Denon and Marantz Upgrade Their Flagship AV Amps
Sound United stablemates Denon and Marantz have both levelled up their flagship AV amplifiers.
Denon's AVC-X8500HA and Marantz's AV8805A sport the 'A' suffix, denoting that they are the latest upgrade of the celebrated AV amplifiers from their respected lineage, with both boasting 13ch of 210W amplification and all the latest 3D audio formats, including Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, DTS:X Pro, IMAX Enhanced and Auro 3D.
The Denon AVC-X8500HA and Marantz AV8805A boast a raft of updates, including 8K/60Hz upscaling and pass-through, 4K/120Hz pass-through, HDR10+, Dynamic HDR, HDCP 2.3, as well as other HDMI 2.1 technologies supporting 40Gbps transmission.
And now the brands seem to be over that nasty HDMI 2.1 speedbump, gamers have something to be excited about, too, such as sharp motion clarity with 4K/120Hz pass-through and Variable Refresh Rate (VRR) to reduce frame tearing and improve overall precision. Additionally, Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM) and Quick Frame Transport (QFT) are designed to reduce lag and improve stats - see the enemy before they see you.
The new amplifier can upscale HD and 4K content to 8K while still supporting eARC, allowing lossless and object-based audio transmission, such as DTS:X and Dolby Atmos, from TV apps or connected devices using a single HDMI cable.
New HDR format support includes HDR10+ and Dynamic HDR, and a new HDMI feature called Quick Media Switching (QMS) allows a source to instantly switch frame rate to eliminate screen blackout. For exceptional colour, clarity, and contrast, the new AV amps support HDR10, HLG (Hybrid Log Gamma) and Dolby Vision, as well as 4:4:4 Pure Color subsampling and BT.2020 pass-through.
For advanced multi-channel home cinema applications, the updated flagships also now support DTS:X Pro, which allows you up to 13 channels of DTS:X decoding with speaker configurations such as 7.2.6 or 9.2.4.
In addition to DTS:X Pro, the upgraded amps feature several other 3D audio formats, including Dolby Atmos, Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization Technology, DTS:X, DTS Virtual:X, IMAX Enhanced and Auro-3D out-of-box. The latest height virtualisation technologies provide immersive audio without height channels, creating virtual height effects in a 7.1, 5.1 or 2.1 speaker arrangement.
If you already own a Marantz AV8805 or Denon AVC-X8500H, don't worry. You will have the opportunity to upgrade the HDMI/Digital board to 'A' spec by contacting an approved dealer. That said, today, you'll be getting a firmware update that hands your current amp, Front Wide CH Support on Dolby Surround, Dolby Atmos Height Virtualizer and DTS:X Pro.
The Denon AVC-X8500HA costs £3699/ €3999, and the Marantz AV8805A costs £3899/ €4299, and both are available next month from authorised retailers. The upgrade to “A” spec can be booked by contacting your dealer directly and costs £649/ €749.
StereoNET UK’s Editor, bass player, and resident rock star! Jay’s passion for gadgets and Hi-Fi is second only to being a touring musician.
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