Along with the growing popularity of custom home theater builds, the comparison of Denon AVR-S950H and Onkyo TX-SR494 takes place. According to the results of our review, Denon AVR-S950H received 7.3 points out of 10 possible, and Onkyo TX-SR494 was rated 5.5 points. Both AV receivers were introduced in 2019. Based on the data on the characteristics and features of both models, we can conclude that AVR-S950H has better performance than TX-SR494.
For the built-in amplifier, the models have rated 7 points out of 10.
The number of channels is equal to the number of possible connected speakers. Both receivers can handle the 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 TX-SR494 this value is 135/6 W/Ohm, and for the AVR-S950H it is 125/6 W/Ohm.
|Stereo power (RMS), W/Ohm||90/8, 125/6||135/6|
|Output impedance, Ohm||8, 6||6|
|THD in stereo, %||0.08||0.08|
After reviewing the audio features of each model, we can rate the AVR-S950H 6 out of 10, and the TX-SR494 - 9.
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 TX-SR494.
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.
|Digital to analog converter (DAC)||AKM 192 KHz/32-bit||AKM 384 KHz/32-bit|
|Pure direct (straight)||✔||✔|
|Auto speaker calibration||Audyssey MultEQ||AccuEQ|
|Speaker A/B switching||✖||✖|
|Other audio features||Audyssey Dynamic Volume, Audyssey Dynamic EQ, Compressed Audio Restorer, Hi-Res audio||Advanced Music Optimizer, Hi-Res audio|
The connectivity of competitors in our comparison is markedly different, Denon AVR-S950H scored 7, and Onkyo TX-SR494 scored 5 out of 10.
Wireless connection via Wi-Fi is possible only on the Denon AVR-S950H.
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-S950H only.
|USB||1 (USB 2.0)||1 (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||Deezer, TIDAL, Pandora, Napster, SiriusXM, TuneIn Radio, iHeart Radio, Sound Cloud, Mood Mix||has not|
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-S950H got 8 points, but Onkyo TX-SR494 received 6 points.
Denon AVR-S950H is equipped with 8/2 HDMI inputs and outputs, and Onkyo TX-SR494 has 4/1 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 only on Denon AVR-S950H.
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-S950H in the HDCP 2.3 version, and Onkyo TX-SR494 has the HDCP 2.2 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-S950H has a Phono interface.
|HDMI ARC (Audio Return Channel)||✔||✔|
|HDMI eARC (Enhanced Audio Return Channel)||✔||✖|
|Digital content protection (HDCP)||HDCP 2.3||HDCP 2.2|
|Subwoofer output (LFE)||2||2|
|Headphone output||1 x 6.3||1 x 6.3|
|Optical digital input||2||1|
|Coaxial digital input||1||1|
|Phono (MM) input||✔||✖|
|Front panel connectors||USB, HDMI, phones, setup mic||USB, phones|
|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-S950H were rated 8 out of 10 against the 6 for the TX-SR494.
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 only with Denon AVR-S950H.
|HDR (High Dynamic Range)||HDR10||HDR10|
|4K signal pass-through||4K/60Hz||4K/60Hz|
|8K signal pass-through||✖||✖|
|HDMI signal pass-through||✔||✔|
|3D signal pass-through||✔||✔|
|HDMI pass-through in standby mode||✔||✔|
|Analog to HDMI scaling||✖||✖|
|HDMI to HDMI scaling||✔||✖|
|Other video features||HLG, BT.2020||DeepColor, x.v.Color, HLG, BT.2020|
In terms of evaluating additional features, the AVR-S950H got 10 points, but the TX-SR494 has 6.
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-S950H can be controlled by voice via Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Siri, Josh.AI. Only the Denon AVR-S950H has the ECO mode.
|Voice control||Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Siri, Josh.AI||✖|
|App control||iPhone, iPad, iPod, Android, Amazon Kindle||iPhone, iPad, iPod, Android|
|Tuner||AM, FM||AM, FM|
|Auto power off||✔||✔|
|Graphical user interface (GUI)||✔||✔|
|Firmware update||network, USB||USB|
|Other additional features||IP Control, Web Control||has not|
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.
|Zone audio output||speaker||speaker|
|Zone HDMI output||✖||✖|
|Multi-room control||HEOS App||has not|
|Remote control input/output (IR)||0/0||0/0|
|DC trigger output (12V)||0||0|
For the ability to create multichannel surround sound, each of the receivers received 7 points out of 10.
|Dolby (other)||Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization||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|