Denon AVR-X4000 
The Streamin' Demon
by BEN BOWERS




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.




CONTINUES BELOW 



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.


$1299, amazon.com


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STATEMENT

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.



METHODOLOGY


The GP100 is not a contest influenced by marketers or brands, nor is it a ranking by specifications as determined by uniform tests. Instead, it starts with a comprehensive list of nominees released in the calendar year, researched and compiled by our editorial team of obsessed experts across all of Gear Patrol's major areas of interest including Motoring, Technology, Style, Home, Spirits, Outdoor and Watches. Brands are not part of the selection process. Nominees are then debated in context of the past, present and future of their respective fields. Which selections stand as significant innovations, category busters or faithful monuments to the icons of history? Do they adhere to Gear Patrol's core tenets of excellence, design, utility and the spirit of adventure? Distilled to the following 100 items, the GP100 represents the best products on earth released in 2013 -- easily inspiring consumers and creators alike during their search for guideposts of excellence in a vast world of products.


THE CATEGORIES


Motoring   Watches   Style   Technology   Sports   Outdoors   Home   Spirits

WRITERS


Jeremy Berger

Ben Bowers
Alex Bracetti
Nick Caruso
Ed Estlow
Jon Gaffney
Jonathan Gallegos
K.B. Gould
Bradley Hasemeyer
Jason Heaton
Mike Henson
Amos Kwon
Matt Neundorf
Scott Packard
Austin Parker
Henry Phillips
Peter Saltsman
Chris Wright
Eric Yang


CREDITS

Produced by Ben Bowers, Chris Wright, Eric Yang
Designed by Eric Yang
Edited by Chris Wright
Photography by Henry Phillips, Eric Yang
Special Thanks to Braun, Scroll Kit and Say Media

RESOURCES

Media Inquiries, Corrections  [email protected]
2014 Submissions  [email protected]