Denon AVR-1911 review

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Reviewed:

1 of 5

Denon AVR-1911 front
  • Denon AVR-1911 front
  • Denon AVR-1911 back
  • Denon AVR-1911 remote control
  • Denon AVR-1911 full front
  • AVR-1911 Receiver (7.1 Channels, 90 w/Channel, THD)

Summary

Our Score:

8

Pros

  • Excellent sound quality
  • Video upscaling to 1080p
  • USB audio playback
  • Ipod compatible without dock

Cons

  • Very limited connectivity
  • Poor features for price

Key Features

  • 4 x HDMI 1.4 (3D compatible)
  • Video upscaling to 1080p
  • Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD
  • Manufacturer: Denon
  • Review Price: free/subscription

Denon has a long and distinguished history in the home cinema market and its AV receivers are revered the world over, particularly its high-end and reference models. But in the budget to mid-range bracket, Onkyo currently rules the roost with models like the brilliant TX-SR608, which means that Denon has its work cut out trying to convince punters that it's still the brand to back.

To do so, it has come up with a solid range of receivers for 2010 – coincidentally the year of Denon’s 100th anniversary – ranging from the entry-level AVR-1311 up to the 7.1-channel AVR-3311, with new high-end models to follow later in the year. The 7.1-channel AVR-1911 sits somewhere in the middle, offering enough features to please enthusiasts without the wallet-draining price tags of its high-specced models.

Denon AVR-1911 front

And with 3D being big news this year, the AVR-1911’s most eye-catching feature is the inclusion of HDMI v1.4 sockets, which means you can feed full HD 3D signals to it from a Blu-ray deck and pass them onto your 3D TV, dropping off HD audio signals along the way. They also support the Audio Return Channel and will therefore accept sound signals from HDMI v1.4 TVs. Whether you already have a 3D system in place, want to add it in the future or wouldn’t touch it with a 10ft barge pole, it’s nice to know that the Denon is sufficiently future-proofed.

We’ll get to the rest of the features in due course, but first let’s talk design. Actually, there’s not much to discuss – the AVR-1911 is a smart, functional-looking receiver (only available in black) that prefers to blend in rather than stand out. Denon doesn’t go overboard on the front panel – it’s quite busy but the buttons are discreet and tidily arranged, plus like most receivers the volume and input selection dials are large and prominent.

We like the unit’s massive LED display panel that shows information clearly. A row of buttons is tucked along the bottom edge of this, providing up-close control for the unit’s sound processing features. Front panel connections include a USB port, composite video/analogue stereo audio inputs and a headphones jack, but there’s no HDMI input.

Michael McG

September 17, 2010, 1:16 pm

hi guys, apart from the HDMI 1.4 how does this compare to last years 1910?

2db

September 17, 2010, 1:37 pm

Have to say, I considered the 1911 side by side with it's predecessor the 1910, and give the much better input selection on the 1910, can thoroughly recommend that instead. Clearly you loose the 3d capabilities, but if you're ok without that, in my view, a much better buy.

PGrGr

September 17, 2010, 5:58 pm

Been doing some web searching, trying to decide between this, and the Onkyo TX-SR608. It seems they're very similar. When I say I've been doing some web searching, what I mean is that I've spent the entire morning on an obsessive hunt for information to differentiate the two items. What I've come up with is this:





1) there seem to be a few reports about poor Onkyo QA and customer service. Of course, that's impossible to cover in a review unless you are unlucky enough to get a faulty unit in the first place, but it's enough to make me nervous.





2) Some people are complaining that the HDMI throughput (or whatever it's called) degrades video quality in the Onkyo.





3)A lot of reports say that the Denon just sounds better. I am drawn towards the fact that the Denon uses Audyessey's MultiEq system for adjusting the accoustics to the room, whereas the Onkyo uses the cut down 2Eq version. I can't help but think that any audio processing that helps take account of the fact that I am going to be using this in a relatively small cluttered living room, and also helps eliminate sweetspots, is going to be of disproportionate value. I'd be interested in the opinion here, of anyone who has had experience of both Audyssey systems.





4) I note that the Onkyo has better connectivity. For me, that's not an issue. I have one PS3, and one TV. Maybe in the future I'll have one YouView box too... I think four HDMI inputs should cover it!

LetsGo

September 18, 2010, 1:19 pm

@Bluepork I was in the same situation a couple of years back, The Denon got my cash even though it was the more expensive solution.





I trolled through AVforumns, then travelled to Shropshire to listen and decide which unit to buy.

septimus1

January 8, 2011, 5:10 pm

I read the reviews on the SR608 and the Pioneer in the same price range,decided on the Onkyo, but got a listen to the SR708(didnt have an SR608 in stock) the pioneer and the 1911 in the shop. It was a close call between the the Onkyo and the Denon, the pioneer had no bass through stereo speakers only, didnt do surround sound with a sub for the comparison. The Denon had the edge though, more clarity at all frequencies. As a bonus, the Denon ended up being ~£100.00 cheaper when it came to pay, there seemed to be a round of discounting on that unit at the time. now it's home, I'm totally happy, the auto setup works well.

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