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Denon AVR-391

Home theater receiver with 3D-ready HDMI switching

25 Reviews

Item # 033AVR391

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Overview

Our take on the Denon AVR-391

Denon celebrates their 100th anniversary by offering home theater fans their most affordable A/V receiver ever. The versatile AVR-391 is a strong anchor for your system. With amplification for five speakers, it can unleash the explosive impact of action films, while revealing the dialogue nuances of your favorite actors.

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Denon celebrates their 100th anniversary by offering home theater fans their most affordable A/V receiver ever. The versatile AVR-391 is a strong anchor for your system. With amplification for five speakers, it can unleash the explosive impact of action films, while revealing the dialogue nuances of your favorite actors.

The AVR-391 is definitely ready for high-definition home theater. It can decode the latest surround sound formats found on many Blu-ray discs, and has the latest HDMI connections, capable of passing 3D video signals from a 3D Blu-ray player to a 3D TV. Connect up to four high-definition sources for convenient switching, like a gaming console, HD cable or satellite box, and an HD video camera. The receiver's HDMI switching capability means you can enjoy fantastic picture and sound with multiple sources, and you only need to run a single HDMI cable between the receiver and TV. Easy to hook up, easy to use.

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I upgraded from a Samsung home stereo system. The Denon is excellent, and has great sound for the money. It has all the basic functions you'd expect.

Kris, San Francisco,CA

What's in the Box:

  • Black A/V Surround Sound Receiver
  • RC-1149 Wireless remote control
  • 2 "AAA" batteries
  • AM loop antenna
  • FM wire antenna
  • Owner's Manual (English/ French/ Spanish/ Portuguese)
  • Warranty information
  • Denon service network sheet

Power and Processing:

  • 75 watts x 5 into 8 ohms (20-20,000 Hz) at 0.08% THD
  • Dolby® TrueHD, DTS-HD™ Master Audio, Dolby® Digital Plus, DTS-HD™ High Resolution Audio, Dolby® Digital EX, and DTS-ES™
  • Compressed Audio Restorer for better sound with compressed music sources like MP3 files
  • high-current, low-impedance amp design
  • 192kHz/24-bit digital-to-analog converters for all channels
Digital Music Options:
Connections:
  • 1080p-compatible HDMI digital audio/video switching (4 in, 1 out)
  • separate composite video switching for analog sources
  • HDMI version 1.4a with support for Deep Color, and x.v.Color, no Audio Return Channel
  • digital audio inputs: 1 optical, 1 coaxial
  • 2 audio/video inputs with composite video
  • 3.5mm front panel input for quick and easy connection to your portable audio device
  • 1 pair of main speaker outputs
  • no phono input
General Features:
Reviews

Denon AVR-391 Reviews

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Hands-on research

Features and Specs

Amplification
Number Of Channels 5
Stereo RMS Power (watts) 75
THD in Stereo 0.08 %
Frequency Bandwidth (stereo) 20-20k Hz
Minimum Impedance L/R 6.0 ohms
Minimum Impedance Center 6 ohms
Minimum Impedance Surround 6 ohms
General Features
Internet-ready No
Bluetooth-compatible ---
Apple AirPlay No
App Remote Control No
USB port for iPod/iPhone No
FM Sensitivity 12.8 dBf
HD Radio Tuner No
On-Screen Display No
Auto Speaker Calibration No
HDCP 2.2 for 4K Video No
HDR-compatible No
HDMI Standby Pass-through No
Composite Video Conversion No
Component Video Conversion No
HDMI to HDMI Upconversion No
DLNA Certified
MHL-compatible ---
Multibrand Remote Control No
Learning Remote No
LCD Remote
Width (inches) 17-1/8
Height (inches) 6-5/8
Depth (inches) 15-1/8
Weight (pounds) 20.3
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 DD, EX, TrueHD, DD+
Dolby Atmos N/A
DTS DTS, ES, HD, HDMA, Neo6
DTS:X No
Inputs & Outputs
Phono Input No
Audio-Video Inputs 5
Audio-only Inputs 2
Component Video Inputs None
Component Video Monitor Outputs None
Optical Digital Inputs 1
Coaxial Digital Inputs 1
Optical Digital Outputs None
Coaxial Digital Outputs None
HDMI Inputs 4
HDMI Monitor Outputs 1
Subwoofer Outputs 1
Multi-Channel Analog Input No
Multi-channel Preamp Output No
Main Speaker Output Pairs 1
Main Speaker Terminals Posts
Ethernet Port None
USB Connections None
Removable Power Cord No

Product Research

Audio Features
Video Features
iPod

Audio Features

5-Channel Amplifier: The Denon AVR-391 features a 5-channel, equal power, discrete amplifier; each channel is rated at 75 watts RMS. Stereo preamp outputs for the surround back channels allow you to add an amplifier to take advantage of 6.1 and 7.1 channel formats.

Minimum Signal Path Design: The simple & straight design concept has been thoroughly implemented in the signal paths to contribute to clean audio and video playback. Signal paths are as short as possible to keep signal degradation in the audio and video circuitry to a minimum.

Direct Mechanical Ground Construction: Vibration-resistant construction has been used to suppress the adverse influences of vibration on sound quality. The power transformers, a source of vibration, have been securely mounted on the high rigid bottom chassis. Direct mounting of the feet to the radiator in near proximity to each other serves to suppress mutual vibration with the power transformers and other sources of vibration.

Surround Modes: This receiver incorporates a wide variety of surround modes to bring you maximum enjoyment from your audio and video software. The unit can be set to store the most recently selected surround mode for each input, so it is automatically activated each time the particular input is chosen. The surround modes include:

  • Dolby Digital: Dolby Digital is a 5.1 multi-channel digital surround format.
  • Dolby Digital EX: Dolby Digital EX is a 6.1 multi-channel digital surround format.
  • Dolby Digital Plus: Dolby Digital Plus was developed as an extension of Dolby Digital; the coding technology supports 7.1 discrete channels and has a higher bit rate.
  • Dolby TrueHD: Dolby TrueHD is a lossless coding technology that supports up to 8 channels of multi-channel surround sound for the next generation optical discs. The reproduced sound is true to the original source bit-for-bit.
  • DTS Digital Surround: DTS Digital Surround is a 5.1 multi-channel digital surround sound format used for both commercial/theatrical and consumer grade applications.
  • DTS-HD High Resolution: DTS-HD High Resolution Audio is an improved version of the conventional DTS, DTS-ES and DTS 96/24 signal formats that is compatible with sampling frequencies of 48 or 96 kHz and up to 7.1-channels of discrete digital sound. High data bit rate performance provides high quality sound.
  • DTS-HD Master Audio: DTS-HD Master Audio is a lossless audio format compatible with up to 96 kHz and up to 7.1-channels. The lossless audio coding technology faithfully reproduces the sound of the studio master.
  • DTS-ES Extended Surround: DTS-ES features two 6.1 multi-channel formats:
    • DTS-ES Discrete 6.1: DTS-ES Discrete 6.1-channel is a 6.1-channel discrete digital audio format adding a surround back channel to the DTS digital surround sound.
    • DTS-ES Matrix 6.1: DTS-ES Matrix 6.1-channel is a discrete 5.1 channel digital audio format inserting a surround back channel to the DTS surround sound through matrix encoding.
  • DTS Express: DTS Express is an audio format supporting low bit rates (maximum 5.1-channels, 24 to 256 kbps)
  • DTS 96/24: DTS 96/24 is a digital audio format enabling high sound quality playback in 5.1-channels with a sampling frequency of 96 kHz and 24 bit quantization of DVD-video.
  • DTS Neo:6 Surround: DTS Neo:6 is a matrix decoding technology for achieving 6.1-channel surround playback with 2-channel sources. You can choose from two DTS Neo: 6 Surround formats - Neo: 6 Cinema and Neo: 6 Music.
  • Dolby Pro Logic: Center and mono surround information is matrixed into two stereo channels. When reproduced, audio is decoded and output in 4 channel surround sound.
  • Dolby Pro Logic II: Dolby Pro Logic II technology processes any high quality stereo (two-channel) movie and music audio into five playback channels of full-bandwidth surround sound. A matrix surround decoding technology, Dolby Pro Logic II detects the directional cues that occur naturally in stereo content and uses these elements to create a five-channel surround sound playback experience. You can choose from Cinema, Music, or Game formats. You can also choose Dolby Pro Logic (the earlier 4-channel mode).
  • Dolby Pro Logic IIx: Pro Logic IIx expands any existing stereo- or 5.1-channel audio for a 6.1- or 7.1- channel playback, creating a seamless, natural surround soundfield that immerses you in the entertainment experience. You can choose from the following Dolby Pro Logic IIx formats - Cinema, Music, or Game.
  • Virtual: Enjoy surround effects using only the front speakers or headphones.
  • Multi Channel Stereo: Stereo sound is played from all speakers.
  • Stereo: This is the mode for playing in 2-channel stereo; bass and treble can be adjusted and sound is output from the front left and right speakers, along with a connected subwoofer.
  • Direct: In this mode the audio signal is played in its original form, without any surround or tone processing.

Surround Parameters: You can adjust the following surround mode parameters:

  • Dynamic Range Compression (DRC): 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, Compressing the dynamic range allows you to hear all of the sounds in the soundtrack with reduced dynamic range. DRC works when playing program sources recorded in Dolby TrueHD.
  • D.Comp: Like DRC, but used with Dolby Digital and DTS sources.
  • LFE: This setting adjusts the low-frequency effects level (LFE); adjust from -10 to 0 dB.
  • Center Width: This function assigns the center channel signal to the front left and right channels for wider sound; select from 0 to 7. This function only works in the Dolby Pro Logic II Music and PL IIx Music modes.
  • Center Image: This function assigns a center channel signal to the front left and right channels for wider sound; adjust from 0.0 to 1.0. This function only works in the DTS Neo:6 Music mode.
  • Panorama: This feature assigns front left and right signals to surround channels for wider sound, you can turn this feature On or Off. This function only works in the Dolby Pro Logic II Music and PL IIx Music modes.
  • Dimension: This settings shifts the sound image to the front or rear to adjust playback balance; select from 0 to 6. This function only works in the Dolby Pro Logic II Music and PL IIx Music modes.
  • AFDM: Detects the source's surround back channel signal and sets the optimum surround mode automatically.
  • SB CH Out: This setting selects the playback mode for the surround back (preamp) channels; there are separate settings for multi-channel and 2-channel sources.
  • Subwoofer: Turn the sub on/off.

Speaker Setup: When setting up the speaker system make the following adjustments:

  • Speaker Configuration: large or small for the front speakers; large, small, or none for the center and surround speakers and the surround back preamp outputs; yes or no for the subwoofer
  • Subwoofer Mode: LFE channel only or LFE+Main bass information is reproduced by the subwoofer
  • Low-pass Crossover: 80, 90, 100, 110, 120, 150, 200, or 250 Hz
  • Distance: set the distance from the listening position to each speaker individually; 0-60' in 0.1' increments
  • Channel Level: set the output volume of each channel individually; -12 to +12dB
  • High-pass Crossover: set the crossover points for each set of speakers configured as small; 40, 60, 80, 90, 100, 110, 120, 150, 200, or 250 Hz

Quick Select: The front panel and main remote both have three Quick Select buttons. Each button can be programmed with a specific input source, volume, surround mode, and video select settings for easy recall.

Source Level: This function adjusts the playback level of the currently selected input source's audio input. Use this feature if there are differences in the input volume levels between different sources. You can correct the playback level of the audio input from -12 to +12dB.

Restorer: This function restores compressed audio signals to pre-compression form, correcting the sense of bass and treble volume to obtain a richer sounding playback.

Audio Delay: This feature compensates for the timing shift between the audio and video signals; adjust from 0-200ms.

Volume Setting: You can set a maximum volume level of 0, -10, or -20 dB to limit the receiver's maximum volume output. You can also specify a turn-on volume, from -80 to +18dB or Last (whatever the volume setting when the receiver was turned off).

Muting Level Adjustment: You can set the amount of attenuation for the audio muting circuit; -40dB or -20dB below current volume, or full mute (sound turned off entirely).

Assignable Digital Inputs: The AVR-391 features an optical digital (Toslink) input and a coaxial digital input. Each input can be assigned to any of the input sources except Tuner.

Speaker Terminals: The receiver's front speaker terminals are binding posts. 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 center and surround channels have spring terminals and will accept pin connectors or bare wire up to 14 gauge.

Personal Memory Plus: For each input, the receiver automatically memorizes the settings for input mode, surround mode, HDMI output mode, audio delay, etc. When the input source is switched, the settings last used for that source are automatically recalled. The surround parameters, tone control settings, and playback levels for the different output channels are memorized for each surround mode.

Sleep Timer: This function allows you to automatically set the power to standby after a predetermined amount of time has passed; set the sleep timer up to 120 minutes in 10 minute increments.

Video Features

HDMI ver. 1.4a: This unit has four HDMI version 1.4a inputs and one HDMI version 1.4a output. They support HDCP copyright protection and are compatible with 3D signals, Deep Color, and xvYCC technology.

3D: The AVR-391 will pass the 3D signal when connected to a 3D source (3D Blu-ray player, 3D cable box, etc) and a 3D TV.

Video Select Function: You can switch the video input source on the receiver while listening to a different audio signal.

Dimmer: The receiver features 4 display settings; Bright, Dim, Dark and Off.

iPod

iPod Compatibility: Using an optional iPod dock (ASD-11R, ASD-3N, ASD-51N, or ASD-51W), you can integrate most iPods having a dock connector with the AVR-391. Song titles and elapsed time appear on the receiver's display panel; song titles, artist name, album title, album art, and elapsed time appear on a TV monitor connected to the AVR-391 via the component video output (ASD-3N, ASD-51N, and ASD-51W only; no data is transferred to the TV monitor through the HDMI output or when using the ASD-11R). The iPod can be controlled using the receiver's remote or the controls on the iPod. Video and still photos stored on the iPod can also be displayed on the TV monitor.

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