Denon AVR-2802 review: Denon AVR-2802

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CNET Editors' Rating

3.5 stars Very good
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good True six-channel design; A/B speaker switching; abundant features; above-average sound quality.

The Bad Tricky setup; generic styling.

The Bottom Line A strong performer for the money, the 2802's only drawbacks are subpar ergonomics and a taxing setup routine.

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From where we sit, it's easy to see that the cost of a first-class receiver just keeps getting more and more affordable. Take Denon's AVR-2802. It's four rungs down from the company's top-of-the-line AVR-5803, but you'd never know that from glancing over this midpriced model's extensive features list or listening to its delicious sound quality. From where we sit, it's easy to see that the cost of a first-class receiver just keeps getting more and more affordable. Take Denon's AVR-2802. It's four rungs down from the company's top-of-the-line AVR-5803, but you'd never know that from glancing over this midpriced model's extensive features list or listening to its delicious sound quality.

It's what's inside that counts
The AVR-2802 is a 6-by-90-watt-per-channel A/V receiver. Denon loaded on a host of advanced features such as Dolby Digital and DTS 6.1-channel (ES-Matrix and Discrete) decoding and Dolby Pro Logic II and DTS Neo:6 to create superb surround sound from stereo sources. We also noted A/B speaker switching, HDTV/component-video switching, and multisource/multizone operation.

Connectivity choices are quite good: there's a nice selection of composite and S-Video jacks, a turntable input, four digital-audio inputs and one output, a set of jacks for a DVD-Audio or a SACD player, and finally, 7.1 preamp outputs that'll come in handy if you ever want hook up a monster power amp.

When it comes to looks, there's not much to crow about--the AVR-2802 is a generic, black receiver with a minimally cluttered faceplate. The blue LED isn't terribly informative. Setup details such as assigning our DVD to a digital input taxed our patience, though the remote was slightly better than average; its flip-down cover mercifully hides lesser-used buttons.

Dazzling Denon
Warm toned and luscious, the 2802 brought out the best in John Williams's ravishing score for A.I. Artificial Intelligence, which features an ethereal choir, lush strings, and lots of tinkly percussion. Too bad the film is such a bore! All of the unsettling surround effects sprinkled throughout the Bram Stoker's Dracula DVD were holographically immersive. We ran the front speakers in the Large setting, and the 2802 never ran out of juice as it summoned up the Training Day DVD's pulsing bass lines. Speaking of bass, the 2802's bass management directs low frequencies to the sub, even with stereo sources and when using the Large setting on the front speakers. Most receivers shortchange the sub under those conditions.

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Where to Buy

Denon AVR-2802

Part Number: AVR-2802
Pricing is currently unavailable.

Quick Specifications See All

  • Output Power / Total 540 Watt
  • Response Bandwidth 10 - 100000 Hz
  • Additional Features source direct
  • Functions AV receiver
  • Sound Output Mode Surround Sound
  • Type AV receiver
  • Dimensions (WxDxH) / Weight AV receiver : 17.1 in x 16.4 in x 6.7 in / 25.4 lbs