Denon AVR-X4300H Review – Home Cinema, Supercharged.
Something special has left the Denon headquarters, the Denon AVR-X4300H. How is this different to any other AV Receiver on the market? For years now the AV receiver has been fighting a battle of convenience with Soundbars and Wireless Multi-Room systems and until now convenience has been winning. Denon’s latest masterpiece is set to change that by offering a true home entertainment system in a simple to use package. Wireless Multi-Room and Home Cinema have joined forces to create something special.
The defining feature with the Denon AVR-X4300H is the built in Heos by Denon wireless multiroom. This means that you can turn your home cinema into a party zone using the Heos app. Lets not forget that this is still a Home Cinema Amplifier at heart and the feature list proves this. The Denon packs 200 watts of power to all of its 9 channels meaning that you can experience a full 5.2.4 Dolby Atmos or DTS:X soundtrack and with a future software update Auro 3D will be available too.
Network streaming is a doddle with the built in Wifi meaning that you can use music services such as Spotify to play your favourite tracks direct to the AVRX4300H or around your whole house using the Heos app. Hi-Res audio is on the feature list too meaning that you can stream from your favourite service or a Network Attached Storage device such as the Innuos Zen range. For convenience Bluetooth is another option.
Denon have ensured that the 8 HDMI inputs are ready for the next generation meaning they are HDCP 2.2 compliant and support HDR. There are three outputs, two for your main zone and another for zone 2 as well as 4K upscaling built in.
The Denon features the platinum version of Audyssey XT32 which does take longer to set up than other brands but the results here were simply astonishing and well worth the wait. Another point to note is just how easy the AVRX4300H was to setup, all the terminals are colour coded and once you have made the basic connections you can power on the unit and it walks you through every step of the way.
The system we are using is the Jamo D500 Surround Package with the Jamo J112 Wireless Subwoofer, Onkyo BDSP809 Blu-Ray Player and an Epson EH-TW6600 projector.
I started with my reference movie for testing, Tron Legacy on Blu-Ray. This movie features a sensational soundtrack and will put any system through its paces thanks to the deep low end, intense dialogue and crisp synthesised highs. From the off its apparent that the AVR-X4300H is a clear step up from any budget amplifier. The opening scene is a dialogue descriptive with a subtle soundtrack, a less capable AVR would emphasise the sound effects which then makes the dialogue un-intelligible. There is no sign of that here, in fact the Denon brings the dialogue into your room and creates an intense atmosphere whilst the background soundtrack pans around your room adding to the build up of drama.
Huge Low End Presence
At first you would be forgiven for thinking that the Denon doesn’t seem as loud as other AV Receivers even when playing at reference level, the Onkyo TX-RZ810 seems to create the opening scene with a forceful attack that borders on the edge of being overpowering whereas the Denon seems a little more laid back with a focus on dialogue. That is until you come to a scene where the action gets intense.
As Sam Flynn is being prepared for his first Disc War the synthesised vocals of the female robots will make the hairs on the back of your neck tingle. As Flynn rises from the depths into the Disc Wars arena the AVRX4300H goes into overdrive, the sheer level of power that’s produced is insatiable , you are made to feel like you are actually in the chanting crowd and the low frequency effects hit with brutal impact.
The dynamics on show here are phenomenal, the AVR can go from rendering a dialogue heavy scene with such clarity and precision to a full action battle without breaking a sweat. When the movie requires the Denon will dig deep and hard and play loud with ease, in fact the only way to describe it would be to compare the Denon to an Orchestra. each part of the soundtrack is being timed and played with such precision and clarity that you are drawn in to the movie.
The low end is huge, there is no other way of putting it. When something explodes the AVR-X4300H lets you know about it. To be really picky you could say that the low end chooses impact over precision however , in the whole balance of the presentation it doesn’t effect the experience and seems to match the rest of the tonal balance. In fact I would rather have an AV Receiver that gives a forceful low end than one that gives a clinical presentation.
Surround Sound Connoisseur
As I move onto our Dolby Atmos Demo Disc it becomes instantly clear that the Denon is a master of anything you throw at it. As the leaf is blown around your listening room you can pinpoint its exact direction and location in the room. The AVRX4300H even manages to squeeze out every last detail down to the rustling of the leaf as it takes its journey. The steering of the sound effects is commendable and shows the real advantages to Dolby Atmos.
It seemed only fair seeing as this is an AV Receiver at heart to test the AVR-X4300H’s movie prowess first but the exciting new feature here is the Heos Wireless Multiroom. The built in Heos allows you to use your Denon as a zone in your whole house audio system. Using the AVR as a multiroom zone couldn’t be simpler, simply open the app where you will see the X4300H as a speaker and either group it with the rest of your Heos speakers or play your favourite tracks directly to the Denon.
Once I had set the Audyssey MultiEQ settings and selected the AVR as a zone in the Heos App i got to streaming some songs. Listening to ‘You Want Me’ by Tom Zanetti the presentation is hugely enjoyable. The Denon manages to track the bass with a forceful accuracy and the mids are well expressed, listening to music on the AVR-X4300H shows that manufacturers are trying hard to make the AV Receiver a true one box solution for all of your home entertainment.
Move on to something a little more contemporary like ‘ Sunshine ‘ by Norah Jones and the Denon shows that it isn’t just a party animal. The way in which it picks up on every strike of the guitar string and every detail in Norah Jones’ voice is quite startling, in fact if you close your eyes you would be forgiven for thinking that the song is being played live just for you. The same talent at creating an atmosphere that was found when watching movies is apparent with music too which is quite hard for an AVR to achieve.
Its clear that Denon have taken everything they have learnt from the AVR-X2300 and AVR-X3300 and supercharged it. The way in which it handles movies with such precision, clarity and impact is mesmerising. The fact that it continues this sonic ability with music sources just adds to the list of positives. Obviously a dedicated stereo setup would be better but you would have to spend at least the same amount to even match the AVR-X4300H which makes the Denon something of a bargain.
When you consider that a wireless multiroom surround sound system from Sonos costs around £1500 and doesn’t have the sonic ability or processing features of the AVR-X4300H which costs £1299 and comes with a Free Heos 1 HS2 it would seem to me that there is only one choice. The Denon AVR-X4300H is ‘ The Heart Of Your Home Cinema & The Soul Of Your Party ‘ and thoroughly recommended by me.
Learn more about the Denon AVR-X4300H .
Denon AVRX4300H Video Preview