Review – Integra DRX-5.4 9.2-Channel Theater Receiver

In the ever-evolving realm of home entertainment, the Integra DRX-5.4 home theater receiver stands as a powerhouse, delivering an immersive audio and visual experience that sets it apart from the crowd. Priced at $2,200.00, this receiver combines cutting-edge technology with an impressive array of features, making it a solid contender for home theater enthusiasts seeking uncompromising quality.

Design and Build: The Integra DRX-5.4 makes a striking first impression with its sleek aluminum front panel and volume knob. The build quality exudes durability, hinting at the robust performance within. The thoughtful design extends to the gold-plated banana-plug-ready speaker posts, making setup a breeze. It’s not just a receiver; it’s a stylish addition to your entertainment center.

Performance: When it comes to performance, the DRX-5.4 doesn’t disappoint. With a formidable 120 W per channel (8 ohms, 20 Hz–20 kHz, 0.08% THD, 2-ch driven, FTC), and THX® Certified Select for Theater Reference Sound, this receiver is engineered for an unparalleled home theater experience. The low-impedance amp system with 4-ohm speaker-driving capability ensures that even demanding speakers are handled with finesse.

Integra DRX-5.4 home theater
Integra DRX-5.4 – images: Integra

Audio and Video Features: The DRX-5.4 supports 5.2.4/7.2.2-ch Dolby Atmos® and DTS: X® playback, providing a three-dimensional audio experience that elevates your favorite movies and music. The Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization adds an extra layer of depth to your soundstage. With Dolby Surround® and DTS® Neural: X upmixing, even standard audio sources are transformed into immersive, lifelike sound.

HDMI inputs 1-3 and 4-6 support up to 8K/60AB and 4K/120AB video passthrough, ensuring compatibility with the latest visual technologies. HDR10+, Dolby Vision™, HDR10, HLG, BT.2020, VRR, DSC, ALLM, QFT, QMS, eARC, DeepColor™, x.v.Color™, LipSync, and HDCP 2.3 are all supported, guaranteeing a future-proofed system.

Amp Technology: The heart of the DRX-5.4 lies in its advanced amp technology. The 250 W/Ch at 6 Ohms, 1 kHz, 10%, 1 Channel Driven output is a testament to its power. The custom transformer and 15,000 μF capacitors ensure a stable and responsive performance. The non-phase-shift amp-circuit topology, along with audio-grade parts and separate digital/analog circuit boards, contribute to pristine sound reproduction.

Unique Features: The DRX-5.4 goes beyond the ordinary, offering features that set it apart. Dirac Live® Room Correction provides multi-point acoustic calibration, tailoring the audio to your unique space. AccuReflex™ phase-matching solution optimizes Dolby Atmos-enabled speakers for a seamless experience. The DSP-based Vocal Enhancer clarifies in-program vocals/dialog, ensuring crystal-clear dialogue even in the midst of intense action.

Connections: Versatility is a key strength of the DRX-5.4, evident in its comprehensive connectivity options. With 7 HDMI inputs (1 front), Main Out (eARC), Sub/Zone 2 Out, 2 digital audio inputs, 6 analog audio inputs, phono input, USB input for audio playback, and various video inputs, it accommodates a multitude of devices seamlessly. The inclusion of a Dirac Live/AccuEQ Advance setup mic input on the front panel highlights its commitment to user-friendly setup.

Price and Value: At $2,200.00, the Integra DRX-5.4 may seem like an investment, but its features and performance make it worth every penny. The receiver offers a balance of cutting-edge technology, build quality, and future-proofing that justifies the price tag for serious home theater enthusiasts.

Software and User Interface: The High-definition GUI over HDMI ensures a user-friendly experience, making navigation and setup a breeze. The OSD function on the front panel displays A/V input signal data, output signal/settings data, and network information, providing a comprehensive overview of your system’s status.

Connectivity and Zone Options: The DRX-5.4 doesn’t just stop at providing an exceptional main zone experience. Its 11.2-ch pre-outs and processing for 7.2.4-ch open up possibilities for an even more expansive setup. The bidirectional Bluetooth® wireless technology allows for versatile streaming options, and separate Zone 2 speaker outputs enable 5.2.4-ch + Zone 2 speaker connection or 5.2.4-ch playback switching to 5.2.2-ch + Zone 2 playback, providing flexibility to tailor your audio experience to different zones.

Integra DRX-5.4 home theater
Integra DRX-5.4 home theater

Dedicated DACs support synced/independent D/A audio distribution in Zone 2 and Zone 3, offering a customized audio experience in different areas of your home. The ability to share the main audio source to a wireless headphone dock via Zone B line-out adds a personal touch to your listening experience.

IMAX® Enhanced and Certification: The DRX-5.4 proudly wears the IMAX® Enhanced certification for IMAX® digital remasters, promising a cinema-grade experience in your living room. This certification assures that the receiver has undergone rigorous testing to meet IMAX’s high standards for audio and visual performance, bringing the magic of IMAX into your home.

Ease of Use: Integra has prioritized user convenience with features like one-touch volume memory preset assignment, ensuring that your preferred volume levels are easily accessible. The front-to-surround/height speaker switching in Stereo Assign Mode adds to the user-friendly design, allowing for quick adjustments without navigating through complex menus.

Advanced Music Optimizer™: For those who appreciate high-quality audio, the Advanced Music Optimizer™ is a welcome addition. This feature enhances compressed audio playback quality, breathing new life into your digital music collection. Whether you’re streaming from a music service or playing files from a USB drive, the DRX-5.4 ensures that your audio experience remains top-notch.

Networking and Streaming: The DRX-5.4 isn’t just about physical connections; it’s also a hub for the digital age. With Ethernet LAN terminal connectivity, the receiver opens up a world of streaming possibilities. Internet radio enthusiasts will appreciate the 40 FM/AM/internet radio presets with station-naming, allowing you to effortlessly tune in to your favorite stations.

Final Thoughts: In the competitive landscape of home theater receivers, the Integra DRX-5.4 stands tall, offering a blend of performance, features, and design that caters to the discerning audio and video enthusiast. From its high-powered amp technology to its immersive Dolby Atmos and DTS:X capabilities, every facet of this receiver is meticulously crafted to deliver an exceptional home theater experience.

The DRX-5.4 strikes a delicate balance between cutting-edge technology and user-friendly design. While the $2,200.00 price tag may be an initial consideration, the investment pays off in the form of a theater-quality audio and visual experience that is sure to delight even the most demanding users. With its thoughtful design, advanced features, and future-proofing, the Integra DRX-5.4 home theater receiver earns its place as a cornerstone in the quest for the ultimate home entertainment setup. If you’re looking to elevate your home theater to new heights, the DRX-5.4 is undoubtedly a worthy companion on that journey.


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