The AVC-X6500H is awarded with 4.5 stars from the Trusted Reviews website.

Feb 15, 2019


The Denon AVC-X6500H might appear intimidating but as the previous section makes clear, it's incredibly flexible in terms of installation and offers a number of different configurations. However, it's also very easy to set up, thanks to an excellent wizard that takes you through the entire process step-by-step.

It's definitely worth taking the time to set up the X6500H properly - because you'll be rewarded with a superb level of performance. Unusually for an AV amplifier, the Denon sounds superb with two-channel audio, delivering a lovely sound when it comes to music. 

This is important, because the X6500 forms part of the HEOS multi-room system, thus allowing you to not only listen to music via the amp, but also to send anything connected to it back to any other HEOS speaker in the system. If you switch to multichannel music, the results are just as impressive, and the new 5.1-channel mix of Appetite for Destruction by Guns 'n' Roses sounds appropriately dynamic.

Of course, if you're investing in an amplifier such as the X6500H and are going to all the trouble of fitting speakers around the living room, then what you're really interested in is movie soundtracks. If so, you won't be disappointed. The Denon is a stellar performer in this regard, immersing you in a whirlwind of multichannel delights.

I started with the first X-Men film, which has an excellent 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. The X6500H took that soundtrack and spun it into an entirely satisfying multichannel experience, steering effects around the room with precision, and delivering some deep bass. The dialogue was always clear and focused, while the front soundstage gave the score a real sense of scale.

...When you do send the X6500H a Dolby Atmos soundtrack, it really gets a chance to shine - and an excellent mix such as Ready Player One is the perfect way to demonstrate that. This film has a highly active soundtrack, which makes full use of all the speakers, including the overheads.

A good example is the opening race, where you have sounds coming from every direction, including above. Yet within this cacophony of effects, dialogue always retained a pleasing clarity. There was also plenty of bass action, especially when King Kong makes an appearance.

The X6500H's ability to steer effects through three-dimensional space was best demonstrated in a specific scene in Sicario 2: Soldado. As Josh Brolin's character walks towards a helicopter, the sound of its rover blades is initially heard behind you, before moving along the right-hand wall and then above you - matching Brolin's movements as he boards the helicopter. Impressive stuff, and exactly the kind of effect that someone investing in a 7.2.4 system is looking for.

This amp is just as adept when it comes to DTS:X soundtracks. Watching Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, I was impressed by the dynamism of the amplifier's performance. There were some big low-end bumps as the Hogwort's Express lurches to a halt and the dementors search the train. The sound of freezing air fills the train compartment, giving the scene a palpable sense of dread.

...for most people the Denon has more than enough power.

...the X6500H delivers the best sound quality and the most features of any amp you'll find at this price, and it does so from a single box.

Verdict

This excellent 11-channel AV amplifier can immerse you in multichannel sound, delivering a dynamic and highly enjoyable surround experience. It's feature-packed, flexible in terms of configuration, and easy to set up. Thanks to some recent price drops it's also a bit of a bargain, making it a hard-to-resist single-box solution.