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The AVR-4310 sits two rungs up the ladder from the AVR-2310, which wowed us back in August with its plentiful features and killer performance. Since then, the Onkyo TX-NR807 has raised the bar even higher, which means this high-end Denon has got its work cut out justifying a price tag that’s almost twice as much as the Onkyo.
But taking a look at the feature list, we don’t think anyone could fail to be impressed. One of the highlights is Audyssey’s Dynamic Surround Expansion (DSX), which we first encountered on the Onkyo TX-NR807 but the AVR-4310 was actually the world’s first AV amp to offer it.
The idea behind DSX is to create a fuller, more immersive front soundstage. Place an extra pair of ‘front wide’ speakers next to the regular front pair and this technology will fill them with two new channels from 5.1- and 7.1-channel sources. And like Dolby Pro Logic IIz, which is also on offer here, it’ll even create front height channels, or you can use the extra channels in the more familiar surround back configuration.
As well as boasting a bevy of headline-grabbing features, the Denon is no slouch when it comes to the basics. It can output 170W from all seven channels, decodes every audio format going (including, crucially, Dolby True HD and DTS HD Master Audio) and comes equipped with a phenomenal array of connections that should keep you futureproofed for years to come.
Check the picture below for the full overview, but highlights include six HDMI v1.3a inputs (one on the front), two HDMI outputs (which run simultaneously), two optical digital audio inputs, and more S-video, composite, component and analogue stereo inputs than you’ll feasibly ever need.
Another stand-out socket is an Ethernet port, which brings us to one of the Denon’s most appealing features – network streaming. Hook it up to your router and you can stream audio and photos from PCs on your home network, as well as listen to internet radio stations and stream music from Napster’s online subscription service. Yes the cheaper Onkyo TX-NR807 offers similar network functionality, but that doesn’t make its presence here any less welcome.
You also get two USB ports (one front, one rear) that let you hook up memory devices and play music and photo files (WMA, MP3, WAV, AAC, FLAC, JPEG) and either port can also be used to connect an iPod.
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