If you feel a little lost trying to find the best stereo receiver for vinyl, you are not alone. Unless you know exactly what you are looking for, these probably all look the same. Before we dive into comparing the different top selling receivers for your vinyl records, let's first take a look and what a receiver does and if you need one.
What Is An Audio Receiver
An audio receiver does two tasks that make it a valuable asset to your vinyl record rig:
- It has a tuner which gives you a set of knobs to alter the audio signals by boosting or turning down.
- It has an amplifier which takes the audio signals and sends them to your speakers.
After reading number 2, you might scratch your head in confusion as you may have also seen amplifiers sold by themselves. A receiver has an amplifier in it, but it is not as powerful as having an external amplifier. You could buy a stand alone amp, but of course that means another cost. At this point of your vinyl record adventure, I suggest focusing more on having a few items of goof quality unless you have money falling from the sky.
Let's now take a look at some of the top receivers so we can help find the best stereo receiver for vinyl for your specific needs. (The following products contain affiliate links. This means at no additional cost to you, I get paid if you click through and make a purchase)
The Best Stereo Receiver For Vinyl Records Buying Guide
There are a few aspects that you will want to consider when choosing your audio receiver. By this point, you may have already purchased your turntable or have one in mind that you are wanting to get. You will want to make sure that the audio receiver you purchase will be compatible with your turntable. You will also want to make sure it has a phono input on the receiver. After that, each of these will have certain features for you to consider.
The Yamaha R-S202BL is our top pick due to its affordability. It is compatible with any turntable that does not have a built in amplifier and his a phono input. It has good sound quality and includes a headphone jack. A cool feature of this audio receiver is that it has a bluetooth feature as well.
The Sony STRDH190 is another great stereo receiver that is very budget friendly. It is compatible with most turntables available and has a phono input. You can have up to 4 speakers connected to this receiver, and it has a bluetooth feature as well.
The Onkyo TX-8020 should be compatible with any turntable and will work with almost any 2-way speaker setups. It has a built-in phono input. The best feature of this audio receiver is that it is a good quality receiver for vinyl. It doesn't have all the bells and whistles, but for the money, it is a good buy.
While the Yamaha R-N303 is a rather pricey stereo receiver, this one has all the bells and whistles. The receiver has 100 watts of power, has a phono input, and should work with almost any turntable and 2-way speaker systems. It includes bluetooth, and it can also work with other media devices (TV, radio, etc). On top of all these features, the R-N303 has great sound quality.
While still discussing the higher end quality stereo receivers, it is good to mention the Onkyo TX-NR575. This powerful receiver has 4 HDMI inputs. It has Chromecast built in, Fire Connect, and bluetooth, plus internet radio possibilities. Oh yeah, and of course it has a phono input. This is another audio receiver that has all the bells and whistles, but it has a higher price tag on it too.
Everything You Need To Go With Your Best Stereo Receiver For Vinyl
After taking a look at what could be the best stereo receiver for vinyl, you might wonder what is next. You may not know what all you need for your vinyl rig. To help with this, let's break down the devices that you will need.
- Turntable: The turntable is probably the most fun purchase to make for your vinyl rig for obvious reasons. We have a full break down of of turntables that can be found here.
- Audio Receiver: What this article is all about. It can be thought of as "the brain" of your vinyl rig that everything plugs into.
- Speakers: You will want a set or system of 2-way stereo speakers that can plug into your audio receiver.
- Records: Last and certainly not least, you will of course need some awesome vinyl records to enjoy your rig. You can see some of the most popular vinyl records here.
To get the best sound out of your records, you will need to make sure that each of these items are of good quality. Getting just the best stereo receiver for vinyl is not going to be enough.
Stereo Receivers Vs. Home Theater Systems
I have been asked before if getting a surround sound system would be a good idea for a vinyl rig. To answer this question, we need to ask what all you are wanting to do with this system. Having surround sound for vinyl itself, will not necessarily make the sound any better as the record and the phono input is going to give you a stereo sound.
However, if you plan to connect other devices to your audio receiver such as your TV in your living room, then a home theater system would be a good choice. Keep in mind that in most instances a home theater system is going to be more costly than a stereo receiver. In other words, if you plan on just using it for your records, then getting the best stereo receiver for vinyl is the best option.