Want Alexa compatible AV receivers for your entertainment center? Let’s look at what’s available on the market today.
Audio video receiver (AVR) is the hub of your home theater, serving you two main purposes. First, it amplifies the sound from your external sound source so it can be fed to your speakers. Second, it sends a signal to your TV, allowing you to select the audio and video channels you wish to watch. In the age of connectivity, home theater receivers have also added bluetooth, network and Alexa capabilities, giving you even more ways to listen to music, watch videos and command entertainment through voice.
Currently, only two AV receiver manufacturers have entered into the Amazon Alexa game- Yamaha and Sound United LLC, which makes Denon and Marantz receivers. If you want to be able turn your receiver on and off, switch inputs, change volume and stream music, then Yahama is the only manufacturer that offers you full capability.
One work-around solution would be to use Fire TV Cube, which comes with an IR blaster, and use it to voice control pretty much any AV receiver. In our test, it works pretty well. Now let’s look at Yamaha, Denon and Marantz’s built-in options.
Yamaha’s MusicCast technology is the real power behind its Alexa functionality. MusicCast is a wireless multi-room audio system built into many Yamaha AV receivers, sound bars and wireless speakers. Once you enable the MusicCast Alexa skill and connect Yamaha to your wifi or network, you can use Alexa commands for the most commonly-used control functions such as power on/off, volume control and play/pause/skip.
List of MusicCast supported Alexa commands
The following Yamaha receiver models are MusicCast enabled and compatible with Alexa:
The new RX-Vxx5 series allows you to send wireless audio to Yahama’s MusicCast 20 and 50 network speakers, giving you wireless rear capabilities for your surround setup.
Denon and Marantz brands operate under Sound United, owner of Polk Audio. They were acquired by them in 2017. HEOS is their proprietary technology that powers Denon’s wireless network and Alexa capabilities. When you hook up your Denon/Marantz av receivers to the network and enable the HEOS Home Entertainment skill, you can use your voice to stream your favorite music services to this HEOS-enabled device. We are not able to verify that you can actually turn the receiver on/off or switch inputs with Alexa.
View list of HEOS supported Alexa commands
Below is a list of Alexa compatible receivers for Denon and Marantz: