A return to regular? While there are always aspects of “regular life” that could benefit from change, getting back to our routines is something some of us could use right now, and what could be more routine—and reassuring—than an A/V receiver manufacturer updating its lineup with the latest tech? To that end, Denon has announced four additions to its X-Series A/V receiver family. Touted by the company as “the industry’s first 8K-ready A/V receivers,” the new models join the company’s AVR-X8500H, which lives on as the flagship X-Series receiver.
“This is a very big year for Denon. Not only are we introducing the first 8K-ready receivers, but we’re also celebrating our 110th anniversary. This company has been on the forefront of technological advancements throughout its entire existence, and the introduction of 8K is the next exciting chapter in our history of excellence,” said Jake Mendel, product marketing manager for Denon AVR & Hi-Fi components. “8K certainly is an exciting update and the new X-Series AVRs offer a suite of new features that gamers, home theater enthusiasts and music lovers can implement straight away. If you’re serious about upping your 4K game and getting your home theater ready for 8K, these are the best A/V receivers money can buy.”
8K and HDR
Support for 8K on X-Series models is made possible via a dedicated input that handles HDMI 2.1 features such as 8K/60Hz and 4K/120Hz video pass-through. HDR format support extends to HDR10, HLG (Hybrid Log Gamma), Dolby Vision, HDR10+, and Dynamic HDR. The same “8K” input supports a new feature called Quick Media Switching (QMS) that avoids screen blackout by instantly switching between different resolutions or frame rates. According to Denon, support for eARC (enhanced Audio Return Channel) is provided on its new X-Series AVRs, which now also gain the ability to upscale existing HD and 4K video to 8K resolution.
Aside from higher video resolutions and frame rates, a number of HDMI 2.1 features provided on the X-Series models are aimed at gamers. These include: Variable Refresh Rate (VRR), a feature that permits more fluid motion and a reduction of judder and frame-tearing by enabling the game console or computer to deliver video at a rate dependent on the varying requirements of the graphics processor; Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM), which lets a gaming source trigger the display to automatically switch to a low-latency mode; and Quick Frame Transport, which further reduces latency for no-lag gaming.
Denon’s new AVRs provide out-of-box processing support for Dolby Atmos and DTS:X. The top two models, the AVR-X6700H and AVR-X4700H, add Auro-3D, IMAX Enhanced, Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization and DTS Virtual:X to the mix, while the AVR-X6700H will add DTS:X Pro via a firmware update that Denon says is coming later this year. DTS:X Pro permits up to 13 channels of DTS:X processing for 7.2.6 or 9.2.4 speaker configurations and can unleash the full capabilities of IMAX Enhanced soundtracks “thanks to newly adopted 13.2 channel processing capabilities with external amplification,” according to Denon.
Pre-Amplifier Mode, Multiroom Streaming, and More
Denon’s top three new models, the AVR-X3700H, AVR-X4700H and AVR-X6700H, feature a “Pre-Amplifier” mode that was previously only available in the flagship AVR-X8500H. When active, Pre-Amplifier mode disconnects the internal amplifiers to create “a clear signal path and more tolerance in clipping levels” for configurations where the receiver’s preamp outputs are connected to external amps.
Other audio amenities include 32bit AKM DACs in all models and HEOS Built-in for wireless streaming of Spotify, Pandora, Amazon Music HD, TuneIn, iHeartRadio, SoundCloud, SiriusXM, TIDAL, and other music and radio services to compatible HEOS components. Apple AirPlay 2 and Bluetooth are supported, and a new Bluetooth Transmitter feature allows for simultaneous listening through speakers and Bluetooth-connected headphones. The new X-Series AVRs are also Roon Tested certified and work with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Josh.ai, and Apple Siri voice control.
Audyssey room correction, too, gets an update on the top three Denon 2020 X-Series models—specifically, a new Dual Audyssey Preset function that permits switching between two stored Audyssey configurations. This allows the user to create separate Audyssey settings for stereo and surround listening, and to also make quick comparisons between a standard Audyssey calibration and one that’s been customized via the Audyssey MultEQ editor app (available as a separate purchase).
AVR-X6700H ($2,499): 11 channels of amplification with 13.2 channel processing; Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, IMAX Enhanced, Auro-3D, DTS:X Pro, DTS Virtual:X, and Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization; Audyssey MultEQ XT32, subEQ HT; 140 watts per channel (8 ohms, 20Hz-20KHz, THD: 0.05%, 2 ch Driven)
AVR-X4700H ($1,699): 9 channels of amplification and 11.2 channel processing; Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, IMAX Enhanced, Auro-3D, DTS Virtual:X, and Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization; Audyssey MultEQ XT32, subEQ HT; 125 watts per channel (8 ohms, 20Hz-20kHz, THD: 0.05%, 2 ch driven)
AVR-X3700H ($1,199): 9 channels of amplification and 11.2 channel processing; Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, IMAX Enhanced; Audyssey MultEQ XT32, subEQ HT; 105 watts per channel (8 ohms, 20Hz-20kHz, THD: 0.08%, 2 ch driven)
AVR-X2700H ($849): 7 channels of amplification; Dolby Atmos, DTS:X; MultEQ XT; 95 watts per channel (8 ohms, 20Hz- 20kHz, THD: 0.08%, 2 ch driven)
The AVR-X6700H and AVR-X4700H will be available on June 15, the AVR- X3700H on July 15, and the AVR- X2700H on August 15.
Visit Denon’s US website for more information on the X-Series receivers