Denon AVR-2311CI

The Denon AVR-2311CI is a mid-level home theater receiver replacing the capable AVR-2310CI with a marginal price increase of $50. It comes equipped with the latest Audyssey, Dolby, DTS and 3D technologies providing improved surround sound and promises a more immersive viewing experience in your home cinema.

Denon AVR-2311CI

Denon AVR-2311CI

Design

The AVR-2311CI’s design and layout is typical of most Denon AV receivers, so existing Denon users should be able to locate their required buttons easily.

Immediately noticeable on the sleek black dashboard is the large display panel, which presents you with information regarding the unit’s operation. Respectively on the left and right of the display are the SOURCE SELECT and the MASTER VOLUME control knobs. Below the SOURCE SELECT knob, two smaller buttons, ZONE2 and TUNING PRESET, can also be found.

Several buttons and jacks are also spread out over the front panel to give you quick access to the receiver’s functions. Next to the power button, three QUICK SELECT buttons are available for you to choose from three preset custom settings. Cursor dials are also provided just below the display, with the MENU, ENTER and RETURN buttons close by, for your ease of navigation.

Connectivity

The AVR-2311CI has plenty of connectivity options on both the front and rear panel. The front panel is neatly laid out with connections for headphones, setup mic, V.AUX for camcorders and a USB port for iPods/iPhones. You can listen to your iPod by simply connecting it to the USD port using the cable that came with the iPod.

Back Panel Connectivity Options

Back Panel Connectivity Options

At the rear panel, there are more than ample options for all your components. You get 6 HDMI inputs and one HDMI out.  Also available are 2 component video inputs, 4 composite video in, 2 digital optical and 2 digital coaxial audio inputs.

In addition there is a DOCK CONTROL jack for an iPod/iPhone dock (sold separately). REMOTE CONTROL jacks are included too for you to connect an infrared receiver, so that you can tuck the receiver out of sight and still maintain operation.

Key Features

The latest HDMI 1.4a standard is incorporated, which means that this receiver will provide Full 3D Pass Through and support Audio Return Channel. Handling inputs is Anchor Bay’s fourth generation video engine, the ABT-2015 video processor/scaler, which up-converts and deinterlaces every one of the signals to a 1080p resolution.

In the audio department, the AVR-2311CI is able to decode all the latest codecs, such as Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby Pro Logic IIz, dts 96/24 and dts Neo:6 surround. It also comes with Audyssey Dynamic Volume and MultEQ to minimize large variations in volume levels and enhance audio quality.

There is also the HD Radio for receiving digital AM and FM radio stations.

Last but not least, Denon uses GLO-KEY technology for its remote controls. With glow-in-the-dark keys, you need not fumble in the dark while searching for your intended button.

Actual user review:
“From the initial Power-Up to now the receiver has worked flawlessly. It replaced a Denon AVR-3806 because it has 3D capabilities and many more HDMI inputs available. We recently got a Panasonic VT25 HDTV set which has these features so we needed a *newer* Receiver. I was going to order the Pioneer VSX-32 but saw too many problems (power-down probs) on the Oppo-93 Forum. One thing the Denon has (which works very well, I might add) is the HD radio tuner. We’re in the Washington, D.C. area and can receive many of them. Very nice and at no extra cost. All-in-all, a very good purchase.” – Joe (DC, USA)

Setup & Performance

Setting up the AVR-2311CI was a breeze with the clear step-by-step instructions given in the user manual.

Calibration of the receiver is also effortless with the Audyssey MultEQ. Once the setup mic is plugged in and the auto-calibration routine is started, it will automatically help you get the job done. Furthermore, there is the Auto Setup/Room EQ Adjust feature, which confirms speaker phases, assesses speaker sizes, measures speaker-to-listener distances and balances speaker levels to give you an optimized system performance for your room.

Orchestre de Paris’ recording of Bizet’s Symphony in C was used to sample the audio quality of the AVR-2311CI. It is reasonable to say that it is one of the best in its price range. The fine oboe playing sounded light and airy with beautiful textures. Channel separation was commendable, and the orchestra felt like it was virtually around you. The richness and fullness of the orchestral sounds were conveyed well too. All in all, there was an impressively natural stage ambience and depth.

The picture quality was equally impressive. In Michael Bay’s Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen Blu-ray, the color of the visuals created were detailed, rich and deep. The transformations of the Autobots and Decepticons from seemingly harmless vehicles into their fully weaponized forms was smooth, clear and blur-free.

The AVR-2311CI’s decoding of the Dolby Digital 5.1 was flawless, with the amp producing impressive dynamic, attacking sounds. The sound effects of the Transformers transforming and the explosive battle sequences were delivered with much vigor. Steering and positioning between channels was accurate and engaging.

Bottom Line

The Denon AVR-2311CI is an excellent AV receiver ideal for a full scale home theater setup in a mid-sized room. With the latest technologies such as 3D capability, Audyssey’s Dynamic Volume and MultEQ, Dolby’s Pro Logic IIz, and the HD Radio function, you get a future proofed receiver in a neat package for under a grand.

Average User Rating:
More user reviews:

AVR-2311CI was replacement for my 10 year old Kenwood AVR. I compared this unit to Onkyo 708 and Pioneer 1120 and all of them would be a good choice and less expensive, but what really decided for me was the music output on Denon’s was excellent. Also, it offered 3 year warranty and Pioneer offers only 1 year.

Since my HDMI input on 5 yr. old Samsung has gone kaput, I can’t truly make a fair evaluation of its highly acclaimed video processor but with component hook up it does a very admirable job. GUI works even with component hookup, which is not possible with Onkyo, must use HDMI out to TV and I think its true of all other brand names.

The HD radio sounds so much better than normal FM radio without even hooking up to outside antennae. Playing CD on my Sony Changer using digital toslink cable makes it sound amazingly better than ever before.

Setup was slightly difficult because of my TV’s HDMI problem and it’s a complex product and requires reading manual unless you are very tech savvy or Denon user. Denon’s CS was very good in helping me out!” – A.H. Lookmanjee (TX, USA)

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