Denon AVR -S960H


Active Member
Hi everyone.
I am building our first ever home theater and have landed on what I plan to get.
But I have a few questions about the receiver I am potentially going to buy.

After I posted this I learned a few more things so I think I have shifted my plan.
If you just skip this and go to the first reply, I summarize the whole thing.

I was trying to determine if the Denon AVR -S960H would let me set up height speakers properly or not as they don't have any height speaker designations on the rear like the X3700 does.

I found out you can assign them to the extra surround section on the rear of the Denon AVR -S960H if you want during set up, but then after learning more I chose to just go with the X3700,despite it being double the price, you can read the reply and save some time.

First Edit:
I learned that these 7.2 receivers that say they offer Atmos and Atmos virtualization dont have height speaker designation on the rear of the unit, instead I think you use the surround section that isnt otherwise used by my other speakers, But that made me think, I dont want a virtual atmos I want a real atmos, and it does say it supports both, but yet doesn't have height speaker inputs on the receiver.

Then I looked at the X3700, this gives me the headroom I wanted for future upgrade to a 5.2.4 system that I would like to end up with ultimately and has the proper height speaker designation on the unit itself and I have to believe that will make set up and use a little easier or more effective?
am I wrong on that?
Can I get just as good working atmos from the 7.2 like the Denon S960H or S750H as I Can from the X3700?
End Edit:

Original post below....

the Denon AVR -S960H.

It checks all the boxes for me, and I prefer the 8k hdmi 2.1 capability in case they ever straighten out this 4k 120 vrr hdr situation with the Series X, but if not I'm fine with that.

I can still utilize all the other functions and who knows maybe other hdmi 2.1 devices will become more popular over the next few years and if so I wont need an upgrade for a while.

I was going to go with the S-750H 4k version but for 50.00 more I thought what the heck, I don't know what the future holds as far as this 4k 120 thing goes but Id rather be ready for it than not if possible.

The problem is I cant find a single comparison of the Denon AVR -S960H vs other receivers I am considering specifically the Denon AVR-X1600H or the Denon AVR-X2700.

The X2700 is a few bucks more but within my budget if there were a compelling reason to go that route over the AVR-S960H or the AVR-X1600H.

Im very new to audio gear, green as a fresh cut lawn, But Ive been doing a deep dive for the past few days to educate myself on the basics so I can make educated purchases.
Does anyone know when did the AVR -S960H came out? was it late in 2020 or is it new or was it recently released? you can only find them sporadically here and there in limited numbers compared to the others so I thought that was odd.

I want to know what the difference is between the X and the S line for one, and then how the AVR -S960H compares to the AVR-X1600H pound for pound or what differences there are with them.

IF anyone has any information I would greatly appreciate that.
Thanks very much for reading my post.
Last edited:


Active Member
Well since nobody has seen this yet or had a chance to comment, let me wrap it up and summarize.

After hours and hours of reading, I realized the Denon S960H AVR receiver does allow me to assign Atmos speakers using rear surround speaker ports on the back that are assignable, unlike the x3700 that has dedicated height channels to use.

The difference in price from the Denon S960H compared to the Denon X3700 is nearly double and for that, you get the ability to add 2 additional speakers, better Audyssey set up, a little more power 105 watts vs 90, 1 additional hdmi port, a removeable power chord, plus discrete subwoofer outputs not available on the S960H.

I decided I am going to spend the extra money and buy the X3700 now, so in the future if I want to add 2 rear ceiling mounted Atmos speakers I will be able too as well as the other features I mentioned above, it seems a steep price jump for so few attributes BUT I don't want to do this again anytime soon.
I am giving up an Xbox Series X by doing this, so I will just have to save up and buy one in April if they become available then.

I don't know if any of this information will help others who may end up shopping this stuff as I did, But I hope so, it represents about 18 hours of research from a guy with zero knowledge of any of this stuff three days ago.

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