Denon AVR-X1100W receiver Surround Receivers

Denon AVR-X1100W Receiver Review

Hands On Review

Build Quality
Sound Quality
Final Thoughts

$500 is a great price point, and if this receiver isn't on your shopping list this Christmas, well, then you probably already have a receiver. But if you don't, then check out this one.

Overall Score 4.6 Rating
Readers Rating
311 votes

Buy the Denon AVR-X1100W

Buy It Now!

If you’re at all familiar with the AVR-X1000, then the Denon AVR-X1100W receiver will be very familiar to you. I’m just hoping you didn’t actually buy the X1000, because this one…we’ll it adds quite a bit. And it cost about the same as last year’s model. The first thing you’ll notice is that this is now a 7.2-channel receiver. Denon added two full additional amplifier channels. You know, I lied, the first thing you’ll notice might be this new gold bling. Yes, it’s got gold accents instead of silver. Somewhere in the family tree there was an affair involving a Marantz…it’s a long story.

The AVR-X1100W AV receiver also brings support for the new HDMI 2.0 format and full 4K Ultra HD pass-through. It won’t do upconversion, but it will support anything you feed into it.

Streaming the Kitchen Sink

The Denon AVR-X1100W receiver will stream everything the X1000 could, but since it also supports WiFi connectivity, you get more ways to get your music into the system. The dual antennas on the back connect to your local wireless network, and Bluetooth and AirPlay support take care of the rest. Seriously, if you can’t get any type of music you want into this receiver you’re missing something. If you have a tablet, smart phone, or connected mp3 player you’re going to be able to pull all of your music as well as tap into the embedded Spotify, SiriusXM, and Pandora services. On the front, there’s also a USB port so you can connect, charge, and stream content from your iOS devices there as well.

Video Killed the Radio Star

In terms of video, you’ve got 6 HDMI inputs—one’s on the front—and one output with Audio Return Channel (ARC). A second zone preamp output is on the back, plus you can redirect two of the amplifiers to that Zone if you want to run 5.1 or 5.2 in your main room instead of connecting Surround Back speakers. You’ve got dual subwoofer outputs, which means you can run two gut-busters without having to use a Y-cable. There are no component video inputs or outputs on this receiver. I think that’s fine since you can’t really use those anymore with HD content on Blu-ray and it just clutters up the back anyway. If you use either of those two little yellow composite video inputs I’m gonna slap you. I mean it. Stick to HDMI.

Denon AVR-X1100W connections

Custom Installation Options

While the AVR-X1100W isn’t primarily a custom install product, it does integrate with many system via IP control—that RJ45 connection on the back. There’s just no RS-232C serial connection or even a 12V trigger output, though it does have a remote control loop. That IP control is pretty cool, though. You can access and control this Denon AV receiver using a web browser or Denon’s iOS or Android Remote Apps.

Power is Your Friend

Denon AVR-X1100W internalsI know this receiver only has 80 watts per channel, but it uses high current discrete power output devices. It’s no slouch. Denon also built the AVR-X1100W to be able to drive 4-ohm loads without shutting down. Denon also made its Eco amplifier mode available on this receiver. This automatically adjusts power output based on volume level. You can even access an on-screen Eco meter so you can see the power consumption savings in real time. Let me make this perfectly clear: If you do this, you’re a dork. Kill this mode as all it does is artificially lower your amplifier power, and you want that power when it’s needed. If you want to run it at night when the kids are in bed…have at it. Other than that, turn it off.

Audyssey’s Silver suite gives you MultEQ XT room correction as well as Dynamic Volume and EQ so you get a better mix at lower volumes that sounds as balanced as it does when you listen at reference levels. MultEQ XT gives you 8 points in the room from which you can calibrate and measure.

For Your Consideration

I like a lot of what Denon includes in the AVR-X1100W to make it easier to configure and use. Denon has a saying: With great power comes great confusion…or something like that—I can’t remember how it goes. But Denon bypasses all that with an on-screen Setup Assistant. It walks you through everything and gets you up and running quickly.

Denon AVR-X1100W front

Now let me tell you something really cool about the Denon AVR-X1100W surround receiver. There are four Quick Select Function buttons on the front panel and on the remote control. Basically Denon saw Yamaha’s Scene buttons and thought “Hey, that’s a great idea—let’s steal it!” They’re like macro commands that change source, remember your volume and surround mode settings, and can generally make your system operate in the way you want very easily. They’re very convenient, and yet I don’t know a single person who uses them. It’s probably because they don’t know how. They’re incredibly difficult to store (Not!), but I’m going to help you out here. Here’s how you do it.

How to Use Quick Select Function

  1. You get everything the way you want it for a particular activity.
  2. Press and hold the Quick Select button until you see it register on the main screen of the receiver.

Yeah, that’s pretty much it. Simple right? Now onto the the listening tests….

Listening Tests

Divergent jump sceneWe did listen to some things. We played back several feature films, including Divergent, where the enveloping surround was really pronounced in the early first jump scene. Later, the atmosphere in the gaining area as well as the simulations were very pronounced and the Denon AVR-X1100W conveyed a well-balanced surround field. It felt as if you were truly in the environment with the action. Point source effects, like punches and gunfire were also clean and the RBH Sound Reference Series speakers we were using faithfully reproduced the excellent fidelity and control coming from the Denon’s amplifiers. I swapped the Denon back and forth with a legacy Denon AVR-5308CI(A) and, while there was a bit more detail and control in the lower midrange at equal playback levels, I felt as if the AVR-X1100W was accomplishing quite a bit at a much lower price point. Additional listening tests included Bourne Legacy and Wreck It Ralph, which both were as immensely enjoyable to listen to as they were to watch with this AV receiver.


The Denon AVR-X1100W is an incredibly powerful, feature-filled AV receiver. For under $500 you get to stream, send, or otherwise play back any form of audio or music you can imagine. It sounds great. It supports 4K, and it has plenty of power for all but the biggest rooms and the most power hungry speakers. It lacks some serial control options, preamp outputs and inputs, and it won’t play your LP collection without an external preamp (go ask your parents what that means). Do I recommend it? Absolutely. Even compared to last year’s model it’s a steal, and Denon has once again placed a value hog right smack in the middle of the AV receiver market that is going to be tough to beat.

Buy the Denon AVR-X1100W

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9 Comments on Denon AVR-X1100W Receiver Review

  1. Bear Paws

    I have, unfortunately, just bought one of these. To put it bluntly, it’s a P.o.S.! It sounds tinny and powerless. There is no body or depth to the sound at all. Totally uninspiring. If you want any bottom end, it’s into the tone settings and full on. This was bought to replace a fifteen year old Kenwood AVR. Mistake, the sound on the old Kenwood is much better.

    The Denon is also supposed to stream video and audio files from a NAS. Yeah, it does. But in the case of the video files, it only plays the audio!

    This was my first Denon product. It will be my last. For the price you are asked to pay for this it’s not worth anything like it. Wil be returning it, ASAP.

    • Etienne Rossy

      First no eco mode.
      Then go to input source and add some decibels to what ever input you are using.
      It’s not lack of power is your settings.
      Happen to me until I found how to match the signal of each input to the receiver, you will love it.
      I run mine with all Bowers and Wilkins 600 series, and I can bring the house down which I usually do.

  2. Lou Abate

    Hi. My bother is in the audio business and is bringing one of these over to replace a 20+ year old Yamaha 5.1 set up with an Adcom GFA also over 20. My question is can I set up the Adcom with the Denon to drive the front speakers also 20+ B & W monitors? I’ve looked at the manual online and it looks like you can use an external amp only to drive two speakers in a separate room. If this is the case I’m not sure I want to change my setup. What do you think?

  3. Gareth

    Great unit when it works, wifi works when it feels like it. I play music thru iPad, iPhone, 2 sumsung galaxy s4 phones. All have problems pairing with device sometimes and I can spend 30minutes restarting devices, switching Dennon on and off restoring settings to default on unit and devices to try get it working. This does not work. Marketed as a simple receiver with easy wifi playback. Even when it does work and you switch between devices it is painfully slow. Want to show it off to a mate: “give me 10 minutes buddy, she works when she wants to.” Embarrassing!

  4. Stan

    I got this a month back based on the glowing online reviews from various websites.
    This is the real deal if you r looking for an entry /mid level av receiver.

    One of my main criteria was wireless connectivity as my NAS with all my media files are located in another room.
    This avr can stream all my Flac, MP3, wav, basically any audio files thru wifi without skips. I can also send songs from my iPhone via AirPlay to it for added convenience. It doesn’t support video play via wifi ( you can view pics/ jpegs thou)
    I have to use my MacBook to stream my movies and play it thru VLC player.

    Sound is projected through a pair of Mordaunt short mezzo 6 floor standers. I like the clarity of the sound from these speakers.
    The slight “hardness” in the sound should mellow with more hours put thur them. I opted against having subs cause I don’t like the deep low end so I ended up with these speakers after quite an extensive audition (went thru castle, b&w, q-acoustic, wharfedale, definitive tech, tannoy)
    The kids love watching movies at home now.

    The multiple hdmi inputs is a big bonus as it takes all my inputs and channels them to my hd TV in all their hi definition glory (1080). I don’t have 4k content at the moment but it’s future proofed for that as it supports 4k pass through.

    The denon app controller is great as it allows me to switch on the avr and select any song from my NAS from anywhere in the house within the same wifi network. I can also adjust the volume, create playlists and save my songs to a favorites list for quick and easy future access.

    The zone 2 feature is something I haven’t had time to set up, but it’s good to know it will support a pair of speakers which I can place in another part of the house and play songs/ radio etc independent of zone 1.

    I think it’s a great piece of kit for this price range. No regrets.

  5. David Harper

    I’ve had this receiver for 6 months and I love it. Everything on it works perfectly. It’s powering a pair of Polk rtia5 speakers,in stereo,(I don’t like surround sound) and I’ve bi-amped the speakers using the surround back channels. It never runs out of power, no matter how loud I crank it. But what does the “step” item in the speaker menu mean? It can either be 1 or 0.1

  6. Merete

    Hi, we have had this for abt 2 years now, and have been really disappointed. it was difficult to setup, and has continued to be hard to use, definitely no plug and play. When we want to add a new device, for instance an Apple TV, we get for instance the picture but no sound. Or the opposite. Have to move around in the menu and go through setup, however the setup menu does not always show. Would appreciate if any of you have any tips.

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