It seems like it has been an extremely long time since we had the chance to sit down and look at a new premium AV Receiver, and just like busses we now have two weighty boxes of AV goodness to have a play with.
Here we’re taking a look at the Denon AVR-X4300H and its bigger brother the AVR-X6300H which sit in the upper tier of Denon’s current AVR-X range, with just the AVR-X7200 above it. The 7200 is actually carried over from last year, the only 2015 model to still be a part of the X series for 2016, at least for now anyway.
If you are familiar with any of Denon’s AVR-X series of products from the last few years then you won’t be stunned by any Bauhaus style redesigns, in fact you would be hard pushed at first glance to determine between the outgoing models vs the 2016 models.
Both the AVR-X4300 and 6300 have reassuringly sturdy front fascia with a flip down cover in the centre of the unit that hides away all the physical buttons keeping the front looking sleek and tidy. The two line display is bright and informative serving up a good amount of info meaning navigating the menu system on the unit itself is actually quite doable. If you don’t want the displays light to interrupt you movie watching then it can be dimmed, or alternatively switched off altogether.
What’s in the box?
Inside the hefty box along with the receiver, both available in Black or Gold, you get the usual manuals, Am / FM aerials, remote control, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi antennas, a handy pack of stickers for labelling your cables and an Audyssey MultEQ XT32 setup mic along with an actual mic stand.
Usually a mic stand is something you have to sort out yourself, either from cushions awkwardly balance around your desired seating positions or balanced on the back of a sofa.
The mic stand bundled with Denon revivers is a really neat extendable, cardboard affair that kind of resembles a rocket with a small platform on top for the Audyssey mic to sit.
A little touch that goes a long way, especially as the full Audyssey calibration requires 8 different readings in different positions around your seating area.
In terms of features the similarities between the AVR-X4300 and AVR-X6300 continue, both including the headline feature of having HEOS built in, the first of Denon’s amplifiers to include this.
HEOS allows either of these receivers to “become the heart of a whole-house wireless multi-room music network”. You can then stream content from a host of music streaming services, or from devices on your home network, and control it all via the free HEOS app, adding more HEOS components around your home.
Other shared features include 7 assignable HDMI inputs on the rear, all of which are 4K / HDCP 2.2 compatible, an additional HDMI input can be found under the front panel, and 3 HDMI outputs.
Both AV Receivers include Bluetooth, Airplay, vTuner Radio and Spotify Connect for those wishing to stream audio. File format playback is pretty comprehensive including HD FLAC or WAV up to 192/24, ALAC 96/24 and even DSD 5.6.
Setup via Audyssey MultiEQ XT32 is simple and straight forward, helped by one of the best and easy to follow GUI.
As expected at this level all the highest quality multichannel decoding can be achieved via DTS HD Master / DTS:X, and Dolby TrueHD or Dolby Atmos, and it’s here where you start to see the big differences between these two receivers.
You can enjoy your favourite movie in the main room, while others enjoy stereo sound from different sources in 2 other rooms. The AVR-X4300H and AVR-X6300H are equipped with speaker connections, as well as pre-amp outputs for a 2nd zone and 3rd zone. There's also a dedicated HDMI output for 2nd zone audio and video so you can watch and enjoy 2 different video sources at the same time.
While both the AVR-X4300H and AVR-X6300H are Dolby Atmos enabled amplifiers the AVR-X4300 can only give a maximum configuration of 7.2.2, if you want the full 9.2.2/7.2.4 Atmos setup you will need to add an external 2 channel power amplifier to achieve this. Alternatively, a much neater solution is to opt for the AVR-X6300H, the first Denon receiver to include 11 channels of built in amplification, all outputting 205w, up from the 200w on the AVR-X4300H.
Both receivers are now available for demonstration or purchase, and for a limited time will include a free Denon HEOS 1 speaker worth £199.