I’ve lost my way in the past few years when it comes to what is the best home theater receiver from Denon. I used to be really into HT in the early 2000′s but in the past few years I have been disinterested in what is available for A/V receivers and have been quite happy with my Yamaha RXV-2400 for my home theater processing, but now I have the chance to create a brand new home theater from scratch as I have an unfinished basement and I would like to start researching new gear for my new home theater in 2012 and one brand I have always admired is Denon for home theater.
Ten Best Denon Home Theater Receivers for 2012.
Denon AVR 5308i(A)
This is the flagship home theater receiver from Denon, and at $5499.00 this is one expensive receiver for those that demand the very best for home audio and video processing. The full feature set on this big receiver is too much to list, but as you can imagine this is one big honking machine that offers all modern home audio features such as 9.3 channels of amplification at 1050 watts in total, 4 source and zone selection and network wifi and streaming on this big brute of an amp.
Denon AVR 4810
Want to save over $2000 on a modern home theater a/v receiver? Buy this model instead of the 5308 from Denon . The 4810 is on sale too at Amazon where you can knock off another $500, bringing the best price for the Denon AVR4810 down to about $2500. This is still a bit much for me to pay for a home theater amp, but you could buy two of these on sale for the same price of one Denon 53083.
And this is no slouch either: This too offers 9.3 channels that include wifi and home networking features for whole home audio.
Each channel offers 140 watts of amplification and the monoblock design offers high end fidelity not just as a HT amplifier but for two channel listening too.
Of course, all the modern Dolby processing features are included including Dolby True HD and Dolby Pro Logic IIz for more channels of amplification with the addition of height channels to immerse yourself in full home theater nirvana.
Denon AVR-4311 CI
One of the very first things I noticed when I started to compare the Denon 4311 against the Denon 4810 and Denon even the Denon 5308, is that with this cheaper denon reciever when compared against the high end denon receivers is that you lose a subwooffer channel with this model. While the others offer 9.3, this Denon stops at 9.2.
But with a suggested price of over $2000, and a street price much cheaper, the 4311 is one of the newest higher end home theater receivers to be released to date so far.
The 140 watts of power is the same as the 4810 offers, and the easy setup features and the two remote controls make this the first real world receiver I could afford. The others, while nice, would cost me as much as my entire home theater renovation would cost. I may be able to stretch my budget for the 4810, but with this being the Newer Denon receiver, it may be better if I buy this one, as it offers HDMI 1.4a, Automatic room correction for the best sound possible, and the discrete power section means there’s plenty of ooomph for my needs.
Denon AVR 3312CI
This is one of the most popular of all the Denon receivers in the 2012 Denon Receiver line, and one of the more affordable, without sacrificing too many high end features that the pricier Denon receivers offer. For about $1000, you get a pretty good receiver with 7 channels of discrete power at 125 watts each, and all the modern technical stuff too.
As the photo shows, this Denon receiver only offer one remote control, while the 4311 offers two. For my needs, this is not a big deal and I can live with one remote control if it means I save $1000 on a home theater receiver.
I still get the in command series, in fact this is the best in command receiver you can buy from Denon right now and the discrete amplifier design away from the processing mans not only will two channel sound great, but home theater will come alive too with Audessy Multi HQ support that offers a more realistic profile for your high definition sound. The seven HDMI inputs are more than enough for me to get all my blu ray players and even cell phones connected too. This is definitely a contender as I decide what home theater receiver I want to buy this year.
Denon AVR 2312CI
The Denon 2312 is the first Denon receiver on sale in 2012 that is priced under $1000 and if you want to save $200 when you compare the 2312 to the 3312, then this might just be the best receiver to buy. I don’t know about you guys but I feel like I am just now getting into the real world pricing of home theater receivers. Let’s assume you make $50,000 a year. Do you really want to spend over one tenth of your salary on a home theater processor. That’s why I am starting to lean towards buying the Denon 2312 – it’s a modern and affordable home theater reciever.
But just because we’re starting to hit the more affordable Denon AV Processors doesn’t mean that this is a high quality amplifer worthy of my attention.
I don’t know what speakers you need to drive with this amplifier but at 105 watts x 7, that’s enough and I don’t need, or have room for – a 9 channel setup anyway.
Airplay, and modern HDMI specifications are far more important to me as I work more and more with digital data sources and less with analog. And at a price I could probably convince my wife to comply with, that alone may be the reason I buy this particular Denon receiver over any other HT receiver by Denon.
Denon AVR 2112CI
The Denon 2112 gets even cheaper still, and depending on your home theater needs might do just fine when it comes to either buying your first home theater receiver, or if you are doing what I am needing to do, and that’s save for a newer model. At a suggested price of $650 and priced even less online, and is one to consider as we start to enter the range of home theater receivers under $750.00.
The 2112 still comes packed with lots of power – 90 watts per channel x 7 and like all the 2012 Denon’s HDMI 1.4a is supported for all 3D formats and with six HDMI ports and support for online music whether through Airplay or streaming through your iPod, iPad, iPod touch or even itunes – the wireless support on the 2112 opens you up to the world of streaming music online.
And the networking compatibility of this home theater receiver from Denon also includes the compatibility of streaming music from Pandora, or even viewing your flickr photos on the big screen TV in the comfort of your own home.
Denon AVR 1912
The Denon AVR 1912 is getting real close to being the best home theater under $500, and as the year progresses I think we will see this happen. Currently, the MSRP on the 1912 is $549, so technically it’s the under $600 category but the price should drop on this some, as I am hoping to convince the wife that at only $500 we need this to enjoy our home theater even moreso than we are right now.
For just over $500, you get all the features of the big boys such as 7.1, Network Steraming (I think this feature is a must in 2012) and full HDMI 1.4a support with six in and one out – enough for most families just wanting to unwind after a day’s work. And with 90 watts x 7, for a grand total of 360 watts of power.
If you have an iPad or IPod, you can even stream music to your Denon receiver straight from the Apple Device – no wires needed.
Denon AVR 1712
Finally, I have found a cheaper home theater receiver from Denon that has a real world price of under $500 with a $399 retail price, and from what i can tell you don’t need to sacrifice a lot when it comes to features or amplification either. You have 90 watts x 7 and a setup wizard to help you get your home theater amplifier set up properly, the easy operation via the online graphical interface and 6 HDMI 1.4a inputs with one out will suit both the budget and the family room too.
All the high resolution audio formats are supported too, like Dolby True HD and DTS-HD and with an optional dock, you can connect your Apple iPod to this cheap Denon receiver too.
Denon AVR 1612
Priced at just $349.99, (even less at Amazon) the Denon 1612 is the best Denon receiver you can buy if you just want to run five channels for your home theater. For most of us, even a five channel home theater is more than enough for most rooms that double as a family and media room more than a dedicated HT..
But just because the 1612 from Denon comes with the capability of running just five speakers, does not mean that this is lacking in the features you need for gaming, or TV and yes, even movie watching. The 75watts x 5, while a fraction of what the big Denon recievers cost, you have to remember that this receiver will cost less than the sales tax on the higher end Denon receivers too.
The Denon 1612 still supports HDMI 1.4a format and with 4 HDMI ports for input and one HDMI port for output this might be a great bargain on a home theater receiver from Denon.
Denon AVR 1312
This is the cheapest Denon Reciever on sale in 2012 and the best bargain when it comes to buying a cheap home theater receiver on sale. It’s one hundred dollar difference between the Denon 1612 and the Denon 1312 and for that hundred dollars you still get 5.1 output for speaker connections, HDMI 1.4a (4 inputs and out) and modern processing such as
What Denon Receiver to Buy?
For my needs, I need a 2012 model, and unless I get a deal on a refurbished denon , i will only consider models ending in 12, so that knocks off the 5308 and Denon 4810 and even the Denon 4811 is now a year old, so those are out.
I then have to determine my needs and what I will be using the receiver for. If the cheap Denon 1312 will do the trick, I have no problem in saving money on a Denon AV receiver if the cheapo Denon’s will do the trick. My movie and TV watching are only a few hours a week, and truth be told, I didn’t use most of the features of my high end Yamaha.
If I do decide to buy a more expensive Denon receiver, I will probably go with the Denon 3312 as my big receiver from Denon. With a retail price of just over $1000, this is a feature rich Denon receiver and probably about as high as I want to go when spending my hard earned money on an AV receiver this year. I have a hard time parting with more than one thousand dollars on any reciever or electronic device as these things depreciate pretty quick and when it’s time to resell or upgrade to the next latest receiver, I hate to take too big a hit for the the pleasure any receiver can provide, not just from Denon.
I will tell you that regardless of what receiver for home theater I end up buying, I will buy my Denon from Amazon as I find they have the best prices on Denon Receivers for bothnew Denon’s and refurbished Denon receivers in 2012.