Denon AVR-X2200W Review
By Mark Vignola on
Every well known receiver company has an offering around $800. I’ve always found this to be a sweet spot for a receiver–you gain a more refined piece than entry level, but at a point that doesn’t sting as much as flagship models. As we have written before, receivers in this range sound quite similar, so comparisons come down to features and usability. What sets the Denon AVR-X2200W apart and why do I now have one installed in our bedroom system? A robust platform, second to-none guided set-up and some key differentiating features make the AVR-X2200W an easy recommendation.
A Step-Forward In Set-Up
From a feature standpoint, the Denon isn’t all that distinguishable from models from Pioneer, Onkyo or Yamaha. In the spring of 2016, at this level features like Dolby Atmos, 7.2 Channels, future friendly HDMI 2.0a & HDCP 2.2 inputs, and some sort of auto room calibration system will all be quite common. You’ll get a nicer compliment of components and build than entry level models, but not the quality or heft you’d find from units north of $1000. The AVR-X2200W hits all of these highlights. Room calibration is handled by Audyssey – the Silver suite which includes MultEQ XT, Dynamic EQ and Dynamic Volume.
So how does the Denon AVR-X2200W set itself apart and why is it the easiest recommendation for me to make in this price range? Quite simply, Denon has taken a major step forward in refining the set-up process of your receiver, and in doing so has easily distinguished itself from the competition. Chris walked through the particulars of the new UI in his Denon AVR-S710W review. Suffice it to say I agree with what Chris has to say – Denon has taken what has been an archaic and challenging process and made it far more accessible to the average user. See Chris’s review for more details.
Other Important Upgrades
As with the Denon S710W, the X2200W carries forward several key features forward from the 710W, including integrated Wi-Fi, Spotify Connect and AirPlay. We’ve covered the benefits of each in our 710W review, so here I’ll focus on what some areas where the X2200W differentiates itself from lower end models.
The X2200W offers an upgraded room calibration suite. As we mentioned above, the X2200W replaces Audyssey MultEQ with MultEQ XT. This adds additional measurement points and finer filter resolution for a more effective result.
Essentially all of Chris’s nits with the Denon AVR-S710W are addressed in the X2200W. You gain two additional HDMI inputs as well as a dual output – giving better HDMI flexibility. And while I’ve never personally used the S710W, it certainly seems like input switching/HDMI locking happens quicker on the X2200W than Chris reported on the S710W. The X2200W is quick to turn on and display an image, and input switching and lag is negligible.
Also worth noting is that the X2200W is capable of IP control – a feature that the S710W lacked. If you have a remote like the Harmony Elite, which is capable of IP commands, this is an important upgrade. IP control is more reliable than traditional IR controls, and allows for a more full featured control experience. IP control is certainly firmly here to stay, and having a receiver that can integrate with these system is a nice future proofing feature.
Denon AVR-X2200W In Use
The Denon AVR-X2200W sounds good and easily drives my system of PSB Stratus Mini bookshelves and a Stratus C6i center channel. Listening to content from Blu-ray to Cable TV or Netflix – I never have any complaints with how the X2200W sounds across any of these platforms. As I write this review, I’m listening to The 1975’s recent performance on SNL, and am very happy with with the Denon in all respects.
Spotify Connect also works well on the AVR-X2200W. The Spotify App on my phone immediately finds Denon AVR-2200 as an “Available Device”. Simply click on the bottom of the app, and direct the audio to the Denon (which can be renamed to something more appropriate like “Master Bedroom”). The AVR-X2200W turns on, switches to Spotify Connect, and volume is controllable via your iPhone. A quirk of the integration: there is no way to turn-off the receiver when done, but the Denon’s Eco mode will turn itself off when no signal is being sent.
The AVR-X220W also offers Apple AirPlay that provides a nice option for streaming other content off your iPhone or computer and works flawlessly for me. I am able to easily transition from listening to the Serial Podcast from my headphones to our system when I get home from errands with AirPlay and the X2200W. Volume is still controllable from my phone or laptop, meaning I don’t need to track down the Denon remote or app to use it with AirPlay.
Is anything missing from the AVR-X2200W?
While the AVR-X2200W has dual subwoofer outputs, it is lacking the upgraded Audyssey MultiEQ XT32 with SubEQ which allows for individual level setting and delay of each sub channel (found in the $1500 Denon AVR-X4200W). If you have dual subwoofers or use speakers with powered woofers from GoldenEar or Definitive Technologies, you might look towards a more capable auto-correction suite.
Denon’s control app is functional, but not terrific. That said, no manufacturer has an control app offering as slick of refined as something what you’ll find from Sonos or others. Take a look at our review of the Harmony Elite for an option for building in a better control user experience.
Conclusions about the Denon AVR-X2200W
There is undoubtedly a lot of overlap in receivers at this price point. The Denon X2200W presents a competitive set of features that we like, especially its best in class set-up process that takes a giant step forward in making receivers more accessible. Add on Audyssey MultEQ XT, IP control, ample HDMI inputs, and a sturdy and pleasant sounding platform, and you have a nice unit that most people will be very happy with. And while the X2200W was released in June 2015, we are comfortable continuing to recommend the unit this year as we do not anticipate any additions to 2016 models – like new codecs or HDMI formats – that would render the X2200W obsolete any time soon.
Of course, individual set-ups will determine whether the particular things we’ve highlighted make the X2200W most appropriate for you – but we feel that amongst a tight field in this price range, the Denon is a worthy competitor. I know I’ve had no regrets since I added it to my system and can easily recommend it.
Fully featured, easy set-up, robust platform, with some nice upgrades over lower priced units.
More capable room correction is available, app is mediocre.
In the $800 range, the Denon AVR-2200W is a worthy entry; best in class set-up coupled with a nice feature set means that the 2200W is a truly worthy competitor in this product group.