At the recent Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Denon showed off the world’s first 13.2-channel AV receiver, their flagship AVR-X8500H. Rated at 150 watts per channel, it supports the Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, and Auro 3D three-dimensional surround sound formats. It also supports full 4K UHD/HDR pass-through (HDR10, Dolby Vision, and HLG) and features the Alexa Smart Home Skill for voice control of many of the receiver’s functions. AirPlay, Bluetooth, HEOS and Wi-Fi are built in.
Here’s the complete press release from Denon:
Denon has announced the Denon AVR-X8500H, the industry’s first true 13.2-channel receiver. Offering unparalleled sound quality and audio performance, the AVR-X8500H features Dolby Atmos, DTS:X and Auro 3D surround decoding with 13 channels of built-in amplification to enable premium surround sound without external amplification. Adding to the brand’s legendary AV receiver line, custom installation offerings, and acknowledging the emergence and evolution of the smart home, the AVR-X8500H brings the future of home theater to present day with Amazon Alexa’s Smart Home Skill for Entertainment Devices, Apple AirPlay and whole-house wireless music compatibility.
“Denon is deeply immersed in the industry and investing in future technology to deliver best-in-class, first-of-its-kind innovations for installers and consumers. As more home theater enthusiasts integrate object-oriented audio into their builds, we identified a missing need and designed the industry’s first true 13-channel AVR with plenty of muscle on tap to power formats like Dolby Atmos, DTS:X and Auro 3D,” said Richard Velazquez, global head of brand management at Denon. “In addition to our monolithic amplifier design with our custom-made transistors and compatibility with nearly every advanced AV format, the AVR-X8500H is incredibly easy to set up. Owners can use voice commands with Alexa’s Smart Home Skill to control the unit and leverage whole-home audio integration to experience the future of home theater.”
A salute to Denon’s nearly 110-year legacy, the Denon AVR-X8500H is one of the most technologically advanced and capable AV receivers ever introduced. The 13.2-channel receiver incorporates custom-made DHCT (Denon High Current Transistors)–discrete monolithic amplifiers rated at 150 watts per channel (@8 ohms, 20 Hz – 20 kHz, THD 0.05%, two channels driven), enabling premium surround sound from object-oriented formats, such as Dolby Atmos or DTS:X, without any external amplification. The AVR-X8500H also supports Auro 3D surround sound decoding via firmware update, up to Auro 13.1 channel, three-layered speaker layout including top and height center channels. Further, the receiver is hand-assembled in small batch form in Japan.
Effortless Connectivity and Control
The AVR-X8500H is at the center of a whole-home wireless music network, boasting full wireless connectivity via Wi-Fi and Bluetooth and streaming capabilities with Apple AirPlay and wireless multi-room audio technology. Users can explore, browse and play music in every room from a variety of sources, including high-resolution DSD (2.8 and 5.6 MHz), FLAC, ALAC and WAV files.
Equipped with Amazon’s Alexa Smart Home Skill for Entertainment Devices, consumers can utter voice commands to a connected Amazon Alexa device to natively control a variety of functions, including power on/off, volume, mute/unmute, music play/pause, external input switching and playback of supported streaming services.
As part of Denon’s range of IN-Command series of custom-integration friendly AV components, the AVR-X8500H comes equipped with a range of features to provide enhanced control capabilities and compatibility with third-party and custom integration solutions. It features IP control capability for integration with major third-party control devices and Control4 SDDP (Simple Device Detection Protocol) certification. An RS-232C serial port is available to directly connect to external home automation and control equipment, and an IR remote control input on the rear panel enables remote control compatibility with other components in your home theater system. Denon’s newly invented “HDMI diagnostics” mode will be available to help custom integrators troubleshoot HDMI-related audio and video issues at the time of installation using only the front panel of the receiver along with Denon’s trouble-shooting guide.
Video Support, Dolby Vision and HLG Firmware
Ushering in the future of home theater, the AVR-X8500H boasts advanced video capability and is fully compatible with the latest HDMI connectivity and HDCP 2.2 specifications on all eight HDMI inputs and triple HDMI outputs. The receiver also supports 4K Ultra HD 60Hz video, 4:4:4 Pure Color sub-sampling, High Dynamic Range (HDR), 21:9 video, 3D and BT.2020 pass-through. As such, the AVR-X8500H is prepared for 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray disc players, set-top boxes and other 4K Ultra HD sources. Additionally, it can support legacy systems by upscaling standard and high definition analog and digital video content to 4K Ultra HD. Dolby Vision, eARC (Enhanced Audio Return Channel) and HLG (Hybrid Log Gamma) compatibility are also supported. eARC will be enabled via firmware update in 2018. Further, Denon plans to support the owners of the AVR-X8500H with both hardware and software upgradability to the HDMI 2.1 specification, namely 8K pass-through capability, when the solution becomes available. It will be a charged upgrade service.
The AV receiver also comes with the most advanced Audyssey Room correction suite available. Equipped with the full Audyssey Platinum suite of advanced DSP algorithms, the AVR-X8500H features Audyssey MultEQ XT32 automatic room acoustic correction. MultEQ XT32 is able to analyze each speaker’s output at up to eight measurement locations and generates precision digital filters that optimize each channel for the correct frequency and time domain response. With the addition of Audyssey Dynamic Volume and Dynamic EQ, installers and users will have maximum control to optimize their audio setup for the absolute best fidelity. Audyssey Low Frequency Containment uses advanced psychoacoustic algorithms to deliver a full-range tonal balance, including deep bass, but without disturbing those in other rooms. Additionally, the AVR-X8500H supports the new Audyssey MultEQ Editor App compatibility. The MultEQ Editor App allows users to view and customize the sound more precisely to the specific problems in the room, and tailor the sound to your personal preferences.
The AVR-X8500H ($3,999) will be available in January 2018 through authorized Denon retailers. The AVR-X8500H will be available both in black and silver for the first time in a decade for North American Denon customers. The availability of silver version will be limited.