Denon used CES 2018 to launch what it says is the world’s first ‘true’ 13.2 channel, 150-watt per channel AV Receiver with support for Amazon Alexa, Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, and Auro 3D.

We identified a missing need and designed the industry’s first true 13-channel AVR 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 AVR-X8500H is incredibly easy to set up. 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 AVR-X8500H uses thirteen custom-made discrete monolithic amplifiers each rated at 150 watts into 8Ω, enabling it to deliver Dolby Atmos or DTS:X without any external amplification. The AVR-X8500H also supports Auro 3D surround sound decoding via firmware update, up to Auro 13.1 channel, three-layered speaker layout including top and height centre channels. Interestingly, Velazquez says the receiver will not be mass-produced, but will be hand-built in Japan. It offers full wireless connectivity via Wi-Fi and Bluetooth and 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,’ said Valazquez. ‘And because Alexa is on board, owners can use their voice to natively control a variety of functions, including power on/off, volume, mute/unmute, music play/pause, and external input switching.

The AVR-X8500H is fully compatible with the latest HDMI connectivity and HDCP 2.2 specifications on all eight HDMI inputs and triple HDMI outputs. The receiver also 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 AVR-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 analog 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.

The AVR-X8500H also comes with the full Audyssey Platinum suite of advanced DSP algorithms including MultEQ XT32 automatic room acoustic correction, which can analyse each speaker’s output at up to eight measurement locations and generate precision digital filters to optimise each channel for the correct frequency and time domain response. Also included is the MultEQ Editor App that allows users to view and customise the sound to address specific problems in the room, and tailor the sound to personal preferences.

Available now in the USA (for $US3,999) the AVR-X8500H will be available later this year in Australia via Denon’s Australian distributor, QualiFi.

For further information, please contact Qualifi