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.