Along with the growing popularity of custom home theater builds, the comparison of Sony STR-DH790 and Denon AVR-S540BT takes place. According to the results of our review, Sony STR-DH790 received 5.3 points out of 10 possible, and Denon AVR-S540BT was rated 5.5 points. Both AV receivers were introduced in 2018. Based on the data on the characteristics and features of both models, we can conclude that AVR-S540BT has better performance than STR-DH790.
For the built-in amplifier, the devices received different marks - 7 and 6, respectively, on a 10-point scale.
The number of channels is equal to the number of possible connected speakers. The Sony STR-DH790 supports 7.2-channels sound, but Denon AVR-S540BT supports a 5.2-channels configuration.
RMS stands for the actual power of the receiver. The higher this value, the louder the sound can be produced. In terms of RMS power, the models have the same characteristics - 90/6/6 W/Ohm.
|Stereo power (RMS), W/Ohm||90/6||70/8, 90/6|
|Output impedance, Ohm||6||8, 6|
|THD in stereo, %||0.09||0.08|
After reviewing the audio features of each model, we can rate the STR-DH790 8 out of 10, and the AVR-S540BT - 6.
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 only on the STR-DH790.
Pure Direct mode feeds sound directly to the amplifier and bypasses any DSP processing. Only Sony STR-DH790 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. Sony STR-DH790 can work with the main and additional set of speakers - and switch between them.
|Digital to analog converter (DAC)||192 KHz/24-bit||192 KHz/32-bit|
|Pure direct (straight)||✔||✖|
|Auto speaker calibration||DCAC||Audyssey MultEQ|
|Speaker A/B switching||✔||✖|
|Other audio features||Hi-Res audio||Compressed Audio Restorer|
The connectivity of competitors in our comparison is markedly different, Sony STR-DH790 scored 6, and Denon AVR-S540BT scored 5 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. Neither the STR-DH790, nor the AVR-S540BT has the RJ45 port.
|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)||✖||✖|
|Other streaming services||has not||TIDAL, Pandora|
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, Sony STR-DH790 got 7 points, but Denon AVR-S540BT received 6 points.
Sony STR-DH790 is equipped with 4/1 HDMI inputs and outputs, and Denon AVR-S540BT has 5/1 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 Sony STR-DH790.
|HDMI ARC (Audio Return Channel)||✔||✔|
|HDMI eARC (Enhanced Audio Return Channel)||✔||✖|
|Digital content protection (HDCP)||HDCP 2.2||HDCP 2.2|
|Subwoofer output (LFE)||2||2|
|Headphone output||1 x 6.3||1 x 6.3|
|Optical digital input||1||2|
|Coaxial digital input||1||1|
|Phono (MM) input||✖||✖|
|Front panel connectors||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 STR-DH790 were rated 7 out of 10 against the 6 for the AVR-S540BT.
|HDR (High Dynamic Range)||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||HLG, BT.2020|
In terms of evaluating additional features, the STR-DH790 got 6 points, but the AVR-S540BT has 8.
Denon AVR-S540BT has the ECO mode.
|App control||iPhone, iPad, iPod, Android||iPhone, iPad, iPod, Android, Amazon Kindle|
|Display||colour OSD||colour OSD|
|Tuner||AM, FM||AM, FM|
|Auto power off||✔||✔|
|Graphical user interface (GUI)||✔||✔|
|Other additional features||has not||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.
|Multi-room zones||has not||has not|
|Zone audio output||has not||has not|
|Zone HDMI output||has not||has not|
|Multi-room control||has not||has not|
|Remote control input/output (IR)||0/0||0/0|
|DC trigger output (12V)||0||0|
Sony STR-DH790 got 7 points for the multichannel surround sound and Denon AVR-S540BT got 5.
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. Sony STR-DH790 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 only on the STR-DH790.
|Dolby (other)||Dolby Digital Plus||Dolby Digital Plus|
|DTS HD Master||✔||✔|
|DTS (other)||DTS-ES, DTS 96/24||DTS-ES, DTS 96/24, DTS-HD, DTS-EXPRESS|