AV receiver for PS5

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I recently got a PlayStation 5 but only have a 1080P TV so I am thinking of upgrading to a 4K TV to get the most out of it. If I can afford it, I may get either an LG CX OLED or Sony A8H series in a couple of months as lots of people have recommended them.

Currently, I play my sound through a set of Tannoy TFX 5.1 speakers, a BK Gemini subwoofer, and a Pioneer VSX323 AV receiver. My receiver has 4K passthrough but I understand that some older receivers don't support 4K content with HDCP 2.2 protection - I bought the receiver in 2013.

If I also need to upgrade my AV receiver, does anyone have any recommendations for my setup that supports PS5 and complements my current speakers? Since it will be connected to my PS5, will the receiver need to also support HDMI 2.1? I'm not bothered about 120fps as long as it still displays in 4K and HDMI.

It will be used for gaming, watching movies, and listening to vinyl records, so it also needs to have good stereo sound if possible. Probably looking at a budget of around £200-£400 since the LG CX TVs are expensive. Does anyone know if there are likely to be any good deals around Easter time?
 
Soldato
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Quite a lot in the audio world occupied by AV receivers has changed. It's not so much the AV receiver tech. Obviously HDCP 2.2 is the biggest change compared to your Pioneer 323, and there's eARC which your new TV will probably have. You also have 7.1 receivers evolving in to ATMOS receivers. 5.1 receivers are unchanged in this respect. The bigger shift has been in the whole market.

Compared to when you last bought there's far less choice now. Sound bars have taken a huge bite out of the surround system market. There are far fewer of the sort of disc-player-based surround kits that Comet and Argos sells. Also, the budget AV receiver market has shrunk too.

Eight years ago in the AV receiver market you had Onkyo, Pioneer, Sony, Denon, Marantz, Yamaha and even Harman Kardon. Some of these brands had 2 or 3 standalone AV receivers in the £200 to £500 range. There were also AV receiver + speaker kits from Yamaha, Pioneer and Onkyo. We were quite spoiled, even though we didn't realise it at the time.

The landscape is very different today. Onkyo and Pioneer are now under one company. Onkyo has all but retreated from he sub-£1000 AV receiver market. It's overheating issues caused chips to fail in the HDMI and digital audio circuits. That did for the brand's reputation. Once the darling of the AV market, it's now like Lancia with its infamous rust problems. It causes issues of trust.

The link between Denon and Marantz is now more evident than ever thanks to the Heos multiroom tech. Marantz still has a foot in the sub-£500 market with the slimline NR15xx series receivers. The rest of its products are pitched at higher price points. Denon's portfolio has shrunk a little. It has just two products now under £500. It also seems to be attempting to emulate Onkyo in making amps that run incredibly hot. Time will tell if it goes the same way. Pioneer seems to ebb and flow. Some products are good, but others mediocre.

Harman Kardon has retreated back to the States after the parent company was bought by Samsung. It's now the engineering brains behind speakers in laptops, in-car, some TVs and it makes premium performance versions of Samsung sound bars.

Sony and Yamaha are both largely unchanged.

If you're looking for good stereo music performance then you should probably look to spend at the top of your budget range. Here's a quick round-up of what's available.

Denon:
AVR-X550BT @ £250 - currently the cheapest HDCP2.2 AV receiver you can buy. The build quality and sound reflect this. Audio gets a little strident when pushed close to reference levels
AVR-X1600H @ £399 - lots of features. On paper, more Watts per £ than most other brands. Upfront and bass-heavy sound designed to excite
General Denon advice - Buy extra cooling fans. Don't put the amps in to enclosed spaces or cabinets

Sony:
STR-DH790 @ £299 - 7.1/ATMOS/DTS-X amp with support for Dolby Vision HDR. Decent for the money
STR-DN1080 @ £479 - in 2019 this was the AV receiver to beat. A few wrinkles have shown up since with HDMI compatibility. A big detailed sound. Frustrating set-up limitations

Marantz NR1510 @ £449 - slimline 5.1 AV receiver using digital/class-D amps for space and heat saving. Good range of features and nice build quality. Low power and less-than-spectacular sound holds it back for critical listeners

Pioneer VSX534D @ £399 - a bit of an oddity: The amp is 5.2 (5 main outputs and 2 out for subs), and it ATMOS compatible, but to run ATMOS or front presence speakers means sacrificing the connection for the surrounds in a 5.1 configuration. If you want to hear ATMOS sound then, everythings at the front and above but nothing from the sides/rears

Yamaha:
HTR2071 @ £299 - probably the spiritual successor to your current Pioneer. 5.1 only, and no network features, but makes up for that with sound quality
RXV4A @ £449 - a straight 5.1 AV receiver (no ATMOS) but otherwise fully HDCP2.2 compatible inc 8K. Focussed on sound quality. New design direction.
RXV485 @ £389 - outgoing 5.1 AV receiver. Lacks Dolby Vision compatibility but otherwise sonically good. Small price jump up to RXV4A a better long term bet
 
Caporegime
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Not really my forte but I would say make sure you avoid the ones with the faulty HDMI 2.1 chipset.
 
Soldato
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I recently replaced my yamaha 671 with the denon 1600h, really happy with it so far
 
Soldato
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Not really my forte but I would say make sure you avoid the ones with the faulty HDMI 2.1 chipset.
They’re fine for PS5. I’ve got the latest Denon (x2700) and it’s working without issue up to 120hz.
It’s been shown to only affect the new Xbox console due to it passing an uncompressed signal whereas the PS5 passes a compressed signal. Might be the other way round as I’m typing this from memory. But either way, it works. :)

The chipset is not even faulty technically, it was just built to a spec that didn’t consider the different signals output by the consoles.

OP, if you get the same Denon as me, ensure you plug the HDMI cable into the 8K port, not the game port so as to get the full signal for 4k60. Don’t make the same mistake as me and many others! :)
 
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Soldato
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If I also need to upgrade my AV receiver, does anyone have any recommendations for my setup that supports PS5 and complements my current speakers? Since it will be connected to my PS5, will the receiver need to also support HDMI 2.1? I'm not bothered about 120fps as long as it still displays in 4K and HDMI.

It will be used for gaming, watching movies, and listening to vinyl records, so it also needs to have good stereo sound if possible. Probably looking at a budget of around £200-£400 since the LG CX TVs are expensive. Does anyone know if there are likely to be any good deals around Easter time?
If you do get the OLED then plug the PS5 HDMI cable straight into the TV HDMI 2.1 input and use ARC to get the sound to the AV Receiver

This way you will no need to buy a new AV Receiver straight away
 
Soldato
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Just a shout out for the Sony STR-DN1080. I was holding out for Sony to announce it’s successor, as it’s a few years old now but it’s a great AVR.

Other options were the Denon X2700H or Yamaha RXV6A, but I decided to stick with what I know.

I came from the 1040, so walked into it easy, but I could definitely recommend it. Just be aware that it’s HDMI 2.0b, has eARC but falls short of the 2.1 spec to make the most of 120hz and variable refresh rate. Also, due to its age, supports standard Airplay and not Airplay 2.

I have Sky Q, Nintendo Switch and Panasonic DP-UB820 hooked up to it and through to a Sony XH95. All works brilliantly.
 
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Soldato
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Just my 2 cents, tech has evolved - you don't need a receiver, you still need an amp for your speakers so if you want use your receiver for that go ahead but you dont need to plug your devices into it.

Your money is better spent buying a new 2021 tv that supports HDMI 2.1 on all it's ports and plugging your devices into that - all your high end audio codecs or uncompressed PCM will pass through and you will get the best image quality with no sacrifice.
 
Soldato
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I use a Sony STR-DN1080. It’s a pretty solid unit and works well as others have mentioned.

The fact it does not have HDMI 2.1 is not an issue really if you can work around it. For example it does have eARC which for me with LG C9 works well. The LG CX and no doubt upcoming models also have eARC and is able to pass through LPCM signals and ATMOS fine. So what I do is plug my devices into the TV, namely PC with RTX 3090 and Xbox Series X then eARC connection to the AVR. it means your PS5 will be able to do 120hz @ 4k fine, HDR and VRR when it comes out for the PS5 hooked up direct to the TV and audio will passthrough to the AVR. These days, them amp is entirely hidden away. It turns and off with TV, volume control on LG remote, and it automatically detects the audio signal coming from the TV and any devices connected to it fine. I think some people have had issues, but for me largely been flawless with latest firmware on the AVR.
 
Soldato
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i was put off buying the Sony 1080, due to the amount on Ebay for sale, as spares and repairs
 
Caporegime
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They’re fine for PS5. I’ve got the latest Denon (x2700) and it’s working without issue up to 120hz.
It’s been shown to only affect the new Xbox console due to it passing an uncompressed signal whereas the PS5 passes a compressed signal. Might be the other way round as I’m typing this from memory. But either way, it works. :)

The chipset is not even faulty technically, it was just built to a spec that didn’t consider the different signals output by the consoles.

PS5 is currently limited to only 32gbps so it's not clear how it will be affected running at the full 40gbps yet, it seems to be a 40gbps issue rather than signalling but companies are obviously running damage control. Either way why buy a receiver now that will likely be fixed later with a newer hardware revision?

If you really want to go down the rabbit hole PS5 uses the same Panasonic branded (though not sold by them) chip so PS5 being limited to 32gbps could be because Sony realised it was flawed.
 
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Soldato
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PS5 is currently limited to only 32gbps so it's not clear how it will be affected running at the full 40gbps yet, it seems to be a 40gbps issue rather than signalling. Either way why buy a receiver now that will likely be fixed later with a newer hardware revision.
Oh yeah definitely, but that’s likely a while off yet (I’ve not looked at release dates/new hardware in a while) and the PS5 doesn’t output 40gbps anyway. I don’t think it’s capable of running an uncompressed signal by design is it?

I mean there’s always something new round the corner so the easy answer is always ‘wait’.
 
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OP
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Quite a lot in the audio world occupied by AV receivers has changed. It's not so much the AV receiver tech. Obviously HDCP 2.2 is the biggest change compared to your Pioneer 323, and there's eARC which your new TV will probably have. You also have 7.1 receivers evolving in to ATMOS receivers. 5.1 receivers are unchanged in this respect. The bigger shift has been in the whole market.

Compared to when you last bought there's far less choice now. Sound bars have taken a huge bite out of the surround system market. There are far fewer of the sort of disc-player-based surround kits that Comet and Argos sells. Also, the budget AV receiver market has shrunk too.

Eight years ago in the AV receiver market you had Onkyo, Pioneer, Sony, Denon, Marantz, Yamaha and even Harman Kardon. Some of these brands had 2 or 3 standalone AV receivers in the £200 to £500 range. There were also AV receiver + speaker kits from Yamaha, Pioneer and Onkyo. We were quite spoiled, even though we didn't realise it at the time.

The landscape is very different today. Onkyo and Pioneer are now under one company. Onkyo has all but retreated from he sub-£1000 AV receiver market. It's overheating issues caused chips to fail in the HDMI and digital audio circuits. That did for the brand's reputation. Once the darling of the AV market, it's now like Lancia with its infamous rust problems. It causes issues of trust.

The link between Denon and Marantz is now more evident than ever thanks to the Heos multiroom tech. Marantz still has a foot in the sub-£500 market with the slimline NR15xx series receivers. The rest of its products are pitched at higher price points. Denon's portfolio has shrunk a little. It has just two products now under £500. It also seems to be attempting to emulate Onkyo in making amps that run incredibly hot. Time will tell if it goes the same way. Pioneer seems to ebb and flow. Some products are good, but others mediocre.

Harman Kardon has retreated back to the States after the parent company was bought by Samsung. It's now the engineering brains behind speakers in laptops, in-car, some TVs and it makes premium performance versions of Samsung sound bars.

Sony and Yamaha are both largely unchanged.

If you're looking for good stereo music performance then you should probably look to spend at the top of your budget range. Here's a quick round-up of what's available.

Denon:
AVR-X550BT @ £250 - currently the cheapest HDCP2.2 AV receiver you can buy. The build quality and sound reflect this. Audio gets a little strident when pushed close to reference levels
AVR-X1600H @ £399 - lots of features. On paper, more Watts per £ than most other brands. Upfront and bass-heavy sound designed to excite
General Denon advice - Buy extra cooling fans. Don't put the amps in to enclosed spaces or cabinets

Sony:
STR-DH790 @ £299 - 7.1/ATMOS/DTS-X amp with support for Dolby Vision HDR. Decent for the money
STR-DN1080 @ £479 - in 2019 this was the AV receiver to beat. A few wrinkles have shown up since with HDMI compatibility. A big detailed sound. Frustrating set-up limitations

Marantz NR1510 @ £449 - slimline 5.1 AV receiver using digital/class-D amps for space and heat saving. Good range of features and nice build quality. Low power and less-than-spectacular sound holds it back for critical listeners

Pioneer VSX534D @ £399 - a bit of an oddity: The amp is 5.2 (5 main outputs and 2 out for subs), and it ATMOS compatible, but to run ATMOS or front presence speakers means sacrificing the connection for the surrounds in a 5.1 configuration. If you want to hear ATMOS sound then, everythings at the front and above but nothing from the sides/rears

Yamaha:
HTR2071 @ £299 - probably the spiritual successor to your current Pioneer. 5.1 only, and no network features, but makes up for that with sound quality
RXV4A @ £449 - a straight 5.1 AV receiver (no ATMOS) but otherwise fully HDCP2.2 compatible inc 8K. Focussed on sound quality. New design direction.
RXV485 @ £389 - outgoing 5.1 AV receiver. Lacks Dolby Vision compatibility but otherwise sonically good. Small price jump up to RXV4A a better long term bet

Thanks a lot for the detailed response and everyone's reply so far! I'm probably torn between the Denon AVR-X1600H, Yamaha HTR2071, or Sony STR-DH790. Another thing to consider is will I notice as much improvement from one of the more expensive AV receivers on my Tannoy TFX satellite speakers? I'm happy with their sound quality overall. My only gripe is that stereo sound doesn't sound great on my current Pioneer VSX323 receiver. When playing records, the sound often gets muffled during the chorus or sections with lots of different layers. Alternatively, I may get a stereo amp later down the line if these AV receivers aren't ideal for stereo sound. Eventually, I'll probably upgrade my speakers as I bought them with my receiver 8 years ago. Also not sure if I'll have enough room to fit floor-mounted speakers if I get a new TV. My current speaker placement isn't ideal as they're placed on the bottom half of my TV stand, so I probably should get some speaker stands for them.

I also haven't settled on a TV yet. I currently have a Sony 42-inch 1080p TV so I was planning to stick with Sony and upgrade to either a 50 or 55-inch set. I was tempted by the Sony KD55A85BU as it was available with 10 percent off. I've also seen the Sony KD55AG8BU slightly cheaper - is there any difference with these models apart from the stand? However, lots of people have been recommending the LG CX series specifically for gaming so I've been leaning towards that. Also, would I need to replace my glass TV stand as it's designed to fit TVs up to 42 inches or can it handle the weight of a 55-inch TV? I've never spent this much on a TV before so any advice or recommendations would be appreciated - it will be used for gaming and watching movies. Does anyone know if there are likely to be any deals for TVs and AV receivers around easter?
 
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OP
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I use a Sony STR-DN1080. It’s a pretty solid unit and works well as others have mentioned.

The fact it does not have HDMI 2.1 is not an issue really if you can work around it. For example it does have eARC which for me with LG C9 works well. The LG CX and no doubt upcoming models also have eARC and is able to pass through LPCM signals and ATMOS fine. So what I do is plug my devices into the TV, namely PC with RTX 3090 and Xbox Series X then eARC connection to the AVR. it means your PS5 will be able to do 120hz @ 4k fine, HDR and VRR when it comes out for the PS5 hooked up direct to the TV and audio will passthrough to the AVR. These days, them amp is entirely hidden away. It turns and off with TV, volume control on LG remote, and it automatically detects the audio signal coming from the TV and any devices connected to it fine. I think some people have had issues, but for me largely been flawless with latest firmware on the AVR.

Will simply plugging the AV receiver directly into the TV HDMI port with a standard HDMI cable enable eARC with this setup? Also, if I use my current receiver just for sound and plug my devices into the TV instead, will this work if it doesn't support HDCP 2.2? If it does will it affect the audio quality at all?
 
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Soldato
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My only gripe is that stereo sound doesn't sound great on my current Pioneer VSX323 receiver. When playing records, the sound often gets muffled during the chorus or sections with lots of different layers. Alternatively, I may get a stereo amp later down the line if these AV receivers aren't ideal for stereo sound. Eventually, I'll probably upgrade my speakers as I bought them with my receiver 8 years ago. Also not sure if I'll have enough room to fit floor-mounted speakers if I get a new TV. My current speaker placement isn't ideal as they're placed on the bottom half of my TV stand, so I probably should get some speaker stands for them.

A collapsing stereo image is a common trait with stereo amps and AV receivers running out of power. This is the difference between paper Watts and real Watts.

Looking at the quoted power outputs for amps doesn't tell the whole story. For a start, the playing field isn't exactly level. You'll see power quoted at different Ohms ratings, and different THD figures, and at 1kHz or 20-20k Hz, and with a single channel or stereo channels driven, etc etc. All have an impact on the power figure they generate. 1 ch driven at 1kHz in to 6 Ohms at 1% THD can almost double the quoted power figure compared to 2ch, 20-20k Hz in to 8 Ohm at 0.01% THD, continuous power.

It's not a perfect method, but you can get a better idea of the real power of an amp by looking at its power consumption. Bear in mind that this is peak power consumption, so it's with everything possible running and it includes the extra current inrush at switch on when the capacitors are charging up.

Your Pioneer 323 is rated at 195W. The list below shows the rated max power consumptions for each of the three amps on your shortlist.

Sony 790 - 240W
Yamaha 2071 - 240W
Denon 1600 - 430W

Power consumption alone though doesn't tell us anything about sound quality though. I have a small stereo amp from 40 years ago. It's rated at about 30W per channel, and with sensitive speakers it plays sweet as you like at fairly healthy volumes, but it won't do that and play loud enough to shake the house.

Your speakers play their part too in the sound stage collapse. Nearly all small speakers are pretty insensitive. 84-86dB/W/m is not uncommon but I've seen some rated far less and others with no rating at all. That's just how it it with small bass drivers. Bigger speakers can be a lot more sensitive - 88-92 dB/W/m or even higher for some special designs, and so they are an easier load on the amp.

Your Tannoys are 85dB/W/m at 6 Ohm nominal impedance. That's perfectly inline for small satellite speakers, and better than some higher-profile sets.

The Ohms rating tells us how much current the speakers will suck from the amp. A lower Ohms rating means the speakers such more current rather than less.

The sensitivity tells us how good that speaker is at turning power in to sound. The higher the number the better.

Your Tannoy TFX will ask a lot more of any amp than say a pair of Q Acoustic 3050 floor standers which are 6 Ohm 92dB/W/m. What rebalances things is that the TFX puts a lot of the bass requirement to the sub, and this lightens the load again on the amp.

Summarising all this; more power from the amp will help with the sound stage. Use the power consumption rather than the speaker wattage output as a guide.
 
Soldato
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Had a Dn1050 it was pretty good then hdmi board fragged itself. Was glad I got the RS warranty. Was going to get the 1080 but more than tripled my budget with the Yamaha 3070:D
 
Soldato
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Will simply plugging the AV receiver directly into the TV HDMI port with a standard HDMI cable enable eARC with this setup? Also, if I use my current receiver just for sound and plug my devices into the TV instead, will this work if it doesn't support HDCP 2.2? If it does will it affect the audio quality at all?

Sorry, just saw this message now. Yes i just used a 7.5m HDMI 2.0 cable (AVR is hidden away entirely now) between the AVR and the TV and works fine for eARC.

I am not an expert, but do not believe your current AVR will be able to do the same. From what I gather then eARC element is the important bit as it allows for LPCM (which the LG C9 / CX also supports as passthrough), so my PC for example when eARC is enabled on the entire chain, is able to see each speaker in my setup individually. Without that, I could only get 2.0 working or send an compressed ATMOS signal that did kind of work.
 
Soldato
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Had a Dn1050 it was pretty good then hdmi board fragged itself. Was glad I got the RS warranty. Was going to get the 1080 but more than tripled my budget with the Yamaha 3070:D

I think the one on my 1040 is on the way out. HDMI CEC just randomly stopped working a few months ago. RS warranty ran out couple years ago. Toying with a 1080 as a replacement. As lucid said early on in the thread ... there's not much choice around now.
 
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OP
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Sorry, just saw this message now. Yes i just used a 7.5m HDMI 2.0 cable (AVR is hidden away entirely now) between the AVR and the TV and works fine for eARC.

I am not an expert, but do not believe your current AVR will be able to do the same. From what I gather then eARC element is the important bit as it allows for LPCM (which the LG C9 / CX also supports as passthrough), so my PC for example when eARC is enabled on the entire chain, is able to see each speaker in my setup individually. Without that, I could only get 2.0 working or send an compressed ATMOS signal that did kind of work.

So if I used my current receiver just for audio with the new TV I assume it either won't work or won't be as good quality if it's not eARC compliant?
 
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