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Denon announce AVC-X8500H Pure AV Amplifier

Keeping it pure(ish)

by Mark Hodgkinson Feb 14, 2018 at 2:45 PM


  • Denon is introducing a ‘pure AV-Amplifier’ after a nine year absence from this market.
    This will be the first AV-Amplifier Denon have released since their AVC-A1HDA back in 2009, with the AVC-X8500H marking their return, providing the industry’s first true 13.2 channel AV Amplifier. The AVC-X8500H features Dolby Atmos, DTS:X and Auro 3D surround decoding with 13 channels of built-in amplification to enable 3D surround sound up to 7.2.6 without external amplification. Adding to the brand’s AV receiver line, custom installation offerings, and acknowledging the emergence and evolution of the smart home, the AVC-X8500H also adds an Alexa Smart Home Skill for Entertainment Devices, Apple AirPlay and whole-house wireless music compatibility.

    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,” said Richard Velazquez, global head of brand management at Denon. “In addition to our monolithic amplifier design with our custom-made transistors and compatibility with nearly every advanced AV format, the AVC-X8500H is incredibly easy to setup. Owners can use voice commands with Alexa’s Smart Home Skill* to control the unit and leverage whole-home audio integration to experience the future of home theatre.”

    The Denon AVC-X8500H is hand-assembled in small batch form in Japan and incorporates custom-made DHCT (Denon High Current Transistors)—discrete monolithic amplifiers rated at 150 watts per channel (@8 ohms, 20 – 20 kHz, THD 0.05%, 2 channel driven), enabling surround sound from object-oriented formats, such as Dolby Atmos or DTS:X, without any external amplification. The AVC-X8500H also supports Auro 3D surround sound decoding, up to Auro 13.1 channel, three-layered speaker layout including top and height centre channels. Auro-3D will be enabled via future firmware update at no additional charge.

    The AVC-X8500H wants to be at the centre of a whole-home wireless music network, boasting full wireless connectivity via Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, streaming capabilities with Apple AirPlay, and wireless multi-room audio technology. Users can explore, browse, and play music in every room from a variety of sources, including high-resolution DSD (2.8 and 5.6 MHz), FLAC, ALAC and WAV files.

    The Alexa Smart Home Skill for Entertainment Devices allows voice commands to a connected Amazon Alexa device to natively control a variety of functions, including power on/off, volume, mute/unmute, music play/pause, external input switching and playback of supported streaming services. The Amazon Alexa feature becomes available in Spring 2018.

    The AVC-X8500H comes equipped with a range of features to provide enhanced control capabilities and compatibility with third-party and custom integration solutions. It features IP control capability for integration with major third-party control devices and Control4 SDDP (Simple Device Detection Protocol) certification. An RS-232C serial port is available to directly connect to external home automation and control equipment, and an IR remote control input on the rear panel enables remote control compatibility with other components in your home theatre system. Denon’s newly invented “HDMI diagnostics” mode will be available to help custom integrators troubleshoot HDMI related audio and video issues at the time of installation using only the front panel of the amplifier along with Denon’s trouble-shooting guide.

    The AVC-X8500H is fully compatible with the latest HDMI connectivity and HDCP 2.2 specifications on all eight HDMI inputs and triple HDMI outputs. The amplifier supports 4K Ultra HD 60Hz video, 4:4:4 Pure Colour sub-sampling, High Dynamic Range (HDR), 21:9 video, 3D and BT.2020 pass-through support. As such, the AVC-X8500H is prepared for 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray disc players, set-top boxes and other 4K Ultra HD sources. Additionally, it can support legacy systems by upscaling standard and high definition analogue, and digital video content to 4K Ultra HD. Dolby Vision, eARC (Enhanced Audio Return Channel) and HLG (Hybrid Log Gamma) compatibility are also supported. eARC will be enabled via firmware update in 2018. Furthermore, Denon plans to support the owners of the AVC-X8500H with both hardware and software upgradability to the HDMI 2.1 specification, namely 8K pass-through capability when the solution becomes available. This will be a charged upgrade service.

    The AV Amplifier also comes with the most advanced Audyssey Room correction suite available – the Audyssey Platinum suite of advanced DSP algorithms, the AVC-X8500H features Audyssey MultEQ XT32 automatic room acoustic correction. MultEQ XT32 can analyse each speaker’s output at up to eight measurement locations and generates precision digital filters that optimise each channel for the correct frequency and time domain response. With the addition of Audyssey Dynamic Volume and Dynamic EQ, installers and users will have maximum control to optimise their audio set up Audyssey Low Frequency Containment uses psychoacoustic algorithms to deliver a full range tonal balance, including deep bass, but without disturbing those in other rooms. Additionally, the AVC-X8500H supports the new Audyssey MultEQ Editor App compatibility. The optimal MultEQ Editor App allows users to view and customise the sound more precisely to the specific problems in the room, and tailor the sound to your personal preferences.

    The AVC-X8500H (€ 3,699 / £3,299) will be available in February 2018 through authorised Denon retailers in black and silver.

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