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Denon's AVR-S960 receiver offers 8K for under $700

Denon's new receiver will bring 8K compatibility and six HDMI inputs when it arrives in July.

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Denon on Tuesday announced its most "affordable" 8K receiver yet, the $649 AVR-S960H, and it offers a host of new technologies, including HDR10 Plus support. The company announced its higher-end X series at the start of June, but prices started at $849. The AVR-S960H will go on sale in July.

The 7.1.2-channel receiver includes six HDMI 2.3 inputs, including one with 8K capability; and two outputs, one featuring eARC. These ports are able to decode higher-quality Dolby Atmos and DTS:X audio, in addition to upscaling, virtual surround technologies such as Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization Technology and DTS Virtual:X.

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The receiver offers seven 90-watt channels (stereo, 20Hz-20KHz) and high-res music compatibility with a 32-bit AKM digital audio converter. 

The AVR-S960H supports multiple video standards, including 8K/60Hz and 4K/120Hz video pass-through, plus high dynamic range formats such as HDR10 Plus, Hybrid Log Gamma and Dolby Vision. Compatibility with HDMI 2.1's Quick Media Switching means the receiver should "instantly switch the resolution or frame rate to eliminate screen blackout," Denon says. 

The Denon is also designed to appeal to gamers, with variable refresh rate to reduce frame tearing, and auto low-latency mode.

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Music streaming compatibility includes the company's own HEOS system, as well as AirPlay 2 and Bluetooth. The receiver can be controlled via Amazon's Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple's Siri.

We're halfway through 2020 and Denon is one of the first companies to announce new receiver models, which should help give it an edge over rivals Yamaha, Pioneer and Sony. Onkyo's TX-NR696 was our favorite receiver of 2019, but it doesn't offer compatibility with 8K, and is yet to be replaced. We've enjoyed Denon receivers in the past and look forward to hearing the AVR-S960H (and we hope a cheaper, as-yet-unannounced AVR-S760H) when it's released. 

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