The high sensitivity detection of terahertz radiation is crucial for many chemical sensing, biomedical imaging, security screening, nondestructive quality control, high-data-rate communication, atmospheric, and astrophysics sensing applications. Among various terahertz detection techniques, heterodyne detection is of great interest for applications that require high spectral resolution. Heterodyne detection involves mixing the received terahertz radiation with a reference terahertz signal provided by a local oscillator and then down-converting it to an intermediate frequency for detection. The frequency of the intermediate frequency signal is usually chosen to be in the radio frequency regime, so that it can be accurately analyzed by well-developed radio frequency electronics, including amplifiers, filters, and spectrometers, for further processing. Heterodyne terahertz detection offers two major advantages over direct terahertz detection. First, the detected terahertz radiation is effectively enhanced by the reference local oscillator signal through the mixing process, thereby enabling the detection of very weak terahertz signals. Second, the detected noise power is effectively reduced by limiting the detected spectral bandwidth to the bandwidth of the intermediate frequency electronics. In this article, we present a broad overview of various types of heterodyne terahertz receivers, which utilize different electronic and optoelectronic techniques to down-convert the received terahertz signal to a radio frequency signal. We describe how the inherent nonlinearity of a Schottky diode, superconductor-insulator-superconductor junction, hot electron bolometer, and field-effect transistor can be utilized to mix the received terahertz radiation with a reference local oscillator signal from a gas laser, quantum cascade laser, photomixer, Gunn diode, IMPATT diode, and frequency multiplier and then down-convert it to a radio frequency signal. The down-converted radio frequency signal can be subsequently detected and analyzed by various backend spectrometers, including filter bank, acousto-optical, autocorrelator, fast Fourier transform, and chirp transform spectrometers. We also discuss how a photomixer pumped by a heterodyning optical beam can be used to down-convert the received terahertz radiation to a radio frequency signal with far fewer bandwidth constraints than conventional techniques. The advantages and disadvantages of different heterodyne receivers in terms of their noise performance, operation frequency, operation bandwidth, and operation temperature are discussed in detail.