Denon AVR-X8500H

Denon AVR-X8500H Unboxing

Our friends at Denon sent me a very nice new toy to test for review: the flagship AVR-X8500H A/V receiver. Setting this thing up and putting it through its paces is going to take me a while. In the meantime, here are some photos to tantalize you.

With a hefty MSRP of $3,999.00, the AVR-X8500H is Denon’s top-of-the-line model, replacing the AVR-X7200WA released in 2015. To justify that expense, the unit is fully equipped with all the latest bells and whistles, including Dolby Atmos and DTS:X, as well as the competing Auro3D format out-of-the-box. (Auro was previously a $200 add-on feature.)

Most notably, it’s also the first mass-market A/V receiver to offer 13.1 channel decoding, for a 7.1.6 immersive sound experience. Aside from some exponentially more expensive boutique processors, the X8500H is the only way to get more than 4 height channels in Atmos or DTS:X without an absurdly convoluted jury-rigged solution requiring three or more A/V receivers operating simultaneously.

At 51.6 lbs, it’s also a heavy beast.

Denon AVR-X8500H box

Denon AVR-X8500H box opened

Denon AVR-X8500H front panel

Denon AVR-X8500H front panel opened

Denon AVR-X8500H top view

Denon AVR-X8500H power supply

Denon AVR-X8500H rear panel

Denon AVR-X8500H rear panel audio inputs & outputs

Denon AVR-X8500H rear panel video inputs & outputs

This is how the size of the X8500H compares to my existing X5200W.

Denon X8500H vs X5200

Denon X5200 vs X8500H

Getting this installed into my system is going to be a real project, but I’m eager to give it a good run-through.

Update: Here’s the full review.

[Find the Denon AVR-X8500H on Amazon.]


  1. Warner

    Really looking forward to hear your review on this and seeing if this will be better then your three receiver set up! Thanks for the picks. πŸ™‚

      • Timcharger

        No real test is complete without the latest Star Wars disc. The sounds of lightsabers, X-wing fighters, driod beeps, and John Willam’s score; that’s a must, right Josh?

          • Csm101

            In all seriousness, some of those mixes sound a lot better if you crank up the volume on them. Usually more than normal, 7 to 10 dB. It would be awesome to re evaluate some of those mixes and test the limits of that new fancy beast. It’s for science.

          • Timcharger

            Let’s not confuse Marvel with Lucasfilms.
            E gave the blu-ray disc a 5 stars aural rating in his review. So I agree, science demands it.

          • Josh Zyber

            He only gave 4 stars to the UHD’s Atmos track, and in both reviews mentioned that low-end was nothing special. Most other reports I’ve read have said that this disc sounds pretty much exactly like The Force Awakens, which I didn’t find particularly great.

            It’s a moot point anyway, because I’m still not gonna watch it. πŸ™‚

          • Timcharger

            Perhaps a source material with less emphasis on the subwoofer might be better to test those 6 overhead speakers. As a contrast to when you put in the Fury Road disc. For science. A placebo. A control disc for empirical analysis.
            No ulterior motive.

  2. William Henley

    Wow, that back panel! I hope I am not written up for pulling up porn at work! Man, I want, but that costs more than all my A/V equipment in the entire house combined!

      • Warner

        And part of its massive weight as well I’m sure. I’ll be interested to see how hot this receiver runs and if you think extra cooling (i.e. cabinet fans) are needed.

        • Deaditelord

          Given how much heat A/V receivers put out, I can’t imagine storing one in an enclosed cabinet. Even with cooling fans, I’d be concerned about overheating.

  3. Ami Verred

    I have the 7200WA and love it.
    Traditionally I have upgraded my Denon flagship receivers every 2 main changes to the equipment, i.e. to allow more advance circuitry to be Incorporated in the equipment.
    I have started with the massive 5800 series, upgraded to the 4260IC unit with the DTS-MA and Dolby True etc, and then up to the 7200WA with the Dolby Atmos, DTX-X, AURO 3D (yes I spent the $200 even tho there is hardly a movie with this system) and additional height speakers through an external Amp.
    I think I am about to skip this version and look more closely at the future generation AV from Denon.
    Come to think about it I realized that I have just saved more than $4000 US which is about mmmm…$5700 CDN with tax.
    My wife just fell in love with me again and wants a new diamond ring.

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