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Denon AVR-1603

Home theater receiver with Dolby® Digital, DTS, Pro Logic II

Item # 033AVR1603

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Our take on the Denon AVR-1603

The AVR-1603 combines brilliant Denon sound, truly versatile connectivity, and all the surround processing you need for outstanding 5.1 home theater — Dolby® Digital, DTS®, and Pro Logic™ II. Cinema EQ optimizes movie soundtracks for home theater-sized rooms. And you'll always be treated to clear, dynamic sound thanks to 80 full-bandwidth-rated watts x 5 channels of high-current amplification.

The AVR-1603 combines brilliant Denon sound, truly versatile connectivity, and all the surround processing you need for outstanding 5.1 home theater — Dolby® Digital, DTS®, and Pro Logic™ II. Cinema EQ optimizes movie soundtracks for home theater-sized rooms. And you'll always be treated to clear, dynamic sound thanks to 80 full-bandwidth-rated watts x 5 channels of high-current amplification.

A generous supply of inputs and outputs — including component video switching for two sources and four digital inputs — lets you build a killer system. 5-channel stereo mode lets you hear your favorite CDs through all your home theater speakers. 40 AM/FM presets give you easy access to all your favorite radio stations. And thanks to the easy-to-use multibrand remote, controlling your A/V system is a cinch!

  • Dolby Digital, DTS, and Pro Logic II decoding
  • 80 watts x 5 into 8 ohms (20-20,000 Hz) at 0.08% THD
  • DSP modes: 5-channel stereo, Virtual Surround, Jazz Club, Rock Arena, Video Game, Matrix, Mono Movie
  • component video switching (2 in, 1 out, 27MHz bandwidth)
  • digital inputs: 3 optical (including one front-panel), 1 coaxial
  • digital output: 1 optical
  • 5.1-channel input
  • 3 audio, 4 A/V (including 1 front-panel and 3 S-video) inputs
  • no phono input
  • subwoofer output
  • multibrand A/V remote
  • banana plug-compatible speaker binding posts for all main-room speakers
  • 96kHz/24-bit D/A converters
  • high-current, low-impedance amp design
  • 40 AM/FM presets
  • 17-1/8"W x 5-13/16"H x 17"D
  • warranty: 2 years

What's in the Box:

  • AM/FM/Dolby Digital/DTS receiver
  • Wireless remote control (RC-920)
  • 2 "AA" batteries
  • FM wire antenna
  • AM loop antenna
  • Operating Instructions (English/French)
  • "Denon Service Network" sheet
  • Warranty sheet and Warranty Registration card (in envelope attached to box)

Hands-on research

Features and Specs

Number Of Channels N/A
Stereo RMS Power (watts) ---
THD in Stereo ---
Frequency Bandwidth (stereo) ---
Minimum Impedance L/R 6 ohms
Minimum Impedance Center 6 ohms
Minimum Impedance Surround 6 ohms
General Features
Internet-ready ---
Bluetooth-compatible ---
Apple AirPlay ---
App Remote Control No
USB port for iPod/iPhone No
FM Sensitivity 11.2 dBf
HD Radio Tuner No
On-Screen Display No
Auto Speaker Calibration ---
HDCP 2.2 for 4K Video No
HDR-compatible No
HDMI Standby Pass-through ---
Composite Video Conversion ---
Component Video Conversion ---
HDMI to HDMI Upconversion ---
DLNA Certified
MHL-compatible ---
Multibrand Remote Control ---
Learning Remote No
LCD Remote
Width (inches) 17-1/8
Height (inches) 5-13/16
Depth (inches) 17
Weight (pounds) ---
Parts Warranty 2 years
Labor Warranty 2 years
Multi-room Audio--Video
Powered Multi-room Audio Output No
Preamp Multi-room Audio Output No
Multi-room Video No
Multi-room HDMI Output No
Surround Processing
Dolby Digital Yes
Dolby Atmos N/A
Inputs & Outputs
Phono Input No
Audio-Video Inputs 4
Audio-only Inputs 3
Component Video Inputs 2
Component Video Monitor Outputs 1
Optical Digital Inputs 3
Coaxial Digital Inputs 1
Optical Digital Outputs 1
Coaxial Digital Outputs None
HDMI Inputs ---
HDMI Monitor Outputs ---
Subwoofer Outputs 1
Multi-Channel Analog Input No
Multi-channel Preamp Output No
Main Speaker Output Pairs 2
Main Speaker Terminals Posts A/Clips B
Ethernet Port ---
USB Connections None
Removable Power Cord ---

Product Research

Remote Control
Inputs and Outputs Notes


Digital Signal Processor: The AVR-1603 features a 32-bit "Melody 32" DSP processor from Analog Devices. This high-quality DSP chip gives the receiver the ability to accurately decode Dolby Digital, DTS and Dolby Pro Logic II.

24-bit, 96 kHz D/A Converters: The AVR-1603 uses highly accurate 24-bit, 96 kHz D/A converters on all channels to handle digital-to-analog conversion, giving you superior sound quality.

Surround Modes: This receiver incorporates a wide variety of surround modes to bring you maximum enjoyment from your audio and video software. The surround modes include:

  • Dolby Digital
  • Dolby Pro Logic II (Movie and Music)
  • DTS
  • Rock Arena
  • Jazz Club
  • Video Game
  • Matrix
  • Virtual
  • Mono Movie

5.1 Multi-Channel Input: The AVR-1603 is equipped with a 5.1-channel input to accommodate outboard decoders. It has a wide bandwidth of up to 100kHz to accommodate high-resolution audio sources such as DVD-Audio and SACD.

Personal Memory Plus: The Personal Memory Plus function automatically memorizes the surround mode, channel volume, surround parameters, and other settings for each of the separate input sources.

Cinema Equalizer: The Cinema EQ function gently decreases the level of the extreme high frequencies, compensating for overly-bright sounding motion picture soundtracks. Select this function if the sound from the front speakers is too bright. This function only works in the Dolby Pro Logic, Dolby Digital, and DTS surround modes.

Dynamic Range Compression: Motion picture soundtracks have tremendous dynamic range (the contrast between very soft and very loud sounds). For listening late at night, or whenever the maximum sound level is lower than usual, the Dynamic Range Compression allows you to hear all of the sounds in the soundtrack (but with reduced dynamic range). This only works when playing program sources recorded in Dolby Digital. You can select one of the four settings: "Off", "Low", "Mid" (middle), or "Hi" (high). 

Subwoofer Crossover: The cutoff frequency of the subwoofer preamp output is selectable between 80, 100, or 120Hz.

Component Video Switching: This receiver has two sets of component video inputs and one component video "monitor" output with a bandwidth of 27MHz.

Last Function Memory: This unit is equipped with a last function memory, which stores the input and output setting conditions as they were immediately before the power was switched off. 

Back-Up Memory: The unit is also equipped with a back-up memory. This function provides approximately one week of memory storage when the main unit's power switch is off and with the power cord disconnected.

Remote Control

Multibrand Remote (RC-920): In addition to controlling the AVR-1603 and other Denon A/V components, the supplied remote is pre-programmed to control many brands of A/V components, including DVD players, Video Disc players, VCRs, CDs, CD Recorders, Tape decks, Minidisc Recorders, Cable Boxes, DBS (Satellite) receivers, and TVs.

Inputs and Outputs Notes

Front Speaker Outputs: The AVR-1603 offers Front "A" and "B" speaker outputs, allowing you to connect a second pair of speakers for another room. Because the "A" and "B" speaker outputs are wired in parallel, the minimum impedance is 6 ohms when using "A" or "B" and 12 ohms when using "A" and "B" speakers together. 

Speaker Connectors: This receiver is equipped with binding post connectors for the front left, front right, center, surround left and surround right speakers. They are not 5-way binding posts because a plastic collar prevents their use with spade lugs and they are positioned too far apart to be used with dual banana plugs. The left and right "B" speaker outputs are spring clips which can accept bare wire and pin connectors.

Front Panel Inputs: The receiver has a set of A/V inputs on the front panel behind a removable cover. It includes stereo audio RCA jacks, a composite video jack, and an optical digital jack.

Our Product Research Team

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