Every year around the time spring turns to summer, manufacturers release their next generation of AVRs. Most enthusiasts can't wait to hear what new features and changes to expect in the new line-ups. And of course, there's price. May happened to be a busy month, with many big-name manufacturers releasing new models. Because of the number of AVRs released, I thought I would consolidate them all in one thread to facilitate your browsing experience. Hopefully, this comes just in time for anyone in the market for a new AVR, or like many of us here, those wanting to upgrade to the latest and greatest.
We begin with Yamaha updating its Aventage line-up with three new models—the RX-A1030, RX-A2030 and RX-A3030. The RX-A1030 is a 7.2-channel receiver, while the other two models provide 9.2 channels. The receivers offer all the latest in connectivity as well as streaming services such as Pandora and Rhapsody, and they include Apple's AirPlay. You can also enjoy up to two zones of HD video using Yamaha's HDMI switching technology, which is available on all three models. These new models are set to be released in June 2013 with the following MSRPs: RX-A1030 ($1200), RX-A2030 ($1700) and RX-A3030 ($2200).
Pioneer has released two new models in its Elite line—the SC-71 and SC-72. Both offer 7.2 channel surround sound, 4K Ultra HD pass-through and upscaling, and class-D amplification. In previous generations, class-D was only seen in the higher-end Elite models, because it's ideal for high-resolution audio according to Pioneer. The SC-72 has a slight aesthetic upgrade with an aluminum front panel and insulated dual chassis that Pioneer claims reduces noise and improves audio quality. Both have Internet-streaming capabilities as well as built-in AirPlay for Apple users, and Android fans can also stream from something like the HTC One with it's HTC Connect feature. Both models will launch in June 2013; MSRPs will be $1100 for the SC-71 and $1400 for the SC-72. That's impressive.
Integra's latest AVR, the DTR-30.5, pumps out 95 watts in all seven channels and offers one subwoofer channel. This AVR defines modern connectivity with built-in Airplay, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. With all these options, consumers can wirelessly stream music files such as FLAC, DSD, ALAC, HD 24/96 and HD 24/192. What's most impressive is Integra's new Phase Matching Bass optimizer, which supposedly optimizes low frequencies while preserving mid-range clarity. Basically, it counters phase shifting, which can affect sound quality by synchronizing the timing of different frequencies. Integra claims that it results in deep, well-defined bass that won't overwhelm vocals or strings. This unit starts shipping this month with a retail price tag of $1000.
Onkyo, another manufacturer with a reputation for offering a lot for less, has unveiled two models, the 7.2-channel TX-NR828 and the 9.2-channel TX-NR929. Like the Integra, these models come fully loaded with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and AirPlay. Both support 4K pass-through and 4K upscaling thanks to Marvell's Qdeo video-processing technology. The TX-NR828 features Audyssey's MultEQ room correction, while the TX-NR929 provides the more comprehensive MultEQ XT32. If 9.2 channels aren't enough for you, the TX-NR929 boasts DTS Neo:X upmixing and 11.2-channel pre-outs for use with external amplification. The TX-NR828 ($1099) will be available June 2013, while the heftier TX-NR929 ($1399) will follow in July.
Last but not least, Sherbourn Technologies, which now sells direct to consumers, has launched a slim 7.1 AVR for the masses—the SR-8100. The key features include Bluetooth 3.0 with the ability to stream the AptX codec for enhanced sound quality. The SR-8100 sports 80 watts per channel, all hidden in a steel chassis and solid extruded-aluminum textured faceplate. Because this is a custom-installer AVR, it includes RS-232 and IR for control. The receiver also features quadruple bass management with 12 or 24dB per octave crossover filters configurable in 5Hz steps below 80Hz and 10Hz steps above 80Hz. Don't forget that Sherbourn offers a 5-year limited warranty, which is unheard of in the consumer-electronics industry. The SR-8100 will be available for a limited introductory price of $799 ($899 suggested).
So there you have it—the latest in AVRs for the month of May. Do you see a pattern here? It seems as though manufacturers are really putting a lot of emphasis on wireless streaming. What's your opinion on these new features? Are they something you are looking for in your next AVR? Is there something you didn't see in these models that you might have wanted?