Denon AVR-4310 review

With its formidable spec this Denon is well worth a look – but it can't quite match the standards of the class-leaders Tested at £1900.00

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Our Verdict

Hugely impressive in many ways and well worth investigation – but not quite as good as the best

For

  • Formidable spec
  • well-extended, powerful sound is engaging
  • useful network and video processing

Against

  • Pioneer's SC-LX82 sounds better
  • you can't run extended-surround rears and front height speakers together

3D is all the rage in cinemas at the moment, and it won' be too long before it hits your TV, too. In the meantime, home cinema is undergoing a similarly multi-dimensional revolution, with a slew of new amplifiers able to power more speakers than we'd previously imagined possible in a British living room.

The Denon AVR-4310 is a design with seven channels of amplification, plus provision for subwoofers. But it can be configured in a variety of ways, thanks to two advanced new sound processing modes: Dolby Pro-Logic IIz and Audyssey DSX.

These build on the established premise of three front speakers, two rears and, optionally, two 'surround back' rears by adding additional front speakers, giving you five fronts and two rears – at the expense of its surround-back capability.

Now 5.1 does most people fine – but this is a £1900 receiver, likely to find its way into the hands of an enthusiast. And, to enthusiasts, the big-scale drama of additional height or width sound channels is compelling.

Plenty of connections of features
There's more to the AVR-4310 than its new surround modes. Highlights include six HDMI inputs and two outs, provision for network music streaming, plus optional Napster access, 24-bit/192kHz audio DACs, powerful Anchor Bay video processing and Audyssey equalization.

It sounds worth the money, too. You're never in any doubt as to the sonic scale of this receiver: it's not necessarily as visceral as some, but it captures effects precisely and relays them confidently, placing details exactly where they ought to be.

The subtle, moody atmosphere of the jailbreak scene in Public Enemies is hair-raising, with ambient sounds adding layers of tension. However, when the action kicks in and the bullets start to fly, the Denon seems a little reticent next to the class best, Pioneer's SC-LX82.

It goes equally loud, and remains similarly assured, but it can't elicit the same punch, scale or plain, full-on excitement. Still, it makes a respectable, if undemanding, stereo listen.

Of course, the Denon's real deal is that front-height speaker support, and in that regard, it's a success.

However, if you can live without that feature we'd suggest the Pioneer is an even more impressive listen.

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Specifications

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General Information

Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://usa.denon.com
Brand NameDenon
Product TypeA/V Receiver
ManufacturerDenon Electronics (USA), LLC
Manufacturer Part NumberAVR4310CI
Product NameDenon AVR-4310
Product ModelAVR-4310CI

Interfaces-Ports

Number of Digital Optical Outputs1
HDMIYes
Number of HDMI Inputs6
Number of Digital Optical Inputs6
Number of HDMI Outputs2
Number of Analog Audio Inputs9
USBYes

Network and Communication

EthernetYes

Audio

RMS Output Power130 W
Sound SystemDolby Pro Logic IIz, DTS HD, Dolby TrueHD, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby Digital EX, DTS-ES Matrix, DTS-ES Discrete, DTS Neo:6, DTS 96/24, Neural Surround

Physical Characteristics

Width434.3 mm
Depth414 mm
Weight Approximate15.79 kg
Height170.2 mm
ColourBlack
Dimensions170.2 mm (H): 434.3 mm (W): 414 mm (D)

Tuner

Frequency BandAM, FM