Those looking for a new home theater receiver with the latest bells and whistles without breaking the bank will find an ally in a familiar, but unlikely brand name: Denon. The company, best known for its premium AVRs with premium pricing to match, has just released three new AV receivers under its S-series lineup, including one model that offers premium features like Bluetooth and 4K pass-through for just $250.
The three new models include the S500BT ($250), S700W ($450) and the S900W ($600). All three models support Bluetooth for wireless music streaming from a compatible device (smartphone, tablet, PC). The latter two models also include Wi-Fi to support streaming music from Pandora, Spotify Connect, SiriusXM, and Apple AirPlay, and are DLNA 1.5-certified for streaming content from a PC, Mac, or Android device. Both Wi-Fi models will work with Denon’s Remote App which, in addition to basic receiver control, also makes streaming locally-stored media a little bit easier.
HDMI 2.0 (bot not HDCP 2.2) is supported in all three models, allowing for pass-through of 4K/Ultra HD material at up to 60 frames per second, and something Denon calls “dynamic lip synchronization”, which is intended to automatically account for the disparity between display and audio timing, keeping dialog and sound effects synced up with what is seen on screen. It’s important to point out, though, that only the top model will upscale content to 4K resolution or convert analog video sources to HDMI.
Perhaps most surprising about this announcement is the rich feature set included across the board, especially in the S500BT. Even the $250 model offers 5 HDMI inputs, dual subwoofer outputs and 70-watts x 5 channels worth of power, which should be sufficient for smaller rooms at moderate volumes – certainly a great option for someone just beginning to get into home theater.
With the S700W and S900W, customers get a little bit more of everything. The S700W offers 6 HDMI inputs, a front panel USB input, and a beefier amplifier with 75-watts x 7 channels and the ability to drive 4-ohm loads (indicative of a stable amplifier with good headroom). The S900W goes even further, offering a total of 8 HDMI inputs, 2 HDMI outputs, and 90-watts x 7 channels (4-ohm stable). Both of these receivers will also stream MP3, WAV, AAC, WMA, FLAC, ALAC, AIFF and DSD files, over a network, though it isn’t clear at this time what file resolutions or bitrates are supported for those formats.
To learn more about these latest AV receivers, visit Denon’s AV receiver page here.