Denon rolls out the first 8K-ready receivers with its 2020 X-Series
Even if you don’t need 8K, these receivers also have some key new gaming features.
While the debates rage on over whether or not anyone needs 8K, the new line of Denon receivers are ready for higher resolution video when and if you decide to make an upgrade. Perhaps more importantly, they also support HDMI 2.1, including features like auto low latency mode (ALLM), variable refresh rate (VRR), passthrough of 4K video at up to 120 frames per second and quick frame transport (QFT) that reduces input lag. These features are especially key if you’re planning to get the Xbox Series X or PlayStation 5 when those consoles ship this fall.
All four of the new X-Series receivers include one 8K input and they support quick media switching (QMS), which should eliminate blank screens when you switch between content that uses different refresh rates. They also support Roon music management that pulls in metadata for your various media files, and voice control with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Siri and Josh.ai. To set up your sound Denon has a Setup Assistant app while Audyssey MultEQ software handles automatic room calibration.
The three higher-end models now include a pre-amplifier mode that disconnects the internal amps and gives a clear signal path for your audio — useful for people who have speakers powered by external amplifiers, and a feature that was previously limited to only the flagship model. A new feature builds in a Bluetooth transmitter so it can pipe any audio directly to headphones or a hearing aid, whether you have the speakers on or not.
A main difference between the four models is the amount of output power and channels supported, however the flagship AVR-X6700H is the only one that will get DTS:X Pro support with up to 13 channels of decoding for your 7.2.6 or 9.2.4 speaker configurations once it receives a software update later this year. The rest will have to make do with Dolby Atmos, Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization Technology, DTS:X, DTS Virtual:X, IMAX Enhanced and Auro-3D support.
Two higher-end models started shipping this week with the 11.2-channel AVR-X6700H ($2,499) and 9.2-channel AVR-4700H ($1,699) available now via Amazon and other retailers. The 9.2-channel AVR- X3700H ($1,199) will begin shipping July 15th, while the 7.2-channel AVR-X2700H ($849) is scheduled to go on sale August 15th.