Fantastic piece of equipment, well worth the money if the features you need aren't met with the lesser models
This receiver is a very, very nice piece of equipment. It has a ton of features, offers 4K upscaling and does it at a price point that would actually make a very good option for someone looking to upscale their content to their shiny new UHD TV.
Sound quality from this is fantastic. Audyssey configuration is highly recommended using the included mic to ensure you are getting the absolute best audio quality from your configuration. Output is 90 W per channel at 8 Ohms.
Setup is not simple, but the on screen menus will walk you through the entire thing, which makes it as simple and as easy as possible for home theater beginners, with everything on the rear of the unit being clearly labeled. It can be setup without a monitor, however, it is a HUGE pain. If you want to set it up and forget it, I recommend configuring it with a spare TV/monitor then disconnecting when you are finished. And if you are using this without a TV, then you can save money and buy a much less expensive model as you won't need 4K upscaling.
The S900W offers Bluetooth playback, Wi-Fi connection with DLNA and wired network for DLNA. It can also play MP3, WMA, AAC, ALAC, FLAC, AIFF, DSD via networked sources at 24/192. This is actually better than my older 3311 that only offers 24/48 playback maximum over the network.
One caveat. If you decide to use the lone composite input on the receiver, this input DOES NOT upscale. You MUST then connect your receiver via composite to the TV and switch to that input on the TV to use whatever you have connected. For VHS/LD lovers, this will be disappointing.
The receiver has HDMI pass through. This means you can get the video/audio to output to your display/TV without having to have it powered on. The only caveat here is that it remembers the last input used, so unless what you are trying to use is the last thing you used, you'll need to power it up, switch inputs, then turn it off.
If you have the need for a great receiver with 8 HDMI inputs, don't need/want SACD DSD support through HDMI (and if you don't know what that means, you don't need it), don't mind not being able to Bi-Amp (again, if you don't know what that is, you won't miss it) and want a great upscaling receiver, the S900W is a great choice. The S700W is also a good choice if you don't need to upscale to 4K but want 4K pass through and you don't mind "only" getting 75W of power per channel at 8 Ohms.
Very highly recommended.
The Denon S900W is well packed and easy to unbox. Everything is clearly labeled upon opening the box and the included quick start guide is good. I would like a full printed manual, but the included CD version is interactive and works well. Maybe an interactive tablet or mobile phone version would be nice as well next time?
I would like to say that physical setup is a snap. The problem is, when it comes to something that can have so much connected to it and offers a lot of customization, it's never a snap. The nice thing is that Denon have made it easier than ever to get started.
All of the speaker terminals are clearly labeled. All of the inputs are clearly labeled. As long as you have all of your speakers ready and the cables run, you can plug in and be ready to go in about 15 minutes. Running cable and so on will add 30+ (probably a lot of ++ for that) minutes, depending on the complexity of your setup.
Once you have it all connected, there is a lot of customization that can be done within the menus. Just getting the system up and running, then running through the Audyssey setup, should be enough for most users. Those that want to tinker, there is plenty to tinker with.
They have done a better job at the hand holding this time around than they did with my 3311 unit. There was a misplaced word in the onscreen setup, but nothing dramatic and everything was simple to follow.
The sound quality from the S900W is nothing short of fantastic. I am running a 5.1 setup. I have B&W 683s for the FL/FR, B&W HTM61 center and dual B&W DS3s in the rear. My subwoofer is am Acoustech PL-200.
Comparing sound quality to my 3311 is difficult, as doing so requires swapping of speakers. I did this, twice, and I feel the audio quality from both, with Audyssey setup, seems to be on par with one another. I watched Saving Private Ryan's opening and listened to quite a bit of stereo, 24/192 audio files, along with 24/192 Pink Floyd Blu Rays and I can't hear a difference. If I had a way to do a blind A/B test, I would, however I don't. If you have a 3311 or similar model, you don't have a reason to upgrade for anything other than the 4K upscaling/pass through. If you need 4K upscaling and want to spend as little as possible through Denon, this is your only option. The less expensive models than the S900W do NOT do 4K upscaling, only pass through of 4K.
I do not have a 4K TV. I have an older DLP rear projection set that has served me well for 7 years now. It still looks great and does 1080p.
The upscaling on this unit, as far as I can tell, from 480i/p and 720p to 1080p seems to be on par with my 3311. With video, I CAN do a side by side and watching Saving Private Ryan shows that video looks good. I then used upscaled DVD content, from a Pioneer player that was outputting 480p content. Again, I can't see a difference between the two. So if you already have a 3311 or similar model with 1080p upscaling, and don't need 4K, then you don't need this unit (unless you are buying to future proof). Again, if you need the 4K upscaling and want to spend as little as possible with Denon, this unit is the only way to go.
This receiver has feature overflow.
You can connect the receiver to your network via wired Ethernet or Wi-Fi and have full DLNA support. You can connect your phone or other BT capable device to the receiver and play music wirelessly that way. It is also Airply certified and it's built in (my 3311 was a paid upgrade for Airplay).
You have 8 HDMI inputs. 4 analog inputs. 2 component inputs. There is no Phono input, but if you aren't using a record player, or you are using the standard L/R outputs you don't need it anyway. You can configure this to play audio to up to 2 zones, so you could have your home theater and then run cable to say, your deck for 2 more speakers. You would lose part of your 7.1 capability doing that, but if all you want/have is 5.1, it's not a big loss.
The EcoPower mode is interesting. At rest, you can configure this in a way that, if it is powered on, it will only consume 30 to 45 Watts of power. Considering my 3311 consumes more than that at rest, this is a big deal if you are trying to save on electricity. And you can also enable Eco mode during playback. This is supposed to be more efficient, and having swapped between Eco and Non-Eco during playback, I don't personally hear a difference. I am sure there is one, otherwise it wouldn't just be a feature it would be a default, so this is just my own observation.
The S900W is a fantastic piece of equipment. It's as simple to setup as any receiver I've ever owned. Actually, it was simpler with all of the labeling and the first time walkthrough when you power it up the first time.
It has tons of features. If you don't need upscaling to 4K you can get away with going to the S700W and pay a little less. You also lose a little power per channel that route, so get this one if you need the 90 W per channel over 75 W as well.
The sound profile is great. Audyssey setup ensures you get just what was intended, no matter where you are sitting.
If you have a 3311 or newer, similar model, unless you need 4K upscaling or pass through, you can pass on this one, unless you need/want built in Wi-Fi capability and the 24/192 possiblity for DLNA playback.
If you need/want SACD support through HDMI, you will need to purchase a more expensive Denon model. None of the Sx00W models offer this capability.
As easy to configure/setup as possible, overflowing with features and sounds great.
Very highly recommended.
Couldn't be happier with this Denon!
Have not been much of a reviewer on OnlineShopDealer, although I buy everything from fuel filters to this AVR! Upgraded from a 15 year old Denon AVR-2801 and couldn't be happier. Setup was a piece of cake and all of the HDMI inputs allowed me to eliminate miles of cable that I had to use with my older receiver.
I've set it up as a 5.1 system in a media room with a pair of speakers on Zone 2 in a family room. With both the iPad and iPhone apps I had no problems remotely operating both zones simultaneously. Been a little challenged with the AirPlay functions but am learning that I need to "disconnect" AirPlay from the receiver to "release" the channel for other devices. I can see it well on my home network and the built-in PC interfaces (accessed through the receiver's IP address) work great. The Audyssey setup completely changed the out-of-the-box sound to one that is simply breathtaking. Make sure to re-run the setup if you move speakers or where you sit.
Suggest those who are considering any of the 2014 Denon AVR's take a look at http://www.avsforum.com/forum/90-receivers-amps-processors/1531868-official-2014-denon-s-series-x-series-avr-model-owner-s-thread-faq.html for some great information on this Denon model series.
Note ... The newer receivers use a different algorithm for dealing with volume. Where my old receiver was quite loud at 1/3 volume, this and most current receivers need about 2/3 volume to achieve the same perceived sound levels. Takes a little getting used to.
It's about sound
I've had quite a few A/V receivers over the years--several HK units, along with a number of Onkyos. This is my first Denon, and the differences were immediately apparent. This thing simply SOUNDS better. A lot better. I'd passed on Denon a few times when considering a new receiver. While the sound was always highly-rated, Denon always fell a little short on the system control feature list. That's no longer the case. There are more than enough HDMI inputs, along with a pair of outputs for mirrored monitors. To that array of inputs you can add several flavors of Internet radio, along with Apple Airplay and Bluetooth streaming and even a direct iPod connection. Up to 7.2 can be supported (in my test room I have 5.1).
Perhaps it's because I've been at this for a long while, but I tend to do setup without consulting the user guide. I like to see how intuitive operation can be, and I'll only consult the guide if I'm really stuck. I got a long way and only had to hit the guide for a few more esoteric things. Unfortunately Denon follows the practice of providing the guide as a PDF on a CDROM (C'mon Denon, don't cheap out with the manual). Upon power-up, assuming you've plugged in the monitor, there's a quite thorough setup walkthrough--even down to individual speaker cables. The back-button on the remote will get you out of this so that you can set up at your own pace.
It's worth pointing out that the remote is nicely organized, with the important MUTE button in a sensible position. If the phone rings, you can quickly cut the sound without hunting all over a crowded remote.
As with any high-quality receiver, Denon provides a calibration microphone and an automatic room EQ program. Kudos for Denon's practical sense of humor. For people who don't happen to have microphone stands, Denon includes a stand made of several folded pieces of cardboard. When assembled it looks like a toy rocket. You'll chuckle, but it works. Clear instructions are displayed on the monitor for microphone positions and other aspects of the procedure. I have to say that the calibration on this receiver is much more successful than on many others. Additional tweaking is usually required, but this unit was ready to go. And it really sounds nice. There's a tremendous sense of integrated surround with good source material, whether on BluRay or satellite. The orchestra stays clear of the screen and gives a lovely sense of being out in the room. Effects pans move smoothly from speaker to speaker without jumping. You can tweak if you need, but that's only for the fussier among us. Dynamic range compression works smoothly and unobtrusively. There are four basic "Sound Modes" accessed by dedicated buttons on the remote--primarily for film, music and games. Denon can't resist a couple of those awful reverbs for those who want the sound of a stadium or nightclub. I'd rather have an accurate representation of what the mixers did in the studio. Thank goodness that's there in spades.
Network setup is quick and easy. I have a wired network in this room, but Denon will support either wired or wireless. A firmware upgrade was available, and installed smoothly in about twenty minutes. There's an interesting menu entry that hints at additional bits of software--apps, I suppose we'd have to call them--but nothing is yet available. The network supports internet radio in several forms and a nice favorites page will let you save the stations you like. Denon also supports audio-only DLNA. It did strike me as a little odd that there's no video DLNA support, but almost every receiver or TV does a terrible job with it. I'm happy to stick with an external DLNA box.
There's still more if you happen to have other gadgets floating around. Apple's Airplay is supported. As soon as I started streaming from my iPad, the Denon began to play it back (there's a bit of optional EQ to get around the worst artifacts of lossy compression). I then used Bluetooth to pair with my iPhone and was quickly able to play back from that device. Unfortunately, you'll have to control playback with the iPhone itself--there's very limited menu control in the Denon. And finally there's a free app in the iTunes store that will let you use your IOS device as a remote. I tested it and it works, but it's really hard to see the point of it. The remote that comes with the receiver works perfectly well.
While HDMI control between devices is an option, I should say that I had a few issues here. I'd like to set up the system so that turning on my TV will also turn on the receiver, or vice-versa. That works, but a little too well. I've set a predetermined start-up volume on the receiver so that I don't wake up the house when I switch on the early morning news. That works perfectly, as long as I turn on the receiver first. But if I turn on the TV first, the TV will also ship its own volume level (maximum) down to the receiver in addition to the turn-on signal. This is NOT pleasant and resulted in my turning off HDMI control. I hope that a future Denon update allows a simple on-off-only mode for HDMI control.
In summary, Denon's done a good balanced job of providing rich features along with very high quality sound. I've got a receiver graveyard in the basement, but I don't think Denon is going there any time soon.
Finally, a modern Denon AVR!
Moving from a Denon 1912, I am very happy with the streamlined interface, UI enhancements, and most importantly the quality of audio this unit produces. Setup time was less than 15 minutes and have already received two firmware updates. Beautiful sound, no issues whatsoever!
Great Product - Great Support
I've had this product for less then a week, but I've been so impressed that I feel compelled to write an early review. I purchased this unit to meet my personal needs; power my entertainment center in the living room, and power a serrate zone outside with a second audio source (airplay, Pandora, etc.). This unit does so well, although it takes a few steps to power airplay in zone 2 while listening to TV audio in Zone. However once it's set up it seems to work flawlessly. I am not an audiophile, but to my ear the sound is great. Another reason for the 5 star review is the customer service. I ran into two issues during initial set up. Both times I called the Denon support line and spoke to a live body in less then 5 minutes. Each rep was professional and knowledgeable, and my questions were answered very quickly. My initial experience with both the receiver and the company have been amazing.
It up converts all 8 inputs to 4K which looks great on my 4K Samsung TV
This is an incredible receiver! It up converts all 8 inputs to 4K which looks great on my 4K Samsung TV. The setup was very user friendly. All of this is the good news. The bad news is this is the replacement for the first one I ordered. The first one locked up during setup and wouldn't do anything, even trying to restore it to factory defaults. This was on Friday. I called OnlineShopDealer and they shipped a new one which I received on Saturday morning!! What incredible service!!
I give this 5 stars even though I had problems with the first one. I would highly recommend this receiver.
Worked very well - right out of the box - First timer with Denon
Looking to upgrade my 15 year old Harmon Kardons with something that had HDMI inputs and a web app that works. In short - WOW! This unit sounds great and with the app, on both my Android phone or my iPad, quickly and easily lets me change Internet radio stations for Zone 2 which is wired into my whole house audio system.
I have owned this item for just about a week and ill tell you its awesome! Its the one of the best receivers I have ever owned. The feature are through the roof! Everything works perfect and the on screen setup is awesome! Denon loaded this thing with everything and it all works great! Highly recommend this thing!
Great unit which recently replaced my 10 year old non ...
Great unit which recently replaced my 10 year old non working Sony 5.1 system.
Really like the bluetooth, internet and wireless applications capabilities of this Denon unit.
Auto EQ functions are nice to have and make setup quick and easy for your home system.
An Upgrade Over the Denon AVR-S700W to Complement Your 4K Ultra HD TV
For context, I purchased a Denon AVR-S700W 7.2-Channel Network A/V Receiver with Bluetooth and Wi-Fi and had been using it for a few weeks before I was offered to review the Denon AVR-S9000W through the OnlineShopDealer Vine program. The biggest difference between the two are the number of HDMI inputs & outputs, 4K Video upscaling, analog to HDMI video upconversion, and 10 extra watts per channel.
That being said, it was very easy for me to swap out the receivers and set-up the AVR-S900W.
is a beast of an A/V receiver that has almost everything you can ask for including built-in Wi-Fi for listening to music from a networked PC, music server, internet radio, and music services like Spotify Connect, Pandora, and SiriusXM. It also features Ultra HD 4K 60 Hz video pass-through and upconversion.
For the price, you get a great, networked, receiver that really has enough power for most medium sized home theaters and can complement a great 4K Ultra HD TV. I have mine connected to a Bose® Acoustimass® 10 Series IV and 2 BOSE 301-V - notice only 1 subwoofer for now. Our movie/play room is about 350 square feet with 8 foot ceilings. And you can only imagine how the sound fills in the room.
I love that this unit has 8 HDMI inputs and 1 output. I currently only use 5 of the inputs, but for customers that have video game consoles, chromeboxes, media streaming device, Blueray player, etc, you will have a place to connect it to this receiver.
The receiver also allows for playing music in two separate zones/rooms. That is a cool feature, but requires some in-wall wiring and can be a little complex and burdensome given the availability of multi-room wireless systems on the market. More specifically, Denon is releasing their HEOS line of multiroom Wi-Fi speakers in August 2014 which promises to be a decent competitor to Sonos:
- Denon HEOS 3 Wireless Speaker
- Denon HEOS 5 Wireless Speaker
- Denon HEOS 7 Wireless Speaker
The only thing that I will say that I am guilty of is buying component electronics in their early stage of adoption. For instance, there are not too many movies that are commercially encoded to Dolby Digital Plus (7.1 ch) or 7.2 ch surround sound right now. I am fully baked into the OnlineShopDealer ecosystem and stream a lot of movies on the OnlineShopDealer Fire TV which in their last update upgraded the audio experience to Dolby Digital Plus (7.1 ch)over HDMI while keeping the optical output at Dolby Digital (5.1 ch). This is a great improvement, but mixing and not splitting the low frequency effects (LFE) channel into two discrete channels makes it similar to just adding a splitter to the output and hooking up two subwoofers. But I hope that the industry will catch up with encoding more movies to 7.2 on streaming media players.
The Denon AVR-S900W also includes Apple AirPlay for streaming music from any apple products running iTunes and
Bluetooth for wireless music listening with Android smartphones and tablets. The connector on the front of the unit also serves as a direct digital connection for an iPad or iPhone and bypasses the Denon's digital-to-analog converter for much better sound quality than without it. The unit is also DLNA and Windows® 8 certified for streaming music with a Windows laptop, tablet, or even with a PLEX server.
The best reason to upgrade or choose the Denon AVR-S900W over the AVR-S700W is the fact the S900W's video is fully compatible with 3D sources and has the ability to upconvert and transcode SD and HD content to full 1080p or 4K Ultra HD resolution. This is a HUGE plus and well worth the extra money if you have invested in a nice 4K Ultra HD television.
I fully recommend this AV Receiver as a pure workhorse that shouldn't need upgrading for years to come - especially with the 4K Ultra HD upconversion functionality. Unless your home theater is set up in a room greater than 500 feet with 12+ foot ceiling, I also believe you can get away with some nice mid-tier speakers to get the full effect of the receiver.