A good AV receiver brings the best out of your favorite speaker system. Denon has dominated the home cinema receiver industry for decades, particularly with their X and S series. Both series are engineered with the highest quality components, and they are designed with performance in mind.
The Denon AVR X2700H is generally considered a high-end receiver with outstanding design and quality sound. It sports a compact and slim design ideal for those with limited space, but without sacrificing audio performance.
The Denon AVR S960H, on the other hand, is a mid-range unit ideal for those on tight budgets. The receiver is equipped with most of the latest audio and video technologies that one would expect from its high-end counterparts.
To help in your comparison, we have listed each receiver’s specifications and selected the most important features.
Denon AVR S960H vs Denon AVR X2700H Specs
Denon AVR X2700H Review
The AVR X2700H delivers warm and engaging sound quality, thanks to its stunning wealth of features, and is a highly competitive alternative to Denon AVR S960H. The receiver lets you enjoy multiple audio-visual sources with any speaker system. With its impressive sound quality and multi-channel capability, it is easy to see why the X2700H is one of the best receivers you can buy.
Dolby Atmos/ DTS enabled
This Denon receiver offers full support for DTS: X, Dolby Atmos, DTS Virtual: X audio decoding in a 5.1.2 object-based setup or the standard 7.2 surround sound configuration. The AVR X2700H also offers Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization, a technology that aims to add overhead effects without the need for physical up-firing or ceiling speakers. However, if you’re looking to decode Auro-3D or IMAX Enhanced content, you may want to step up to a higher model.
Exceptional video quality
One noticeable feature that the AVR X2700H has over its predecessors is the extra 8K/60Hz HDMI 2.1 support, on top of the 4K/120Hz pass through. In addition, the onboard converters are compatible with hi-res audio decoding, including several lossless file formats such as FLAC, ALAD, and WAV. To add to your convenience, you can play your files via the USB port or your existing home network.
Straightforward on-device controls
The X2700H is equipped with a rich and easily accessible control panel that houses the controls for the setup and playback functions. You can use the hard buttons to operate speakers in a second listening zone, switch between inputs, or tune the radio. It also offers a fully-featured remote control to eliminate the need to be in direct contact with the receiver.
Advanced features for gaming
All the HDMI inputs are compatible with next generation gaming technologies to meet the needs of even the high demanding gamers. The supported technologies include Variable Refresh Rate (VRR), Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM), and Quick Frame Transport (QFT).
One nice thing about this X-series receiver is the support for voice control via Google Assistant, Alexa, Josh.ai ecosystem, and Siri. You can use these voice assistants to adjust the volume, switch between different inputs or media players, skip to the next audio track, and more. The availability of various voice control assistants may vary depending on region and country.
Wireless music control
The AVR X2700H dual-antenna construction lets you build a robust wireless speaker system that lets you stream audio wirelessly from compatible devices. The included wireless technologies include inbuilt Bluetooth, Airplay 2, and dual-band Wi-Fi streaming.
The HEOS technology has been revamped to let you stream audio to a set of speakers at the same time. The best part is that you can play the same audio in all rooms or different content in each connected zone.
What we like
- Easy wireless functionality via HEOS
- It is a superb entry-level receiver
- Excellent spatial control
- We also liked that the receiver is Roon tested, so you can add Roon music playback in your speaker package
- Supports multiple file formats MP3, WMA, and more
What we don’t like
- Only one HDMI 2.1-compatible input
- Even with the on-screen guide, the initial setup is tasking
Denon AVR S960H Review
The AVR S960H is truly one of the outstanding AV receivers we have ever tested, moving us with muscular and hard-hitting sound. It is equipped with a wealth of useful features, including AM and FM tuner, inbuilt Bluetooth, and several surround sound formats for music listening. Although the AVR X2700H seems to offer more sonic detail, the AVR S960H delivers better precision than similarly-priced receivers.
7-channel discrete amplifier design
The AVR S960H comes in a sturdy 7-channel amplifier with a steady power output on all its channels. It delivers up to 90 watts per channel (2-Channel Driven) for a perfect home cinema experience. The receiver is ideal for three-dimensional listening and is capable of driving 5.1.2 Dolby Atmos and DTS: X sound systems. And with its realistic sound, the receiver pairs well with a wide range of bookshelf and tower speakers.
Dedicated 8K HDMI input
This Denon receiver, just like the AVR X2700H above, comes with a dedicated 8K/60Hz input, making it one of our favorite home theater receivers for 2022. Additionally, all inputs and outputs are compatible with 4K/60Hz video pass-through and upscaling.
Apart from the 8K upgrade, all its HDMI inputs are compatible with 4:4:4 Pure Color sub-sampling for elevated color, clarity, and contrast. Other supported video formats include Dolby Vision, HGL, HDR10, HDR10+ as well as dynamic HDR formats.
With the inbuilt HEOS technology, you can enjoy whole-home audio by connecting HEOS compatible components. Apart from multi-room control, HEOS technology offers different settings adjustments, Wi-Fi control, audio selection and music playback. Additionally, the HEOS app is free for use with iOS and, Android devices, plus it works with accredited voice control assistants.
Denon’s setup assistant
Once you’ve connected the receiver to the TV, all you need is to sit back and let the setup assistant take through the entire setup process. The guide is displayed on the TV screen to clear any confusion about different speaker connections. In addition, it also includes a Smart Menu that lets you access different modes for use with your Smart TV.
The AVR-S960H is fitted with Audyssey MultEQ to help correct any acoustical anomalies in the listening room. The incorporated microphone measures the characteristics of your specific room and tweaks the sound output depending on your listening environment. Ideally, the system aims at providing a smooth listening environment in nearly any listening area.
What we like
- Wireless control through Denon remote app
- Immersive 3-dimensional audio
- Support for HDCP 2.3 processing on all HDMI inputs
- Customized sound thanks to Audyssey MultEQ calibration system
- Simplified audio tuning
- Dual subwoofer outputs
What we don’t like
- Minor hitches with HEOS tech
- 90 watts per channel might not be sufficient for home theatre application with large tower speakers
Denon AVR X2700H vs AVR S960H—Verdict
Overall, it is a big win here for both Denon receivers. The company has a history of producing top-ranking home theater receivers, and as such, it is no surprise that the AVR X2700H and S960H are some of the best products around. We’d definitely recommend any of the two models to anyone looking to build a solid and reliable 7.2 surround sound system. However, you’ll need to figure out the features you need more for your ideal home setup. Whichever model you choose, you can be sure of the latest technologies and a quality sound.