Denon AV receivers have long been at the top of the tree when it comes to sound quality and performance.
They are a company with a long history of making top quality audio products, and so it is no surprise that their AV receivers are some of the very best around.
There are currently two broad product categories to choose from when you are looking for a Denon AV receiver - the AVR-x91 series (US only, at the time of writing) and the AVR-xx11 series. In addition to these models, there are also a couple more flagship models at the top end.
Most of these models are available in both the US and UK, although there are some regional differences which are highlighted below. Also bear in mind that the exact specification may also vary slightly between different countries.
These Denon receivers are listed in approximate order of value (using the Manufacturer Suggested Retail Price as a guide) - starting with the entry-level models, and moving through the mid-range products and up to their flagship AV receivers.
The AVR-391 is the entry level model for Denon AV receivers.
Please note, at the time of writing, the AVR-x91 series of receivers were only available in the US and not the UK.
It has 5.1 channels and is rated at 75 watts per channel.
The AVR-391 supports 3D video pass-through via its 4 HDMI inputs and 1 HDMI output.
This machine is able to decode Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio, and also supports Dolby Pro Logic IIx. There is a 3.5mm jack on the front panel for easy connection of devices with analog stereo outputs.
The on-board tuner has a 56 station auto-preset memory, and there are pre-amp outputs for sub, surround back left and surround back right channels. Therefore, you could use these pre-amp outputs to get a 7.1 surround setup.
The next model up is the Denon AVR-591 AV receiver.
It has a similar basic specification as the AVR-391 in that it is a 5.1 channel model rated at 75 watts per channel.
However this model adds a few extra features, such as the audio return channel for the HDMI output that connects to your TV. Remember, your TV will need to support the audio return channel for this to work.
We also get automatic room correction with the Audyssey MultEQ System which comes with a setup microphone. Dolby Pro Logic IIz is added to the sound decoding options and analog video inputs are upconverted to HDMI - which can cut down on cabling when you install your system.
The Denon AVR-1311 is the first receiver in the AVR-xx11 series.
At the time of writing, this model was only available in the UK. The US versions start with the AVR-1611.
This receiver features 5.1 channels at 75 watts per channel, and comes with 4 HDMI 1.4 inputs and 1 output.
There is on-board support for 3D video pass-through and Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master decoding. There is also the Denon Cinema Equalizer which reduces the high frequency content of movie soundtracks to allow for the fact that you will be hearing the audio in a home environment rather than a cinema.
An iPod Dock Control Port allows for the installation of an optional Denon Dock, for connecting your iPod to your sound system.
The AVR-1611 is available in both the US and UK, and adds to the features of previous models.
This is the first Denon receiver to feature dedicated 7.1 channels - therefore allowing for the direct connection of surround back left and right speakers.
There are four HDMI 1.4 inputs and one output - all of which allow for 3D video pass-through and the audio return channel.
HD audio decoding and Dolby Pro Logic IIz are included, along with the Compressed Audio Restorer which improves the sound of compressed audio formats like MP3.
This model is also able to send stereo audio to zone 2, which can be a very useful feature if you want music in another part of your house.
The AVR-791 is the next model in the line-up.
Compared to the AVR-591, this model has more power at 90 watts per channel, and there are also an additional two surround back channels to make this a 7.1 channel machine.
With 4-in/1-out HDMI 1.4 connections, there is full support for 3D video and the audio return channel. We also get Dynamic Volume and Dynamic EQ which can help to level out sound differences between different types of programming.
You also have the option of improving the look of low resolution material on your HD screen. Analog video to HDMI upscaling is supported at a number of resolutions - 480p, 720p, 1080i and 1080p.
This receiver is also THX Ultra 2 certified.
The AVR-1911 AV receiver has more power than the previous model in this series, the AVR-1611.
This model has 90 watts per channel and full support for a 7.1 surround sound system.
Other additions to the features of this model are the inclusion of video upconverting and upscaling from analog to HDMI, and there are also pre-amp outputs for zone 2 connections meaning that you don't have to use the surround back channels as in previous models.
The AVR-1911 also has a USB Flash Drive Port on the front of the unit for direct connection of any device with a USB connection - including the iPod with its USB cable.
Compared to the AVR-791, the Denon AVR-891 AV receiver increases the power output.
This model has an output of 105 watts from each of its 7 channels. It also has two sub pre-amp outputs for the easy addition of two subwoofers.
This receiver has 6 HDMI 1.4 inputs and 1 output, as well as a number of other extra video and audio input types compared to previous models.
Other extra features include an analog record output to record an audio or video source and 24-bit/192-kHz digital input capability if connected to another Denon device using Denon Link.
The Denon AVR-2311 is the first receiver in the Denon range with the 'CI' initials as part of the name.
These letters stand for 'Custom Integration' and meant to highlight the fact that these models have some extra features aimed at professional custom installers, such as advanced multi-zone connectivity.
Note that the UK models don't have the 'CI' letters as part of the name.
Power output is increased from the AVR-1911 to 105W per channel and there are two extra HDMI inputs taking the total to six.
These models feature HD radio which, according to Denon, "makes AM sound like FM, and FM HD radio sound like CD". Also included is Denon's Wide Screen 7.1 Mode which creates a virtual 7.1 mix from any audio source.
Some of the advanced 'CI' features include discrete multi-zone composite video output and an RS-232 port for third party remote control systems such as AMX and Crestron.
The AVR-991 AV receiver is the flagship model in the AVR-x91 range.
It has direct support for a 7.2 system as it features two discrete subwoofer pre-amp outputs.
The power of this unit is rated at 125 watts per channel.
Other interesting features for this unit are a dedicated phono input for direct connection of a turntable, plus Pure Direct, Direct and Stereo Modes for all digital and analog inputs.
We are able to setup and control this machine via a PC, and the ethernet port also adds networking capability for audio/photo streaming, DLNA and internet services.
With an optional software upgrade, the AVR-991 is also compatible with the Apple AirPlay™ wireless system - see here for more details.
The Denon AVR-3311CI adds to the feature set of the AVR-2311CI.
This 7.2 channel unit is rated at 125 watts per channel, and also features full 7.2 pre-amp outputs for advanced connections to power amplifiers.
This is the first model in the AVR-xx11 range to be compatible with the Apple AirPlay™ wireless system - which can be used for wireless streaming of media files.
There are 6 HDMI 1.4 inputs and 2 HDMI outputs which enables us to connect this receiver to two different output sources.
The provision of an RJ-45 ethernet port allows us to connect this receiver to our home network and there is also dedicated support for internet radio.
The flagship model of the AVR-xx11 series is the Denon AVR-4311CI.
This receiver is rated at 140 watts per channel and has full support for 9.2 channel speaker systems.
There are 11.2 pre-amp outputs as well as 8-channel external analog input connections.
The HDMI 1.4 connections are 7-in and 2-out, and there is support for playing SACD discs over HDMI. Other advanced features include 2 x +12v trigger outputs for controlling other devices in your room such as projector screens.
This receiver also has built-in Audyssey MultEQ XT 32 (8 position) auto room correction for tuning the audio output to your room.
The AVR-4810CI AV receiver takes the specification of Denon receivers even higher.
There is support for 9.3 channels and the speaker channels are rated at 140 watts each.
This unit features 6 HDMI 1.3 inputs - 1 on the front and 5 on the back. There are also 2 HDMI outputs.
There are 11.3 pre-amp outputs on the rear for connecting to external power amplifiers, and this unit also supports sending component video to zone 2.
Other advanced features include 2 analog record outputs for even more flexibility in recording audio and video on an external recorder, and we can also configure and control this unit via a browser or PC.
The specification of the AVR-4810CI also includes extra decoding modes such as THX Ultra2 7.1 Cinema, Music and Game Modes.
The AVR-5380CI is the flagship Denon AV receiver.
There are 9.3 channels to connect to your system with a rating of 150 watts per channel.
HDMI connections are version 1.3 and there are 6-in and 2-out.
This unit is THX Ultra2-certified, and along with standard RJ-45 network connections also has built-in Wi-Fi. The AVR-5308CI is also XM Satellite Radio 'Connect and Play' Ready. XM Satellite Radio is North America’s leading provider of satellite radio with more than 6 million subscribers.
Other advanced features include an icon-based on-screen display for the main and zone 2, discrete remote source selection for zone 3, and all video sources, regardless of resolution or format, are upconverted to 1080p high definition via the top-performing Realta HQV video processor.
At the time of writing, this model was only available in the US.