AV Receivers

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Jon Thompson  |  Apr 05, 2016  |  0 comments

The home cinema industry has been in something of a rut since the financial meltdown of 2007, with gaping holes where much of the high-end market used to be. But Arcam's AVR850 – its latest flagship AV receiver – has me thinking we may be seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.

Steve May  |  Mar 18, 2016  |  0 comments
With Dolby Atmos and DTS:X in its armoury, the Pioneer SC-LX89 is currently the brand's best-dressed AV receiver. No stone has been left unturned when it comes to advanced functionality. But is there more to this badass box than high-tech feature overload? 
Steve May  |  Dec 13, 2015  |  0 comments

Onkyo's TX-RZ800 marks a break from the brand's typical AVR design, offering an oversized volume dial and a pimple rash of tiny buttons. As a fashion statement, it must be said it’s not particularly pretty, but it is at least different. Other changes are less obvious.

Danny Phillips  |  Oct 03, 2015  |  0 comments

Dolby Atmos and the imminent DTS:X are shaking up the AV receiver market with their object-based antics, yet Cambridge Audio is having none of it. With its latest pair of audiophile receivers, the CXR120 and CXR200 – its first new models since 2013’s Azur 751R – the company has given these features the cold shoulder, opting instead to make pure sound quality the priority.

Steve May  |  Jul 22, 2015  |  0 comments

It’s easy to forget that Yamaha effectively invented the home cinema receiver market. When screens were square and multichannel audio was young and frisky, it pioneered with monster AV receivers that became things of legend. Back then, DSP was Definitely Something Profound, and Yamaha wrote the rulebook on soundfield design.

Richard Stevenson  |  May 21, 2015  |  0 comments

The Datasat LS10 is a stripped-down and frill-free ‘lite’ version of the company’s flagship RS20i, aimed squarely at the custom install market. Those looking for fancy GUI interfaces, easy-to-access user options and wow-factor remote controls can look away now. If you are seeking seamless performance, pro-quality processing and even Auro-3D, then read on.

Ed Selley  |  Apr 30, 2015  |  0 comments

For many years, the general perception of the Canadian brand NAD might best have been summed up as ‘workmanlike.’ Behind that rather prosaic grey livery, the engineering was solid, reliable and normally very effective but rarely did it cause a huge amount of excitement. This isn’t to say there haven’t been some great NAD products – there have been several, including the predecessors to the models on test here – but the brand was about worth rather than superficial excitement.

Richard Stevenson  |  Mar 29, 2015  |  0 comments

Full 7.2.4 Dolby Atmos processing, nine channels of amplification, networking, Bluetooth, AirPlay, Spotify Connect and an Auro-3D upgrade to boot. Denon’s AVR-X5200W has certainly been an exciting AV receiver to live with. And excitement... well, that's what home cinema is all about.

Richard Stevenson  |  Feb 07, 2015  |  0 comments

Pioneer’s new flagship AVR comes to the HCC test bench fresh from its Dolby Atmos firmware upgrade, bristling with features that will have both music and movie fans salivating. It's a lavishly-engineered top-flight powerhouse that deserves an audition if you're upgrading your setup – although it does have one curious flaw...

Steve May  |  Jan 28, 2015  |  0 comments
A cursory glance might suggest that the AVR-X4100W looks like any other receiver released from the Denon stable over the past decade. However, that notion couldn’t be further from the truth. While the basic form factor promises comfy familiarity, everything from feature set to UI has been dramatically overhauled. This is an AVR ripped from the science labs of tomorrow, an AV hub in a Starfleet uniform.
Steve May  |  Nov 12, 2014  |  0 comments
Primare, purveyor of high-end AV and hi-fi, isn't a noted follower of fashion. Its stock in trade is immaculately built and designed components for the connoisseur. While this philosophy has a natural affinity with two-channel hi-fi, it’s a less easy fit with AV, where features and functions are typically stacked higher than Godzilla’s galoshes. 
Steve May  |  Sep 30, 2014  |  0 comments
With apologies to Tom Cruise, welcome to the edge of tomorrow. 
Adrian Justins  |  Sep 25, 2014  |  0 comments

The £500 AVR market is more competitive than the final stages of The Great British Bake-Off. These days, it’s no good simply offering multichannel decoding and amplification with the odd DSP mode and a raft of HDMI sockets. No: you have to spread the love and get your AVR to cosy up to all the other technological toys that are stuffed with entertainment content, including smartphones and servers. And the best way to do that is sans wires.

Mark Craven  |  Sep 11, 2014  |  0 comments

Anyone enjoying a game of 'spot the difference between two AV receivers' would face a stiff task if faced with Pioneer's new VSX-924 and its predecessor, the VSX-923. This £500 home cinema power-pusher sports the same neat styling and shares many of the same specifications. But dig a little deeper and you'll find some key upgrades that see Pioneer embracing new trends in AV.

Steve May  |  Sep 06, 2014  |  0 comments

The Marantz NR1605 is the latest update to the brand's increasingly popular slimline AVR line. With sales of traditional home cinema receivers shrinking faster than the crown jewels of a skinny-dipping Inuit, AV brands have been looking for ways to curry favour with disenchanted cinemaniacs. One solution is to add Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, the other is to embrace a leaner form factor. Here Marantz has done both. 

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