Denon AVR-X4300H Review
THE VERDICT
The Denon AVR-X4300H has all the features you’d expect in an amp at this price point. From 4K video support to Dolby Atmos and DTS:X, this receiver has it all. However, its dynamic and powerful sound is its most important quality.

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Design8
Features9
Value10
Ease of Use9
Sound Quality9.5
The Good
  • The Denon AVR-X4300H is one of the best AV receivers we’ve listened to so far this year. Its dynamic and powerful enough for both movies and music.
The Bad
  • On rare occasions the 4300H can over accentuate treble. Because of this you may want to pair this amp carefully with bright sounding speakers.
9.5Overall Score

It’s hip to be square. At least that’s what AV makers want you to believe. Aside from Denon’s new HEOS AVR, AV receivers have clung to their rectangular boxy form factor for years. Although it maintains the status quo, the Denon AVR-X4300H is an attractive amp by AV receiver standards. The front of the amp has a brushed aluminum treatment. Most of the button clutter is concealed by a trap door on the face of the X4300H. A large easy to read display is stationed above the trap door with large volume and input select knobs on the far right and left of the receiver’s face.

Denon AVR-X4300S Review

The remote that comes with the Denon AVR-X4300H is a big, thick, blocky chunk of plastic. Whereas other AV makers are making their remotes sleeker and smaller, Denon’s is in your face big, but I like it. The remote feels weighty and substantial in your hand. Like the remote of the Yamaha RX-A1060, the 4300H’s is overloaded with buttons. However, the buttons on the 4300 are relatively large and easy to press. The remote does need to be simplified a bit, but it’s not bad.

Denon AVR-X4300S Remote

As an alternative, Denon has an AVR remote app which is a free download from the iOS and Android stores. It has the same functionality of the regular remote except you can use your smartphone or tablet to control the amp.

 

Connections

The 4300H gives you ample connection choices with its 8 HDMIs (including one on the front). The 7 assignable HDMIs on the rear offer full 4K support with HDCP 2.2, HDR, BT.2020, and 4:4:4 Pure Color. The amp can also upscale standard and HD video to 4K quality. If you have a 4K TV it most likely does this as well so this feature on the 4300H may not be as important as it sounds.

Denon AVR-X4300S Connections

Besides the HDMIs, the Denon AVR-X4300H has copious amounts of analog audio and component inputs. Four digital coaxial and optical inputs are also included. For the serious home theater owner, the 4300H has an infrared remote control input and a remote output. For home automation it also has a RS-232C serial port and two 12V triggers.

 

The Denon AVR-X4300H supports multiple zones thanks to its speaker connections and pre-amp outputs that can be utilized in 2nd and 3rd zones. The amps 2nd HDMI output can be used to carry audio and video to a 2nd zone as well.

 

Wireless and Multi-Room Connectivity

Bluetooth, Apple AirPlay and WiFi come pre-installed on the Denon AVR-X4300H. Jumping on your WiFi network with the receiver is painless and fast if you have a newer Apple device. You only need to share your WiFi setting with the 4300H and it’ll be on your wireless network in a matter of seconds. Alternatively, you can manually setup your WiFi network on the amp. Bluetooth and WiFi worked as expected without any noticeable hiccups. Both were reliable and stable during my testing.

 

Denon’s HEOS multi-room system also comes part and parcel with the Denon X4300H. Download the HEOS app on your smart device and you can blast audio from the receiver to any other HEOS compatible device on your network. Denon’s been pumping out a steady stream of HEOS devices the past few years including sound bars, speakers and AVRs so if you’ve gone all-in on the HEOS ecosystem, the 4300H will make a fine addition.

 

Dolby Atmos and DTS:X

In total, the Denon AVR-X4300H provides 9.2 channels of amplification with an estimated 125 watts of power per channel. This is a generous estimate on Denon’s part, but we’ll roll with it. If you hook-up an external amplifier, the receiver can actually process up to 11.2 channels. The 9 channels of the 4300 give you a little more flexibility with your speaker layout, especially if you’re setting up a Dolby Atmos or DTS:X configuration. With the extra channels you can setup either a 7.1.2 arrangement or a 5.1.4 Atmos/DTS:X layout.

 

Both of these next gen formats are object based, which means sound designers can orient sounds at  specific points in space. This usually manifests itself as overhead sound effects. Ceiling speakers or specially designed speaker modules which reflect sound off of ceilings are needed to enjoy these formats. An Auro 3D firmware update is also available on the 4300H. Unlike Atmos and DTS:X you’ll need to pay a fee to install and use it.

 

Music

Denons have traditionally been strong music performers and the 4300H is no different. The amp can handle an impressive set of music formats. MP3s are easy for the receiver to digest, however it can also handle a variety of high-resolution audio files such as ALAC, FLAC, WAV and 2.8/5.6-MHz DSD. For online streaming the Denon AVR-X4300H supports Internet Radio, Spotify Connect, Pandora, Amazon Music, Napster, iHeart Radio, Soundcloud, Tidal and Deezer. There is one caveat. These services aren’t available directly on the amp. You’ll need to access them through the HEOS app on your smart device. Alternatively, if you have any of these services installed on your phone you can stream directly to the receiver via Bluetooth.

 

Denon AVR-X4300H Setup

Denon has put increased emphasis on making their AV receivers easy to setup. The X4300H, despite its substantial feature set, is one of the easier amps to get up and running. As soon as you turn on the receiver, it will take you through the setup process step-by-step. Something that I really like about the Denon AVR-X4300H, is that all of the speaker binding posts are aligned in a single row along the back of the receiver. Most amps have the posts arranged in rows of two which makes hooking up speakers cables a little difficult. Denon’s arrangement gives you plenty of room to work.

Denon AVR-X4300S Binding Posts

The X4300H uses Audyssey’s X32 calibration system. Once you get to this point, the receiver will prompt you to place the included microphone at 8 locations in your listening area. Denon, like its sister company Marantz, includes a cardboard stand to place the microphone into. The entire calibration process takes about 15 minutes to complete. After calibration was done, I went back into the settings to check out what Audyssey had prescribed for my setup. The only discrepancy was that it set my front mains and rears to large. I was able to quickly and easily change them to small. Every calibration system on nearly every amp I’ve tested has made the same mistake, so I recommend you always double check the settings after you complete calibration.

 

Sound Quality

Dynamic, nimble and powerful are three words that came to mind after I wrapped up my time with the Denon AVR-X4300H. Some AV receivers are masters of brute force but lack nuance and subtlety. Others have plenty of detail and grace, but lack the power to deliver the forceful impact that’s needed for a proper home theater. When you find an AV receiver that manages to do all of these things you lock it up in your AV rack and never let go. The Denon AVR-X4300H is such a receiver.

 

With a stack of Blu-rays on hand I hunkered down to see exactly what the Denon AVR-X4300H had to offer. First up was Warcraft on Blu-ray. Right of the bat, the 4300 displayed a wide and open sound stage. When the Orcs and Humans engage in their first on screen battle the palpable moans and grunts easily bounced around the room creating a 3D sense of space. The amp also displayed impressive low frequency performance. Bass was detailed yet deep and powerful.

 

The Poltergeist re-make on Blu-ray, gave the Denon AVR-X4300H a slightly different challenge. This movie is heavier on dialog than the aforementioned Warcraft, but the sonic character of the movie can change rapidly depending on what’s taking place on screen. Dialogue was pristine and lifelike coming from the 4300H. Like I mentioned, the sound in this type of movie can change in a heartbeat and the 4300 had no problem keeping up. The amp made the movie a heart pounding thrill ride. Eerie sounds smoothly crept around the room. The amps astute use of low frequencies added even more intensity to the flick.

 

I’ve listened to dozens of AV receivers over the years and I can only think of a handful where I can say I truly loved their musical performance. The Denon AVR-X4300H is now among them. Vocals were dynamic and clear coming from the amp. Instruments sounded almost lifelike. If I were to nitpick, I noted that on a couple occasions the 4300’s treble response seemed slightly over accentuated. For most this won’t be a problem, however if you have bright speakers it may be more noticeable.

 

The Verdict

The Denon AVR-X4300H is an excellent receiver. With its 9 channels of amplification you have plenty of speaker layout options. Bluetooth, WiFi, HEOS, Dolby Atmos, DTS:X and 4k support make the 4300 second to none in the features department. Throw in amazing sound quality and you have a receiver that should plant itself on your AV rack for years to come.


Where to Buy:

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