If you’re like me, the first thing that comes to mind when you think of an outdoor receiver is a black box with lots of confusing buttons. I know that it improves sound by working as an amplifier, but I wouldn’t know where to start.
I tasked myself with researching as much on the subject as possible so you won’t have to. I learned a lot along the process, and I also figured out how to find the best outdoor stereo receiver.
This is what I found:
What is an outdoor stereo receiver?
Before I go on and on about outdoor stereo receivers, it’s essential to explain what they are and how they work.
So, let’s start with the basics. An outdoor stereo receiver is a piece of equipment hooked up to speakers to amplify and improve the sound. Often, they’re hooked up to home theatres or outdoor speakers. Most of them have more than one interface and also work as radio turners, volume controllers, and CD/DVD input.
Additionally, modern outdoor stereo receivers can connect to Bluetooth-enabled devices.
Now that we’ve outlined the basics, let’s take a look at the best outdoor stereo receivers.
Pioneer is a well-respected brand in the audio industry. They produce high-quality devices that operate at top levels. This audio stereo receiver really lives up to that reputation.
The receiver is designed to produce direct energy. The chassis creates quality sounds by shortening transmission paths and producing clean grounding. The good news is that there are low levels of interference, meaning that you only listen to premium audio.
Pioneer’s stereo receiver brings traditional receivers into the modern age with Bluetooth compatibility. It’s compatible with any smart device that has Bluetooth 4.1 technology. So if you invite people over for a BBQ, they can easily connect and share their music with you. Bluetooth connectivity makes life easier by making it possible to play music from anywhere.
The stereo receiver has automatic AM/FM tuning, so you can easily connect to any stations available in your area. Listening to your own music can get boring, and it’s nice to know that you have the choice to listen to the radio. If the tuning isn’t picking up the channels you want, you can manually turn the dial to find your ideal station.
- Color: Black
- Dimensions: 12.6 x 17.1 x 5.8 inches
- Weight: 15 pounds
- Item ASIN: B075SY52NL
- Battery: 2 AAA batteries are required, and they are included with your purchase.
- Output Wattage: 85 Watts
- You can play two speakers at once. Some outdoor stereo receivers limit you to one speaker, but you can connect two speakers for surround sound.
- It has a Bluetooth range of up to 50 feet.
- Lots of customers are impressed by the great amp at such an affordable price.
- The design is simple. All the buttons are clearly labeled, and you won’t need to have previous experience with stereo receivers.
- The receiver produces clear and powerful audio with beautiful trebles and powerful bass.
- It’s an excellent option for anyone trying to connect two different systems. For example, you can use one remote for your radio, your phone, and your TV.
- Has a subwoofer output.
- You have to turn the volume up to high levels to get the most out of the receivers.
- It doesn’t work well with power surges. A single power surge will kill it. But it’s generally in your best interest to avoid power surges by using proper adapters and plugs.
Want surround sound? Denon’s AVR-S540BT Receiver is one of the few options on our list that delivers. Though ideally devised for a home theatre system, you can use this to boost your outdoor setup with outstanding audio. In addition, the receiver will make it seem as if the sound is coming from all the corners of your yard.
The receiver has elite room calibration settings, and can adjust the sound settings to the space where you’re using it. For example, it will reduce the echo effect when you’re listening to outdoor sound, and it will emphasize the audio when you’re using it indoors. Clever, right? Using this receiver means that you’ll get the best of both worlds.
The receiver has fantastic remote control access, and there are a variety of devices that you can use as a remote. For example, you can use your smartphone as the remote if you connect via Bluetooth. The other option is to use your Smart TV remote to access all of the audio sources. The days of being forced to buy a remote once the first one dies are so over.
Conveniently, this receiver works as well for your TV as it does for the outdoor speakers, making it a great addition to your home theatre setup. It improves your TV’s brightness and contrasts while also adding immersive audio. You can seamlessly switch between using this for your TV and outdoor speakers. It’s nice knowing that this receiver covers you on both ends.
- Color: Black
- Dimensions: 12.56 x 17.09 x 5.94 inches
- Weight: 16.8 Pounds
- Connectivity: Bluetooth, HDMI
- Item ASIN: B07C49F2LD
- Output Wattage: 140 Watts
- Unlike the Pioneer receiver, this device also has HDMI ports. As a result, it can work on TVs and speakers alike.
- The receiver provides surround sound. It can cover all parts of your outdoor setup and feels like the sound is coming from every direction.
- You can connect via the front-panel USB port, with the option to play music from your memory stick as well as your phone.
- Bluetooth connectivity lets you play music from a smart device and gives you access to all the major streaming platforms.
- Delivers the powerful sound of five amplifiers in one. You can listen to 140W per channel.
- If you’re a beginner, you can use on-screen TV instructions to set up. However, this only works when you’re connected to a TV; smartphone screens don’t qualify.
- Option to use Bluetooth to connect to outdoor wireless speakers.
- Can be challenging to set up if you’re a newbie. There are a lot of ports, and you can get cables mixed up. Unfortunately, the long instruction manual is all you have to guide you.
- The Bluetooth connection is not as strong, so sound can drop out intermittently.
YAMAHA is another tech giant that makes fantastic speakers and receivers. The RX-V385 lives up to expectations by providing uncompromising value. It’s a 5.1 channel receiver that provides phenomenal sound and boasts more channels than most other receivers in this buying guide.
Compatible with the latest HD TVs, this device can process video in 4k at a frames/second pass-through rate. In simple speak, it means that it won’t compromise your TV’s quality but will actually enhance it. The receiver also supports HDR (high dynamic range), providing brilliant contrasts and beautiful tones. It’s the perfect addition to your outdoor TV.
Apart from being an excellent amplifier for passive speakers, the receiver also has a rich bass reproduction. It increases the bass on smaller speakers and still produces a naturally balanced sound. So, if you have any outdoor speakers that don’t live up to your expectations, use this receiver to fix them up.
If you’re a novice who is easily overwhelmed by cables, YAMAHA has a special app that you can use. The app simplifies instructions and guides you through each step. You can also receive expert advice on power amplifier assignments and speaker connections.
- Color: Black
- Dimensions: 12.4 x 17.13 x 6.34 inches
- Weight: 23.1 lbs.
- Item ASIN: B07BNXXJKB
- Output Wattage: 100 Watts
- You can connect it to a powered subwoofer.
- You don’t need an optical cable to connect it to your TV. All you need to do is to connect the TV arc to the receiver arc.
- Works well with video projectors, making it perfect for an outdoor setup.
- If you’re still struggling with the setup, you can use the on-screen instructions.
- Option to configure individual speaker settings. If your setup has a range of speakers, you can play around with the settings until you find the perfect ones for each speaker.
- The receiver also has Bluetooth connectivity and a USB port.
- Most Amazon purchasers praise the receiver’s reliability and ease of use.
- The receiver sometimes produces sound anomalies. For example, you might hear a random echo, or the audio suddenly bottoms out. Don’t worry, this isn’t a frequent problem, and you can always get a replacement through a warranty.
- The receiver doesn’t work as smoothly with older TV models.
Not yet ready to go all-digital but still want to enjoy the soothing sound of vinyl records? This is for you, my friend. The receiver has analog connections that you can connect to a record player. Who says you have to leave your records in the past? Here’s an easy way to bring the past into your future.
The receiver produces such high-quality audio that you can listen to music the way the artists intended. Using the outdoor stereo receiver enables you to follow each and every note of a song’s product. Whether it’s a rich bass, a clean treble, or a high soprano, there’s no better way to enjoy music.
If you’ve been wondering how to upgrade your passive speaker, the receiver provides a simple solution. It has a discrete amplifier that’s supported by a large-capacity power transformer. The amplifier can support up to two pairs of speakers. If you’re looking for a way to boost your outdoor sound setup, you should consider buying this receiver.
The low profile design fits in with any outdoor system. The streamlined black receiver isn’t as heavy as the other receivers, so it won’t overpower your current speaker setup, nor will it require extra storage. If you’re all for keeping it low-key, this receiver might be a great way of upgrading your sound system.
- Color: Black
- Dimensions: 11 x 17 x 5.2 inches
- Weight: 17.10 lbs
- Output Wattage: 200 Watts
- Batteries: 2 AA batteries are required, and they are included in your purchase.
- Rated #2 on the best-selling audio component receivers.
- The only outdoor stereo receiver that’s compatible with vinyl players.
- Option to connect to your smart devices using Bluetooth, and then you can use it to play music from major streaming sites.
- Bluetooth connectivity means that you can connect to wireless outdoor speakers and give them an extra boost.
- The receiver has the second-highest output wattage among the other receivers in this buying guide.
- Pretty simple to set up.
- You can access three FM presets using the knob at the front of the receiver.
- You can only pair one device at a time, so you’ll have to choose between your phone, laptop, or computer.
- The speaker connectors are so fragile that they might break while you’re still trying to set up the sound system.
With impressive 300-watt power, this is the most powerful amplifier on our list. This receiver is for audiophiles who like to party with the sound cranked up to the highest levels. You can use the power to connect to multiple sneakers and build the ultimate home entertainment system. If the neighbors complain, just invite them over.
With over five outputs, this receiver gives you a variety of ways to play music. You can play your tunes via CD, USB, MP3, SD card, radio, RCA, or Aux. You can also jam out via Bluetooth. A wide range of playing options means that you’ll never get bored. There is more than one way to enjoy music while BBQ-ing or splashing around at a pool party.
This is the only receiver with an a/b speaker selector. WIth other receivers, connecting it means that you’re hooked up to all of the speakers. On the other hand, this receiver lets you choose whether you want to listen to an individual speaker or both. So it’s perfect for low-key occasions when you’re not trying to fill the whole yard with music.
Having crisp sound is one thing, but the best feature is the ability to control the music. The outdoor stereo receiver is a solid purchase because it has EQ controls. You can use the rotary knob to control the volume and for equalization management. If you don’t like using the buttons on the receiver, just grab the remote control.
- Color: Black
- Dimensions: 19 x 11.8 x 3.2 inches
- Weight: 10.70 lbs
- Output Wattage: 300 Watts
- Item ASIN: B01LXS36BT
- Has an auto-scan feature that automatically picks up the radio stations in your area.
- You can adjust the EQ devices according to what method you’re using to connect. Just keep in mind that using the same settings for each output method lowers audio quality.
- This is the only receiver that you can also use as a PA system. It has two microphone inputs, and you can use them to speak over the music.
- The controls are intuitive and it’s easy for a novice to get the hang of quickly.
- A robust Bluetooth connection makes it easy for you to pair devices, and the music won’t fall in and out.
- The amplifier has a low noise level and emphasizes your actual music.
- Multiple output options.
- The instruction manual is vague, so we don’t suggest purchasing this product if you’re a first-timer.
- The FM settings don’t have a memory feature. As a result, it won’t remember your favorite radio stations, and you’ll have to search every time you want to listen.
Frequently Asked Questions About Outdoor Stereo Receivers
Does an outdoor stereo receiver have to be weatherproof?
No. Even though the sound system is outdoors, you will do the actual setup indoors. It doesn’t make sense for the receiver to be weatherproof because it never stays outside. The speakers are the ones that need to be weatherproof.
If you buy quality outdoor speakers, there’s no need to worry about whether the receiver is weatherproof. Also, most receivers have Bluetooth technology, so you can connect them from a distance. A wireless experience means that your receiver is safely protected while the speakers brave the weather elements.
How will I know whether I need an amplifier or a receiver?
You need to read the speaker manual. Most instructional manuals will explain whether you should buy an amplifier or a receiver. In most cases, it’s better to be safe than sorry. So, the safest option would be to buy a receiver that has a built-in amplifier.
For example, the Denon Receiver is an excellent choice because it produces the sound of five amplifiers in one. It doesn’t only do the job you require as a receiver, but also serves the extra purpose of working as an amplifier.
Do I need an outdoor stereo receiver if I already have an indoor stereo receiver?
It depends. The receivers have similar functions and features, but the difference lies in whether one has Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connectivity. Traditional indoor stereo receivers were made with old setups in mind. They relied on cable connectivity, and you wouldn’t want cables running outside.
Outdoor stereo receivers have a more comprehensive range of connectivity methods. You can choose to connect via Bluetooth, RCA, Aux, USB, SD card, or MM card. In addition, all of the receivers on our list have at least two output methods.
If you’re comfortable with cables hanging all over the house, you can stick to your indoor receiver. On the other hand, if you want to step into the future with the rest of us, it’s best to buy an outdoor stereo receiver.
What’s the big deal with wattage?
We emphasize wattage so that you can find a receiver that’s compatible with your speaker. If the two aren’t consistent, either the connection won’t work, or it could catch fire. Yes, really.
While a high wattage is something to aim for, it doesn’t particularly mean that a receiver is better. A high wattage means a high power output and not loud volume.
Wattage should only be a factor in your purchase when you’re trying to match the receiver to the speaker. Otherwise, it makes a negligible difference.
You shouldn’t rush picking an outdoor stereo receiver. It’s a hefty purchase that will be part of your outdoor sound system for a long time. The important features to track are the connectivity options, the wattage, and the number of speakers. You’ll be all set once you find an outdoor stereo receiver that satisfies these requirements.
Here are our best options broken into categories:
The best overall: Denon Receiver. It has high-quality sound, many connectivity options and you can connect more than two speakers at a time. It also has surround sound that makes you feel like the artist is in your yard.
The best runner-up: Pioneer SX-10AE. Even though it doesn’t react well to power surges, it’s easy to use and it has amazing sound. The wide Bluetooth range also makes it ideal for outdoor speakers.
The best budget: Pyle Wireless Receiver. The receiver has phenomenal features at an affordable price. It might not perform as well as the other receivers, but it has a high wattage that makes it compatible with a lot of speakers.