Sitting between two acclaimed siblings, Denon’s AVRX4400 is poised to be another star performer in the company’s range. But does it measure up to expectations? Read on to find out…
Denon are riding the crest of a wave at the moment as far as their AV receivers are concerned. Not only did they receive a 5 star review from What Hi-Fi? for their AVRX2400 model but they also walked away with the publication’s coveted Product of the Year award for the £2000+ AVRX6400. The AVRX4400 sits directly below the 6400 and a couple of models up from the 2400, making it a very nice option for people looking for a larger specification and premium sound, but without needing to sell a kidney.
The 4400 is a 125 watt per channel receiver capable of Dolby Atmos configurations of 7.1.2 or 5.1.4, as well as a conventional 9.1 layout. DTS:X is also supported as well as Auro 3D for enhancing your other content by using an upmixing engine. All eight HDMI inputs are enabled for 4K UHD resolution, HDCP 2.2 and the HDR formats Dolby Vision, BT.2020 & Hybrid Log Gamma are all catered for. Two HDMI outputs cover requirements for running two screens at the same time whilst a dedicated zone 2 HDMI means you can run another screen on an entirely different source. This, coupled with a plethora of legacy inputs, means you’ll be hard pressed to run out of connections on the 4400.
As with last year’s networked models, the 4400 features Denon’s HEOS wireless multiroom system allowing you to stream and control your audio with ease and simplicity. Simply download the free app available on iOS or Android devices and create playlists, multiple zones and synchronise your entire house with other HEOS enabled products. Denon’s AVR 2016 remote allows you to control all other aspects of the unit so simply use either Wi-Fi or an Ethernet cable to get it set up.
Setting up the 4400 is a doddle thanks to the easy to follow and clearly laid out on-screen instructions. Some receivers can suffer from being a little clunky and bland when it comes to menus but Denon layouts lend themselves to being easy to navigate through. The included Audyssey setup microphone and MultEQ XT32 processing means that you can sit back and let the receiver sort itself out and optimise each speaker channel to suit. It measures several times from different positions in the room to ensure it gets the best balance for the environment. There’s even an Audyssey App available at additional cost if you really want to dive into the most specialist of settings.
After connecting up some Monitor Audio Radius speakers with our Dali Phantom E60 ceiling speakers for a 5.1.4 Atmos configuration, we select Mad Max: Fury Road to start us off and boy are we impressed! A lift in general audio quality is expected when going up into the mid-range of any series of amplifier, but what’s most noticeable is the amount of heft and weight behind sound effects. The ridiculous engines roar with a throaty and powerful aggression, but the 4400 is nimble enough to accurately steer the mid and top end around so that you feel placed right there in the action. The haunting pleas of Max’s ghostly family are realistic enough to send shivers down your spine and it’s almost like each individual grain of sand is articulated in the soundtrack as they blast through sandstorms.
It’s a similar story when we switch to non-Dolby Atmos content such as Tron: Legacy and utilise the Auro 3D modes. Height and openness is added to the soundstage which makes the gladiatorial light-cycle battles sound truly epic. There’s a slight tweak in the impact of booms and crashes from the subwoofer too. You can use the Auro modes on any content, so for certain stereo sources such as live music, it adds an excellent stadium feel though you may find you miss a shade of out and out detail.
The 4400 certainly ticks all the boxes and then some when it comes to looking at serious upgrades for your home cinema setup. The inclusion of two pairs of Dolby Atmos speaker terminals will certainly make this receiver an attractive proposition for anyone looking to build a proper cinema room, but the power and finesse of how it handles soundtracks will make it a must-hear for anyone looking for excellent sound.
So…great sound, easy to use, excellent connectivity and a boatload of sought-after features. If all this has perked your ears up, come down to your local store and check it out for yourself!
Author: Steve, Bristol store