Denon has announced several new AV receivers for 2008, ranging from $1,200 down to $300. While last year's line of AV receivers marked a huge break from previous generations--with a colorful graphical user interfaces and curvy exterior design--the 2008 line looks to mostly continue the innovations from last year. The initial announcement lacked most of the important specifics we'd like to know about these receivers, but we have a broad idea of what they will offer.
All receivers will feature Audyssey Dynamic Volume, which is a sound processing mode that aims to keep volume at a stable level while you watch, so commercials don't sound louder than shows and explosions in movies won't startle you. We haven't tested Audyssey Dynamic Volume ourselves, but we could see it being a popular feature as varying sound levels is a complaint we often hear. All the new receivers will also have Audyssey Dynamic EQ, which is designed to make softer passages sound richer. While it's always nice to have these options, we're betting audiophiles will shun both of these sound processing modes as they tend to distort audio, either stripping it of its impact or making it artificially bassy.
The six most expensive models (AVR-2809CI, AVR-2309CI, AVR-1909, AVR-989, AVR-889, and AVR-789) feature upconversion of analog signals up to 1080p, as well as onboard decoding for high-resolution audio soundtracks, such as Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio. HDMI connectivity wasn't released for all models, but Denon did specify how many inputs a few of the receivers will have: two for the AVR-589, three for the AVR-689 and AVR-789, and four for the AVR-889 and AVR-989. The AVR-2809CI will offer three-zone, three source capability, meaning you can listen to three separate audio sources in three different rooms. All other receivers feature two-zone, two source capability.
According to Electronic House, the new receivers will be available in July. The suggested retail prices of the announced models is as follows: AVR-2809CI ($1,200), AVR-2309CI ($850), AVR-1909 ($650), AVR-1709 ($450), AVR-1609 ($350), AVR-989 ($1,200), AVR-889 ($750), AVR-789 ($600), AVR-689 ($400), and AVR-589 ($300).