Price: $2,499 / £2,199 / AUS$3,999
Colors: Black / silver
Ports: HDMI, Digital Optical Audio, Digital coaxial audio, analogue stereo, Ethernet, USB
Audio channels: 9 (7.1.2)
Audio formats: Dolby Atmos, Dolby Digital, DTS:X, DTS, PCM, 360 Reality Audio, Auro 3D, MPEG H
Power output: 9x 125W
Wireless: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Apple Airplay, HEOS
Smart assistant: Works with Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, Siri
Dimensions: 17 x 15.3 x 6.6 inches (w/d/h)
Weight: 29 pounds
The Denon AVR-X4800H is as close to future proof as you can get with a current home cinema amplifier. Offering generous 8K and 4K 120Hz playback support, and compatibility with all the immersive audio formats you’re likely to find in the wild, it's the multimedia hub AV fans have been waiting for.
There are two versions of the Denon X4800H. The AVC-X4800H UK/EU iteration, which lacks an FM tuner, and the AVR-X4800H with FM tuner for the American market. In all other respects, they’re the same beast.
Whether you're a die hard movie fan, or a next gen gamer, both Denon versions have you covered with support for all flavours of HDR, as well as VRR (Variable Refresh Rate), QFT (Quick Frame Transport) and ALLM for games console use.
For this review, I listened to the UK and European amplifier version. Read on to see how it performed and to discover if it makes the grade to rank as one of the best AV receivers around.
Denon AVR-X4800H review: Price and availability
Available now, the Denon AVR-X4800H sells for $2,499 in the U.S., while in Australia, it’s AU$3,999. It's available to buy direct from the Denon online store, and can currently be found discounted to $1,700 at Amazon.
In the UK, the Denon AVC-X4800H launched at £2,199, but is now widely available for £1,499 from online retailers including Sevenoaks Sound & Vision.
As the model name suggests, the AVR-X48000H sits above the AVR-X3800H in Denon’s AV Receivers line-up.
Denon AVR-X4800H review: Design
The Denon AVR-X4800H is extremely well built, with a dual layer internal design, and a high level of finish. It's designed to impress and has a large, clear display that dominates the front fascia, sandwiched between two rotary dials. A trap door conceals a front-mounted USB port and headphone jack.
The premium design is made in Japan, and the weighty offering tips the scales at 29 pounds (around 13.2kg).
Denon AVR-X4800H review: Connectivity
All seven rear HDMI inputs are 8K 60Hz/4K 120Hz compatible, along with two of its three HDMI outputs, helpful if you own a Sony PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S console. This lends it considerable versatility in terms of system setup, and could prove a compelling reason to upgrade your existing AVR.
Playing Overwatch in High Frame Rate is smooth and responsive. The amp’s HDMI board has a 40Gbps throughput.
That triple HDMI output allows you to feed a display and a projector in the main viewing room, and still route a secondary video feed to Zone 2. A cool addition to the button strewn remote is the ability to toggle through the three HDMI outputs.
HDMI support covers Dolby Vision, HDR10+, HDR10, HLG and Dolby Vision. There’s also IMAX Enhanced certification.
You’ll find eARC (enhanced Audio Return Channel) on the Monitor 1 output; there’s also a phono input for vinyl enthusiasts, seven stereo analogue inputs, a component video input, pre-out for all channels, plus no fewer than four subwoofer outputs.
Denon AVR-X4800H review: Setting up
AV amplifiers are notoriously difficult to set up, however Denon goes out of its way to simplify the process with a crisp 1080p 60Hz display and Audyssey MultEQ XT32 calibration.
There’s a mic supplied and it takes just a few minutes to go through the motions. As many as eight seating positions can be measured and averaged. I settled on three.
Voice assistant comes via Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant or Apple Siri. The amp is also Apple AirPlay 2, and Heos multi room capable, and plays nice with Roon. There’s also the ability to upgrade to Dirac Live, at additional cost.
Wireless connectivity comes via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth (yes, you can pair headphones over Bluetooth); there’s also Ethernet for wired connectivity.
Denon AVR-X4800H review: Features
There are plenty of options when it comes to installation. Offering nine channels of amplification, you might configure the system either in a 5.1.4 or 7.1.2 immersive audio layout, or 9.2 flatbed surround, depending on speaker availability.
If you’re running a second zone, then there’s the option of a stereo feed to your second room. Alternatively, you could bi-amp your main speakers.
There are actually eleven channels of decoding on board. If you really want to push the home theatre boat out, you could add an additional stereo amplifier to your stack and add two more channels high or to the rear. Those with a particularly large, wide viewing room also have the potential of adding extra front width speakers, so 9.1.2. Some movie soundtracks take advantage of this wider topography, so it’s certainly worth experimenting with.
There’s also the unusual provision to support four subwoofers. As standard, the same LFE output is sent to all connected subwoofers. However the X4800H also has a Directional mode which splits the listening space into four, and modifies the output accordingly.
If you have any tactile transducers attached to seating in your room, you can also choose to drive these via the fourth sub output.
Heos interoperability is provided as standard, and not only supports multiroom audio but also high resolution formats such as FLAC HD and DSD, up to 24-bit/192kHz.
Denon AVR-X4800H review: Performance
Much like its predecessor, the X4700H, this new amplifier is a dynamic and exciting listen.
The sound profile is best described as visceral. The soundstage is crisp and detailed, but there is a sense of power and precision as well; directional panning is totally convincing. Watching Bad Boys for Life (Dolby Atmos) and the drive-by shooting of Mike (Will Smith) is perfectly timed, gun fire suitably startling.
The amplifier’s clarity can partly be attributed to its Monolith Amplifier layout, wherein the power amplifier board is independent for each channel, thereby reducing crosstalk and vibration. Each channel has its own PCB board.
Codec support covers Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, DTS Virtual:X, and Auro-3D. There’s also support for 360 Reality Audio and multichannel MPEG-H (the codec behind 360RA), courtesy of its Sharc-Griffin Lite XP DSP chip.
While Denon rates on-board power at 9x 125W (into 8 Ohms) / 200W (into 6 Ohms), it sounds rather more muscular than that. It has no problem pressure-loading my room with big transients — this is a blockbuster amplifier designed for blockbusters.
The X4800H is also darn good with music, sounding light and agile with two channel stereo and seamlessly immersive with 3D audio mixes.
Denon AVR-X4800H review: Verdict
Combining a powerhouse performance with class leading specification, the AVC-X4800H / AVR-X4800H is a home theatre amplifier with obvious long term appeal. The provision of a full board of 8K /4K 120Hz HDMI inputs, and coverage of all the significant home cinema sound formats, ensures that this Denon amp will partner any display or source you might acquire for a long time to come.
Build and usability are also top notch. This Denon warrants two thumbs up!