Denon bows formidable AVC-X8500H 7.2.6 channel Dolby Atmos DTS:X AV amplifier

posted on Wednesday, 21st February 2018 by Steve May

High-end  4K  8K  Dolby Atmos  home cinema  AWE Europe 

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Denon has introduced a high performance AV amplifier, its first since the AVC-A1HDA back in 2009. The flagship 13 channel 7.2.6 AVC-X8500H supports Dolby Atmos, DTS:X and Auro 3D surround decoding, and is able to deliver immersive audio up to 150w p/c.

The specification is formidable. Naturally, the amp is compatible with Amazon Alexa. Voice commands can be used to control a variety of functions, including power on/off, volume, mute/unmute, music play/pause, external input switching and playback of supported streaming services. There’s also support for Apple AirPlay, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, as well as compatibility with whole-house Heos wireless multiroom. High res file support covers DSD (2.8 and 5.6 MHz), FLAC, ALAC and WAV files.

“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 theatre enthusiasts integrate object-oriented audio into their builds, we identified a missing need and designed the industry’s first true 13-channel AV Amplifier with plenty of muscle on tap to power formats like Dolby Atmos, DTS:X and Auro 3D,” says Richard Velazquez, global head of brand management at Denon. Auro-3D 13.1 decoding will be enabled via future firmware update at no additional charge, says the brand.

Significantly, the AVC-X8500H offers a wide range of enhanced control capabilities and compatibility with third-party and custom integration solutions. There’s IP control and Control4 SDDP (Simple Device Detection Protocol) certification. An RS-232C serial port is provided for external home automation and control equipment, while an IR remote input on the rear panel enables remote control compatibility with other home cinema components.

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All eight HDMI inputs are HDCP 2.2 compliant, and support 4K 60Hz 4:4:4 colour sub-sampling. There are also three HDMI outputs. There’s also HDR and and BT.2020 pass-through. The maker says Dolby Vision, eARC and HLG (Hybrid Log-Gamma) compatibility is also supported.

To aid set-up, the AVC-X8500H features Audyssey MultEQ XT32 automatic room acoustic correction, with up to eight measurements. The amplifier also incorporates an HDMI diagnostics to help custom integrators troubleshoot HDMI related audio and video issues, via the front panel display.

With an eye on the future, Denon says it will offer both hardware and software upgradability to the HDMI 2.1 specification, with 8K pass-through capability, when a solution becomes available.

Available both in black and silver, the AVC-X8500H will retail for £3,299.

Steve May

Inside CI Editor Steve May is a freelance technology journalist, who also writes for T3, TechRadar, Home Cinema Choice and ERT (amongst others).

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