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Denon debuts new A/V receiver with Airplay 2 and support for Amazon Alexa

Earlier this year, Denon released a few new models in its X and S series of A/V receiver, but the company has been relatively quiet since then. It turns out that this may have been because the company was hard at work on its latest X-series model, the 7.2-channel AVR-X3500H. which not only packs in all the bells and whistles found on many previous X-series models but a handful of new features that make this particular receiver much more future-proof than some of its competition.

To start, the AVR-X3500H features support for Apple Airplay 2, which lets you take advantage of all the new features that the newer protocol boasts over the original Airplay, like HomeKit integration and the ability to send audio to multiple devices simultaneously. For example, you could be listening to music on a HomePod in your kitchen at a relatively low volume while also blasting those very same tunes in your living room without the need for any complicated setup.

The receiver also features support for Amazon Alexa using the Alexa Smart Home Skill for Entertainment Devices. This lets you use Amazon’s A.I. assistant to turn your receiver on and off, adjust the volume, mute and unmute, pause and resume playback, and even switch inputs and play music from various streaming services. This is a feature we’re starting to see in more and more receivers, so it’s nice to see it included here as well.

You’ll find eight HDMI inputs and three HDMI outputs on the AVR-X3500H, all of which feature support for HDCP2.2, as well as high dynamic range (HDR) in Dolby Vision, HDR10, and Hybrid Log Gamma formats. On the audio side, you’ll find support for object-based surround sound including Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, and DTS Virtual:X, which aims to give you the same level of immersion as proper object-based surround sound without the need for so many speakers.

Denon plans to keep the receiver up to date via firmware updates, and one is already planned. A future firmware update will bring support for two of the most important features found in HDMI 2.1 – eARC (Enhanced Audio Return Channel) and ALLM (Auto Low Latency Mode). ALLM will provide Xbox One users with a more responsive gaming experience, while eARC allows for object-based audio from TV apps, among other things.

The AVR-X3500H is currently available from authorized Denon retailers and sells for $1,000. If you’re not sure this is the receiver for you and want to explore your options, take a look at our list of the best A/V receivers you can buy.

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