This model is an upgrade to the 3311 (differences noted below). The AVR 3312 brings all your audio and video together, and adds Apple Airplay capability to its long list of built-in functions. It's internet ready, and includes HD radio, a USB port, and 3D compatible HDMI video swithcing. A few people have reported some initial problems, so read on!
The Denon AVR 3312 Gets It Together
So you have several sound sources like an iPod, iPad, MP3 files on your PC, a home stereo, maybe a gaming console? And you'd like to have great sound and volume from them? Not multiple sets of cheap speakers scattered everywhere? Problem solved. With the AVR 3312ci you'll have easy access to all you music. You'll have a front-panel USB port for wired connection to iPods, iPhones, and MP3 players. Plus Airplay is built in so you can also stream wirelessly from Apple devices.There's also an ethernet connection so you'll have direct access to your Pandora, Rhapsody, and other internet radio subscriptions. You'll also be able to access MP3 and other audio files anywhere on your home network. You can even control this receiver from anywhere on your home network as well as from Apple mobile devices.
With 125 watts per channel you'll have plenty of volume. You can configure the 3312 to supply 5.1 channel surround sound to one room from one sound source plus stereo for a second source to a separate room. Now that may require some extensive wiring or a fairly expensive (around $250) radio link, but the possibility is there.
This receiver will also bring your home theater video together, serving as the control and switching hub. With plenty of HDMI inputs, you'll be able to have your cable box, blu-ray, HD-DVD/CD, TiVo, and a couple of game consoles all connected at the same time. And all your video sources will be up-converted to 1080p with image enhancement.
Like its predecessor, the 3312 features great sound and true vertical-dimension surround sound via advanced Dolby and Audyssey digital audio processing. You also have the option of using the additional pair of surround-sound channels as a separate stereo in another room. That added zone can even be fed from a different audio source. This model features great Apple compatibility via a USB port and built-in Airplay.
The Denon 3312CI also plays with PCs via Windows 7 media compatibility. It'll also connect directly to your home network for audio streaming and internet radio. You can even watch Flikr pictures. You'll also find a phono input for vinyl freaks (like me). With HD radio (in addition to the usual AM/FM receiver) and MP3/WMA/WAV compatibility you're pretty much connected to everything.
Along with the receiver you get a remote control, set-up microphone for automatic equalization, an AM loop antenna and a simple FM indoor antenna.
With 125 watts per channel there's plenty of power for just about any speaker set. The specs are good (THD 0.05% for 20 Hz to 20 kHz into an 8 ohm load), and listener reviews attest to the great sound quality. Denon mid-range receivers are often preferred over other brands for music listening. There's also Denon's proprietary “Dynamic Discrete Surround Circuit-HD” for whatever that's worth. Most owners rate the overall sound quality as great.
This model is compatible with blu-ray high-def audio formats, including Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio. Owners are uniformly pleased with the realistic high-fidelity surround sound for movies, video, and games.
If you're into Apple, you'll be getting Airplay, iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch and iTunes capabilities. There's even an app that lets you use an iPad, iPhone, or iPod Touch as a remote control for on/off, volume and source selection. You can also do that from any home-network connected device with a web browser.
This model steps up HDMI capabilities a bit, with 7 HDMI 1.4a inputs and 2 outputs.
The Not So Good
There were initially reports that the online firmware update sometimes bricks the receiver and you have to send it in for repair. Firmware updates can take as long as 45 minutes on some wireless home networks and have occurred fairly often. Denon should should get their online upgrade problem straightened out, but this problem was reported as late as September 2011.
It's a good idea to follow the same update recommendations you might use on your PC. Above all, don't turn the receiver off during the update. And don't try using the receiver until an update is clearly finished. Ideally, don't use your home network and internet connection for anything else during the firmware update.
Although the Denon iStuff app works pretty well, the functionality is a bit limited and the app sometimes freezes if the music files are deep in the file hierarchy.
Since this model is a receiver only, not a box set, I like to keep track of what speakers are best suited to it. Here's my list of what customers have been happy with.
- B&W 683 (front), Martin Logan Motion 8 (center), B&W DS3 (rear)
- Klipsch HDT-500 speaker system
- Logitech Z906 speaker system
- Mythos One (front), Mythos 8 (center), Mythos 6 (rear), SuperCube II (sub-woofer), Mythos Four (additional surround-sound speaker pair)
AVR 3312 vs AVR 3311
Not that this receiver is also available at a discount, the 3312 is a clear choice over the 3311 if you want AirPlay. Even if you don't care for AirPlay I'd still lean towards this newer model since it's only about $50 more. For that you'll also be getting FLAC support for uncompressed audiophile-quality sound and support for more network music files. It also adds a seventh HDMI input.
The 3312 does drop a few of its predecessor's features. There's no separate remote for zone 2, but you can get remote control from almost any device on your home network, including mobile devices. Also there's no input dedicated to satellite radio. That's more a matter of display labeling, but if you're into Sirius you should go for their internet feed. Finally, there's no optical digital output as used by some high-end gaming headsets.
Despite the firmware updating problems, customers consider this receiver well worth the money and it continues to grow in popularity. Purchasing an AVR 3312ci you'll be getting a central-coordinator for all your audio and video rather than a bunch of separate systems that don't operate well together. And you'll get lots of genuine Apple and network goodness with the Denon AVR 3312.
This model is finially available at significant discounts. Here's the new lowest prices, all these include free shipping.