Denon AVR-4311CI

The Denon AVR-4311CI is one of the higher-end receivers in its lineup. Incorporating many of the latest technologies in the industry, it was chosen as a finalist for the 2011 CEDIA awards. You will be pleased to find out that it features Audyssey MultEQ XT32, Audyssey DSX, AirPlay compatibility, DENON LINK 4th compatibility and a Pre-Amp mode.

Furthermore, this 9.2 channel receiver outputs 140W per channel, is 3D ready and can connect to your wireless home network. All these upgrades from its predecessor, the AVR-4310CI, come with absolutely no increase in price.

Denon AVR-4311CI

Denon AVR-4311CI

Design

The design of the AVR-4311CI looks like the typical Denon AV receiver with one exception – most of the buttons and terminals are now concealed behind a door, giving it a sleek and stylish feel.

On the left and right of the large display panel are the SOURCE SELECT and MASTER VOLUME knobs respectively. Below the SOURCE SELECT knob, small buttons are provided for TUNING PRESET and ZONE2 functions. Below the MASTER VOLUME knob, three QUICK SELECT buttons are available for you to choose from three saved custom settings at the push of a button.

Behind the door, buttons are furnished for quick access to the receiver’s functions. To navigate around, the cursor dials can be utilized, together with the MENU, ENTER and RETURN buttons found close by.

Connectivity

Connectivity options can be found both on the front and rear panel. At the front behind the door, there is a headphones jack, a dedicated setup mic jack, a USB port, and V.AUX INPUT connectors to link your camcorder. Alternatively, the HDMI input port can also be used.

Denon AVR-4311CI

Back Panel Connectivity Options

On the back panel, there are 6 HDMI inputs and 2 HDMI outputs. Additional ports include 1 USB, 2 digital coaxial and 2 digital optical audio inputs, 10 analog audio in, 4 composite video in and 3 component video inputs. There is also the DENON LINK connector.

To provide your receiver with Internet connection, there is the RJ-45 Ethernet connector. SIRIUS Satellite Radio can be received once the optional SiriusConnect Home Tuner is plugged into the SIRIUS connector. This unit goes on further to provide a HD Radio antenna terminal, so that HD Radio programs can be received once the HD Radio antenna is connected.

For Apple users, iPods/iPhones can be connected to the receiver via the DOCK CONTROL jack using an optional Denon dock. REMOTE CONTROL jacks are also included should you need to connect an infrared receiver to the AV receiver to maintain operation.

Key Features

The AVR-4311CI assimilates the latest HDMI 1.4a standard. With this, it is able to provide Full 3D Pass Through and support Audio Return Channel. It can also upconvert any video to 1080p with Anchor Bay Technologies VRS processing.

With the Ethernet jack, the receiver is your door to the wide array of media available online, be it music, photos, videos or the internet radio. It is also HD Radio and SIRIUS ready.

In the audio department, Audyssey technology is capitalized upon with the incorporation of MultEQ XT32, Audyssey’s latest and most accurate room correction solution with ultra high resolution filters (32x that of the MultEQ XT) to optimize your sound system. The new Audyssey DSX surround processor is also featured, expanding your soundstage further. Sub EQ HT will also help create a superior listening quality and simultaneously integrate multiple subwoofers into the system more seamlessly.

The AVR-4311CI also offers the Pre-Amp Mode. Using this mode, you can turn off the receiver’s internal amplifiers when you use external ones to save power, eliminating any excess heat or chance of ‘noise’ from the amps. AL24 Processing Plus also thoroughly reduces quantization noise with digital-to-analog conversion of LPCM signals to recreate low-level signals with ideal clarity to bring out every nuance of the music.

Last but not least, this receiver is AirPlay compatible. With AirPlay, songs from your iPod Touch, iPhone, iPad or iTunes library can be streamed over your wireless home network with the Remote app.

Setup & Performance

Setting up the AVR-4311CI is easy, with the detailed instructions found in the user manual.

Calibrating the receiver is also effortless, with the state-of-the-art Audyssey MultEQ XT32 technology. Once you plug in the supplied setup microphone and start the auto-calibration process, the speaker configurations and acoustics are automatically measured and tailored to give you an optimum surround sound experience. The Sub EQ HT processor also helps to tune subwoofers and even provide separate processing for each of the two connected subs.

With Christopher Nolan’s Inception Blu-ray release, the picture quality was nothing short of awe-inspiring. Colors were rich, full and detailed. Whether it is the exploding cafe or the snowy mountains, the scenes dazzled with impressive dimensionality and clarity. Soft textures of clothing and furniture were nicely brought out with brilliant contrasts too.

The dts-HD Master Audio soundtrack was also decoded excellently. Whenever action explodes onscreen, the thrilling aural experience will leave you wanting for more. Be it the subtle ambient rainfall or the bullets whizzing by, all sound effects was panned and directed convincingly, producing an immersive and engaging soundfield.

We were even more impressed with the sound when we heard Salvatore Accardo’s high-rez 96/24 FLAC of Vivaldi’s Le Quattro Stagioni streamed to the AVR-4311CI. Clarity and balance were exceptional coupled with crisp and natural string tones. Depth and channel separation were good as it places the orchestra accurately and realistically behind the soloist with the string sections creating an expansive soundstage.

The wonderful aural experience was also evident when we heard the SACD of “Yo-Yo Ma Plays Ennio Morricone“. The receiver fully conveyed the pure and soulful cello with the lush orchestral ambience. Aural cues from the side and back surround speakers in the excellent 5.1 recording conveyed the natural acoustics of the Forum Music Village Studio in Rome. We were thoroughly immersed in the music as Yo-Yo Ma played on in a engagingly surreal and heartrending manner.

Bottom Line

At a shade below $2000 the Denon AVR-4311CI is not exactly chump change. Although it comes with a mouthwatering set of features and cutting edge technologies, ultimately the ones who end up being satisfied with this product will be those who appreciate the refinement in sound, clarity in images and a build quality that’s a class above its competition.

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