An overview of Denon AVR-S540BT and Pioneer VSX-LX301 will help us understand the many features that the devices are equipped with. According to the results of our review, Denon AVR-S540BT received 5.5 points out of 10 possible, and Pioneer VSX-LX301 was rated 8 points. The release date of AVR-S540BT is 2018, and VSX-LX301 is 2017. And as a result of the review, it becomes clear that AVR-S540BT is inferior in audio processing features to VSX-LX301.
For the built-in amplifier, the devices received different marks - 6 and 8, 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 Pioneer VSX-LX301 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 VSX-LX301 this value is 100/8 W/Ohm, and for the AVR-S540BT it is 70/8 W/Ohm.
|Stereo power (RMS), W/Ohm||70/8, 90/6||100/8, 170/6|
|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 VSX-LX301 - 10.
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 VSX-LX301.
Pure Direct mode feeds sound directly to the amplifier and bypasses any DSP processing. Only Pioneer VSX-LX301 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. Pioneer VSX-LX301 can work with the main and additional set of speakers - and switch between them.
|Digital to analog converter (DAC)||192 KHz/32-bit||AK4458 384 KHz/32-bit|
|Pure direct (straight)||✖||✔|
|Auto speaker calibration||Audyssey MultEQ||MCACC|
|Speaker A/B switching||✖||✔|
|Other audio features||Compressed Audio Restorer||Advanced Sound Retriever, Hi-Res audio, Reflex Optimizer|
The connectivity of competitors in our comparison is markedly different, Denon AVR-S540BT scored 5, and Pioneer VSX-LX301 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 VSX-LX301 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, Pandora, 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 Pioneer VSX-LX301 received 8 points.
Denon AVR-S540BT is equipped with 5/1 HDMI inputs and outputs, and Pioneer VSX-LX301 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 VSX-LX301 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||USB, HDMI, phones, setup mic, AUX|
|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 9 for the VSX-LX301.
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 Pioneer VSX-LX301.
|HDR (High Dynamic Range)||✔||✔|
|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||✔||✔|
|Video conversion||✖||analog to HDMI|
|Analog to HDMI scaling||✖||✔|
|HDMI to HDMI scaling||✖||✔|
|Other video features||HLG, BT.2020||x.v.Color, BT.2020|
In terms of evaluating additional features, both receivers received a score of 8 out of 10.
Only the Denon AVR-S540BT has the ECO mode.
|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||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||2|
|Zone audio output||has not||speaker, preout|
|Zone HDMI output||has not||✖|
|Multi-room control||has not||FlareConnect|
|Remote control input/output (IR)||0/0||1/1|
|DC trigger output (12V)||0||2|
Denon AVR-S540BT got 5 points for the multichannel surround sound and Pioneer VSX-LX301 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. Pioneer VSX-LX301 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 VSX-LX301.
|Dolby (other)||Dolby Digital Plus||Dolby Digital Plus|
|DTS HD Master||✔||✔|
|DTS (other)||DTS-ES, DTS 96/24, DTS-HD, DTS-EXPRESS||DTS Neo:X|