Denon AVR-X2700H AV receiver review

hccbestbuybadgev3Denon's entry-level X-series AV receiver is indisputably brilliant, says a smitten Steve May

'It's called driving, Marcus!' proclaims Will Smith during the opening road race sequence of Bad Boys for Life. You could also call it a perfect demonstration of this Denon receiver's ability to lift and separate high and low. After only a few seconds with this AVR, I was hooked.

The AVR-X2700H turns this cop movie sequence into a Dolby Atmos symphony of screeching tyres, underpinned by Meek Mill's thumping feel-good rap Uptown II. Every vehicle type appears crammed into the mix: police bikes rumble back to front, a chopper hives into view from stage left. We even get a finely spaced sand plume as Smith's Porsche barrels onto the beach. I could swear I'm hearing every grain spatter against its paintwork.

This plucky Denon delivers hard, fast transients like a Deliveroo driver on a mission. But amidst the gutty chunk of manual gear changes, there's the light spatial details of that sandy beach spray. It has both power and poise.


The price puts it just above budget fare, but in a smaller viewing room the noise it makes is ridiculously exciting. For a relatively innocuous-looking box, the AVR-X2700H packs a lot of heat. Denon, you've got our attention.

From Atmos To 8K
A seven-channel model, the AVR-X2700H offers Dolby Atmos and DTS:X decoding in a 5.1.2 configuration, or flatbed surround as 7.1. It also offers 8K-capable HDMI connectivity, via a single HDMI v2.1 input, to prove its future worth.

Unlike its step-up 'AVC' siblings, the X2700H wears that AVR prefix with pride. It's a receiver in the traditional sense, complete with steampunk FM/AM. To be honest, I can't imagine this old-school tuner will get any use, not least because there are far more exciting things you can do with this Denon.

There's also a European version with DAB, which is somewhat more interesting, but that's not available in the UK, presumably so that the price here could be kept as sharp as possible.


When it comes to lineage, this new receiver is a direct replacement for the AVR-X2600H, and uses much the same internal hardware – but Denon insists the two models sound quite different.

The AVR-X2700H isn't being positioned as just for movies and music streaming. It's also joypad aware. There's support for Variable Refresh Rate (VRR) sources and displays, as well as Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM) and Quick Frame Transport (QFT).

Output is rated at 150W into 6 ohms (one channel driven) or 95W into 8 ohms (two channels driven). It doesn't have detonative power, but it will induce a Martin Lawrence-style rictus grin. You'll see it bundled at retailers with sub/sat systems and standmount speaker packages, which is indicative of the environments it's intended for.

A Chip Off The Old Block
Design-wise, there's no great deviation here from the Denon style-sheet, but the look and connectivity hint at a more expensive price tag. The front fascia has a brushed finish and proffers standard Source Select and Master Volume knobs, bookending a clear, clean status display. However, there's no drawbridge to hide clutter; instead we have a line of touch-sensitive buttons for the tuner, Zone 2 audio, and quartet of Quick Select buttons. Front ports are limited to headphone jack, setup microphone, and a USB input offering easy audio playback of MP3, WAV, FLAC, ALAC and DSD files.