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Question Receiver recommendation for a 3.1 set up


Novice Member
I just moved from an apartment to a house and would like to finally have a good quality sound system for listening to music. I am not interested in home theater--I really just want to play music. I have two Polk tower speakers, a Polk center channel speaker, a solid sub-woofer, and am looking for a good receiver to suit my needs. I'm a total newb and hope someone can help me with some questions:

Is a 3.1 setup even a thing? Without the rear channel speakers and with no interest in home theater applications (I just want to rock), is the center channel going to even do much for the experience? Do receivers even have settings specifically to accommodate a 3.1 configuration, or would I just select a 5.1 configuration and ignore the fact I have no rear speakers? I'm not clear if using a 5.1 configuration without the rear speakers results in a less than optimal listening experience. Finally, I want to have high quality, flexible Wi-Fi streaming capabilities.

If anyone has suggestions of some receivers I should consider based on my existing speakers and intended application, I'd really appreciate your advice!


Distinguished Member
If music is the only priority I'd forget the centre channel and receiver route and buy an integrated amplifier which pound for pound will be better at music reproduction than a receiver. You could look at something like the Yamaha AS501, or similar, which has a preout for the sub. There is an add on Bluetooth module for streaming.

Don Dadda

Distinguished Member
As above.
The only benefit for a center channel is for vocals when watching movies. So a 3.1 setup based around stereo setup is good for that (this is what i have or soon will once i completed a diy mono amp)
If the setup is strictly for music, as said, forget the centre channel.
I fully agree with the guys above that you should ditch the centre and just go with 2 speakers and a stereo amp or 2 speakers plus a sub depending on how much bass you like and room size.

I guess it depends how much of an audiophile you are but I'd be tempted to sell your current system and either go with...

Sonos Play 5. Superb sounding speaker with built in amp and works wirelessly. You can add 2 for an even better stereo sound.

If your budget can stretch and you fancy something a little more serious I'd recommend some superb Kef LS50's. I don't know many 2 channel amps that have wifi streaming options but I'm sure there must be some out there. Alternatively find a decent amp that suits and then add a Sonos Connect which will again give you streaming features.

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