Denon AVR-S960H AV receiver review: Heavy on features, light on innovation

Danon is probably the first name you think of AV receiver, And with good reason. Brand is pumped out Supermodel With great sound quality for years. Its competitors are slowing down their receiver release schedule – Sony has not produced a new model since 2017, and Onkyo will not follow up Its 2019 products by mid-2021 – but not Denon. The AVR-S960H is a recent addition to the updated features, including HDMI 2.1 connection with EARC And K Known for video compatibility, while maintaining performance.


  • Balanced sound with music and movies
  • Up-to-date feature set and connection

do not like it

  • The design is getting too long in the tooth.
  • The Yamaha RX-V6A offers more for less.
  • No chromecast

While Yamaha seemingly went back to the drawing board for the future RX-V6A, Updates to the Danone AVR-S960 are more incremental. After comparing the two receivers head-to-head, Dannon sounded smoother and still lacked some dynamic height. I found myself arriving more for the Yamaha remote than the Daemon, and this was much for the new design for the sound quality. Overall the Yamaha is only more fun, and that its lower price makes it a better choice overall.

With their new releases, Danone and Yamaha showed that they are dedicated to the category, and both of the products I tested are very strong. If you don’t care about the Yamaha’s loud voice and forward sound, the Denon AVR-S960H is a solid choice.

What’s in the big black box?

Black-color scheme, LED display, selection / volume knobs and a handful of shortcut buttons for the most commonly used input: the Danone AVR-S960H looks just as beautiful as every other receiver. That’s fine, but it compares to the sleek future of the Yamaha RX-V6A.


Ty Pendlebury / ClearTips

Dannon is the one Dolby atmos The receiver whose main upgrade is the 8K-ready, HDMI 2.1 specification. Given that mainstream 8K TVs are still a few years off, the receiver also adds a bunch of stuff that is actually useful now. The first is EARC, which is the ability to broadcast high-quality audio streams (especially Atmos) from your TV to the receiver. Other HDMI 2.1 features of note are both the gaming-related variable refresh rate (to reduce frame tearing) and the auto low latency mode, which are useful for gamers who want to get the most out of them. PS5 and Xbox Series X.

The receiver has six HDMI inputs (one with 8K capacity) and two outputs (one with EARC). Denon Dolby is able to decode Atmos and DTS: x In addition to upcoming technologies such as Dolby Atmos height virtualization technology and DTS Virtual: X. On the video side it supports Dolby Vision even more Hdr plus Video Codex.


Ty Pendlebury / ClearTips

Seven channels of amplification are on tap. The official rating is 90 watts per channel (stereo, 20Hz-20KHz) making it slightly less powerful than the Yamaha RX-V6A (100 watts per channel), although the difference is inseparable in reality. Doubling the power will only give you an extra 3D volume, which is barely noticeable. Receiver company’s own HEOS multiroom system (but not Chromecast built-in) And a 32-bit AKM DAC. there also Airplay 2, Connect connect And Bluetooth streaming and receiver can be controlled by voice with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Josh.i and Apple Siri.

The remote control is more or less the same as Marantz and Denon have used over the years. It is a jolly little clicker with easy-to-read buttons and easy shortcuts for all its inputs at the top.

What does it sound like?

Denon and its stable partner Marantz have a “house sound” when it comes to receivers, which is more relaxed than the Yamahs and Pioneers of the world. While this usually means that they perform better with music, I found that the Yamaha RX-V6A was able to achieve pulse racing more easily in stiffer racing. In comparison Denon offered a working approach to everything I was listening to – it did not gloss over some details or publicize others. It simply presented me with my music or film, which would make it a great match for brilliant speakers.

I started a relatively late-back Hedge in Rains from Iron and Wine and Calexico. Denon offered a pleasingly balanced sound, but with Yamaha I was able to pick up more of the hidden details in the song such as the clicking noise of the tongue during the pull. With the more challenging, tambourine-focused You Got These Cherry Bomb, Yamaha again voiced Fuller than Denner, but Danone arranged the parts in a more logical order – reestablishing the tambourine’s thrashness and bass. Toning to set. Tapping my toe.

It was with the films that Danon’s attempt to set the scene actually came to the fore. Seeing the avatar, it presented the forests of Pandora with great splendor – every bug and breath of the air brought alive the dense atmosphere. The demonic creature’s legs were felt rather than heard, and Jake’s gun bark revolved around the place of hearing. Yamaha was not keen on the details in favor of a more bass-heavy mix, but it was exactly the same (as if the sentence was impressive. It is difficult to separate these two models into films alone, as both have worked sterling.

Should you buy it

Yamaha went on to try something new, leaving Danone as a dependable option. Very little has changed from previous years, but as the saying goes “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” The Denon Gossi home theater provides sound, subtle music and chunky, large receiver energy.

However, in the end, it is not enough. Not only is the Yamaha cheaper than the Denon, but it offers better specification – more power and more HDMI input – and seemed more enjoyable as a whole. If you don’t have a HEOS multiroom or have any other reason to buy a Danone, then Yamaha is a better bet for a modern 8K receiver.

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