TX RZ70 and Klipsch Home Theater System in Purple LED Lit High Rise Condo 2000x2000
TX RZ70 and Klipsch Home Theater System in Purple LED Lit High Rise Condo 2000x1333

Stereo vs. Audio/Video Receivers – Which Onkyo is Right for Me?

The answer depends upon your budget, how much space you’ve got, and what kind of devices you want to connect

Maybe you just bought your first house or moved into a bigger (more soundproof!) apartment. Perhaps you’ve upgraded your lifestyle with a new high-res TV, some sick speakers, or the latest gaming console. Either way, you’ve got a lot of new toys but aren’t sure how to connect and power them all. That’s where Onkyo comes in.

How do you know what kind of receiver you need? There are basically two categories: stereo and audio video receivers.

  • Stereo receivers receive audio signals, amplify those signals, and send the information to your speakers;
  • Audio Video Receivers (AVRs), on the other hand, are more complex devices designed to power multiple speakers and process both audio and video signals

Stereo receivers are for music-only setups, while AVRs are usually for home theater and gaming. And while their definitions are pretty straight forward, the level of power, precision, and awesomeness can vary. Lucky for you, Onkyo excels at building both types of receivers.

Tx8260 2000x1000


Remember: a stereo receiver is designed to power two speakers, typically used in a stereo setup. It takes an audio signal and amplifies it before sending it to the speakers and provides excellent sound quality when paired with the right speakers (like Klipsch).

Onkyo’s TX-8220 stereo receiver is a great introductory product for those just starting to build their listening lounges. The TX-8220 is a simple hub that allows for universal connectivity and has built-in Bluetooth, so you can listen to all your music just the way you like. It even includes a sleep timer, remote control, and headphone jack and is a well-reviewed receiver for those listening to vinyl records.

TX-8220 Stereo Receiver with Built-In Bluetooth
TX-8260 Network Stereo Receiver with Built-In Wi-Fi & Bluetooth
TX-8270 Network Stereo Receiver with Built-In HDMI, Wi-Fi & Bluetooth
TX SR393 Dolby Atmos 2000x1333


Audio video receivers (AVRs) are designed to power multiple speakers and handle both audio and video signals. AVRs typically have several inputs for various devices such as Blu-ray players, game consoles, and streaming devices. They also have multiple outputs for different types of speakers, including surrounds and subwoofers. Onkyo has two excellent AVRs from the SR Series for those building their first proper home theater system.

Our most affordable AVR is the TX-SR393 5.2-Channel AV Receiver and it is packed with features for the price tag. You could use it for a simple 2.1-channel setup (two tower speakers + one subwoofer), or upgrade to a 3.2.2-channel system (two towers + one center + two subs + two Dolby Atmos speakers) and get incredible audio playback. The TX-SR393 supports high dynamic range (HDR) video including 4K, Dolby Vision®, and comes with six HDMI inputs for lots of connectivity options. And because it supports Dolby Atmos® and DTS:X®, you can experience 3D sound no matter your room or speaker layout. (This is an especially awesome feature for gamers who like to lose themselves in their digital worlds!)

For a few bucks more, upgrade to the TX-SR494 7.2-Channel AV Receiver. It’s got all the same bells and whistles as the TX-SR393, plus an extra two channels (which means you can add more speakers).


While stereo receivers are ideal for music listening, AVRs are better suited for those wanting immersive moving and gaming experiences. To browse Onkyo’s full selection of music- and TV-ready products, visit onkyousa.com.

TX-SR494 7.2-Channel AV Receiver
TX-NR6100 7.2-Channel THX Certified AV Receiver
TX-NR7100 9.2-Channel THX Certified AV Receiver
TX-RZ50 9.2-Channel THX Certified AV Receiver