Let's make the Denon AVR-S540BT versus Onkyo TX-NR686 comparison. According to the results of our review, Denon AVR-S540BT received 5.5 points out of 10 possible, and Onkyo TX-NR686 was rated 7.2 points. Both AV receivers were introduced in 2018. After comparison, it will become clear that among these two devices, the TX-NR686 is more suitable for the role of the heart of home theater system.
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 Onkyo TX-NR686 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 TX-NR686 this value is 165/6 W/Ohm, and for the AVR-S540BT it is 90/6 W/Ohm.
|Stereo power (RMS), W/Ohm||70/8, 90/6||165/6|
|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-S540BT 6 out of 10, and the TX-NR686 - 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-NR686.
Pure Direct mode feeds sound directly to the amplifier and bypasses any DSP processing. Only Onkyo TX-NR686 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.
|Digital to analog converter (DAC)||192 KHz/32-bit||VLSC 384 KHz/32-bit|
|Pure direct (straight)||✖||✔|
|Auto speaker calibration||Audyssey MultEQ||AccuEQ|
|Speaker A/B switching||✖||✖|
|Other audio features||Compressed Audio Restorer||Advanced Music Optimizer, Theater-Dimensional, Hi-Res audio|
The connectivity of competitors in our comparison is markedly different, Denon AVR-S540BT scored 5, and Onkyo TX-NR686 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 TX-NR686 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|
|Other streaming services||TIDAL, Pandora||Deezer, TIDAL, TuneIn Radio|
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 Onkyo TX-NR686 received 8 points.
Denon AVR-S540BT is equipped with 5/1 HDMI inputs and outputs, and Onkyo TX-NR686 has 7/2 HDMI inputs and outputs.
Connecting a vinyl player or phonograph is possible using a Phono input which is represented by mini-jack or RCA connectors. Only the TX-NR686 has a Phono interface.
|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||2||2|
|Coaxial digital input||1||1|
|Phono (MM) input||✖||✔|
|Front panel connectors||USB, phones, setup mic||HDMI, 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 7 for the TX-NR686.
|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, BT.2020||DeepColor, x.v.Color|
In terms of evaluating additional features, the AVR-S540BT got 8 points, but the TX-NR686 has 7.
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 TX-NR686 can be controlled by voice via Google Assistant. Only the Denon AVR-S540BT has the ECO mode.
|Voice control||✖||Google Assistant|
|App control||iPhone, iPad, iPod, Android, Amazon Kindle||iPhone, iPod, Android|
|Tuner||AM, FM||AM, FM|
|Auto power off||✔||✖|
|Graphical user interface (GUI)||✔||✔|
|Firmware update||USB||network, USB|
|Other additional features||has not||IP 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, preout|
|Zone HDMI output||has not||✖|
|Multi-room control||has not||Onkyo Controller app, FlareConnect|
|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 Onkyo TX-NR686 got 7.
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. Onkyo TX-NR686 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 TX-NR686.
|Dolby (other)||Dolby Digital Plus||Dolby Digital Plus|
|DTS HD Master||✔||✔|
|DTS (other)||DTS-ES, DTS 96/24, DTS-HD, DTS-EXPRESS||DTS-ES, DTS 96/24, DTS-HD, DTS-EXPRESS|