Denon AVR-S960H Review and Specs

Denon AVR-S960H (USA version)

SCORE:
63

Highlights

  • 90 W (8 Ω, 20 Hz - 20 kHz, 2 channel driven)
  • Dolby Atmos, DTS:X capable
  • HDR10, HDR10+, Dynamic HDR, Dolby Vision, 8K Upscaling, 8K Passthrough
  • AirPlay 2, DLNA, HEOS
  • Ethernet, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth
  • USB and Phono inputs

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Denon AVR-S960H Overview

Denon AVR-S960H was introduced in 2020. It is equipped with 7 channel amplifier and is capable of 7.1 maximum channel processing.

We evaluated the Receiver and gave 63 overall score out of 100. Our ranking system is based on the amplifier specifications, audio and video features, connectivity, multizone capabilities, radio and many other details.

AMPLIFIER
63
VIDEO FEATURES
98
AUDIO FEATURES
51
CONNECTIVITY
54
MULTIZONE
40
MISCELLANEOUS
29
RADIO
87
OVERALL
63

Amplifier score is based on power ratings, minimum impedance load, power supply, transformer type, total harmonic distortion, damping factor, signal to noise ratio and other small details. Audio score depends on the number of channels, front wide channel support, maximum channel processing, support of audio formats, DAC specifications, room calibration algorithm... Video score is based on HDR, Dolby Vision and video signal passthrough and upscaling, analog to HDMI upconversion. Connectivity score is defined from all wired and wireless inputs and outputs, internet and bluetooth connections, HEOS, SONOS and others. Multizone score depends on the number of zones with their outputs. Radio score is evaluated form digital radio support and analog tuner with its frequency range, signal to noise ratio, harmonic distortion...

Pros and Cons

In this section we present pros and cons of Denon AVR-S960H.

PROS
Dolby Atmos πŸ‘
Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization πŸ‘
DTS:X πŸ‘
DTS Neural:X πŸ‘
DTS Virtual:X πŸ‘
DSD via USB πŸ‘
DTS Dialog Control πŸ‘
Audyssey Dynamic EQ πŸ‘
Audyssey Dynamic Volume πŸ‘
HDR10 πŸ‘
HDR10+ πŸ‘
Dynamic HDR πŸ‘
Dolby Vision πŸ‘
Auto Low Latency Mode Pass-through πŸ‘
VRR πŸ‘
QFT πŸ‘
4K or 8K Video Passthrough πŸ‘
4K or 8K Signal Upscaling πŸ‘
DLNA 1.5 πŸ‘
HEOS πŸ‘
Works with Amazon Alexa πŸ‘
Google assistant πŸ‘
Apple Siri πŸ‘
Ethernet πŸ‘
Wi-Fi πŸ‘
Bluetooth πŸ‘
eARC πŸ‘
New HDCP Version πŸ‘
USB Input πŸ‘
Phono Input πŸ‘
Composite Video Inputs πŸ‘
Component Video Inputs πŸ‘
Zones πŸ‘
Analog Tuner πŸ‘
Internet Radio πŸ‘
Pandora πŸ‘
Spotify πŸ‘
Tidal πŸ‘
Deezer πŸ‘
Napster πŸ‘
SiriusXM Internet Radio πŸ‘
New Bluetooth Version πŸ‘
CONS
No Front Wide Channel Support πŸ‘Ž
No IMAX Enhanced πŸ‘Ž
No Auro 3D with Auro-Matic Upmixer πŸ‘Ž
No DSD via HDMI πŸ‘Ž
No Audyssey LFC πŸ‘Ž
No Audyssey Sub EQ HT πŸ‘Ž
No MHL Input πŸ‘Ž
No FireConnect πŸ‘Ž
No FlareConnect πŸ‘Ž
No Chromecast Built-In πŸ‘Ž
No DTS Play-Fi πŸ‘Ž
Does Not Work with SONOS πŸ‘Ž
No Multi-Channel Input πŸ‘Ž
No Analog Pre-Outs πŸ‘Ž

Major Changes from its predecessor

Here we are comparing Denon AVR-S960H to its predecessor AVR-S950H and displaying the major changes.

UPGRADES Denon AVR-S960H Denon AVR-S950H
HDR10+ βœ” βœ–
Dynamic HDR βœ” βœ–
QMS βœ” βœ–
VRR βœ” βœ–
QFT βœ” βœ–
Video Signal Passthrough up to 8K 50/60Hz and 4K 100/120Hz 4:4:4 up to 4K 50/60Hz 4:4:4
Video Signal Upscaling βœ” up to 8K 50/60Hz and 4K 100/120Hz 4:4:4 βœ” up to 4K 24/25/30p 4:4:4
More Analog Audio Line Inputs 5 4
Newer Bluetooth Version 4.2 3.0 + EDR

DOWNGRADES Denon AVR-S960H Denon AVR-S950H
Less HDMI Inputs 6 (one 8K input) 8 (1 front)

For more detailed comparison between the models please visit Denon AVR-S960H vs Denon AVR-S950H.

Selected Features

Amplifier

Denon AVR-S960H has 7 channel amplifier and delivers 90 W (8 Ω, 20 Hz - 20 kHz, 2 channel driven) and also has a stable performance at 4 Ω load.


Video Features

The Receiver has 8K passthrough up to 60p and 8K upscaling up to 60p. It can bypass HDR10, HDR10+, Dolby Vision, Dynamic HDR.


HDR10

High-dynamic-range (HDR) video has greater dynamic range than standard-dynamic-range (SDR) video with brigter whites and deeper blacks. HDR10 was announced on August 27, 2015, by the Consumer Technology Association and uses the wide-gamut Rec. 2020 color space. It sends static metadata via video stream to the TV which calibrates its screen brightness and color according to that. HDR10 supports up to 1000 nits of brightness and 10-bit color which corresponds to 1024 shades of the primary RGB colors.


Dolby Vision and HDR10+

Dolby Vision and HDR10+ are both updates to HDR10 by adding dynamic metadata that can be used to more accurately adjust brightness levels up to 10,000 nits maximum brightness on a scene-by-scene or frame-by-frame basis and support up to 12-bit color depth (4096 shades of RGB) and 8K resolution.


Dolby Atmos and Dolby Surround upmixer

Denon AVR-S960H supports Dolby Atmos with its Dolby Surround upmixer. It can be configured upto 5.1.2 channels using internal amplifiers.

Dolby Atmos is the first cinematic audio format in which sounds exist as individual entities, called audio objects. In Dolby Atmos, any sound - the helicopter, a car screeching around a corner, a melodic bird call - can exist as an independent audio object, free of channel restrictions. They can be precisely placed and moved anywhere in your room, including overhead, to flow above and around you in three-dimensional space. Through the use of audio objects, overhead sound, and all the richness, clarity, and power of Dolby sound, Dolby Atmos turns your room into an amazing place for entertainment. You'll feel like you're inside the action, in ways you've never experienced before.

Dolby Atmos for the home represents every sound in the original cinema mix as an audio object. Extensions to the Dolby Audioβ„’ codecs, along with an advanced scalable algorithm, allow Dolby Atmos to be delivered via Blu-ray Disc and streaming media. A spatially-coded substream is added to Dolby TrueHD or Dolby Digital Plus. A Dolby Atmos audio/video receiver (AVR) adapts the cinema experience to your home theater from seven speakers to as many as 34 in 24.1.10 configuration, recreating the original artistic concept. The format supports up to 128 simultaneous independent audio objects in a mix for rich, realistic, and breathtaking sound. It recreates the director's original concept through descriptive metadata to provide customized playback for home theater and delivers sounds above you through overhead speakers, special upward-firing Dolby Atmos speakers, or a Dolby Atmos enabled sound bar.

If the content is not mixed in Dolby Atmos then the Dolby surround upmixer will expand the audio to all channels including ceiling speakers. The upmixer has replaced the Dolby Pro Logic II family with improved upmixing algorithms.


DTS:X and Neural:X upmixer

Denon AVR-S960H supports DTS:X with its Neural:X upmixer. It can be configured upto 5.1.2 channels using internal amplifiers.

A technique used in DTS:X is similar to the one used in Dolby Atmos. Instead of a fixed number of channels, DTS:X defines object locations from the listener in polar coordinates. An a/v receiver then dynamically renders sound according to the current speaker configuration. The speaker layout employed by DTS:X is the sum of Dolby Atmos and Auro-3D. It has standard 7.1 channel base layer, a 5 channel height layer above the base layer on the front and side walls, and 3 rows of speakers on the ceiling.

DTS Neural:X is a new upmixer that can take non DTS:X content and upmix it to the DTS:X speaker layout. It has replaced the DTS Neo family with improved flexibility.


Audyssey

Denon AVR-S960H comes with Audyssey Dynamic EQ and Audyssey Dynamic Volume.

Audyssey Dynamic EQ selects the best possible frequency response and surround volume levels moment-by-moment. This ensures that the bass response, tonal balance and surround impression remain constant despite changes in volume. This is the first technology that carefully combines information from incoming source levels with actual output sound levels in the room, a pre-requisite for delivering a dynamic volume solution.

Your Listening experience can be greatly diminished when there are significant shifts in volume between television programs, commercials and within the program material itself. When this happens you must constantly adjust the volume to maintain your desired listening level. Audyssey Dynamic Volume monitors the volume of program material moment-by-moment and automatically adjusts it, maintaining the desired listening level for all content while optimizing the dynamic range to preserve impact.


Room Correction

Denon AVR-S960H comes with Audyssey MultEQ room correction system and includes the calibration microphone. It also supports Audyssey App.

Audyssey is an acoustic measurement technology which automatically restores the acoustic distortion caused by the acoustic behaviour of a room with only a push on a button. Audyssey equalization provides an clear, accurate, natural sound with voices and dialog that become focused and intelligible, restoring the musical balance. Musical instruments and sound effects become precisely localized and the surround soundstage is made seamless and enveloping.


Connectivity

Denon AVR-S960H can be connected to internet using ethernet cable or built-in wi-fi adapter. It can also connect to bluetooth devices via built-in bluetooth adapter. The Receiver works with Amazon Alexa and supports AirPlay 2. It has 6 HDMI inputs with one 8K input and HDCP 2.3 copy protection. There is a phono input with built-in phono stage for connecting the cartridge output of the turntable directly to the Receiver.

Front panel has USB input.

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Detailed Specifications

Here we list all the available features and specifications of Denon AVR-S960H.

BASICS
BrandDenon
ModelAVR-S960H
TypeA/V Receiver
CountryUSA
Release Year2020
AMPLIFIER
Channels7.2
Front Wide Channel Supportβœ–
Discrete Amplificationβœ”
THXβ„’ Certificationβœ–
Continuous 6 Ω Ratedβœ”
Certified 4 Ω Performanceβœ”
Mono Block Power Amplifier Constructionβœ–
Bi-amp Capabilityβœ–
AUDIO
DACAKM
Maximum Channel Processing7.1
D.D.S.C. HD Digitalβœ–
Alpha Processingβœ–
Air Studios Monitor Certificationβœ–
Dolby Atmosβœ” up to 5.1.2
Dolby Atmos Height Virtualizationβœ”
Dolby TrueHDβœ”
Dolby Digital Plusβœ”
Dolby Surround Upmixerβœ”
Dolby Pro Logicβœ–
Dolby Digital EXβœ”
Surround EXβœ–
DTS:Xβœ” up to 5.1.2
DTS Neural:Xβœ”
DTS Virtual:Xβœ”
DTS Neoβœ–
DTS-HD Master Audioβœ”
DTS-HD High Resolution Audioβœ”
DTS 96/24βœ”
DTS Expressβœ”
DTS-ESβœ” Discrete 6.1, Matrix 6.1
IMAX Enhancedβœ–
Auro 3D with Auro-Matic Upmixerβœ–
PCMβœ” 2-ch/Multi-ch Input
Music Playback via USBMP3, WMA, MPEG-4 AAC, Apple Lossless, WAV, FLAC, DSD
High Resolution Music Playback via USB and/or Networkβœ” up to 192 kHz
High Resolution Audio Formats via USBApple Lossless, WAV, FLAC, DSD
Multi-Channel Music File Playback via USBβœ–
Gapless Playbackβœ”
DSD via HDMIβœ–
DSD via USBβœ” 2-ch Input
DSD to PCM Converterβœ–
USB DACβœ–
Jitter Reductionβœ–
DTS Dialogue Controlβœ”
Dialog Enhancementβœ–
Dialog Level Adjustmentβœ”
Dialog Normalizationβœ”
Dialogue Liftβœ–
Compressed Music Enhancerβœ”
High-resolution Music Enhancerβœ–
Audyssey Dynamic EQβœ”
Audyssey Dynamic Volumeβœ”
Audyssey LFCβœ–
Audyssey Sub EQ HTβœ–
Audyssey DSXβœ–
Direct Modeβœ”
Pure Direct Modeβœ”
Independent Dual Subwoofer Outputβœ–
CALIBRATION
Auto Speaker Calibration System with Mic.βœ” Audyssey MultEQ
Audyssey App Supportβœ”
Optimized Bass Redirectionβœ”
Bass Syncβœ–
VIDEO
Video Signal TypeNTSC/PAL
HDR10βœ”
HDR10+βœ”
Dynamic HDRβœ”
BT.2020 color spaceβœ”
Dolby Visionβœ”
Hybrid Log Gamma (HLG)βœ”
Quick Media Switching (QMS)βœ”
Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM)βœ”
Variable Refresh Rate (VRR)βœ”
Quick Frame Transport (QFT)βœ”
3-D Readyβœ”
Video Signal Passthroughup to 8K 50/60Hz and 4K 100/120Hz 4:4:4
Video Signal Upscalingβœ” up to 8K 50/60Hz and 4K 100/120Hz 4:4:4
Analog To HDMI Upconversionβœ–
Component Video Upscalingβœ–
Analog to Analog Video conversionβœ–
isf Certified Calibration Controlβœ–
CONNECTIVITY
MHL Inputβœ–
DLNA 1.5βœ”
FireConnectβœ–
FlareConnectβœ–
HEOSβœ”
Chromecast Built-Inβœ–
DTS Play-Fiβœ–
Works with Amazon Alexaβœ”
Google assistantβœ”
Apple Siriβœ”
Works with SONOSβœ–
AirPlayβœ” AirPlay 2
Apple Product Connectionβœ” iPod, iPhone and iPad
Remote Appβœ” Denon 2016 AVR Remote App for iOS and Android devices and Kindle Fire
InstaPrevue Input Source Prevueβœ–
Ethernetβœ”
Ethernet Switchβœ–
Wi-Fiβœ”
Bluetoothβœ” SBC
Bluetooth Headphone Transmissionβœ”
HDBaseT Compatibleβœ–
Enhanced Audio Return Channel (eARC)βœ”
HDCP Version2.3
HDMI Inputs6 (one 8K input)
HDMI Outputs2 x 8K (simultaneous)
USB Input1 Front for USB memory
USB DC Out Portβœ–
Analog Audio Line Inputs5
Analog Audio Line Outputsβœ–
Phono Inputβœ”
Optical Inputs2
Optical Outputsβœ–
Coaxial Inputs/Outputs1 / βœ–
Composite Video Inputs2
Composite Video Outputs1
S-Video Inputsβœ–
S-Video Outputsβœ–
Component Video Inputs2
Component Video Outputs1
PC Inβœ–
Multi-Channel Inputβœ–
Analog Pre-Outs0.2
XLR Inputsβœ–
XLR Pre-outsβœ–
Front A/V InputsUSB
Speaker A/Bβœ–
Headphone Outβœ” 6.3 mm
ZONES
Zones2
Powered Zonesβœ” 2
Zone 2 Outsβœ–
RS-232 Interfaceβœ–
+12V Trigger Outputβœ–
Remote (IR) Input/Output0 / 0
MISC
On-Screen Displayβœ” Advanced Graphic User Interface
GUI Languages3
Web Controlβœ”
IP Controlβœ”
Control4 SDDPβœ–
FL Displayβœ” 1 line
Remote ControllerRC-1239
Pre-programmed / Learnable / LCD DisplayNo / No / No
Detachable Power Cordβœ–
Denon Link HDβœ–
Setup Assistantβœ”
Quick Select plus / Quick Selectβœ” / No
RADIO
Analog Tunerβœ” FM/AM
Digital Radioβœ–
Internet Radioβœ” TuneIn
Pandoraβœ”
Spotifyβœ”
Tidalβœ”
Deezerβœ”
Napsterβœ”
SiriusXM Internet Radioβœ”
CONSTRUCTION
Front PanelNot Metal
Speaker Terminals7
Large Speaker Terminals7
Color-Coded Speaker Terminalsβœ”
Transparent High-Grade Speaker Terminalsβœ–
High Grade Audio Componentsβœ–
Gold plated RCA terminalsβœ–
POWER
Power SupplyAC 120 V, 60 Hz
Power Consumption460 W
No Sound PowerECO On/Off: 35 W/75 W
Standby Power0.1 W
GENERAL
ECO Mode / Hybrid Standby Functionβœ”
Auto Power offβœ”
Dimensions (W x H x D)434 mm x 167 mm x 341 mm (with antenna: 434 mm x 237 mm x 341 mm)
17 1/8" x 6 5/8" x 13 1/2" (with antenna: 17 1/8" x 9 3/8" x 13 1/2")
Dimensions of Package (W x H x D)520 mm x 243 mm x 429 mm
20.5" x 9.6" x 16.9"
Weight9.5 kg (20 lbs 15 oz)
Weight of Package11.5 kg (25.4 lbs)
Warranty3 Years
SPECS
Power Output (8 Ω, 20 Hz - 20 kHz, 2 channel driven, FTC)90 W (0.08% THD)
Power Output (6 Ω, 1 kHz, 2 channel driven, FTC)125 W (0.7% THD)
Maximum Effective Power Output (6 Ω, 1 kHz, 1 channel driven, JEITA or IEC)185 W (10% THD)
Rated Power Output (6 Ω, 1 kHz, 1 channel driven, IEC)145 W (1% THD)
Phono Distortion0.03% (1 kHz, 3 V)
Input Sensitivity and Impedance (Line)200 mV/47 kΩ
Input Sensitivity and Impedance (Phono MM)2.5 mV
S/N Ratio (Line, IHF-A)100 dB
S/N Ratio (Phono MM, IHF-A)74 dB
Phono RIAA DeviationΒ±1 dB (20-20 kHz)
Frequency Response (Analog In)+1/-3 dB (10 Hz to 100 kHz, Direct mode)
DSD Sampling Rates via USB5.6 MHz, 2.8 MHz
Video Input Sensitivity/Output Level and Impedance 1 Vp-p/75 Ω (Component Y)
0.7 Vp-p/75 Ω (Component PB/CB, PR/CR)
1 Vp-p/75 Ω (Composite)
Video Frequency Response5 Hz to 10 MHz, 0 dB/-3 dB (Composite)
5 Hz to 60 MHz, 0 dB/-3 dB (Component)
Ethernet Standard100BASE-TX
Wi-Fi StandardIEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n
Wi-Fi Terminal Frequency5 GHz, 2.4 GHz
Bluetooth Version4.2
Bluetooth Frequency2.4 GHz
USB TerminalUSB2.0 5V, 1 A
FM Frequency87.5 MHz - 107.9 MHz
FM 50 dB Quiet Sensitivity (IHF, 1 kHz, 100% MOD.)Mono: 2.8 Β΅V (20.2 dBf)
FM Effective Sensitivity1.2 Β΅V (12.8 dBf)
FM S/N RatioMono/Stereo: 70 dB/67 dB
FM Harmonic Distortion (IHF, 1 kHz)Mono/Stereo: 0.7%/1.0%
AM Frequency520 kHz - 1710 kHz
AM Effective Sensitivity18 Β΅V

* - 480i/576i and 480p/576p only
** - 480i/576i only
*** - no 1080p/24 upconversion
**** - 1080p signal is not converted

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