Denon has been in the game for audio equipment for ages now. Only a few names come to mind when talking about well rounded and affordable receivers and this is no exception except we believe it has a few more bells and whistles then the normal receiver you would get.
on the inside. Two dials are in front, left being the source selector, the right is your master volume with the display in the center. Nothing too out of the ordinary but it is however one of the better looking receivers giving you a sleek minimalist display. This is achieved by the hidden flap that hides basic controls, an HDMI port, USB port, audio mic jack and a composite input which are all nice editions to have.
On the back it has a ton of connections and options to take advantage of. The channel connections are easily laid out across the receiver on one line versus others that mostly occupy more then one line of space for the speaker inputs. Their are seven HDMI inputs in the back and three outputs as well which is a plenty to take advantage of and all support 4k 60hz with HDR (High Dynamic Range). Other inputs include stereo analogue inputs, two optical, two coaxial audio inputs, four composite video inputs and two outputs. It also integrated Wifi, ethernet port bluetooth and an AM and FM tuners. It’s actually a very impressive box with things we didn’t even realize to utilize until now.
Overall it allows a 9.2 speaker with 200w that can be delivered to each channel and lets you do a few configurations with it. One is a 7.1 channel with two speakers above which would be a 7.1.2 or you can create a 5.1 with four speakers above which is a 5.1.4 setup which was our setup. Their are two more speaker channels which can be setup with an external amp giving you a 11.2 option.
Initial setup was easy and used the Audyssey MultEQ XT32 for calibration so the room and speakers can be fully optimized. It does a good job of setting up LFC (Low Frequency Containment) across channels and what set of hz each speaker set should be at. Options for optimizing sound and video are also present which we tweaked to our liking for a better listening experience. It has various settings ranging from THX, to dynamic audio and has every known available codecs to date. The big ones are Dolby Atmos, DTS:X and Auro 3-D. These are the codecs needed to fully utilize the height speakers to their full potential. Although it needs to be purchased Auro 3-D is not widely available on units as on the consumer side they are still making breakthroughs so this makes the box even more future proof. You can check out our review for Auro 3-D with this Denon AVR-X4300H receiver here or the video above. Each of these codecs to a great job on the receiver with their algorithms when the source is not native to it.
The only two things we felt we had issues with was on boot up depending on the connection it would start you at a screen where it would just say Denon until all things were active (the tv, the source of video/sound and receiver) and would do it every time. We were able to customize this with a bit of tinkering. The other thing is the lip sync feature which does a good job with trying to lineup both audio and video but we found that an extra video processing on the sources part made the audio delay and the issue is that it doesn’t look like you can delay audio into the negatives. Some other receivers allow it to almost bring the audio in first but none the less we’ve only had this issue when playing with features on an Xbox One S like the new bitstream for Dolby Atmos which we don’t know if their will be a fix or not too.
We put the receiver through its paces and gotta say it performs very well across the board. With our 5.2.4 setup we had Klipch Gallery series speakers, a Klipsch subwoofer and a SVS 1000watt subwoofer as our heavy hitters in the system and it powered everything with ease. It’s able to drive a decent size room perfectly without distortion at high volumes. Of course higher end receivers can perform better but unless you’re creating a movie theater room of extensive proportions you might not even be able to tell the difference. We tested three things entertainment, music and games.
Entertainment like Netflix sounded good especially with the up-mixing algorithms that Dolby, DTS and Auro 3D have. Nothing sounded like it came in low quality at all. Blu-rays on the other hand is where things take full advantage as Dolby HD and DTS HD are crisp and clear with every note. Dolby Atmos and DTS:X in particular are pretty breath taking when setup correctly. We’ve heard the immersive sound from other receivers but on the X4300H it really pops signifying sound separated by channel and area and does become a mess of noise.
Music whether it’s streaming from a device, directly from an HDMI source or High Fidelity sound great. We particularly had an event where the party was driven by the system making the experience grand and impressive scale across the event. If you take advantage of Auro 3-D this is where you want to have your system set to with live music as it’s nothing like we’ve heard before form a codecs.
Gaming worked very well with the unit. Playing Battlefield 1, Forza Horizon 3 or Injustice 2 on Xbox One S and Playstation 4 pro is handled by the system great. No distortion or weird hiccups to be found here. The up-mixing is works well and you may want to try and experiment with the different codecs too your liking.
This has to be one of the best receivers we’ve seen in recent years. It’s packed with features and performance to boot. It really has everything you would get from higher end receivers at a reasonable price for what you’re getting. Auro 3-D in the unit almost makes it worth it as a future proof device as AVR units triple its price don’t have it or the amount of inputs in brings. This can not only be upgradable with an external amp making it an 11.2 channel but it also has their HEOS speaker system integrated for a multiroom setup.
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