The best home theater receiver ever will always be up for debate. But there can be such a thing as the best price for a particular home theater receiver. Choosing the best deal in that respect is usually a matter of figuring out if you should shell out a little bit more to go for the step-up model. The Denon AVR-X2000 is a good example of a decent mid-range receiver for $699. But could you get a better bang for your buck if you add $300 and get the Denon X3000 or is it better to just go for the cheap and impressive Denon AVR-X1000 and save $200 in the process. This review will help you decide if the AVR-X2000 is the correct Denon receiver for your needs and ultimately if this is really a good buy at $699 compared to other decent home theater receivers.
The Denon AVR-X2000 is a few pounds heavier than the AVR-X1000 but the receiver still retains its 13-inch depth so it is still possible to fit this home theater receiver in areas where normal home theater receivers won’t fit. Plus, weighing at 21 pounds, the AVR-X2000 is still considerably lighter than most home theater systems available. But viewing the receiver from the front, the Denon AVR-X2000 looks identical to the AVR-X1000. The front panel features a thin row of buttons located just below the display. The controls are very basic in general but the quick select buttons can prove to be useful if you want to directly switch to a common source such as the Blu-ray player or primary game console. The source select knob is also available if you prefer to use that to switch sources.
There are not as many front panel ports as you might expect given the approaches of several other competing AV receiver models. But if you look at these ports closely, you will glad to know that almost any type of modern device should be able to connect to the front of the AVR-X2000. If you have an Apple device and like the idea of charging the device while playing music through the receiver, you can attach the device to the USB port. Other portable media devices like digital cameras and camcorders can use the front panel HDMI port instead for outputting audio and video. Since MHL is not supported, your smartphone may not be able to connect to any of the HDMI ports. On a slight upside, you can hook up any big or small device you like on the frontal HDMI port if the 6 HDMI ports on the back are all used up.
Unlike the AVR-X1000, the Denon AVR-X2000 also offers a single set of component video in ports so you still have the chance to connect another HD source. Being a 7.1-channel receiver, there are more speaker jacks available which would normally cause confusion amongst newbies that are not familiar with hooking up a 7.1-channel speaker system. Fortunately, Denon managed to make things a bit easier by adding color-coded labels.
Below is the back panel layout. Click on image to enlarge for a clearer view.
Simply adding color-coded labels to the back of the receiver isn’t Denon’s only approach to a hassle-free setup. Denon also improved the some elements of the GUI so the AVR-X2000 is even easier to use than its predecessor. The Denon Setup Assistant in particular makes use of illustrations so you know how to properly position the speakers and make the appropriate connections so you can proceed to calibrating the speakers. Speaker calibration involves hooking up the setup mic in the corresponding jack located on the front panel. Then you have to position the microphone to your most preferred listening spot so the Audyssey MultEQ XT technology can kick in and calibrate each speaker. This process ensures that the audio quality is the best as can be in that particular listening area. If you frequently experience instances where the volume unexpectedly goes up during commercial breaks, you can equalize things by turning on the Audyssey Dynamic Volume option so volume levels are more consistent across the board. If you need to turn down the volume but still need to hear the vocals from your favorite soap opera or game, the Audyssey Dynamic EQ technology can be of help.
Multi-zone capabilities are supported just like the AVR-X1000. But with a 7 channels available, you can hook up another stereo speaker system placed in another room and still have room for a solid 5.1-channel setup in your main room. It is a cool feature to use since both speaker systems can rely on a single receiver to play back 2 different audio sources simultaneously.
The networking features of the AVR-X2000 are identical to the Denon AVR-X1000 but they are still worth mentioning because the Denon AVR-X2000 is AirPlay ready. iPod Touch, iPhone and iPad users and choose any track from the device’s iTunes Library and play back high quality audio without wires. To do this successfully, you must first connect the receiver to a wireless router via Ethernet cable. Don’t fret if you don’t have an iOS device because Android users can download the free remote control app so you can control some aspects of the receiver if you cannot find the remote control. This app is also available for iOS users. Thanks to the DLNA 1.5 compliance, Windows 8 and Windows RT users can jump right in too and stream their music library to the receiver. Even if you don’t have any portable devices but have a speedy connection, you can fire up popular music services like Pandora, SiriusXM and Spotify and discover some new music.
One of the things that the AVR-X1000 lacks is video enhancements so you need to step up to the AVR-X2000 if you need to convert analog video to HDMI or upscale older sources to 4K. Regarding the 4K bit, this only applies if you have one of those highly-expensive HDTVs.
With a slim home theater receiver with networking, video upscaling, 7.1-channel and multi-zone support, Denon has successfully ticked all the major checkboxes for a solid $699 receiver. Don’t forget too that the Denon AVR-X2000 utilizes a maximum power of 185 watts per channel making this receiver a bit more powerful than the AVR-X1000.
Update: There is a newer model > Denon AVR-X2100W