AV Re­ceiver of the Year $1000-$2000

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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.

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