. Don’t forget about Hi-Res. Yamaha R-N303 is very sensitive to signal quality. MP3 sounds acceptable, CD quality is good, but Hi-Res (especially DSD) is just mind-blowing.

To my mind, Yamaha R-N303 is the best stereo receiver under 400 dollars. It is a kind of “buy, turn-on, and play product”, so if you want to do it without time-consuming adjustments, this is a sure way to go. It can please you with rich sound and flawless wireless connection at a very moderate cost.

Key specs

  • Channels: 2.0
  • Power output: 100W/8 Ohm
  • HDMI inputs/outputs: 0/0
  • Phono Input: yes
  • Bluetooth/Wi-Fi: yes/yes
  • Streaming services: AirPlay, Spotify, Pandora, TIDAL, Deezer

Pros

  • Modern streaming options
  • Stereo receiver with a true phono input
  • Lag-free wireless connection and instant access to iTunes library and playlists
  • Allows programming favorite radio stations into presets

Cons

  • Slow app with controls
  • No USB ports
  • Speakers in different rooms lose synchronization

Buyers guide

The difference between home theater and stereo receiver

If you want to improve the sound quality of your music or the movies you are watching, you need a receiver. But… which one? Most of those who haven’t used such devices before finding it difficult to choose between a home theater receiver and a stereo receiver. Well, let’s see what the difference is between them. After you know it, things are going to be easier.

First, I would like to show you the main features of both types of receivers. The home theater device usually has five or more channels. Such an appliance is compatible with various video inputs. This type of receiver also has a full surround sound support. With it, multiple configurations are possible. The main benefit of home theater receivers is HDMI support.

Now, I offer you to discuss the stereo receiver’s features. As you might have guessed, it is geared toward music and provides better sound quality. The device is designed for high-fidelity audio inputs and simpler to set up. These receivers are focused on two channels to match stereo music recordings. Some stereo appliances are advertised as four channel receivers. Although these receivers have four built-in amplifiers, the third and fourth channels are mirrors of the main amplifiers left and right channels. Surround sound decoding or processing isn’t provided in a stereo receiver.

Overall, if your main goal is to listen to music, you don’t need a home theater device. A stereo receiver is enough to get a great sound.

great sounding stereo receiver

The difference between an integrated amplifier and stereo receiver

Some think that the terms “amplifier” and “receiver” are completely interchangeable. However, there are differences between them. An amplifier is an appliance that converts low-voltage signals from your source equipment into a signal with enough gain to be used to power a pair of speakers.

Meanwhile, a receiver is an amplifier that has a radio section built-in. It is better to use a receiver instead of an amplifier if you listen to the radio a lot. It is extremely flexible equipment that can operate in a wide variety of systems.

Streaming music with a stereo receiver

Most stereo receivers support Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. This means you can stream music from your mobile device and listen to your preferred tracks from popular streaming services like Spotify, Pandora, Deezer, TuneIn, etc. There is also a possibility to stream music from the receiver to wireless speakers and create a multi-room audio system in your house.

If you have a stereo receiver with a proprietary technology called MusicCast, you can control the device with a mobile app. Apple AirPlay 2 receivers enable wireless multi-room audio streaming from Apple phones and tablets. Meanwhile, Chromecast built-in provides you with the opportunity to stream audio and video from your mobile device to your receiver and TV.

Does the speaker wire affect the sound quality in the stereo system?

Many people are googling whether a wire type makes a noticeable difference to the sounding of a receiver. Some companies claim that it does, but I believe this is a marketing trick to sell their products at a wildly high price. In fact, there are some myths concerning this topic, and I want to clarify the most critical nuances so that you get a proper wire for your system without going flat broke.

A thicker wire is better

If you are going to create a long-run setup, it may be a good idea to get a thicker wire to minimize a resistance effect. But that is rather a rear case, and most users locate components of an audio system near one another. In general, a 16-gauge cord is sufficient for connecting speakers arranged at a distance of 100ft from a receiver. Don’t use a thick wire for short runs, as you won’t get any sound quality boost.

Expensive wires can solve a skin effect

High-frequency signals are transmitted on the wire’s peripherals, while low-frequency signals are directed closer to the center. Such a distribution causes a skin effect, but it becomes noticeable only across the miles of cables. I can hardly imagine a custom stereo receiver & speaker setup that consists of multiple long wires, so you won’t actually experience a skin effect. The question is – what’s the point of wasting money on cables that can do nothing to a skin effect? I think the answer is obvious.

Get wires of the same length

This sounds like a smart tip, and some people believe that only wires of an identical length produce no phase shifts. In fact, an electric signal reaches the speed of light while going through a wire, so you need to use very long cords to actually “feel” phase shifts. Wires from 2 to 10 feet long don’t suffer from these shifts, and that is a good length for any home.

Take care of break-in

People are chasing better sound quality, and many companies use this human desire to their advantage. They say that a small electrical current alters a wire and, in the long run, creates an audio distortion. That’s nonsense. However, people continue to buy wire “cookers” and break-in services that are useless.

Splices spoil sound

Wires that connect receivers and speakers are spliced and soldered. When everything is made accurately, you won’t notice any sound quality degradation. Using professional equipment, you can hear minor voltage drops and spikes, but they are inaudible to human ears.

While the above mentioned points are groundless, there are some important characteristics you need to keep in mind to choose a high-quality speaker wire.

  • Gauge (choose in accordance with your demands)
  • Length (select based on your particular audio system)
  • Construction. Different metals conduct electricity in different ways. Copper is cheap, has low resistance, but suffers from corrosion. Silver has even lower resistance but is rather expensive. Gold brags about anti-corrosion properties but lags behind copper and silver when it comes to resistance.
  • Capacitance. The higher, the more charge a wire holds.
  • Resistance. The lower, the more power the speakers get.
  • Inductance. It shows how voltage changes when the current is altered.

Explore other our AV receivers ratings

4.6/57 ratings