Denon launches X8500H 13.2-channel flagship AV amplifier

Long before TV manufacturers were arguing over acronyms and badges, home cinema amps were setting the benchmark when it comes to cramming in the functionality.

A long-awaited new flagship from Denon looks set to continue that fine tradition, being heralded as "the industry's first true 13.2 channel receiver" and supporting next-gen sound formats, Dolby Atmos, DTS:X and Auro 3D, plus Amazon Alexa voice control, Apple AirPlay and HEOS multi-room. (And more.)

The new flagship will be known as the AVC-X8500H in the UK and Europe, and the AVR-X8500H in the US. Due on sale by the end of January, it will come with a $3799 price tag.

Denon claims to have "identified a need" for the extra channels, with the 'X8500H promising 150-watts per channel (at 8 ohms). As well as next-gen audio support, the amp can handle high-resolution audio, with formats including DSD, WAV, ALAC and FLAC on the spec sheet. AirPlay, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and HEOS multi-room audio are all supported, too, as well as eARC (Enhanced Audio Return Channel).

On the video side, there are eight HDMI inputs and three HDMI outputs, all compatible with the latest HDCP 2.2 specification. 4K 60Hz video is supported too, plus the ability to pass-through Dolby Vision, HDR and HLG video. HDMI 2.1 specification is not on the machine out of the box, but will arrive through a "charged upgrade service" - and bring with it 8K (!) pass-through.

The new Denon flagship AV amplifier is on show at CES 2018 in Las Vegas right now, and should be on sale around the world later this month.

Read more:

CES 2018 news, highlights, best new products

8K TV - everything you need to know

Best home cinema amplifiers

Dolby Atmos explained

The best home cinema in Europe?

Joe Cox
Content Director

Joe is the Content Director for What Hi-Fi? and Future’s Product Testing, having previously been the Global Editor-in-Chief of What Hi-Fi?. He has worked on What Hi-Fi? across the print magazine and website for almost 20 years, writing news, reviews and features on everything from turntables to TVs, headphones to hi-fi separates. He has covered product launch events across the world, from Apple to Technics, Sony and Samsung; reported from CES, the Bristol Show, and Munich High End for many years; and written for sites such as the BBC, Stuff, and the Guardian. In his spare time, he enjoys expanding his vinyl collection and cycling (not at the same time).