Denon AVR-X6200W 9.2 Channel AV Receiver Review
Big power in a compact form and stunningly immersive
What is the Denon AVR-X6200W?This might be second in the Denon line-up of AV Receivers behind the superb AVR-X7200WA but it comes absolutely feature packed with the latest technology and new standards. All of this also comes in quite a compact chassis with excellent build quality and good amounts of power on offer. There is a monolithic amplifier design for all 9 channels and a boast of 205 watts with DHCT (Denon High Current Transistors) and AL24 processing plus. We get full immersive audio with decoding for Dolby Atmos (7.1.2 with internal amplifiers or add an additional 2-channel amp for 7.1.4), plus DTS:X is now available on-board along with the Neural:X upmixer. To round off all the available immersive formats, for a fee you can also update the X6200 to the Auro-3D decoder and upmixer.
In terms of up-to-date video standards the AVR-X6200 features 8 HDMI 2.0a inputs with HDCP 2.2 copy protection and the ability to handle 4K 4:4:4 60P video signals. There is also built-in video processing and upscaling, HDR and 3D pass through as well as a full suite of video calibration controls certified by the Imaging Science Foundation (ISF).
There is also built-in WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity along with services like Spotify Connect and thousands of internet radio channels, as well as full DLNA 1.5 networking capability, AirPlay connectivity for use with iOS devices and there's even a remote app available to help you control the AVR.
So with all this new technology on-board has the sound quality become a second a thought? Let’s find out!
Design, Connections and ControlIf we were to sum up the design layout of the Denon AVR-X6200 in one word it would be - traditional. We have the input dial at the left and volume knob to the right along with the central large display and a flap below that, hiding additional controls and connections, which are all fairly standard fare and what we would expect. The aluminium front panel has a nice brushed effect and the dials feel solid and tactile when used. The front flap movement is also soft and fluid pointing to a nice level of build quality. Indeed the X6200W is very well put together if a little smaller in size to the competition. The chassis is 434 x 393 x 167mm (W x D x H) in size and weighs in at 14.2 Kg and is available in Black or Premium Silver. To the bottom are large solid isolation feet in each corner and the overall chassis feels rigid and well built.
Under the flap on the front panel we have a selection of Zone control buttons to the top left and in the centre are the menu, info, back and set up buttons surrounding the usual direction keys and enter button. To the right of these are a dimmer for the display and quick select keys. Underneath the buttons to the left is an HDMI and USB slot with a Headphone input, and to the right are composite video and stereo RCA plugs and the Audyssey set up mic slot.Around the back we have a very well laid out selection of digital and analogue inputs and outputs along with a full row of speaker terminals. To the top of the rear plate are the 7 HDMI 2.0a inputs and 3 outputs with all of them supporting HDCP 2.2 copy protection for 4K 4:4:4 60p video pass through (this includes the HDMI port on the front panel). To either side of the HDMI slots are the wireless antennas for WiFi and Bluetooth connections with a LAN port also available.
In the central area of the rear panel there are a number of clearly defined sections that house most of the audio inputs and outputs for both digital and analogue sources. Starting from the left we have tuner antennas, a Denon digital link and Phono RCA and Gnd connections. Next we have 6 analogue stereo RCAs and below these are two 12V triggers, remote in and out and an RS232C port. The main central area is taken up with 13.2 RCA pre-outs for the main and width channels as well as Zone2 and Zone3 outs. Below these are two coaxial and optical digital inputs. Finally to the central right side are composite and component video inputs and outs. To round things up at the bottom of the rear panel we have eleven sets of speaker terminals that are colour coded to help with set up and which also accept banana plugs.
The remote control supplied with the Denon AVR-X6200 takes on the brushed black looks of the main unit with a well laid out and logical appearance. Like most well designed remotes the directional keys are central with access to the main set up menu and back key within easy thumb reach of these, and the volume keys just above those. This makes it easy to operate in the dark and find the most used features quickly. Although it feels like plastic the remote is also nicely weighted and sits well in the hand with the colour keys easily identifiable for surround and stereo mode selection. If you want to use your smart device to control the X6200 there is an all new control App available for iOS and Android users. However we found it was lacking in several areas compared to the older version of the App and didn’t find navigation intuitive or easy to follow.
Specs & FeaturesThere is no doubting that the X6200W is a very well featured AV Receiver and is full to the brim with the latest standards and immersive audio formats. As well as Dolby Atmos (5.1.4 or 7.1.2) the Denon also now has DTS:X as standard (and as a free firmware download) and for 149 Euros you can also upgrade the AVR to feature Auro-3D. Plus you have Audyssey DSX and DTS Neural:X 11.1 to complete the full immersive line-up. With 11 channel processing capability you can also add an external 2 channel amplifier to take advantage of Atmos at 7.1.4 or 9.1.2 making the X6200W extremely flexible when it comes to immersive audio reproduction.
Added to this are Denon’s claims of 9 x 205 Watts per channel from the Monolithic amplifier design, which includes Denon High Current Transistors (DHCT). The X6200W should be powerful enough to handle most modern speaker loads and we will be testing that fully with 4 Ohm loads later in the review. Audio quality is further enhanced with AL24 processing plus for two channel playback and high quality 4th generation 11.2 Quad Core SHARC DSP processors for multi-channel processing power.
It’s not just the audio side of the X6200 that is completely up to date when new formats are concerned. The 8 HDMI inputs and 3 outputs are all HDCP 2.2 copy protection enabled and can handle 4K 60P 4:4:4 video pass-through including HDR HDMI 2.0a metadata. The pass-through also works when the AVR is not turned on allowing video signals to pass directly to the display without having to power up the unit at all. The built-in video processing can also handle all current video signals and upscale content to Ultra HD resolution and we also have ISF certification for the video chain.
Audio EQ is a must have feature for some on today’s AV Receivers and the X6200W features the latest Audyssey MultEQ XT32 suite. This includes room EQ, Dynamic EQ and Dynamic Volume settings. Plus Audyssey Sub EQ allows for better integration of up to two subwoofers within the usual main speaker set up and measurement. This is a nice new touch which certainly covers a past weakness of the Audyssey auto EQ system and with good placement, measurement and correction we no longer have the same issues of odd results when it comes to the subwoofer channels. The system is also Pro ready.
Network connectivity is also a must have these days and we have WiFi and Bluetooth available along with a wired LAN port. Set up is easy and there are streaming services and internet radio available as well as DLNA 1.5 compatibility and Airplay. Add all this to the available App and you have quite a comprehensive networked system. In terms of file types, the Denon can playback DSD and AIFF streams or via USB, along with ALAC and WAV and support for gapless playback.
Finally Denon continues the easy to use concept with the set up assistant which walks users through wiring the speakers, adding sources and basic set up. Added to this are the colour coded speaker labels, the cardboard tripod for the EQ mic and the easy layout of the rear panel, which makes this a powerful but relatively simple AVR to set up.
TestingWe tested the Denon AVR-X6200W with the 4 Ohm MK MP300 THX LCR Speakers, S300T surrounds and two MK X12 THX subwoofers. For Atmos we added JBL Control 1 speakers for SB and Ceiling speakers. We also used a Panasonic DMP-BD320 Blu-ray player, Fire TV 4K, JVC DLA-X700 Projector and 10ft Enlightor scope screen. We also used Tidal via Bluetooth and files from our NAS via the network. The X6200 was set up manually as well as fully tested with the Audyssey EQ processing. The main testing was done without room EQ as per all AVR tests we conduct.
We started testing with the bread and butter of any AV Receiver and that is 5.1 and 7.1 standard Blu-ray HD soundtracks and immediately selected our now well-worn Dawn of the Planet of the Apes opening scene with the ape hunt. Although the chassis of the X6200 is smaller than the equivalent competition and you might think that would somehow affect the power available and sound quality, this couldn’t be further from the truth. There is plenty of weight and power to the thunder surrounding the camera pulling away from Caesar’s eyes, and as the shot widens the human choir gets louder with excellent crispness to the rain falling all around the listening position. The wind instrument and bass drum is full and engaging within the front of the soundstage and the muffled sounds of the apes making their way amongst the branches fill in the sides of the room. It all builds with a good sense of dread and atmosphere before exploding with superb dynamics and the bottom end effects of deer hoofs accelerating across the woodland floor. We found this confidence and full on performance surprising for the price point when considering that the 4 Ohm load from the MK MP300 speakers are not that easy to drive, even with decent sensitivity. There is no way that the X6200W gets anywhere close to the claimed 205 Watts with all channels driven, and although we didn’t objectively measure the actual output, the Denon is more than capable of producing enough grunt to fill a decent sized cinema room without running out of steam. We certainly got loud enough to be uncomfortable in our room before the X6200 began to run out of steam and get brittle, which would be the case for the vast majority of users. So far so impressive.
Next we set about listening to a number of Dolby Atmos soundtracks and yet again the Denon managed to put together a very convincing soundstage with excellent dynamics and believable cohesion. The frenetic gun fights of John Wick hit with authority and a solid slam to every gunshot hitting it mark or the movement of air as he uses leg strikes and sweeping the legs away from his enemies. All the time the music of the nightclub appears to be coming from speakers above the action and to the side of your listening position. There is plenty of fine detail in the mix that can still be heard above all the action and the placement of effects and objects is perfect. We also moved to our old favourite Gravity with its unique placement of effects in relation to where the camera is positioned. Again voices and effects placement was handled extremely well and we soon stopped listening to the AVR and began enjoying the experience on screen – always a good sign that everything is working well. We only had a couple of test clips and one movie in DTS:X at the time of the review but the film in question - Crimson Peak - sounded superb with marvellous dynamics and excellent object placement within the sound stage.
We can best sum up the Denon’s movie performance as very impressive with superb envelopment from the soundstage it creates and impressive weight and authority from its excellent dynamics. Up against our day-to-day Yamaha RX-A3050 the Denon is a little more relaxed in its presentation compared to the upfront and more neutral signature of the Yamaha. It is not an obvious night and day difference, but when used with the same speakers in the same environment we are able to distinguish the differences. Which presentation you prefer will be a personal choice and we would be happy using either in our main system.
We finished our assessment of the Denon with Michael Jackson’s This Is it on Blu-ray and some favourite music via Tidal and CD. The relaxed presentation of the Denon is more obvious with music playback and it adds to the performance with a warmer tone than our Yamaha. This will no doubt suit the vast majority of users and the detail and power on offer are impressive. The X6200W is no slouch with music and even with difficult female vocals at high volumes it produces a detailed and powerful sound without any signs of sibilance. If we have any negatives to this presentation it would be that everything seems a little too safe and there is roll off at the higher frequencies, which just removes that crispness we like from the Yamaha. But if you enjoy a warm, powerful and detailed sound to your music, the Denon does the job extremely well.
- Excellent sound quality with Dolby Atmos and DTS:X
- Can be upgraded to Auro-3D
- Superb sound quality with regular 5.1/7.1
- Excellent music playback quality
- Extensive features
- Easy to set up
- Good auto EQ quality
- Solid build quality
- Could be a little laid back and slightly warm for some tastes
- Remote App is not very intuitive
Denon AVR-X6200W 9.2 Channel AV Receiver ReviewThe Denon AVR-X6200 is a superb performer with all the latest immersive audio and video standards covered. Don’t let the compact chassis fool you into thinking this is not a powerful performer either, as the X6200 managed to handle the 4 Ohm load of the MK MP300 speaker package we tested it with; never breaking a sweat even when pushed hard. We get all the latest immersive formats including (at an optional cost) Auro-3D. Dolby Atmos and DTS:X sound superb with an exceptionally immersive soundstage and huge dynamics with excellent object placement. The Denon has a confident sound that whilst not in your face, it is full of detail and has impressive weight and high-end poise that is only dampened slightly with a high frequency roll off. Even with just normal HD soundtracks from Blu-ray we were mightily impressed with the overall cohesion to the surround field created by the AVR-X6200W.
The Denon is also a top performer with music tracks creating an excellent stereo soundstage that is detailed and expansive when required. Even with difficult female vocals at high frequencies the AVR remains well behaved with no signs of sibilance or shrillness to the higher notes. Again there is a degree of warmth to the sound and a roll off at the absolute high-end that is likely to please more than it annoys.
There is no doubt that this is a well specified AV Receiver that covers almost everything you will need for the next few years. This includes the latest HDMI HDR standards and HDCP 2.2 copy protection for 4K video and with excellent video processing also on board we get full 4K 4:4:4 60p pass through for the latest formats. Added to this are excellent networking capabilities including WiFi, Bluetooth, DLNA and Airplay along with a new App to help keep control over everything and you have a compelling product that offers genuine high-end AVR performance at a very reasonable price point. It comes highly recommended.
What are my alternatives?
At the current price point there is the Yamaha RX-A2050 which offers much of the same features and power for a very similar price and size and perhaps the most compelling would be D&M’s own Marantz SR7010. That model is considerably cheaper but has all the same features and similar amplifier power and channels with the latest immersive formats including DTS:X and Auro-3D. There is also support for the latest video formats which makes it a good alternative option.
Suggested retail price when reviewed: £1,799.00
Value For Money9
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