Denon Announces New 8K-Ready S Series AV Receiver

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Denon Announces New 8K-Ready S Series AV Receiver


Following hot on the heels of last month's announcement about Denon's new 8K-ready X Series AV receivers, the company announced today that the S Series is getting some HDMI 2.1 love, too. The new AVR-S960H, which is scheduled to ship in July, will bring many of the new features of the HDMI 2.1 spec (namely 8K passthrough and upscaling, 4K/120Hz support, Variable Refresh Rate [VRR], HDR10+, Dynamic HDR, Quick Media Switching [QMS], and Quick Frame Transport [QFT]) to wider audiences at an attractive $649 price point.

Read on for full details, directly from Denon:

Denon, defining audio excellence since 1910, today announced its latest 8K-ready AV receiver, the AVR-S960H. The first 8K-ready AV receiver in Denon's S-Series line, the AVR-S960H features Denon's legendary sound quality, a suite of new AV technologies and simple setup features designed to produce best 4K home theater system today with 8K on tap to easily upgrade the family room in the future.

"On the heels of the X-Series launch earlier this month, we're excited to offer another AV receiver that gives users the ability to dramatically upgrade their movie and gaming nights at a price we think is really going to excite people," said Jake Mendel, product marketing manager for Denon AVR & Hi-Fi components. "The AVR-S960H checks all the boxes to easily build a really excellent 4K home theater and gaming experience while also arming your system for 8K when you're ready. While theaters remained closed and family time is more important than ever, now is the time to build the home theater and gaming system of your dreams."

Making Movie and Game Night Amazing
The new Denon AVR-S960H receiver delivers rock solid home theater and gaming experiences for the entire family. With incredible picture quality and immersive audio capabilities, it is easier than ever to replicate the theater experience at home.

Movie night gets more vivid with stunning picture quality thanks to a dedicated "8K" HDMI input enabling 8K/60Hz and 4K/120Hz video pass-through, new HDR format support including HDR10+ and Dynamic HDR, and a new HDMI feature called Quick Media Switching (QMS), which allows a source to instantly switch the resolution or frame rate to eliminate screen blackout. For exceptional color, clarity and contrast the latest S-Series models still support HDR10, HLG (Hybrid Log Gamma) and Dolby Vision, as well as 4:4:4 Pure Color subsampling and BT.2020 pass-through.

Nothing makes favorite movies and games more immersive than 3D audio. The Denon AVR-S960H has Dolby Atmos, Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization Technology, DTS:X, DTS Virtual:X support so users can add speakers to their system over time. With 7 channels of Denon's revered amplification and low impedance driver capability (90W per channel at 8 ohms, 20Hz-20Khz, THD: 0.08%, with 2 channels driven), all of your speakers can boast balanced, quality sound.

Several new features make gaming on the AVR-S960H more fun than ever, including razor sharp motion clarity with 4K/120Hz pass-through and Variable Refresh Rate (VRR) to reduce frame tearing and improve overall precision. Get a jump on the competition with Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM) and Quick Frame Transport (QFT), each designed to reduce lag and improve stats. See the enemy before they see you with stunning 8K picture quality.

The Denon AVR-S960H can also upscale existing HD and 4K content to 8K1 so more people can experience the power of 8K resolution.

The new Denon AVR-S960H continues to support eARC (enhanced Audio Return Channel), which delivers uncompressed and object-based audio from the TV to the receiver via a single HDMI cable. TVs play video directly from TV apps at best available picture quality--either 4K or 8K--while the receiver identifies the best available surround format for decoding.

With eARC and the latest HDMI connectivity up to 8K Ultra HD, the new receiver simply pairs with the latest 8K TVs, streaming devices, gaming consoles, and other source players without hassle.

Denon Setup Assistant Does the Work
By visually guiding users through each step in the setup process, Denon's award-winning Setup Assistant makes it easy to get the AVR-S960H out of the box and making beautiful music quickly. Because every home theater is unique, Denon uses premium room calibration technology from Audyssey that automatically takes precise measurements and optimizes the receiver's performance, providing the finest 3D audio experience tailored to the acoustic properties of the space. The Audyssey MultEQ Editor app is available for purchase for those who want more customization options.

HEOS Built-In Multiroom Music Listening
With HEOS Built-in, the AVR-S960H can stream music wirelessly across compatible HEOS components from a variety of free and premium streaming services, including Spotify, Pandora, Amazon Music HD, TuneIn, iHeartRadio, SoundCloud, SiriusXM, TIDAL, and more. Consumers can also enjoy their favorite music in any room of the home wirelessly. Play the same song in every room or select a different song for each connected room via a variety of streaming sources. Add Denon Home speakers to more rooms and control it all with the HEOS app. Apart from HEOS, Apple AirPlay 2 and Bluetooth are also supported. Apple Music streaming is supported through AirPlay 2.

Effortless Voice Control
The latest receiver works with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Josh.ai, and Apple Siri for effortless voice control. Listeners can use Amazon Alexa for a variety of commands, including switching inputs for different media players, while the Google Assistant and Apple's Siri can be used to adjust the volume, skip to the next track, and more2. Josh.ai offers custom integrators greater control over voice integration into a variety of existing smart home platforms.

Roon Tested and Hi-Res Playback
The AVR-S960H is Roon Tested certified so users can get more out of their music libraries through the advanced Roon music interface on their PCs and smart devices. Denon Roon Tested AVRs can be found and setup easily by Roon via AirPlay 2 or hardwired into a Roon Core device. Each receiver features a front-panel USB port that offers convenient audio playback of MP3 and high-resolution audio formats (WAV, FLAC, ALAC and DSD 2.8/5.6 MHz files).

New Convenient Audyssey Feature
The AVR-S960H now supports Dual Audyssey Preset function which allows users to store and instantly switch between two Audyssey configurations. For example, users can store both the Audyssey calibration result straight from the receiver and a customized MultEQ curve or frequency range made through the Audyssey MultEQ editor app on the receiver simultaneously, allowing users to easily compare differences and select their preference. Listeners can also perform Audyssey measurements for two different speaker settings, including 2.0 for music listening and 5.1.4 for movie surround.

Key Features on the AVR-S960H

Video and HDMI

    • (New) 8K: See unprecedented detail with 8K passthrough and upscaling.
    • (New) 4K/120Hz: Experience incredibly smooth motion clarity with 4K/120 frames-per-second pass-through.
    • (New) Variable Refresh Rate (VRR): Reduces or eliminates lag, stutter and frame tearing for more fluid and better detailed gameplay.
    • (New) HDR10+: Make the most out of a HDR10+ compatible TV and content with HDR10+ pass-through capability.
    • (New) Dynamic HDR: Optimize the performance of HDR TVs with Dynamic HDR with scene-by-scene or frame-by-frame dynamic metadata.
    • (New) Quick Media Switching (QMS): More watching, less waiting. Say goodbye to blank screens using Quick Media Switching (QMS).
    • (New) Quick Frame Transport (QFT): Enjoy reduced latency for smoother, tear-free entertainment experience.
    • eARC support: Enhanced audio return channel supports latest lossless and 3D audio formats for audio transmission directly from the TV to the AV receiver through the connected HDMI cable.
    • Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM): Low latency gaming supported on Xbox One and requires supported TV.
    • Incredible Color: 4:4:4 Pure Color sub sampling, HDR10, Dolby Vision, Hybrid Log-Gamma (HLG), and BT.2020 pass-through support for exceptional color, clarity and contrast.
    • HDCP 2.3: Supports the latest copy protection standard on all HDMI ports.

Audio and Surround Sound

    • Immersive 3D Audio: Dolby Atmos, Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization Technology, DTS:X, DTS Virtual:X.
    • Premium DAC: 32bit AKM DAC allowing for high-resolution audio decoding.
    • Hi-Res Audio: Ability to decode up to 24-bit/192-kHz ALAC, FLAC and WAV lossless files as well as DSD 2.8MHz and 5.6MHz tracks through front panel USB or network connected devices.

Music Streaming and Smart Home

    • Roon Tested: Get more out of digital music libraries with searchable, surfable information about artists and songs.
    • HEOS Built-in: Wi-Fi music streaming and multi-room audio technology with compatible components. HEOS supports free and premium Spotify, Pandora, Amazon Music HD, TuneIn, iHeartRadio, SoundCloud, SiriusXM, TIDAL, and more.
    • AirPlay 2 Built-In: Use AirPlay 2 to stream Apple music wirelessly to the AV receiver, or group with other AirPlay compatible speakers to fill the home with music.
    • Effortless Voice Control: Works with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant or Apple Siri for hands-free control of wireless music and AVR.
    • Bluetooth Enabled: Stream music wirelessly and distribute to Zone 2 or HEOS enabled speakers through the free HEOS app.
    • Bluetooth Transmitter: Listen to audio through Bluetooth headphones late at night, or enjoy with a family member or a friend with a hearing impairment. Audio can be heard through speakers and headphones simultaneously.

Setup and Ease of Use

    • Room Calibration & Optimized Room Acoustics: Boasts Audyssey's suite of EQ calibration technologies for simple, accurate set-up and dynamic volume control. Audyssey MultEQ, Dynamic EQ and Dynamic Volume are supported.
    • (New) Dual Audyssey Preset Memory: Allow users to store two speaker and Audyssey configurations and switch on the fly for more tailored listening experiences to the environment.
    • Quick Selects: The front panel and remote control feature four Quick Select buttons that store preferred or most used audio settings for user's convenience.
    • Remote apps (iOS/Android): Denon AVR remote for basic AVR's control and setup. Audyssey MultEQ editor app available for purchase for further customization of room EQ curve.

The AVR-S960H will be available in July 2020 for $649 at authorized Denon retailers.

Additional Resources
• Visit the Denon website for more product information.
• Read Denon Begins Shipping First 8K-Ready AV Receivers This Month at HomeTheaterReview.

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