Along with the growing popularity of custom home theater builds, the comparison of Denon AVR-S540BT and Denon AVR-S970H takes place. According to the results of our review, Denon AVR-S540BT received 5.5 points out of 10 possible, and Denon AVR-S970H was rated 8.3 points. The release date of AVR-S540BT is 2018, and AVR-S970H is 2022. Based on the data on the characteristics and features of both models, we can conclude that AVR-S970H has better performance than AVR-S540BT.
For the built-in amplifier, the devices received different marks - 6 and 7, respectively, on a 10-point scale.
The number of channels is equal to the number of possible connected speakers. The Denon AVR-S540BT supports 5.2-channels sound, but Denon AVR-S970H supports a 7.2-channels configuration.
RMS stands for the actual power of the receiver. The higher this value, the louder the sound can be produced. The differences between the models in terms of RMS power are significant - for the AVR-S970H this value is 90/8 W/Ohm, and for the AVR-S540BT it is 70/8 W/Ohm.
|Stereo power (RMS), W/Ohm||70/8, 90/6||90/8, 125/6|
|Output impedance, Ohm||8, 6||8, 6|
|THD in stereo, %||0.08||0.08|
After reviewing the audio features of each model, we can rate the AVR-S540BT 6 out of 10, and the AVR-S970H - 8.
Bi-amping is the amplification of one speaker with two amplifiers. This amplification method has a positive effect on sound quality. Bi-amping is possible on the AVR-S970H.
Pure Direct mode feeds sound directly to the amplifier and bypasses any DSP processing. Only Denon AVR-S970H has Pure Direct mode.
Most receivers now come with a microphone included. It is with the help of this microphone that the auto-calibration system functions, which adjusts the sound of the receiver to the room.
Speaker A/B switching allows you to change between the main and sub speaker set. Denon AVR-S970H can work with the main and additional set of speakers - and switch between them.
|Digital to analog converter (DAC)||192 KHz/32-bit||192 KHz/32-bit|
|Pure direct (straight)||✖||✔|
|Auto speaker calibration||Audyssey MultEQ||Audyssey MultEQ|
|Speaker A/B switching||✖||✔|
|Other audio features||Compressed Audio Restorer||Audyssey Dynamic Volume, Audyssey Dynamic EQ, Audyssey Dynamic LFC, Compressed Audio Enhancer(MDAX2), Hi-Res audio|
The connectivity of competitors in our comparison is markedly different, Denon AVR-S540BT scored 5, and Denon AVR-S970H scored 8 out of 10.
Bluetooth connection is now one of the main communication protocols for the receiver's control or even music broadcasting.
Wired internet connection via RJ45 allows receiver faster connection than wireless or even use NAS storages. Wired connection via RJ45 is possible in the AVR-S970H only.
|USB||1 (USB 2.0)||2 (USB 2.0)|
Now music streaming services are gaining more and more popularity. They allow users to listen to millions of songs by subscription.
|Apple Music (AirPlay)||✖||AirPlay, AirPlay 2|
|Other streaming services||TIDAL, Pandora||Deezer, TIDAL, Pandora, SiriusXM, Napster, SoundCloud, Amazon Music, Amazon Music HD, MOOD:Mix|
The presence of many connectors makes the receiver more versatile. But there are also narrowly targeted models, the number of connectors which are limited to a certain area of use. And when choosing their own receiver, users need to consider exactly your goals for using the receiver. For extensive connection, Denon AVR-S540BT got 6 points, but Denon AVR-S970H received 8 points.
Denon AVR-S540BT is equipped with 5/1 HDMI inputs and outputs, and Denon AVR-S970H has 6/2 HDMI inputs and outputs.
HDMI eARC is the next step in the development of audio return channel technology, which works in conjunction with HDMI 2.1. Using eARC provides the highest sound quality for home audio systems. HDMI eARC is available on Denon AVR-S970H.
The HDCP encryption protocol is now mandatory for most media devices. This security technology encrypts digital signals from one product to another. HDCP content-encryption protocol is present on Denon AVR-S540BT in the HDCP 2.2 version, and Denon AVR-S970H has the HDCP 2.3 version.
Connecting a vinyl player or phonograph is possible using a Phono input which is represented by mini-jack or RCA connectors. Only the AVR-S970H has a Phono interface.
|HDMI ARC (Audio Return Channel)||✔||✔|
|HDMI eARC (Enhanced Audio Return Channel)||✖||✔|
|Digital content protection (HDCP)||HDCP 2.2||HDCP 2.3|
|Subwoofer output (LFE)||2||2|
|Headphone output||1 x 6.3||1 x 6.3|
|Optical digital input||2||2|
|Coaxial digital input||1||1|
|Phono (MM) input||✖||✔|
|Front panel connectors||USB, phones, setup mic||USB, phones, setup mic|
|Multi channel preamp output||✖||✔|
The AV receiver is the heart of the home theater. And in this case, support for all current video formats ensures the best user experience, so it is very important to consider this when choosing a device. Video features of the AVR-S540BT were rated 6 out of 10 against the 10 for the AVR-S970H.
With the 4K pass-through feature, the AV receiver sends "native" 4K signals to a 4K TV from a video source without any processing. The AVR-S540BT works with the 4K/60Hz video, and the AVR-S970H has the 4K/120Hz.
The AV receiver passes "native" 8K signals from a video source to 8K TV without any encoding, with the 8k pass-through features. The 8K path-through is available on Denon AVR-S970H.
Most of the AV receivers have a video scaling function, it is the process of reformatting the video signal to a higher resolution without losing the quality of the image. Upscaling the video signal resolution is possible with Denon AVR-S970H.
|HDR (High Dynamic Range)||✔||HDR10+|
|4K signal pass-through||4K/60Hz||4K/120Hz|
|8K signal pass-through||✖||8K/60Hz|
|HDMI signal pass-through||✔||✔|
|3D signal pass-through||✔||✔|
|HDMI pass-through in standby mode||✔||✔|
|Video conversion||✖||analog to HDMI|
|Analog to HDMI scaling||✖||✔|
|HDMI to HDMI scaling||✖||✔|
|Other video features||HLG, BT.2020||x.v.Color, HLG, BT.2020, LipSync|
In terms of evaluating additional features, the AVR-S540BT got 8 points, but the AVR-S970H has 10.
Voice control allows you to control the basic functions of the receiver through a smartphone, smart speaker or using the microphone that comes with the kit. The AVR-S970H can be controlled by voice via Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Siri, Josh.AI.
|Voice control||✖||Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Siri, Josh.AI|
|App control||iPhone, iPad, iPod, Android, Amazon Kindle||iPhone, iPad, iPod, Android|
|Display||colour OSD||colour OSD|
|Tuner||AM, FM||AM, FM|
|Auto power off||✔||✔|
|Graphical user interface (GUI)||✔||✔|
|Firmware update||USB||network, USB|
|Other additional features||has not||IP Control, Web Control, App Control, RS232 Control|
As the center of a home media system, each multichannel receiver has an additional set of terminals for connecting the second set of speakers to create additional audio space in Zone 2 or even Zone 3 where audio can have the separate source.
|Multi-room zones||has not||2|
|Zone audio output||has not||speaker|
|Zone HDMI output||has not||✔|
|Multi-room control||has not||HEOS App, Denon 2016 AVR Remote|
|Remote control input/output (IR)||0/0||0/0|
|DC trigger output (12V)||0||0|
Denon AVR-S540BT got 5 points for the multichannel surround sound and Denon AVR-S970H got 8.
Dolby Atmos' particularity is that this is the object-oriented sound format, that is, each audio signal object is independently sounded and connected to its spatial position. Denon AVR-S970H can create 3D sound due to the Dolby Atmos support.
DTS:X is an algorithm used by the processor to create sound scenes, where sounds connected directly to objects rather than channels, and to determine the optimum sound output distribution in space. Surround sound with DTS:X is available on the AVR-S970H.
|Dolby (other)||Dolby Digital Plus||Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization|
|DTS HD Master||✔||✔|
|DTS (other)||DTS-ES, DTS 96/24, DTS-HD, DTS-EXPRESS||DTS-ES, DTS 96/24, DTS-HD, DTS-EXPRESS|