Do consumers really need a 15.4 channel AVR? Denon has officially rolled out the flagship AVR-A1H and it’s quite a beast. Priced at $6,499, the new AVR-A1H checks all the boxes and a few more you didn’t know you needed.
The use of the “A1” naming convention has historically been reserved for Denon’s finest electronics, and it hasn’t been used since the AVR-A1HD launched in 2007. It seems Denon has held nothing back in the creation of the new AVR-A1H.
It replaces prior flagships, the AVR-8500H from 2018 and the AVR-A110 (Anniversary Edition) from 2020, which were no slouches in their own right. The new AVR-A1H offers some significant improvements, some of which have trickled down into Denon’s 2023 Home Theater Receiver lineup.
- 15 x 150 watts amplification
- Supports up to 9.4.6 Dolby Atmos, DTS:X Pro, IMAX Enhanced, Auro 3D
- 4 independent RCA and XLR subwoofers
- Advanced bass management with directional bass
- Dirac Live (with optional fee)
- 50% larger block capacitors (from 22,000 uF to 33,000 uF)
- Larger power transformer (from 17.9 lbs to 25.5 lbs)
- Doubled thickness of copper foil PCB (from 35um to 70um)
- Faster DSP (from 1600 MIPS to 2000 MIPS)
- HDMI output increase (from 200ma to 300ma)
- Increased 8K (40 Gbsp) HDMI inputs (from 1 to 7)
- Lower THD+N and SINAD Measurements (according to internal company tests)
- Bluetooth transmitter built-in
- New HD GUI
- Expanded Web UI
Summon the Power!
At its core, the AVR-A1H can summon the power of 15 discrete assignable amplifiers that output 150 watts per channel (8 ohms, 20hz to 20khz, .05% THD, measured with 2 channels driven).
The receiver also provides four subwoofer preamp outputs (including both balanced and unbalanced connections). Depending how many subwoofers are used, they can be configured for directional bass, such as left/right (stereo) bass and front/back.
Tip: In addition to the built-in amps and subwoofer outputs, the A1H provides two additional channel preamp outputs for multi-zone use. Just add external amplifiers.
With all that power, the number of amplified and add-on channels, and subwoofer outputs, you have the option to set up a main and 2nd room (or even a 3rd room) systems, use the speaker bi-amp connection flexibility, or set up the ultimate Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, or Auro 3D Audio configuration (support for up to a 9.4.6 channel setup).
To ensure the stability of its extensive power output, Denon has incorporated the largest transformer it has ever used in any of its AVRs (weighing in at 25 lbs), along with beefed-up capacitors for added support.
Tip: Average AC power consumption for the A1H in operation is stated as 900 watts.
The A1H has you covered for home theater sound with extensive support for almost all surround sound formats including Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, and Auro 3D as mentioned above, as well as IMAX Enhanced, and Sony 360 Reality Audio.
For added support, the A1H includes a Dual Core 1 Ghz DSP (Digital Sound Processor). Audiophile-grade DACs are provided for all channels. Additional audio features include:
- Audio Processing (AL32 Processing): This feature supports high-resolution 192khz/32-bit input signals as well as provides the best possible sound quality from any source via its signal-restoring algorithms.
- Hi-Res Audio: Support for 24-bit/192kHz audio playback. Digital audio format support includes MP3, WMA, WAV, MPEG-4/AAC, FLAC, and ALAC.
- Wireless Music Streaming: Amazon HD, Spotify Connect, Pandora, and more… Roon Tested.
- Heos: Multi-room wireless streaming.
- HDMI 2.1: Includes HDMI-eARC and Gaming Support (4K/120Hz, 8K/60Hz) with up to 40Gbps transfer rate, VRR (Variable Refresh Rate), ALLM (Auto Low Latency Mode), and Quick Frame Transport (QFT).
- HDR: Pass-through of all HDR formats, including Dolby Vision is provided.
- HDMI Cable Power (300ma): This provides added support for long cable runs, check out the details.
- Remote Control: A wireless handheld backlit remote is provided.
- Voice Control: Alexa Built-in, Google Assistant, Apple Siri, and Josh AI (this option needs to be installed professionally)
- Smartphone App Control: iOS, Android
- Additional Control Options: 12-volt trigger (2), wired remote sensor (in/out), RS232C, IP Control
Audyssey Room Correction Built-in: MultEQ, MulitEQ XT32, Dynamic EQ, Dynamic Volume
Tip: The A1H will support Dirac Live room correction as an option via a future firmware update. The inclusion of Dirac Live will allow users to fine-tune speakers connected to a receiver to more accurately match the acoustic environment of the room they are placed in, providing a more well-rounded music listening experience with better accuracy, larger sweet spot, more precise voice intelligibility, as well as deeper, but less boomy bass.
Update 3/18/2023: The Dirac Live Room Correction option is now available for the AVR-A1H. Details and License Purchase information. In addition to the Dirac update, Mini DSP’s UMIK-1 or Umik-2 microphone is recommended for use with Dirac Live (The Audyssey Mic will not work).
Tip: Audyssey Room Correction still remains an option even if Dirac Live is installed. You just can’t use both systems at the same time.
- Wireless: Bluetooth, AirPlay 2, Wi-Fi (Wired Ethernet is also included if needed).
- Wired Inputs: HDMI (7), Analog (5 plus 1x XLR), Phono (MM-1)), Digital Optical (2), Digital Coaxial (2), USB (1 Front/1 Rear)
- Wired Outputs: HDMI (3), Multichannel Pre-out (17), SubWoofer (4)
- Speaker Connections: 17 Pairs of Gold plated speaker terminals (one pair for each amplified channel).
Dimensions and Weight
- Dimensions (WDH): 17.4 x 19.6 x 10.2 inches (with Wi-Fi/Bluetooth Antenna extended).
- Weight: 70 lbs
“The AVR-A1H represents the absolute pinnacle of 8K A/V receiver performance for discerning home cinema enthusiasts,” explained Trip Randall, Denon brand president. “With a massive power supply supporting 15-channels of high-power, internal amplification and the flexibility to create up to a 9.4.6 immersive surround configuration, the AVR-A1H has been engineered and meticulously manufactured toachieve unprecedented refinement, establishing a new standard for AVR features and performance.”
Pricing and Availability
The Denon AVR-A1H is now available for $6,499 at denon.com, Crutchfield, Amazon and through Authorized Dealers.
|Dimensions (W×H×D) mm||434×195×498||434×195×482||434×195×482||434×195×482|
|25.4 kg |
(8ohm 20-20kHz THD<0.05% L+R)
|150 W + 150 W||150 W + 150 W||150 W + 150 W||150 W + 150 W|
|Channels||15 ch||13 ch||13 ch||13 ch|
|Support feature||8K60AB 4K120AB, ARC 7 Input||8K60AB 4K120AB, ARC||8K60AB 4K120AB, ARC||4K60P, ARC|
|DSP Type/model||ADI SHARC+ x 1||ADI SHARC+ x 2||ADI SHARC+ x 2||ADI SHARC+ x 2|
|15.4 ch||13.2 ch||13.2 ch||13.2 ch|
|DDSC HD32 / AL32 Multi||DDSC HD32 / AL32 Multi||DDSC HD32 / AL32 Multi||DDSC HD32 / AL32 Multi|
|ESS ES9018K2M x 10||AKM AK4490EQ x 8||ESS ES9010K2M x 8||AKM AK4490EQ x 8|
|Clock Jitter Reducer||Yes (Built-in ESS DAC)||Yes (Cirrus Logic CS2100)||Yes (Built-in ESS DAC)||Yes (Cirrus Logic CS2100)|
|XLR Pre Input||1||–||–||–|
|Preout||RCA 17.0 ch XLR & RCA 0.4 ch||RCA 15.2 ch||RCA 15.2 ch||RCA 15.2 ch|
|Speaker Terminal||17 ch||15 ch||15 ch||15 ch|
|Binding/Push Type||AVC-A1HD Type||Half Gray Transparency type.|
Shape is the same as X8500H
|Transparency type||Transparency type|
|GUI/OSD||HD-GUI||Rich GUI + NETWORK GUI||Rich GUI + NETWORK GUI||Rich GUI + NETWORK GUI|
|Wi-Fi Connectivity||2.4 GHz (11b/g/n) |
5 GHz (11a/n/ac)
|2.4 GHz (11b/g/n)|
5 GHz (11a/n)
|2.4 GHz (11b/g/n)|
5 GHz (11a/n)
|2.4 GHz (11b/g/n)|
5 GHz (11a/n)
|Bluetooth Tx||Yes (SBC)||–||–||–|
(Network Control Always ON) (without Distribute)
|Less than 2.0 W||3.5 W||3.5 W||3.5 W|