Denon and Marantz have launched flagship AV amplifiers to sit at the top of their respective home cinema trees. The Denon AVC-X8500HA and Marantz AV8805A are kitted out with all the HDMI 2.1, 8K and 3D audio features one can imagine, and an upgrade path for owners of the previous models has been announced, too.
It was 2018 that saw the launch of the last top-of-the-range home cinema amps from both manufactures, the Denon AVC-X8500H and Marantz AV8805, so there are plenty of upgrades on the menu.
The addition of that extra 'A' brings first and foremost a dedicated 8K input that supports 8K/60Hz upscaling and pass-through, 4K/120Hz pass-through and 40Gbps transmission from all compatible sources, and without any HDMI 2.1 hardware bugs.
All rear HDMI ports are HDCP 2.3-rated and can handle the gamut of HDR standards (dynamic and otherwise) as well as handy gaming features such as VRR, ALLM, QFT and QMS (Quick Media Switching, which avoids blank screens when changes between frame rates occur in the signal path).
The major additions on the audio side are the out-of-box support for the Dolby Atmos Height Virtualiser as well as DTS: X Pro, the latter of which allows for 13 channels of DTS: X decoding including configurations such as 7.2.6 or 9.2.4.
These units are also IMAX Enhanced-certified and compatible with Auro-3D, Apple AirPlay 2, Amazon Alexa and the HEOS multi-room system as well as ready to support hi-res music and lossless audio file playback.
Best of all, while the Denon AVC-X8500HA and Marantz AV8805A will replace their respective predecessors in the shops from June (£3699 / AU$6490 and £3899 / AU$6990 respectively), owners of the 2018 Denon AVC-X8500H Marantz AV8805 can book themselves an HDMI board upgrade for £649 / AU$1199 and bring their AVR right up to date. Bookings for the upgrade can be made by contacting your local authorised Denon and Marantz dealer.
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