Denon and Marantz announce flagship AV amplifiers with full HDMI 2.1 and 8K support

Denon and Marantz bring full HDMI 2.1 and 8K features to new 2021 flagship AV amplifiers...
(Image credit: Denon)

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.

Marantz AV8805A

(Image credit: Marantz)

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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Dan Sung

Dan is a staff writer at What Hi-Fi? and his job is with product reviews as well as news, feature and advice articles too. He works across both the hi-fi and AV parts of the site and magazine and has a particular interest in home cinema. Dan joined What Hi-Fi? in 2019 and has worked in tech journalism for over a decade, writing for Tech Digest, Pocket-lint, MSN Tech and Wareable as well as freelancing for T3, Metro and the Independent. Dan has a keen interest in playing and watching football. He has also written about it for the Observer and FourFourTwo and ghost authored John Toshack's autobiography, Toshack's Way.

  • The new Denon 8500 amp would be my choice as a new amp for my system but I think I will wait for it to come down in price from £3700 first, and that depends on my amp going wrong too.