Most consumers that simply want a higher quality audio experience to their home theater system would settle for an AV receiver that falls within the $300 to $600 price range. AV receivers that cost near $600 normally have extra networking features, more ports, more certifications and/or better video or audio quality. But some enthusiasts may not be contented with high-end consumer AV receivers. Denon certainly provides a nice range of AV receivers for 2012 but the company also needs to make sure that their CI or “Custom Integrator” models are up-to-date as well. The Denon AVR-2313CI is one of the AV receivers in this family that hopes to attract enthusiasts without pushing the price tag beyond $1,000 which is the price of several other high-end AV receivers. Understanding the features of the AVR-2313CI is still important though if you want to really find out if the $899 price tag really gives you everything that you need.
Just like other Denon AV receivers in the Custom Integrator family, you can find two knobs on the front positioned on opposite ends for source selection and master volume. The rest of the buttons and inputs on theDenon AVR-2313CI are pretty much similar to some of the cheaper models so all of the basic functions including the quick select buttons are available if you can’t find the remote control. Whenever you need to plug in an iPod or other portable device so it can receive the sound boost, you can simply plug it in the HDMI or USB port depending on what ports on the portable device are available. The USB port can also read USB flash drives making it a nice MP3 player if your HDTV or Blu-ray player lacks the functionality.
The back of the AVR-2313CI is where things get a little more interesting because there are 2 HDMI outputs along with the usual 5 HDMI inputs. The two HDMI output configuration allows the AV receiver to output videos to two displays at once. A common configuration involves connecting both an HDTV and a projector directly to the AV receiver. The 5 HDMI inputs is great if you have a couple of gaming consoles or media players that you want to connect all at once.
All 2012 Denon AV receivers in the CI series have the same features as the high-end consumer models from the GUI all the way to the audio technologies. This is good because the friendly GUI actually makes the Denon AVR-2313CI pretty easy to set up. There is a “Setup Assistant” feature that helps you get started. Because there is an Ethernet port and no Wi-Fi built in, you should also hook up an Ethernet cable that is long enough to your router so you can take advantage of the Remote App features. Once you downloaded the Remote App to your iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad or Android smartphone and connect the device to the network, you can operate any of the main controls from the app’s friendly GUI.
It also helps to set up the multi-zone features too since the Remote App can control the volume levels of these sources. The AVR-2313CI is fully customizable allowing you to assign power amps to suit your audio setup. Up to 7.2 channels are supported so you can work with this by doing things like assigning the amplifiers from the two surround channels on the back to power a 2 front height speakers. Front bi-amp operation or enhanced 2-channel stereo playback is also possible. Audyssey DSX technology can also make your existing 5.1-channel sound system more immersive. Dolby Pro Logic IIz, Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio are all onboard so the latest content coming from Blu-ray players and other sources should sound great.
Properly placing all of the components and speakers in the room is just half the battle as you need to configure each speaker so it can pump out the right level of audio quality for the type of room. But the Audyssey Pro installer package can make the process extremely easy by taking in up to 32 different positions in measuring the best sonic performance. It works with the award-winning Audyssey MultEQ XT technology for creating an ideal acoustic profile for your system. Once this process is complete, you should be able to enjoy your content no matter what the input source or volume level setting is. This is because the Audyssey Dynamic Volume and Dynamic EQ technologies work constantly to make the sound quality clear.
The Denon AVR-2313CI put your 3D display to good use as well because of the 3D pass-through technology which carries the dynamic surround sound experience to these 3D-enhanced titles. If you have any older non-HD video sources hooked up, the AVR-2313CI can easily upscale the resolution to 1080p. The Denon AVR-2313CI even has enough power to quadruple the full HD resolution if you decide to buy one of the 4K displays that should flood the markets this coming 2013.
On the networking side, AirPlay support tops the list so your modern iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch may not even need the USB port if your iTunes library is organized. Providing that the AVR-2313CI is connected to a wireless router, you can send your whole library to the AV receiver. Windows 7 computers can also do this since the AVR-2313CI is DLNA compliant. If you have online subscriptions in sites like SiriusXM or Pandora, you can connect to these services as well. The Denon AVR-2313CI can also access your Flickr account if you want to show off some pictures.
Just keep in mind that the cheaper Denon AVR-2113CI has plenty of features present in the AVR-2313CI too so you could save about $250 and still enjoy a similar experience. But you lose out on the flexibility and expandability since there are 2 HDMI outputs and some extra legacy ports. You also need to CI route if you need to use the RS-232 port or IP Control for your third-party home automation controllers because the Denon AVR-2313CI is one of the few modern Denon AV receivers that supports it.