The room has a cathedral ceiling that is 8 feet high on one end and 15 feet at the other which means there is lot of upward area for sound to wander and consequently get lost. The Onkyo had served me well for years but there were some things that made me think about looking for something new. The first reason was technology. The Onkyo had no HDMI, Bluetooth, or Ethernet connections. It performed well using the fiber optic for surround sound but there were only two inputs so it became inconvenient as I was limited in options when I added a third device to the system. The Denon avr-x3400h has completely solved that problem. With as many as 8 inputs I now have more than enough and get good quality picture and sound on all of them.
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The second reason was sound performance. By this I am mostly referring to power. The Onkyo did well, as I said, but to give you a reference, for many years the sweet spot for volume on a scale of 0-80 when it came to movies and 5.1 tv shows was 42. As time passed this increased to 45-50 depending on the source meaning I always needed to go past 50% to listen to most entertainment. Increased use of closed captions was also necessary.
Setting up with Audyssey was a good beginning mostly to configure speaker distances but it was only the tip of the iceberg for getting the most out of the receiver. By the time I finished going through all the other sound settings (channel levels, dialog level, subwoofer level, surround parameters, input levels, and Audyssey settings) the sound was unbelievable. I still fiddle with the settings and arrangement a little and moved my subwoofer a couple of feet away from the center to create a great listening experience. Power is no longer a problem, whatsoever. On a scale of 0-98 I am usually listening in a range from the mid-teens to mid-twenties and can hear clearly. Some mornings when I feel it’s not the right time to alert my neighbors that it’s day’s break, I like to go down to have my coffee and read the paper and listen to music. I keep it quiet to keep from disturbing everyone so I changed the mode from surround to stereo which tempered it a bit but I still had to keep turning the volume down until I was at .5 (that’s decimal point 5), the lowest I could go, and still I could hear the music plainly and the sound softly reached everywhere throughout our 2 story house.
I definitely recommend this receiver for anyone considering buying it.