So if you’re in need of a best 2.1 receiver for the given price range, you’re in luck, because we’ve taken the liberty of sifting through the market and singling out all the proper goods and juicy deals.
Some of the key factors that we took into consideration and what you should be on the lookout for are first and foremost strong sound, connectivity, and value for money. By strong sound, we mean that you’ll be needing a receiver that has the ability to give your audio a proper organic boost, while offering you the freedom to further shape the final output.
Additional things to look out for includes standard factors like durability, build quality, and reliability. With all this in mind, let’s proceed to the goods! These are, in our humble opinion, the 4 best 2.1 receivers on the market.
We’ll get the party started with an item that hits a very sweet spot in terms of the price/quality ratio: the Sony STRDH130. This fella can be yours for as low as $150 from the right retailer, yet it packs all the essential stuff for a quality sound, and it’s user friendly and easy to control to boot.
We are looking at a two-channel stereo receiver (see full specs) with five analog audio inputs and an onboard AM/FM tuner. The item can be connected to just about anything, including any type of TV with L and R outputs (red and white outputs) – which is a LOT of TVs, as well as Apple TV connection (via HDMI cable) and any type of speakers. What you can’t connect with this fella, though, is a turntable. No phono jack, but there is a headphone jack if that’s of any comfort to you.
In the audio department, you can expect a solid kick, especially if you pair it up with a strong set of speakers. What users like in particular about this unit is how easy it is to connect it. It pretty much always comes down to no drivers, no extra connection setups, just good ole plug n’ play, baby!
Orb Audio Mini T V3 Amplifier
In the budget-friendly realm, we have a little guy known as the Orb. Don’t let the small stature fool you because this dude packs a serious punch! Simple, very concise and on-point, this is likely the best 2.1 receiver if you want to save a few bucks, and still get a solid sound and a unit that’s easy to use.
What this item offers is a set of two 3.5 mm inputs and a subwoofer output with standard volume control packed in a sturdy aluminum cabinet. It utilizes the latest high-power, low-heat technology and comes with a neat mini size of 4 x 4 x 1 inches.
Additionally, the speaker wire connectors have been upgraded to pro quality micro connectors for easier and more secure connection. The sound quality will get significantly stronger, and the whole procedure requires very little effort from the user as the receiver is easy to connect and super easy to use.
Onkyo TX 8020
Picking things up a notch both in terms of sound quality and price tag, we bring you the TX 8020 from Onkyo. Delivering 50 watts of power per channel and utilizing the renowned WRAT (Wide Range Amplifier Technology) feature, this fella delivers the strongest audio output on the entire list, and offers additional audio tweaks via onboard three-band EQ with standard Bass, Middle and Treble controls.
Also included in the mix are five analog audio inputs and one output. This includes the phono input, meaning that you can connect your turntable to this fella. Finally, we’d like to give the manufacturer a thumbs up for the massive EI transformer that’s been included, along with very wide compatibility, including the ability to connect to the DS-A5 AirPlay RI Dock for iPod, iPhone, or iPad devices.
This is a very good and modern stereo receiver that presents the user with all the essentials and basic bonus stuff one would expect, all while retaining a fair and affordable price. If investing $200 sounds alright to you, you simply can’t go wrong with this Onkyo. It should be on anyone’s list of the best 2.1 stereo receivers.
We’ll wrap things up with another mid-range price item, coming from trusty Yamaha under the label of R-S201BL. With a basic and sophisticated design, this item will bring a healthy chunk of class to your home, both in aesthetic terms and audio quality.
We’re looking at 100 watts of power, a 40 station FM/AM preset tuning and highly effective remote control. If he had to single out things that we like here the most, we’d say sleek looks and a very easy-to-control and filler-free remote control.
And that’s not to say that the sound isn’t good, not by a long shot. In terms of audio quality, we are once again looking at a very solid performance, with on-board 3-band EQ control and very strong output power.
Another thing users have singled out as outstanding over the years is durability and reliability. And indeed, stats seem to point out that this Yamaha (see full specs) is least prone to breakage and malfunctioning. If you want to play it safe, this is a very good choice. And it’s a good-looking piece of equipment.
So What Does a Receiver Actually Do?
For some reason people occasionally tend to discard receivers, but that’s the silliest thing you can do. Why? Well, because in simplest terms, receivers are the central nerve system of your audio system or home theater system.
They perform a whole variety of essential functions such as driving your speakers, decoding your DVD’s surround sound formats, switching between video and audio components, and much more. This is the tool that operates as the central hub of your audio or audio/video system; hence, it is absolutely vital that you have a good receiver if you want a good sound. And with any of our recommendations for the best 2.1 receiver above, you can’t go wrong. Good luck!