You may have different speakers across separate rooms within your house, and you want to connect two receivers into one speaker or wish to use the second receiver as an amplifier. Is this possible? Can you use two AV receivers simultaneously?

Yes, you can use two AV receivers together. Using two AV receivers together is useful when you’re linking devices together or using the second receiver as an amplifier. Linking two receivers does not equate to a better sound system, but it does give you playback options.

In this article, we’ll go over AV receivers and their roles in your home audio system. You will also see how two AV receivers can be used together, how a second receiver can be used as an amplifier, and how two receivers can be connected to one speaker. Lastly, you will see how stereo and surround systems can be combined within an AV system.

What Is an AV Receiver?

It’s best to know the exact purpose of an AV receiver to determine if you can use two AV receivers together. Generally, an AV receiver functions as the controller and driver of your home audio system. In particular, an AV receiver does the following things:

  • An AV receiver is linked to your audio sources and can switch between them. Each audio source within your home needs to be connected to your AV receiver for optimal sound performance. Your AV receiver allows the amplification of those sounds, provided that you switch over to the audio source you’re listening from.
  • It amplifies the audio of your video sources. Whether you’re watching movies or some other clips, your AV receiver plays a significant role in ensuring you receive crisp, clear, and high-quality sound from your video sources.
  • An AV receiver features a radio tuner. You’ll benefit from this if you like listening to radio stations, but it’s otherwise irrelevant for this article.
  • An AV receiver interprets digital and analog sounds, then translates it for you accordingly. It’s useful in the modern era, and it makes AV receivers stand out from typical stereo receivers.
  • It amplifies and sends sound signals to multiple speakers. If you have numerous devices and separate speakers throughout your house, this is most likely why you’re attempting to use two AV receivers together in the first place.
  • It allows you to control your whole home theater. It comes with a remote that lets you choose your home audio experience freely and customize your sound preferences.

Can You Connect Two AV Receivers?

So, as you may have inferred from the AV receiver’s roles, you’ll only need one AV receiver unless your audio sources are in separate rooms. Similarly, you’ll benefit best from getting an amplifier or a higher-end receiver rather than using two receivers so that one can act as an amplifier.

However, if you’re under a tight budget, are unable to obtain a better receiver, or happen to have extra receivers lying around that you want to put to good use, you can use two receivers to achieve your purpose.

Thus, you can use two AV receivers together as long as they’re compatible with each other. Having two receivers won’t give your home audio system a significant boost when it comes to sounds, but it can play different roles.

By connecting two AV receivers together, you can use the second receiver as an amplifier, link receivers into one speaker, and combine stereo and surround devices within an AV system. We’ll review how to do those below.

How to Connect Two AV Receivers Together

Linking two AV receivers is simple. All you have to do is:

  1. Turn on your first AV receiver and look for something labeled as “Output.”
  2. Turn on your second AV receiver and search for its “Input.”
  3. You’ll find these as red and white jacks on the back of your receivers.
  4. Use an RCA cable to connect the output of the first receiver to the input of the second receiver.
  5. Ensure their colors match one another to secure the AV receivers successfully.

You can also experiment with other audio connections as well.

Using a Second Receiver as an Amplifier

AV receivers help with sound amplification, but it doesn’t give as much boost as an amplifier. Amplifiers boost sounds while receivers receive and control audio.

If you want a video that compares and explains the difference between receivers and amplifiers with greater detail, check out Jonah Matthes’ YouTube clip:

YouTube video

You may find yourself wanting to use a second receiver as an amplifier. Connecting two AV receivers so that one acts as an amplifier requires a bit of work, but it saves you money. It also allows you to find some use for your stored and neglected second receiver.

To use a second receiver as an amplifier, follow these steps:

  1. Look for the first receiver’s amplifier output.
  2. Connect the amplifier output to the second receiver’s analog input.
  3. Search for the first receiver’s “Direct Multi-Channel” in its Playback mode. Choose that as your playback setting.
  4. Set up the number of channels you’re amplifying.
  5. Find the first receiver’s Expert Setup Menu.
  6. Pick Multi-Channel once more and choose a “through output” mode.
  7. Your second receiver can now act as an amplifier.

However, note that this may not work for all receivers, and only some may have these options. An example of a receiver with this option is Pioneer VSX-49TXi.

How to Connect Two Receivers to One Set of Speakers

One of the main reasons for using two receivers together is to save expenses from buying more speakers. When you can link receivers into one set of speakers, you can listen to audio from different sources without much trouble.

However, note that you’ll need to be careful when doing this. There’s a chance that you’ll fry your devices if you link them improperly. Hence, the best way to merge two receivers into one speaker set is to use a speaker switch.

Excellent examples of speaker switches are Niles Amplifier/Speaker Selector and 2-Way Amp Receiver Switch from Amazon. Alternatively, you can opt for a banana plug like AmazonBasics Speaker Connector to easily install speakers.

To connect two AV receivers to a set of speakers, follow these steps:

  1. Search the receivers’ back panels for amplifier connectors labeled as input and speaker connectors labeled as output.
  2. Run the speaker’s wire from the back of the first amplifier into the first input.
  3. Run the speaker’s wire from the back of the second amplifier to the second input.
  4. Ensure that the cables are connected in a parallel way, where right is with right and left is with left, positive is with positive and negative is with negative.
  5. Connect the speaker’s wire to the first receiver’s connector outputs, and do the same for the second receiver.
  6. Again, ensure that the plugs are connected in a parallel way.
  7. Use the front panel to switch between the receivers.

How to Combine Surround and Stereo Sound in an AV System

Most of the time, you’re forced to choose between stereo or surround audio when listening to two-channel music. However, if you can’t accept that fact, you may have decided to do something about it. This may include combining your stereo and surround AV receivers into one AV system.

This is made possible by picking receivers that don’t overpower each other. Your receivers should function well, but not too much that one of them becomes weaker than the other. In short, you’ll use one receiver to produce surround sound and the other to generate stereo audio.

To connect two receivers into one AV system, you need to follow these steps:

  1. Link your front right and left speakers into the proper terminals on the stereo receiver.
  2. Plug the other speakers into your AV system’s relevant jacks.
  3. Utilize standard analog interconnects to link the front pre-outs of your AV to your stereo’s input.
  4. Then, calibrate your speakers by using your AV system’s built-in setup.
  5. You can figure out how to do this by checking your receiver’s manual, but some receivers will have an option labeled as “Amp Assign,” which allows you to tell your AV system that you’re using an external device.

Final Thoughts

You can use two AV receivers together. The main reasons for connecting two AV receivers are to use the second receiver as an amplifier, use one set of speakers for separate receivers, and combine surround and stereo sound within an AV system.

If you plan on using two AV receivers together for any of those reasons, feel free to follow the instructions above. However, if you’re trying to link AV receivers believing that more receivers equate to better sound output, you’ll do well in purchasing a higher-end receiver instead.