In recent years, Denon has been able to completely corner the market for home theatre receivers. As Denon’s flagship and midrange AVRs in the 2020 X-Series have kept up the company’s five-star reputation, we can now move on to the company’s entry-level AVR, which is the Denon AVR-X2700H.
One 8K/60Hz HDMI 2.1 input, which also sends through 4K video at 120Hz, is a significant advance over its predecessor and should satisfy the requirements of the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X. In addition, the HDMI 2.1 standard also supports higher resolutions than its predecessor.
It would be incorrect to think that the model’s additions are primarily of interest to gamers if one were to make such assumption. Denon’s audio experts work hard every year to extract out a bit more sonic sophistication from the company’s AVR components and the firmware that controls them, and 2020 will be no different in this regard.
Denon’s AVR-X2700H is a high-quality A/V receiver that looks great and performs admirably. The receiver’s compact size and durable metal chassis make it a great choice for use in a wide variety of home theatre installations. The receiver’s front panel has a simple button layout and an easy-to-read display that make operating the device a breeze.
The AVR-rear X2700H’s panel is packed with connections, containing not only seven HDMI inputs and three HDMI outputs, but also optical, coaxial, and composite video inputs, among others. Built-in Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and Apple AirPlay 2 in the receiver make it simple to stream music from your mobile device or computer. As far as design goes, the Denon AVR-X2700H doesn’t deviate much from its forerunner, the AVR-X2600H.
This unit is heavy, so make sure it has a good, wide shelf to rest on. Yet, there have been some noteworthy structural adjustments. Although the X2700H is capable of 8K resolution, it only has six HDMI ports instead of eight. Moreover, the AUX1 port on the front bezel has been removed and replaced with a powered USB 2.0 connector, but the AUX2 port on the back has been removed as well. There has been no change to the channel setup. Seven power amplifier channels (plus two subwoofer outputs) are at your disposal, allowing you to configure it in configurations as complex as 7.2 or as simple as 5.2.2, with a stated 150W per channel.
There is no front-mounted ‘trap door,’ like on more expensive Denon AVRs, and the number of readily available controls is also reduced. The available hard buttons let you to do things like change inputs, tune the radio, and control a second listening zone, but the included full-featured remote is required for the vast majority of the setup and playback processes.
In spite of the fact that there is just one HDMI 2.1-compliant input, the other five have not been neglected in any way. Because they enable technologies such as variable refresh rate, rapid frame transport, and auto low latency mode, they are able to conform to the specifications of next-generation content.
HDR10+, HDR10, HLG, and Dolby Vision are just some of the HDR formats that are supported, along with a number of others. Users who have a TV and a projector as part of their setup will be able to transport 8K content at 60 Hz and 4K content at 120 Hz to them because both outputs have received the HDMI 2.1 certification. In addition to this, we back eARC (Enhanced Audio Return Channel).
In terms of 3D audio, the AVR-X2700H isn’t nearly as well-stocked as higher-end versions, but it still supports all of the major codecs, such as Dolby Atmos, Atmos Height Virtualization, DTS:X, and DTS Virtual:X. In addition, the AVR-X2700H comes with Dolby Atmos, Atmos Height Virtualization, and DTS:X built in. Owners of the Denon AVR-X3700H will require an upgrade to a higher-end receiver in order to continue listening to IMAX Enhanced and Auro-3D soundtracks.
All of the same wireless music standards are still supported, including AirPlay 2, HEOS, Spotify, and Tidal. Furthermore, voice control is available with devices that are enabled with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri. Here, it’s excellent to know that all of Denon’s 2020 X-Series AVRs are devices that have been ‘Roon Tested,’ which means that you can listen to music through Roon on both your AVR and your speakers at the same time.
The Bluetooth functionality of the AVR-updated X2700H will come in handy in a number of scenarios, including those in which you have a family member who has trouble hearing or in which you simply want to avoid missing a beat while slipping away for a moment to brew some tea.
The Denon AVR-X2700H is the least expensive model in the 2020 X-Series. Because of this, its version of the Audyssey speaker calibration technology is simpler than that of its more powerful siblings. But, the MultEQ XT readings require just minor adjustments to the settings before we are satisfied with the arrangement. You can choose between two different Audyssey measuring profiles if you still can’t decide.
If we had to use just one word to describe the tone, it would be “confident.” Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 has a space battle with loud explosions and explosions from the subwoofer, but the AVR-X2700H doesn’t try too hard to impress like a budget amp might.
It’s more refined, sophisticated, and big than that. It has even more power than the 2017 version, and no one is ever made to do it. When turned on, the two subwoofers in the 7.2 system rumble loudly, but they never get in the way of the sound of the soundtrack, the clarity of the actors’ dialogue, or the surround effects. This is a great and easy listening piece. However fast-paced the action gets, this Denon never skips a beat. It does a great job of coordinating the laser blasts from one speaker to the next, and it can create an authentic atmosphere in any setting.
The missing dimension is added by Dolby’s processing technology, which lets you simulate height effects. You can see a little more, but you lose some of the mystery and excitement. We prefer the “Direct” option because it requires less processing, but we understand that the trade-off may be right for some users and some kinds of information.
In Close Encounters of the Third Kind, when the alien spaceships roar through the quiet Indiana countryside, the Denon’s skill with scale really shines. When the alien ship picks up Roy Neary’s truck and shakes it, it makes a great humming sound that can be heard through all the noise and chaos.
Wonderful descriptions of bottles, cans, and newspapers strewn across the dashboard, the roar of the engine, and the annoying ringing of the railroad crossing bell are followed by the quiet of night and the chirping of cicadas.
When we play the Talking Heads concert DVD Stop Making Sense and listen to the AVR-X2700H, it sounds just as good as the original equipment. David Byrne plays Heaven over Tina Weymouth’s tight, fuzzy bass, and the acoustic guitar strings are clear and clipped with a brilliantly textured, jangling sound.
Even in the slowest tracks, you can hear a sense of moving forward. Even though it’s clear that this AVR couldn’t compete musically with even a low-end stereo amplifier, we’ve had so much fun listening to it that we can hardly stop to tell you how much we like it.
Denon has scored a major victory. There are a lot of AVRs out there that cost less money, but none of them are quite as well-polished. At such a low price point, you may have a home theatre experience that is faithful to going to the movies thanks to its sophisticated approach and impeccable timing.
Although though the 8K passthrough and next-gen gaming technologies may get all the attention, the sound enhancements over the previous model are significant. Engineers at Denon have done it again, and the AVR-improved X2700H’s accessibility and versatility make it our top recommendation.