Denon AVR-S750H review: Warm home theater sound pairs well with future-ready features

Last year, not one but two receivers ousted CNET’s long-term favorite, the Sony STR-DN1080. ($ 598 on Amazon)and one of them was Denon’s AVR-S740H. The Denon offered warmer, punchier sound than the Sony, which made it better for music in particular.

Denon followed that winner with the 2019 AVR-S750H. While it looks virtually identical, there are a couple of tweaks here and there, but the best news is that the sound is as warm and satisfying as before.

Read more: The best AV receivers of 2020

The Denon is just the first receiver we’ve tested so far this year, so it’s too early to tell how it will fare against 2019 competition, but it sets a high level. Features like Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant compatibility, six HDMI inputs with eARC and support for Apple AirPlay 2 prove that the AVR-S750H is ready for the future of AV entertainment, wherever it is.

Characteristics of the creature

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Sarah Tew / CNET

Like most AV receivers, the Denon is basically a big black box, but I liked its large display and handy source shortcut buttons below. A small but delightful update is the feel of the volume and source selector knobs – the volume has a firmer click while the selector is now smoother.

Unfortunately, the user interface is as ugly as ever, and rivals from Onkyo and Sony with their color displays not only make setting up the receiver easier but more fun too.

Here are some specifics:

  • 75 W per channel into 8 ohms, 20 Hz – 20 kHz, 0.08% distortion, 2 channels driven
  • Six 4K / HDR compatible HDMI inputs, one output, HDMI eARC support
  • Support for Bluetooth and Bluetooth headsets (future update)
  • Ethernet / Wi-Fi
  • USB (mobile charging / playback)
  • Three digital inputs: two optical, one coaxial
  • Audyssey Room Correction
  • 24-bit / 192kHz playback plus DSD
  • Denon AVR Remote App Compatibility (iOS, Android and Kindle)
  • Phono input
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Denon’s old-looking interface

Sarah Tew / CNET

Last year Denon’s receivers were compatible with voice control from Amazon Alexa speakers, but they lost the Google Assistant. For 2019, the company has not only increased Alexa integration – you can ask for songs and switch inputs now via voice now – but it also works with Google Assistant speakers, such as Google Home.

Google Assistant support is currently limited to volume changes and transport controls, so you’ll need to use Denon’s Heos app to start playing songs. But Denon is spending Assistant functionality to enable additional features, including asking a Google speaker to play particular music. No date has yet been set for this.

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