Denon launches new AV receivers and sound bar

Kat Orphanides
5 Jun 2013

Latest home cinema hardware provides networked audio streaming, 4K upscaling and multi-room sound and vision

Denon has announced five new models of AV receiver, ranging from the entry-level AVR-X500, which costs just £249, to the £1,199 AVR-X4000, which is second in features only to last year's AVR-4520.

Key to this all of this year's models, bar the entry-level AVR-X500, are iOS and Android control apps, which you can use to control every aspect of the amps. If you don't have or don't want to use your phone, the bundled remote controls have been redesigned with a cleaner layout than previous models.

Ease of setup has been an obvious priority, and there's an on-screen setup assistant to guide you through every step of configuration, from connecting and optimising the position of your speakers to enabling network services, as well as calibrating them by using a supplied mic to test and adjust the settings of each speaker to compensate for the acoustic characteristics of your room.

All AV receivers, bar the AVR-X500, have support for a range of streaming services include Apple Airplay, Spotify, vTuner, and DLNA from a server on your local network. You can also configure the receivers via a web-based interface once you've connected them to your network via an Ethernet port. There's also Windows 8 support, allowing the receivers to be recognised as network audio devices by Microsoft's latest operating system.

The AVR-X500 lacks the network-enabled features of the rest of the range, but has the same convenient front HDMI input, which is ideal for connecting video cameras, as well as three rear HDMI inputs.

The £349 AVR-X1000 is the cheapest model in the range to have an Ethernet port, a Texas Instruments PCM-1690 DAC and support for a wide range of network services including remote control from Android and iOS devices and a front USB port which allows you to play music files directly from a USB stick or MP3 player. It also has screw terminals rather than the X500's basic spring terminal connectors for your surround sound speakers.

The AVR-X2000 is one of Denon's showcase entries in the range, with 7.1 surround sound at 150W per channel, six HDMI inputs, 4K upscaling to support the next generation of high-resolution TVs and an audio profile that's been tuned to suit the preferences of British and European audiences. It's set to cost £499.

Denon AVR-X2000

The new AV receivers also have a redesigned, colour-coded rear panel layout to make it easier to connect your speakers

At £799, the AVR-X3000 is a significant jump in price, but it has some suitably impressive features to justify the cost, including an HDMI preview feature, which displays lets thumbnail views of what each of the six HDMI inputs has connected to it, so you can see what content is on each while watching another input. It also has two HDMI outputs which, if paired with the multi-zone audio support that the X3000 shares with the X2000 and X4000, means you can different video and audio content in different rooms.

Finally, the top-of-the-range AVR-X4000 has a seven-channel amplifier which outputs 200W per channel, Denon Link jitter reduction which works with Denon Blu-ray players to eliminate errors by controlling the data throughput rate between the devices and even has 12v triggers that you can use to dim lights or close curtains automatically if you've got a very advanced home theatre setup. It can also handle up to 9.2 channel DTS Neo:X surround sound processing, although you'll need to add an external amp to power the additional speakers beyond the amp's supported 7.2 configuration.

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