Note: I get paid commissions for purchases made through any links to Amazon products on this page and website. However, I did buy this unit myself for my home system.
I will say that Amazon's zero percent financing for the next year played into my decision to buy it from them, though.
Secondly, I have a cheap Onkyo receiver in my home office that was completely adequate until I started spending 8+ hours a day in there. I wanted an upgrade for this setup, too. Being able to move my Denon X4200H into the room gives me the opportunity for better sound quality and more HDMI outputs that should prove to be very useful, especially with it being able to use zone 2 for a separate signal from the same receiver. This means I can listen to music from my Mac using one output, while having my Dell computer feeding my monitor with zone 2 (as one example). It also has a 3rd HDMI that mirrors the main HDMI out, so I can send that to my Vizio TV that sits above my main monitor. (Note: still deciding on the exact configuration I want to use because there are a lot of options I could go with)
Thirdly, with me staying home, I have been spending less money on entertainment. I feel like having some of my entertainment budget going towards a nice home theater upgrade is money well spent!
I did consider the much more expensive NAD T778 receiver. The LCD screen on this unit is gorgeous. However, I found it lacking in a lot of areas. It only has 2 HDMI outs, but one is maxed at 1080p. This is kind of crazy at this price point. I did consider an outboard splitter, but the bigger issue was performance:
"NAD gets a lot of things right with T778 with high efficiency and cool running amplifiers, large beautiful display, excellent cooling if needed and good DAC performance (for an AVR). Alas, there just isn't enough attention to detail with respect to noise, bugs, input digitization, etc. Given all of this, I give up and let you all decide if it fits for your purpose. I hope NAD takes this platform and this data and makes a clean up pass for next year to build a truly superior product. As it is, it doesn't get there."
At a lower price point, some of this may have been acceptable, but at nearly $3000, I couldn't justify it.
The X3700H, on the other hand, is $1199. I could buy 2 for less than the NAD. However, the performance, at least in the review below, trumps that of the NAD:
"What a sigh of relief that the Denon AVR-X3700H performns on par with the later year mode, 3600H. The other "2020 year" Denon AVRs we have tested have had worse performance, leaving the 3600H as the best performing AVR until now. So buy the 3700H with peace of mind knowing that it performs quite well (for an AVR). Of course be mindful of what other features the units above it have which you may want, top of which is more power.
I am happy to add Denon AVR-X3700H to my recommended list."
This is one of the first AVRs with an 8k output. There is only one 8k input, but this works for me because I can't see me adding more than one 8k device down the road. I mainly use the AppleTV for everything, so if it gets updated to 8K, I could see that as being my only 8k device for a long while. Of course, this is just future proofing, but it is nice to have that extra comfort when you upgrade. The NAD will, in theory, have modules come out to upgrade their receiver with new features (at a cost) down the road. I wonder what it will cost to add an 8k input and output? I don't know, but I wouldn't be surprised if I could buy another X3700H (or whatever is available then) for the same money.
This is a new feature that "detaches" the amps when using an external amplifier. I have 2 Emotiva Monoblocks, so getting a cleaner signal (which is how this would affect the sound) was very enticing. The X3700H doesn't have the flexibility in how to assign the pre-outs as the more expensive models, but with my 5.1 setup, I just chose the 11.1 option, let it configure for 11.1 channels and then assigned the pre-outs to the front two channels. It seems to work since I looked in the "amp assign" and it shows the front two channels as "PRE". However, under the Speaker configurations it shows that the surround back and top front speakers as "none". This gives me the ideal setup for my system. However, for those that want to have a setup for multichannel and a completely separate setting for 2 channel, that is also possible with the 2 Speaker Presets. You can then easily switch back and forth with one of the 4 Quick Select buttons on the remote. There are 4 Quick select buttons, so you have a bit of flexibility with other settings, as well.
I have been using Airplay 2 since it first came to market. While I mainly listen to music on my main system using a Mac Mini running Audirvana and Qobuz, I also have an Apple Music account for a few reasons. In this case, I can use the HomePod that sits between my living room and kitchen to control what is playing on my main system. Before, I had to start up my receiver and go to the AppleTV input. Now, telling the HomePod to "Play Tom Petty in Living Room" will start up the receiver and start to play. No remote needed and no display needs to be on. I can even control the volume by voice without picking up the remote.
There is an issue with turning off the receiver when I am done. From what I can tell, the HomePod doesn't have this capability. However, Alexa can turn off and on the receiver, so I can go that route since I have a Dot in the same space. (more about that below)
Of course, Airplay 2 gives me the ability to play music all over the house, as well. It is nice to have it built in to the receiver!
While I mainly use Airplay, I can play music using the Amazon Dot using the Amazon service, as well. I don't subscribe to Amazon Music, but it will play music from the thousands of files I uploaded years ago or using their free service to play music. I won't use this a lot, but I will use the feature that will turn off the receiver when I am finished using Airplay 2. It doesn't look like all skills are available when sending the receiver music from the Dot. If I tell it to send a song from Apple Music or SiriusXM, it tells me they "aren't support by this device." Kind of a bummer if I didn't have a HomePod or Airplay 2.
While I currently have my Mac mini directly connected via a Topping DAC feeding it Coax, I also require UPNP for when my 2010 Mac eventually burns out or when I move the receiver to another room. The sound quality is fantastic and after about an hour of listening to hi resolution files (up to 24/192), I never had an issue with sound dropping or any other audible issues.
There is an issue with it showing "unknown" on some songs rather than showing the artist and song title. The album art does show up on the display and some songs do show the title, so I am not sure if this is an issue with the Denon or Audirvana, but worth mentioning. I mainly use the iOS app for controlling music, so not a big deal for me, but there is some flaw here.
Since I currently only have 5.1 in the room, I am also interested in some of their virtualization settings for Atmos. However, I haven't had a chance to test those out yet. Of course, I could decide to put some speakers in the ceiling down the road for real Atmos, so the fact that this receiver supports so many formats, I don't see me needing much more in the next few years.
More Video Capabilities
While I mentioned 8k for future use, the Denon also has 4K/120Hz, HDR10, Dolby Vision, HLG. 3D, and BT.2020 pass through. It is simply a beast for both audio and video.
Other features I could use down the road
This receiver is Roon Ready. If you are not familiar with Roon, I would just say it has the best use of metadata that I have run across in an app. The app also has wiki reviews, liner notes, and plenty of other information built in. The downside for me is the lack of DLNA features and the price (which is roughly $99 a year). Without DLNA, most of the components I currently own wouldn't work unless I used Airplay (which is capped at 16/44.1). There is a chance that I would subscribe if they added DLNA or just lowered the price significantly. Not sure it will happen, but very happy to see this as an option.
Two sub outs. If I ever decide to add another sub, I am covered.
Phono input - If my Belari Phono stage ever burns out, I can just plug my Project Debut directly into the receiver. Also, for future proofing down the road. Not sure if it will sound as good, but nice to have the feature.
11.1 channels of processing
3 HDMI outs
7 HDMI inputs
Very good measurements
Virtualization for those with a limited number of speakers
2 Speaker Presets (nice for those that want to have multichannel and stereo set up differently)
Still has some component inputs for those that still have a Wii :)
They removed the HDMI input on the front
The UPNP weirdness with the song titles
Would love an LED like the NAD on future models
- 9-channel amplifier
- 105 watts per channel into 8 ohms (20-20,000 Hz) at 0.08% THD, with 2 channels driven
- Dolby® and DTS® surround sound decoding
- Dolby Atmos® processing for use with in-ceiling or "height" speakers for more enveloping home theater sound
- Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization and DTS Virtual:X® create three-dimensional effects without height speakers
- IMAX® Enhanced reproduces the full dynamic range of specially encoded IMAX soundtracks from compatible sources
- analog-to-HDMI video conversion
- upscales standard-definition video signals to HD and Ultra HD (up to 8K)
- Audyssey speaker calibration and system optimization includes:
- MultEQ® XT32 auto setup and room calibration delivers balanced, dynamic sound with enhanced surround performance
- Dynamic Volume anticipates loud sounds to keep volume levels even
- Dynamic EQ improves dialogue, bass response, and surround channel levels at lower volumes
- Sub EQ HT provides individual calibration for dual subwoofers, for even bass response throughout the room
- Low Frequency Containment reduces the amount of bass that bleeds into other rooms
- Audyssey MultEQ Editor app for further audio customization (paid app; not included)
- built-in Wi-Fi for listening to music from a networked PC, free internet radio, and music services
- HEOS Built-in technology wirelessly connects compatible HEOS components for whole home audio
- Apple AirPlay 2 lets you stream directly from an iPhone® or iPad® and ask Siri to play Apple Music®
- supports multi-room audio with compatible wireless speakers
- built-in Bluetooth for wireless music listening with smartphones, tablets, and compatible computers
- Bluetooth transmission for sending audio from the receiver to Bluetooth-enabled headphones
- play audio through Bluetooth headphones only, or through Bluetooth headphones and connected speakers simultaneously
- plays high-resolution digital music files via USB storage device or a networked computer (PCM up to 24-bit/192kHz resolution; DSD up to 5.6 MHz)
- Denon's Compressed Audio Restorer improves sound quality of MP3s and other digital music files
- dual-room/dual-source output
- amp assign function lets you use surround back speaker outputs for front height, Zone 2, Front B, or bi-amping front speakers
- using powered 2nd-room output allows 7.2-channel sound in main room
- All Zone Stereo mode ensures that both zones stay in sync when playing the same source
- All Zone TV Audio lets you play surround sound in your main room and downmixed stereo in your 2nd room
- supports both analog and digital audio connections
- HDMI dual-zone switching for watching video content from different sources in two zones simultaneously
- Zone 2 compatible audio sources: HDMI audio, optical/coaxial digital inputs, analog audio inputs, AM/FM tuner, USB, Bluetooth, and HEOS music apps
- cannot select different USB/Bluetooth/network sources for each zone
- HDMI 2.1 audio/video switching: 7 in, 3 out
- 1 input and 2 outputs support 8K/60Hz and 4K/120Hz video
- all inputs and outputs support 4K/60Hz video
- HDCP 2.3 technology ensures compatibility with Ultra HD sources and TVs
- HDR-compatible for extended picture contrast and brightness with compatible TVs and HDR-encoded content
- supports HDR10, HDR10+, Dolby Vision™, and HLG
- gaming-optimized video processing technologies for a smooth, lag-free gaming experience
- Variable Refresh Rate (VRR), Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM), and Quick Frame Transport (QFT) reduce or eliminate lag and frame tearing
- supports ARC (Audio Return Channel) and eARC (Enhanced Audio Return Channel)
- eARC receives uncompressed surround sound signals including Dolby Atmos and DTS:X via the HDMI connection with your compatible TV
- component video switching: 2 in, 1 out
- composite video switching: 3 in, 1 out
- digital audio inputs: 2 Toslink optical, 2 coaxial
- 5 analog stereo RCA audio inputs
- MM (moving magnet) phono input for connecting a turntable
- 11.2-channel preamp outputs
- two discrete line-level subwoofer outputs for more precise multi-subwoofer setups
- front-panel USB port for audio playback from USB flash drives
- Ethernet port for network connection
- outputs for 11 speakers (Front L/R, Center, Surround L/R, Surround Back L/R, Height1 L/R, Height2 L/R)
- receiver can power a maximum of 9 channels at once
- RS-232C, remote (IR), and 12-volt trigger connections for use with optional third-party controller
- full-sized headphone jack