Denon AVR-S730H Review
THE VERDICT
The Denon AVR-S730H hits the sweet spot. It’s not the best sounding receiver nor is it the most feature rich, however, it does manage to strike a nice balance between both. Best of all, it won’t break the bank

Design8
Features8.5
Value9.5
Ease of Use9
Sound Quality7.5
The Good
  • Buying the Denon AVR-S730H gets you most of the current sought after home theater features such as Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, Bluetooth, and WiFi at an affordable price.
The Bad
  • There’s a learning curve with HEOS. It doesn’t have best-in-class sound quality.
8.5Overall Score

Denon amps historically strike a balance between affordability and performance. The Denon AVR -S730H is their latest av receiver to attempt this delicate balancing act and for the most part, it succeeds. The 7.2 channel amp checks off most of the important boxes. It has Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, Bluetooth, WiFi, and HEOS Multi-room. When you take all of these pieces and fuse them with its solid sound quality, you have a home theater package that’s tough to beat.

 

Denon AVR-S730H Design

Denon AVR-S730H Review

The front panel of the 730H is by no means intimidating. Some of my AV receivers from several years ago were chock full of buttons, but the 730’s face is down right minimal compared to some of those. The amp does have a series of input and sound mode buttons on the front. While they’re definitely convenient, there’s virtually no reason to use them unless you lose the remote. In addition, Denon also provides an app that’s available in the Apple and Google Play stores which can act as a replacement for the remote if disaster strikes.

Denon AVR-S730H Remote

The on screen menu of the Denon AVR-S730H won’t win any design awards. It’s your basic black screen with white text. It’s not fancy, but it is easy to navigate. The 730H comes partnered with a very simple remote with large buttons. The remotes of year’s past nearly required a Ph.D. to operate, however, Denon stuck only the essential buttons on the 730’s remote making it a breeze to use.

 

Connectivity

The Denon AVR-S730H has a solid amount of connection choices including a few analog and digital inputs. WiFi, Bluetooth, and AirPlay also come included on the amp. Along the top of the back panel, the 730H has a row of five HDMI inputs and one output. An additional input on the front brings the amp’s total number of HDMIs to six. All of the HDMIs support 4K Ultra HD video, HDCP 2.2, HDR, Dolby Vision, HLG (Hybrid Log Gamma), and BT.2020.

Denon AVR-S730H Review

Audio Formats

If you’re aching to get your hands on an affordable Dolby Atmos or DTS:X receiver, the 730H could be a good option since it supports both formats. It can power two overhead channels. Although, in order to do so you’ll need to sacrifice your surround back channels. For music, the receiver can decode MP3, WMA, ALAC, FLAC, DSD and WAV formats. A front USB plug makes it possible to connect an external hard drive or thumb drive loaded up with music. Alternatively, you can stream music over your network.

 

Multi-room Audio

The Denon AVR-S730H has Denon’s multi-room HEOS music system built-in. The app supports an impressive list of streaming services including Pandora, Spotify, TuneIn Internet radio, Amazon Prime Music, iHeart Radio, Sirius XM, Sound Cloud, Tidal, Rhapsody and Deezer. If you have HEOS speakers, you can stream music from any of these services to other HEOS compatible speakers. The HEOS app has improved over the past couple years and is more user-friendly than ever, however, it still slightly lags behind some of the competition. There’s a slight learning curve with the app, but once you get used to it, it’s pretty powerful.


Setup

The 7.2 channel Denon AVR-S730H is capable of pushing about 75 watts of power per channel. It’s not a powerhouse, but it definitely has enough juice for the majority of home theaters.

 

The Denon AVR-S730H relies on Audyssey’s MulitEQ room correction. After you start the calibration sequence, the receiver prompts you to place the included microphone at six locations. The receiver then blasts out a series of test tones that it uses to calibrate the speakers in your setup while also accounting for your room’s acoustic signature. All in all, the entire process takes under 15 minutes to perform. With the exception of Audyssey setting our front speakers to full-range, calibration was a success for the most part.

 

Sound Quality

All the tech specs above are all fine and dandy, but the real question is – how does it sound? In a word, it sounds really good. It doesn’t sound quite as good as the Sony STR-DN1080 or the Yamaha RX-V583, but it’s close…real close.

 

The first Blu-ray we tested the 730H with was Pacific Rim. This movie can come across slightly cheesy, but it does have a solid sound track. The Denon AVR-S730H easily kept up with the movies robust sound track. From the first Kaiju appearance to the last, the 730 pretty much nailed it. Every punch and body slam was joyously impactful.

 

For our Atmos test, we cued up Transformers Age of Extinction on Blu-ray. The one scene I always look forward to in this movie takes place towards the end. In this scene, Lockdown turns his alien ship into a giant magnet and begins yanking every metallic object he finds off the ground. The overhead effects in this scene are impressive. As soon as Lockdown began his assault, I could hear the hum of the magnet appear overhead and gradually grow in strength and intensity. The 730H created a sonic 3D bubble that enveloped my listening space and made the movie more engaging.

 

For music, the Denon AVR-S730H was a competent performer. I can’t say I was blown away, but it definitely holds its ground with other competing AV receivers. It displayed good detail in the upper frequencies and good overall dynamics.

 

When comparing the 730H to the Yamaha RX-V583, the Yamaha sounded slightly more detailed. Also, to our ear, the 730H didn’t quite match the Sony STR-DN1080’s wide sound stage. It was close, but the 1080 was slightly superior.

 

The Verdict

Denon managed to cram an ample list of features inside the AVR-S730H. For the price, the 730 is an excellent value. With 4K support, Atmos, DTS:X, Bluetooth and Multi-room capabilities it’s nearly the total package.


Where to Buy:

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