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Denon DRA-697CI

XM-ready stereo receiver

12 Reviews

Item # 033DRA697C

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Our take on the Denon DRA-697CI

You'll enjoy powerful and precise stereo sound with this versatile receiver from Denon. The DRA-697CI boasts 100 watts per channel of clean, high-current Denon amplification plus some fun entertainment options. You can integrate your iPod®, tune in XM Satellite Radio, and take advantage of flexible multi-room audio/video operation.

You'll enjoy powerful and precise stereo sound with this versatile receiver from Denon. The DRA-697CI boasts 100 watts per channel of clean, high-current Denon amplification plus some fun entertainment options. You can integrate your iPod®, tune in XM Satellite Radio, and take advantage of flexible multi-room audio/video operation.

Renowned Denon performance
Advanced engineering and high-quality construction are the hallmarks of Denon receivers. The '697CI features an exclusive Denon design that isolates delicate low-level signals from the receiver's high-powered amplifier circuitry. This smart configuration helps the receiver maintain maximum signal purity and reproduce your music with enhanced clarity and precision.

Versatile connections for multi-room audio
The receiver's back panel offers enough inputs to hook up a total of six components, including a turntable, and three audio/video components. Three-room/two-source capability gives you flexible whole-house entertainment options. You can enjoy one audio or video source in your main room while housemates watch or listen to another source in two additional rooms. (You'll need amplifiers or powered speakers for the second and third rooms.) Or, if you don't need to play multiple sources simultaneously, use the DRA-697CI's extra set of speaker outputs to power an additional pair of speakers in another room. With this simpler setup, you won't need to buy a second amplifier.

iPod integration
Add the optional Denon ASD-11R to get more enjoyment from your iPod. You can listen to your digital music collection with the outstanding sound quality of the DRA-697CI and your best speakers. The dock also features an S-video output that lets you view your iPod's photos and videos on a TV. You can also use the receiver's remote to control your iPod while it's docked.

XM Satellite Radio compatibility
The DRA-397 lets you tune in traditional AM/FM radio stations and even enjoy exciting XM Satellite Radio programming on your system. Simply add an optional XM tuner kit and an XM subscription to access more than 170 digital channels of music, talk, news, and sports.

Product Highlights:

  • 100 watts x 2 into 8 ohms (20-20,000 Hz) at 0.08% THD
  • 4-ohm capability allows use with a wide range of speakers
  • XM Satellite Radio Ready (requires XM tuner kit)
  • iPod integration (requires optional Denon ASD-11R dock)
  • Signal Level Divided Construction chassis
  • Pure Direct mode bypasses tone, balance, and loudness controls for cleaner sound
  • 3-room/2-source capability (composite video and stereo preamp outputs for 2nd and 3rd rooms)
  • 56 AM/FM presets
  • 3 audio (including phono) and 3 A/V (composite video) inputs
  • front-panel and remote switching for 2 pairs of main speakers
  • 1 mono RCA output for powered subwoofer
  • preamp-out/main-in loop for system expansion
  • RS-232C port for automated control systems
  • expansion slot for future upgrade to HD Radio™
  • detachable power cord
  • binding post speaker connectors
  • headphone jack
  • multibrand remote for main room
  • basic remote for second room (requires a remote control extender, not included)
  • 17-1/8"W x 6-3/4"H x 17-1/2"D
  • weight: 23 lbs.
  • warranty: 2 years
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

What's in the Box:

  • AM/FM/Stereo receiver
  • RC-1052 Wireless remote control with 2 "AA" batteries
  • RC-1056 Zone 2/3 wireless remote control with 2 "AAA" batteries
  • 1 AM loop antenna
  • 1 FM wire antenna
  • 5' AC power cord
  • Operating Instructions (English/French)
  • Warranty sheet
  • "Denon Service Network" sheet

I was so impressed with our purchase of the Denon DRA-697CI receiver, I then bought a second one.

Bob, Guilford, CT


Denon DRA-697CI Reviews

Average Customer Review(s):

(12 Reviews)

Denon DRA-697CI

Bob from Guilford, CT on 4/21/2013

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I was so impressed with our purchase of the Denon DRA-697CI receiver, I then bought a second one.

Pros: Has everything that I expected and then some. Receives a lot more stations then our older more expensive ARV 7000 Harmon Kardon

Cons: None

Did Not Last Long

saj123 from Chicago on 10/2/2012

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

It burned out in about 6 months on my high end bookshelf speakers. Light codes indicate that it must be professionally repaired. I tried the factory resets, etc anyway, to no avail. I'm annoyed that my Denon could not handle being pushed hard about 3 days (3hrs each day) a week for 6 months. Since then, I purchased another amp from crutchfield by a brand that starts with "M" and so far so good!

Pros: Very good sound, feels heavy for the size which I like.

Cons: Distorts a lot at higher levels, so I could only push it to about 80% which is pretty loud for my smaller room size, does not last long if pushed hard.


Anonymous from Wappingers NY on 4/8/2012

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

over heats even at very low volumes

Pros: none, waist of money

Cons: unit over heats even using headphones

didnt last

John B from South MS on 6/1/2011

Bought home stereo package from dealer who suggested Denon. The 2year warranty expired in March and the unit quit working in April. It would power on then just turn its self right back off. We probably used the whole house stereo once a month for parties otherwise the unit was off. Hard to believe this thing would not last forever even much just 2 years with limited use. We were told a repair would be 450. What the heck could cost 450 to fix? Yuck!



Music Enthusiast

Bob M from Dexter, ME on 1/7/2011

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I have just ordered a whole new stereo from Crutchfield and I expect it to be a lifetime investment that I can add on to. My receiver choices were limited to two channel stereo, since I use this system almost exclusively for music. From years of experience and listening to literally hundreds of music systems, I only considered Denon, Marantz, and Onkyo. After countless hours of research, and with the help of Crutchfield representative Bill (digging for answers of dozens of hard questions), I settled on the Denon. Denon was the only receiver I considered that had a loudness filter. A small detail, but since I listen to music for hours each day and ususally as background music for daily life, this feature boosts bass and treble at low volumes, to ensure a full sound spectrum at any listening level. This is ultimatly what sold me on the receiver that was delivered yesterday. In it's eight hours of use, I have tried out many of the features (but not all) and have been completely impressed. The expansion loop on the back of the unit works well to route your sound out to an equalizer and then back into the amplifier. The most useful feature is the ability to set the levels of all speakers independently. This is very useful if your favorite chair is not perfectly centered between your speakers. Denon has breathed new life into my music. I have extremely discriminating tastes and, in spite of this, I could not be happier!




Art from Charlottesville VA on 12/22/2010

I combined this receiver with Polk TSi400 speakers, which are far from top of the line, and a Polk 8-inch woofer (free with the speakers), and it brings my classical CDs to life. The sound was accurate, enveloping and frankly moving. At high-volume I got goosebumps. This receiver allows me to notice all sorts of things: intonation issues in the orchestra, brass players breathing, articulation subtleties, and even page turning on stage. Its the next best thing to going to a live concert. I had gone a long time without good stereo equipment, and I am very pleased with my setup. If anyone is trying to decide between a Bose 3.2.1 or equivalent small speaker system, and a big reciever with floor speakers, get the big receiver!!! The Denon DRA-697CI with Polk TSi400 and 8-inch woofer .... so worth it. Also, the movie Gladiator never sounded better.



Decent product.... while it worked

BC from Youngstown, OH on 12/16/2010

The other reviews covered most everything... but my big beef is with the total failure of my system for no discernible reason three years after purchasing it, one of those years being unused. No wonder they only give you a two year warranty. 2 stars for being decent when it worked.



Nice equipment

Anonymous from Corn Tundra, IL. on 2/10/2010

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Powerful, clean sound from this receiver. With XM, Ipod hookup, and subwoofer out, it is perfect for my needs.



Denon DRA-697CI

Walter from Hazel Crest, Il. on 3/1/2009

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I am speechless and surprise how the Denon DRA-697C1 unit performs in concert with my most recent purchase of Klipsch speakers (2).



Decent Receiver...

Ruben from El Mirage, AZ on 12/2/2007

First, I have to say that I've owned and listened to alot of different Denon Receivers and Intergrated Amps. I'm kind of comparing this Receiver to the others as far as this review goes. The Tuner on this model is one of the best tuners I've ever listened to, the music is very clear and well defined, and the sensetivity is pretty good aswell. It looks like Denon is cutting alot of corners on there quality features like THD levels, they are a little higher than their Receivers from a few years back and I really don't like digital volume control on stereo receivers, I just think that having to turn the volume knob 5 times to get to high party levels is kind of wimpy. Harman seems to have went that same route also as far as the digital volume. I just can't feel the power on this Receiver like the older ones. I think that the anolog volume knob is one of the big features on the older powerful Receivers, you barely need to turn the knob and your good. If your familiar with the loudness control knob on the older models, Denon no longer has that feature on any of their Receivers , If your sensetive to hissing, you will not like this Receiver, it has a hiss that is very noticable at low levels, I can here it from six feet away when the volume is all the way down. CD's sound very good if recorded very good. Overall, I think this Receiver is decent for the price I paid for it. I think alot of companys like Denon are getting greedy and giving us more junk features that most of us will never use and now are doing away with the good quality features that most us Denon fans liked on the older denon products in this price range. If you need to have that old style power Reciever in this price range get Yamaha...



Preformance as expected from Denon

Ted from Roanoke, Virginia on 11/9/2007

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I purchased this receiver to replace a twenty one year old Denon receiver that was damaged in an electrical storm. The DRA-697CI was easy to hook up and sounded GREAT! I just hope it is as well built as my old receiver which was made in Japan. (The DRA-697CI is made in China) I think you must go to the top of the line units to get a unit made in Japan. I haven't quite mastered the remote as far as programing it to control my other componets but I'm working on it! You will not be disapointed with the DRA-697CI. The folks at Crutchfield were very helpful in helping me decide on which Denon unit would work best for my existing system. Many thanks!



The Best 2-channel Receiver I've used Yet!

sean from Holbrook, NY on 6/5/2007

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

This Receiver powered 4 pairs of BOSTON ACCOUSTICS<BR>VOYAGER SERIES SPEAKERS with a 4 pos. volume control switcher. I had it cranked all the way!<BR>the amp just wouldnt give up... very pleased!!




Hands-on research

Product Research

Audio Features
Video Features
Remote Control
Add-on Devices

Audio Features

Overview: The Denon DRA-697CI is a 2-channel stereo amplifier that not only features standard audio/video connections but also comes equipped with iPod, XM Satellite Radio and dual zone capabilities.

High-Quality Power Amplifier: With 100 watts of power per channel (at 8 ohms, 20 Hz - 20 kHz, 0.08% THD), the DRA-697CI delivers solid, reliable audio performance even when driving both A and B speaker systems at the same time.

Signal Level Divided Construction Chassis Design: The circuit handling low-level signals has been divided into separate blocks to ensure that influences from these signals on each other are held to an absolute minimum. This new chassis design, known as the Signal Level Divided Construction (SLDC), preserves the purity of the signal, allowing it to be reproduced with much greater fidelity and clarity.

CI (Custom Integration): Custom Integration is Denon's certification to custom installers that models marked with the "CI" stamp have advanced connectivity and control features often required for custom home integration and theater applications using premium control systems.

A and B Speakers: The receiver is equipped with both A and B speakers. You can play either pair of speakers or both pair of speakers at the same time.

Headphones: When you plug your headphones into the front headphone jack of this receiver, no sound is produced from the other speakers automatically.

Multi-Zone System: When the outputs of Zone 2 and/or Zone 3 Out terminals are wired and connected to separate power amplifiers installed in other rooms, different sources can be played in rooms other than the Main Zone in which this unit and the playback devices are installed. Not only can you supply audio into another room, Zone 2 and Zone 3 can also supply video into different rooms of your home. The audio and video connections for Zone 2 and Zone 3 are composite.

Audio Connections: The Denon DRA-697CI is equipped with the following audio inputs and outputs.

  • Phones (front-panel): Standard headphone jack
  • CD Input: Stereo RCA jacks
  • CD-R/Tape Input/Output: Stereo RCA jacks
  • Speakers: Binding post outputs for front A and front B speakers (not 5-way, because a plastic collar prevents their use with spade lugs and they are positioned too far apart to be used with dual banana plugs)
  • Subwoofer Pre-Out: Mono RCA connection for a powered subwoofer
  • Main In: Stereo RCA connection used to accept signal from a pre-amp
  • Pre-Out: Stereo RCA connection used to send signal to a power amp

Pure Direct: This mode reproduces the sound with extremely high quality. The audio signals do not pass through the tone circuits and the display is turned off so these components cannot affect the audio signal.

Loudness: You can turn the loudness function on when listening to music at low volume. The loudness feature enhances the low and high frequencies at low volumes so you can enjoy your music at any volume level.

Bass/Treble Control: You can adjust the Bass and Treble control independently from -10 dB to +10dB.

Tone Defeat: Turn the Tone Defeat feature "On" if you do not want the Bass and Treble to be adjustable.

Speaker Level Adjustment: You can adjust the sound level for the left and right speaker and the subwoofer individually from -12 dB to +12 dB. This is helpful when one of the speakers is further away from the listening location than the other.

Muting: You can turn the sound completely off temporarily to your speakers by selecting the Mute function.

Auto Preset Memory: This unit is equipped with a function for automatically searching for FM broadcast stations and storing them in the preset memory.

Preset Memory: You can store up to 56 broadcast stations. The stations are separated into 7 groups; 8 stations per group (A to G).

Simultaneous Recording: The signals of the source selected with the Input Selector are output simultaneously to the CD-R/Tape and VCR REC OUT terminals to make recording through the amplifier simple.

AC Outlets: 3 switched AC outlets, maximum total 120W 1Amp.

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 the power cord is disconnected.

Video Features

Audio/Video Connections: The Denon DRA697CI is equipped with the following audio/video inputs and outputs.

  • DVD/VDP Input: Stereo RCA jacks and RCA composite video jack
  • V.Aux Input: Stereo RCA jacks and RCA composite video jack
  • VCR Input/Output: Stereo RCA jacks and RCA composite video jacks
  • Phono Input: Stereo RCA jacks with ground screw
  • Monitor Output: RCA composite video jack

Video Select Function: This function allows you to select a video source, and then select an alternate audio input source.

Dimmer: You can adjust the brightness of the display in three steps. The display can also be turned off.

Remote Control

Main Remote Control: The supplied IR wireless remote is a multibrand remote that can be programmed to operate other manufacture's equipment such as CD player, Tape player, VCR, DBS/Cable, DVD or TV. You can use the main remote to also operate Zone 2 and Zone 3.

Zone 2/3 Remote Control: The receiver also features an independent IR wireless remote control for Zone 2 and Zone 3 operation. Because the remote is an IR type remote, you must install IR emitters that plug into the DRA697CI for the remote to be operational.

Remote Range: Both remote controls are IR so you must point the remote at the remote sensor. The remote control units can be used from a distance of approximately 23 feet at a horizontal angle of up to 30 degrees with respect to the sensor.

Punch Through Function: This feature allows the remote to operate the Play, Stop, Pause and Search functions for a CD, DVD, Tape, MD, or VCR when the remote is in the TV or DBS/Cable mode.

Room-to-Room Remote Control with Remote In/Out Terminals: External remote control equipment including IR re-transmitters and IR remote receivers, such as Denon's separately available C-616/617S/617W/618 IR devices, can be connected to the DRA-697CI's IR remote input and output terminals.

Add-on Devices

XM Satellite Ready: The optional XM Direct 2 Home Tuner (220XHD2H1, sold separately) lets you enjoy XM Satellite Radio through the XM-ready receiver. Simply connect the XM Direct 2 Home Tuner to the XM jack on back of the receiver, place and aim the included antenna for optimum reception, and you are ready to start enjoying commercial-free music, plus live sports, news, talk, and exclusive entertainment.

Note: In addition to the XM Direct 2 Home Tuner and the XM-ready receiver, you will need a subscription to XM Satellite Radio to receive XM programming.

iPod Ready: When using a compatible iPod you must connect the iPod Control Dock (033ASD11RK or 033ASD51N, sold separately) to the Dock Control jack on back of the receiver with a mini-jack cable and assign the iPod to any Audio input on the amplifier. The iPod can be controlled using the buttons on the main unit and the remote control unit. The remote will control the following functions of the iPod in Browse Mode - Play/Stop, Fast Forward/Reverse, Track Search, Repeat (single/all tracks), Shuffle (song/album) You can also view photo and video data stored on a compatible iPod on your TV screen through the monitor output of the receiver.

Note: Your iPod must be equipped with slideshow/video function capability and the receiver must be connected to your TV through the monitor out for the video/photo function to work.

Our Product Research Team

At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team. They verify what’s in the box, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.