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Review: Denon AVR-X6300H AV Receiver

Denon AVR-X6300H
Denon AVR-X6300H is the first 'affordable' receiver with 11 amplified channels and also the first receiver with support for Heos.
4.7 - 16 vote[s]

Denon AVR-X6300H is the first ‘affordable’ receiver with 11 amplified channels and also the first receiver with support for Heos. This receiver is still under the AVR-X7200 last year but looking at the specifications (only 9 amplified channels) and possibilities (including No Heos) we do not really see a reason to go for the AVR-X7200 anymore.

Denon AVR-X6300H – Specifications and features

The AVR-X6300H is the first Denon AV receiver with 11 amplifier stages, each with a power of 205 watts. The AVR-X6300 can thus control a full 11-channel 3D home theater without the need for additional power amplifiers. So support for Dolby Atmos and DTS:X is present, up to 7.2.4 channels. An upgrade for Auro 3D can be performed against payment.

The DDSC-HD (Dynamic Discrete Sound Circuit High Definition), high-quality 192kHz/32-bit D / A converters and AL24 Processing Plus should ensure subtle processing of all audio signals. Denon Link HD Connection provides jitter-free transfer from a Denon Blu-ray player. The separate monolithic amplifier design with Denon’s own DHCTs (Denon High Current Transistors) should contribute to more clarity, power, detail and depth. Gilded inputs and outputs and newly developed transparent speaker connections should ensure the best possible connection.

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The AVR-X6300H is also equipped with built-in Airplay and Bluetooth support for streaming music from a smartphone, and Wi-Fi to connect to home networks and hook-up devices and NAS drives. The receiver is also the first that is compatible with the Heos multiroom system . This gives you access to various services and sources for a multiroom experience. By adding speakers from the HEOS speaker line you can spread the sound of your receiver throughout your house. You can stream music from services such as Spotify (with Spotify Connect), TuneIn, Internet Radio, Deezer, TIDAL, SoundCloud and more. You can also browse through your own music library in the home network and the system supports both standard resolutions and audio formats in high resolution such as FLAC HD and DSD. Support for AIFF is not yet available at this time.

The receiver comes with eight HDMI 2.0a inputs (one of which is on the front panel) and three outputs. It is compatible with the latest HDCP 2.2 specification required for copy-protected 4K Ultra HD content. In addition to the two HDMI outputs for the main room, a third HDMI zone output offers even more possibilities for connecting multiple screens in rooms throughout the house. The AVR-X6300H also supports Full-rate 4K Ultra HD video with 4:4:4 Pure Color subsampling, HDR and BT.2020 passthrough. The video processor is also capable of upscaling standard and HD video sources to Full-rate 4K Ultra HD resolution. At the front of the receiver we see another USB port, for connecting a camera, USB stick or smartphone.

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In addition to operating with the HEOS app, you can now operate the basic AVR functions with the new Denon 2016 AVR Remote app. Audyssey MultEQ XT32 for acoustic room measurement and correction adjusts the connected to the acoustics of the room. Audyssey Dynamic Volume offers real-time volume control and Audyssey Dynamic EQ enhances the surround sound of the system at low volumes. The AVR-X6300H also has an ECO mode. This significantly reduces power consumption when the receiver is only used for background music or at low level. If more power is required when watching a movie or listening to harder music, the receiver automatically switches to full power mode.

The Denon AVR-X6300H has been given a suggested retail price of 2,499 euros.

Denon AVR-X6300 – First impression

If you have ever had a Denon receiver, you will not notice much in terms of appearance. Denon sticks to the design we have known for years, with here and there some minor improvements or adjustments. This year we see the same characteristics again; the large display with the flap on the front, two large turning knobs, two antennas on the back for bluetooth and WiFi, and of course the black or silver design. Without antennas the size is 434 x 339 x 235 millimeters and the weight comes to 14.5 kilograms. This makes the AVR-X6300H somewhat more compact than the AVR-X7200. This top model is still for sale but does not offer any reasons not to opt for the AVR-X6300H, especially when you want a setup with Dolby Atmos.

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With the design and build quality of the AVR-X6300H it is all right. The heavy weight, the metal front, the premium finish and the stable placement through the black legs give the whole a high-end look and feel. No bells and whistles but clean lines, subtle design elements and just what you need to comfortably place and operate the receiver. Behind the aluminum flap we see some extra options back if you want to adjust or connect quickly. For example, we see here a USB port, an HDMI port, analog inputs, a headphone connection, buttons for the different zones, buttons for a number of inputs and arrow keys for navigation through the menu back.

Other equipment

In this review we use an LG E6V-series OLED TV for the display of video material, Spotify for streaming music, a USB stick with high-res audio, the Panasonic DMP-UB900 Ultra HD Blu-ray player for the playback of CDs and (Ultra HD) Blu-ray discs, and the B & W CM S2 series speaker system for optimal playback of the audio.

Denon AVR-X6300H – Operation and installation

The installation of the Denon AVR-X6300 is a piece of cake and there is little to mention. If you are going to use wireless connections like WiFi and bluetooth, it is wise to connect the supplied antennas on the back. Note that it makes the room that the receiver requires somewhat higher. Furthermore, it is mainly to ensure a stable installation and sufficient space around the receiver so that this warm air can be lost.

Installation and menus

We have been used to Marantz’s interface for years now, and since Marantz and Denon actually originate from the same company (D & M Holding), the Denon receiver’s interface has been given the same appearance. There has been little change here over the years and that is not a disaster in itself. The interface of a receiver must be mainly functional and clear, without bells and whistles or beautiful graphics.

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Moreover, this simple interface makes the operation a lot easier; you know exactly where you need to be and all institutions are clearly defined. The navigation in all menus is very smooth and fast, the chance is small that you get lost and functions are clearly indicated.

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When you switch on the receiver for the first time you will be guided through a set-up menu. Here you can, among other things, connect to your WiFi network and perform the Audyssey calibration. You will also receive tips and advice about connecting components and connecting your speakers. It is also a very simple set-up but exactly what you need to get started quickly. The set-up can, if you want to do it right away with full calibration, take half an hour, but then the receiver is in the base well.

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Audyssey calibration

We have discussed the calibration of a receiver by means of Audyssey many times and we do not go into that any further. The operation is fairly simple; connect the included microphone to the appropriate port behind the front panel, place the microphone on the supplied stand and have the receiver search for the optimal adjustment by placing the microphone at designated listening positions. There are both supporters and opponents of this technique; it remains a matter of taste. This time, however, we have not opted for Audyssey calibration, with the main reason that the new test room is fully acoustically optimized and we have measured everything ourselves (levels, distances, etc.). This manual calibration resulted in a better result in our case.

When using Audyssey MultEQ XT32 on the AVR-X6300H there are two functions that you can switch on and they have a lot of influence on the sound. DynamicEQ and Dynamic Volume. DynamicEQ is a function that only works when MultEQ XT is enabled and must ensure that the dynamics, range and clarity of the audio (each source) is maintained when you listen at a volume below reference level (0 dB). This is done by taking into account the space in which the set stands (the acoustics) and keeping the human perception. This option is also a matter of taste and requires an Audyssey calibration. In our view, in many cases it has added value because the range is much higher, the surround experience is more immersive, subtle details are more clearly present and the general view is more dynamic. Dynamic Volume has been developed to eliminate, in real time, the large variations in volume level between TV programs, films, commercial breaks, etc. and in films, programs and series. We are less of a fan of this option because it does not always work well for normal TV programming and for films the dynamic range is reduced. But, if you want to watch a movie in the evening without disturbing others, you can use Dynamic Volume.

Denon AVR-X6300H – In use

Remote control

Denon supplies a remote control with the AVR-X6300H, which is quite simple for ‘receiver concepts’. No display, no LEDs; just a remote control with all the buttons to comfortably operate the hub of your home theater system. All important functions are directly accessible via the remote control. The accessory is not very special and backlighting had been nice but otherwise the remote control is good in the hand, the buttons have a good ‘travel’ and the device reacts quickly to input. Nevertheless, we all expected a somewhat more ‘premium’ remote with a premium AV receiver.

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Remote App

Together with the new receivers for this year, Denon has also released a new app. The Denon 2016 AVR Remote app is suitable for Android and iOS, and makes it possible to operate the receiver completely. You can actually put the remote control away because the app is basically a combination of the buttons on your remote control and the receiver’s interface.

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From the menu in the app you can access all the functions of the receiver, and if there is a source you can use the app to change the volume, select a next song, scroll through lists, search songs, search for radio stations, etc, etc. Actually is the complete operation, with one app. It is not the most comprehensive app (you have to find your way) but it is a fast and smoothly working app with which you can do everything from the couch or chair. If we did not have the remote control at hand, then the app was a great alternative.

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Dolby Atmos

Dolby Atmos is a function that we want to highlight, especially because we have the maximum Dolby Atmos (7.1.4) setup and because the AVR-X6300 is the first affordable receiver that can amplify all channels. You do not have to connect an extra stereo amplifier to get to the 11 channels. Simply put, Dolby Atmos (like DTS: X) is a 3D audio technology in which audio objects do not come from one of the speakers but move freely through space. So you get a more lively surround effect, as if you are in the middle of it. The new top-speakers (against the ceiling) are necessary to create this effect. To learn more about Dolby Atmos we would like to refer you to our introduction article about Dolby Atmos and our article with information aboutPlace Dolby Atmos speakers and connect them to your receiver.

Music streaming

The Denon AVR-X6300H is a very complete AV receiver and nowadays also means that you can play your music from all your sources (offline and online). Offline is pretty simple; a CD in your player, a disk or stick in the USB port or another component that you connect to your AV receiver. Nowadays, however, we want to view our music collections wirelessly; Stream.

The AVR-X6300H is also fully equipped for streaming. You can use WiFi to connect a NAS or other network drive in your home network, you can stream via Bluetooth via all mobile devices and if you have an iOS device you can use AirPlay to play your content via the receiver. If your PC and / or NAS is DLNA-certified and is connected to your home network, linking is a piece of cake. The receiver sees the devices within a few seconds so you can get started almost immediately. Depending on the structure you keep on your NAS or PC, files can be found quickly. The quality is more than excellent and the file support leaves little to be desired, although we missed AIFF for hd audio formats.

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Something that has changed compared to previous years is the media player part. Denon has given the interface a make-over for this and because of this it looks slightly more modern. The operation is fairly simple, but especially when we play content from usb the media player sometimes falters. The USB stick is spontaneously thrown out or it spontaneously jumps back to the main menu. A small negative, which hopefully can be solved through a firmware update.

The receiver features Spotify Connect allowing you to stream your Spotify numbers through the receiver, while you use your smartphone purely for operation and all other things. If that is not enough, you can search and listen to Internet radio stations, in addition to the traditional AM and FM channels. All these options work smoothly and well, but of course make sure you have a stable internet connection.

With the arrival of the Heos support, you also have the option to install the Heos app and get access to even more services via this app. You can play music from your mobile phone via the app or from services such as Deezer, Tidal, Spotify and TuneIn. You do not necessarily need several Heos speakers for this; the AVR-X6300H is seen as a playback point and is therefore sufficient to get started.

Eco mode

A feature that we have already seen on av-receivers from Denon and Marantz is Eco mode. In this way the energy consumption is made clear and reduced when possible. You can set ECO mode in three positions; ‘Off’ ensures that the receiver continuously performs optimally without taking into account the energy consumption, ‘Automatic’ ensures that the energy consumption is adjusted to the volume that is currently being used and ‘On’ ensures continuous optimization in the energy consumption. According to Denon, this has no adverse effects on the audio quality, but the receiver obviously does not go to work in the ‘on’ position.

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An energy icon and a green bar show at the bottom right of the screen, with an input on the remote control, what the consumption is and how the receiver deals with the volume and consumption. It is a useful function to gain insight into how much energy the device has to deliver and how this can be reduced. For background music or a video in between it is a fun / handy feature but when we want to watch a movie with full force, we also demand full effort from the receiver and Eco mode goes quickly.

Denon AVR-X6300H – Audio quality

Besides that the receiver with all above features and functions must work smoothly and quickly, the device must of course excel in audio quality. In our test room and home cinema, which is fully optimized in acoustics, we have the Bowers & Wilkins CM S2 series, accompanied by four AM-1 loudspeakers for the top channels and two CWM663 loudspeakers for the sides. The subwoofer in this case is the Teufel S 5000 SW.

Music

The Denon AVR-X6300H offers, as indicated above, many possibilities to play your music. You have the option to connect a player, connect a USB stick, stream music via WiFi, AirPlay or bluetooth, use Spotify Connect and play music from various services via the Heos app.

If we look at streaming music, including Spotify and other services, then of course we have to deal with compressed content; music of slightly lower quality than a CD (with the exception of Tidal). However, the receiver knows how to handle this and even includes a ‘Restorer’ function to partially restore low-quality files. If you use the lowest setting here, you get a reasonably wide sound field with sufficient dynamics and subtle details. It is not and will not be a high-quality reproduction, but it offers enough to show your music collection tightly in both the high and the low. Yet that bit of ‘body’ and detail is lacking, which increases the distance between the artist and the listener.

With high resolution files (dsd, flac, wav) the receiver really shows what it can do. These files are full of subtle details and display with a very wide audio field. The goal is to feel as if the artist is playing in front of you, with a large orchestra (or a large band) around it. Instruments can be clearly placed in space and can be distinguished from each other, and the vocals come straight from the front. Even with classical music, the AVR-X6300H knows how to keep itself in an impressive position, does not get into trouble with dynamic passages and knows how to keep instruments clearly separate. At deep low is not exaggerated but you definitely get the desired impact. In the high regions we miss that little extra, especially in very subtle details, but in general we are impressed by the stereo reproduction. The receiver finds a tight balance between strength, flexibility and accuracy.

Movie

Although the AVR-X6300H leaves a good impression with music, it is and remains an AV receiver that needs to ‘shine’ with multi-channel content. With a high power per channel, support for the latest standards and various adjustment options, you should be able to realize the ultimate home cinema experience with this receiver. As mentioned, we have a Dolby Atmos arrangement with 7.1.4 channels, which means we can get a good grip on the AVR-X6300H.

To immediately fall in with the door; the receiver blows us off the couch. The Dolby Atmos tracks we listened to left a very good impression. Among other things, we watched the films Everest and The Revenant with Dolby Atmos and both convinced in both subtle and powerful surround effects, a penetrating layer and a convincingly high, broad and deep soundstage. As if we imagined ourselves in the middle of the film.

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Dolby Atmos does not work like previous surround techniques; audio objects are placed in space instead of ‘in a speaker’ and it is up to the receiver to place the audio objects in the room through the speakers. The AVR-X6300H simply does this sublime. Although we have a space with a fairly low ceiling, the sound reaches far beyond. The space between the speakers is convincingly filled with surround effects and you never have the feeling that a speaker is responsible for a particular effect. The effect (the audio object) floats, as it were, in space. So you can get the idea that something happens directly behind you or above you while no speaker is hanging here. The action in space is so natural that you can easily follow effects and movements from left to right and from front to back. The transitions between the speakers are very tight and flowing, which is of course an important condition for a real surround experience.

Although you seem to be in the middle of it, it is possible to distinguish between the soundtrack, the dialogues and the effects. It does not become a big chaos so that elements are snowed under. Dialogs are clear and full of emotion, without being snowed under by audio effects or the music track. All subtle details in voices, surround effects and music scores are preserved and perfectly separated. The low tones are well received and let you vibrate from the couch without having to search directly for the volume knob, and in combination with the realistic surround effects you get a particularly good film experience. Of course we have opened the volume as far as possible, towards the reference level and even then the audio reproduction remains dynamic and intact.

Denon AVR-X6300H – Conclusion

The Denon AVR-X6300H is a complete and premium AV receiver, a real hub for your complete audio and video collection. The receiver is equipped with almost all streaming options and connections to display your content, and even extend it with a wireless multiroom network. The latest techniques and standards are also supported, both in terms of audio and video. The receiver’s interface is somewhat corny but works smoothly and is simply simple and clear. A small minus is that the media player (especially when using USB) suffers from some bugs. In our view, the remote control also had more to match the premium status of the device.

The AVR-X6300H is all in all a real AV receiver for the home cinema enthusiast. Although this model also stands out with music (stereo content), he really shows what he can do with surround content. Dolby Atmos is the new standard and this receiver literally lets Dolby Atmos rise to great heights. You will be presented with an impressive surround experience, with objects that do not seem to move through space, making you think you are in a movie.

Are you planning to run a Dolby Atmos setup, are you looking for a receiver with almost all streaming options and connection options, and do you want support for the latest standards and techniques? Then the Denon AVR-X6300H is an absolute must. After all, we have very little to complain about and are impressed by almost every aspect. But, is Dolby Atmos (with 11 channels) still too ambitious, are the advanced setting options not necessary and can you do it with less streaming options? Then there are also very good AV receivers for less money.

Cons

  • Media player suffers from some bugs
  • Remote control may be a bit more premium
  • Interface can use lick of paint

Pros

  • Ultimate Dolby Atmos experience
  • Premium look and feel
  • Richly equipped in terms of features and functions

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