AV Receiver of the Year $1000-$2000
It has been suggested that the annual upgrades for AV receivers are a bummer, because a year out from purchase, something better is sure to come along. While undeniable, the improvements are invariably useful, and thus worthwhile, since the value equation rises ever upwards, while prices tend to remain constant. So as with the Marantz on the previous page, the inclusion of the HEOS platform in this Denon receiver delivers all manner of streaming and multiroom abilities, including high-resolution playback, while this year’s model also gains a turntable phono input over its predecessor, recognising the apparently inexorable revival of vinyl, along with its eight HDMI inputs, two each of composite and component video, and a strong selection of audio inputs, plus Bluetooth.
Meanwhile the core receiver functions are strong, with seven channels of amplification rated at 95W each into 8 ohms (two channels driven across the full audio bandwidth at inaudibly low levels of distortion). So that’s enough for 7.1-channel on the floor, or 5.1.2 channels to include two height channels for Dolby Atmos or DTS:X soundtracks, both supported by the Denon.
For all reasonable conditions (i.e. not extremely difficult speaker loads), we reckon this $1599 hits a sweet-spot of price against performance and features, especially as its video processing also proved to be excellent, including UHD/60Hz, and the ability to bypass all processing for maximum purity. As an AV receiver plus multiroom-capable audio hub, the AVR-X2500H is quite the achiever. More info: www.denon.com.au
JUDGES’ COMMENT “As an AV receiver plus multiroomcapable audio hub, the AVR-X2500H is quite the achiever, with eight HDMI inputs, seven channels of Atmoscapable power, and the HEOS platform as a huge bonus.”
QualiFi’s Ralph Grundl collects the Award.