Denon AVR-E400 – 7.1 channel home theater receiver with Apple AirPlay

It seems that 2013 is the year to launch affordable receivers packed with next generation technology. We’ve seen new lines coming from the big players like Yamaha, Pioneer, Sony, and now Denon. While the feature set differs, there are some key aspects that are consistent across the main receivers launched (or to be launched), which include support for AirPlay, 4K/Ultra HD, as well as high resolution audio formats.

Available now, and part of Denon’s “best-in-class” AVR-E series of receivers, is the Denon AVR-E400 (SRP: $599). With a built-in setup assistant, the receiver was designed to be setup simply and correctly the first time.

Also launched as part of the series were the AVR-E200 and AVR-E300 5.1 Channel Network Home Theater Receivers with suggested retail prices of $249, and $399 respectively.

The Denon AVR-E400

The high quality amplification of the Denon AVR-E400′s seven channels offer crisp surround sound as to be expected. Two of the channels can be used for a pair of separately-sourced (analog only) stereo speakers in another room, or out on the patio.

Sadly not wireless, but wired Internet connectivity, plus USB input, open up the receiver to a wide variety of music sources.

From the Internet, streaming audio is available from services such as SiriusXM Internet radio, Pandora Internet radio, Spotify, and others. Plus there is a built in V-tuner opening up thousands of other radio stations. Flickr connections can be made as well for delivering photo streams to the television.

Streaming music from iTunes is possible with the AVR-E400′s in-built Apple AirPlay technology. This can be achieved via the local area network or with a direct connect from an iPhone, iPad, or the iPod touch.

With six HDMI inputs lots more source options become available for devices including gaming devices, disc players, set top boxes, and others. From the receiver to the TV only requires one cable and it can grab input from whatever source is chosen.

4K up-conversion capabilities exist for those with supporting televisions.

Navigating Denon’s on-screen user interface is simple with the included remote and even with a free app by Denon for iOS and Androis devices. This is done wirelessly to the wireless router which in turn must be wired to the Denon. For quick-connect-disconnect devices like camcorders, the receiver includes an HDMI input on the front panel.

The “Four E’s”

The ‘E’ in E-Series stands for Easy, Exciting Entertainment Experience, which were priorities kept in mind during the creation of this latest series of receivers. They kept things “easy” with the intuitive easy-to-use Setup Assistant, which walks users through the entire setup process.

Paul Belanger, Technical Product Manager for D+M noted: “To create our E-Series, we looked at virtually every aspect of what a user would touch, look at or hear in an audio/video receiver � no feature, cosmetic element or connector was spared � our designers and engineers were instructed to make whatever changes they deemed necessary to build a new type of receiver that would offer total ease of use, total ease of setup and the very best possible user experience. Just as importantly, we wanted to make today�s most immersive and thrilling home theater surround sound experience available to as many people as possible.”

Main power and processing features

7 channel amp with 90 watts per channel, with 2 channels driven
DTS and Dolby decoding for surround sound
6 point auto setup and calibration with Audyssey Laboratories’ MultEQ (plus Audyssey Dynamic Volume and EQ)
Options for digital and streaming music

Apple AirPlay technology (iTunes library)
Direct digital connection with USB on front panel
Cat5 connection (Ethernet) for connection to media on LAN (wired network)
Streaming music services like Pandora Internet radio, Spotify and SiriusXM Internet radio (possibly requires subscription)
DLNA (Digital Living Network Alliance) certified

6 in HDMI, 1 out to TV
Front panel HDMI (included in 6 count), and USB
1080p-compatible HDMI digital audio/video switching
HDMI version 1.4a with support for 3D video, 4K video
1080p and 4K Ultra HD upscaling
Digital audio inputs including 1 optical and 1 coax
1 component, 2 composite video inputs on rear
Spring loaded and color-coded Denon easy connect speaker connections on rear
*No phono input or wireless connectivity
Here’s a feature set breakdown from Denon’s complete E-series line:

AVR-E200: 5.1 channels, four HDMI inputs
AVR-E300: AVR-E200 features or upgrades including five HDMI inputs, networking, AirPlay, Setup Assistant, Audyssey speaker calibration
AVR-E400: AVR-E300 features or upgrades including 7.1 channels, six HDMI inputs, analog video upconversion, powered second zone