High performance networked AV receivers compatible with the latest 4K Ultra and high dynamic range (HDR) video signals and Dolby Atmos and DTS:X objected-based audio formats were unveiled this month in the more mainstream 2016 product lines from Denon, Marantz, Onkyo and Pioneer.

Many of these new more affordably-priced models are available or coming in a few days, and will connect with 2016 4K Ultra HDTVs support HDR and a wide color gamut. Most also can be set to upconvert lower-resolution video content for display on 4K Ultra HD TV screens.

Read more about the new more affordable HDR-supporting AVR class after the jump:

The new 2016 AVR models include the following:

DenonAVRSW920Denon continued to fill out its 2016 AV receiver with the recent introduction of the AVR-S720W ($479 suggested retail) and the AVR-S920W ($579). The two S-series models are equipped with the latest HDMI 2.0a/HDCP 2.2 inputs to accept 4K Ultra HD video signals with HDR metadata.

The AVR-S720W includes six HDMI 2.0a inputs (one front mounted) and one HDMI 2.0a output. The AVR-S920W (pictured above) has eight HDMI 2.0a inputs (one front mounted) and dual HDMI 2.0a outputs.

Both models offer 7.2-channel surround, support Dolby Atmos object-based surround, and will be able to support the DTS-X object-based surround format with a firmware due in August.

Other features include: built-in Bluetooth to stream music from smart devices, dual-band Wi-Fi, DLNA 1.5 networking, AirPlay, Internet Radio, Pandora, Spotify Connect, SiriusXM, and high-resolution audio streaming with support for: AIFF, ALAC, DSD (2.8/5.6MHz), FLAC and WAV files.

Both models are designed to support up to 5.1.2 Atmos speaker configurations, and include Audyssey MultEQ room-acoustic measurement and DSP correction.

Both Denon S Series receivers support Denon’s HEOS whole home audio system, with IP control capability. When paired with the Heos Link, the receivers can be controlled through the Denon HEOS app.

Denon recently announced that it is upgrading its Heos equipment lineup with the addition of wireless high-resolution audio streaming, built-in Bluetooth and faster Wi-Fi 802.11 ac connectivity support.

Marantz, the sister brand to D+M’s Denon, is adding the ultra-slim-design NR1607 ($699) network AV receiver with 7.2 channel surround, built-in Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. When it goes on sale in May, the Marantz NR1607 (pictured at top) will measure just four inches high and will offer eight HDMI 2.0a/HDCP 2.2 inputs and one output for pass-through of 4K Ultra HD/HDR video signals; Dolby Atmos object-based surround decoding and pending support for DTS:X object-based surround after a September firmware update; and high-resolution audio support (FLAC, AIFF and WAV).

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It is built with high current discrete power amplifiers on all 7 channels – 50 watts per channel at 8ohm, (20-20kHz, 0.08% THD) – dual antennas and dual band Wi-Fi, Bluetooth wireless streaming connectivity, support for AirPlay, network attached storage devices (NAS), Internet Radio, Pandora, SiriusXM, and Spotify Connect (subscription based).

Other features include an intuitive Graphical User Interface, Setup Assistant, and Audyssey MultEQ room calibration; AVR remote control app for iOS, Android and Kindle Fire devices; and a smart ECO mode for energy savings.

OnkyoHTS7800Onkyo will begin selling in May two new home-theater systems for those looking for an all-in-one approach to adding an immersive entertainment experience.

The Onkyo HT-S3800 ($499 suggested retail) is positioned as an entry-level 5.1-channel home-theater system offering more features and better sound than most soundbars. The HT-S3800 has built-in Bluetooth support; 100-watts per-channel analog amplifiers and includes four HDMI 2.0a/HDCP 2.2 inputs – eight inputs, two outputs – supporting 4K/60Hz, HDR, 4:4:4 color space, HDR, and up to the BT.2020 wide color gamut.

The system includes solidly-built micro-speakers and a 100-watt subwoofer.

Onkyo’s $999 HT-S7800 (pictured above) 5.1.2-channel network home theater system was designed for those looking for the latest object-based surround sound and advanced network features in a high-value solution. The system supports Dolby Atmos and DTS:X object-based surround. It is powered by discrete non-phase amps delivering 170 watts per channel of power (384 kHz/32-bit DAC, and VLSC noise-free processing).

Other features include streaming music service apps for Spotify and Tidal; Dynamic Audio Amplification; and Blackfire’s FireConnect technology for wireless sound mirroring.

It comes with two-way front and center channel speakers and a powered 120-watt subwoofer.

Both systems’ receivers feature the Pioneer AccuEQ calibration suite. The HT-S7800 adds AccuReflex phase-adjustment technology that auto adjusts for an overhead sonic dimension from the up-firing front speakers.

Pioneer1131Pioneer introduced a pair of networked AV receivers under its 31 series under VSX line, bringing wireless multiroom audio, Google Cast and Tidal streaming for the first time.

Both the Pioneer 7.2-channel VSX-1131 ($599 suggested retail) and 5.2-channel VSX-831 ($449), offer HDMI 2.0a/HDCP 2.2 inputs and outputs supporting 4K Ultra HD and HDR video signals. They also have built-in support for Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and AirPlay wireless connectivity. They will also stream music services including vTuner, Pandora and Spotify. Pioneer said ti will add support for the TuneIn, Tidal and Deezeer services through a firmware update this fall.

The VSX-1131 (pictured above) will also support Dolby Atmos object-based surround sound, and will add support the DTS:X format after a firmware upgrade this fall.

As with Pioneer’s previously announced Elite-series AVRs, Google Cast, and wireless multi-room audio will be added through a future firmware update.

For multi-room audio, the new Pioneer AVRs, like their sister Onkyo-brand models, use FireConnect technology developed by Blackfire Research. The system uses an app on a smart device to direct music from networked computers, tablets, smartphones and other wirelessly connected storage devices to the AVRs or future Wi-Fi connected multi-room speakers planned by Pioneer.

Google Cast for audio technology will support streaming music from the Internet using compatible iOS and Android music apps.

Other features in both models include: a high-grade 384kHz/32bit DAC (AK4458) from AKM; Hi-Res Audio playback at up to 192kHz/24-bits with support for FLAC, WAV, AIFF and Apple lossless files as well as DSD (2.8/5.6MHz) files.

The VSX-1131 model steps up with the addition of two HDMI 2.0a outputs, Dolby Atmos and DTS:X support and 7.2 channels.

By Greg Tarr


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