Powerful though it is, the sound is imbued with the smoothness and refinement that characterises Denon amps. Those looking for a bit more edge and rampant aggression from their home cinema system should have a listen to the Onkyo TX-NR807, perhaps even a Yamaha or Pioneer.
To anyone thinking that Audyssey DSX and Dolby Pro Logic IIz are just gimmicks that add nothing to the home cinema experience, we urge you to give them a try – you’ll never look at (or listen to) home cinema sound in the same way again.
Both modes are at their best with hi-res Blu-ray movie tracks, and although clichéd, Pro Logic IIz and DSX Height create an immense wall of sound that increases the sense of scale and plunges you deeper into the scene. It feels like the towering monsters and struts of the Golden Gate bridge are looming right over you.
DSX’s Width mode has similarly striking effects, bulking out the front soundstage to give movie tracks extra dynamism and expansiveness. The sound is more solid and full-bodied, but at no stage do you lose the crucial sense of separation and placement.
Rounding off this exceptional performance is superbly articulated dialogue and colossal bass output, and music lovers will be delighted with how the Denon handles their beloved tunes. It’s nimble and rhythmic, detailed and warm – a truly intoxicating sound.
The AVR-4310 is unquestionably a great AV receiver, tastefully designed, bursting with features and able to spin movie soundtracks into sonic gold. The brilliance of both Audyssey DSX and Pro Logic IIz takes its performance to the next plateau and musically it’s out of this world.
But the problem is there isn’t a great deal here that you won’t find on the much cheaper Onkyo TX-NR807, which is half the price and throws THX Select 2 certification into the bargain. Which you prefer depends on taste. The Denon’s sound is more finessed, with greater detail and texture, whereas its Japanese rival is pure muscle. At the end of the day it’s horses for courses, but one thing’s for sure – the AVR-4310 will make a formidable centrepiece for any home cinema system.