HDMI Zone 2 Support
Having the ability to send a discrete source to Zone 2 via HDMI makes for some interesting opportunities. For one, you can run a full 7.1 surround system in your main theater room while running a second source (via HDMI) to a bedroom soundbar-based system. The possibilities are endless.
With nine channels of amplification check out these potentialconfigurations:
- 5.1 surround + powered Zone 2 AND Zone 3
- 5.1 surround bi-amped mains + Zone 2
- 7.1 surround + Zone 2
- 7.1 surround + Zone 2 (mono) + Zone 3 (mono)
- 7.1 surround bi-amped mains
- 9.1 surround
- 11.1 surround (requires additional stereo amplifier)
- 13.1 surround (requires two additional stereo amplifiers)
- Dolby Atmos(11.1)
Of the above modes, its important to note that Denon gives you 11 pairs of speaker binding posts. Thats enough to do a full 11.1 system or any combination of 5.1, 7.1 and/or biamping or Zone 2/3 configurations you may need. The AVR-X7200W also includes support for Dolby Atmos, so you can connect front and rear Height channels, or use Dolby Atmos-enabled speakers (either one or two pairs) for full 5.1.2, 5.1.4, 7.1.2, or 7.1.4 configurations. You can even support a full 9.1.2 Atmos configuration with an external stereo amplifier.
For those who enjoy stereo listening, Denon provides setting that lets you configure how the AVR-X7200W handles bass management when set to either 2-channel Direct or Stereo listening modes. You can, of course, leave the system in Auto, where it will use the existing speaker settings, or you can configure a Manual or custom setting that can change the speakers to Large, for example, or alter the subwoofer settings and mode to play through the mains plus sub, or just the subwoofer (via the LFE channel).
You can adjust certain video parameters, including Picture Mode (allows ISF Day/Night settings for example, in addition to Movie and Vivid modes), Contrast, Brightness, Saturation, Noise Reduction, and Enhancer. I kept these settings off, choosing instead to utilize the settings on my projector (also ISF-enabled) to handle my day and night modes. If you had no other way to configure video tweaks, grabbing these controls will give you some flexibility, but in our opinion, video calibration should never be done in the AV receiver. Theres simply too many pieces in the chain to interrupt vide and calibrate it before it gets to the display. Use these settings sparinglyor perhaps not at all. If youre using a 4K display and your video is 4K resolution, Denon takes care of this for youall Picture Adjust settings are disabled for 4K input signals.
Video tests showed that the Denon AVR-X7200W passed nearly all HQV tests thoroughly when upconverting signals from analogue to HDMI. Using the Benchmark disc, only noise reduction had questionable results. The Spears & Munsil Blu-ray test disc (Second Edition) also showed that the AVR-X7200W was quite capable in the area of deinterlacing and scaling. There is, in my opinion, no reason to turn off video upconversion in this AV receiver if that capability is helpful to you, or youd like to transcode your video to HDMI. Denon does a bang-up job with it and the results were more than reassuring that my video was in good hands.
Connecting and Configuring Speakers
TheDenon AVR-X7200Wmaintains the companys attention to detail, allowing for some very precise settings when configuring your speakers manually. Of course, the included Audyssey MultEQ XT32 system does a great job and lets you take measurements from up to 8 different locations (up to 32 with adealer Pro kit). Thats a great way to automate your setup and get some decent sound in your listening space. If youre like me, however, you may want to set things up manually to start and then compare the results to the automated setup and EQ. Manual settings for speakers include distance, bass management, and levels. For distance, Denon defaults to 1 foot distance increments, but you can switch the resolution to 0.1 ft increments for more precise automatically-calculated delay measurements. There are also independent speaker crossover settings, but it may make more sense for you to stick with a global setting for simplicityunless you have speakers that are vastly different in their need for bass management. An example would be the use of true satellite speakers for surrounds which dont reproduce much below 120 Hz. In this case, you could set your front and center channels at the typical (and THX recommended) 80Hz, while allowing for more bass (anything under 120Hz) to be pulled off any signals sent to the surround channels.
There are two subwoofer outputs, so you can use a single subwoofer with this system or a pair of stereo subs. On top of that, you can also choose whether the low frequency range signal of only channels set to Small are added to the LFE channel, or if signal output from all channels (including speakers set to Large) are added to the LFE channel. This is often referred to as double bass mode since the LFE gets twice as much bass from speakers set to Large. Additionally, as mentioned earlier, Denon lets you configure a completely different separate bass management scheme for 2-channel direct and stereo modes, letting you customize your listening experience when youre not viewing surround movies.
This is the Way Streaming is Supposed to Work
I couldnt wait to get music streaming to the AVR-X7200W. One of the things I love about this receiver is that it will come out of Standby mode when you select it usingAirPlayfrom any iOS device. Seriously, you just start playing music, select the AVR-X7200W from your AirPlay menu, and *presto! Your music is playing loud and clear through the receiver. Contrast this to some Bluetooth systems which require you to turn on the receiverbeforeyou can make a connection. With the Denon, the IP Control setting can be configured to Always Onletting you maintain network functions during Standby. With this mode, you can wake up the receiver when it is off when you want to play Bluetooth or AirPlay sources.SpotifyConnect is another great feature. It lets you play back music even when taking a call, using another app, or doing any number of other things with your phone.
The Internet radio features on the Denon are also easy to use, and I found it a simple task to call up this source and quickly navigate to what I wanted to hear. In addition to being able to use the on-screen display to locate stations, the Denon Remote App also let me select and play back Internet radioeven to my outdoor Zone 2. This feature alone is going to make me want to do a lot more outdoors! Of course, you can access even more music via USB or DLNA, and I found that to be quite simple as well with the on-screen display. This is a great way to get high-resolution audio files (at up to 192kHz/24-bit) to your listening room and my preferred way to listen to uncompressed downloaded stereo tracks.
Denon RC-1194 Remote Control
I hope weve seen the end of electroluminescent remote controlsit appears that for the time being Denon has put that technology to rest. Good riddance! The RC-1194 is a remote that gets the job done. The fact that it has a 5-character LCD display is helpful, but Denon still has you standing on your left leg, holding down two buttons at once for six seconds, followed buy another seemingly random action in order to get the remote to program. If you can work through the process, youll find that basic control over your TV/display, cable/satellite set top box, and/or CD/DVD/BD player is possible. Since its also a learning remote, if you cant find an existing manufacturers code, you can program buttons from any existing remote control. Macros are also possible, and the four included Scene (whoops, thatsYamahaI mean Quick Select) buttons facilitate an easy way to issue multiple commands as needed to get your system up and running in various modes. Or you can do what I did and pony up for a Logitech Harmony Ultimate remote system.
Listening Tests: Music
My Reference System consists of a set of RBH Sound Signature Series SI-760/R speakers with SX-66/R surrounds and a pair of SI-1010P subwoofers with SA-500DSP amplifiers. This system is defined by having incredibly realistic midrange detail and exceptional tweeter response that simply wont distort at high volumes or compress delicate cymbal decays or sibilance. The room is treated with RPG Diffusor Systems absorbers that take some of the edge off and allow for a more spacious and realistic stereo and surround image. While I played with Audyssey extensively, in the end I disabled it and went with a non-DSP purist approach that calibrated the room manually with my trusty SPL mete to reference levels. Cables are a mixture of Tributaries, DVI Gear, and UltraLink. All HDMI cables are High-Speed rated for use with full 1080p resolution.
CD: Owl City All Things Bright and Beautiful
Galaxies is a favorite track of mine to queue up. There are a lot of synth sounds in this track as well as wide, stereo backing vocals. The lead vocal is a clean tenor which, when coupled with the synthesizers and drum track, makes for an interesting mix of complex midrange that is great to listen to on a well-balanced system. Listen to this track on a flat system that cant handle the detail and it comes out tepid. I love to use this to test out an amplifiers ability to provide control over a very complex track with both treble and bass that goes beyond the norm in terms of density and quick, dynamic transitions. Alligator Sky is another track that brings with it some nice bass and a spoken word lyric that is accompanied by a synth bass line that really punched through clean and tight with the drum track. The Denon AVR-X7200W put out a ton of output, though I felt the same 150 watts per channel of the AVR-5308CI(A) had considerably more output (and the build quality differences would explain this). Still, I liked the tightness of the bass, the finess of the treble detail, and the fact that my reference RBH Sound Signature Speakers didnt sound much different from what I was used to when listening to these tracks on my old flagship receiver.
CD: Sidewalk Prophets Live Like That
The title track in thisalbumreally came alive in my theater room, with Dave Freys vocals really sounding live and honest. Closing my eyes, it was like he was standing in the roomand having heard him live, this is a significant statement as to the detail and true sound the AVR-X7200W was putting out. There are several places in this track where the lead vocals are completely aloneleaving nothing to get muddied. When that happens your amplifier and speakers need to work together to ensure that nothing is being artificially compressed. If it is, you get that recorded sound instead of a live in your face reproduction that comes to life. Wrecking Ball (No, not the Miley Cyrus song!) really had me rocking out in my room, with Justin Naces wide-panned drums pushing toms and kick so that they spread right into the room, filling it with sound that seemed to come from all around. Near the end of the song, a brief bridge leads into the final line which includes a percussive shaker, soft unprocessed, vocal and moving synth pan that drifts quickly back and forth between the left and right speakers. The effect was mesmerizing, and I really liked what I heard from the Denon receiver.
DVD-A: The Carl Verheyen Band Rumor Mill
I love listening toCarl Verheyens improvised guitar playing. You may not recognize the name, but hes been with Supertramp since around 1985and most have heard of that band. This album is one from AIX Records, and its a favorite due to its incredible on-the-stage surround mix. Chinatown is, like other tracks on this album, recorded live in concert, and it really stands out with one of the most interesting percussion tracks youll ever hear. The result is a transcendent cacophony of sounds that are brought together by a cohesive lead vocal and a driving, but funky, lead guitar. I just love this song, and the Denon AVR-X7200W did it justice by reproducing all of the particular emphasis and driving beat this song has to offer. Henrys Farm is a tune that features lots of fast-moving guitar picking, complete with intricate finger-on-string noises that would lose all of their detail on a lesser system. The Denon did a fantastic job of letting all of the treble through while preserving its shimmer and depth. The wood block had a nice, natural reverb, and the bass was punchy and powerful with ample depth. I could listen to this album, with its uncompressed audio and diverse tracks, all day.
Listening Tests: Movies
To me, movies never give you the same feel for a receiver as do 5.1 music or high resolution audio tracks. Still, its a great test of how powerful and theater-like an AV receiver can getwhich is largely how I just my tests. And since I listen to a lot of AV receivers, Im also able to pick out anything that may be amiss with the surround decoding or parameters.
Blu-ray:X-men 3 The Last Stand
I actually likedX-Men 3, which may put me in the minority, but its a great-sounding movie. The ending battle has some of the coolest environmental effects, with Storm creating thunder effects, and Wolverine sliding down the corner of a metal building using his Adamantium claws as friction-brakes. Even the crowd noises as Magnetos warriors attack the X-Men present a really great surround experience as they come in and out of the soundtrack amidst the particular battles. Earlier in the movie, when Magneto takes control on the bridge, the low frequency rumble is unlike anything youre likely to hear in a soundtrack. Its a sustained rumble that is positioned underneath the twisting, falling, breaking steel of a bridge literally being torn to pieces as it lifts off its concrete foundation and sails through the air. The sound designers outdid themselves on this one and its a scene I like to play over and over again to show off my system.
Near the end ofRio 2, the effects of the birds attacking the construction crew present some really cool opportunities to experience direction surround effects as the birds fly all around the soundstage. There are also dramatic, explosive, sounds coming from the bulldozers and cranes that are sent in to harvest the rainforest. From steel shafts falling, to engines cranking over, this battle scene really punctuates the movie with a full, precise mix that is both rich and immersive. At the end, after the dynamite explosion, I found it wonderful that the rather fullmix turned into more intimate experience of creaking rope and a burning leaf that gently settles to the earth.This is a great movie all around, and the lack of any on-site production audio means that everything is very specific, perfectly clean, and precisely placed. Its a great listening experience.
I listened to a ton more movies over the weeks that I had this receiver, but the results were the samethe Denon AVR-X7200W produces a dynamic mix of sounds that are accurately placed and rich in detail and depth. The amplifiers included in this AV receiver were plenty powerful for my room, and theres no time at which I felt that there was anything severely lacking in the AVR-X7200Ws ability to drive my reference speakers at reference levels.
Conclusions and Overall Perceptions
Theres a lot to like about the AVR-X7200W. Its an amazingly capable, great-sounding AV receiver with the features that you want. From AirPlay, to Bluetooth, to integrated WiFi, theres not much this receiver cant do in terms of connecting your media to your home theater. For connectivity, the 8 HDMI inputs are going to ensure that you dont miss out on any source components you could possibly want to connect. For those looking to get with the latest surround formats,Dolby Atmosmeans that youve got your bases coveredand if thats not enough, the option to add Auro-3D means that the AVR-X7200W will be equipped for just about anything you may want to do with integrating height or overhead channels into your theater.
The bottom line is that the AVR-X7200W is Denons latest flagship receiver. It has the same rated power of its former flagship 5300-series model, but updates the feature set to make a more modern solution for consumers. Clearly the company has room for a revised separates solution and even a higher-level AV receiver, but at $2999 its hard to deny this product is a compelling purchase for those looking for the best of what Denon has to offer. Denon is planning to offer an HDMI 2.0/HDCP 2.2 update this year as well, but even before that this product is a great value and offers a lot for those looking to build a system that can last far into the future.
Buy the Denon AVR-X7200W
Specs & Features
Download the Denon AVR-X7200W Spec PDF
Power & Processing
- 150 Watts x 9 channels (0.05% THD)
- High-current/Discrete amplifiers
- Left/right-separated monolithic power amplifier design
- Dynamic Discrete Surround Circuit-HD32 with AL32 Processing Multi-channel
- 32-bit/192-kHz DACs for all channels
- Dolby Atmos, Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD Master Audio
- Crossovers: 40/60/80/90/100/110/120/150/200/250 Hz (global or per speaker)
Software & Convenience Features
- Audyssey MultEQ XT32/Sub EQ/LFC
- Audyssey Pro-ready
- Audyssey DSX, DTS Neo:X 11.1
- Spotify Connect
- DSD streaming
- FLAC HD/AIFF/WAV (192kHz/24-bit)
- ALAC (96kHz/24-bit)
- Bluetooth (version 2.1 + EDR)
- WiFi (802.11b/g @2.4GHz)
- Auto setup calibration
- Auto/manual room equalization
- Auto setup microphone & stand included
- GUI on-screen display w/Setup assistant
- Selectable Muting Levels (Full/-40/-20)
- Denon Remote App Multi-zone control (iOS/Android)
- 4 Quick Select macro functions
- Eco mode
- HDMI inputs: 8 (1 front)
- HDMI Outputs: 3 (2 Monitor, 1 Zone 2)
- Assignable Digital Inputs: 2 coax/2 optical
- Denon Link HD
- Analogue audio inputs: 7 stereo (1 front) + phono
- Preamp inputs: 7.1 channel
- Preamp outputs: 13.2 channel + Zone 2 stereo + Zone 3 stereo
- Component video inputs: 3
- Component video outputs: 2 (Main Zone + Zone 2)
- Source Function Renaming
- 4K Ultra HD Scaling up to 60Hz and 4:4:4 color
- Composite video inputs: 6 (1 front)
- Composite video outputs: 1
- Speaker connections: 11 pairs high quality 5-way binding posts
- Front Panel AV Inputs Inside Panel Composite & S-video * with Optical in
- S-video Down Conversion 2nd Zone
- Video Conversion Analog to HDMI Scaling 480p 720p 1080i 1080p, 4K UHD
- Silicon Optix Realta HQV Processing and Scaling
- Built In Time Based Correction (TBC)
- HDMI Inputs: 8
- HDMI Outputs: 3 (Mirroranddiscrete source)
- HDMI Audio/Video Repeater Function
- HDMI Deep Color Support (36Bit)
- HDMI xvYCC Color Space Support
- Network Enabled
- USB Port with HDD Support (Front & Back)
- Automatic Lip Sync (HDMI)
- ISFccc certification
- HD radio
- RJ-45 Ethernet
- IR Serial Remote In/Out terminals
- 12V triggers: 2 (150mA, assignable)
- Assignable amplifiers: Biamp, Zones 2/3, Surround Back, Atmos Height/Enabled speakers
- Internet Radio
- USB: 2 (front/rear w/iPod control)
- Input delete function
- Weight: 39.2 lbs
- Width: 17.1″ W x 7.7″ H x 16.8″ D