CNET First Look
Denon AVR-1912The Denon AVR-1912 gets our Editors' Choice Award in the midrange AV receiver category, with built-in AirPlay, outstanding sound quality, and six HDMI inputs.
Hey, I'm Matthew Moskovciak at cnet.com and this is the Denon AVR-1912. It's a midrange AV receiver with built-in AirPlay and is currently selling for $530. Now built-in AirPlay means you can stream music from any iOS device, which is iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad directly to the receiver. Start playing a song, hit the Airplay icon then select the receiver, and that's it. Album art and artist information shows up on your TV and you can adjust the receiver's volume using your iOS device. It also works with third party apps like Rhapsody and Pandora, and if you don't have an iOS device, you can use a computer running iTunes as your controller. The Denon doesn't need to be on your home network for AirPlay to work. The AVR-1912 has an Ethernet port but there's no Wifi dongle option available so you'll need to use a workaround like a wireless bridge or powerline adapter if you don't have Ethernet in your living room. In addition to AirPlay, Denon also has an iOS remote app, which you can use to control the receiver instead of the usual remote. The cool thing about Denon's app is you can also access your iOS music library from inside the app. So you can turn on the receiver and browse your music without needing to switch between multiple apps. If you have an older non iOS iPod also note there is a USB port on the front so you can connect your iPod directly and listen to your music. In addition to all the Apple device compatibility, the AVR-1912 also has built-in streaming media support for Pandora, Rhapsody and Napster so you don't need to use AirPlay to access those services. If you look at the back panel you'll see there are 6 HDMI inputs along with 1 component video input and 2 digital audio inputs. Now, only 2 digital audio inputs is less than you'll see on a lot of competitors but we don't consider it to be a big loss since these days there aren't that many devices that require you to use a digital audio output. The Denon sound quality overall was excellent with both movies and music. We did end up comparing it directly to the Pioneer VSX-1021-K, and while they're both great sounding receivers, ultimately we thought that Denon was just a little better especially at higher volumes. Altogether that makes the Denon AVR-1912 the most complete midrange AV receiver we've tested this year, which is why we awarded it our Editor's Choice Award. The pioneer VSX-1021-K is close but the Denon has one more HDMI port, slightly better sound quality, and one more year of warranty coverage. I'm Matthew Moskovciak and this is the Denon AVR-1912.