Last year, not one but two receivers unseated CNET's long term favorite, the Sony STR-DN1080 ($598 at Crutchfield), and one of them was Denon's AVR-S740H. The Denon offered a warmer, punchier sound than the Sony which made it better for music in particular.
Denon has follows up that winner with 2019's AVR-S750H. While it looks virtually identical there are a couple of tweaks here and there -- but the best news is the sound is just as warm and satisfying as before.
Read more: Best AV receivers of 2020
The Denon is only the first receiver we've tested so far this year so it's too early to say how it will fare against the 2019 competition, but it sets a high bar. Features such as Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant compatibility, six HDMI inputs with and support for demonstrate the AVR-S750H is ready for the future of AV entertainment, wherever it may lead.
Like most AV receivers the Denon is basically a chunky black box, but I did appreciate its large display and handy source shortcut buttons underneath. One small but lovely upgrade is to the feel of the volume and source selector knobs -- the volume has a more decisive click while the selector is now smoother.
Sadly the user interface is just as ugly as ever, and rivals Onkyo and Sony with their full-color displays not only make setting up the receiver easier but more fun as well.
Here's some specs:
- 75W per channel @ 8 ohm, 20 Hz - 20 kHz, 0.08% distortion, 2ch driven
- Six 4K/HDR-compatible HDMI inputs, one output, HDMI eARC support
- Bluetooth and Bluetooth headphone support (future pdate)
- USB (charging/mobile playback)
- Three digital inputs -- two optical, one coaxial
- Audyssey Room Correction
- 24-bit/192kHz playback plus DSD
- Denon AVR Remote app compatibility (iOS, Android and Kindle)
- Phono input
Last year Denon's receivers were compatible with voice control from Amazon Alexa speakers, but they missed out on Google Assistant. For 2019 the company has not only bumped up the Alexa integration -- you can ask for songs and change inputs now via voice now -- but it also works with Google Assistant speakers, such as the Google Home.
Right now Google Assistant support is limited to volume changes and transport controls, so to initiate playback of songs you'll need to use Denon's Heos app. But Denon is expending the Assistant functionality to enable additional features, including asking a Google speaker to play particular music. No date has been set for this yet.