Creating the ultimate home entertainment experience no longer boils down to billboard-sized screens and skull-shaking sound, though the tandem never hurts. Today, you've got to add streams to the mix. Denon clearly got the memo.
Receivers have always unified disparate factions under one central cause, but the AVR-X4000 particularly excels thanks to a slew of cutting-edge features including support for AirPlay, Spotify, Pandora, Internet Radio, Windows 8 and DLNA networking. Its remote control will end up petrifying somewhere under the couch, because connected couch potatoes gain the flexibility to command their media via an iPhone or Android app, a polished graphical user interface and even a web browser.
Of course, focusing on this razzle dazzle is a bit like getting Usain Bolt's autograph for his arm wrestling skills. It ignores the obvious talent. Premium sound quality and outstanding video processing should always be the primary strengths of any receiver, and the ACR-X4000 has both in ample supply. Audyssey's professional MultEQ XT32 and Sub EQ HT automatic calibration tools help buyers create the ideal sound field for any room based on their speaker positioning. The receiver also features fully discrete class A/B amplification for up to seven channels of audio rated at 125 watts, 11 speaker inputs for flexible configurations, a grounded phono input, advanced support for three separate zones of entertainment (complete with three HDMI outputs), and even the ability to listen to any connected audio source while watching any video source -- think jamming to "Big Willie Style" over reruns of The Fresh Prince. Video processing is likewise fully loaded with premium features, such as the ability to upscale 1080p content to 4k. InstaPrevue, another new advance, displays multiple viewing windows of content coming across any of the seven HDMI inputs. Whether you're an audiophile, videophile or just a Gen-Xer in need of connections, all of these features form one of the most advanced and future-proof entertainment nerve centers your home could ever ask for.
Excellence, innovation, craftsmanship, and an unwavering desire to challenge expectations -- these are the constants that have captivated our attention since Gear Patrol's inception in 2007. This year we're proud to announce the next step in our role as a champion of quality in product design and execution: welcome to the GP100. Our inaugural product awards are dedicated to honoring the 100 best consumer products released during the calendar year by companies of all sizes and scope.
The GP100 is not a ranking or a contest. These selections represent the collective expertise of our entire editorial staff, who have scoured every corner of the vast product universe -- from automotive and electronics, to men's style essentials, home goods, spirits and outdoors -- to find the inspiring and the practical, the ground-breaking and the traditional, the priceless and the accessible. In short: products that define or defy their respective categories to better the life of the modern man.
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