Denon AVR-X1700H AV receiver review Page 2

The dynamic range is good too. Peak trebles sparkle and shimmer without sounding harsh or fragile, as shown by the shattering glass and jangling headgear in the drum-dance sequence in House Of Flying Daggers (Blu-ray). The receiver's voicing also give bass a punchy and lively feel, adding to the sense of cinematic drama as bombs land with different levels of whoomp during Schofield's final battlefield run in 1917 (4K Blu-ray). Objects and transitions hurtle around the room with believable precision, too, without sounding artificially exaggerated.

222denon.remThere's a limit to the volume this AVR can hit before a touch of brittleness and a slightly 'electronic' feel starts to creep in, but this is at levels likely beyond the comfort zone of most people's ears/close neighbours. In short, there's really nothing about the X1700H's movie or Dolby Atmos/DTS:X game performance that throws up enough weaknesses to disrupt your immersion.

Of course, if you have a speaker system that does its best work with plenty of dynamic power, or a system that supports more than seven channels, then it goes without saying the X1700H won't be your cup of tea. And while trebles and detailing are good for the money, you won't feel quite the same precision and sense of soundstage layering, construction and scale that you might hear from an amp with more power and/or superior components, such as Denon's own step-up X2700H.

This is so obvious when you're talking about a relatively low-spec AVR that I wouldn't normally mention it. But comparing the X1700H with Denon's costlier models is more pertinent than usual, thanks to the peculiar situation where anyone who wants more than a single integrated 4K/120 HDMI input (rather than going for an optional external switcher) currently has to choose this one.

It's worth adding that you could connect 4K/120Hz sources directly to your TV if it has multiple 4K/120Hz-capable HDMIs, and then output the sound from your TV using eARC. But that's a much less elegant solution.

Two-Channel Test
From a pure sound quality perspective, this Denon's stereo musical abilities reveal its relatively affordable status a little more than its surround sound playback. Staging is particularly good with plenty of wide but controlled separation and vocals are warm but still clean and convincingly contextualised within the rest of the mix. But there's a less cohesive feel to lower frequencies with music, and a lack of real musical insight – an example of what spending more might get you.


The X1700H has the same uncluttered styling as its X Series stablemates

One last little niggle is that switching between video modes – perhaps when firing up an HDR game from the Xbox Series X's SDR dashboard – can be a little long-winded and flickery. I noticed this particularly with Samsung TVs, thanks to their constant attempts to establish advanced connections with any 'new' devices they detect. Things do settle down eventually, however, and in any case the X1700H is far from the worst offender in this respect.

For an AVR that offers 4K/120Hz, VRR, ALLM and 8K passthrough on three HDMis for £600, such irritations aren't deal-breakers. In fact, the biggest problem with the X1700H from Denon's perspective is that it arguably makes its more premium siblings feel either a bit out of date or, if you add in the cost of their optional HDMI 2.1 AVS-3 'switcher', a little expensive n

HCC Verdict

Denon AVR-X1700H

Price: £600

We say: Multiple cutting-edge HDMIs that actually work plus good all-round performance make Denon's latest AVR great value – especially if you have games consoles in your system.

Overall: 4.5/5


DOLBY ATMOS: Yes DTS:X: Yes IMAX ENHANCED: No MULTICHANNEL INPUT: No MULTICHANNEL PRE-OUT: No POWER OUTPUT (CLAIMED): 7 x 80W (8 ohm, 20Hz-20kHz, 0.08% THD) MULTIROOM: Yes. Zone 2 audio, plus HEOS AV INPUTS: 2 x optical digital audio inputs; 2 x analogue stereo audio inputs; MM phono input HDMI: 6 x inputs (3 x HDMI 2.1); 1 x output VIDEO UPSCALING: Yes. To 8K/60 DIMENSIONS: 434(w) x 339(d) x 215(h) mm WEIGHT: 8.6kg

ALSO FEATURING: Ethernet; Wi-Fi; two-way Bluetooth; AM/FM tuner (DAB model also available); Apple AirPlay 2; HEOS streaming and multiroom; HDMI eARC; Audyssey MultEQ XT with Dynamic EQ/volume plus Audyssey App support; FLAC/ALAC/WAV/DSD lossless file playback; dual subwoofer outputs; headphone output; USB input; setup assistant; works with Alexa/Siri/Google Assistant