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Denon AVR-S960H Budget Priced 8K A/V Receiver (2020)

7.1-channel 8K A/V Receiver with 8K/60Hz pass-through, as well as elevated gaming with 4K/120Hz pass- through and support for the latest HDMI specifications. MSRP $649.

Denon AVR-S960H 8K A/V Receiver (2020)

The Most Affordable 8K AV Receiver of 2020

Denon just released the electronics industry’s lowest priced 8K-ready AV receiver. At $649, the AVR-S960H is the first 8K-ready AV receiver in Denon’s S-Series line, which is a step down from the company’s flagship line of X-Series 8K AV Receivers, also recently announced, which start $200 higher. The new AVR-S960H lets you build the best 4K home theater today and gives you the comfort of knowing that your AV receiver is 8K ready when decide to get a 8K TV. Otherwise, the prior (2019) model AVR-S950H is the 4K version of the same receiver.

Denon AVR-S960H 8K A/V Receiver Rear View

High-Performance Discrete 7-Channel Amplifier

Featuring discrete high-performance power amplifiers on all channels, the AVR-S960H powers 90W per channel (8 ohms, 20Hz- 20kHz, THD: 0.08%, with 2 channels driven). With low impedance driver capability, it offers operational stability with a wide range of speakers for balanced, quality sound. Plus, Auto Eco Mode adjusts power output to speakers based on volume level and on-screen eco meter, providing power consumption reduction in real-time.

3D Audio Support

The AVR-S960H supports Dolby Atmos 5.1.2 using elevation speakers or dedicated overhead speakers along with Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization Technology, DTS:X® and DTS Virtual:X. DTS:X® immersive audio places sound where it would occur naturally in space, creating a lifelike, 3D audio experience in the home. The improved immersion and heightened realism draw you into the world of your favorite movies. Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization Technology and DTS Virtual:X provides immersive audio without height channels, creating virtual height effects in a 7.1, 5.1 or 2.1 speaker arrangement.

Movies & Gaming

The new Denon AVR-S960H receiver handles gaming needs as well as home theater. 4K/120Hz pass-through and Variable Refresh Rate (VRR) reduces frame tearing and improves 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.

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.   

With eARC (enhanced Audio Return Channel) and the latest HDMI connectivity, the Denon AVR-S960H receiver simply pairs with the latest 8K TVs, streaming devices, gaming consoles, and other source players without hassle. The receiver can also upscale existing HD and 4K content to 8K (requires 8K TV). Plus, the convenience of eARC 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 the best available picture quality—either 4K or 8K—while the receiver identifies the best available surround format for decoding. 

Denon AVR-S960H 8K A/V Receiver Front View with Remote Control

Denon Setup Assistant

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 AVR-S960H works with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant,, 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 more (degree of functionality is variable and platform-dependent). 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. 

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Denon AVR-S960H 8K A/V Receiver Inside View

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.

Price & Availbility

The Denon AVR-S960H A/V Receiver will be available in July 2020 for $649 at authorized Denon retailers, including Amazon and Crutchfield.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. ORT

    July 7, 2022 at 4:00 am

    I recently bought this excellent AVR from Denon to go along with my AVR-X4300H and ten HEOS speakers, including a pair of the new Home 150s.

    I think the 150s are about to become a favorite around our home. And the AVR-S960H? It is another home run from Denon. One of the nicer facts about Denon and HEOS is that it is (so far!) backwards compatible with previous generations of HEOS and that is a BIG deal to people.

    I bought the new Home 150s knowing that they would work in concert with my 4300H and my new 960H. They are the easiest to set up HEOS speakers I have yet bought and they sound quite good too! The AVR-S960H is 7.2 channel capable but at the moment I am using it in a 2.1 set up with HEOS, a fully automatic Technics Direct Drive ‘table, a 300 disc Sony CD Changer and an Integra DVD/CD player for singles (I also have one of those in my main headphone set up).

    It all works wonderfully. For the Roonatics out there, Denon is RoonieTunes ready but I ain’t. I do not play well with fAd Copy and so I say “No!” to that slice of “Roonacy”. It is there (or so I think as it was offered to me by Denon) if you want it, but I can not think of any reason any non lemming would want that dross. Tastes vary. If you like it, fine. I, of course, loathe Roon.

    I do not think I will use “Alexa” with this Denon. I do not much care for it and when I am in a mood, I ax it to compute Pi to 200 or 300 places. Highlarious, I know.

    But I am very pleased with Denon and have been for over five years now with my 4300H and expect to continue to be. I waited for the Denon PMA-900NE but I decided I would wait no more. I am trying to hold out for my local Best Buy to get the Marantz CD60 but it still is not available there and both my Integra DVD/CD players are still just fine…

    …But nothing on the market looks like the Marantz CD60 in silver/gold. “SIGH”…Looks MATTER! 🙂

    Thank your for this review which, along with a few others caused me to wait no mas(!) for the Denon PMA-900NE. I decided to post here to let you know that I enjoyed this article (again!).

    I also have a new Denon AVR-S750H for my brother and his wonderful wife along with two new in the box(!) HEOS speakers, the previous generation of 5 series. Those speakers are superb for us commoners (I have two in my home system!) as is the 750H. HEOS is excellente’! Even sans the silliness of RomperRoon, LOL!

    Thank you Ecoustics!

    El Toado Verde de los ORT

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