The x3700h allows shutting down of the amps. It is the budget processor IMO. The only thing it is missing is mutli-ch in but I can't imagine many actually need that. I'm not even considering XLR connections at this price point. I'd imagine that those that are looking for a budget pre/pro would be ok without them. I am at least. I think Denon did something really interesting here.Hi
The pragmatic answer to this is that, unless someone:
1) requires balanced line outputs.
2) Is absolutely , adamant on consuming as little power as possible and even there, see my experience below ...
One can achieve the goals of using external, amplifers with several model of AVR with audio output with excellent results. I use this scheme with powered speakers in an Atmos configuration ( 5.2.2) and am very pleased.
The consumption on my Denon AVRX3400 with "eco mode" engaged is about 30 watts when in operation driving my powered speakers. I know of no way to turn the internal amplifiers (Class AB, I suppose) completely off in the X3400, I believe some later models, e,g AVRX8500 can do that... I would surmise that for AVR that use Class D amplifers, the consumption would be much less.
It could be a case of a niche (The slim minority who needs a Pre/Pro) within a niche (those who use an AVR in these days of sound bars ...).