New to the forum. Been doing some searching and haven't quite found an answer. Due to space limitations and a desire to avoid cables for right now, I want to replace my Sony soundbar system with a better 2.1 system (I used to have a full high end 5.1 system when I owned a much larger house, but had to downsize). I am looking at 5.1+ capable receivers since I may move to that at a later date. 2.1 simulated surround is my priority.
My question is, can something like the Marantz NR1603 (I like its slim size) do 2.1 simulated surround? If not, are there any other receivers you would recommend? My other option is something like the Paradigm Millenia CT or similar, but it lacks connection options.
If the Marantz or similar receiver can do 2.1 simulated surround properly, any thoughts on quality speakers? Budget for speakers isn't very much right now. Maybe $200-250 per (MilleniaOne 2.0??) and 300-500 or so for sub.
I'm open to any brand receivers, but have read about HDMI issues with Onkyo models. Denon, Yamaha, Marantz, etc all seem okay.