Archive for category AV Receivers
“Compared with this market’s class leaders – the aforementioned Sony and Denon’s most recent five-star amp (the AVR-X2500H) – it lags noticeably behind both for punch, and trails the Sony in particular for that dynamic variance and musical detail.
If you do go for the Onkyo, take care with system matching. You won’t be able to inject any of what it lacks, but you could double down on it with an equally safe-sounding speaker package. Best to let this amp feed a livelier package, such as the Dali Zensor 1 5.1, and make the most of what enthusiasm it has.”
“On the streaming side, the Denon amplifier supports everything from Bluetooth and AirPlay (AirPlay 2 is support coming shortly) to Spotify Connect, Tidal and Deezer, while its HEOS multi-room technology also sports Alexa voice control. You can stream audio in hi-res quality up to 24-bit/192kHz, as well as single and double speed DSD files.
Wondering why the X8500H is titled an “AVC” rather than the more usual “AVR”? The AVC-X8500 is called an AV amplifier rather than an AV receiver, for the simple reason that it doesn’t have an FM tuner built in (like the US model), so you can’t call it a ‘receiver’. It does have a tuner input in case you want radio reception, though.”
After confirming operation with test tones, I turned to Dirac Live setup. The first task was to update the processor’s firmware and BluOS. NAD includes a Wi-Fi module to plug in the USB port, but I opted to use the RJ45 jack for a direct connection to my home network. The update took only a few minutes. Then, I added the M17 V2 as a BluOS player in the iPhone app. It allows access to vast amounts of streamed content from carriers like iHeart Radio and Spotify.
I’ve already detailed the running of Dirac Live in my previous reviews of the T 758 and T 777 receivers, so I won’t rehash it here. I was anxious to try the additional features of the full version though. The extra room layouts are intriguing because my theater doesn’t really resemble a sofa configuration. Chair is closer to my actual seating arrangement. And I wanted to hear the effect of correction at frequencies higher than 500Hz.”
“Starting my listening as usual with two-channel music, I played a Tidal stream of “The Race” by the Swiss group Yello. It immediately became clear that the AVR-X8500H is no lightweight in the amplifier department. This song features lots of heavy bass and car door-slamming sounds, and the Denon’s startling dynamic grip on the speakers really made things come to life. Imaging performance was no less impressive, with the band spread behind and around the speakers and sound effects circling the room. Imaging with the Denon was so impressive, in fact, that I had to get up and assure myself that the receiver hadn’t somehow switched from stereo to multichannel mode.”
“It is immediately clear Denon has taken a step forward over the past year. Most notably is the AVR-X2500H’s increased power over its predecessor, bringing it closer to the more muscular character of Denons past.
Using the 4K disc of David Ayer’s WWII film Fury as an example, the weight of artillery fire and tank tread through heavy terrain now rumbles around our test room with increased authority. Our bones rattle as bombs are dropped and there is thunder as the destruction continues in the distance.
A tiny amount of delicacy is sacrificed compared to the last generation, but the increase in muscularity is a worthwhile swap.”