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Denon 2021 AV receiver line-up: everything you need to know

Denon AVC-A110
(Image credit: Denon)

If you’re looking to buy an AV receiver to power your surround sound system, then there’s one class-leading brand that will no doubt feature on your shortlist. Denon AVRs are synonymous with high-quality home cinema, and for good reason: the regularly refreshed line-up combines exhaustive feature lists with equally compelling performance and options to suit every budget and set-up. 

The current offering of Denon home cinema amps includes models from the past two years and spans three different ranges. There's the limited edition A Series, released in 2020 to coincide with the company's 110th anniversary; the X Series of mid- to high-end receivers with top-quality components and format support; and the S Series of mid-range to affordable amps for smaller systems and budgets.

The products featured on this list may be the very latest that Denon has to offer, but such is the calibre of the company's AVRs that older versions tend to remain on the market long after being superseded. While we won't list every single amp that the company's ever built, it's certainly worth exploring reviews of previous models as some could be well worth consideration.

Before we get started, a quick note that Denon makes both AVR and AVC versions of some of its home cinema amps; the only difference is that the R products have an FM receiver built-in and tend to be made for the US market – though the UK does also get some AVRs.

Want to know everything about Denon's most recent AVRs and AVCs? Allow us to run through all of the highlights and break down the details of the models in the line-up to find out which is the one that best suits your needs.

Denon AVC-110

(Image credit: Denon)

Next Gen gaming and video features

Denon tends to refresh its home cinema amps every year or so, and with good reason. Technology ages quickly and three years can see dramatically different customer expectations. In just the last couple of years we've seen the arrival of 8K TVs and next-gen gaming consoles, for example, both of which are designed to take advantage of new new, more advanced video formats. 

You may think of your AV receiver as primarily an audio product, but as it sits at the centre of a home cinema system, connecting every component to the screen, it's vital that it can handle every video format that's thrown at it – or that might be thrown at it within the next few years. 

In this respect, Denon excels with the entire X-range, the AVR-S960 and the limited edition A-model all offering 8K@60Hz passthrough and upscaling, as well as 4K@120Hz

Gamers will be pleased to know that across its three ranges Denon boasts extensive support for other next-gen gaming features such as ALLM (Auto Low-Latency Mode), VRR (Variable Refresh Rate), QMS (Quick Media Switching) and QFT (Quick Frame Transport), right down to the AVR-S960H. The two models below lose most of those features but do support ALLM.

HDMI 2.1...almost

Unfortunately, despite going to great lengths to ensure its amps are at the cutting edge of video technology, Denon was afflicted by last year's notorious HDMI 2.1 bug (which also hit Denon stablemate Marantz, as well as Yamaha and others). The glitch causes a loss of picture when 4K@120Hz signals are sent from an Xbox Series X or Nvidia RTX30-series graphics cards and affects models from the A Series and X Series, plus the AVR-S960H.

Sound United, Denon's parent company, says it has been "working tirelessly" to address this long-running HDMI issue, and thankfully receivers manufactured after May 2021 are now officially glitch-free. The new models can be identified by series numbers that read xxxxx700001 and upwards and should be fully functioning as they boast an upgraded HDMI 2.1 chip. Those with older affected units can get hold of Sound United's external HDMI adaptor, which contains the new chip and corrects the bug.

Denon AVC X4700

(Image credit: Denon)

HDR and Immersive sound formats

As well as high resolution and frame rates, Denon also offers wide-ranging support for HDR formats, including Dolby Vision, HDR10+ and HLG down to the AVR-S960H. The rest of the S range maintains Dolby Vision and HLG but HDR10+ drops to standard HDR10.

Denon is equally as generous in its surround sound format options, with top models featuring Dolby Atmos, DTS:X Pro (allowing users to listen to up to 13 channels of DTS:X decoding with speaker configurations such as 7.2.6 or 9.2.4), IMAX Enhanced, and Auro-3D. The only model not to include support for any height channels is the AVR-S650H, which has just 5.2 channels.

Pre-amplifier mode

Denon has trickled down its ‘Pre-Amplifier’ mode from its 2019 flagship AVC-X8500H across its X-range, down to the AVC-X3700A. The first company to offer this feature, 'Pre-Amplifier' mode provides more tolerance in clipping levels by disconnecting internal amplifiers when the receiver is used as an AV processor and all speakers are powered by external amplifiers.

Customers will be able to use their AVR as a pre-amp for all channels or, by setting the amp assign mode to 11.1, just for their front stereo pair.

Music playback

In addition to Apple AirPlay 2 and Bluetooth, all Denon AVRs come with HEOS built-in. This allows you to wirelessly play music across compatible HEOS components from a variety of streaming services, including Tidal, Spotify, Amazon Music HD, SiriusXM and Pandora. 

The X-Series is also Roon-tested and features a front USB port for easy playback of MP3s and high-resolution audio formats including WAV, ALAC, FLAC and DSD.

Room Calibration

Denon's step-by-step room calibration system Audyssey uses audio measurements from the included reference microphone to optimise the receiver's performance to the acoustic environment of the user's space.

Across the range, the calibration level varies. S-series models have the more basic Audyssey MultEQ, the AVR-X2700H has Audyssey MultEQ XT, and the more premium models get Audyssey MultEQ XT32 with subEQ HT for independent subwoofer refinement.

Models released since 2020 also support a new feature called Dual Audyssey Preset function, which lets you store, recall and switch between two different Audyssey configurations. This is handy for making comparisons and for those who like to have different speaker settings for different content types or even moods, but it's also great for rooms in which the acoustics or layout can vary, such as with a drop-down projector screen.

Denon AVC-A110 (AVR-A110 in the US) (2020) – 110th Anniversary Edition AV Amplifier

RRP £5500 ($5500, AU$11,400)

Denon AVC-A110

(Image credit: Denon)
  • Channels: 13.2
  • Power output in stereo conditions: 150W (8 ohms)
  • Zones: 3
  • DSP Engine: 2* Dual SHARC+ core DSP
  • D.D.S.C HD Digital: 32 bit
  • HDMI: front 1-in; rear 7-in / 3-out with HDCP2.3  
  • HDMI Pass-through: 8K@60Hz and 4K@120Hz on 1 input and 2 outputs
  • HDMI upscaling: Yes, up to 8K
  • HDMI eARC: Yes
  • HDR: Dolby Vision, HDR10+, HDR10, HLG
  • Gaming features: VRR, ALLM, QMS, QFT
  • Sound Processing: Dolby Atmos, DTS:X Pro, DTS Neural:X, DTS Virtual:X, IMAX Enhanced, Auro-3D, Dolby Surround, Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization, Dolby Digital (TrueHD, DD+, EX), DTS (HD, HDMA, ES, 96/24), DSD, LPCM (up to 192kHz/24 bits 7.1ch)
  • DAC: AKM 192kHz/32-bit DAC
  • Room Calibration:  Audyssey MultEQ XT32 
  • Voice control: Amazon Alexa, Apple Siri and Google Assistant
  • Dimensions (hwd):  20 x 43 x 47cm  
  • Weight: 23.3kg
  • Finishes: Gunmetal

The AVC-A110 sits at the top of the company’s stellar AV amplifier line-up. As such, the 13.2-channel model sports all the bells and whistles you’d expect, including support for 8K/60Hz pass-through and upscaling, Dolby AtmosDTS:X, DTS:X Pro, IMAX Enhanced and Auro-3D. 

The latest and greatest lag-minimising gaming features – Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM) and Variable Refresh Rate (VRR), as well as Quick Frame Transport (QFT) – are correct and present, too. And streaming smarts are also on board thanks to HEOS multi-room integration.

Denon says the 150-watts-per-channel amp has been tuned “at its component level to solidify its place as one of the most special AV amplifiers Denon has ever produced”, with a monolithic amplifier design driven by a substantial 8.2kg high-current power transformer.

Most of the AVC-A110's technical features are shared with the AVC-X8500HA (below), but the build quality is what reflects its Special Edition status and price, distinguishing it from the rest of the line-up. This is the only Denon amp you'll find with a silver graphite finish, iron diecast feet, a copper transformer plate and, should you be interested in taking a peek under the hood, an all-black interior.

Denon AVC-X8500HA (AVR-X8500HA in the US) (2021)

RRP £3700 ($4300, AU$6490)

Denon AVR-X8500HA

(Image credit: Denon)
  • Channels: 13.2
  • Power output in stereo conditions: 150W (8 ohms)
  • Zones: 3
  • DSP Engine: 2* Dual SHARC+ core DSP
  • D.D.S.C HD Digital: 32 bit
  • HDMI: front 1-in; rear 7-in / 3-out with HDCP2.3  
  • HDMI Pass-through: 8K@60Hz, 4K@120Hz  on 1 input and 2 outputs
  • HDMI upscaling: Yes, up to 8K
  • HDMI eARC: Yes
  • HDR:  Dolby Vision, HDR10+, HDR10, HLG
  • Gaming features: VRR, ALLM, QMS, QFT
  • Sound Processing: Dolby Atmos, DTS:X Pro, DTS Neural:X, DTS Virtual:X, IMAX Enhanced, Auro-3D, Dolby Surround, Dolby Digital (TrueHD, DD+, EX), DTS (HD, HDMA, ES, 96/24), DSD, LPCM (Up to 192kHz/24 bits 7.1ch)
  • DAC: AKM 192kHz/32-bit DAC
  • Room Calibration: Audyssey MultEQ XT32 
  • Voice control: Amazon Alexa, Apple Siri and Google Assistant
  • Dimensions (hwd):  20 x 43 x 47cm
  • Weight: 23.3kg
  • Finishes: Black, Premium Silver

The AVC-X8500HA is a 2021 reboot of 2018's four-star AVC-X8500H, bringing it in line with the anniversary edition A110 (above), but without the snazzy black circuit boards.

When we reviewed its predecessor, it was a rare instance a Denon didn’t receive 5 stars. But for some, this amp will offer exactly the balance they’re looking for in a home cinema amplifier: big scale, punchy impact and powerful sound. So what improvements does the 'A' get you?

There's an 8K input that supports 8K/60Hz upscaling and pass-through, 4K/120Hz pass-through and 40Gbps transmission from all compatible sources, and most importantly, all units of this model are free from the HDMI 2.1 bug.

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.

The major additions on the audio side are the out-of-box support for the Dolby Atmos Height Virtualiser and 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.

This model is also IMAX Enhanced-certified and compatible with Auro-3D, Apple AirPlay 2, Amazon Alexa and the HEOS multi-room system, and ready to support hi-res music and lossless audio file playback.

If you get your hands on the older version of this amp, it can still be upgraded to the 2021 spec with a new HDMI board that Denon will install for £649 (AU$1199).

Read the full Denon AVC-X8500H review

Denon AVC-X6700H (AVR-X6700H in the US) (2020)

RRP £2300 ($2500, AU$6190)

Denon AVC-67000H

(Image credit: Future)
  • Channels: 11.2ch 
  • Power output in stereo conditions: 140W (8 ohms)
  • Zones: 3
  • DSP Engine: 2* Dual SHARC+ core DSP
  • D.D.S.C HD Digital: 32 bit
  • HDMI: front 1-in; rear 7-in / 3-out with HDCP2.3  
  • HDMI Pass-through: 8K@60Hz, 4K@120Hz on 1 input and 2 outputs
  • HDMI Up-scaling: Yes, up to 8K
  • HDMI eARC: Yes
  • HDR:  Dolby Vision, HDR10+, HDR10, HLG
  • Gaming features: VRR, ALLM, QMS, QFT
  • Sound Processing: Dolby Atmos, DTS:X Pro, DTS Neural:X, DTS Virtual:X, IMAX Enhanced, Auro-3D, Dolby Atmos Height Virtualisation, Dolby Surround, Dolby Digital (TrueHD, DD+, EX), DTS (HD, HDMA, ES, 96/24), DSD, LPCM (Up to 192kHz/24 bits 7.1ch)
  • Room Calibration: Audyssey MultEQ XT32 
  • Voice control: Amazon Alexa, Apple Siri and Google Assistant
  • Dimensions (hwd): 17 x 43 x 38cm
  • Weight: 17.8kg
  • Finishes: Black, Premium Silver

Building upon the sonic success of the 6000 range, the AVC-67000H doesn’t offer a massive leap forward in sound, but it didn't really need to. Instead, it maintains its predecessor's high standards while offering gamers and those looking to future-proof their set-ups an excellent tech spec.

Stepping down from the AVC-X8500HA, the AVC-67000H loses two channels, drops slightly in stated power output and doesn't have an option for multi-channel input. But in terms of video format support, sound processing and HDMI 2.1, the AVC-67000H maintains all the same features as the higher up models. Fans of super wide sound stages should note that the Denon AVC-67000H is the lowest model in the range to offer front wide channel support.

When we reviewed the AVC-67000H last year, we found its presentation more powerful, expressive and engaging than its predecessor's, with a controlled and grown-up performance that we felt warranted it the What Hi-Fi? Award for Best home cinema amplifier over £1500. 

Read the full Denon AVC-X6700H review

And check out our review of its predecessor, the AVC-X6500H

Denon AVC-X4700H (AVR-X4700H in the US) (2020)

RRP £1550 ($1700, AU$3500)

Denon AVC X4700H

(Image credit: Denon)
  • Channels: 9.2ch 
  • Power output in stereo conditions: 125W (8 ohms)
  • Zones: 3
  • DSP Engine: 2* Dual SHARC+ core DSP
  • D.D.S.C HD Digital: 32 bit
  • HDMI: front 1-in; rear 7-in / 3-out with HDCP2.3  
  • HDMI Pass-through: 8K@60Hz, 4K@120Hz on 1 input and 2 outputs
  • HDMI upscaling: Yes, up to 8K
  • HDMI eARC: Yes
  • HDR: Dolby Vision, HDR10+, HDR10, HLG
  • Gaming features: VRR, ALLM, QMS, QFT
  • Sound Processing:  DTS:X, DTS Neural:X, DTS Virtual:X, IMAX Enhanced, Auro-3D, Dolby Atmos Height Virtualisation, Dolby Surround, Dolby Digital (TrueHD, DD+, EX), DTS (HD, HDMA, ES, 96/24), DSD, LPCM (Up to 192kHz/24 bits 7.1ch)
  • Room Calibration:  Audyssey MultEQ XT32 
  • Voice control: Amazon Alexa, Apple Siri and Google Assistant
  • Dimensions (hwd): 17 x 43 x 38cm 
  • Weight: 13.7kg
  • Finishes: Black, Premium Silver

The AVC-X4700H drops two speaker channels and has a lower stated power output than the AVC-X6700H. It also loses the support of the front wide channels, DTS:X and dialogue enhancement.

On the backplate, along with fewer analogue pre-outs, the most noticeable difference is the black and red speaker terminals that replace the high-quality transparent ones of higher-end models.  

This is the lowest model in the range to benefit from the Dual SHARC+ core DSP engine for processing and D.D.S.C design. Standing for Dynamic Discrete Sound Circuit, D.D.S.C. uses separate components to process the Analogue to Digital, DSP, and Digital to Analogue conversions. Denon says that this improves signal processing capability and performance compared to when all processing is concentrated within a single chip.

We haven't heard this model for ourselves, but judging from its position in the range between two award winners, it certainly should deliver a strong sonic performance along with consistent connectivity and features found across the line-up.

Denon AVC-X3700H (AVR-X3700H in the US) (2020)

£999 ($1199, AU$2699)

Denon AVC-3700H

(Image credit: Future)
  • Channels: 9.2ch 
  • Power output in stereo conditions: 105W (8 ohms)
  • Zones: 2
  • DSP Engine: 2* DSP chip 
  • D.D.S.C HD Digital: No
  • HDMI: 7-in / 3-out with HDCP2.3  
  • HDMI Pass-through: 8K@60Hz, 4K@120Hz on 1 input and 2 outputs
  • HDMI Upscaling: Yes up to 8K
  • HDMI eARC: Yes
  • HDR:  Dolby Vision, HDR10+, HDR10, HLG
  • Gaming features: VRR, ALLM, QMS, QFT
  • Sound Processing:  DTS:X, DTS Neural:X, DTS Virtual:X, IMAX Enhanced, Dolby Atmos Height Virtualisation, Dolby Surround, Dolby Digital (TrueHD, DD+, EX), DTS (HD, HDMA, ES, 96/24), DSD, LPCM (Up to 192kHZ/24 bits 7.1ch)
  • Room Calibration: Audyssey MultEQ XT32 
  • Voice control: Amazon Alexa, Apple Siri and Google Assistant
  • Dimensions (hwd): 17 x 43 x 38cm 
  • Weight: 12.5kg
  • Finishes: Black, Premium Silver

The AVC-X3700H has the same channel count as the AVC-X4700H but drops support for Aura 3D, the front HDMI input, Zone 3, jitter reduction and bass sync.

As we mentioned above, there's also a step down in the processing, and while the model looks pretty much identical to its big siblings, unlike them, it doesn't have a metal front panel or gold terminals.

However, those specs are likely to matter to a relatively small number of potential buyers. Overall, the AVC-X3700H has pretty much everything the majority of home cinema enthusiasts want from an amp and raises the bar for what is achievable for less than a grand.

Sonically it's wonderfully clear, dynamic and engaging and, to us, this is the pick of the current range, blending performance, features and price in such a way as to make it a performance-per-pound champion. That’s why we declared it the Home Cinema Amplifier Product of the Year in our 2020 Awards.

Read the full Denon AVC-X3700H review

And here's our review of its predecessor, the AVR-X3600H

Denon AVR-X2700H (2020)

RRP £730 ($849, AU$1999)

Denon AVR-X2700H

(Image credit: Future)
  • Channels: 7.2ch 
  • Power output in stereo conditions: 95W (8 ohms)
  • Zones: 2
  • DSP Engine: 4* 300MHz DSP Cores
  • D.D.S.C HD Digital: No
  • HDMI: 6-in / 2-out with HDCP2.3  
  • HDMI Pass-through: 8K@60Hz, 4K@120Hz on 1 input and 2 outputs
  • HDMI Upscaling: Yes, up to 8K
  • HDMI eARC: Yes
  • HDR: Dolby Vision, HDR10+, HDR10, HLG
  • Gaming features: VRR, ALLM, QMS, QFT
  • Sound Processing: DTS:X, DTS Neural:X, DTS Virtual:X, Dolby Atmos Height Virtualisation, Dolby Surround, Dolby Digital (TrueHD, DD+, EX), DTS (HD, HDMA, ES, 96/24), DSD, LPCM (Up to 192kHz/24 bits 7.1ch)
  • Room Calibration: Audyssey MultEQ XT
  • Voice control: Amazon Alexa, Apple Siri and Google Assistant
  • Dimensions (hwd): 17 x 43 x 38cm 
  • Weight: 9.5kg
  • Finishes: Black, Premium Silver

The most affordable model in the X-range of Denon's receivers, the AVR-X2700H has two fewer channels than the AVC-X3700H and drops pre-amp mode as well as support for IMAX Enhanced.

As the 2020 Denon X-Series baby, the AVR-X2700H has a slightly lighter version of the Audyssey speaker calibration technology than its bigger siblings. Nonetheless, the MultEQ XT measurements are still solid and can be easily tweaked. You can also switch between two sets of Audyssey measurements if you can’t quite make up your mind.

While there are many other AVRs at the 'entry level' end of the market, none that we've heard is as polished as the AVR-X2700H. Its mature approach and effortless sense of timing make for a feeling of home cinema sound that's authentic to the movie theatre experience.

Read the full Denon AVR-X2700H review

Denon AVR-S960H (2020)

RRP £700 (£650, AU$2000)

Denon AVR S960H

(Image credit: Denon)
  • Channels: 7.2ch 
  • Power output in stereo conditions: 90W (8 ohms)
  • Zones: 2
  • D.D.S.C HD Digital: No
  • HDMI: 6-in / 2-out with HDCP2.3  
  • HDMI Pass-through: 8K@60Hz, 4K@120Hz on 1 input and 2 outputs
  • HDMI Upscaling: Yes, up to 8K
  • HDMI eARC: Yes
  • HDR: Dolby Vision, HDR10+, HDR10, HLG
  • Gaming features: VRR, ALLM, QMS, QFT
  • Sound Processing: DTS:X, DTS Neural:X, DTS Virtual:X, Dolby Atmos Height Virtualisation, Dolby Surround, Dolby Digital (TrueHD, DD+, EX), DTS (HD, HDMA, ES, 96/24), DSD, LPCM (Up to 192kHz/24 bits 7.1ch)
  • Room Calibration: Audyssey MultEQ 
  • Voice control: Amazon Alexa, Apple Siri and Google Assistant
  • Dimensions (hwd): 17 x 43 x 34cm 
  • Weight: 9.5kg
  • Finishes: Black

The top model of the S-series offers the same channel count as the bottom model of the X-series but delivers slightly less power. There's another step down in the Audyssey speaker calibration software and the loss of bi-amping capability.

Denon AVR-S750H (2019)

£550 ($500, AU$1200)

Denon AVR S750H

(Image credit: Denon)
  • Channels: 7.2ch 
  • Power output in stereo conditions: 75W (8 ohms)
  • Zones: 2
  • D.D.S.C HD Digital: No
  • HDMI: front 1-in; rear 5-in / 1-out with HDCP2.3  
  • HDMI Pass-through: 4K@60Hz  on 1 input and 1 output
  • HDMI Upscaling: No
  • HDMI eARC: Yes
  • HDR: Dolby Vision, HDR10, HLG
  • Gaming features: ALLM
  • Sound Processing: DTS:X, DTS Neural:X, DTS Virtual:X, Dolby Atmos Height Virtualisation, Dolby Surround, Dolby Digital (TrueHD, DD+, EX), DTS (HD, HDMA, ES, 96/24), DSD, LPCM (Up to 192kHz/24 bits 7.1ch)
  • Room Calibration: Audyssey MultEQ
  • Voice control: Amazon Alexa, Apple Siri and Google Assistant
  • Dimensions (hwd): 15 x 43 x 34cm 
  • Weight: 8.6kg
  • Finishes: Black

Denon AVR-S750H has the same channel count as the two higher up models but is the first in the range to lose HDMI 2.1 connections. 8K passthrough and 4K@120Hz are therefore dropped, as are upscaling, HDR10+, VRR, QMS and QFT. 

While those specifications will be of more interest to gamers, those who like to use Bluetooth streaming should note there's also a step down in the codec from 4.2 to 3.

Denon AVR-S650H (2019)

£450 ($399, AU$1000)

Denon AVR S650H

(Image credit: Denon)
  • Channels: 5.2ch 
  • Power output in stereo conditions: 75W (8 ohms)
  • Zones: 1
  • D.D.S.C HD Digital: No
  • HDMI:  5-in / 1-out with HDCP2.3  
  • HDMI Pass-through: 4K@60Hz on 1 input and 1 output
  • HDMI Upscaling: No
  • HDMI eARC: Yes
  • HDR: Dolby Vision, HDR10, HLG
  • Gaming features: ALLM
  • Sound Processing: Dolby Surround, Dolby Digital (TrueHD, DD+, EX), DTS (HD, HDMA, ES, 96/24), DSD, LPCM (Up to 192kHz/24 bits 7.1ch)
  • Room Calibration: Audyssey MultEQ
  • Voice control: Amazon Alexa, Apple Siri and Google Assistant
  • Dimensions (hwd): 15 x 43 x 34cm 
  • Weight: 7.8kg
  • Finishes: Black

With 5.2 channels the Denon AVR-S650H doesn't have the necessary height channels to necessitate the support of 3D sound formats such as Dolby Atmos and DTS:X. Power-wise, it matches the AVR-S650H but loses one HDMI input from the front face as well as support for additional zones.

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Mary is a staff writer at What Hi-Fi? and has over a decade of experience working as a sound engineer mixing live events, music and theatre.