Denon AVR-X2700H

When it comes to home theatre receivers, Denon has been the undisputed leader for several years. The Denon AVR-X2700H is the company’s entry-level AVR, released after it was successful in maintaining its five-star tradition with the 2020 X-Series AVRs in the upper and middle market segments.

The only real improvement over its predecessor is a single 8K/60Hz HDMI 2.1 port that can also send through 4K video at 120Hz, presumably to meet the needs of the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X.

It would be incorrect, however, to assume that only gamers will appreciate the new features included in this year’s model. Denon’s engineers continue to fine-tune the company’s AVR parts and the firmware that controls them in 2020 to eke out the best possible sound quality.


The Denon AVR-X2700H is aesthetically quite similar to its predecessor, the AVR-X2600H. This is a heavy appliance that requires a wide, stable surface to rest on. However, there have been some noteworthy structural adjustments. Despite the X2700H’s 8K capability, the number of available inputs has been reduced from eight to six. Gone are the front-facing AUX1 and powered USB 2.0 port, and also the rear-mounted AUX2.

There has been no change to the channel setup. It has seven power amplifier channels and two subwoofer outputs, allowing for configurations as complex as 7.2 or 5.2.2 while still delivering a claimed 150W per channel.

There isn’t a front-facing ‘trap door,’ like on more expensive Denon AVRs, and there isn’t nearly as much of a variety of readily available controls. Switching inputs, tuning the radio, and controlling a second listening zone may all be accomplished with the included hard buttons, but the included full-featured remote is required for the vast bulk of the setup and playback processes.


It may only have one HDMI 2.1 input, but the other five have not been forgotten. To meet the requirements of next-gen content, they support latency-reducing technologies including Variable Refresh Rate (VRR), Quick Frame Transport (QFT), and Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM).

Additionally, they support the whole family of high dynamic range (HDR) formats, including HDR10+, HDR10, HLG, and Dolby Vision. Those with a TV and projector in their setup will be able to transfer 8K@60Hz and 4K@120Hz to them thanks to the HDMI 2.1 certification of both of the outputs. Also, the Enhanced Audio Return Channel (eARC) works fine.

Not as well equipped as more expensive models, the AVR-X2700H nonetheless supports all of the most popular 3D audio formats, including Dolby Atmos, Atmos Height Virtualization, DTS:X, and DTS Virtual:X. Denon AVR-X3700H and later models are required for decoding IMAX Enhanced and Auro-3D soundtracks.

All the same wireless music standards such as AirPlay 2, HEOS, Spotify, and Tidal are still supported, as is voice control with Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri-enabled devices.

Denon’s 2020 X-Series AVRs are among the latest to be Roon-tested, allowing you to listen to your favorite music service on your home theatre system.

If you have a hearing-impaired family member or just want to sneak away for a minute to make some tea without missing a beat, the AVR-updated X2700H’s Bluetooth functionality will come in useful.


The AVR-X2700H is the entry-level model of Denon’s forthcoming 2020 X-Series, therefore it features a stripped-down version of Audyssey’s speaker calibration technology. Still, a few little adjustments to the levels on the MultEQ XT readings are all that’s needed to get us completely satisfied with the arrangement. In case you still can’t decide, you have the option of switching between two different Audyssey measuring profiles.

The receiver has a confident tone if we had to use only one word to characterize it. During the space dogfight in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, the AVR-X2700H doesn’t try too hard to impress, like a slightly weak budget amp could. Instead, it relies on subtler effects, such as deep bass from the subwoofer and powerful blasts from the front pair.

It’s superior in size and refinement. Its authority is even higher than that of the previous year’s model, and it is never forced in any way. Whenever activated, our 7.2 system’s two subwoofers rumble with authority, yet they never obscure the soundtrack’s audio or the clarity of the actors’ dialogue or the surround effects.

A pleasant and productive listening experience. This Denon never skips a beat, no matter how fast-paced the action becomes. It does an excellent job of coordinating the laser fire from one speaker to the next and, regardless of the setting, manages to evoke a genuine sense of location.

Dolby’s processing technique allows for virtualized height effects, providing that extra dimension. Even if it reveals more, you don’t gain as much as you might think. We favor the less-processed ‘Direct’ option, but recognize that the trade-off may be appropriate for particular audiences and types of information.

Wonderful descriptions of bottles, cans, and newspapers flying out of the glove box, the roar of the engine, and the maddening ringing of the railway crossing bell are followed by the silence of the night and the chirping of cicadas.

While listening to the Talking Heads’ concert DVD Stop Making Sense, we found that the AVR-X2700H was equally as musically talented. David Byrne plays Heaven on top of Tina Weymouth’s tight, fuzzy bass, with the acoustic guitar strings clean and clipped and featuring a brilliantly textured, jangling to the strings.

Even in slower tracks like this, the listener can feel the music’s forward motion. Even though it can’t hold its own musically against even a cheap stereo amplifier, we find listening to this AVR so relaxing that it’s hard to pull ourselves away long enough to tell you how much we like it.

Final thoughts

Denon has scored an amazing victory. It’s true that you can find cheaper AVRs elsewhere, but they simply can’t compare to this one in terms of quality. Despite its low cost, it provides a cinematic listening experience that is reminiscent of going to the movies, thanks to its refined approach and impeccable timing.

Sound quality has been significantly upgraded over the previous model, even if the 8K passthrough and next-gen gaming features are getting all the attention. Denon’s engineers have done it again, and the AVR-improved X2700H’s accessibility and versatility make it our top recommendation.