At CEDIA 2017, which took place a week ago in San Diego, Sound United brands Denon and Marantz both announced that Auro-3D will now ship as a standard, unlocked feature in 3D immersive audio-compatible AV receivers, whereas previously it had been an optional $150 upgrade. This is a significant step for Auro-3D, which encompasses several technologies.

I won't take a deep dive into Auro's arguments about why you should choose to use it over competing 3D immersive audio formats such as Dolby Atmos and DTS:X. But the crux of it is that if you opt for the speaker layout Auro recommends, you will get a better immersive experience. The company also notes that it is the only 3D immersive format that supports 24-bit/96 kHz hi-res audio.

Denon's AVR-X6400H AV receiver that will ship with Auro-3D unlocked
 The two companies announced five new AVRs at CEDIA 2017 that come with Auro-3D out-of-box: The Denon AVR-X4400H ($1600), Denon AVR-X6400H ($2200), Marantz SR7012 ($2200) and SR8012 ($3000). The Marantz AV7704 pre/pro will also ship with Auro-3D unlocked.

"Auro-3D has seen significant momentum in 2016 across the home entertainment, digital cinema, mobile music, automotive and gaming fronts..." said Wilfried Van Baelen, founder of Auro Technologies. "This partnership with Denon and Marantz is the perfect way to usher in an even more momentous 2017 and support our rapid, global expansion to bring immersive sound to as many listeners as possible. With our format and Denon and the Marantz premium AVR lineup, we are creating the perfect package for the home theater enthusiast looking to dive into an unprecedented listening experience."

Has the time finally come to give Auro-3D a try? I'll surely be looking into its advantages and disadvantages in coming months, now that it is a standard feature on some of the latest Denon and Marantz AVRs.