Denon AVC-X8500H Home Cinema Amplifier Test

Denon AVC -X8500H

The home theater amplifier with 13.2 channels is a truly stunning model thanks to its 13 power levels. In terms of design, it offers a modern and attractive sight. Weighing in at 23.3 kg, the rectangular, extremely solid, stable housing, the solid side and roof walls, and the thick base leave no doubt that the material was not left out during the manufacture of the amplifier. The hinged lid on the aluminium front is also made of strong, durable material. There are 2 large dials on the front panel. The back panel is lined with gold-plated, ergonomically arranged connectors. We discovered 30 sprinkler cable sockets! The Denon AVC-X8500H has 8 HDMI inputs and 3 HDMI outputs. The remote control has a backlight, which is an extremely useful feature when used in a dark movie room.

Denon AVC remote control

A sleep timer button has also been placed on the remote control. The remote control reacts to movement. As a matter of fact it is hypersensitive, perhaps a little too much, because it has been activated at even greater distances when it sensed motion. The letters are so small that some users will probably need glasses or even a magnifying glass to read the captions under the buttons.

Top model – with super power

Denon AVC X8500H back panel

HDCPP2.2. and 4K Ultra HD 60 Hz video is also supported by the amplifier, which is also capable of handling the HEOS Multiroom system, moreover, supports Amazon Alexa, Auro 3D and Dolby Vision formats, as well as High Dynamic Range (HDR) video formats. An eARC update is also available. Instead of a toroidal transformer, an iron core transformer weighing more than 8 kg, perhaps slightly oversized, takes up space inside the device. Around it are aluminium ribs alloyed with a thin copper plate, and the amplifier modules are attached to them. Fans are responsible for the cooling of the device. The maximum power consumption is 900 Watts. It has a power of 140 watts per channel. Driving 13 channels requires serious force.

Denon AVC-X8500H inside

And that’s not all!

A DSP sound processing system and 2 high-performance SHARC DSP Griffin Lite dual core processors are also part of the device. The Phono MM, 12 V trigger, IR, RS232 inputs were not forgotten either. You can also listen to Internet radio on it, and stream your favourite music or videos from various services using your iPhone, iPad, Mac, or Apple TV. (Apple Music, Spotify, Tidal, Deezer, Youtube, Netflix…, etc.) Thanks to Apple AirPlay, you can also access wireless audio content with iOs, iPhones, iPads. Of course, the amplifier is also equipped with Bluetooth and Wi-fi connectivity.

Room acoustic optimisation system

Audyssey room equalizer

The Audyssey MultiEQ system uses the included measuring microphone to assess speakers output at 8 measuring points. Audyssey MultiEQ Editor can also be downloaded for mobile devices, although it is not free. No matter how useful a room acoustic optimisation system is, don’t just rely on it when you want to correct room acoustics flaws.

Audyssey MultiEq system
AVR or AVC? What is the difference?

Many may be surprised by the name AVC next to the name of the amplifier instead of the usual AVR. This is not a misspelling, not a mistake. AVR stands for AV Receiver, an audio device with a built-in FM tuner. An AVC is an AV amplifier that has a radio input but no FM tuner. (The US version of the Denon AVC-X8500H amplifier is called AVR because it has an FM tuner model in America.)

Denon AVC-X8500H audio test

Our company was invited to a newly built family house in the 1st district of Budapest, where we tested the newest member of the home cinema system, the Denon AVC-X8500H amplifier. The room’s acoustics was not yet perfect, it is still necessary to place acoustic panels on the ceilings in order to achieve flawless surround sound.

Assassin's Creed movie poster

We started the screening with the action movie Assassin’s Creed based on the popular video game. Michael Fassbender plays the title character, who escapes execution and embarks on a mission. Denon performed fantastically. We got detailed, airy and spatial tones, the sounds of the fight scenes seemed so lifelike that we almost became on site spectators of the scenes. We witnessed a real surround experience.

Horror movie was our next test subject. The creepy clown reappeared in Part 2 of “It” and continued to scare the poor protagonists. Under the influence of real, natural sounds, scary effects, our hearts were beating hard all the way during the creepy scenes. After the bloodcurdling movie, we felt it wouldn’t hurt to relax a bit, so we switched to the rhythms of Dirty Dancing. The music and dialogues were well audible and distinguished, all frequency ranges sounded beautiful and clear. Denon also excelled in music. We were surrounded by gently flowing and captivating music.

Home theatre amplifiers are not just bought for watching movies, music is also important for fans. For this reason we listened to a few songs from George Michael’s album: Ladies and Gentlemen. Intense basses, beautiful and spotless high and mid ranges, we could hear perfect stereo sound, natural and balanced rhythms. Grammy Award-winning, jazz singer and actor Michael Bublé’s hugely successful song, It’s a Beautiful Day, was our final test subject. Stunning music, fantastic vocals characterised the Canadian-Italian singer’s music performance. Denon faithfully reproduced it all, paired with high-quality speakers, of course.

Do we recommend the Denon 13.2 channel amplifier?

We were captivated, enchanted, impressed by this tool! You can expect a detailed, spacious, airy, lifelike and natural, clear sound if you opt for this amplifier.


-real surround sound,

-detailed sound,

-solid device housing,

-muscular performance,

-room acoustic optimisation system,

-13 output stages,

-can fill the space even in larger rooms.


-could the sound be more dynamic and accurate,

-the device is a little overweight,

-the letters on the remote control are too small and the remote is too sensitive to movement

-we missed the “hair-tearing” depths a bit.


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