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Denon AVR-1803

A/V receiver with Dolby Digital EX, DTS-ES, and Pro Logic II

Item # 033AVR1803

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Our take on the Denon AVR-1803

The AVR-1803 delivers spectacular 6.1-channel home theater and music thrills. Dolby® Digital EX and DTS-ES® decoding let you enjoy 6.1 sound from any Dolby Digital or DTS soundtrack. You can even transform any stereo or Dolby Surround source into convincing 6.1 audio using DTS Neo:6 modes. And 80 watts x 6 channels of Denon's acclaimed high-current amplification will surround you with sweeping, cinematic sound.

The AVR-1803 delivers spectacular 6.1-channel home theater and music thrills. Dolby® Digital EX and DTS-ES® decoding let you enjoy 6.1 sound from any Dolby Digital or DTS soundtrack. You can even transform any stereo or Dolby Surround source into convincing 6.1 audio using DTS Neo:6 modes. And 80 watts x 6 channels of Denon's acclaimed high-current amplification will surround you with sweeping, cinematic sound.

Dual-room/dual-source capability lets you thrill to 6.1-channel sound in your main listening room while a housemate enjoys a different audio source in another. You can use the preamp-level second-room outputs along with a receiver, amplifier, or shelf system for stereo sound in your second room. Or you can assign the receiver's "surround back" channel to power your second-room speakers in mono, and still enjoy 5.1-channel surround sound in your main listening room.

Controlling your entire A/V system is a breeze using the included multibrand remote — the most often-used buttons even glow in the dark for easy use when the lights are low. Cinema EQ corrects movie soundtracks for home theater-sized rooms. You get plenty of ins and outs for building a great system, too, including component video switching for 2 sources, 5 digital audio inputs, and 5 S-video inputs. The front panel even sports S-video and optical digital inputs for easy hookup of camcorders, game systems, and other portable devices.

  • 80 watts x 6 into 8 ohms (20-20,000 Hz) at 0.08% THD
  • Dolby Digital EX, DTS-ES and Dolby Pro Logic™ II decoding
  • DTS Neo:6 modes
  • Cinema EQ
  • 32-bit Analog Devices DSP
  • multibrand remote with glow keys
  • dual-room/dual-source output (powered and preamp-level outputs for second room, see details above)
  • digital inputs: 4 optical (including one front-panel), 1 coaxial
  • digital output: 1 optical
  • component video switching: 2 in, 1 out (27MHz bandwidth)
  • 3 audio (including phono) and 5 A/V (including 5 S-video and 1 front-panel) inputs
  • 5.1-channel input
  • variable low-pass crossover
  • 96kHz/24-bit D/A converters
  • high-current, low-impedance amp design
  • speaker binding posts for all channels
  • 40 AM/FM presets
  • 17-1/8"W x 6-3/4"H x 17"D
  • warranty: 2 years

What's in the Box:

  • AM/FM/Dolby Digital/DTS receiver
  • Wireless remote control (RC-916)
  • 2 "AA" batteries
  • FM wire antenna
  • AM loop antenna
  • FM antenna adapter
  • 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 No
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) 6-3/4
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 1
Audio-Video Inputs 5
Audio-only Inputs 3
Component Video Inputs 2
Component Video Monitor Outputs 1
Optical Digital Inputs 4
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 1
Main Speaker Terminals Posts
Ethernet Port ---
USB Connections None
Removable Power Cord ---

Product Research

Remote Control
Inputs and Outputs Notes


Digital Signal Processor: The AVR-1803 features a 32-bit "Melody 32" DSP processor from Analog Devices. This high-quality DSP chip gives the receiver the ability to accurately decode and reproduce the superior quality of DTS-ES Discrete 6.1, DTS-ES Matrix 6.1, DTS Neo:6, Dolby Digital EX and Dolby Pro Logic II.

24-bit, 96 kHz D/A Converters: The AVR-1803 uses highly accurate 24-bit, 96 kHz D/A converters on all six 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 Digital EX
  • Dolby Pro Logic II (Movie and Music)
  • DTS
  • DTS Discrete 6.1
  • DTS Matrix 6.1
  • DTS Neo:6 (Cinema and Music)
  • Rock Arena
  • Jazz Club
  • Video Game
  • Matrix
  • Mono Movie

5.1 Multi-Channel Input: The AVR-1803 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). 

Dual Source/Dual Zone Capability: The AVR-1803 allows you to enjoy one program source in a second room while another source is playing in the main room. The Zone 2 output is a stereo pre-amp output which can send a signal to an amplifier or a set of powered speakers located in another room. The Zone 2 pre-amp output is variable, allowing you to separately adjust the volume with the receiver's remote. In addition, this receiver has a Power Amp Assign function (controlled by a switch on the rear panel) which allows you to assign the amplifier for the Surround Back channel to either the main room or Zone 2. There are two speaker outputs on this channel allowing you to power a pair of speakers in the main room (as Surround Back speakers) or in Zone 2. Note: The two speakers connected to the Surround Back/Zone 2 terminals will be in mono, not stereo.

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-916): In addition to controlling the AVR-1803 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.

Room-to-Room Control: The receiver has a minijack input and output for Room-to-Room Remote Control. These jacks allow you to control other remote-controllable components with an optional Denon IR remote control extender system (RC-16, 17 or 18).

Inputs and Outputs Notes

Surround Back/Zone 2 Speaker Outputs: This receiver is equipped with 6 discrete amplifiers, including one for the Surround Back/Zone 2 output. There are two speaker terminals (marked "A" and "B") sharing the Surround Back/Zone 2 amplifier. This allows you to connect 2 speakers in the main zone for the Surround Back channel, or power two speakers in Zone 2. If two speakers are connected, they will be in mono and should have a minimum impedance of 12-16 ohms. Note: The Power Amp Assign switch on the back of the receiver has to be switched to either "Surround Back" or "Zone 2", depending upon the zone being used.

Speaker Connectors: The AVR-1803 is equipped with binding post connectors for all the 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.

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, composite and S-Video jacks, and an optical digital jack.

Our Product Research Team

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