AVS Forum Special Member
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: Danbury, CT, USA
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I have the older X4300H. Its speaker assignment allows you to set which pair of speakers only have a signal available on the pre-outs (and don't use any of the 9 onboard amps). The choices are the LR fronts or the rear height speakers. I'm not absolutely certain, but I believe that the 3600 and 4500 are the same.
All of the pre-outs are active, all the time.
The 3600 is a 2019 model, and includes Dolby height virtualization and DTS Virtual:X. (Not useful if you're building a real Atmos setup.) The 4500 (2018, but still current) gives you Auro3D. A few people use that. (Mostly in Europe, I suppose. Not sure how much source material for it is available in North America.)
The 4500 has a metal front panel and a 2 line display. The 3600 apparently has a plastic front panel and a 1 line display.
The 4500 makes a small amount more power than the 3600, and weighs more.
The 3600 was more attractive a few weeks ago when it was widely available for $900US, new. It's now $1100 at the online majors.
I've had the 4300, which I bought as a refurb, for almost 3 years. I like it. I use it in an Atmos 7.2.4 setup, with an Emotiva XPA3 Gen3 powering the LCR fronts, and the AVR supplying the other 8 channels.