We have reached a point where yearly releases of AV receivers become more difficult for manufacturers as they struggle to find new technologies and features to add to justify such a new product.
A prime example of such an issue is the receiver we will review today as in our Denon AVR-X4500H review we will be testing one of Denon's 2019 releases that they decided to stick with for the whole of 2020.
Denon announced a few models that would refresh their lineup, but it seems that they didn't decide to do that until now.
All of their higher-end models were kept for the current year, while their lower and mid-range models got some updates. Their high-end models are going to be updated next year, while their low and mid-range models will get some upgrades.
This new model looks almost identical to the previous model. There are some minor changes such as the addition of an Ethernet port, but nothing major.
Lots of connections available.
A huge list of features and streaming services.
No Dolby Atmos Height virtualization.
Audyssey Multi EQ editing app has a few charging fees.
Front legacy ports removed.
No HDMI 2.0.
The Denon AVR-x4500h is a very interesting receiver. It is a bit odd-looking, but it has many features that make it unique.
The design is quite different than other receivers, and it is not easy to set up. However, once everything is done, it looks great.
At the front face, we get a large central display with two knobs on each side. Under the left knob, there is a single power button.
Everything else is hidden behind a flap door. The buttons under the flap door are exactly the same as last year. A simple makeover seems to be taking place.
This receiver features four powerful, high-performance SHARC DSP chips running at 300 MHz. These chips provide the processing power needed for a receiver of this caliber.
All channels feature AKM AK4458 VN D/A converter chips for low distortion and a wide dynamic range. AL32 processing provides multi-channel ultra high resolution digital audio filtering.
This new Denon unit looks very similar to last year's RC-1219 model. The brushed aluminum finish still remains but now the buttons are made out of plastic instead of rubber.
The buttons are smaller than those found on the RC-1219. There is no backlight on the buttons either.
The front flip door and buttons are more convenient than the original ones. There are no legacy ports anymore. Top-quality audio components are used in the X4500H.
This receiver has Dolby Atmos and Auro-3D support, but it does not have Dolby Surround or DTS Neural:X. It has Dolby Virtual:X technology, but it does not come with any height speakers.
The X4500H is a powerful AV receiver with enough power to handle any type of surround sound system. It handles both 5.1.4 and 7.2.2 setups well.
However, if you plan to use more than 4 speakers, you might want to consider upgrading your amplifier.
Obviously, with such a premium receiver, high-resolution audio support couldn't be missing. As such the X4500h supports not only the more traditional MP3, WMA, AAC but also the loss-less FLAC, Wav, and ALAC files.
Also available with the X4500h is DSSD streaming for both 2.82 and 5.6MHz frequencies. In our testing, again, as always, we choose a few FLAC music tracks that we stream through the USB port.
The Denon sounds great! It delivers everything you expect from a high-end receiver. It has excellent bass and treble response, dynamic range, and detail. It also has an amazing ability to reproduce soundstage depth.
The AVR-X4500H was designed to be a premium-performing audio receiver and it does just that. It gives excellent sound quality and performs well in any environment. We found it to be very easy to set up and operate.
Ports And Connectivity
The Denon AVR-x4500h offers an impressive set of connections including two HDMI inputs, a USB port, a headphone output, a microphone input, and a digital optical audio out (S/PDIF) connection.
Obviously what catches the eye is a single row of speaker terminals extending from one side to the opposite side at the bottom part.
While 11 speakers terminals are provided, only nine of them can be used without an external amplifier. At the top, we get seven HDMI inputs and three HDMI outputs providing plenty of versatility when it comes to next-generation equipment.
As for the legacy inputs, let's count them up. There are three composite video inputs and two outputs, two component video inputs and one output, five analog stereo inputs and one dedicated for phono, two digital coaxial and two optical audio inputs,
eleven 2 multi-channel analog pre-outs, two multi-room analog outputs, two twelve-volt triggers, an RS- 232C port, remote controller input and output,
a Denon Link HDMI port, and lastly the standard FM/AM as well the WiFi/Bluetooth antennas. In total, that is a lot of inputs and outputs to play with.
A couple of observations to make about this device. The HDMI ports are HDMI 2.2 and while the HDMI 2.1 spec isn't present here we do get some nice features that are included in HDMI 2.1 like EARC and ALLM.
The rest is the same as before supporting HDR, Dolby Vision, HLG, and BT.2020. We do lose the front legacy ports which might be useful to some people. Everything else remains the same with this device offering plenty of connections for any type of home theater setup.
The X4500H is a great home theater solution that offers many advanced features. It supports Dolby Atmos, Dolby TrueHD, DTS:X, Auro-3D, Dolby Surround, and DTS Virtual:X upmixing technology.
It also includes Dolby Pro Logic IIz surround sound processing, Audyssey MultEQ 32 audio calibration, and a host of other features.
However, think that the lack of HDMI 2.1 is a big issue. We also think that having a large price tag could be too much for a receiver that does not include Dolby Atmos Height VR.
At the end of the day, the X4500H is an amazing receiver and if you decide to get one, you'll be blown away by its capability and performance.