Denon AVR-2309 review

Denon's mid-price AVR-2309 multichannel receiver is entering a cut-throat section of the market. Can it compete with established rivals? Tested at £550.00

What Hi-Fi? Verdict

A good all-rounder, but sounds too safe for our tastes


  • +

    Big, smooth, refined sound

  • +

    never loses its rag

  • +

    well kitted out


  • -

    Lacks agility, clarity and bite

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Like the Pioneer SC-LX71 we've just reviewed, the Denon AVR-2309 is a seven-channel receiver that's made it into our listening rooms for the first time this month. It delivers 100W per channel, and comes with four HDMI inputs, 1080p upscaling and Audyssey Multi EQ auto setup.

Although the '2309 is an unknown quantity, our first impressions are of a receiver that produces a strong, burly sound that's warm and inviting.

You're encouraged to sit back, relax and enjoy the show. This is a receiver that concentrates on delivering a big, smooth and refined sound.

It certainly knows how to keep its composure at high volumes, never sounding harsh or edgy, and it pans surround effects with precision.

Untapped potential

But, compared with price rivals such as the Sony STR-DA2400ES, and even the cheaper Sony STR-DG820, the Denon lacks clarity, agility and dynamics.

Surround effects don't hit you with the same sense of drama, and there isn't the same expanse of sound. It needs to work harder to hold your attention.

The truth is that the AVR-2309 sounds overly safe, lacks the necessary attack for film soundtracks and needs more grip in the bass. It's a good all-rounder, but we know you can achieve greater things with a better amp.

What Hi-Fi?

What Hi-Fi?, founded in 1976, is the world's leading independent guide to buying and owning hi-fi and home entertainment products. Our comprehensive tests help you buy the very best for your money, with our advice sections giving you step-by-step information on how to get even more from your music and movies. Everything is tested by our dedicated team of in-house reviewers in our custom-built test rooms in London, Reading and Bath. Our coveted five-star rating and Awards are recognised all over the world as the ultimate seal of approval, so you can buy with absolute confidence.

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