Denon AVR-X7200W A/V Receiver Review

Audio Performance
PRICE $2,999

Gobs of power for almost any situation
Audyssey MultEQ XT32
Atmos, DTS:X, and Auro 3D
ISF certified
Daunting price

The Denon AVR-X7200W is pricey, but this flagship is loaded with power, features, and performance.

Ticking off all the feature checkboxes does not automatically confer popularity on a flagship audio/video receiver. Some prospective buyers will look at the four-figure price tag of the Denon AVR-X7200W and just say, no, sorry, not for me—despite the fact that many other high-end audio products, and luxury products in general, sell for far more. The AVR category is the spiritual home of those who love to get more for less. Why, asks the hardheaded audio buff, do I need to pay three grand for all those features, all those jacks—all that stuff I’ll never need? The answer is that the features you do need may be worth the price. If your speakers are a little more demanding than the home theater norm or you have a large room, you’ll want as much power as possible, and this receiver is Denon’s best shot.

In another sonically transformative move, Denon has licensed top-of- the-line room correction for this top-of-the-line receiver. MultEQ XT32 has the highest filter resolution of any Audyssey technology, aided by the receiver’s 32-bit digital signal processing. How many times has mediocre homegrown room correction compromised receivers passing through my reference system? Frankly, I’ve lost count. But Denon anted up for the good stuff with this receiver. That alone would be noteworthy.

This receiver is also one of several that support the new DTS:X object- oriented, height-enhanced surround codec (with a software update). It marks the first time I’ve had a chance to go ears-on with DTS:X.

Number 9, Number 9, Number 9
Denon has nine new AVRs, ranging from $259 for the 5.2-channel AVR-S510BT to $2,999 for the 9.2-channel AVR-X7200W. A half-dozen models have seven channels, and all of those receivers support the 5.2.2-channel versions of Dolby Atmos and DTS:X. But only the AVR-X6200W ($2,199) and the 7200, reviewed here, have the nine amplifier channels needed to muster 5.2.4-channel Atmos and DTS:X surround without resorting to outboard amps.

Along with its nine amp channels, the AVR-X7200W has 11 sets of binding posts, 11.2 object-oriented surround channels, and 13.2-channel preamp outputs. The extra con- nectivity allows you to switch among height, back-surround, or width channels; biamp the front left/right; or feed up to three zones. Other niceties include both front and rear USB ports and a phono input. In addition to Dolby Atmos and DTS:X, the receiver supports a third version of height-enhanced surround decoding, Auro-3D. The latter two require a firmware update that became available on January 28; it takes about an hour to run. Denon’s Auro-3D updates (at a cost of $199) began on March 29 with the AVR-X4200W and AVR-X6200W, and will likely be available for the AVR-X7200 by the time you read this.

The receiver is rated at 150 watts into 8 ohms with two channels driven. See our Test Bench for five- and seven-channel measurements. Denon says the receiver can handle 4-ohm loads, though the company provides specs down to only 6 ohms. The Eco amp mode adjusts power according to signal level, and the Eco mode display shows power con- sumption in real time.

It goes without saying that this receiver has up-to-date HDMI 2.0a with HDCP 2.2 digital rights management. Additional video features include ISF certification, allowing a technician to optimize the receiver’s video processing for your display. Ultra HD video passthrough supports SMPTE-standard HDR, up to 60-hertz frame rate, BT.2020 color space, and 4:4:4 “pure color” subsampling.

With its AKM AK4490 32-bit DAC, the Denon can handle hi-res PCM audio files up to 24 bits and 192 kilohertz plus DSD up to 2.8 megahertz. The dual antennas support Wi-Fi, AirPlay, and Bluetooth; DLNA streams media from your PC and other devices. Streaming services include Spotify, Pandora, and the Internet version of SiriusXM (though even on top-line models, satellite reception seems a thing of the past).

The Audyssey Platinum suite includes the aforementioned MultiEQ XT32 as well as the excellent Dynamic EQ and Dynamic Volume low-volume listening modes, Low Frequency Containment to help mollify your neighbors, and Sub EQ HT for bass optimization of dual subwoofers. This receiver is also Audyssey Pro Installer ready, allowing a custom installer to measure up to 32 listening positions (versus 6 to 8 for a civilian) with an Audyssey Professional Mic. The installer has access to more advanced crossover settings and more target sound curve options, and he can print a certificate detailing the adjustments made to your system.

Associated equipment included five Paradigm Reference Studio 20 v.4 speakers, four Klipsch RP-140SA Atmos elevation speakers, Paradigm Seismic 110 subwoofer, Oppo BDP-83SE for disc play, Panasonic DMP-BD87 for video streaming, Lenovo Windows 7 multimedia PC, Micro Seiki BL-21 turntable, Shure V15MxVR/N97XE cartridge, and the phono stage of (appropriately enough) a Denon PRA-S10 preamp.

DTS:X Machina
Some receivers impress by imposing a strong personality on everything. Others prefer anonymity, defining high performance by their ability to get out of the way. The AVR-X7200W is one of the latter—due to not only a powerful, clean, and well-tuned amp but also the acoustic fine-tuning of Audyssey MultEQ XT32. It kept its cool, always sounding as if it had power to spare. Dialogue seemed stripped of all false coloration, including any obvious transitions at the sub crossover. Past experience with Denon/Audyssey receivers has led me to prefer Audyssey’s Reference mode for movies and its Flat mode for music. This time, I cut to the chase and stuck with those choices.

(201) 762-6500

snorene's picture

The receiver is rated at 150 watts into 8 ohms with two channels driven. See our Test Bench for five- and seven-channel measurements.

Only the two channel test is shown...

Test Bench: Audio This graph shows the AVR-X7200W’s left channel, from CD input to speaker output with two channels driving 8-ohm loads.

Bob Ankosko's picture
The Test Bench results have been updated. Our apologies for the delay in getting these posted.
Igor's picture

How come 5200 is better than 7200 in stereo mode ? They have same power amplifier, 5200 traditionally should have lower voltage. How can it have higher output power and lower THD in wider range, than 7200?

mhdaniels31's picture

tryed your link even copy and pasted it and still ended up with a graph and zero numbers is there going to be an edit to fix this problem.The denon receiver you reviewed is there flagship model after 2 other big publications skipped the bench tests I really hope S&V isnt going to also by the way nice review did you notice the denon ever getting to hot can you test it with more demanding 4ohm speakers

Mark Fleischmann's picture
According to our review of the Paradigms: "Impedance reaches a minimum of 4.18 ohms at 174 Hz." But "demanding" speakers probably should be running off an outboard muscle amp, not a receiver.
hk2000's picture

There are 2 down firing fans in this receiver. Did they kick in at any time during your testing? If so, how loud were they?

Mark Fleischmann's picture
I didn't hear any fans go on though that doesn't mean they didn't. The sound might have been masked by the speakers.
hk2000's picture

Thanks. I, like others, am skeptical about amp section. I am in the market for a receiver and S&V has already spoiled us with the thorough bench test results- this one leaves a lot of question marks.

ToddAtmos's picture

Test Bench missing ? always curious about power output

mhdaniels31's picture

is there a special reseason that this is the only receiver in all the recent years of publication that doesnt show the actual bench test numbers did denon refuse to allow you to review the receiver if you didnt agree to not publish your test results.For a flagship receiver you expect decent numbers but by the graph you supplied alone it seems to be a little less powerful then the 4520ci I find it really strange that the receivers 5, 7 channel and 4ohm results have not been published can you at least give a deffinitive answer if you will be uploading the results later it seems like your dodging the question which leaves me wondering if the results were dissapointing so you didnt publish them or were not allowed to due to restrictions from denon

Mark Fleischmann's picture
The Test Bech was published to the web in an incomplete form. We're not holding out on you. It was just an error and will be corrected soon.
goodfellas27's picture

The shadiness of not showing what the amp stage is able to do, and number playing is one of the many reasons I when separate.

ToddAtmos's picture

thanks for posting the power ratings! looks impressive for a receiver in my opinion

soldier38's picture

Compared to the Marantz 7010 which is now the outgoing Flagship AVR, which would you rate best in music sound quality? If amp wattage was not an issue, which is the better receiver in your opinion? I have read a few threads that indicate the Marantz has better sound quality but the Denon may be a better receiver although there has not been a direct comparison. I have been a long time fan of Marantz since the sr7005 but now I am again in the market for a full featured AVR with great sound. By the way, the reviews were both great reads.