Japanese electronics company Denon, is one of the most popular brands specializing in professional and consumer home cinema and audio equipment including A/V receivers, Blu-ray players, tuners and wireless music systems. The company is extremely popular and widely known for their high-end and enthusiast level AV receivers.
Denon recently launched a mid-range AV receiver, the Denon AVR-1611 which is targeted at those willing to have an assembled home theatre system yet wanting to spare the change in their pockets. Today, we will be looking at this feature-rich five-channel, 3D capable AV receiver.
Large display and controls for various modes
Design and Build Quality
The Denon AVR-1611 is an attractive looking receiver, oozing class and power. Though it is a mid-range receiver, it has the look of the brand’s higher end models. The first thing noticeable on the receiver is the huge LED display which displays all the modes and functions the receiver is in. On either side of the display are dials for volume and input selection, which like the receiver and display, is on the larger side. Below the display are various buttons for controlling different settings including video select, iPod play and tuner. There are a total of nine of these buttons at the bottom of the display but are well concealed because of their all black layout. One may find them difficult to locate. A mic input, various setting options as well as video and auxiliary inputs are also featured on the front of this surround sound system.
The receiver features the connectivity options on the rear side and the first thing that one notice is the four HDMI ports. These ports are aptly marked for different add on I/O devices like Blu-ray players, gaming consoles, PCs or televisions, etc. Other connectivity options found on the rear are the connections for surround sound speakers which are of pin type, composite video and audio I/O, coaxial and a port for attaching a subwoofer. The layout of the remote control is loaded with functions and the overall build quality of the remote is sturdy.
Remote control with buttons nicely spaced out
The connections are somewhat limited as compared to the brand’s costlier models, though it must be said that these connections are adequate for a person willing to upgrade to an assembled home theatre system on a limited budget.
The Denon AVR-1611 is pretty loaded with features and with 3D being the norm with most manufacturers outing their 3D players and televisions, Denon has made this receiver 3D capable. The 1.4 HDMI ports located at the rear of the receiver are able to send 3D content from a 3D player to a 3D capable television.
The AVR-1611 has a variety of surround sound decoders Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio formats which are found on Blu-ray discs. It also features Dolby Pro Logic IIz which can take two-channel stereo, Dolby Surround and Dolby Digital 5.1 source material and up-convert it to 6.1 or 7.1 channel surround sound. In addition to the above features, the receiver also has a Denon’s Compressed Audio Restorer which restorers compressed audio formats such as MP3, AAC, etc as close as possible to the original by interpolating and generating the missing data during compression. Denon claims that power output per channel is 75 watts.
The Denon AVR-1611 also features Audyssey MultEQ dynamic room acoustic correction system where a provided microphone can easily auto-calibrate the speakers. This sets it up accordingly to the size of the area the surround sound system is located in.
Four HDMI ports found on the rear
The interface of the setup screen is absolutely bare with the font in white with a dark grey background. In this time where most interfaces seen have some amount of style to it; this setup screen looks like something from a past decade. Though the styling of the interface is bad, the layout is easy enough to maneuver through.
We paired the Denon AVR-1611 with a five channel Paradigm Cinema CT90 surround sound speakers, a Philips BDP2700/12 Blu-ray player and a notebook PC using HDMI. The setup process was fairly simple and to put the playback experience in one word – Outstanding. Being a mid range player, we did not truly expect to experience the results we saw.
The receiver did an outstanding job of channeling the minutest of tones to the various speakers. The playback volume was really good and it was quite difficult to find any flaw in it. After playing a variety of formats through the laptop and player while pairing it with a HDTV we were left quite impressed. Playback of Blu-rays was really good with each channel emitting the volumes clearly. As with most home theatre systems, the good thing witnessed here was the minutest of tones audible through the rear channels.
Designed for performance
The Denon AVR-1161 is sold at a max retail price of Rs. 31,900. While this may be mainly for those interested in assembling a home theatre system on a constrained budget and willing to upgrade their system; this receiver will surely satisfy most audiophiles out there with its 3D playback capabilities, brilliant audio as well as video playback and its various other properties. So if one is searching the market to assemble a home theatre system, we would advise the AVR-1161. However we would suggest to pick up a powerful speaker system to go along with it.
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