The Denon AVR 3311 delivers theater-quality sound with a network interface. In addition to receiving HD and internet radio, you can control this home-theater receiver from any mobile device with a web browser. The 3311 can switch up to six HDMI 1.4 inputs, becoming the hub of a complete home-entertainment system. This mid-range component lists at around $1,200 you can usually find it discounted to $800 -- $900. You'll find candid evaluation below, including why you should consider this receiver over the 3010 and even the 3012.
A Terriffic Home-Theater Choice
This receiver can form the core of a great home-entertainment system. I provides high-quality sound at up to 125 watts per channel, and is well liked by music enthusiasts. It also delivers true 7.2-channel surround sound for a genuine movie experience. The additional pair of channels can be used in the front to add a vertical element, or used as stereo from a different audio source in for a separate room. Audyssey MultiEQ can automatically equalize the sound for your particular room and speakers.
This receiver can also serve as the HDMI switcher tieing your system together. It has 6 HDMI 1.4a inputs and 1 output. It's compatible with 3D sources, and all video inputs (including VCR) can be upconverted to 1080 pixels and from interlaced to progressive scan.
The build-in network interface allows you to control this model from almost any device in your home network. If you have a wireless router you can even use an iPhone or iPad. You can stream JPEG and other audio from the web and even internet radio without a PC attached. This receiver is also compatible with Windows 7 media features.
You'll also get a USB interface for iPhones and iPods as well as a built-in HD radio receiver and of course broadcast FM and AM radio.
The Denon AVR3311 includes 2 remotes (one main and one sub-zone) and a microphone for the automatic equalization. Although many brands includes a 1-year warranty, Denon provides a standard 3-year warranty.
Denon AVR 3311 CI Details
It seems like this receiver has just about every Dolby and surround-sound audio processing in the book. It's a bit unique in having Dolby Pro Logic IIz. Along with Audyssey DSX this means you'll hear exceptional fidelity and realism and a true height dimension in the front sound stage. Many listeners have noted that the surround-sound effects are much more vivid. A large part of this is from Audyssey Dynamic EQ. In addition to adjusting bass at lower volumes, it also boots the surround speakers at lower volumes. And running through the Audyssey multiEQ ET will pull the best out of your speakers, possibly even allowing you to skip an upgrade. Numerous customers have commented how much better their speakers sound.
The network interface gets you a lot. You can stream audio off the web or any digital storage on your home networked PCs and laptops. You can directly access internet radio, including Pandora and Rhapsody/Napster directly without an attached PC. You can even watch Flikr photos. Add 6 HDMI inputs, USB port, and built-in HD radio it seems you can get just about any digital (and analog) A/V source that's out there.
The most common complaint actually applies to all Denon receivers – the owner's manuals are not the easiest to understand. The AVR 3311 itself gets mixed reviews here. Some customers comment on how easy it was to install, others complain about the difficulty. If you've only hooked up a few speakers and a DVD/CD player before, there is a lot more to do here. Be sure and use the on-screen GUI, and be prepared to spend an hour or two getting everything (including multiEQ) configured just right.
A few people have reported continued problems with the network connection, but far fewer than on the earlier model and with no recent reports. It looks like this one's been fixed, but you may want to think twice if it's a long way to the repair center (shipping for in-warranty repairs will still cost you about $25).
There's also been some annoyance that Airport is a $50 add-on. But as long as your Apple is hooked up to your home network we don't see this as a big deal unless you can't extend an ethernet cable to your Apple or Denon.
Despite the long list of audio-processing capabilities, there's no THX certification. But keep in mind that this is just a 3rd party test, it doesn't mean any capabilities or quality is missing.
The 3311 is a sweet spot in cost versus performance; it's a big jump in cost to the 4311. We do NOT recommend the Denon 3310. A fair number of people had problems with the network interface, and this has been corrected in the 3311. It's successor in turn, the 3312, adds Airport support and a few tweaks but otherwise is the same receiver. It's street price is currently about $50 less than the 3311. If you're looking for an even lower price, consider the Denon 1912, a very popular model.
Overall people love this receiver for its superb sound for music as well as home-theater, and its long-list of up to date features. The network interface enabling both internet radio and smart-phone control was what first caught our eyes and makes this a 21st century component with pretty cool capabilities. Like everything else, nothing's perfect. But after digging into it, we conclude the Denon AVR 3311 just might just be THE receiver for everyone except those rare people with perfect ears.