Denon AVC-A1H: 15.4, HDMI 2.1, 8K UHD Upscaling, 360 Reality Audio, DTS:X Pro, Imax Enhanced, Auro 3D, HDR10 ……

With the AVC-A1H, Denon announces a new version of its premium Home Cinema amplifier. On the menu, 15 channels of amplification, four independent subwoofer outputs, fully functional integrated HDMI 2.1 connectors, a completely redesigned user interface and a host of welcome new features to offer the best of current technology.

To come back to the HDMI 2.1 standard, the seven inputs and the three outputs benefit from 40 Gbps connectors and support all the features of the standard: VRR, ALLM, eARC, QMS, QFT, Ultra HD 4K at 120 fps and UHD 8K at 60 frames per second.

Denon AVC-A1H, main developments

In terms of new features on board this AVC-A1H, thanks to the presence of fifteen discrete amplification channels, there is support for a Dolby Atmos 9.1.6 configuration. An installation that can still evolve with the connection of four subwoofers via as many independent outputs. Similarly, the Dac evolves, the ESS Saber ES9010 (192 kHz/32 bits, 8 channels) is replaced by the ESS Saber ES9018K2M specimen (384 kHz/32 bits, 10 channels). For its part, the double DSP Analog Devices ADSP-21573 Shark+ is replaced by an ADSP-21593 Shark+ and the capacitors are two in-house models with a capacity of 33,000 microfarads. Finally, the compatibilities with, on the one hand the 360 Reality Audio sound processing developed by Sony, on the other hand the Mpeg-H standard (group of international standards comprising a video compression standard, an audio compression standard, a container format as well as related documents), are required. Namely, the Dirac Live calibration process is planned via an upcoming Firmware update.

Denon AVC-A1H, main specs

For the rest, the Denon AVC-A1H perfectly takes up the design of the Denon AVC-X8500H which appeared in 2018 and was brought up to date in 2021 with the Denon AVC-X8500HA. There is also the Imax Enhanced label, Auro 3D functionality, Upscaling of 1080p sources to UHD 4K (2160p) and UHD 8K (4320p), HDCP 2.3 certification for all HDMI sockets, HDR10+ and DTS compatibility: X Pro and the Dolby Atmos Height Virtualizer function.

The rest of the technical characteristics are unchanged, namely access to web radios, the Bass Sync process to recalibrate the LFE channel on certain multichannel tracks where it would be slightly delayed (this happens relatively often), and the DTS mode Virtual X to turn any soundtrack into a DTS:X track. This 15.4 model delivers a power of 15 x 150 W at 8 ohms (R-Core high-current transformer) and incorporates a transcoder from analog sources to HDMI. Ditto for the management of DSD streams (up to 5.6 MHz) through the HDMI connectors, the assignment of one of the three HDMI outputs to HDMI zone 2 to broadcast an audio-video signal different from that of the room. main. Of course, in addition to the Dolby Atmos 15.1.6 feature already mentioned, Dolby Atmos 13.1 (7.2.6/9.2.4) and DTS:X 11.2 (7.1.4/9.1.4/5.1.6) and Auro 3D 13.1 ( 7.1.6) are still valid. Namely, the seventeen terminals present at the rear of the amplifier allow, once all connected to a speaker, to easily switch from one decoding to another, each requiring a specific configuration.

Denon AVC-A1H, Heos multiroom function

On the menu again, the Heos multiroom functionality, the management of HDR10, HDR10+, HDR HLG and HDR Dolby Vision technologies and the BT.2020 gamut. To come back to Heos, this amplifier can therefore easily be transformed into a link in a larger audio chain, with real Denon Heos speakers to add sound to a home.

We also note ISF certification, integrated Bluetooth compatibility, zone 2 and zone 3 stereo audio management, Audyssey MultEQ XT 32 acoustic correction and Audyssey Dynamic Volume, Audyssey Dynamic EQ and Audyssey processing LFC. The latter allows each sub to be configured as part of a dual-sub installation, for deeper and more accurate bass.

Denon AVC-A1H, connectivity

Always on the menu of the Denon AVC-A1H, an Audio Restorer mode for optimizing the sound rendering of compressed audio files, an audio-photo UPnP (DLNA) multimedia gateway associated with MP3, WMA, AAC, Wav and Flac compatibility and the AirPlay certified. We also note the Wi-Fi compatibility, a powered USB Host port on the front with direct and digital management of an iPod/iPhone (the charging of the iBidule is guaranteed), the possibility of enjoying online music services such as Spotify (compatibility Spotify Connect) or streaming, Gapless function and AIFF format support. We also note the Roon Tested label (the Roon application therefore supports the product and adapts the quality of the audio stream read to the capabilities of the device).

Of course, the Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD decoders are also present, without forgetting the Auto LipSync function or the possibility of controlling the amplifier from an Android/iOS smartphone or tablet via the Denon Remote application. Similarly, an Audyssey application (paid, €20) is available to optimize the settings and save several complete settings on a smartphone/tablet or in the Cloud. Also noteworthy is the support for 4 ohm speakers for even better ergonomics and DDSC HD compatibility with the new AL32 multichannel Processing Multi Channel.

Denon AVC-A1H, general appearance

The AVC-A1H's finish sports a 100% aluminum front and heavy, steel side panels. The OSD, 1080p color (and not 480p), changes radically. A lot of information is now available on the screen, in particular on the nature of the input signals and those of the output with, for example, the channels actually active. The same goes for the four Quick Select buttons on the front, always allowing access to the desired source quickly and easily. Precision, the latter also integrate additional functions and modes (Audyssey or multiroom management) for ever more complete macros.

Denon AVC-A1H, connectivity

The connection therefore includes seven HDMI CEC 2.1 inputs, HDCP 2.3 certified and all transparent to 3D, Ultra HD 4K and 8K signals, Deep Color, xvYCC and 1080p/24). As already mentioned, the eARC function is also included. There are also two optical inputs, two coaxial, six RCA stereo inputs, one of which is doubled XLR (the audio CD input), one Phono, one zone 2 stereo output, one zone 3 stereo RCA output, one Pre-Out 16.1 output, two USB Host ports (including one on the front), a headphone output, a microphone input for Audyssey MultEQ XT 32 automatic calibration and an Ethernet port. Plus two 12V Trigger sockets, an RS-232C socket and seventeen pairs of terminal blocks. Finally, a remote control accompanies the AVC-A1C.

Also note the different colored terminal blocks to match the cables, to facilitate the connection of the speakers. Finally, the Eco mode is still just as efficient for reasonable listening. Energy savings are on average 40% on this AVC-A1C.Availability in stores, in black or silver, scheduled for March 2023. Indicative price still unknown. If we know that it should be around €7,000, the price could still change by next spring, depending on the events of the war in Ukraine.

Reminder of the key features of the Denon AVC-A1H:

• Model: 15.4

• Power: 15 x 190 W at 6 ohms, 15 x 150 W at 8 ohms

• Inputs : 7 HDMI inputs (7 x 2.1), 2 optical inputs, 2 coaxial inputs, 6 stereo RCA including 1 doubled XLR (audio CD), 1 Phono input, 1 RS-232 input, 1 microphone input for Audyssey MultEQ XT automatic calibration 32, 2 USB Host ports (including 1 on the front) and 1 Ethernet port

• Outputs: 3 HDMI 2.1 outputs, two Pre-Out 2.0 outputs (zone 2 and zone 3), 1 Pre-Out 16.2 output, 4 subwoofer outputs, 1 headphone output, 2 12V trigger sockets, 17 pairs of screw terminal blocks

• Pure Direct

• OSD functions

• UPnP (DLNA) audio gateway functions

• Functions ALLM

VRR functions

• QFT functions

• QMS functions

• Ultra HD 4K/120 fps functions

• Ultra HD 8K/60 fps functions

• Compatibility Flac HD

• DSD 2.8/5.6 MHz compatibility

• Wav compatibility

• Alac compatibility

• MP3 compatibility

• WMA compatibility

• AAC compatibility

• Audio DTS:X Pro

• Audio Dolby Atmos Height Virtualizer function

• Audio DTS Virtual:X

• Audio eARC function

• Audio Audyssey automatic calibration MultEQ XT 32

• Audio Audyssey SubEQ HT Processing

• Audio Audyssey LFC Processing

• Functions AL32 Multichannel Processing MultiChannel Processing

• Auro 3D Audio

• Dolby Atmos 9.1 Audio .6

• Audio ESS Saber ES9018K2M digital-to-analog converter (384 kHz/32-bit, 10 channels)

• Audio 360 Reality Audio

• Audio Mpeg-H (global)

• HDR10 video

• HDR10+ video

• HDR HLG video

• HDR Dolby Vision video

• Video BT.2020 compatibility

• Video Ultra HD Pass-Tr function ought

• Video 3D Ready

• Video HDR10+

• Video Upscaling Function Ultra HD/8K (24/25/30/60)

• Video Upscaling Function Ultra HD/4K ( 24/25/30/60/120)

• Imax Enhanced Certification

• Network Control by IP

• Dual Band Wi-Fi Network (2.4/5 GHz)

• AirPlay 2 network

• Bluetooth TX network

• Google Assistant multimedia

• Amazon Alexa multimedia

• Apple Siri multimedia

• Hi-Res Audio streaming via USB/network : yes

• Web radio(s): TuneIn

• Hi-Res Audio certification

• HDCP 2.3 certification

• Roon Tested

• Headphone output: yes

• Other(s): integrated Heos multiroom module

• Dimensions (W x H x D, mm): 434 x 498 X 195 mm (Wi-Fi antennas extended)

• Consumption: 900 W ( 0.1 W in standby)

• Weight: 35 kg