Denon AVR-S960H AV Receiver Test
The Denon AVR-S960H doesn’t bring much in appearance, it features the standard Denon design: black colour scheme, LED display, input selector / volume keys and hotkeys for the most commonly used inputs.
According to the manufacturer, this model is the first 8K-capable AV receiver in the AVR series. It supports the most advanced 3D formats, including DTS Virtual: X, DTS: X, Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization Technology, and Dolby Atmos. This device is also compatible with sophisticated video technologies such as HDR10 +, Dolby Vision and HLG.
The built-in HEOS allows the wireless transmission of popular music streaming services. The AVR S960H also works perfectly with the more common voice features. The installation process is very simple. Thanks to Audyssey’s room calibration program, this AV receiver automatically measures and optimizes sound to suit the room.
Denon AVR-S960H Features
Although there is nothing surprising or new in design, this product does not look bad, elegant and aesthetic. Thanks to its stable housing and quality components, this AV receiver is very durable and rugged.
It has large, logically designed and clearly marked buttons on the remote control. There is also an eco button on the remote control.
This highly functional, separate 7-channel receiver is capable of 90 W per channel. It has reduced impedance drive properties and is compatible with most speakers. Depending on the on-screen ecometer and volume level, the Auto Eco Mode function balances the performance of the speakers, thus guaranteeing energy efficiency.
8K processing AV receiver for the perfect 4K home cinema experience
The Denon AVR-S960H supports the most advanced HDMI technologies and is compatible with all modern 3D audio formats.
The AV receiver produces truly fantastic images thanks to its advanced technology such as BT.2020 transmission support, 3D, dynamic HDR, HLG, HDR10 +, Dolby vision and 4: 4: 4 Pure Color.
Support for the best 3D audio formats
You can enjoy copy-protected content without interruption. HDCP 2.3 and 8K upscaling is available on all HDMI ports. It also includes the Enhanced Audio Return Channel (eARC) feature, providing the best support for 3D audio formats for smart TV applications.
Thanks to the high-resolution soundtracks, we get outstanding sound accuracy. Equipped with AKM 32-bit D / A converters, this AV receiver performs 192 kHz / 24bit audio decoding using a number of lossless file types such as WAV, FLAC and ALAC. It is also compatible with 2.8 / 5.6 MHz DSD files.
Flawless gaming experience
With VRR technology and a 4K / 120Hz transfer function, the Denon AVR-S960H also takes the gaming experience to the maximum level. This AV receiver supports automatic low delay mode and fast frame rate (QFT) to ensure minimal picture interruption and delay.
The S960H also works great with popular voice assistants, whether we use Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Apple Siri or Josh.AI.
Audio transmission from the receiver to the Bluetooth headset is not a problem. You can play the sound on both Bluetooth and connected speakers at the same time.
The Denon AVR-S960H has a dual antenna transceiver system. It allows you to use stable and uninterrupted Bluetooth and dual-band Wi-Fi streaming. It also works great in noisy environments. With smart devices, you can listen to audio content wirelessly.
HEOS’s built-in multi-room system allows you to play the same music in several rooms at the same time, or even have different music in different rooms. HEOS supports all popular audio services, including SiriusXM, Amazon Music HD, SoundCloud, Pandora and Spotify, and more. With AirPlay 2, all of Apple Music’s favourite songs are also available.
This reciver is Roon certified and provides information on various artists and songs.
The USB port on the front panel ensures trouble-free playback of high-definition audio formats.
Setup and installation
The Quick Start Guide makes everything easy. It provides easy, clear and simple instructions to facilitate the installation process. When you connect the TV to this AV receiver with an HDMI connection, the Denon Setup Assistant appears on the TV screen.
Sound quality and performance
With the latest 3D technology, the sound quality is excellent. This device operates on a 5.1.2 Dolby Atmos or DTS: X system, providing a three-dimensional listening experience.
At 90 watts per channel, 8 ohms, the Denon AVR-S960H works very well with almost any speaker. During testing, we paired the amplifier with the Monitor Audio Silver 200 AV12 speakers and they worked great together. Equipped with an enhanced Audio Return Channel (eARC) function, the AV receiver transmits full definition audio from the TV to the receiver using a single HDMI cable.
The Audyssey room correction system has a number of benefits to improve sound quality and the listening experience. When loud music follows, the Dynamic Volume function predicts high volume, and the Dynamic EQ function increases surround effect, bass level, and dialogue at lower volume. The cinema room where we tested the receiver doesn’t have perfect acoustics yet, the echo unfortunately degrades the sound. The walls are made of brick, but with the exception of a few murals, the wall surfaces are empty. An acoustic measurement was performed, as a result of which we recommended to the owner to place diffuser front panels and printed sound absorbing panels on the walls and ceiling. In front of the windows and the glass patio door, we recommended soundproof, acoustic curtains to create the ideal acoustics.
Modern features eliminate sound distortion and result in clear, dynamic and balanced sound. Unfortunately, the amplifier is not compatible with IMAX and does not have Chromecast support. It looks nice but a little boring. It is a high-performance amplifier that provides the most demanding picture and sound quality with the most advanced technology available. This mid-range product is definitely worth buying.
Written by Róbert Polgár