Denon AVR-3311

Dave Bullard
20 May, 2011
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Almost a year after the introduction of Apple’s AirPlay technology – which is an easy way to stream audio, video and photos from a Mac or iOS device over a local network – we’re finally being able to buy non-Apple products which support it.

One which we’ve covered online is Bowers & Wilkins’ Zeppelin Air, and another is this Denon AV receiver.

An AV receiver, for those of you who might not know, is a controller that accepts audio and video from various sources, decodes and processes the signals and outputs them to a TV or projector and anywhere from two to eight speakers.

In my home-theatre setup, for example, my Denon AVR-2805 takes an HDMI signal from a Blu-ray player, sends the 1080p video to my plasma TV, decodes the surround sound using one of many Dolby or dts options and sends it to five speakers and a subwoofer. But switch the input to CD and it shuts off the video circuits and subwoofer completely and sends a pure stereo signal to the front two speakers only. It even turns off the front display to minimise distraction from the music.

As you can imagine, AV receivers have to be updated regularly to keep up with constantly changing technologies. This latest Denon isa 7.2-channel model packed to the gunwales with the latest tech; most importantly, AirPlay, 3D-friendly HDMI 1.4a and Audio Return Channel. The latter lets you use a single HDMI cable to send video to a TV, and to bring the TV tuner’s audio back to the receiver – eliminating the need for extra audio cabling. The catch is, your TV also has to be ARC-enabled as well.

The AVR-3311 also has six HDMI inputs and two HDMI outputs, features Dolby TrueHD, dts-HD Master Audio and Dolby Pro Logic IIz surround- format decoding, and AL24 Processing Plus – which upscales 16-bit sound quality to 24-bit. It supports three zones, and even comes with a second remote for use in another zone.

But on to AirPlay – the feature most Apple users will be interested in. The surprise here is that the AVR- 3311 isn’t Wi-Fi-enabled, so to use AirPlay it has to be connected to your router via Ethernet. This isn’t always possible (think long cables or data points next to your AV gear), so a Wi-Fi option really should be offered.

There are no AirPlay details in the manual, but setup is simple – as soon as I plugged the Denon into our router it could be seen as an AirPlay option on all our Macs and iOS devices. Choosing it automatically rerouted the AV to the receiver, which showed the track name and elapsed time.

It worked well … most of the time. At times, once a connection was made via AirPlay, the receiver would freeze and needed to be turned off and on. At other times, once playback had been stopped the connection dropped and couldn’t be made again until another device had been paired.

Other benefits for iPod and iPhone users are a direct-digital USB input with on-remote playback controls, plus a free iOS app. However, there’s no on-screen display for showing album art and the like.

Macworld Australia’s buying advice.

The Denon AVR-3311 is a top-quality AV receiver, with technology that makes your sound and vision hear and look great. But would I buy it for AirPlay? Not yet. Denon isn’t alone in having AirPlay glitches, though; the technology itself needs attention.


2 people were compelled to have their say. We encourage you to do the same..

  1. Syman says:

    Well, first of all I thanked to you for such kind of the post, there is doubt Denon AVR-3311 is one of the best AVR, AVR-3311 is just as adaptable in sound terms. It’s endowed with every key processing and decoding option available, nine-speaker-capable Dolby Pro-Logic IIz and Audyssey DSX modes.In addition to conventional AM and FM tuning, the AVR-3311CI also features HD Radio. With HD Radio AM sounds like FM, and FM HD radio sounds like CD.

  2. MArtin says:

    Hi there, I read the article before buying not feel even obligated to make two corrections 1. The AirPlay works fine (my biggest concern, lost a lot of time researching, and all is fine) 2. the price wen down, I paid $1349 and in the local store in Sydney, with full warranty etc.

    I hope this helps others like me searching hours for more info. So far so good, I do not regret.

    plenty of stores have it, I got my one at Audio Solutions, because it is on my way, and nice to talk to these guys there, but possibly you get it everywhere cheaper now

    just do not recommend the imported stuff. Had to sent to USA back once, learnt my lesson.. ok, to much too say, I think it was a good choice, so far so good


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