Both Denon and Marantz have introduced new flagship AV receivers with a broad imagination and support for the latest video and audio formats and technologies.
The Denon AVC-X8500HA and Marantz AV8805A are the A-spec receivers of the AVC-X8500H and AV8805 models that appeared on the scene a few years ago. Owners of those existing models will be able to upgrade to A-Spec by contacting authorized dealers.
Price and availability
- € 3999 / £ 3699 / $ 4299
- Release Date: June 2021
- Upgrade to A-Spec for existing AVC-X4500H owners: € 79 / £ 49 / $ 59
- € 4299 / £ 3899 / $ 4799
- Release Date: June 2021
- Upgrade to A-Spec for existing AV8805 owners: € 749 / £ 679 / $ 599
What does the AVC-X8500HA bring to the table compared to the original model? Back when the X8500H went on sale the 8K was still in its infancy, so the X8500A mode adds 8K / 60Hz upscaling and pass-through as well as 4K / 120Hz pass-through, which is expected to work given the issues. Should be with the next-gen. Consoles like PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X.
The HDR format has been boosted with HDR10 + and HDR10, HLG and Dolby Vision as well as a dynamic HDR format. All HDMI inputs – save for input on the front of the device – have been upgraded to HDMI 2.1 functionality, so Auto Low Latency Mode (ALM), Variable Refresh Rate (VRR) and Quick Frame Transport – which will help with gaming performance. – QMS (Quick Media Switching) is now supported for fast swapping via input while on board.
Elsewhere there is HDCP 2.3, as well as 4: 4: 4 pure color subsampling and BT.2020 pass-through.
eARC (Enhanced Audio Return Channel) remains for lossless and object-based audio transmissions such as DTS: X and Dolby Atmos piping from TV apps or connected sources. DTS: X Pro is also supported, allowing users with compatible set-up to enjoy DTS: X sound and IMAX enhanced content in a 7.2.6 or 9.2.4 configuration.
Other audio technologies supported out of the box include Dolby Atmos height virtualization technology, DTS Virtual: X and Auro-3D, with height virtualization technologies capable of creating virtual height effects in a 7.1, 5.1 or 2.1 speaker arrangement.
The spec sheet for the Marantz AV8805A is largely similar to the Denon given above. DTS: X Pro and IMAX enhanced decoding in the 7.2.6 or 9.2.4 configuration, as well as Dolby Atmos and DTS: X have many other advanced object-audio based formats and height virtualization technologies such as DTS Virtual: X etc.
A dedicated 8K-compatible HDMI 2.1 input enables 8K / 60Hz and 4K / 120Hz video pass-through. HDR10 + and Dynamic HDR have been added to the list of supported HDR formats, and support for the latest gaming technologies to reduce frame tearing and latency for smoother-looking images and faster response times.
Updates for Denon AVC-X8500H and Marantz AV8805 models
Original models are not excluded from the mix. If you are not seeking to upgrade to A-Spec, Denon and Marantz will release firmware updates for older models, supporting them with DTS: X Pro, Dolby Atmos Height Virtualizer, and front-wide channel support with Dolby Surround. Will upgrade to . It should start today (May 27, 2021).