8 Things Most Receivers Don’t Need (and why I’m wrong about most of them)
Is everything in that big black box really necessary?
April 11, 2013 by Grant Clauser

6. Knobs

Except during initial setup and maybe when you’re showing it off to a friend, there’s little reason to ever get close enough to a receiver to turn the massive (why are they so big?) volume and tuning knobs. Every receiver has a remote (sure, most are pitiful remotes), and most have smartphone apps. Just leave all the controls to the device you hold in your hand, so the box itself doesn’t look like a component from the 80s. Do TVs still have big knobs, buttons and dials on the front? Nope.

7. AM/FM Radio

There are two times we listen to analog radio in my house. The first is on snowy winter mornings when we’re waiting to hear if school is cancelled (though the school usually sends us text messages before the radio tells us). The second is, um… Nope, I was wrong; there’s only one time. I still listen to some (well, two) traditional radio stations, but I tune in the web-based broadcast via TuneIn Radio on either a Sonos system or the TuneIn Internet service on my home theater receiver. Why bother with antennas, static and a tuning knob when I can tap an app and get a cleaner-sounding station?

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Grant Clauser - Technology and Web Editor, Electronic House
Grant Clauser has been covering home electronics for more than 10 years with editorial roles in several consumer and trade magazines. He's done ISF-level damage to hundreds of reviewed products and has had training from THX, the Home Acoustics Alliance, Control4 and Sencore. His latest book is Necessary Myths. Follow him on Twitter @geclauser.

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