Denon AVR-1312 review
Denon is a well-respected name in home cinema, but it isn't usually one that's associated with budget products. The AVR-1312 might just change that; it costs just £250 including VAT but still squeezes in plenty of functions.
With relatively few buttons and dials, the front of the unit looks clean and smart. As well as an oversized volume dial, four quick select buttons switch between the four HDMI inputs. There are also controls for the radio tuner and optional iPod dock, a headphone out and minijack line input, plus composite video and stereo phono inputs hidden behind a removable cover. All the buttons feel reassuringly sturdy and we liked the illuminated power button that glows green when powered on and red in standby mode.
The large LCD display shows the active input, volume level and any audio processing currently enabled, but the single-line readout isn't ideal for changing settings. Thankfully, the amplifier can overlay an on-screen display onto a connected TV or projector for much easier setup. It's extremely basic, but manages to keep all the important functions within reach of a few button presses.
The remote control includes all the buttons needed to control every function but manages to avoid overwhelming the user. It also has dedicated iPod buttons for the external dock, but with compatible docks starting at £50 including VAT (for the Denon ASD-11R), using a cheaper dock and the iPod's own controls is more appealing.
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